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Thread: Macro Ring Lighting Question

  1. #1

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    Macro Ring Lighting Question

    Iím looking at getting a ring light to use with my Macro lens and am wondering what your opinions are regarding lighting. What are your thoughts on continuous LED vs flash.
    Thanks, your input is always helpful and appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Macro Ring Lighting Question

    Quote Originally Posted by PepperT View Post
    I’m looking at getting a ring light to use with my Macro lens and am wondering what your opinions are regarding lighting. What are your thoughts on continuous LED vs flash.
    Thanks, your input is always helpful and appreciated.
    Hi Pepper,

    I have some of the 3 inch square LED light panels with tripod bar brackets and hotshoe mountings, with these I have found that;
    a) mounted 'back there' they are too far away for macro work, a ring mounting at the end of the lens would avoid this problem
    BUT
    b) the continuous bright light close to insects disturbs them, so I'd recommend a ring flash.

    Cheers,

  3. #3
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Macro Ring Lighting Question

    Just dont forget the weight it can add to your lens! There are various models out there, but if you are serious about macro work, then I would have thought it a worthwhile investment. There is never enough light when doing macro shots! I sometimes use my set up for portraiture too.

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    Re: Macro Ring Lighting Question

    Which lens and what sort of macro photography?

    When considering some form of macro lighting for outdoor 'in the field' shots, mostly of insects, I considered a macro ring light assembly but eventually thought it wouldn't be strong enough for the way I work.

    So I went for a Speedlite instead. And even that is now held together by silicon filler after numerous tripod crashes.

    The other thing which worried me was how much would those lights on the end of my lens worry the insects. They look alarmingly like a pair of large eyes from an approaching predator.

  5. #5

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    Re: Macro Ring Lighting Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Which lens and what sort of macro photography?

    When considering some form of macro lighting for outdoor 'in the field' shots, mostly of insects, I considered a macro ring light assembly but eventually thought it wouldn't be strong enough for the way I work.

    So I went for a Speedlite instead. And even that is now held together by silicon filler after numerous tripod crashes.

    The other thing which worried me was how much would those lights on the end of my lens worry the insects. They look alarmingly like a pair of large eyes from an approaching predator.
    I'm using an AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2.8GED on a D90. I am using it mostly for watch dials and parts but because I live in the country I will occasionally go out and hunt up some bugs to irritate.

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Macro Ring Lighting Question

    I don't really like ring lights and I use a standard hotshoe flash on an Siegelite articulating bracket (usually available for about $20 USD used on eBay) and modified with a Lumiquest Mini Softbox (these can also usually be found on eBay inexpensively). I trigger the flash with a Canon off-camera cord.

    Macro Ring Lighting Question

    If you have a hotshoe flash and a sync cord, the bracket and mini-softbox will usually set you back less than thirty bucks for both...

  7. #7
    Rob Douglas's Avatar
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    I prefer a continuous light LED ring over flash, just easier to use IMO. If I need fill I have my flash if needed.

    Richard, how well does that setup work as far as shadows are concerned? Do you need fill from the side? That's one of the reasons I like the continuous light, being close and direct hardly a worry about shadows. Though it is a good point about being kind of intrusive to insects or small creatures but with a flash your not really gonna get a second
    Shot either as that will spook them too :/

  8. #8
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: Macro Ring Lighting Question

    As I have said in other threads I love my Macro LED ring,. Like Rob I prefer the continuous light.

    The ring mounted LED is also as light as a feather.

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Macro Ring Lighting Question

    Rob,

    Here are three shots with my lighting setup.

    Macro Ring Lighting Question

    Macro Ring Lighting Question

    Macro Ring Lighting Question

    The Lumiquest softbox is really a giant light source when shot from a few inches away from the subject and as such, provides quite soft lighting. The lighting is not shadowless like a ring light, but the soft shadows produce less of a flat loking image.

  10. #10
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    Re: Macro Ring Lighting Question

    Quote Originally Posted by PepperT View Post
    I'm using an AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2.8GED on a D90. I am using it mostly for watch dials and parts but because I live in the country I will occasionally go out and hunt up some bugs to irritate.
    I use a D90 with a Nikkor 105G macro lens. I shoot hand-held field macro-photography, mainly of living, wild insects.

    My lighting source is a standard Nikon SB-600 Speedlight with an O-Flash 3/4-circle Fresnel prism attachment, which cost about US$40 on eBay.

    Read more here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikonia...57623703013085

    Examples of my macro-photography with this set-up: http://www.500px.com/Nikonian72

    Please e-mail any questions to Nikonian72@gmail.com

    Douglass Moody
    Long Beach CA

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