I am looking to buy a macro ring or Speedlite flash, which one do I get?

Andrixo

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Nov 13, 2014
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I am using a Canon 80D with an 100mm EF macro lens with 1:1, it's thread size is 58mm. I am looking to take better macro shots with more realistic lighting and to be able to take pictures in darker situations but I also like portrait photography so I am unsure which one to get, I would like some recommendations of which ones to buy, my budget is about £200-300 for either one.
 

bjornl

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Mar 16, 2016
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I think for now you should save your money so you don't end up spending it twice. A ring flash can be had in your price range, but you are not likely to keep using it for very long. Bercause a ring flash will not get you more realistic lighting, it will do the opposite. It will wipe out shadows and create a very flat image.

Something like this gives much better results:
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-MT-24EX-Macro-Digital-Cameras/dp/B00006I548/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1463034595&sr=1-1&keywords=canon+mt-24ex
The advantage is that it will provide good illumination on your subject but without the off-putting flat looking ring flash images.

I use Nikon version called an r1c1 and had a ring flash before that. Big difference in quality.

If you want to look at options (due to price), graze through the list here (including several budget priced ring flashes):
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Macro-Ringlights/ci/649/N/4168864821

If you are looking for wildlife photos (like birds and furry things) you will eventually want a longer lens. The Canon 100-400 is nice, although amongst lower priced lenses I prefer the Tamron 150-600 which is faster focusing and equally sharp and less expensive.
To use a flash with a long lens you will need a high power speedlite and a beemer. The beemer is really cheap but a high power flash to use with it is not. http://www.amazon.com/X-Tender-Better-Beamer-FX-3-Booster/dp/B000SLNNG4/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1463035817&sr=1-1&keywords=beemer+flash

For more general use, a Canon 580 II can be had used within your price range if you shop on ebay. Since you're talking £ not $, you might see what your local shops have. I haven't been in the UK in many years, but Jessops used to carry some used stuff as I recall. Does pixmania still ship to the UK? Their prices tend to be very aggressive.
 

Andrixo

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Nov 13, 2014
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I have not tried a light tent no, but is it very effective? I want to take macro photos of insects and wildlife so it may be a bit inconvenient outside.
 

bicycle_repair_man

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Jan 10, 2014
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I shoot portraits and macro myself and a flashgun will offer greater flexibility than a macro ring. For portraits, a flashgun can be swivelled so you can bounce the light off other surfaces, which creates a far more flattering and natural look than firing light directly at your subject. If you can't bounce the light then consider buying a bounce card such as a Rogue Flashbender.

With your budget, I'd get a Speedlight 430EX. I don't understand why other lenses and camera bodies are being suggested; what you have is very good and perfectly suited to your type of shooting.

Take a look at Wex Photographic; they sell new and second-hand kit.
 

bjornl

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Mar 16, 2016
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No one suggested a different camera body. I suggested a low cost wild life lens because he said wildlife, which is what I lead that section with : "If you are looking for wildlife photos (like birds and furry things)". A 100mm lens of any type let alone a slow focusing macro is not well suited to wildlife. I suppose it CAN be done. I got this one with the only lens I had on me by creeping up for a while. https://s3.amazonaws.com/masters.galleries.dpreview.com/2778677.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWXD4UV3FXMIDQLQ&Expires=1463160193&Signature=lIzBdEm%2BJiUihITJZjOvOx%2BKG6A%3D
Taken with a 20mm on a full frame. But for most wildlife photos you're going to need a 70-300 or longer. Ideally longer.

 
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