Rodney Campbell's Blog

Aputure Amaran Halo LED Ring Flash – Real World Test…

by on Jul.05, 2012, under Life, Photography

This post is a follow up to previous posts – Aputure Amaran Halo LED Ring Flash and Aputure Amaran Halo LED Ring Flash – First Test 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).

Note: These images (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

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.

NIKON D7000 + 90.0 mm f/2.8 @ 90 mm, 1/160 sec at f/16, ISO 1000

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.

NIKON D7000 + 90.0 mm f/2.8 @ 90 mm, 1/160 sec at f/22, ISO 1600

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.

NIKON D7000 + 90.0 mm f/2.8 @ 90 mm, 1/125 sec at f/16, ISO 110

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?)

NIKON D7000 + 90.0 mm f/2.8 @ 90 mm, 1/125 sec at f/16, ISO 320

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