Oh! Wow! New toys!! Don’t you just feel like a kid again when you get something awesome for Christmas? Like… say… new flashes??!! One of the awesome gifts I received for Christmas was a Gisteq Flashmate II LED Macro Lighting System from D. [He found it at Photojojo; they give it the fun name of Oh! Wow. Ring Light.]
This is a pretty awesome little light and I look forward to getting in more practice with it. I already know it’s going to be a great addition to my kit and will be well used for product shots and other isolated stock photo images. And how great is it going to be for macro shots of those flowers next spring?!!!! Looking forward to that too!
I don’t think it’s a ring flash that you’d want to use for portraits; the LEDs are a little harsh to look at and I don’t think your subject would appreciate it at all. I think it would need a little improvement in the form of a diffuser of some type to be good for that; and LEDs have a shorter range than your regular camera flashes anyway. It is much better suited for closer subjects; after all it is called a Macro lighting system.
Why is it called a lighting system? Well it’s like this… The light is made up of two units that are connected by a cord; the control box that attached to your camera’s hot shoe and the light itself that attaches to the front of your lens. It comes with 8 transfer rings that allow it to fit lenses with filter thread sizes of 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, and 77mm. The controls on the box include the power wheel that turns the unit on and adjusts the lighting output from 1/4 power to full power, buttons to change from continuous operation to flash, and buttons that let you turn off the left or right half of the light should you need that. [Not sure why I’d need that but I have only used it for a brief time so far.] Oh! and the two units clip together to make it a little easier to store.
Yep; this will be a lot of fun and cut down on the post production time. Do you see the difference in the colors and shadows between these two shots? Getting those products isolated and creating a clean white background will be even easier now.
I’m off to play with my new toy some more; maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you about another of my awesome gifts!
Have a great day!