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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    48

    Sony HVL-RLAM Ring Light

    Hi Guys,

    I was looking at improving my macro photgraphy with the use of the Sony HVL-RLAM Ring Light.

    Does anyone use this at the moment ?
    Do you find it useful in improving you macro photgraphy ?

    The macro twin flash is a bit out of my price range so I am not even considering that at the moment although it seems to be the better option.

    I am using the Sony 100mm macro lense for macro work. I am just a beginner and looking at improving my photos.

    Thanks for any replies,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Do you have a flash? I would recommend building a custom ring light (look up diy ring flash on google) and extending it's range to suit your needs. I currently use my HVL-F58AM and bounce shift it as I need to when I need more light for macro. I would not recommend that ring light as it is just that, a ring flash light. Quite lame and expensive. It won't help you that much. A flashlight would do the same thing.

    And welcome btw. I'd love to see some of your macro work!
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb Flex-Ring to the rescue

    I have the RLAM, myself, and it is nothing to write home about. After I purchased it, I believe I discovered a much better solution for MACRO with the LED laden Digi-Slave FLEX RING 6400. (<- click on link) It is just a couple of bucks more than the RLAM ... but, a far cry better, IMHO.

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    I truly believe this is the one you need to have and beats the stuffing out of most others for the price. Forget the RLAM ... it is effectively ineffective, in my opinion.

    Report your findings, once you get this and are up and running. It sounds like the answer you are seeking.


    Good luck
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-07-2009 at 08:23 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    damn that's expensive. how's the lighting on that thing? pretty even? (doesn't look too soft)
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Compared to the RLAM ($349 online) ... they are only a few bucks apart ... and this is a top drawer item, in my estimation. Sometimes I do not get you guys. Must be the "Chicago" in me.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    48
    Thanks for your suggestions Dra4gon & Don. I will definitely consider them

    I do not have a flash at the moment, just the popup flash on the A700. I am looking at getting the F58AM in the near future, hopefully...

    My macro work is nothing flash, I am just a beginner with SLR and struggle to find the time to practice. If I can find something half-decent I might post it otherwise I won't embarass myself . I need a good tripod or monopod also as I find macro work a bit too hard at times hand-held.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb Mini-tripod

    Well, a $30 Slik Mini-Tripod can be a quick way to get close and low for MACRO stuff.

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    It is certainly cheap enough and I keep mine in my backpack with the MACRO lenses and flashes.

    BTW: Here is the SONY HVL-RLAM mounted on the TAMRON SP AF 180mm f/3.5 Di LD 1:1 MACRO 72mm lens, which it is NOT supposed to fit ... but, I have adapters for a lot of things like that. Unfortunately, with the 180mm, you have to be about ten inches away from your "prey" ... and at that distance, the RLAM is very lossy with the illumination.

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    I have an older, alternative ring flash for those occasions, too. It uses standard flash tubes instead of LEDs as a light source. Here it is mounted on a TAMRON SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di 1:1 MACRO 55mm lens.

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    BOTH of the above rings suffer from limited size filter-ring adapters (the screw-on point of the front of the lens) ... no greater than 55mm. The Digi-Slave ring-flash accommodates much larger filter-ring sizes (up to 77mm !). Honestly, if I had to do it all over again, I would invest in the Digi-Slave "Flex-Ring" (below). Definitely a lot less hassle to use.

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    It comes with all the whistles you want and need for MACRO work.

    @ 'saf'
    : Please feel free to post and take critique. We are all here to help (I would hope) and if there is any competition, it is to show a technique for improvement. We are all faced with common issues and if you hide your work, you may take longer than you really need to to resolve them. We all look forward to seeing what you are up to. People tend to tire of the same people in every image. LOL Enjoy that camera ... make it part of a daily routine.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-07-2009 at 10:16 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Some macros I can definitely see as being very hard to impossible without a flash (or a really high iso) since movements really show up in macros. But please, post em up!
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    48
    Here is a shot of some aphids on a zucchini leaf. These bugs are really small. The shot was handheld & photo cropped. It was shot on an overcast day, this is an example of were I think the ring light may of helped as the popup flash was a bit too bright I think ? not sure ?

    sony a700 & 100mm macro
    f 5.6
    1/200
    iso 200
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by saf; 05-08-2009 at 03:19 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Hey not bad, looks like quite a substantial crop. Those things are tiny!
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

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