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Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX

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15 113070 Aug 11, 2008
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $504.22
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.38
8.00
9.7
mr14ex_1_

Specifications:
Twin-tube ring lite designed for close-up photography with EF Macro lenses; Flash tubes can fire together or independently
Supports E-TTL, FE Lock and FP Flash (hi-speed sync) functions with Type-A EOS cameras
Supports Ratio Lighting Control in E-TTL, FE Lock and FP Flash modes with EOS-1V and EOS
Supports TTL, Flash Exposure Bracketing and Variable Power Manual Flash with all EOS cameras featuring manual exposure, plus T90
Supports E-TTL Wireless Autoflash in conjunction with one or more 550EXs
Attaches directly to EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro (both versions), and MP-E 65mm Macrophoto Lenses (can also be used with EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM via Macrolite Adapter 72C)
Incandescent focusing lamps and two forms of modelling flash permit preview of lighting effects
Illuminated LCD panel for easy flash settings in any lighting condition
Compatible with AA-size alkaline, lithium, Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries; Accepts optional Canon-brand external battery packs (Compact Battery Pack CP-E2 and Transistor Pack E)


 


          
penvisser
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Registered: Aug 6, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Works easy and direct, didn't had to read the instruction manual many times. Master function with 430EX as Slave worked fine. Made some great shots is low light conditions in the evening/night.
Cons:
AF assist light goes automatic off, cannot be switch on manually full time. Manual says no more than 20 flashes, then cool off the unit for 10 min. kind of long waiting when you need that ONE shot out of 100.

A macro flash was very high on my wishlist, finally decided to buy the Canon MR-14ex because of the good reviews, and I didn't want to buy a Canon after I bought a cheap fake substitute and were very disappointed about the result of the cheapycheapy one.

I mounted my EF-S 60mm on my 400d, clicked on the macro ring, switched on the unit, and the first shot of some coins where excellent.

In low light the focusing lights are usefull, but they switch of very fast. Unfortunately Canon knows this problem, because the manual mentioned that this function can be changed in personalised settings ( custom functions ) on the MR-24ex by double clicking the shutter button ( switches the focussing lamp on or off.

The exposure measuring trough the lens works fine. I am now trying to set the flash ratio of one of the lamps higher so a more natural look is given with some shades on one side. My 430ex can help with that because of the fine working Master / Slave function of the units.

Flash exposure bracketing is also possible. For the real freaks, HDR macro photo's can be made combining the three different exposed pictures in one. You definately need a tripod then.

It is expensive for a non-everyday item, but I think it's worth all the money. the unit comes in a nice handy polstered leather (like??) bag, and needs 4 AA batteries, you can find those every-where.



Aug 11, 2008
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Ian Fairbairn
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Registered: Mar 17, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatile, Shadow free pictures, Excellent colors and exposure.
Cons:
None

I am writing this review mostly because of some of the negative aspects that have been posted of this flash.
I bought my flash on Ebay and it came with a few extras. The one worth mentioning is the 58c adapter (Canon product #2365a001). It has the V-notch on the outside and a 58mm screw on the inside witch will screw right into your 58mm filter. Can't be used with filters problem solved.
A couple of weeks ago I purchased a 40D and today I was playing with my 100 macro and mr14. After turning on the modeling lamp I tried the AF-on button to see if the lamp would stay lit. well not only did it stay lit for the AF-on button but also for the shutter half way :-).
Now I'm not recommending everyone to go out and get a 40D just to keep your modeling lamp lit while focusing but I am glad to see that Canon has integrated this feature into (hopefully all) newer cameras.
Overall I am very impressed with this flash. I love the shadowless shots and particularly the natural colors.
Ian


Jan 27, 2008
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tech058
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Registered: Dec 24, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 28
Review Date: Feb 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $439.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very portable, easy to use, A:B Ratio lighting, modeling light, durable construction. WAAY more macro friendly than ABR800 (TTL).
Cons:
Poor mount design, what was canon thinking? Modeling light turns off when you don't want it to sometimes. Kind of front heavy on 100mm.

