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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk
Thread started 27 Jan 2009 (Tuesday) 00:02
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Will LED flash light work for small macro subjects?

 
vision35
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66 posts
Joined Nov 2007
USA
Jan 27, 2009 00:02 |  #1

There are a ton of cheap or fake LED ring lights using steady constant light. Will a quality white 17 LED flashlight that illiminates a 3-4' spot on a wall in totally dark room do ok? Would a shop worklight with approx 50 LED illuminate a small subject good enough wipe out shadows for indoor macro? I'm not sure if the resulting color will be right & how to adjust for it.




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LordV
Macro Photo-Lord of the Year 2006
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Worthing UK
Jan 27, 2009 08:17 |  #2

Lets just say I've not come across anyone using these successfully for macro work. In general the light is just too weak- have heard of them being used for focus lights though.

Brian V.


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gasrocks
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Portage, Wisconsin USA
Jan 27, 2009 18:06 |  #3

Probably looks bright to your eyes in a dark room but, how does it compare to sunlight? Not even close. You really need a lot of light for macro.


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John_B
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Hawaii
Jan 29, 2009 08:57 |  #4

vision35,
Of course its possible to use an LED for lighting your subject :)
However if you think its going to replace using a flash, you might be in for a surprise. It would have to be pretty darn bright to get you a 1/200th or 1/250th shutter speed with an aperture of f/8 or smaller.

Then there is white balance, not all LED's are the same color of white. Many are almost blue and even with adjusting white balance later in software it still might be too much.

However if you don't mind using a tripod there are some LED lights that have a good white balance and can give some interesting effects.

Here are two photo I got using just an LED flash light as a primary light source

Refractive Playland

IMAGE: http://johnbdigital.com/macro/refractive_playland.jpg
click for specs [IMAGE'S LINK: http://johnbdigital.co​m/macro/refractive_pla​yland.htm] (external link)


Jewels
IMAGE: http://johnbdigital.com/macro/jewels.jpg
click for specs [IMAGE'S LINK: http://johnbdigital.co​m/macro/jewels.htm] (external link)

In this photo two small LED lights were used to fill in shadows but a flash was still used

Round Conglomerate
IMAGE: http://johnbdigital.com/macro/round_conglomerate.jpg
click for specs [IMAGE'S LINK: http://johnbdigital.co​m/macro/round_conglome​rate.htm] (external link)

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JohnBdigital.com (external link)

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DQE
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near Portland, Maine
Jan 30, 2009 08:43 |  #5

I have a VERY bright single-LED flashlight, powered by 2 AA batteries, rated at 85 lumens (3 watts), mostly used as a focus assist light. It is almost blinding to look directly into the light, even during daylight. I recently saw a newer model advertised as producing 115 lumens and 1 hour of runtime on two AA batteries.

Strangely, most insects and bugs seem to be paralyzed by such a bright light rather than running or flying away. It is very helpful in setting the best focus,, especially at high magnifications. I hold the flashlight with my left hand, pressed against the lens barrel, in use. Even this extremely bright light isn't enough to obtain short exposure times at reasonable apertures, but it does sometimes contribute to the total lighting of the scene. Based on a gray card exposure, this light is almost exactly the same color temperature as the Canon MT-24 flash. I cannot visually detect any abnormal tint in a gray card or Color Checker test pattern when using the light as a sole source of illumination. It does add a very small second highlight in an insect's eyes, though, which is easily removed in post.

This flashlight only uses a single LED light - the old style of using multiple LED bulbs seems to be increasingly obsolete. The flashlight uses two AA batteries, and I can obtain 45-60 minutes of continuous illumination from 2000 mAH rechargable NiMH batteries. Some heat is produced in the head of the light but nothing alarming, IMO.

The brand I use is a "Rayovac 3 watt", and it is about 14 cm x 2 cm. It may be available on the internet. I obtained it at a great price of 25 US dollars 6 months ago. It is possible to pay much more than this for a similar flashlight if one buys a Streamlight or other similar brand. Caveat emptor!


--Phil
Canon gear: 5D MkII, 5D, MPE-65, 100 mm 2.8 macro, 85 mm f1.2 L, 16-35 mm f2.8, 24-105 mm L, MT-24, MR-14; 550EX flash (2 units); Gitzo 2548 tripod; Gitzo monopod; Acratech Ultimate Ballhead; Manfrotto 410 geared tripod head; Cognisys StackShot rail & controller

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vision35
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66 posts
Joined Nov 2007
USA
Feb 03, 2009 23:34 |  #6

Have to wait for springtime & some bugs to test my 17 white LED flashlight. Almost feel sorry for the bugs with such intense light though.




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John_B
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Hawaii
Feb 04, 2009 07:13 |  #7

vision35,
Why wait to spring time? ???
You could get yourself familiar with it now with plenty of things in your home. ex. food, fabrics, etc... etc.....

I suggest you give it a try now and show us :)


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sonofjesse
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Feb 10, 2009 17:07 |  #8

well I don't know..but My little picket light is 180 lumens and up close might work..hmmmmmmsomething I might try.


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Choderboy
I Chimp, therefore I am
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Sydney, Australia
Feb 12, 2009 09:49 as a reply to sonofjesse's post |  #9

You could build or buy a LED torch that would be useful but it would cost a lot more than a 580 Flash. (and weigh more than a 1 series body)

http://www.candlepower​forums.com ...p?t=209104&highligh​t=quadexternal link

Not really practicle.
A more compact version would be possible , but would overheat very quickly.


Dave
https://www.flickr.com​/photos/12185187@N00/ (external link)
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PiRho
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1Hr from DuckTown
Apr 08, 2009 15:20 |  #10

Choderboy wrote in post #7310574external link
You could build or buy a LED torch that would be useful but it would cost a lot more than a 580 Flash. (and weigh more than a 1 series body)

http://www.candlepower​forums.com ...p?t=209104&highligh​t=quadexternal link

Not really practicle.
A more compact version would be possible , but would overheat very quickly.

Holy Ducky! I just wasted* 45 minutes reading into some of that! LOL talk about killer lights! I think you would have more trouble not MELTING your poor insect subjects then anything else! LOL


*interpretation based on what my boss would think


~Z
| KH-20 | ...| XKCDexternal link | OOTSexternal link | CADexternal link | WTDexternal link |
"Photography is no more about cameras, then mathematics is about calculators" ~ Z

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krb
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Joined Jun 2008
Where southern efficiency and northern charm come together
Apr 16, 2009 22:25 |  #11

Here's an LED that might work...

http://tesladownunder.​com/LEDs.htm#100%20W%2​0LEDexternal link


-- Ken
Comment and critique is always appreciated!
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averylowiq
Senior Member
292 posts
Joined Aug 2008
Apr 17, 2009 09:04 |  #12

Micro pictures of fried bugs? :)


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/15122283@N05external link

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botherLed
Hatchling
1 post
Joined May 2009
May 25, 2009 04:16 |  #13

I think that the led flashlightexternal link was very well. And I often used it. :mad:


blue sky

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Will LED flash light work for small macro subjects?
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