Canon Macro Gear: Product Reviews: Adorama Photography TV

[intro music] Announcer: You’re watching Adorama TV. Mark Wallace: Hi everybody, welcome to this
week’s episode of Adorama TV. Recently we did a show on “Digital Photography One on
One,” all about macro photography, and we promised that we’d be talking about some of
the gear that we used in that episode. We’re going to start that with this week’s Adorama
TV. We have so much gear to talk about that we
can’t fit it all into one episode. So this week we’re going to be talking about some
lenses and flashes specifically for Canon cameras. Next week we’ll be talking about
the Nikon equivalents. This week we’re going to start out first with
some lenses to take a look at. On the left-hand side here I have this. This is a 100mm macro
lens. This guy is a phenomenal lens. It’s a 2.8 lens. It runs about $500. It’s got some
switches on the side that allow you to select auto focus, manual focus, and then also focusing
distance. The nice thing about this lens is the focus
is pretty darn fast. So I was able to shoot with this lens and really dial in quickly
on things that were moving, like flowers and bugs and stuff like that, that if you don’t
get them focused really quickly, they’re going to be out of the scene. Another lens that we tried was the 100mm macro.
This is the L lens. Now, this one is very similar to this other 100mm lens. The difference
is the glass is a little bit different inside. It also has some image stabilization built
in. So this one focuses a little bit faster than its counterpart. But the price difference
is a little bit larger as well. This one is about $1,000. This one is about
$500. Both lenses behave really, really stellar. The focus is a little bit faster on this.
Then the sharpness on the lenses, obviously the L lens has little bit sharper images than
the consumer lens. Let’s talk a little bit about some flashes,
because there are two options that we looked at. I really, really liked both of them. So
let me start with the pack here. I’m going to just go ahead and slide this onto my camera
here. Both of the flashes that we’re going to be
talking about mount basically the same way. You slide the pack onto the camera, onto the
hot shoe. Then the flash itself just mounts to the end of your lens. That puts the flash
really, really close to your subject. Then it allows you to do all kinds of things. We’re
going to talk about the differences in the flash itself in a second. But first let’s take a look at the pack. I’m
going to spin this around here so you can see this. When I turn it on, this pack is
very similar to something you might see with the 550EX or a 580EX II. So if you’re familiar
with Speedlites, these are going to be very, very comfortable for you. They have all the
standard modes. So you have ETTL. So the flash is going to do all of your exposure
for you. You can then go in and hit select here. You can do overexposure or compensation.
Exposure compensation, you have that there. You also have hi-speed sync. You have rear
curtain sync. So, you’ve got that. You’ve got manual mode, if you need to do that. Also, with these flashes you have something
called ratio control. If I hit the ratio button, you’ll see that there’s an A and a B. What
that allows you to do on the front — and I’ll show you this in a second — there are
two different sides to each of these flashes. You can make one brighter or the other one
brighter. You can really control how the light looks on your subject. Then if you really want to get fancy, you
can hit this ratio control one more time and you see that there is a C, as in Charlie,
that shows up. What that allows you to do is to control an external Speedlite. You could
actually control three different zones. You can have the lights from your flash coming
right off of the lens. Then you could add a third or fourth or fifth, all in the same
zone, and control those from here. The way this works is — I’ll just put it
on the A and B ratio. To get over to the A you just push this button, and it goes more
to that side. Or back to B, it goes more to that side. Then for C you actually have to
go in and dial that up or down that way. So it’s A and B, and then C is a zone all in
of itself. Then you can also change the channel, so you can have different zones. You won’t
be able to interfere with somebody else if they’re shooting. That’s how that works. It’s
very, very familiar. If you’re familiar with the 580 or 550, this is going to work just
fine for you. You have custom functions as well. That’s the body. The head of these — there are two different
heads. Let me talk to you about both of these really quickly. First thing to note is that
on the L lens, the 100mm L lens, these won’t mount directly to the lens, because the lens
is not the right size. So you’ll need to get a little adapter. This adapter is about $35.
