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Canon's latest macro lens features a built-in flash ring

By Shawn Knight
May 12, 2016
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  1. Canon recently introduced a pair of new camera accessories, one of which is particularly noteworthy for those that shoot using the company’s mirrorless platform.

    The EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens is unique in that it features a pair of built-in flash rings, an accessory that’s practically a necessity for those interested in extreme macro photography. Two curved flash modules surround the front element of the lens and can be lit simultaneously or one at a time, allowing shooters to create left or right shadows if desired.

    Users can also adjust the brightness of the flashes between “dim” and “bright” settings, we’re told.

    Having the flash built into the end of the lens also eliminates the possibility of shadows being created by the lens itself, an annoyance that’s common with pop-up style flashes and longer lens.

    The lens also features a Super Macro Mode that allows for shooting at a magnification of up to 1.2 times, making it easier to capture subtle details of a subject, as well as a hybrid image stabilization system and a stepping motor for quiet focusing when taking photos and “near-silence” when shooting videos.

    Canon’s other new accessory, the Speedlite 600EX II-RT, is an update to its flagship flash. It covers a focal range of 20-200mm with a maximum guide number of 197 ft./60m at ISO 100 which Canon says makes it the most powerful flash in the EOS family.

    The new flash supports wireless shooting via radio and optical transmission, is dust and water resistant and should fit in perfectly as part of a multi-flash setup. The illuminated dot matrix LCD panel on the rear displays a wealth of useful information and there’s even a built-in bounce adapter. Buyers also get a SCF-E3 hard-type color filter set and a soft carrying case while an optional battery pack provides improved continuous flash firing and more flashes per charge.

    The EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens goes on sale next month priced at $299.99. The Speedlite 600EX II-RT, meanwhile, will command $579.99 and also launches in June.

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