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453 of 462 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2010
It does what it says, basically. Some of my rechargeable batts will work with it and others won't. That may be related to the shape of the battery contacts.

Having constant illumination is great for focusing, plus it allows you to choose higher shutter speeds instead of aperture if that suits your purpose.

The battery life is decent, but as you shoot if you're tracking insects etc. you may leave it on to be ready at a moment's notice. You may not notice your batteries are draining and you're not getting much out of it. But gee, they included an AC adapter and if you're doing indoor macro stuff, that's a fantastic accessory to have. That more than offsets the downside IMO.

Being so lightweight, it doesn't seem to tax my kit lens's AF motor at all. The only real downside I have seen is that reflections of the ring light may be broken or jagged. That is, instead of a clean circle of light reflecting off a water droplet, you may see individual LEDs. I've been using it at very close range, though, and I think as you move farther from the subject that's less noticeable or nonexistent.

The other issue TBD would be longevity. For my purposes it's fine and I don't beat up my equipment. If you're a pro...well, why wouldn't you invest the money on a serious ringflash setup if you're a pro, right?

This gets the job done for me with little fuss or fanfare; it's well worth the ~$50 I paid for it, easily. I'm very very pleased with it so far.

Update 5/28: I retested my AAs that wouldn't work before. They work now. It could be that the battery compartment is just a bit fussy. I'm a little tempted to rubberband the back cover to the unit because it can come off. I do like the fact that the batteries are separate from the ring because there's no point in adding extra weight to the lens if you don't have to. Also I had a slight issue where the light was weak and I'd just put in fresh batteries. Either the cord is starting to short or the cord at the battery unit wasn't making good contact but that was easily fixed. I've made hundreds (maybe a thousand by now) of shots with the unit though and remain very satisfied.

Update 6/5: I might start by saying that I use this 3-4x a week. Although I've had it about five or six weeks, I have probably used it 25x and made at least 1000 pictures with it.

I'm starting to have problems with it. Sometimes the cord from battery to light doesn't want to seat properly; now I think the cord itself may be thin and not conducting the electricity well. I'll try a quick fix of wrapping the "elbows" with electrical tape or something like that, à la Roger Daltrey and his microphone. If it continues to fail, I'd probably buy another and wrap it from the gitgo, treat it more carefully.

One thing I meant to do and haven't: run a pencil on both sides of the adapter, the idea being to "lubricate with graphite." Sometimes as the lens twists etc. it may strain the cord b/c it doesn't rotate as freely on the front as I'd like (not that it alters picture quality or becomes a hassle---just that it may be what's causing the wire to short). Were it to move freely, maybe I wouldn't have the issue I seem to be encountering.

Should I end up getting a 2nd one, I guess it wouldn't be a total loss. I'd have an "extra" battery holder. Also I haven't used the AC cord much...that may be a tool to see where it's failing, by process of elimination.
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179 of 180 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2010
This unit comes with 6 adapters [49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, and 67mm). The adapters screw into the end of your lens or filter. For me I tested it on my T1i's 18-55mm Kit lens, screwing into my Hoya 58mm UV filter with no problem. The Ring flash then slides over the adapter. The ring attaches to the battery pack (uses 2AA) which itself attaches to your hotshoe (a little loosely but I had no problems) On the battery pack you can choose Off/Battery/ or DC Plug (provided). On the ring light you can choose between Full/Right/Left to determine which LEDs light, either all or half. Obviously the ring can be rotated so that it you can light only Top/Bottom or almost any angle. The LEDs are Bright -I was surprised and impressed. As stated in other reviews they will reflect in reflective surfaces such as Glass/water/eyes. Since I tested them on an EF-s lens which spins the end of the lens to focus I did notice that the ring would turn, however it is easy to hold in place or reposition - I had no problem. The build quality does seem a little weak as it is all plastic but this product is 10% of the price of the Name Brand and works basically the same. The lights Do Not strobe or flash, but simply stay on until you turn them off. If you want to pay $360 more for that feature be my guest I dont need it. For me this is a great product.
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920 of 1,020 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2011
I made this video since I couldnt find any when I was doing a research on this item. On the video you see how the 58mm adapter screws into the lens and then how the ring is used on the camera. As you will notice the ring light rotates on the lens. Some will find this an issue but not me. Is all plastic and only the lens adapter is metal. If you take care of it (like I do) you wont have any problem.
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157 of 173 people found the following review helpful
I have been wanting a Macro Ring Flash LED Light for macro shooting for a long time. Unfortunately, my priority is always saving up for glass and for strobist related flash, as glass is my priority, I have decided to go the budget route... And the same goes for the Macro ring flash.

At $36-$40, you can't really complain (note: The two shown on Amazon are the same product)...but here is my experience which varies from others...

I. UNBOXING and INSTALLING

Unboxing the Macro Ring Flash, the cool thing is that you get the battery pack/AC cord, ring light and 5 adapters for your lenses (49 mm, 52 mm, 55 mm, 58 mm, 62 mm and 67 mm). Put two double AA Eneloops in, connected the 55 mm adapter ring to Ring Light (backside is magnetic) and then connected it to my Tokina 100mm f/2.8 AT-X M100 AF Pro D Macro lens (note: tried this light with lens on extension tube and without extension tube).

