What options are there for additional lighting with macro subjects?

The subjects are often so close to the lens that leaving the flash in the hot shoe or just ambient light often gets blocked. Evening bouncing off a ceiling ends up with a lot of blocked light. What are some good approaches?


1 Answer 1


You can buy dedicated macro flashes from various camera manufacturers. These attach to the front of the lens by means of a dedicated threaded adapter ring, and usually give you the option to adjust the brightness ratio between the left and right hand sides. I use the Sigma model, but Canon and Nikon both make their own models.




UPDATE: As requested, some sample shots:

Lighting ratio 1:1

Lighting ratio 1:1

Lighting ratio 2:1 to the left

Lighting ratio 2:1 to the left

Left side lit only

Left side lit only

  • \$\begingroup\$ Any chance you could post an example pic done where the ring flash is the primary source of light? \$\endgroup\$
    – rfusca
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ No problems - a few close-ups of a lime :) \$\endgroup\$
    – user456
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 19:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And if ring lights and other battery things aren't enough, you can also get fiber optic kits for studio flashes (including the ability to use their modeling lights) to really pour the light in. Here's Elinchrom's version ( elinchrom.com/product/Fibre-Optic-Kit.html#content ) which, with the right heads and packs, will let you throw 4800 W∙s at the problem through each cable (not recommended for ophthalmic applications). \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 0:26

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