Polaroid Macro LED Ring Flash – (not quite) a mini-review

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On top of my dining room table is the Polaroid Macro LED Ring Flash mounted on the old Nikon D80.  I was able to get it on an Amazon Lightning deal of 20% off last week.  I’ve always wanted one of these for macro work but they generally are too expensive for my taste but this price was very tempting.  It comes with 8 mounting rings to fit most lenses and also some diffusers for the LEDs.  I have not attempted to put it through it’s paces but I did take it out to see what the light looked like on some fallen leaves in the backyard.  My first impression is that it’s easy to set up and use and offers a nice amount of flexibility at a very reasonable price.  Click on any shot below to enter the gallery.  All shots were made with the ring flash on the D80 and all post processing was done in Lightroom 5.

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22 thoughts on “Polaroid Macro LED Ring Flash – (not quite) a mini-review

  1. ehpem

    I will be interested to hear more from you about this. I have had my eye on a ring flash for a while for use with higher magnification work. Expense has so far prevented a purchase.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Ehpem. Normally, I would not be looking to purchase a ring flash because, traditionally, they cost more than I’m willing to spend. But $42 (US) is pretty inexpensive for an item like this which I’ll only use occasionally.

      Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Jimi. As cold weather approaches and the days get shorter, I like to do some indoor projects. I have some shot planned and I’m looking forward to using these toys.

      Reply
  2. John

    Ken – looks like it does a nice job. I’ve wanted a ring-light (this is continuous lighting isn’t it?) for a while now as well, but they’ve always been low on my priority list because of the cost.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, John. The ring can be set to a continuous light as well as a flash that will sync with the camera. It’s not a sophisticated flash set up with through-the-lens metering but it’s relatively easy to control and get a good exposure.

      Reply
  3. disperser

    Last week!? . . . and you’re just now telling me!?

    Still, even at the $55 it seems reasonable. I assume the amount of light is not significant?

    I’ll be interested in hearing your feedback on this, but meanwhile, off to read reviews.

    Reply
      1. oneowner Post author

        Sorry for the delay, the Lightning Deals at Amazon only last a few hours, although there is advanced notice of what will be on sale.
        The light is really bright, at least a couple of stops using all the LEDs. In macro work, especially in the field, that can make all the difference between a good shot and a not so good shot.

  4. Paul

    Well, leaf shots are all well and good, but I want to see some head shots of Emo, if he’s in the mood to pose! I’ll be hanging around waiting … 🙂

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      That would be a long wait, Paul. Emo does not like flash or really bright light. I’ve used a bounce flash and he doesn’t seem to mind that. He’s willing to pose almost any other time. He has a photo published every Saturday on my wife’s Facebook page called Caterday. It’s been very poplular.

      Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Andy. The subject is really flat, so there really wouldn’t be harsh shadows like you would see in a standard flash photo. I need to do more tests with more three dimensional subjects.

      Reply
  5. disperser

    Got mine . . . will need to play with iso and f-stops to get desired results. It seems a bit of a trial and error process, but I suppose for the price that is the compromise one makes.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Exactly. And I confess I have little experience with any flash attachments, so a lot of experimentation is in order. Since these were shot I’ve had some good (and bad) results on macro work but I still don;t think I fully understand the process yet. But it’s gonna be a long, cold winter.

      Reply

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