Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Canon MR-14EX Macro Ring Light

The ringlight is one of the most necessary equipment for macro photography. It basically lets you pump out light in places that are really difficult to light up. It also allows light into places where light would otherwise be blocked off by your lens or your lens hood. The biggest advantage of using the ringlight is it allows you to use a narrow depth of field by closing the aperture of your need the extra depth of field when taking macro shots due to the fact that a millimeter makes or breaks a shot when you are so close to your subject.

I started out with a cheap sub $100 ringlight I bought online. I thought it would be enough for what I need. It was actually ok for the first couple of weeks...till you realize that it fails a little bit too much! It's really critical when you hand hold your camera set your focus and take the shot for the flash to actually work. I would say 3 out of 5 times, the cheap ringlight will fail. It flashes, though the sync with the flash and the shutter seems to be off.

So I decided to invest in a genuine Canon ringlight. It is really expensive but I decided to get it because I'll be using it all the time anyway. So I bid on one online and won! It arrived a week later.

I got a Canon MR-14EX Macro Ring usually around $500, which I've heard is pretty good, I got mine used so it's way cheaper than $500. I just cannot afford to spend $600-$700 for the MT-24, so I got it's little brother. I was impressed with the build quality, as is with other Canon products. Before I forget, this ringlight needs a lens adapter if you are not using Canon macro lenses such as me. I heard it fits the Canon 100mm macro both the L and the regular one, as well as the 50mm and the 60mm macro without the adapters, correct me if I'm wrong. Mine came with a 62mm adapter for my 70mm Sigma lens, so I am good to go.

So I took photos of flowers inside our house and I was glad the flash does not fail on me, not even once. I love that recharging sound that is not present in the newer Canon flashes. The things that I like about it were:

Very reliable. I've had it for months now and it never has failed on me, not even once.
There's a modeling light, so you can compose in total darkness.
Flawless trigger for an extra 430ex or a 580ex.
High speed sync also available.
Snaps on really easily. Unlike the cheaper ones that you have to screw it in the lens.
Build is pretty good.

I've heard that there's a button you can press on your camera that you can press to activate the modeling light. I've tried doing this but I cannot seem to make it work. This will eliminate the trouble of looking away from the viewfinder to switch it back on when it shuts off.

For macro shooting, you cannot go wrong with this one. Although it's a bit pricey, I suggest it's really worth it.

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