Connected the battery back to my on-camera shoe and plugged in the ring light to the battery pack.

Unlike the image which shows the Neewer name, mine didn't show Neewer anywhere on the ring light. So, be careful when you look online as the device is probably made in China and released in the US via rebranded names. Same product, different name...but get the lowest price that you can find if possible.

As for the durability, the battery pack feels a bit flimsy, so be careful when removing the battery lid and not dropping the device. It's plastic with the exception of the adapters and the magnetic backing of the ring light.

II. OUTDOOR TEST

I take a lot of pictures of wasps, butterflies, skippers and with my Macro lens...and even with the extension tube, I can get into a flower bush, inside the leaves with no problem. With the ring light, you can't. You have to get close to an insect that is really close up and typically insects like skippers will stay in one place but with this big light coming on them, they didn't want to stay at all.

It took some patience but I was able to get some shots but I'm going to be truthful to you. I've done much better with on and off-camera flash on insects versus the Macro Ring Light. Perhaps I needed to be more patient but having taken pictures of insects via macro, the size of getting into certain areas to take pictures to the light really scaring off the insects, really didn't do much for insect shooting.

III. INDOOR TEST

FOOD

Next up, was close up on food. I made a killer breakfast burrito today and took pictures with on and off camera flash but when I tried with the ring flash, I felt the light wasn't powerful enough. It was a bit on the darker side and not vibrant, it looked dull. Granted, you can always fix with Photoshop, Lightroom,etc. but I guess it worked, but required more post-processing to make things look right.

DOGS

I then took pictures of close-ups of my dogs and the good news was that I could take nice closeups of my dogs (which hate being around my Flash). So, that's a plus.

DIORAMA/ACTION FIGURES

I then started to shoot a few Gundam mecha figures. And the light managed to really work nicely with my Macro lens via close up of the toys. It works better if you are very closeup, whereas food, you want the bit of distance to get the textures of the food (and not get food or sauce on your ring light). But this worked well and another plus.

JUDGMENT CALL:

It is important to remind people that this is a ring light...not a ring flash. Ring flash cost several hundred dollars, this one is under $50 and are lights that provide a little lighting but you really have no control on the light levels. And those who really want to get great Macro shots and need that control, this device is not for you.

But you also have to consider what you are shooting. For me, Macro insect shots require me being stealthy and getting it in tight spaces, this device will not allow that and you will end up scaring the insect. And because the light is on constantly, unlike a flash which goes off when you press a button, many insects are not going to like it. Even the more patient insects.

But there are good uses for this ring flash, for those who want to experiment on Macro for indoor use, especially inanimate objects, this works great. Food shots, not so much although you can get around it through post-processing ala PhotoShop, Lightroom, etc.

But if you feel you are the type who can plunk down a few several hundred dollars on a ring flash or don't mind saving for one...then save for one. But if you are like me and divert budget towards the glass than other accessories, then yeah...impulse buy will lead you to this really great priced ring light.

But as much as I really wanted to love this device... I don't know if it will play a big part in my photography. Strobist can probably get by with a single flash as well on a light stand and work better than this device. But if you are on a budget and have no desire of purchasing an external flash, light stands, flash bracket, etc., then this device may suit you.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2010
I recently bought a Tamron 90 2.8 macro lens for my Nikon D5000. I've been mostly attempting insect and reptile macros. Outdoor lighting in nature areas isn't always that great or consistent, and I wanted to use the fastest shutter speeds I could because insects tend to move a lot. So I want to be able to take the shots as quickly as a I can before the subject moves. Personally, I bought a macro lens to get true 1:1 macro shots - not just close-up shots that I could easily get with one of Nikon's 18-xx lenses. That being the case, we're talking f22 with focus stacking. Using a significantly smaller f-stop and/or not using focus stacking would not yield anywhere near enough detail for me. After being frustrated by bugs and toads moving before I could get stacked shots, I wanted a flash to use faster shutter speeds. Depending on which speedlight you're looking at, they cost anywhere from a few to several hundred dollars. As a hobbyist, I really couldn't see spending that much. That's when I stumbled onto products like this...

What I like about this product is that the light stays on - it doesn't "flash" like a speedlight would. That means I can use my camera's exposure meter without needing to be skilled in flash photography. But what I'm finding out is that even with this product, it's not really speeding up my stacked shots. Focus stacking still involves time, patience, and (in the case of moving bugs) luck. In fact, products like this might scare away bugs more than they would be without it. They're suddenly innondated with a sudden source of light, combined with the added size that it adds to your camera that's already inches away from them (should have bought the 180mm for bugs...). But of course it depends on the particular insect.

