Digi-slave L-Ring Ultra II LED Ring Light

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jim Hawkins, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Jim Hawkins

    Jim Hawkins Guest



    I'm a newcomer to this group, but I have been an amateur photographer
    for about 45 years. Within the last few years, I had done some photo
    articles for "Radio World," Cover for "Sight and Sound," "MRT magazine,"
    and BE Radio. Mostly technical. My day job WAS software development.

    ***Looking for a Ringlight flash for nature macro closeups?***

    Forget the Digi-slave L-Ring Ultra II LED Ring Light if you want depth
    of field and low ISO numbers.

    I was looking for an inexpensive alternative to Canon's $450.00 E-TTL
    Ringlight flash. I was attracted to the Ultra II for it's $250.00 price
    tag. I ultimately returned it, possibly with 15% restocking fee.

    Reason, WEAK!

    This Ringlight flash might be good for setups like eBay photography
    using a tripod, but when I tried to use it on some outdoor plants, the
    power just isn't there. Even with ISO 3200 on my Canon 20D, I had to
    use either a fairly wide f stop or lower speed. It just doesn't cut the
    mustard. It would make a good night flashlight also.

    In the meantime, I tried using my Sunpak 383 in manual mode with remote
    trigger chord, holding the camera with one hand and the flash with
    another with pleasing results. I was able to move the flash anywhere I
    wanted, next to the lens, below the flowers, backlight, etc. All things
    you can't do with a ringlight flash. I was easily able to shoot at ISO
    100, f32, 1/200 second. Not only that, I was even able to stack the
    Canon 100mm macro lens on the end of my complete set of extension tubes
    for significantly more magnification. The Sunpak did the job.

    I was still interested in a ring light, so after returning the Ultra II,
    I thought my only option was to go for broke on the Canon MR-14EX TTL
    Ring Lite Flash. Then I decided to allow myself a cooling off period,
    which lasted about 4 hours. After doing some of the research that I
    should have done in the first place, I found recommendations to use an
    extension arm flash bracket with references to ("Close-ups in Nature" by
    John Shaw) such as the Kirk Macro Flash Bracket
    This would accomplish what I had already done by twisting myself into a
    pretzel to hold the flash in various positions.

    I had tried to find a review of the Ultra II, but found none. So, if no
    one has said it as yet, let this be a mini-review.

    My newest page: Butterfly Milkweeds http://www.j-hawkins.com/BFMilkweed.html

    Most close-ups were done by either using ISO 400 or pushing ISO 100 in
    Photoshop. I discovered it was a better idea to use the higher ISO
    speed (400) if you don't have enough light. But it's even better to use
    a good flash setup and use ISO 100.

    Jim Hawkins - Part time freelance writer/photographer.
    Home: http://www-j-hawkins.com/
    e-mail: radiopage01 (AT) j-hawkins (DOT) com

    PS: Using a high enough ISO to get a proper exposure with some noise is
    better than pushing a low ISO because the lack of detail data is
    replaced with a less desirable, plaid like pattern, which is harder to
    get rid of than evenly distributed noise.
    Jim Hawkins, Aug 16, 2005
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