Review Snapshot
Pros

It's tough and well built, it fits Canon cameras and macro lenses perfectly, it is powerful but controllable, independent tubes allows for creative shots

Cons

It's not cheap (but then it is a quality branded product), it eats batteries for breakfast (make sure you have a good supply)

Verdict

If you want to take your macro photographs to the next level a macro ring flash is a necessary piece of kit, and they don't come much better than the Canon mt-14ex. This macro ring flash is sturdy, powerful and controllable. What's more, it works with all all Canon digital slr cameras.

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Foto_reviewer : A 30 something year old with many interests including digital photography, fishi...Member Reputation 35 • 17 active Krits
Canon MT-14EX Ring Flash from Canon
Canon Mt 14ex Review
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Canon mt-14ex - Take your macro photographs to the next level

“Do I need a Canon mt-14ex?” This is a question asked by many new photographers. Lighting is very important in all types of photography but it is very important in macro and close up photography where the working distance, i.e. the distance between the subject and lens, is only a few centimetres. More often than not it is necessary to use a flash in order to get the lighting right.

Arguably, you can use any flash for macro and close up photography, either the built in pop up flash (if your camera has one of course) or an external flash gun however a ring flash is the best flash gun for macro photography. A ring flash screws in to the end of the lens, therefore eliminating any shadows created when a lens is very close to the subject. A ring flash is an even light source that will really make your images “pop”.

The Canon mt-14ex is designed for Canon lenses and has a flash body that is fully compatible with all Canon eos camera bodies. This means the mt-14ex will work with the entry level Rebel T3 as well as the flagship 1DX, and all other models in between. I can guarantee that if you shoot a Canon digital slr camera you can use the mt-14ex.

The first thing you will notice about the Canon mt-14ex is the build quality. Like all Canon products, this ring flash is very well made, tough, durable and built to last. Unlike other cheaper ring flashes, the mt-14ex feels solid and doesn’t flex all over the place. From the off, you know this is going to be a top quality bit of kit.

With a guide number of 14, the Canon mt-14ex isn’t a powerful flash, but then considering it is purely designed for macro and close photography it really doesn’t need to be. In fact, a guide number of 14 is actually high for a ring flash so the mt-14ex is a powerful flash. You can use the mt-14ex for general photography however the subject is going to have to be close.

Some photographers argue the even lighting of a ring flash makes images look two dimensional and flat however this is not the case with the mt-14ex. The mt-14ex consists of two light tubes, which work independent of each other. This means you can crank up the power on one and reduce the power on the other, should you wish. This set up allows for some very creative lighting. In addition to this you can also use the mt-14ex as a master flash to fire off other flash guns. This is a useful feature when taking still life shots where you can spend time working on the composition and positioning the other flash guns, but not such a useful feature when scrambling around on your hands and knees trying to capture images of insects and mini beasts.

The mt-14ex supports through the lens metering (TTL and E-TTL) so you can simply attach the flash and start taking photos letting the camera do the work. Alternatively, you can take full manual control over the mt-14ex, and this is where things get interesting and you can let your creative juices flow.

All settings are displayed on the LCD screen on the back of the flash unit so you can easily check, and adjust your settings as necessary. The LCD screen is bright and crystal clear, even on those sunny days. If, in lower light levels, you are struggling to read the LCD it is possible to illuminate it using the backlight.

The Canon mt-14ex is exceptionally easy to set up and operate, and you will be up and running in no time at all. You can read the instruction manual if you wish, but the mt-14ex is so intuitive you really don’t need to read the user guide.

Compared to other Canon compatible ring flash units the mt-14ex is slightly more expensive but it is well worth the additional cost. When you consider cheaper ring flashes are made out of inferior materials and does not have the same level of control, buying the Canon mt-14ex really is a no brainer.

So, would I recommend the Canon mt-14ex? If you are in to your macro and close up photography and want to improve your images the Canon mt-14ex is the perfect flash gun for you. Sure, you could go for a cheaper alternative but you won’t get the same level of control, you won’t get the same creative opportunities and you won’t get a ring flash that is tough and going to withstand the test of time. As I have already said, buying the Canon mt-14ex makes really does make perfect sense.

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2012, 10:30 am
Reviewed by foto_reviewer
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