24 January 2009

Reflecting on things

So there I was chatting to a photographic distributor friend of mine and he asked if I'd seen this reflector he had. It's called the Matin macro reflector and while I normally steer well clear of what at first glance would appear to be a gimmick, I was intrigued. I have used both the Canon MT-24EX and MR-14EX macro lites extensively in the past and they are both great, but not suitable for everything...or indeed affordable to everyone.
This reflector is clearly not a replacement for one of these units as they offer so much functionality, but for some situations this might be just what you need.
Take this rose picture for example. The light was coming in from behind the rose bunch and although a macro lite would have done the job, this little couple of quid reflector has done it quite nicely. Nothing else changed in the setup - not even the exposure - so you can see how much light it has put back into the subject.

The reflector has both a silver side and a silver/white side so you can vary the light coming off it and if you wanted to introduce some level of modelling with more light from one side than the other, it would not be difficult to tape some paper or material over half the reflector to cut down the reflection from that side.

It fits over the front of the lens so that it is inline with the subject and where the lens points. I found that it's a tight fit onto the lens hood of my EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens, but it does go. Without the lens hood it will fit back onto the body of the lens around the focus ring. On thinner lenses you might need to use the velcro straps to keep it in place.

The moral of the story? Sometimes simple works. Don't discount something just because it's cheap or looks gimmicky. sometimes it will be a a cheap gimmick, sometimes it might just provide an alternative solution.

Without a reflector

With a reflector


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