Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Let there be light

The last post of this blog was about my deception with extension tubes. I used them in indoor, with a poor light. My conclusion of then was that extension tubes were incompatibles with poor conditions of light: they were dark and unstable, so you had to use low shutter speeds and the images were blurred.

In my blog about wildlife, "La Ventana Salvaje", I used the extension tubes in outdoor. The results were better, but I had to use very high ISO speeds.

Now I've acquired a ring flash and I'm testing it. It's a DÖRR DAF-14 RING FLASH, a TTL flash with a guide number of 14. I've done my first tests indoor (I hope to do test outdoor soon in "La Ventana Salvaje").

A new light source solves a lot of the problems associated to the extension tubes. The easy way to solve the instability that extension tubes produce is with faster shutter speeds, but the extension tubes make the amount of light decreases (the picture would be too much dark). With a powerful light source you can compensate all these negatives effects. By other hand, the ring flash is located in the nearest extreme of the lens (respect to the object). For macro photography, the object is very near to the lens, so the light go very directly to the object and from every direction. I think this gadget are going to be very useful for me in the future.

Below I show some pictures taken in my home of daily objects. They are pictures at ISO 100 taken indoor (with a poor light). I haven't cropped the images for enlarge the scale.

A feather detail

A feather detail

A pendant detail

Rests of hair in a brush

An old elastic band

An old elastic band

A pen

A little rope and a carton box.

A pencil without point

A screw

A teeth brush

You can view the effect of the ring flash in the pictures below, taken with similar ambient light conditions, but with different ISO speeds and flashes.

ISO 100 - T = 1/5s - F/8 - Without flash - Additional extension of 68mm

ISO 1000 - T = 1/160s - F/8 - Integrated flash - Additional extension of 68mm

ISO 100 - T = 1/320s - F/16 - Ring flash - Additional extension of 68mm

The ring flash allow to shoot with very closed aperture (F/16) at fast exposure times (1/320s) without sacrifice the ISO speed (ISO 100). The final image is sharper than previous tries.

I have to learn to use the automatic TTL mode. I like more the manual mode, but this model of flash doesn't allow it.

The next step will be the test outdoor with living creatures. I hope you can watch those images in "La Ventana Salvaje" soon.

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