I have a chance to purchase a Vivitar ring light for pretty cheap. I think I might use it for closeups on flowers etc. I was also wondering about using it for some people pics with the LF.
So my question is. Is this just one of those things that seem cool at first but then just gather dust in the long run, or are there some good applications?
I chose not to buy one because they are typically very low power. Good for macro work (I don't do any) and ok for fill for people shots, but again, they are low power, and most that I have seen are manual exposure models. You can do the same thing with more control by using a bracket and two flashes.
The Vivtar, Sunpak, RL suk. No power. Barely enough for macro. The Sunpak DX-12R isn't bad, though. And, sadly enough, the new Promaster ringlight is kinda cool. A friend of mine got one and it wasn't too bad.
I'm gonna use a ringlight for portrait work...Elinchrom or Profoto. At least a 2400-3000WS of power, though. The new Elinchrom RL, with the Ranger power pack is killer. Tons of power!
Nowadays, Vivitar ANYTHING sucks. Hard. Really hard. Hell, the guy that started me shooting used to (25 years ago) have Vivtar Pro everything. Nowadays, it's all plastic and crappy. You don't want to know how many 285HV's I killed before going Metz!
Yeah, I've talked to people who have ring flashes and unless you dump some serious cash into them, they are best used CLOSE. Or to add some catch to the subject's eyes. Then again if you have the $1,000.00+ to spend and the need, the good ones are great.