Very handy device.

General:
Overall fantastic product. I rated it a 9/10, but I would have given it a 11/10 if the mount design was better. It has plenty of power for macro usage, though I would like a few stops more so that I could use it for non-macro purposes such as the intended use of the ABR800. The MR-14EX can still do non-macro shots but you are going to use full power and maybe f/2.8 @ ISO400 or so.

MR-14EX vs ABR800:
As I was reading through the reviews and saw someone mention the Alien Bees Ring Lite (ABR800). It's a great product like all Alien Bees products, but the MR14 is much better suited for macro lighting. The MR14 has TTL and ABR800 does not. You'll love the MR14's TTL when you're trying to catch that BumbleBee on the flower opposed to stuffing your flash meter its face. I own two B800's and LOVE them, but the ABR800 is not as portable (carrying around a vagabond to shoot some flowers is crazy) as the MR14. To the ABR800's advantage, attachment may be bulkier, but at least you can still use a filter (more below).

MR-14EX Mount Design:
The way the light attaches to the lens is very poorly designed. You can't use a lens filter or your lens cap while the ringlight is attached. Many of you may say, bah, I don't use filters, they just degrade the optical quality. Well, what about a warmer or a IR filter for some neat effects, you don't have the option! Same with the lens cap, it's annoying to have to take the light off the front of the lens when you want to set your camera down and put the lens cap back on. The propblem is that the light mounts over the front of the lens leaving zero space for a filter or lens cap. Despite this downfall, the light is still worth its pricetag.

Modeling Light:
The modeling light is very handy when the subject doesn't have enough natural light to focus (common when getting in REAL close, especially with MP-E 65mm macro). The modeling light provides some extra light to help focus, etc. However, it goes out when you half-press the shutter release, which many of us use to focus. You can get by this by switching the focus button or use manual focus. (I prefer manual focus as its typically faster when working so close).

Overall fantastic product. I rated it a 9/10, but I would have given it a 11/10 if the mount design was better.




Feb 14, 2007
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tidelands
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Registered: Oct 23, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 48
Review Date: Jan 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Does what it's supposed to do, but
Cons:
see below:

I don't like leaving AA batteries in anything decent when I'm not using it. They can and do leak. The POS battery door on this thing belongs on something from ToysRUs. And since it relies on pressure from the door to assure the connection, when it breaks, you're finished.

The light won't mount if you have a filter on the lens.

If you want a manual that you can actually read, don't plan on downloading a .pdf from Canon. It's not there. An inquiry yields a response that they'll be happy to sell you one just like the one that came with the light. Maybe you're supposed to read it through the lens.

For $400 Alien Bees will sell you one that appears to be used on prison walls during escapes. It's a monster. I haven't seen one yet but that's where I'm going the next time.


Jan 14, 2007
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imeod
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Registered: May 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 35
Review Date: Aug 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wireless capabilities, modeling lamp, included carrying case
Cons:
Need step down rings for larger lenses

I made the mistake of buying the POS 60mm macro lens from Canon; the lens can't focus worth-a-darn in low light, but the modeling lamp on this flash more than makes up fo it.

The only thing that could make this flash better would be to make it wireless to get rid of the cord all-together. Regardless, this flash rocks.


Aug 27, 2006
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xl-1
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Registered: Dec 13, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 330
Review Date: Mar 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Easy to cary, perfect exposure, setup in a minute, flexible auto wireless flash, good modeling lamp makes easy to focus and to view the object esp in small aperture.
Cons:
price and 58mm limit of the ring, altough can using stepdown ring to use for bigger lens.

ater long thought of buying this flash finaly i get it, and after using it, now i realize how usefull this flash to take a macro, save your time to do setup with normal bracket.

