Macro LED ring light

Close encounters of the bright kind.

I was looking for a decent but cheap reflector on ebay the other day, and I stumbled upon this LED ring light.  I was immediately curious as to how I could incorporate this into video, so on an impulse, I bought. (Should have searched around more, oh well.)

The way it works is that it comes with 6 different step-up rings to attach to your lenses. Sizes are 49,52,55,58,62 and 67mm. (no 77 which leaves my Tokina 11-16mm out of the game. Boo-urns) Once the ring is on, just slide the light on to it, attach the power source (battery or AC) to the hot shoe and connect the light and you’re set. A switch on the light allows you to have the full ring blaring or just the left or right side on. Pretty nifty.

I’ve seen devices like this used on high-end cameras for something like a rap video which gives the artist a bright kicker as they’re performing close up. I could technically use this as an on-camera light, but downside is that it adds more weight to the camera and no real way to diffuse the light other than just having one side of the ring on to tone down the brightness.

So here are some quick and dirty test shots. Nothing fancy. I used the Sigma 30mm during the entire shoot. I had it at 1.4 during the day shots (everything before the smurf) And I switched between 1.4 and 2.8 for the night stuff.

Bonus! Here’s a short video with the light on. I was still shooting at 2.8 with the Sigma (remember, I can still open that sucker up to 1.4) Only half a ring is on too.  As you’ll see at the very end, I engage the entire ring. This is not a trailer for next the Fincher movie….or it could be.

LED Light full ring on.

Side note: I rendered this out on Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. Holy crap is it fast. It also handled my original file footage like buttah. I may have to start using it more than FCP since it’s running at 64 bit. /nerd speak.

Overall verdict: not bad. Definitely not top quality build, but then again it’s not $100-$200 for something of a higher brand. The light slides a little too freely while it hangs on the ring, but the light isn’t heavy at all to way down on the front of your lens. If you’re looking to photograph miniatures, figures, plants, etc. I think this is great entry LED ring light for the price.

Where to buy: My mistake is your gain. Instead of paying $57 like I did you can pay around $39 which is what this light is worth.

Check out ebay here or Amazon here

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~ by Sean on September 9, 2010.

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