Digital Photography 1 on 1: Episode 42: High Key & Low Key Lighting: Adorama Photography TV

Uploaded by adoramaTV on 05.12.2010

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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 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.
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