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RayFlash introduces universal Ringflash adapter with new clamp design

By dpreview staff on Aug 23, 2013 at 20:17 GMT

RayFlash has announced a new universal ringflash adapter for DSLRs. Designed to clamp on to your own hotshoe flash, it utilizes the light from your existing flash unit and bends it through the circular structure around the lens of a DSLR. It's offered in two sizes - one fits most DSLRs (and the Olympus E-M5 O-MD) and another is configured with a longer neck for cameras with a higher body. RayFlash calls it 'small and light-weight,' (each unit indeed weighs 540g) and claims that it doesn't require any other fittings to support it. 

The previous RayFlash adapter used a slightly different design and was only compatible with certain Nikon and Canon flash units. The newly designed universal adapter accommodates a wider range of flash units with its clamping mechanism, though some may require the use of a rubber O-Ring for a proper fit. The original Ringflash adapter has been discontinued on RayFlash's website. The new universal model(s) will retail for £99.00. RayFlash is currently distributed through the UK, Europe and US. Visit their site for a full list of distributors

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Press Release:

NEW Universal RAY FLASH Ringflash Adapter

THE RINGFLASH ADAPTER FOR ALL PORTABLE FLASH UNITS

The Inventor of the original and first ever ringflash adapter, Dalibor Zyka from The Czech Republic, has just released an new and up-dated design of his revolutionary product: The Universal Ringflash Adapter

The NEW Universal Ringflash adapter is a very affordable way to achieve typical ringflash lighting quality normally only available to studio flash equipment users!

The new and unique Universal Ringflash Adapter was developed by a professional photographer from the Czech Republic.  It was designed to be as light and as portable as possible.  There are no electronics, no flashtubes and no cumbersome cables!  It uses a clever system of acrylic light channels and reflectors to distribute the light emitted from the flash unit evenly around the large diameter of the ringflash adapter.  This creates the same lighting effect normally only available from ringflash units made by studio flash equipment manufacturers, which are expensive, heavy and tethered (they have a cable from ringflash to power pack).  The universal, adjustable clamp mechanism holds the portable flash unit (speedlite) safely and in the right position, aided in some cases by a black, rubber O-Ring.  Because of different height camera bodies from the main manufacturers TWO models are available, Short & Long (see chart for listing). Both models have a height-adjustable neck for minor variations in camera height.

The RayFlash Ringflash Adapter creates a very special lighting effect: a "3-d shadow-wrapped look". Because all light originates from the front, i.e. from around the lens, it produces a virtually shadow-less look on the front of your subject, while a soft even shadow appears around the edges. It is ideally suited for fashion, portrait, beauty, wedding & macro photography as a main or fill-in light. 

The RayFlash Ringflash Adapter does not change the colour temperature of the flash that powers it and the additional weight can easily be accommodated by the hot-shoe mounted flash unit.

How to fit the Ringflash Adapter:

The Ringflash Adapter is mounted to the front of a Hot-Shoe type flash unit or “speedlite” and it is small and light-weight enough to allow complete mobility. Therefore no extra support fittings are needed and no strain is put onto the front of your lens.

Additional images

Comments

Total comments: 76
tabloid
By tabloid (8 months ago)

Ringflash.....I have used them in studios from time to time

They are useful for certain situations...not all.

Also great if u like 'red eye' in every shot.

I was told that to get rid of the 'red eye' one had to do a 'pre flash'.

So i don't bother now.

0 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (8 months ago)

A nice, 5...10$ gadget :)

0 upvotes
raincoat
By raincoat (8 months ago)

So....... they basically copied the 'universal mount' from some Chinese companies that have been selling ring flashes for the past few years?

1 upvote
Michael Levy
By Michael Levy (8 months ago)

For macro photography, here's an effective no-cost lighting solution that's easy to make yourself, and takes up virtually no space in your camera bag: http://home.earthlink.net/~mikelevyonline/Macro_Photography.html

1 upvote
Kaziklu
By Kaziklu (8 months ago)

Ok...

First people keep saying $200.. the current exchange on 99 GBP is 154 USD.

