Macro Photography Equipment – Choosing A Flash Unit
The macro photography equipment that will get you out of trouble in low light condition is the flash unit. In macro photography and close up photography, a flash unit will help to light up your subject so that you can take the perfect shot. Using the right flash unit is important as this could eliminate the need to use a tripod.
There are a number of flash units out in the market currently and it is important to know the differences between all the different types of flash units before you decide on the appropriate one for you.
1. Built in camera flash
Whilst the built-in flash on your camera may be suitable for your general photography, it is not appropriate for macro or close up photography. The lighting from these flashes are generally too direct and harsh. As such, the camera’s built in flash should be used as a last resort for macro or close up photography.
2. Hot shoe flash
These hot shoe electronic flashes are external flash units that fit onto the top of your DSLR camera. These flashes can generally be used for all types of photography. It is possible to use a hot shoe flash unit in the short term for macro photography however it may sometimes be difficult to achieve the right lighting. These hot shoe flash units could be more suitable for indoor close up photography. As a word of advice, you should always use a flash diffuser to ensure that you achieve a soft lighting on your subject.
3. Macro ring light / flash
These macro ring light / flash units were originally made for dental photography however they are now commonly used in macro photography. A macro ring flash is a circular flash unit that is mounted to the end of your lens. They evenly light up your subject and provide a subject that is shadowless. As such, these are suitable to be used in poor light condition. As a side note, you can actually see cameras with these flash units in most of the forensic / police investigation TV series eg. Dexter
Keep in mind that some macro photographers may find the macro ring flash unit restrictive as it does not allow them to use the lighting creatively.
4. Double / Dual / Twin macro flashes
The double / dual / twin macro flash units are the ultimate flash for all macro photographers. This unit is very similar to the circular lighting provided by the macro ring light / flash. Instead of a single circular flash unit, two flash units (very similar to mini hot shoe flashes) are mounted around the lens and they can be moved around in a circular motion.
One benefit of the double macro flash unit is that the flash units can be controlled individually. This ultimately allows a photographer to be more creative with their lighting.
Recommended twin macro flash units –