Ray Flash Ringflash Adapter
The ring flash. If you are going into fashion or model photography then at some point you are going to HAVE to buy one of these bad boys. They rock. Not only do they provide really even, flattering light, they also create really cool light reflections in your models eyes. Really makes them pop. Just take a look below!
I couldn’t Find a website to give credit to for that one, but his name on the forum was “cathpa”, so if you know him, say thanks for the example and tell him to put his website in his signature. Self-promote, people! The other main use is for macro photography. Placing the flash around and just behind the lens ensures that the lens it’s self doesn’t cast a shadow. Again, really even light yada yada yada.
So let’s take a look at some rather pricey bits of kit as I introduce you to some great quality ring flash units. Oh and before any of you point out I didn’t mention the Alienbees ABR-800, it’s pretty big and I just want some strobe-equivalent ring flashes. But by all means, Google it.
Ray Flash Ringflash Adapter
Lowest Price I could find: $195.00 from DD electronics
From the Rayflash website:
“The unique RAY FLASH Adapter was developed by a professional photographer from the Czech Republic. It was designed to be as light and as portable as possible. There are no electronics, no flashtubes and no cumbersome cables! It uses a clever system of acrylic light channels and reflectors to distribute the light emitted from the flash unit evenly around the large diameter of the ringflash adapter. This creates the same lighting effect normally only available from ringflash units made by studio flash equipment manufacturers, which are expensive, heavy and tethered (they have a cable from ringflash to power pack).”
Now this one is a little different. While all the others have been electronic units, the Rayflash system is just plastic that fits over the end of another flash, provided that flash is either a Nikon SB-800, Nikon SB-900, Canon 580EX or Canon 580EX II. This has its advantages because it will be lighter, cheaper and since you have to buy batteries for your flash already, you won’t have to be buying any MORE batteries. So yay if you have one of those flashes that this system is going to fit onto, or boo if, like me, you don’t.
Of course whenever there is a clever product created, there will be cheaper eBay imitators and the ray flash is no different. Knock-offs like this one are much cheaper at just $39.00, however it is not a circle, so the reflection on your models eyes will not (in my opinion) look as great. More like a tear than a circle.
SALVATION!!!! While we are on the subject of cheaper alternatives (I love this subject) why not check this one out. It’s the same as the other systems in the way that there is a power pack and a ring that attaches to the end of your lens, but this isn’t a flash. Instead it is a series of 48 LED lights that provides continuous light, like a flash light. This way you know exactly what the photo is going to look like before you snap it. Brilliant! The down side, it’s not as powerful so you will have to use slower shutter speeds, a higher ISO or a wider aperture.