Aputure Amaran Halo LED Ring Flash - Real World Test...

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Aputure Amaran Halo LED Ring Flash - Real World Test...

Postby Remorhaz on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:24 pm

This post is a follow up to a previous post - viewtopic.php?f=17&t=42597 - and is my first real world test of the unit.

After having been disappointed when I didn't have this unit with me when I took a few macro shots on my sunrise visit to North Head I decided to take a stroll in the streets around where I live and see if I could find something to capture.

Unlike the shots at North Head these are all handheld with just the camera with my Tamron 90mm macro with the LED ring light attached to provide a constant addition of light. With all shots I pretty much have the lens in manual focus at or near the minimum focus distance and move the camera/lens into position till I see the image I want in focus in the viewfinder and then take the shot (or a couple).

As always any comments, critique, suggestions - composition, processing, technique or otherwise is gratefully accepted...

First up a close up view of some baby fern fronds unfurling - I'm probably close to minimum focus distance here and the frond is actually being backlit by the sun behind it with the LED ring light providing the front illumination. Here it has actually provided quite good illumination allowing me to use a decent handhold shutter speed of 1/160th at f/16 and ISO 1000.

Image

My youngest daughter found this very tiny (and it really was very tiny - perhaps only 5mm from the tip of one leg to the tip of the opposite) spider which I shot at MFD. The spider was completely shaded (although some of the background was in direct sun as you can see) so it was a matter of lining up the background elements and again the illumination on the spider is being provided by the ring light which allowed 1/160th at f/22 and ISO 1600.

Image

The heart of a flower (a small Gazenia I believe) shot again near MFD. In this case much of the light is being provided by the sun with the ring light just adding a little fill. 1/125th at f/16 and ISO 110.

Image

Lastly a very pretty tiny flower my daughter found. Unfortunately this flower had a very very long stem with this single tiny (perhaps 3/4 of a cm across) bloom at the top. This meant it was swaying around in the breeze which made getting a half sharp shot very difficult and I was loathe to just cut it off and take it home and shoot in controlled conditions so we made do with what we had. I shaded the flower with my body, arms and camera to try and block some of the wind which put the flower itself (and much of the grass below which you can see) into shade so the flower illumination is pretty much just ring light.

This was the best of the bunch at 1/125th at f/16 and ISO 320 - in hindsight I should have bumped the ISO to get a faster shutter and more depth of field would have been nice (perhaps a suitable candidate for some focus stacking?)

Image
D600, D7000, Nikon/Sigma/Tamron Lenses, Nikon Flashes, Sirui/Manfrotto/Benro Sticks
Rodney - My Photo Blog
Want: Fast Wide (14|20|24)
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Remorhaz
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Re: Aputure Amaran Halo LED Ring Flash - Real World Test...

Postby photohiker on Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:17 pm

Nice even lighting. The unfurling fern fronds would be my pick.

These results are not bad at all, esp. when you consider the price of the flash. As you know, there is more to macro than the lighting, but this looks like a step forward in that department.

Any other issues with the unit? I'm thinking of ordering one.

Michael
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Re: Aputure Amaran Halo LED Ring Flash - Real World Test...

Postby Remorhaz on Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:26 am

photohiker wrote:Nice even lighting. The unfurling fern fronds would be my pick.
These results are not bad at all, esp. when you consider the price of the flash. As you know, there is more to macro than the lighting, but this looks like a step forward in that department.
Any other issues with the unit? I'm thinking of ordering one.


Thanks Michael - I havn't done a lot of macro work so hopefully I'll get better at it over time. For $35 I can't expect miracles and I reckon it's probably better for not very fast moving things (e.g. I also tried it with some bees in flight and that was... well.. tricky - certainly better than without the light I imaging but I expect real strobes with higher power and shorter flash durations would do a better job with flapping wings and such). No issues I can think of yet - although it's early days - more power would be nice I guess :)
D600, D7000, Nikon/Sigma/Tamron Lenses, Nikon Flashes, Sirui/Manfrotto/Benro Sticks
Rodney - My Photo Blog
Want: Fast Wide (14|20|24)
User avatar
Remorhaz
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2547
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:14 pm
Location: Sydney - Lower North Shore - D600


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