So if you do have the L lens, make sure you order the adapter when you get one of these
flashes. Then that just screws right to the end of the lens here. Once you have that on, either one of these
macro Speedlites will mount right onto this lens. I’ll go ahead and mount this guy up
here. It just, sort of, snaps on there. Then the body goes right onto the camera body,
just like that. If you look at these really close, you can see that this one looks like
a Star Wars TIE Fighter, and this looks like something else. It looks like a normal ring
flash you’d see in the studio. They behave a little bit differently. Let me start over here with this macro ring
light. What this does, it provides you with a very soft light, a really close range, and
you can control each side of this ring light. This side is zone A. This side is zone B.
So you can make one side brighter or dimmer. Then there are these two little lamps right
here. On the back, on the body, there’s actually a little lamp button. When you push that,
these guys illuminate. That will help you focus if you’re in low light. It also will
help you understand where the light is falling. That’s what that lamp is for. Then once you
take a photo, those lamps turn off. So you don’t accidentally drain the battery of your
ring flash. Now, this guy I’ve used quite a bit. We were
able to take some pictures of bugs and other things. It was really, really simple to use
and a lot of fun. You just sort of forget that there’s a flash on there. It’s one of
those kinds of situations, with this lens and flash, you just get out there, and you
just forget about all the technical stuff and shoot, and you’re going to get great pictures. This is a great kit. Either one of these lenses
and either one of these flashes, I’ve tried them both. I had so much fun that the staff
here had to tell me to stop taking pictures so we could make videos. Let me tell you about this guy right here.
This is the 24EX. It’s a little bit different. The difference is that these are two different
lights here. What you can do is slide these on and off. This also has a ¼-20 thread
on the bottom, each of these do. This gives you a lot more flexibility. You can position
this just about anywhere you want. Or you can put it right here on this mount that goes
on the ring of the lens. Then on that you can adjust these up or down.
Then you also have control over the ratio of the A and B as well. You can control it
just like you can with a ring flash. But it’s a little bit different because you can take
these off and position them all over the place. Then the body is the same. So you can have
your ratios. You can control another group of external flashes if you want. Then these
guys are really nice because you can put filters on them. You can bounce them. You can do all
kinds of stuff. So if you really wanted to maybe put something behind a flower, in front
of the flower, handhold this, get an assistant, you can have all of that flexibility with
this system. Whereas this one is, pretty much, stuck on
the end of your lens. So that’s really the only difference. The other thing is you can
put these in and out like this. So again, you can bounce these and add light. So you have a lot more control with this guy,
which is the 24EX, than you do with this one, which is the 14EX. But once again, I played
with both of these, and both of them were just so easy to use that I didn’t really think
too much about the flash. I just got out there and started shooting and had a lot of fun.
This guy is about $730. This one is just under $500. There is a price difference between
these. But again, this one has a lot more options for controlling the light than the
ring light does. So there you have it — two different flashes,
two different lenses. I tried all of them. Really, honestly, I had so much fun shooting
with both of these setups. I was mixing and matching. I just forgot about the gear and
focused on the photos and had a lot of fun. So I recommend any of this stuff. If you’re
just starting out, you might want to go with the 100mm consumer lens and this ring light.
If you really want total control or you’re doing professional work, then I recommend
the L lens and the 24EX so you have a little bit more control over your light. So there
you have it. Remember, next week we’re going to be talking
about the Nikon version of all of this stuff. So please stay tuned. And remember, if you
have questions about photography or photography related gear, you can send that to me at [email protected]
As always, we have all kinds of stuff posted to the Adorama Learning Center. So if you
want to know more about macro photography or other types of photography, check out the
learning center for all the information. Thanks for joining me, and I’ll see you next
week. Announcer: This episode is brought to you
by Adorama TV. Visit the Adorama Learning Center where you’ll find photography tips
and techniques, links to the gear used in this episode, and related videos. For all
the latest photography, video, and computer gear visit And the next time
you’re in New York City visit our store located on 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue.

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