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Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX

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.
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.