After a few weeks away for Xmas, I recently came home to find my latest purchase had arrived.
I had read on the holy grail of small lighting websites Strobist.comof these portable ringflashes, and decided to have a go myself.
Ringflashes come in two varieties, powered dedicated units from the likes of Alien Bees, and lightweight portable versions that clip onto the front of a regular speedlite.
Rather than rattle on about them, theres a usefull video here;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wW6HmpeHaU (hold out for the english speaking)
The general opinion I was seeing was that Rayflash was a popular choice, and a favourite in the Strobist camp. The only problem was the cost, several hundred's of pounds (GBP)
It didn't take long to find a cheaper alternative on ebay for just £29!
Clearly they are just copying the template, but for under £30 I had to give it a go.
Here are some shots of the flash unit. It reminds me of those home made 'Angel Eye's' that people have been putting in their headlights.
The unit is made os plastic and has no moving parts at all, it is just basically a light modifier.
There is a velcro strap at the top for fitting to the flash head, and they fit various models. (more info about compatibility later)
The unti slides onto the flash head and the lens pokes through the ring.
There are two primary reasons for using ring flash, they are often used in fashiopn/portrait shoots, and also macro use. AS I didn't have any models nearby, I decided to shoot some macro subjects with the ring on and off for comparison.
For all of these shots the subject was placed in a light tent and either illuminated from a naked flash on the camera's hotshoe, or witrh the ringflash fitted to the same flash.
I used a 5D MkII, and 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens in AV mode at f/6.3 and ISO 1600.