Mar 20, 2006
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M.Sears
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Registered: Jun 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 92
Review Date: Feb 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, light, easy to use with lots of features. Nice color from the flash tubes and all the functions work as advertised. The light is very soft but works great with other 580EX strobes to light the background or other areas of the photo. Just found it to be everything you would expect of a ringlight. All my exposures were very accurate using it with the EOS 1DMKII.
Cons:
zip

Ringlights may or may not be your taste for macro lighting, but this one does everything you could want and gives great exposures. I use it with at least 1-580ex most of the time as a background or side light, but it gives great light on its own as well when used within its limitations. Its not a people light, but it does flash fill tiny objects in daylight very nicely or by the light of the strobes alone. Lighting is indeed soft, which is why I use it for the overall light and then add other lights to create highlights if needed etc. Its pretty lightweight too. Feels just like a 580EX when mounted.

Feb 15, 2006
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go4it
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Registered: Sep 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 746
Review Date: Mar 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Flawless interfacing with almost all EOS SLR / D-SLR / "G" series digi-cams.
Cons:
1), Makes for a heavy hand-hold package - especially if your D-SLR has the battery pack. 2), It's a little pricey.

This flash is another in a long line of Canon TTL / E-TTL "winners". I've taken both Canon macro light units for a "test drive" and am still deciding between this and it's 2-headed monster sibling, the MT-24EX. It's like picking between 2 Porsches that vary only in color or something ....

The lighting control - one flash tube or both - plus the ratio control in E-TTL - means it's pretty hard to make a bad exposure with this unit.

For any of you tempted to over-ride every automatic feature of it and the camera ... don't.

Just do a 3-shot flash bracketing "rip" and one of 'em will be absolutely dead-nuts on target. Guaranteed.

Color balance appeared to be spot-on. Elements 3 gets a rest ...

Wish I could justify both this and the MT-24EX but I really like staying married.


Mar 1, 2005
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Canon_20D
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Registered: Nov 29, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Dec 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: ETTL, Ratios for 3d lighting, lamp light for focusing, poor-man's modeling lamp, built-in wireless flash with other Canon speedlights. Much more...
Cons:
None yet.

I found quite a few pleasant surprises with this flash after my purchase. Wow, what capabilities! Extreme close-up ETTL (with compatible bodies of course). Full left and right ratio's for 3d lighting effects (or you can turn off one side completely). Poor man's modeling effect like the other good Speedlights. Bigger surprise, built-in wireless master and slave mode with other speedlights for more lighting effects. Great flash for macros and even fashion-type portrait photos. I use the lamp light for spot-on focusing - neat feature!

I'm very impressed with this ring light. It clips on very easily to my 50mm 2.5 Canon macro lens, and holds on strong. Great ETTL shots and even better capabilities if you read all the functions this flash has.

Highly Recommend.


Dec 8, 2004
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novacaine
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Registered: Nov 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Review Date: Nov 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Simple, easy to use, gets the job done everytime.
Cons:
Fixed position of the flashtubes.

No complaints here. We have two of these and we use them daily for intra oral photography at my practice with both the EF 100 f2.8 macro and the EF 50 f2.5 compact macro. We've probably fired these flashes 20000+ times in the past two years, and still going strong.

Nov 28, 2004
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stevei
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Registered: Feb 20, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 954
Review Date: May 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Huge improvement on using a standard flashgun for macro shots - soft shadows instead of harsh shadows. Designed specifically for the Canon 100mm macro, which has a groove at the end for the flash to clip onto (possibly other lenses too). Good manual control over flash output. Makes it very easy to take great macro shots.
Cons:
Makes the camera heavy when combined with the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro. Still results in some shadowing - additional lighting from behind the subject may sometimes be beneficial. Recessed rubber buttons are a bit awkward to push. Can't put anything on the lens while the flash is clipped on - no filters, no lens cap.

