Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash User Reviews

What might happened when 2 Guest Editors were given the Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash for the First Time.
– Featuring Wong Renhao & Peh Wei Jian

Photo: Renhao’s Canon EOS 6D with Sigma EM-140 mounted.

5th December 2013, Singapore – The Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash (EM stands for Electronic Flash Macro) was designed to work with digital SLR cameras of all-popular brands. The EM-140 DG Macro Flash most ideal for photographing subjects in fine detail when the shadow-less mode is used, and is highly recommended for scientific or medical applications. The dual flash tubes can be programmed to fire simultaneously or separately. Photographers may choose to use only one flashtube creating a modeling effect, which can achieve a three-dimensional feel to the subject.

Photo: Wei Jian’s Nikon D7000 with Sigma EM-140 mounted.

The flash features a guide number of 14 at ISO 100 which is ample for most close-up works. The Modeling Flash function also made it possible for photographers to instantly check for reflections and shadows before actually taking the shot. A wireless flash function is also available via optical sync, where the EM-140 DG is used as master and the other flashes like the Sigma EF-Series flashes as slave units for creating fine shadow details. High Speed Synchro and Exposure compensation functions are also available for advanced flash photography.

We have the privilege of taking not 1 but 2 EM-140 (1 x Canon & 1 x Nikon) out recently from Sigma Marketing (Singapore) and our Guest Editors were handed the flash to use during a night macro shoot for the first time.Let’s take a look at their photos and hear what they say.

Photo: Wong Renhao

Wong Renhao
Camera: Canon EOS 6D
Lens: Sigma 150mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Macro
Flash: Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash for Canon Mount (TTL).

Photo by Wong Renhao

The EM-140 macro ring flash is a wallet-friendly solution for amateur macro photographers looking for more optimal lighting. At the close focal range demanded by macro shooters, overhead lighting from standard flashguns are often blocked by the lens itself or surrounding foliage. The ring flash can solve such problems by providing head-on lighting. The two constant-light lamps are also useful for photographers who don’t want to deal with an extra torch or LED light panel when searching for subjects in the dark, or when extra light is required to help the camera lock focus accurately on the subject. The ability to turn either flash tube off selectively also allows for more creative lighting as users get more familiar with the flash unit.

Photo by Wong Renhao

With guide number 14 though, this flash is best kept to use at close range. The small tubes mean that as more power is required to obtain correct exposure, photos tend to get harsher in lighting. While the dual tubes perform their intended function of canceling out side-stretching shadows caused by single sided lighting, this should not be taken to mean that shadows are absent.

Photo by Wong Renhao

Depending on location and background, the combined power of the two tubes create a backward-reaching shadow in settings with high depth, something which may or may not work in the user’s favor. I would also have liked to see more even diffusion of light around the ring (most of the light throw stays within the vicinity of the flash tubes) and better direction of light from the tubes (right now it feels like the light reaches out straight ahead, instead of being angled diagonally towards where the subject is expected to be).

Photo: Peh Wei Jian

Peh Wei Jian
Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikon AF-S 105mm F2.8 VR Micro
Flash: Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash for Nikon Mount (TTL).

Photo by Peh Wei Jian

My first positive impression of this macro flash was the build quality. Although it is made of engineering plastics, it doesn’t feel cheap on hand. The matted finishing also means that it will not get any scratch marks easily even if abused. The user-friendliness of the flash is pretty straightforward. Without looking through the user manual, I manage to figure out all the required settings which I needed for the shoot with its minimal set of buttons configuration at the back.

Photo by Peh Wei Jian

The construction of the front ring is made up of 2 flash tubes on the left and right side and auto focus assist light at the top and bottom. This differentiates it from the cheaper LED ring flash which runs fully on manual adjustments as it is able to produce a more powerful output with its dual flash tubes. The front ring adaptor is mounted to a custom threaded mount which made it easy to rotate the entire ring during shoot. That allows me to re-position the flash either on the left and right of the subject or top and bottom effortlessly. The new TTL exposure system work great for me throughout my entire night macro shoot.

Photo by Peh Wei Jian

The down side of this flash is the duration of the auto focus assist light. It is a good thing that the has a build-in constant AF assist light, but the duration of that constantly on AF light can only lasted for 20 seconds, after which you have to press the lamp button again to toggle it on for another 20 seconds. This duration might be too short if you are doing night macro as it gets harder to find the subject and lock the focus. It would have been great if there is an option to keep it on for another 10 seconds or so.

To find out more about the Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash, please visit here.

Thank you Sigma Marketing (Singapore) Pte Ltd for allowing this to happen.



** Sigma had re-organized their whole lens line into 3 category.
They are “C” Lens, “A” Lens & “S” Lens.

C Lens = Contemporary Lens Line
Featuring the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness, Sigma’s high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs. Lenses in this category are Standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, high-magnification zoom lenses.

A Lens = Art Lens Line
Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, Sigma’s Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. Lenses in this category are Large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, fisheye lenses.

S Lens – Sports Lens Line
While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, Sigma Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. Lenses in this category are Telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses.

Sigma Marketing Singapore Pte Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sigma Japan Corporation.

For more information, please visit

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1 Response to Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash User Reviews

  1. Pingback: Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Revisited | Shutter Journey (SGP)

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