3 Cheaper Alternatives to a Ring Flash for Macro Photography

Chris-Gampat-The-Phoblographer-Tamron-90mm-f2_003

When shooting macro images, the most accepted way to get the best photos involved using a macro ring flash. Today, that still holds true==but there are many alternatives that you can do to get similar or exactly the same effect at a much more affordable price point. Sounds too good to be true, right? Not really, the only trade off that you’re doing is using manual flash output instead of TTL. But otherwise, you’ll be saving money.

If you’re a macro shooter, here are those three setups.

Setup 1

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essenials the Walkabout Macro Shooter (1 of 7)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 4.0

How to use it: Place the flash in the hot shoe and have the large flash flashbender attached to the head. As you’re going to photograph your subject, bend the flashbender into such a way that it covers the object kind of like a flash surface roof. This will all depend on what direction you’re shooting from, but make sure that the bender is always above and on top of the macro subject.

For the best results, shoot at a lower ISO and make sure that your flash is metered perfectly in live with the lens’s aperture.

Pro Tip: Rather than boosting your ISO levels, use a diffused flash to get the image that you want. And also remember that at the macro ranges very little will be in focus the  closer you get to your subject.

Pro Tip: Rather than boosting your ISO levels, use a diffused flash to get the image that you want. And also remember that at the macro ranges very little will be in focus the closer you get to your subject.

Setup 2

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Direct flash Macro tutorial (3 of 3)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.8

How to use it: Place the flash close to your subject and zoom the head into the widest position. Meter the flash to the lens’s aperture, and shoot. This is the most straight forward way to shoot.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Direct flash Macro tutorial (1 of 3)ISO 2001-100 sec at f - 11

Setup 3

20121023Gservo-5802-680x452

How wot use it: This is essentially the same setup as the previous one but by using a cord in the scene. When you add in a cord, you don’t get as much versatility as you do when using a radio transmitter, but for macro photography you’ll get similar results. Again, make sure that your flash is metered to your aperture.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 90mm f2.8 OSS macro images (4 of 5)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 16