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  1. #1
    ZugPhoto's Avatar
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    Ring Flash for Portraits

    I was watching a video the other day and saw a photographer use a ring flash on his lens for a portrait session. I assume he was using it as the key light...he had a couple of soft boxes at each side. I thought these types of lens- mounted flashes are basically for macro work. Have I got it wrong?
    Peter Abzug
    Inside Exposure

  2. #2

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    You can use a ring light but the light is very flat. Smaller lights are used for macro 4-5" diameter but there are larger ones made for portraiture. There was a fad with fashion photographers several years ago that overused it.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  3. #3
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Ring flash has been used in fashion work for quite some time. It gives a very particular look, large catch lights shaped like the ring light in the eyes are the give away. In fashion magazines before PS you used to see this a lot. These days the catch lights get brushed, but when you see a model up against a wall with no shadows and a very high key doe eyed look, that's usually a ring light shot.

  4. #4

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    What about the RingFlash Adapters by Orbis, RayFlash & others ?

    Does anyone have an opinion about the new RingFlash Adapters,
    by Orbis, RayFlash & others ?

    I don't know if the flash units being used, are powerful enough.
    But they do provide the option of either Auto, or TTL flash capability.

    Because of the flash being under the lens, not putting a strain on the hot shoe & their new flash bracket, to support the whole thing, I'm leaning toward the Orbis right now.

    Also, in Strobist's test, I liked the quality of the light better from the Orbis.

    Finally, I'm told that one Orbis fits many different flash heads.
    Not so, with the RayFlash.

    But what are your opinions ? Enquiring minds want to know.

  5. #5

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    etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanishing Point Ent. View Post
    Does anyone have an opinion about the new RingFlash Adapters,.
    I had one. neat little toy. Toy being the operative word.

    Even at full blast with the little adapter on there they just don't produce enough light.

    Iso 400 at just under a meter f4. and it was barely an f4.

    this was with a flash with a guide number of 33.

    I was able to make a kludge where it fit on my monolight. Better performance but much to awkward to work with in a studio.

  6. #6

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    try looking for alien bees in google
    I haven't used them, but AFAIK they have a quite descent ring flash

  7. #7

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    For long time i aim on a ringflash, i have Hensel lights and i was no doubt going to get Hensel ringflash, but i got busy, now i don't know how or what happened, i just paid a down payment for my Profoto RingFlash 2, just it is not in stock so i am waiting within a week or few days to get it. Same that dealer who i bought my digital hassy and this Profoto ringflash [local dealer] has that Orbis ringflash for speedlights, i tested in the store there and the results are flawless, making me more exciting about my Profoto ringflash, and i may buy this orbis RF to use with my speedlight for some photojournalism and action shoot and move shots.

  8. #8
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    "Ring flash has been used in fashion work for quite some time. "

    Today it is just a 'shock and awe' sort of approach, but ring lighting has a tradition of good craftsmanship. Here is one of the early masters in the art.

    See "Shadowless Figure Portraiture" by Fred P. Peel F.R.P.S.; The Galleon Press, New York. 1936.

    Fred was a great guy, a great photographer, from Chester, Pa.
    An eminent shooter in the day. This is a very good book.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fred-Peel's-shadowless-rig.jpg   Peel example.JPG  
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  9. #9
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZugPhoto View Post
    I assume he was using it as the key light...he had a couple of soft boxes at each side.
    I wouldn't assume it's the key light (then again, I haven't seen the resulting photos so you know better in this regard), but I'll use a ring light for on-axis fill.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  10. #10
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell View Post
    "Ring flash has been used in fashion work for quite some time. "

    Today it is just a 'shock and awe' sort of approach, but ring lighting has a tradition of good craftsmanship. Here is one of the early masters in the art.

    See "Shadowless Figure Portraiture" by Fred P. Peel F.R.P.S.; The Galleon Press, New York. 1936.

    Fred was a great guy, a great photographer, from Chester, Pa.
    An eminent shooter in the day. This is a very good book.
    Look into Clifford Coffin as well. He made extensive use of it in the 1950s and '60s (possibly late '40s as well). He usually used it with his subjects right up against a backdrop, however, so that a thin but well defined shadow outlined their form.

    He used a similar home-made unit. I think it had 8 or 10 Photo Floods in a ring. Helmut Newton was to use Coffin's exact light when he discovered in in a Vogue storage room in the 1970s.

    As for the shoot you saw, I would think that from your description, the mini on-camera ring flash was being used as a fill light.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

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