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Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX

Review Date: Jan 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Does what it's supposed to do, but
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.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM

Review Date: Jan 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Couldn't be sharper. Or realistically sturdier. Does what it's supposed to do with no back talk.
No complaints. Particularly compared to the 50mm macro, this is an easy piece of glass to work with.

For the money this is a wonderful lens. This is not to say that more money would buy a lens that would provide better results or make the job easier. I bought it new from B&H and would have been happy to pay more had I needed to. I have it on a 30D and have shot maybe 1000 product close ups since its arrival. With the proper setup there is little to do post production. Clarity is great and the handling is very smooth. This thing walks all over the 50mm macro. I've generally been shooting at f5.6 with the lighting I have and that offers a pretty shallow DoF. I don't know what that means for portraits as I haven't tried yet. But for the work it has done so far, which is what it is designed for, it gets a 10.