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Ring light versus LED tubes

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by davect01, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    If you want no shadows, the ring light is the only option. The dual LED thingy is the cheap version of a twin flash, which means you'll get shadows, but you have very good control over them.

    A good solution in-between the two is the Metz 15 MS-1. It is a twin flash in the form of a ring flash, which means no fiddling around with the two parts, easy mounting and small to transport. It has the advantage of allowing you to control the light distribution with its two tilt reflectors, but in turn it can't give you an image completely evenly lit without any shadows.

    So it's more what you want and what you need than what's actually better. There's a place for ring lights, twin flashes or even big, soft LED tubes.
     
  3. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Led lights suffer from several things:
    1) light output is low (means long exposure time)
    2) light spectrum is far from natural
    3) light source is a point source (that is not a bad thing always)

    Ring lights suffer from too even illumination, no shadows means no 3D-feel in images. You want to be able to adjust left/right illumination to some degree. 48 leds is too few if you are going to photograph anything shiny, reflection will show individual leds.

    I think that twin macro flashes are most popular choice among professionals, lots of technical photos are taken with ring flashes and these are cheap these days. I have jy-670 but haven't used it much but it seems to be sound, no knowledge about it's build quality.
     
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Thanks for the info guys.

    I like the LED tubes for portability, but the Ring seems like it would give more even coverage.

    I'm thinking I might get both :/
     
  5. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I think that the goose neck light idea is very good but that implementation is probably too low on light level. 300 lux is just about office lightning level. Anyway post images if you get it.
     
  6. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Alright, I decided on the ring light.

    In searching I have ones that connect to the hot shoe and ones that do not. Would my camera, (NEX-6), actually control the ring flash in any way?

    I am preferring the non-connected one, can anyone explain the difference for me.
     
  7. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Ring lights are on always. Ring flashes are used like a ordinary flash (the connected kind are just ring flashes using leds). That is true for led ones too. Quite a many led ring flashes have the possibility to leave the light permanently on.

    Ring light works very well with inanimate things but are completely useless for portraits (ring flash is sometimes used for portraits, especially when there isn't possibility for proper lightning).

    Yes, Nex-6 will probably work ok with ring flash. My Nex-7 works ok with a led ring flash and ordinary xenon ring flash.

    I think that the future of ring flashes lies with led ones. Here are some thoughts I have given the subject over years.
    -divide leds into 4 groups (left, right,top,bottom)
    -enough leds (80?100?)
    -enough power (that comes easily from enough leds)
    -modelling light (that is, possibility to have leds slightly on all time)
    -dividing each led group into 3 subgroups. That would mimic twin flash.
    -ample diffusing
    -adjustable color temperature (that is use RGB-leds instead of white ones)
     
  8. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Thanks for the update, lots to think about.