EOS-M : Finally built my "Frankenstein Camera" with Ring Flash (PICS)

Started Dec 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Marco Nero
Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 4,923
EOS-M : Finally built my "Frankenstein Camera" with Ring Flash (PICS)


I finally built my 'Frankenstein Camera' ...which you can see in the first picture below... by finally obtaining the mounting ring (thanks for the 3 week delay, Canon!) to allow me to fit the MR-14EX Ring Light to the lens.  A couple of things worth noting for anyone who stumbles across this thread... The Ring Flash is said to be incompatible with any filters and incompatible with mounting to the filter ring if a filter is still on the lens.  It's even printed on the instruction manual that the Ring Flash cannot be used simultaneously with a Filter on the camera lens.  Hmmmmmm.  Turns out that's not true.

EOS-M with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM lens + MR-14EX Speedlite ring flash

The biggest complaint people have had when buying this very useful flash is that it is said to be incompatible with any filter - which means that the coated L-series lens element is exposed to the elements without anything to protect it. However...

This is false.  The mounting ring that the Ring Flash perches on will screw directly into the thread on the front side of a 67mm filter.  And, if that's not your way of doing things, a 58mm UV filter will pop directly into the aperture on the front and will stay lodged there until you poke it back out with a finger.

Some have complained that you have to remove the mounting ring before you can safely put your camera lens cap back on but this too is false because a 58mm filter cap sits nicely over the mounting ring aperture.  The ring appears to be made of a lightweight alloy.  The MR-14EX Ring Flash also acts as a Master to other Speedlights and the system worked flawlessly in my tests earlier yesterday.  It's great for portraits, minute critters, coins and just about anything you want to photograph with the tight focal range that a Macro normally offers.  The flash can also be rotated and the ratio of output altered to produce uneven lighting without the obvious shadows cast by other types of external flashes.  Over all, it works extremely well and I'll get around to posting samples from the ring flash later.

​Thank your lucky stars that this is the closest to a self-portrait you will get from me.

The EOS-M - took it to two parties yesterday: I ended up taking the EOS-M with me to two parties yesterday... the first of which was attended by several full time professional photographers and I expected to generate a few negative comments when I brought out my EOS-M.  None had seen the new Canon mirrorless camera in the flesh so I was happy for them to take a look and experiment with it.  It caught their eyes when they saw the Ring Flash mounted to the large 100mm IS Macro lens.  To my surprise, they had plenty of praise for the camera and were amazed at the usefulness of the touchscreen and the camera's ability to work with any lens available from their own selection.  They appreciated the scale of the smaller pocket-sized EOS-M and all the benefits that come with the somewhat large APS-C sensor.  I had expected some laughter at the very least yet they were quite genuinely excited to see it.  We reviewed a few of the shots taken during the day and I've posted a few below to show what sort of accuracy and detail we were able to capture with each shot.  I even handed the camera to people who normally use a point and shoot yet they were just as capable of taking a nice looking shot with the EOS-M in the afternoon light.

Now I knew the evening would involve working in fairly low light so I removed the Flash and the 100mm lens and put on the much smaller 50mm f/1.2L lens instead.  Since the party was only lit with fairy lights which were on an animation cycle which caused them to flicker and dim repeatedly, the AF was not always capable in the light.  I tried the Canon Powershot s95 but it could not even create an image with the amount of light available and every picture looked almost black from that camera.  So my surprise, it was a simple affair to be able to manually focus the OES-M camera in the very low light.  People were capturing shots with their Samsung and Apple iPhones so I figured I'd just be happy with whatever I could capture.  Even the G1X was unable to cope with the dim light at the party.   But today, when people started posting their pictures on Facebook, I realized that although the camera phones were able to focus in the low light, the results were nowhere near what I captured with the EOS-M.

No flash- but that 100mm Macro lens is always great at capturing portraits - such as this light aircraft.

​Canon EF 100​mm f/2.8L IS USM lens ​(no flash)

​Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM ​(no flash) 

​Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM ​(no flash)

​Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM ​(no flash) 

​EOS-M with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens ​(+ mini Manfrotto Compact Table Tripod) 

​Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM ​(Auto Focus - No Flash)

​Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM ​(Manual Focus - No Flash)

​Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM ​ (Manual Focus - No Flash)

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens is faster in focusing than the 100mm Macro when switched to AF instead of Manual but the benefits of shooting with a fast lens in low light can't be overstated.  The Bokeh from both of the lenses I used today is beautiful and I really do enjoy using the camera.

Now I don't know what is taking DPreview so long in setting up the EOS-M thread we were promised but I do hope they can figure things out shortly.  It's a damn shame that it's taken Canon so long to release what is a very important camera in the Canon lineup.  It's a bigger shame that it's being ignored by DPreview.  Get it together guys.

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Marco Nero.

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