The Yongnuo YN 14 EX Macro flash is a special flash device for macro and close-up photography and sure is a copy of the Canon MR-14.
The YN 14 EX is called a ringflash, even though it is not a ring flash, because there 2 independant flash light on the left/right side of the ring. The light is diffused by opaque plates.
Of course the YN 14-EX -supports E-TTL The device comes with adapter ring for 55,58,67 and 72mm. for my Canon 100/2.8 L IS i only the 67mm ring where the flash snaps in. Carrying a price tag of arround 100,– € the YN 14 EX is a lot cheaper than the original Canon MR-14.
The guide number is stated with 14, which seems to be quite low on a first look. But keep in mind we’re talking about subjet distances down to 30cm with the 100mm/2.8 macro lens, so the low guide number should be enough.
On the rear side of the control unit , which is mounted on your cameras hot shoe, you can manage the different justifications.
The display can be illuminated and with the button ‘Mode’ you can switch from E-TTTL mode to manual, allowing regulating the power from full down to 1/64 for each of the two flash lights separately.
The button ‘Ratio’ should be self-explanatory 😉 and if the ratio isn’t displayed you regulate exposure correction.
Pushing the ‘Lamp’ button switches the LED assistance lights on, which can be used for foccusing in dark environmetns. Setting up the individual functions these light can be switched every time you press the exposure relase button half way.
Talking about manufacturing quality the YN 14 EX is on the same level like the Yongnuo 568 EX II or the YN 622C radio triggers.
The flash is powered by 4 AA batteries where i use Eneloop rechargeable batteries of course. But compared to the original Canon the Yongnuo EX 14 can’t be a masterflash.
First of all the control unit is as big as Canon 430 EX and adding the ring light it is sort of bulky for the transport.
Be aware about the light, a ring light is only sort of shadowless on flat objects like a coin, on flowers or insects you might produce a shadow on both sides which might look unnatural. Just be careful with the flashlight ratio control and use the natural light.
And here are 3 examples using the natural light. The first two images were shot at a magnification ratio of 1:1 with the 100mm/2.8 L IS
Even closing down the aparture to f11 i was able to use available light, so the guide number of 14 is enough. Another advantage is shown in the middle image, the light goes in the calyx.
Built quality and features are good enough, even compared to original Canon flash. Only the missing master feature could be a problem in some cases, but maybe i’ll try setting a YN 622C between hot shoe and YN 14 EX to fire a additional YN 568 EX.
Obeying the same rules as described in my article Close-up with flash there is nothing wrong using a specialized macro flash.
What do you think using a specialized macro flash for close-up photography? Just let me know your experineces in the comments and questions are welcome too.