Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Ring Flash adapter for Canon 580EX and Nikon SB800
Finally after browsing through some pages about ring flash adapters I discovered that the wheel was already invented and that a Ring Flash Adapter was already developed and made by a Czech photographer who got the DIY idea and conceived a commercial version of it.
It uses a clever system of internal prisms and reflectors to distribute the light emitted from the flash unit evenly around the large diameter of the ring flash adapter.
The ring flash adapter creates a very special lighting effect: a "3-d shadow-wrapped look" (if you are looking for that David Hill and Jill Greenberg look here is one solution). Because all light originates from the front, i.e. from around the lens, it produces a virtually shadow less look on the front of your subject, while a soft even shadow appears around the edges. It is ideally suited for fashion, portrait and beauty images as a main light or fill-in.
Due to it's large inner diameter (143mm), the ring flash adapter will accept almost all lenses from small, medium and large format cameras.
Exposure control is easy: using either Canon or Nikon cameras (or their derivatives) all TTL functions are operational as usual, as well as manual mode. It is of course possible to use the Canon 580EX and the Nikon SB800 in manual mode with other camera brands by using a simple hot-shoe adapter, which provides a standard synchronization lead, and improvising a suitable way of mounting the flash to the camera.
The ring flash adapter is a very affordable way to achieve typical ring flash lighting quality normally only available to studio flash equipment users.
The ring flash adapter comes in for now in 2 versions one for Canon 580EX and the other for Nikon SB800. After contacting the developer he told me that new models are in preparation for other flashes.
Take a look at the Instructions Manual for more details on the product.
This is not a cheap solution (139,00€ + 20€ shipping) compared to some of the DIY models available out there but it seems pretty good and portable enough.
I'm still waiting for my unit since it's on back order.
As soon as I have it I will make a full review with more pictures :)
Also take a look at some DIY Macro Ring Flashes here, here, here and here, a more fancy one here and another one build from a pan cake.
Udi J. Tirosh from the blog DIYPhotography.net is calling all builders to create one with disposable flash cameras. You can take a look at developments here.