Second very often the price in GBP is closer to the USD price then the exchange rate, usually around 25-33% which means this would come out at about $135-160

Next, using a ring flash attachment like this, with a 50mm or a 85mm even on a crop sensor you are still going to be close enough to your subject that you will likely want to have (even with the loss of light) a decent speedlight at 1/4 power or less. Even if you are pushing it you will get plenty of light at full power if need be.. (again using a decent flash)

0 upvotes
historianx
By historianx (8 months ago)

Ring flash does not equate poor photos if you know how to use one. But for 199 more u can get a buff abr 320 w/s ring flash that's one of my fashion photo necessities. This thing is not a real ring flash.

0 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (8 months ago)

Ring flash = poor photos. They obliterate shadows and create very boring flat photos. Also the quality and usefulness of a device like this seems VERY suspect.

1 upvote
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (8 months ago)

Try telling that to pro fashion photographers who get great results using them. It's only a poor photographer who can potentially make them boring.

9 upvotes
Valen305
By Valen305 (8 months ago)

Some of my best shots have been taken using this contraption. *hint - you don't necessarily have to use it as the main light. Don't have an assistant to hold a reflector for fill light? You're welcome.

1 upvote
RicardoPhotos
By RicardoPhotos (8 months ago)

Totally agree with EVERYTHING you said STU 5

I used the older style of Rayflash and I think it's a great device for relatively little money. People who never use them scoff at their simplicity. But they work! Gotten some great results with the Rayflash when I rented one. The new style is very sleek and even better. Definitely on my Christmas list.

0 upvotes
NewForce
By NewForce (7 months ago)

May I know,
1. Which ring flash you have or used?
2. If you have one, was it a real ring flash or a led ring light?
3. What camera and lens you used it with?
4. What type of picture are you taking when using the ring flash?

0 upvotes
Matsu
By Matsu (8 months ago)

It looks promising. It's deficiencies come not from its design so much as from the power source, namely, speedlights. ALL light modifiers eat up power, and because speedlights start off with a lot less, that makes the operating envelope for these kinds of light modifiers a little narrower. That doesn't stop people from using shoot through umbrellas - one of the best $ for $ modifiers for your speedlight, or small to mid size softboxes, etc. All of them, ALL of them, eat up at least a stop or so of light. This is no different. Used within it's limits it should have some advantages too. What studio light has TTL, super short flash duration and high speed sync in one unit that doesn't need external power?

Apart from the reshaped mount, the reflector looks like it has a fresnel lens in front of it now too. I'm curious about what the light quality will be. I don't worry too much about power. This is a run and gun solution, and ISO 400 is no problem for modern cameras.

2 upvotes
Serenity Now
By Serenity Now (8 months ago)

Designed by Wile E.Coyote?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
SushiEater
By SushiEater (8 months ago)

I think it is stupid idea to begin with.
1. Loss of light.
2. Since it uses your flash and power (since there is loss of light you would not be able to take as many flashes) what is the point.
3. For 1/2 the price (and this is expensive version, there are other much cheaper versions) why not get
MRC-232 LED Ring Adjustable Hotshoe Light Video Lighting Lamp 6000K for DSLR
from Ebay?
It uses Sony battery included (cheaper versions use AA just like your flash), allows to use it as video light, adjustable light too.
Some versions can be used as flash or video.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (8 months ago)

Because LEDs run a constant power, and pictures are produced by energy, power x time. A speed light has about 60 watt-seconds of energy. You have to run a common 10 watt LED ring light for 6 seconds to get 60 watt-seconds.

How many subjects can hold still for 6 seconds? How many photographers can shoot 6 seconds handheld?

5 upvotes
Valen305
By Valen305 (8 months ago)

an LED video light? Awsome! I just have to crank the ISO up to 125,000 and shoot wide open at F1.4.

1 upvote
SushiEater
By SushiEater (8 months ago)

No need for 6 seconds. With lots of powerful LEDs it can actually blind you because it produces so much light no need for flash at all.
Ringflash above loses a lot of light anyway and it is uneven so I would rather use constant light.

