A few months ago, my wife got this ring light to use when she’s doing her web-based English lessons with Chinese students (13 time zones away). Up to this point she’d been using the modeling lights on some old cheap strobes I had to do her lighting. I went head and got this ring light for her because 1) using the strobes just for the modeling lights is inefficient (they’re power hogs) and 2) the strobes generate a lot of waste heat, which heats up the room and can make her uncomfortable when teaching in the summer. These LED lights are much more energy efficient and generate a lot less heat and they have some other features that just make them better suited to this role.
I’ve long suspected that this thing could probably make for some really nice, even, non-directional lighting for coin and macro photos if I set my camera up on a tripod on-axis with the light.
But my wife teaches 5 days a week and the thing stays in-place and I haven’t really felt brave enough to try to steal it one afternoon and try some shots.
Yes, I could put the thing back when I’m done but I could still see it becoming a nuisance or point or irritation for her if I don’t quite get it right or get the level slightly wrong or don’t get the cord (and the in-line switch) quite back where she wants and needs it. Lol She’s NOT overly irritable and I’m NOT trying to say she is, but I could see that becoming a gripe or a pet peeve over time or it ticking her off if it causes her frustration at an important moment. Times are stressful as it is right now so I see messing with this light in any way as an invitation for trouble one way or another.
But I did recently see a reddit post on the coins sub-reddit where someone used one of these lights to take pictures of a coin in a slab - an NGC slab no less - and it produced some good results with no glare or reflection over the coin and minimal shadowing.
So, of course, I order a 2nd one, “so she’ll have a spare.” This also happens to mean there is a 2nd one in the house now that I can probably play with without possibly incurring her terrible terrible wrath. (In all seriousness I DID order it so she’d have a spare because the kids have recently done some things that risked breaking it and I don’t want her to have to switch back to the hot lights in the middle of the summer if the kids kill her light. But I’m not going to lie and say this doesn’t potentially have some nice things for me in the deal.)