Ringflash photography is something that I have always liked the look of, but have never been able to find the right one – they were either poorly made, cast too harsh a light, too fiddly and just a bit naff. I have tried several cheap ones and borrowed expensive ones and had almost given up and was resigned to having to spend some good money on a proper Elinchrom one.
But.. a few weeks ago I was on youtube looking for something or other, and a video was recommend to me, it was someone using a “roundflash”. After watching the video I was amazed at the results achieved, but as with all these things, was it going to be any good or was it going to be a “Six Seconds Abs” machine (Naff).
Well lets start with the product, its very well thought out, it has metal magnetic rods that ping into place when you open up the RoundFlash and this holds the RoundFlash taught enough.
Once you have ping’d all the rods you are left with this: it can mounted off camera or on camera.
I only used it on camera; the flash head fits into the back of the RoundFlash and your camera fits in the middle – simples!
Now at this stage it can be quite a handful especially if you are using a heavy DSLR, I tried it with my Canon 5D MK3 and it was too heavy after 10 minutes of handholding shots. Once I had switched to the Fuji XT1 – it was a lot lighter and easier to use. I have seen some people sneak their lens through the gap in the middle and still have access to the zoom ring on the lens, I couldn’t quite make that work with the Fuji as the lens barrel didn’t quite reach the end.. But It still worked perfect for the results I was a after. I just zoomed the lens to where I needed it and left it at that focal length.
I didn’t have long to take these pictures as the Wife was off out, so had to be quick. I first tried the 5D MK3 in TTL mode, but with me using a bright background, the camera couldn’t quite get the exposure where I wanted it. I quickly switch to the Fuji XT1 and using the Cactus RF 60 It took two shots to get the exposure bang on. The below images were shot on the Fuji XT1 using the stunning 16-55 F2.8 (more on that soon) manual shutter at 180th sync speed, F2.8 and 64th power on the flash.
The light that the RoundFlash produces is bang on – its not harsh and its even. When zoomed in the light in the eye is round, no fall off where the flash didn’t quite fill the RoundFlash.
After a few shots I decided to change the settings a little to see if I could get a more dynamic shot. The slightly shooting down angle really works in this shot.
So what do I think? Well I love it! It cost me less than £70 from Amazon, I can tell it’s going to be something that I use a lot over the next few weeks / months as I get used to how it can be best used.