0 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (8 months ago)

For those ripping on the ray flash my question is simply this: do you want QUALITY or a piece of human excrements?

And flashes and lenses cost more than this beside the 50mm 1.8 you are willing to spend 1000$ on a lens, so why do you complain about this price?

Does it matter who does you in the backside hole when it comes to camera gear? Sure looks like it if we read all the negative comments here.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (8 months ago)

Reading all the stories in this thread, and on dpReview in general, about the Ray Flash being misassembled, or falling apart, I'm not sure you have a good handle on the difference between QUALITY and human whatever.

2 upvotes
Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul
By Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul (8 months ago)

2.8 zoom?

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (8 months ago)

This is why I love these new chinese lighting companies. i cant believe they want 200 bux for this. I just bought a similar thing for $25. I have been in photography for a long time and its great to buy 50 dollar soft boxes and the like

4 upvotes
Vaards
By Vaards (8 months ago)

I bought similar gadget two years ago for 20$ with free shipping. And I am sure, that thing above is also almost total crap like 20$ knock offs. Just used couple of times and decided to use two/three flashes from side.

1 upvote
Cameron R Hood
By Cameron R Hood (8 months ago)

Yeah, copyright infringement and corporate theft are wonderful things...the Samsung corporation LIVES off it...imagine all the money they save on R&D when they can just STEAL stuff...it's fantastic...the 'American' way...let freedom reign, etc.

5 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (8 months ago)

@Vaards. Assuming that this is intended for pro use, I will never understand why folks will go through the motions of a $1500 shoot, maybe setting up another $2500 or more in support gear, and then introduce a weak link of a product like this in their pipeline.

0 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (8 months ago)

@Vaards. Assuming that this is intended for pro use, I will never understand why folks will go through the motions of a $1500 shoot, maybe setting up another $2500 or more in support gear, and then introduce a weak link of a product like this in their pipeline.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (8 months ago)

Looks like i have to combat a little bullcrap. Knocking this thing off violates no ones intellectual property and if it did it would be a patent not a copyright you tool.

Certainl softboxes and reflectors are fair game

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

"copyright infringement and corporate theft are wonderful things...the Samsung corporation LIVES off it." Well, first, some of the things companies try to copyright/patent are absurd. "A tap is a zero length swipe" - Apple.

Second, Apple have been known to lift from Samsung and Microsoft too. It is shameful and protectionist that when the U.S. International Trade Commission finds Apple have copied Samsung that the President overturns the ban on their sales.

And third, my significant other's Samsung Galaxy Note actually outshines my iPhone and makes it look sad and retro. As does the S4. We'll see in September how much Apple are following on Samsung's design lead, including the larger screens they initially mocked. If they don't up their game, I am going Samsung for my phone, although not my computers. I'll take a hit on integration for the sake of the better product. Both sides should compete on quality and customer satisfaction, not lawsuits.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Vaards
By Vaards (8 months ago)

@Ferling
Because people are so unpredictable, amazing, funny, creative!
For example, I tried that 20$ thing with Voigtlander 125mm macro lens. Just because I have that lens. Indeed, I hoped to take pictures of hundreds of cylindric cosmetic objects. Polished surfaces. It totally failed. Then prepared kind of lightbox with black fat vertical lines inside. Placed on sides falshes and voila - perfect! Then I tried THING in garden, fail again. So, no matter how much it cost, for good result one needs to use proper tools and light. But I know, a lot of peole will try £99.00 Just because on ebay there is cheap knock offs - expencive original might be good thing! ;)

0 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (8 months ago)

OK, so I went to dx.com and searched for ring flash. Most are around 30-35 bucks. And many are from 2010, so if copyright or other stuff is an issue, it seems to the other way ... :)

What do i get for the extra $170 ?

0 upvotes
Pheonix
By Pheonix (8 months ago)

Was a bit expensive, the old model, in the UK, and as a Pentax shooter, unlikely to fit. At £99 its a bit more of an impulse purchase.

