Objects of Desire: Olympus MAL-1 Macro Arm Light

February 3, 2011

By Dan Havlik

While it may look like something to probe your innards at the doctor’s office, the Olympus MAL-1 Macro Arm Light is actually a cool tool for photography. (Ok, your dentist might find a few uses for it as well.)

Sliding onto and getting power from the accessory port on top of Olympus’s PEN cameras (no extra battery needed), the Macro Arm Light is designed to give PEN users precise, non-shadowy close-up light when shooting small subjects. Obvious uses for this LED light include capturing macro shots of jewelry, figurines, or flowers and insects.

What distinguishes the Macro Arm Light from a flash is that you can bend the device’s two arms in a variety of positions to get the illumination exactly where you want it. The LED system also has two light intensity levels, letting you create a variety of effects on the teeny-weenie objects and critters you’ll be photographing.

And yes, we know what you’re thinking: The Olympus PEN system doesn’t offer any decent Macro glass. Au contraire, mon frère. The company recently released a Macro converter ($59.99), which attaches to several of its M.Zuiko interchangeable lenses to help you with your basic macro needs.

Cost: $59.99

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