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Voking 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.

Tech Talk – Voking Macro Light Ring

Great for natural looking light and quite fast, used with the low-speed continuous shoot I got approx 5 frames per second before the flash needed to recharge. One-off shots, fired perfectly every time, it runs via the TTL flash set up on your camera.

The only problem I found was occasionally it did not fire on continuous burst mode, not sure if the issue was the camera, the flash or the operator 🙂 It cost approx AUD$200.00, I believe that there are slightly cheaper versions out there but this one was getting quite good reviews, and we are quite happy with it.

Best ringflash for macro photography in 2021

If you’re on the lookout for interesting plants and insects to capture with your macro lens, you need a way to provide a quick bit of fill light, especially if you keep finding yourself inadvertently casting great big shadows over the things you’re trying to photograph! Nissin’s contender stands out with its clever head design that can expand by 14mm to accommodate lens diameters up to 82mm without vignetting – though the six mounting plates included top out at 77mm. Changing modes is easy with the color LCD on the control unit, and the simple interface also makes light work of configuring the wireless TTL master and slave options. Color temperature is a whisker warmer than with the other flashes on test, and the control unit is quite bulky, but if you can live with these minor drawbacks, it’s excellent value for money. Despite its size, the unit packs E-TTL II metering, LED focussing lamps, and twin flash tubes with independent power adjustment that can offset their output by up to six stops. We can’t fault the MR-14EX II’s performance, either: its light softness is superb, backed up by flawless color rendition and accurate TTL metering. The only fly in the ointment is lens compatibility: it’s made for Canon macro lenses with 58mm threads, or larger L editions with optional adaptors. 3: Olympus STF-8 Macro Flash A completely weatherproof macro flash for Olympus users Specifications Guide number: 8.5 (m/ISO100) Available for: Olympus Lighting type: Twin flash Recycle time: 4 secs Exposure control: Auto, Manual, TTL (via separate commander) Weight: 283g TODAY’S BEST DEALS View at BHPhoto View at Walmart Prime View at Amazon Reasons to buy + Nicely compact + Full weatherproofing Reasons to avoid – Low guide number – Limited compatibility

The compactness and light weight of the Olympus STF-8 Macro Flash makes a lot of sense when you consider the fact that it’s designed to work with Micro Four Thirds systems. In a nice extra, however, it is also fully splashproof and weatherproof, making it a great choice for outdoor macro sessions roaming for insects and flowers to photograph in fresh rainfall. The relatively low guide number means you might struggle a little with larger subjects, but this twin-flash kit is still an excellent choice for macro shooting with an Olympus system. Rather than using a one-piece ring flash, this kit comes with a pair of SB-R200 flashguns that clip onto a mount, which in turn attaches to your lens via included adaptors in sizes from 52mm to 77mm.

The creative customization continues with some included colored gels, and clip-on diffusers, which improve light softness when shooting extreme close-ups. Other annoyances include the relatively pricey and uncommon CR123 batteries that power each flash, and we found the light quality to be a tad harsh without the diffusers fitted, though color rendering is excellent. Compatible with Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras with macro lenses attached, it can be used as a flash or continuous light, with manual and auto modes available (no, you don’t get TTL for £30).

7 Creative Ways to Use A Ring Flash

However if you want to use one the lights they use on high-end fashion shots, be prepared to say good bye to a couple of Big Ones. The oddly shaped – around the lens – modifier, combined with lots of lighting power does not come cheap. Luckily new, easy on the pocket, rings lights like the Orbis ($200) and the DIY Ring Flash ($25) provide access to this wonderful tool to the budget minded photographer as long as they own a small hot shoe strobe.

The most common use for a small ring flash is to use it to create a subtle fill light.

David Hobby A.K.A Strobist came up with one of the coolest and interesting ways to use a ring flash. Then he uses a ring flash as fill to add details to the final photograph. Note the halo of shadow originating around the model as the light hits her exactly from the lens center. If you opt to photograph the small things, a ring flash is your perfect companion. Lastly, you can forget the fact that this is a ring flash at all and simply use it off camera and off axis as a small softbox.

Udi Tirosh runs DIYPhotography, and makes great photography products.

The Phoblographer’s Introduction to Ring Flash

The popular flashes are used to give a multitude of looks depending on what you’re going for–but they all have on specific characteristic. It’s a beautiful catch light that adds extra emphasis on the eyes: which is what so many portrait photographers try to do anyway. This post give you a brief overview of the flashes, but for even more we recommend that you check out our Introductory Guide to Lighting Modifiers.

The flashes were originally designed for dental use so that dentists could evenly illuminate a patient’s teeth–and they worked pretty damned well for a while. These ones are also the most powerful and used by many high end commercial fashion shooters editorial photographers. Most folks tend to go for these alternatives because of the fact that they are cheaper and they prefer to work with smaller flashes. While many won’t crank their ISOs up above 400 or even 200 when using these, some folks might go up to 800 or 1600 because of the fact that speedlites and other hot shoe flashes are typically weaker than monolights and battery pack strobes. A search on 500px for the word Ring Flash (WARNING NSFW) will show you images that are using the more typical and modern methodology.

Instead, it emphasizes having a bit of shadow and instead utilizing the fact that a ring flash and really enhance and create what are called specular highlights.

But when you combine it with a flash ring, your perceived sharpness of the image will be greater because of all the hidden details that you’ll unlock. Using a ring flash (or modifier for it) requires lots of trial and error to get it totally right. Since the flash modifier is killing one to two stops of light, you’ll barely see the effect unless you get closer to your subject and for the best results we recommend using a 35mm or 50mm equivalent lens.

Because of their significantly more powerful output than hot shoe flashes, you can keep your ISOs down and you can also shoot at a longer focal length such as 85mm. AlienBees ABR800 Ring Flash: Though this unit is significantly weaker than the Zeus Ringmaster, it can plug directly into a wall and have have no issues.

Version two has some of the most incredibly even flash output that we’ve seen and can also deliver the softest light.

It collapses down for easy use and storage–but we also recommend being more careful with it since it is made of cloth and metal rods.

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SUPERSEDED Voking LED macro ring light with 52-77mm lens threads

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Voking LED Macro Ring Light

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