Sunpak auto 16r pro
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.
So you may have noticed that there already were 5 ringflashes in this post and then I went and posted this one to make 6. There is a good reason for this. This is a great flash. It is a professional ring flash and that’s why I left it off the list in the first place, but I recently found it at a VERY affordable price.
Sunpak auto 16R Pro
Lowest price I could find: $380 from citywide. No, that’s not a typo, $380.00…AUSTRALIAN!!!!! I’ll explain why this is such a big deal in a bit.
From the Sunpak website:
“With a maximum guide number of 16, you can have great macro shots or portrait shots with soft, even light. Compatible with digital SLR and 35mm lm SLR cameras. Produces a wide range of effects, from extreme close-up shots, such as oral close-ups or medical-use shots to portrait shots. The circular ash tube snaps on to your camera lens to eliminate shadows. It also comes equipped with the ash auto function. By using digital slave unit DSU-01, two ash lights are available.”
The reason that this price is such a great deal is because the RRP (recommended retail price) when it came out was $789.85 and even now, people sell them for $1,210. That should give you a good idea of the quality of this ringflash. It’s a professional unit and the guide number is an astonishing 16, making it the most powerful flash in this top 5 (or 6) and it’s class. It has four LED modeling lights which can provide autofocus assistance or can be used as a modeling lamp for manual focusing. It has a power range from 1/1 full power to 1/256 power.
Something that let’s this flash down is the recycling time. 7.5 seconds at full power, 8 on alkaline batteries. Keep in mind though, that’s at full power and for macro work you probably won’t be using that setting much since this is such a powerful unit. Another let down for someone like me is that it only comes with 58mm, 62mm, 72mm adapter rings. I only have one lens and it’s a 52mm diameter, but you can buy more adapter rings fairly cheaply on eBay.
If you are going to buy a ringflash, buy this one. It’s a great unit, really powerful and has a strong brand name behind it.
I would love to provide you with some example images, but it looks as if no one who uses this flash likes to share their photos, but I’m sure if you do some research you’ll find some 😉
But if that seems a bit expensive, then you can check out the ringflash I made for $6.50! CLICK HERE