Long story short, this product is probably best for subjects that aren't going to move on their own or be affected by outdoor wind. But I'm not going to rate down the product because of it. There still may be times that it will come in useful, and like I said, the only alternative is buying over-priced flash units for hundreds of dollars. The unit itself is very lightweight. Once you attach it to your lens it may be wobbly but what I found that works is just wrapping the wire around your lens a few times to create enough tension to keep the light in place. All in all, it has the potential to be useful for quite a bit less than other lighting options. As for me, I think I'm just going to sell my Tamron 90 and instead buy the Tamron 180. A greater working distance will help with bugs quite a bit more than an add-on light.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2010
The first unit I received was defective. The lights flickered and dimmed and it had to be returned. The seller provided return shipping and sent a replacement as soon as he received the package. The new unit works much better. The rings that mount to the filter housing on the lens are metal and this is a very nice feature. The light itself seems rugged enough, but the battery holder that mounts to the flash shoe is all plastic and it looks like it wouldn't take much to snap it off at the mounting shoe. However, it hasn't been a problem to date. Would I recommend this unit to a friend? For the money, you bet I would. I also highly recommend the seller, he has always answered my communications and he ships quickly. Keep in mind, this is not a flash. This is a series of LED lights that remain lit from the time you turn them on until you turn them off. There are many options including battery or DC power, light the entire ring or either side independently, dim or bright. It does a nice job evenly lighting small objects, but, like any light source, it will be be seen in larger reflective pieces shot at close range. Yet, for what it costs and what it does, I'm happy.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2011
Having just spent over $3k for some new digital SLR equipment, my photographic budget was pretty much maxed out. However, I really needed a macro ring light/flash unit. Seeing this item for around $35 was too enticing not to try. My camera maker alternatives are $500+ and $800+. I can't tell you how enormously happy I am with this unit. I had it out of the box, on the camera and firing away with some test photos in less than five minutes (seriously).

For macro work, the LED lights ARE BRIGHT. I use the smallest apertures possible and I'm using a 100mm Macro lens on very small objects and the amount of light is more than adequate for my needs. I really like it that this is a LIGHT and not a strobe. I can usually get the exact results I want from one or two shots using the "live view" on my camera's monitor. My camera's (Canon 7D) automatic white balance corrected perfectly for the color temperature of the LEDs (5500 to 6500k). A big plus is that you can leave these lights on all the time with AC power supply. Yippee no batteries required (at home)! Another plus is the ability to use the right half or left half of the lights independently. How long will it last? I don't know. However, this really is a lot of product for $35.

As noted above, the lights are BRIGHT! If you a shooting objects with a smooth glossy surface straight on you will experience hot spots. Shooting at a small angle will usually be able to eliminate this. I haven't done this yet, but I think you can easily diffuse the light by taping some diffusing fabric over the lights. Not a big deal. Be aware that the largest adapter ring is 67mm. Check your lens(s) before ordering. Construction quality was fine for a $35 dollar accessory. Want a fancy box? Sorry, my unit came in a plain white box with stickers affixed. Now, what can I do with the 700 or 800 dollars that I saved?
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2010
I have tried a few different ring lights for macro work, but this one really works and is almost effortless to use. It isn't designed as a glamor ring light such as a Ray Flash, it's really designed for macro work and it excels at that function. Simply screw the ring adapter onto your lens, slide on the ring flash and clip the battery pack to the hot shoe and turn it on and you are ready for macro photography. And it weighs practically nothing. For macro work, you will not be disappointed. I've gotten good well lit shots with the product less than one half inch from the lens. I've uploaded a couple of images I shot right after taking it out of the box, take a look.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2012
I bought this ring light (yes, it's a continuous light, not a flash) to use with my 100mm Canon macro lens and Canon Rebel Xsi. As another reviewer wrote, macro photography requires the use of a small aperture in order to get the sharpest image, and with a small aperture a lot of light is needed to keep shutter speeds high enough to shoot handheld. This light definitely does NOT deliver a lot of light.

After using it for a few days, I was disappointed. I decided to test this light by taking three photos - one with my mounted Metz 58-AF1 flash alone, one with both the Metz flash and Neewer ring light mounted, then one with just the mounted Neewer light. I took all three shots with the same shutter speed, aperture and ISO. The results were clear as day!

I've uploaded the comparison shots to the Customer Image section for this product. The shot with my Metz flash alone was well lit, while the photo with the Neewer light alone it's horribly underexposed. When using both flashes together the Neewer added minimal fill light, but nothing to write home about.

The only use to a macro photographer that I can think of for this light may be to add some fill. I had visions of taking it and my macro lens to the flower show, but I guess I'll be saving another $400 for a Canon ring flash first.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This product works very well, and is very reasonably priced. A similar style flash adapter from Canon is about 10 times this price. The main difference is the Canon unit works as a flash, and this one must be turned on and off manually. I can easily live with that for the huge price difference. The only complaint I have-and my situation is rather unique-is that I'm getting reflections of the LED's in my pictures. I sell hi-end watches online through my eBay store (Bestwatches4less),and I need extreme close-ups of the watches. The crystal acts almost like a mirror, and it's extremely difficult to get a close-up of the watch front without seeing all kinds of reflections. I've tried all kinds of diffuse lighting and filters, and I'm not 100% satisfied with any of them.
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