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  Reviews by: scotty haberer  

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Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX

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.
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.

Nikon 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro

Review Date: Dec 19, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very useful for copying, closeup work, and the longer focal length lets you give your macro subject a little breathing room. This is also useful for lighting your subject as well. I agree that this is a good mate for the SB29 auto ring flash (see negative aspects).
The SB29 auto ring flash is not ttl compatible with digital cameras. This is not an indictment of the lens, however, but rather of the way digital cameras measure TTL flash exposure. Just be forewarned that this lens/flash combination will disappoint you if you are planning on using it for TTL work in digital media. Best to work manually in digital.

This lens is a wonderful addition to your bag of tools. It is invaluable for investigators, technical photographers, product photographers, and nature/scientific work. If you are interested in extreme accuracy and fast work consider the medical Micro-Nikkor that is closest to this FL. It is pricy but it uses guide number controlled Aperture adjustment to control flash exposure and it is extremely accurate. Also, the medical Nikkors are very sharp, but mostly designed for extreme close up work. The 105 f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor is much more versatile.