Tuesday, 15 January 2013

I've Got Mail! Literally!

Way back when, I was quite interested in getting a macro ring flash so I can get those ring catch light effects on a subjects eyes in portrait photography, and of course, to use it for macro photography since I use a reverse lens and sometimes to use an external flash can be tricky, to say the least, in getting the required amount of light when everything is done manually on a reversed lens.

I have pushing back my order for a macro ring flash for the longest time since I was using a reversed lens and the filter thread can't be used by the macro ring flash as a mount. I had to find a filter mount for the Nikon F mount in order for my reversed lens to have a filter thread available for mounting a macro ring flash otherwise my purchase will be limited to portraits. And being a cheapass, I wouldn't want that.

It wasn't until last week when I seriously decided on searching for one, and ultimately ordering one, because in our research in Obstetrics and Gynecology required us to photograph the women subjects' genitalia internally (specifically, the cervix) after the inclusion of acetowhitening techniques to compare the results with pap smears; we wanted to have 3 consultants on the spot to just assess the results, but this was frowned upon by our advisers since we will not be able to find consultants willing enough to help us the whole day, in separate sessions, to assess our results. Thus, we were told to take photographs instead. And who did my class choose to take these photographs? Obviously me! To my dismay, I felt like my medical career is in jeopardy before it even began! LOL

Anyways, with that being said, I knew my off shoe flash will not be enough to illuminate the cervix, so I immediately remembered about a macro ring flash. As thus, I went on to find a good priced, good branded, good GN, macro flash. I found a great priced one, an alien branded one (I couldn't find any familiar brands here), and a high enough GN for what it is worth at 18.

Now, I can justify the purchase since I will be using this for our research (I forgot where I read it, but the ring flash was said to be originally made for dental photography? I could be wrong, but apart from macro, it certainly is used in the medical field, so I was literally sold), I can use this in portraits, and I can use this in macro photography.

But then, there was the problem looming over me... The fact that I do not own a dedicated macro lens, I simply use a macro reverse ring to reverse my lens to have the magnification needed for macro. The down side here is that everything is done manually; the focus, the amount of flash (if you aren't using an off camera shoe cord), and the aperture (since the aperture arm is no longer in contact with the camera body, you either have to place a card or something in order to control the aperture... and you do not know what f/stop it really is in, apart from the highest and lowest f/stops). And the most important limitation in conjunction with the macro ring flash is that, since it is reversed, I can't used the filter thread to mount my ring flash!

Oh the dilemma... but of course, since we needed it for the research, that didn't stop me from ordering the ring flash.

It wasn't until 10 minutes after I made my order yesterday, that I found a Kiwi Foto Filter Ring Mount which was a female to female mount, meaning one end accepts a Nikon F mount and the other end is a 52mm filter thread. BAM! I found what I was in dire need of! So I also ordered it.

Fast forward to a today, and I got my packages in the mail!

Nothing like getting packages in the mail!

So I hurried to open up my first package, specifically the Kiwi Foto Filter Ring Mount!

In my cutting board, with trusty cutter; I blurred out my address. Go Figure!

Relax people! I wasn't sent the wrong item! I have ordering a lot from this guy and he seems to have a style of doubling up the boxes so the actual item's box isn't damaged.

Here is the real item!

I must say, I love the box; simple. No sh*tting around here! No manual either. Well, if you are going to use a reversed lens for macro, you should probably know a thing or two about your camera by now that you need not read any manual to use certain accessories.

Time to see it with my kitlens (which I now primary use as a macro lens)!

I closer (darker) look at the item. I wasn't to keen in getting all the lighting set up in my room so this is how it looks like roughly. LOL

Here it is attached on the F mount of my kitlens.
A somewhat better angle; again I wasn't keen on setting all my lights up for these shots.

An even better angle of the filter ring mount on my kitlens!

Now time unbox the macro ring flash!

As I mentioned earlier, it was from an unknown brand to me, a Meike Macro Ring Flash, but it's the only good one I can find here in the Philippines, so it should suffice.

To the cutting board!!

A wild Meike Macro Ring Flash  MK-FC110 appears!

This is the first time I heard of this brand, so I hope I wont be let down.

Time to see actual item and its contents included:

Package inludes: 7 adapter rings to fit any lens' filter threads, a warranty card, a manual, the LED ring flash, and an orange colored temperature filter (without it on the temp is 5500k; with it on, the temp is 3200k)

A closer look at the colored temperature filter

Without the colored temperature filter

The control unit; this MK-FC110 improved upon the previous FC100 by having a slightly higher GN (previously 15, now it is 18) and the LED screen on the control unit.

The unit
Here is the Meike Macro Ring Flash MK-FC110 on my Nikon 18-55mm kitlens via the Kiwi Foto Filter Ring Mount. If you look behind the lens (Well, the front of the lens... since it is reversed and all) you could see my JJC macro reversing ring

Since it is still the school week, I couldn't test this to the fullest, probably the weekend after this, I will write my thoughts on these 2 items, mostly the macro ring flash since the filter ring mount simply does what it was meant to do immediately.

So far, I am happy with the macro flash, it is bright enough to get the job done. But I will write a separate entry on its features, etc., and my thoughts next time. For now, I just wanted to give a preview and share my happy feeling upon receiving new camera gear.

Oh yeah, all of these shots were with my Nikon D5000, no post processing since its just items...


Until next time!