Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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A friend of mine wants a flash for her camera (Cannon 650D), and we want to buy her one for her birthday.

She also said she wanted a ring flash (I think she was referring to the Orbis ring flash).

Unfortunately Orbis ring flash is off the budget (which is about $140). I've seen some reasonably priced macro ring flashes, but she doesn't have a macro lens.

Will these macro ring flashes be useful (for example, for taking pics of people at night/in a dark room from a meter or 2 away) without a macro lens?

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What is she going to be using the ring flash for? We can't answer a question like "will be be useful" without knowing that. –  Philip Kendall Oct 10 '13 at 11:34
    
You're right of course - edited. –  saarraz1 Oct 10 '13 at 11:43
    
You can always chip in for the cost of one with a gift card to a store she can buy it at. –  John Cavan Oct 10 '13 at 12:32
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Does she already have a flash? I'm asking because 1. the Orbis is actually an adapter that turns a normal flash into a ring flash (and there are cheaper option available in this category) and 2. a ring flash is a bit of a specialty item, not really the most useful as a single all-purpose flash –  Nir Oct 10 '13 at 14:23

1 Answer 1

From what I've seen most of the cheap "macro ring flashes" you find on eBay and places like dealextream aren't really flashes as all - they are led-based continuous lights you can attache to your lens, and as such they aren't very powerful - they'll may work at very close range but are probably not powerful enough to have any effect at normal camera-subject distance.

So, if you get one of those you should be very careful because most of the cheap ones are pretty useless except for macro (or other situations where you are extremely close to the subject)

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