The 8 Best DSLR Ringlight Flashes

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This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Invented by Lester A. Dine in 1952 for use in dental imaging, these ringlight flashes are now widely employed in all sorts of photography. They are particularly adept at providing even illumination with few shadows in the resulting shots. We've put together a selection compatible with a wide range of DSLRs, but make sure that the model you've got your eye on works with your camera. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.

1. Canon MR-14EX II

2. YongNuo Canon YN-14EX II

3. Sigma EM-140 DG

Editor's Notes

October 18, 2020:

A couple of models saw upgrades on this visit to the ranking, including the YongNuo Canon YN-14EX II and the Neewer Macro VK750II. That YongNuo model has solved the previous incarnation's problem of the tension in the battery compartment putting so much pressure on the door that it had a tendency to break after a long enough period of use. And the new Neewer model has gained the ability to be used as a video light, making it an ideal choice for live streamers running channels in the comfort of their own home, though it should be pointed out that the company has yet to adjust the unit's build quality toward anything worth using in the field.

Camera compatibility is going to be a big issue for many, as a majority of models seem targeted toward Canon users. The Neewer model and the Meike iTTL MK-14EXT are suitable for Nikon cameras, and the Coco Ring Adapter is intended for use with Nikon SB-900 series speedlights, but with Nikon moving past that branding and into new territory, its compatibility falls into question.

Finally, thought it isn't a traditional ring light, we're aware that many people investing in this technology are doing so for macro photography, and the Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-26EX-RT in our special honors section is one of the most capable pieces of equipment targeted at close-up shooters. It doesn't create a ring, but its side-lighting rectangular strobes can still create attractive and at times dramatic catchlights in eyes and on reflective surfaces.

July 25, 2019:

The Canon MR-14EX II remains our top pick for a pair of reasons. It's an excellent unit in its own right, but it's also intended for use with a camera system that's generally considered superior to the likes of Nikon when it comes to macro photography — the primary style for which a ring light is employed. We saw fit to remove one of our two previously included Neewer models, as they were remarkably similar to begin with, and as the one we cut had suffered from some availability problems.

We added a few great options to the list this time around, most notably the Sigma model at number three. In addition to coming from a well-respected third-party lens manufacturer, it's available for Canon, Nikon, and Pentax cameras. We also found a great budget model from Meike, which landed at number two, and that can divide its ring into left and right flash functions for added depth.

Special Honors

Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-26EX-RT While it's true that this model isn't technically a ring light, its ability to improve the quality of macro photography earns it a place. It's powerful, easy to use, and offers shooters individual offset flashes, each of which can be rotated up to 60 degrees to create ideal lighting in a variety of situations. canon.com

4. Meike iTTL MK-14EXT

5. K&F Concept KF-150

6. Mcoplus 14EXT-C 5500K

7. Neewer Macro VK750II

8. Coco Ring Adapter


Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on October 20, 2020 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).


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