I love this flash unit. For close-ups of insects, spiders etc at as close to 1:1 as I can get, an aperture of at least f/11-f/16 is needed to get enough depth of field. I also want to use ISO 100 to get the cleanest, most detailed image possible, and have as fast a shutter speed as possible to avoid shake. Flash is the only way to achieve all this, and the Macro Ring Lite delivers far better results than a normal flash gun. I consider this and my 100mm macro lens to be a single unit, I wouldn't dream of not using this flash for macro shots now I have it.

May 25, 2004
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Apr 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great item for the price.
Cons:
A little learning curve... but worth it.

I find this flash provides excellent results with different lenses. Make sure you get all the adapters. And READ the manual!

Apr 12, 2004
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kites4
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Registered: Dec 5, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 660
Review Date: Feb 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Works great, nice even light, has built in focus lights for shooting when there's not enought light to Auto focus.
Cons:
Non realy, but the camera is heavy with the flash and lens on....

Coupled the MR-14EX with my Canon 100mm macro...
The 100mm takes on a different life with this flash, I'm very much happy
with the setup. Works fantastic with small objects, flower's, bugs, jewelery
and it also does wonder's when I use the lens as a portrait lens.

I also have a 420ex and 550ex that slaves off of the MR-14ex.... great for
anykind of shooting with flash work.


Feb 8, 2004
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scotty haberer
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Registered: Dec 5, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 117
Review Date: Jan 15, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: I do not own one of these and if the claims are true then this is surely one heck of a ring-flash. I own a Nikon ringflash and it's TTL is only good for film cameras... totally useless for digital cameras.
Cons:
no experience with this product.

Again, I cannot offer personal experience, but I can share negative experience with competitive products:

Phoenix ring flash-- contacts would not seem to even line up with camera hot-shoe contact points-- especially TTL. Totally a waste of money. My dealer took it back and let me apply the money toward the Nikon's dedicated TTL ring flash. I was immediately disappointed that Nikon's professional ring flash ttl is worthless in digital applications, whereas Canon promised it's ring flash was compatible with canon digital cameras.

Another draw back is that Nikon doesn't offer TTL-coupled Extension tubes so that AF/Aperture priority AE/Etc functions are unavailable to macro photographers. Although, I realize that this is probably moot for extreme close up work when it comes to AF, but the other functions of coupling aperture settings to the microprocessors for autoexposure, bellows extension compensation, data recording, are impossible. Nikon told me that they have no plans to offer such tubes.

Canon ALSO does offer a unique lens-reversing ring that couples all the original lens contacts to the camera body and this seems to be a natural boon for Canon Macro photographers. This allows a lens to be reversed (for superior close up work) and still enjoy AF/TTL/Aperture information coupling. I wonder if there is attachments to hook this ring flash to it-- if not, black gaffer tape would do the trick! If I were an evidence photographer, I would probably switch over to Canon's.

Too bad Nikon can't keep up with Canon for these developments. Scotty/Sioux City.


Jan 15, 2004
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David Haynes
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Registered: May 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 536
Review Date: Oct 29, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: ETTL with my 10D and G5 works beautifully; wireless IR remote using 550EX's is so automatic that I have a hard time "fooling" the metering; ability to set flash ratios gives great flexibility
Cons:
I'd like it better if you could adjust ratios of remote flashes individually rather than having to "group" to an "A" and "B" channel, but there are several ways to work around this. When used with the G5 there is a hesitation between pressing the shutter release, the pre-flash, and actual exposure

I originally purchased this unit to use with the 50mm compact macro f/2.5, but have since used a good bit with my G5 plus for those down-in-the-dirt, low-angle macro shots that are easier with the flip-and-twist LCD than geting on my belly with an SLR. The MR-14X seems to work well with both cameras.

I've also used quite a bit with a hand-held 550EX slaved to be triggered by the MR-14 and this works just beautifully, opening up all kinds of possibilities that would not be available with just the on-camera ringlight. Here's an example:

http://www.studioblountsprings.com/bee2.html



Oct 29, 2003
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Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
15 113070 Aug 11, 2008
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $504.22
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.38
8.00
9.7
mr14ex_1_