Yesterday I posted a quick review of the Gisteq Flashmate II LED Macro Lighting System that I received as a Christmas gift. I also said that today I would tell you about another awesome gift from my hubby. In addition to the ring light, D gave me a Canon 430EX II Speedlite! Like I said; Santa was very good to me. 😀
Tonight I sat at my desk in the middle of the room and had a little fun just playing with this new flash. Now this room seems to be a normally lit room, a ceiling fixture with two compact florescent bulbs, a white ceiling, and white walls. [In desperate need of a fresh coat of paint but that’s a story for another day.] I aimed my Canon 7D at a shelf about 6 feet off the floor, hanging on a wall about 8 feet from my chair. This little test was an eye opener — I should have picked up this speedlite a long time ago!!!
I’ll let the resulting images speak for themselves…
40EX II — Pros
quick recycle time
locks securely into the hot shoe
settings can be controlled through the camera menu system
feels solid but not too heavy
tilts and swivels smoothly and stays in place nicely
can be used off camera as a slave flash and triggered wirelessly with my 7D
improves white balance
seems to be easy to use
features full manual control
E-TTL II/ E-TTL/TTL metering
430EX II — Cons
a little noisy while zooming
runs on AA batteries so there may be a need to invest in rechargeables
on flash buttons are a bit hard to use [but it can easily be controlled through he camera menu]
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!