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 Post subject: Speedlite vs ringflash
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 10:10 am 
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Joined: June 14th, 2010, 11:04 am
Posts: 420
Location: 'God's Country'
Canon 580EX speedlite for nocturnal treefrog shots? Anyone use this and what is best slave(s) to incorporate?

I used a 'ringflash' years ago on a film camera, but the lighting seemed very 'flat', not to mention the 'ring circle' in the very reflective eyes of the subjects I was shooting. Has this technology improved any is say the last ten years??

Thanks for reading.

ROCK ON!

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Speedlite vs ringflash
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 2:15 pm 

Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:21 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Ventura County, CA
The Canon MR14-EX ringflash incorporates Canon's ETTL flash exposure control, but the ring shaped highlights remain (and are just as distracting) as in the days of the old ML-3:

Image

Many folks prefer the MT24-EX twin flash for macro work. It's much more flexible than the MR14, but requires more set up time and really needs some form of diffusor on the flash heads to avoid blown highlights on every specularly reflective surface. A conventional flash like the 580EX (or even one of the smaller units) will also work well, but needs to be mounted off shoe to avoid shadows from the lens barrel obscuring the subject. These sorts of flash arrangements as well really benefit from a diffusor.

In short, you have a lot of macro flash options with the Canon system, but none are perfect. The MR14 ringflash is very easy to use - set it and forget it - but can create distracting highlights. The MT24 works really well, but needs some messing around with to configure well (and takes up quite a bit of real estate around the front of the lens). The 580EX can be simple enough to use, but requires some arrangement of off shoe cord and bracket which can be a bit ungainly.

Embarrassingly enough I own all three and use the ringflash most of the time just for its size and convenience of use when hiking - even though I know that the MT24 will often give better results when I take the time to use it properly.


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 Post subject: Re: Speedlite vs ringflash
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 5:07 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:00 am
Posts: 99
A diffuser on your 580 would be awesome, a single flash source gives a little more depth IMO.

Image

Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Speedlite vs ringflash
PostPosted: May 9th, 2012, 5:14 am 
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Joined: June 14th, 2010, 11:04 am
Posts: 420
Location: 'God's Country'
fvachss and Russ,

Thank you so much for the information.

Rock ON!

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Speedlite vs ringflash
PostPosted: May 9th, 2012, 5:05 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 2886
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Quote:
use the ringflash most of the time just for its size and convenience of use when hiking

So do I :-) We should all be more hungry!


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 Post subject: Re: Speedlite vs ringflash
PostPosted: May 10th, 2012, 5:34 am 
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Joined: October 12th, 2011, 2:03 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Antelope Valley, CA
I got tired of the ring flash highlights myself:

Image
Spider-lunch by sgbofav, on Flickr

If you shoot "head-on" with a ringflash, the tell tale circle is diminished:

Image
Juvenile Gopher Snake Genus Pituophis by sgbofav, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Speedlite vs ringflash
PostPosted: May 10th, 2012, 2:53 pm 

Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:21 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Ventura County, CA
kit fox wrote:
I got tired of the ring flash highlights myself:



I hear you. Jumpers with their bulging reflective eyes are a challenge for any flash system. They and water droplets on bugs are probably the worst subjects for the ringflash:

Image

I keep this picture as an extreme example of how bad the ring highlights can get, but to be fair at least 90% of subjects are sufficiently diffuse or irregular so that these highlights aren't usually evident.


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 Post subject: Re: Speedlite vs ringflash
PostPosted: May 10th, 2012, 5:54 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 2886
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
I thought the reflections in the spider eyes were ludricrous, but this is beyond bad :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Speedlite vs ringflash
PostPosted: May 11th, 2012, 12:37 pm 

Joined: November 4th, 2010, 2:43 pm
Posts: 529
Russ_Jones wrote:
A diffuser on your 580 would be awesome, a single flash source gives a little more depth IMO.

Image

Russ



Wait... a Candoia sp? Where? When? Love that genus.


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