- Fashion Photography: A Complete Guide to the Tools and Techniques of the Trade
- Fashion Photography 101
- Light and Shoot 50 Fashion Photos
- Fashion Photography Course: Principles, Practice, and Techniques: An Essential Guide
- Unseen Vogue: The Secret History of Fashion Photography
- Wes Kroninger's Lighting: Design Techniques for Digital Photographers
- Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers
Many digital photographers are probably not familiar with a ring flash, first because it is a piece of equipment that is most often used in fashion photography and it can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. A ring flash is a small device with a circular light panel that surrounds the lens. From that position, a ring flash casts no shadows on the face of a model or a close-up object, creating a smooth, attractive image.
Read real customer reviews of the DIY Photography Ring Flash here.
The cost of a ring flash has become more affordable for some photographers with the introduction of various ring flash add-ons for speedlights that are priced from $200 to $300. Even at that better price point, many amateurs and enthusiasts can’t justify it unless they anticipate shooting the kind of photography that benefits from the device. Now, these photographers have another option, which is the DIY Photography ring flash that is only $24.95. Some will be wary to think that such an inexpensive modifier can do the job of a much more costly model; and they would be right to some extent, but the DIY ring flash is a worthy edition to your digital photography equipment, despite its limitations.
No one should expect a $25 product, of any kind, to perform as well as an equivalent product that costs $200. Keeping that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the DIY Photography Ring Flash has a few downsides. Only you can decide if you need it and whether it’s worth buying.
Assembly required: This is an obvious strategy by DIY Photography to reduce the price and make shipping easier; plus, even the mechanically-challenged, will be able to assemble the ring flash with little difficulty and within 15 minutes.
Insubstantial parts and shorter life span: Considering the DIY ring flash is made from plastic panels and cardboard, its construction is somewhat flimsy, which will affect its operable lifetime and make it vulnerable to water damage. It’s probably best to pack it in a crushproof case when traveling or carrying it in a camera bag. Use it as a studio-only device and it is likely to last longer.
Irregular light supply: Different images can reveal some inconsistent light coverage from the DIY ring flash, however it should be constant within an individual photo. This inconsistency is more likely to be seen in the reflection of catchlights in the eye.
A bit oversized: For a self-assembled ring flash, DIY Photography had to make it square instead of circular. Macro photography could be challenging as the corners of the ring flash may appear in some images. That is unfortunate, since ring flashes are designed for a close-up environment.
Less light: Compared to better-made (and more costly) ring flashes, the DIY Photography model may supply 1.3 stops less light.
Measurably cooler color balance: Again, when compared to professional ring flashes, the DIY ring flash is substantially cooler, which is also evident for green/magenta WB.
Small speedlight opening: Only certain flash heads will fit in the DIY ring flash opening. Larger flash units are physically incompatible.
Unstable attachment: Again, the flimsy construction of the DIY ring flash means it doesn’t attach to the flash head very well. The manufacturer provides an optional metal bracket, but its unwieldy size is not much of a solution. You can also use the rubber bands that come with this ring flash, but their longevity is probably limited; and if they suddenly snap, then a broken ring flash could be the results.
Price: The DIY Photography ring flash only costs $24.95. If you plan to use it often, then replacing it, even after just 12 months, is affordable.
Extremely lightweight: With its plastic-and-cardboard construction, this ring flash only weighs a few grams compared to a heavy flash unit, making the DIY unit easier to carry throughout a long day of shooting.
It does the job: Even with its limitations, the DIY Photography ring flash delivers amazing results for the amateur or even serious photographers.
The DIY Photography ring flash certainly doesn’t match the professional equivalent, but it’s an affordable opportunity to experiment with this unique light source and it could open your eyes to new kinds of digital photography.