Review Neewer NW-14EXT Macro Ring Flash review

junkyardsparkle

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The reason why I asked about well diffused ring light is that it saves working distance and may work better for scaredy nonreflective subjects. Ring light usually saves working distance, but sometimes produces a ring-like reflection. I wonder if using more diffusion would help; sometimes when diffusion is not placed close enough to the subject (to trade for working distance), it may not work well enough.
You might consider adding some polarizing film instead of a diffuser, in conjunction with a polarizer on the lens. This kind of cross-polarization can effectively extinguish the reflections completely, and is probably what I would have in mind if I ever pick one of these up... probably as shadowless, reflectionless fill lighting combined with another off-axis source. Note that this can end up costing you as much (or more) light as heavy diffusion, but from the comment above, it sounds like the needed power is there...
 

zzffnn

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@junkyardsparkle,

Thank you very much. That is a great idea.

Which budget polarizer filter / film would you recommend? I assume the pol filter on lens should be as good as one can afford, though the film over light source is not as critical?

There is enough power to spare, even with heavy diffusion :)

Such epi pol illumination is routinely used in metallurgucal microscopy.

Why didn't I think outside the box.

I wonder what if I leave the pol filters almost crossed, but not quite. Maybe that would add some excitement.

Those crossed pol macros online look good enough for my casual application though.

I know the benefit of off-axis light, though I am too lazy to use off-axis light + ring light (it may get too bulky and heavy). I would simply use either one with crossed pol.

Here is an example of crossed pol on off-axis light:
Taming those Annoying Highlights: Cross-Polarization Flash Macro Photography
 

junkyardsparkle

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Which budget polarizer filter / film would you recommend? I assume the pol filter on lens should be as good as one can afford, though the film over light source is not as critical.
I haven't gotten that deeply into it yet, actually first got the idea for using it with bugs and stuff from a post by @piggsy: anyone using cross polarised flash for macrophotography on m43?

I just looked on ebay for film with good specs, but the first sheet I ordered turned out to have the adhesive on the wrong side; the backing was clear, though, and it worked ok just leaving that on as a protective layer. I did get another non-adhesive sheet at some point, but haven't gotten around to using it yet... maybe I'll get a cheap ring flash and actually try out my little scheme. :D

The lens polarizer I'm using is a thin model from Haida, seems like a good price/performance deal, but everybody probably has their own ideas about that.

The primary reason I didn't end up pursuing the polarized bare flash approach was because I didn't really like the hard shadows it produced; theoretically a ring flash would fix that... but I'm somewhat resistant to the idea of having a large-radius thing on the front of my lens, since I'm often trying to get the lens axis down as close to ground (or wall, or whatever surface) level as possible when photographing bugs... but for some purposes it could probably work.
 
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