Any thoughts on the "always on" LED ring lights

Shakespeare

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I've got no problems shelling out for Canon's MP-E 65 macro, but the real problem I have is the $600-800 flashes that accompany it, and, from what I've heard, are next to necessary.

Has anyone had any experience with the LED lamps that don't flash, they're just always on. I know there are $40 versions (worthless from my experience) and that there are more expensive versions ($300 or so, which I could swing). Can these compare with a dedicated flash?

S
 
Yes. Set your camera up properly to account for it, but lights that are always on work just fine if you set up your white balance etc for them.
 
Depends a lot on what you're shooting. A flash can freeze motion, so you can shoot hand held and shoot subjects that may move (or are moving a little already).

If you are relying on constant lights for your exposure...then you have to be concerned about the shutter speed being long enough for exposure, while still avoiding blur. The result is that you may have to shoot at wider aperture and/or higher ISO. And wider apertures are an issue with macro, because you'll be very concerned about DOF.

But if you are shooting stationary subjects and you're mounted on a tripod...then the constant lighting should be no problem at all.
 
Yeah when I've used constant lighting it's been tripod work.
 
Most of the LED lights lack enough power to allow you to shoot at low ISO and small apertures, except on a tripod (long shutter speeds). Make them fine for product photography, etc.. but basically useless for insects or anything that moves. Can't handhold with them, obviously for the same reason.
 
Yeah, I wallowed on that exact scenario for a year now. A flash that costs nearly as much as the lens...ouch. I finally decided heck with it, gonna do it. Got a pretty good deal on a used MT24-EX flash from a fella here on TPF. Almost nabbed a LNIB mp-e65 on ebay yesterday, but even as I tried to snipe it, I got sniped just as the timer clicked to zero, by $10. I'm out of town for work this week and won't be back until Friday evening, so just going to bite the bullet and order a new mp-e65 tonight so it will be there waiting for me when I get home. I figure if all else fails, I can get a sizable chunk of my money back if, for some reason, I don't like the set up (but the odds on that are pretty slim, heh). I'm slowly becoming more acceptable of the fact that photography goodies are not cheap. (I even ditched the idea of the new Tamron 70-200mm USD zoom, going to wait closer to November when my son's football games start and just drop the $$$ on the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM).

Wait till the wife finds out I'm also eyeballing the 5D Mk III......
 
Yeah, I wallowed on that exact scenario for a year now. A flash that costs nearly as much as the lens...ouch. I finally decided heck with it, gonna do it. Got a pretty good deal on a used MT24-EX flash from a fella here on TPF. Almost nabbed a LNIB mp-e65 on ebay yesterday, but even as I tried to snipe it, I got sniped just as the timer clicked to zero, by $10. I'm out of town for work this week and won't be back until Friday evening, so just going to bite the bullet and order a new mp-e65 tonight so it will be there waiting for me when I get home. I figure if all else fails, I can get a sizable chunk of my money back if, for some reason, I don't like the set up (but the odds on that are pretty slim, heh). I'm slowly becoming more acceptable of the fact that photography goodies are not cheap. (I even ditched the idea of the new Tamron 70-200mm USD zoom, going to wait closer to November when my son's football games start and just drop the $$$ on the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM).

Wait till the wife finds out I'm also eyeballing the 5D Mk III......

Check out POTN. MP-E's will show up every now and again for a good deal.
 
Excellent, glad to hear that others have felt the same. I'm an insect/flowers in the wind shooter, so it sounds like I need a flash.

Is there anything even remotely as good as the
MT24-EX for less money?

Also, anyone have experience with the
MR14-EX? And what percentage of awesomeness is it when compared to the MT24-EX? If I can get double duty from it (macro and catchlight for portrait eyeballs) then I could go with that.

S
 
I have one and it was a waste of money for what I do. The light just isn't powerful enough to attempt anything hand held. With a tripod your exposure times are going to be very long if you stop down at all. I ended up buying the Nikon R1C1 and haven't looked back.
 
I have one and it was a waste of money for what I do. The light just isn't powerful enough to attempt anything hand held. With a tripod your exposure times are going to be very long if you stop down at all. I ended up buying the Nikon R1C1 and haven't looked back.

Yep! I do love them R1C1's! Great flashes!
 

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