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What they say : The Expoimaging Ring Flash Adapter (U.S. and international patents pending) is a unique adapter for your hot-shoe flash unit designed to replicate the lighting effect produced by traditional, expensive, and heavy powered studio ring light units.
The Ray Flash is portable and lightweight, and has been designed to take advantage of a camera’s TTL metering capabilities. Because the Ray Flash relies on the hot-shoe flash to generate its light, it contains no electronics, no flash tubes and requires no cumbersome cables. The light distribution is accomplished through a sophisticated system of internal light-shapers designed to distribute and project the light evenly around the lens.
The Ray Flash creates the distinctive ring light effect: a three-dimensional shadow-wrapped look around the subject. Because ring flash light originates from a circle around the lens, it produces a virtually shadowless look on the front of your subject, while producing a soft even shadow around the edges. The versatile Ray Flash is ideally suited for fashion, wedding, portrait, journalist and macro photography as either a main or fill light.
It’s a real challenge for someone like me to take a nice portrait of someone, I am generally fairly nervous and usually pretty critical of my photos, so when a product comes along that I can use to help me light a photo and make it look better, then I’m always happy to give it a try! The RAY FLASH is, comparatively, an inexpensive ring light that can be used with your existing flash unit* I tested the Ray Flash with the Canon 580 EX II with some fairly cool results…
In this photo you see Nathan as photographed with the Canon 580EXII without Ray Flash attached.. (I think there may be something wrong with his eyebrow?!)
…and In this photo, the Ray Flash is attached to the front of my Flash unit, producing a nice even wrap around style of light with less of the harsh shadowy effect than that in the image above. (and his eyebrow has been fixed!)
I can get good results from a regular flash gun, depending upon what I’m after, but if I want something a little softer with some nice catch lights, I think that the Ray Flash is the way forward (So much so that I now have my own!) The light is called a “Ring light” because it is just that, you can see in the image below how it circles the lens which is how it produces the nice even light across the subjects face, whereas the standard strobe is coming from just one direction and can produce a lot of shadow if used badly.
It’s an easy to use device in that it slides right over the end of your flash and attaches in place with the simple turn of one fastener on the top of the unit, the *Ray Flash comes in sizes to suite two different flash models, the Canon 580EX (I & II) and the Nikon SB800 (and 900)
Ray Flash retails for$199.95 on Amazon or can be purchased locally through various retail outlets.
I only had one minor flaw with the Ray Flash and that was that if I am shooting in darker conditions and relying upon the 580EXII for autofocus, the Ray Flash blocks the beam coming from the flash used to focus, I only ran into this problem once or twice and I guess it made me stop being lazy and manually focus anyway… I give the Ray Flash 4 / 5 stars.