Tempted to see how well it works for Dance Photography on location... isolation of head/shoulders from the rest of the scene, when Bounce is not available (dark ceilings etc.

Just need to find out when the UK distro will be getting them in stock!

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (8 months ago)

It would look pretty flat. The "fun" part of ring lights is a distinctive "edged" shape outlining the head when your subject is close to a light colored background. Take away the light background, and the light falls off on the sides of the face just in time to feather off into darkness.

1 upvote
jackpro
By jackpro (8 months ago)

this is another option http://enlightphotopro.com/gear/the-orbis-ringflash/

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (8 months ago)

Depends on how you define "option". The original Rayflash was very uneven, but at least it was hotter on top on a landscape image.

The Orbis is hotter on the bottom. Research "sinister lighting" if you don't understand why that is unflattering.

2 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (8 months ago)

Another option? Yes
A good option? Nope

1 upvote
KZMike
By KZMike (8 months ago)

It looks a bit clumsy/ungainly to use. . . though it is an option

0 upvotes
jackpro
By jackpro (8 months ago)

the orbis is designed to minimise hotspot at flash connection point so sinister bottom lighting it is not - the rayflash advantage is it can take my 85L the orbis can't http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EeUt9PF6jD0#t=162

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

Great! I can wait for the knock off version!

Seriously though, I would prefer the legit one, regardless of price, if only they supported their product better. I bought one of their original Ray Flash units that had internal elements fall apart and rattle around. When I called, they told me to go swap for a new one at the brick and mortar store I'd bought it at. So I did, but that one gave uneven illumination, and they didn't have any more that fit my flash in stock.

So I returned it.

A year later I bought a knockoff version. Same quality of light. Not perfectly symmetrical, but for under $50, I'm not going to complain. Unlike the Ray Flash which cost me $200. Not falling for that again. No, I'll just wait for the knockoff again.

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

I live in Hong Kong. All I have ever seen in the stores is the Chinese knock-off.

8 upvotes
grock
By grock (8 months ago)

For people poo-pooing the RayFlash, I have a one, and though I don't use it nearly as much as I hoped I would, it's a pretty good device. Actually, the fact that I don't use it as much as I hoped kind of highlights one of its better features- I don't need to switch out my 580EX flash and put on a separate ring flash if I just want to take a couple shots. Removing the rayflash is much simpler. I've been really happy with the results, and it's a lot cheaper than most good ring flashes. Only real downside as far as I can tell is that the flash is about one stop less light since it uses the Speedlite light. But after looking into a lot of ring flashes, I thought the RayFlash was a good choice for a hobbyist who didn't need a more expensive, dedicated ring flash. That, and the fact that I had to change adapters when using the 430EX instead of the 580. But this adapter seems to solve that.

1 upvote
rayflash
By rayflash (8 months ago)

Hello,
your information is inaccurate, chinese fake for 20 USD does not function,light loss minus 4-5 EV, compared to the RAY FLASH original.Llight output power of chinese fakes is insufficient for serious shooting.therefore the choice of every customer,what light quality will be use for photo shooting.

new universal adapter for all types of DSLR cameras

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (8 months ago)

Does this work with the Panasonic L10 if it works with the Olympus E5 and also will it work with the forthcoming Olympus E-M1

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

The comment by "rayflash" is an utter lie. I've used both and the knock off branded "Coco" is spot on for 1/4 the price (less then $50). There is no more loss of light with the Coco than the "Ray" branded version.

There are other versions that do not so closely resemble the Ray, and they are indeed not as good. But there is at least one that fully replicates the form and function for much less money.

Had the makers of the Ray Flash branded unit actually stood by their product and gotten me a working unit when I bought one, I'd have never learned about the knock off brand.

Also, the Ray Flash is anything but original in design. So there is no RAY FLASH "original".

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (8 months ago)

Indeed. I've measured two different Chinese ring flashes and they're within half a stop of the Ray Flash. And they all had nearly identical imbalances between top and bottom.

