Ring Flash Woes: Confusion

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by CrackedButter, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #1
    Okay I'm trying to buy a ring flash and it is very confusing.

    My setup is a 1Ds body and I have the 430ex mk2.

    First up is the Ray Flash.
    http://www.expoimaging.com/...&keywords=Ray_Flash:_The_Ring_Flash_Adapter

    Now it says on the website the Ring Flash doesn't interefere with the TTL functions, but the device clearly blocks the AF sensor so this bit I don't understand. Does anybody use this? Then there is also this ring flash:

    http://www.ringflash.cz/en_eshop.php. Anybody use this, I've heard about it and while it is really cheap, I can't seem to find the option to buy it.

    This is a UK website offering their ring flash
    http://www.simplyringflash.com/buyringflash.php

    So far these are all for the 580ex flash head which I don't own, I don't fancy buying this flash head unless I REALLY have to. But this is part of my decision making process.

    Alternatively, there are these 2 adapters for my 430exmk2:
    http://www.linkdelight.com/...Flash-Accessories/View-all-products/Page-2.html

    and

    http://www.ringflash-adapter.com/...e.tpl&product_id=19&category_id=1

    Has anybody used these or heard of the last one because it seems like the best one but their forum is full of adverts which I don't understand the reason for existing. It gives the impression it is a fake website, but of all things to fake, I can only guess as to why? I'm questioning whether a cheaper ring flash is going to do the job (weddings & fashion) and they all seem to block the flash head's AF sensor.
    Help is mighty appreciated thanks.
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #2
    I got one of these cheap off of eBay a year or so ago. While it works ok for macro, it doesn't stay on my flash well no matter how much I try to tighten it, and has to be supported shooting in any position that's down from level.

    I'm looking at other alternatives now- I wouldn't get one of these again, as the cheaper actual ring flashes seem to be relatively reasonable these days and it's just too much of a pain to deal with a bulky item that doesn't fit well in any camera bag I have, falls off constantly and sits too far back to be used with longer lenses.
     
  3. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #3
    Afaik, only the 580II uses any sensor on the flash for TTL. The 430 uses its IR for focusing, but it has nothing to do with TTL.

    I can't imagine a reflector ring flash on a 430 is going to produce even remotely suitable results at a distance. Fashion ring flashes are something like 20" in diameter, not 6" and have a ton more power.

    You should look into something like the ABR800 if you're serious. It has a ton more power than your 430 (especially since it won't waste half the power reflecting the light around the ring). It is ~400 USD which is not incredibly more expensive than some of the adaptors you are looking at.
     
  4. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #4
    I'll have a look at the ABR800. I've been looking on Canon's website and I saw the Macro Ring Lite MR 14EX, isn't this something I could use as well?
     
  5. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #5
    I haven't played with canon's macro ring. I would suspect that the macro rings will be a lot less powerful and have a different light spread as you want to illuminate everything evenly at 6" as opposed to throwing a ring of light 10'.

    EDIT:
    As far as power goes, it looks like the MR14 is GN 46 and the ABR800 is ~160. These are not directly comparable due to a different light spread (both are supposedly ~80degrees coverage, but have been tested by different people), but the ABR should have about 2 stops more power.

    Half way down this page, someone compares the MR14 to the ABR800.

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=122&sort=7&cat=myprod

    Important things to keep in mind. ABR800 does not do TTL (I don't find this a huge problem once you get used to manual). ABR800 requires AC power (this could be a deal breaker if portability is important). You can use a vagabond, but then you would be carrying a shoulder bag battery pack and giant flash around and it is a significant pita. The ABR800 is a much larger (and therefore softer) light source than the MR14, as well the ABR can take moon units (basically a 30" round softbox) to really soften things up, the MR14 will not take light modifiers easily.

    Good luck.
     
  6. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #6
    I've kinda been put off by the ABR800, to use portable its 9 kilo's! I didn't know about the lack of TTL either. I found somebody who might buy my 430 now and I also found the 580 really cheap. I'm most likely prepared to buy the 580 and then one of the ring flash adapters above.
     
  7. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #7
    I shoot a lot of macro, and toyed with variations of all of these but eventually ponied up and bought a Canon ring flash. I have not regretted it.

    I tried the Canon Twin Lite but it adds a little complexity for the additional flexibility you get (notably the need for diffusers).

    I did like the Twin Lite with the MP-E 65mm and a focus rail, but that's one fidgety beast and I only rent that for specific needs.

    I'm sure I'll eventually buy the Twin Light, but before then I'll get a flash bracket to hold a Speedlite for adding subtle backlighting for bugs, etc.

    YMMVBPN.
     
  8. CrackedButter thread starter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #8
    I saw that ring flash but its only for Macro really.
     
  9. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #9
    I've used it as a fill light (somewhat successfully) though I have noticed the two half moons in highlights in couple of shots. I'm not sure a true ring would be any better...
     

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