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Led Macro Ring Light Review

It’s been bugging me that I only have a handful of decent insect photos, despite owning a macro lens primarily for that purpose. When they weren’t flying or running away from me, they were biting me, and when I tried the pop-them-in-the-fridge-to-cool-them-down trick – well, let’s just say Mr. Tarantula is still napping. I felt awful about that and vowed never to ice down a critter again unless it was a penguin with heat stroke. The flash mode is more a feature to conserve battery life and not constantly blind your subjects.

When I first tried the VM-110 it immediately became obvious that this is a poor choice for shooting bugs or any moving subjects. Your shutter speed needs to be ½ sec or longer for this ring light to take advantage of the specified GN. In practice I found the VM-110 beat this, but still I had to shoot at ISO 2500 to get proper exposure at one foot distance and 1/125 and f/16. Furthermore, its all-plastic build keeps the weight and cost down but makes it feel a bit like a toy. These are plastic too, with the potential to cross-thread the rings or have them jam tight and be hard to remove – treat these very gingerly if you want them to last and don’t over-tighten them. Instead of bashing this product for not being good for bugs, I set out to find some fun static subjects to shoot. I heard there’s decent money to be had in product photography so I grabbed my tripod and let the magic happen. I snuck this pic of what I think is the camera modulara prototype sitting on a light table at Mansurov Enterprises.

The only communication with the camera is the ability for the shutter to trip the ½ sec flash mode. But seriously, the ring lit portrait can be a cool trendy look with punchy highlights and dark shadowy rims on the subject and even a background halo (assuming no other light source). Quickly I learned why ring lights suck for portraits – having the flash mounted on the lens really blinds your model. Switching from 50mm to 60mm lens, taking a step back and adding some ambient light helped.

I had to go back in and tweak both temperature and tint (using Lightroom’s WB picker tool) to get something resembling healthy skin. If you choose to use this ring light to illuminate humans, I suggest creating some LR presets for WB and sticking with the clear diffuser.

Another portrait trick you might recognize from the fashion mags is the ring-shaped catchlight in the model’s eyes. As a constant light source, the VM-110 might be handy for close-up video work, but I haven’t tested this yet. With a 24-120mm on a full frame sensor I had vignetting through the entire range, but of course more severe at the wider focal lengths.

Good news there, now if I can just get that darned plastic adapter ring off (yeah I mentioned this before, but these really need to be made of metal). On the plus side it’s inexpensive, lightweight, gives even illumination, and as a constant light source, WYSIWYG. Its biggest downsides are how weak it is, the funky white balance issues, and the long “flash” duration.

Dörr RL-48 LED Macro Ring Light

Het ringlicht zorgt voor een egale en permanente belichting op je onderwerp dankzij de 48 LED lampen.

Dörr LED Macro Ring Light RL-48

Het is echter in een enkel geval mogelijk dat door omstandigheden de bezorging vertraagd is.

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