Ring flash demystified: common questions answered
What is a ringflash?
Unlike a regular flashgun, a ringflash
has a circular light source that sits around the circumference of the lens’s front element. This connects to the main control unit via an electronic cable, and the main control unit then slots into the camera’s hotshoe.
How do ringflashes work?
Dedicated ringflashes enable through-the-lens flash metering, ensuring the required level of flash power for effective illumination of subjects at varying distances.
Who makes them?
Most camera manufacturers make ringflashes, but they are often very expensive – for example, the Canon MR-14EX costs £465, and the Olympus FS-SRF11 is priced at £610. Good third-party equivalents, such
as the Marumi DRF14C, can work out much cheaper, usually costing about £120.
When should I use a ringflash?
They’re ideal for macro or close-up work, as well as medical and scientific photography in which you need even, shadow-free illumination of subjects. Ringflashes are also popular for photographing jewellery.
How do I attach one to my DSLR?
The lamp section of a ringflash system usually attaches to a lens’s filter thread, although some models fit to the bayonet mount on the front of the lens. This is usually used for attaching the lens hood.
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Tags: flash photography tips, ring flash