Ray Flash 2
Universal Ring Flash Adapter
Ray Flash 2 is a universal ring flash adapter that emulates the classic studio ring light look that studio photographers cherish for portrait and macro photography and makes it available for photographers on location shoots. It's available in two versions: Short, for most camera bodies; and Long, for taller cameras such as the Nikon D4 and the Canon EOS-1D X.
The Ray Flash mounts to an external hot-shoe flash via a tension fitting over the flash head. Through a series of acrylic bends and turns, the flash (light) enters a ring around the camera lens and is projected evenly throughout the surface onto the subject. There's a rubber ring that fits around the flash to keep the flash head from drooping from the weight. It's a simple, elegant design, if not a bit bulky.
To get the most out of the Ray Flash, and have easy access to the zoom ring on your lens, mount your camera on a tripod. Yes, it's possible to use the Ray Flash off tripod, but it's a bit of a handful, especially if you're working with a model and need to change your zoom in an instant.
In testing, I used a bare flash, the built-in diffuser, and the Ray Flash 2 in a series of photos at different exposures, focal lengths, and with a variety subjects. In each series, the Ray Flash yielded photos with softer shadows, creating distance between the subject and background and adding detail. The light was predictably brighter near the center of the image, but the falloff wasn't dramatic. I was able to duplicate the studio ring flash look at a close distance. The Ray Flash 2 won't replace your studio setup, but it will give you very good results without all the equipment and at a fraction of the cost.
Company: ExpoImaging, Inc.
Hot: Performance; versatility
Not: Bulk; expensive external flash modifier