3 upvotes
Pierre Daigneault
By Pierre Daigneault (8 months ago)

Now what about an aluminium foil plate with a hole cut in it (crumpled to defuse) put onto the front of the lens. Then direct the regular flash at the plate and use the reflected light with the main light as back lighting......
...voila....$0.20.....

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (8 months ago)

The plate surrounds the lens, right?

So, how do you direct a flash at the plate without directing it at the lens?

Are you familiar with "veiling flare"?

1 upvote
BJN
By BJN (8 months ago)

DIY? Yeah, right. If the light quality is good, it's very reasonable at a couple hundred bucks.

0 upvotes
Potemkin_Photo
By Potemkin_Photo (8 months ago)

Give it 3 months and every Chinese me-too shop will have this for $19.99 with free shipping from Shenzhen. Just wait, you know it's going to happen.

2 upvotes
grock
By grock (8 months ago)

The RayFlash has been out for years. If this adapter was in such large demand, I think the Chinese knockoffs would have been out there already.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

They are. But this design is slightly tweaked. I'm sure the tweaks will make it into the Chinese ones soon too.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (8 months ago)

Grock, there are many knockoffs of the original Ray Flash. They came out a few months after it was launched, and perform virtually identically.

The new Ray Flash addresses (we hope) the serious flaws of the old one, by borrowing from some existing fiber-optic products. Give the cloners a chance: we'll be seeing knockoffs in a couple of months.

1 upvote
raincoat
By raincoat (8 months ago)

Actually it looks like this mount is copied from existing Chinese versions.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (8 months ago)

This gadget has got to reduce it's retail price drastically to be interesting enough.

With the current price, it is trying to do a Nikon 1 pricing policy, or an EOS M pricing policy and we know what happened to those goodies...

'

5 upvotes
CypherOz
By CypherOz (8 months ago)

Yeah! http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/F160-O-Flash-Ring-Adapter-for-Canon-Nikon-Pentax-Sony-Olympus-Camera-/271257388355?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item3f28334543

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

See, it is possible to crowbar an arbitrary slam against Canikon into a random article about a Ring Flash adapter.

People are so creative. :-)

3 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (8 months ago)

How much does Optical Fiber cost? Maybe I can put some cables and wrap them around a lens with aluminum foil behind to direct the light to the front...Or maybe try this...MMMMM

0 upvotes
whitecue
By whitecue (8 months ago)

These are not normal optical fibers but the type that can direct light while emit it sideways in one direction through internal reflection srufaces. I know 3M has this kind of product but don't know if you can find them on retail market.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

There is no optical fiber. It's all plastic. Optical fiber, I might consider the price justified. This is just injection molded and glued plastic. Even so, it performs pretty well. Just not for $200 and crappy customer support!

0 upvotes
rockjano
By rockjano (8 months ago)

The problem with this kind of ring flash that it weeeeek.

And you can get a similar one for a to-lot less..

1 upvote
grock
By grock (8 months ago)

It's only about one stop less than what the flash is set at.

2 upvotes
Clyde Thomas
By Clyde Thomas (8 months ago)

Now try grabbing the focus ring.

2 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

...and then try using the AF. Unless you're shooting with AF-D Nikon lenses, AF will work just fine.

0 upvotes
Flying Snail
By Flying Snail (8 months ago)

AF in macro? LOL

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

Who's talking about macro? You think this is for macro? LOL!

1 upvote
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (8 months ago)

This is good news. A friend has one and works great with her Speedlight 580 and EOS 1D mk4. However as a Pentax user I have never had the luck to get one that fits my 540, until now. The Manufacturer did say that they were looking at other mounts at Focus 3 years ago. Looks like they have finally produced.

I will get one, as for £99.00 it seems good value.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
FoveonPureView
By FoveonPureView (8 months ago)

I'm wondering, whether I could use this newly introduced RayFlash universal Ringflash adapter on the Sigma DP3M (possibly also DP1/2M, and also an old DP-series-cam), when supposedly using it in combination with the Sigma EF 610 DG Super flash.

Would it also likely work on the SD1(M) when the new 18-35mm 1.8-lens is attached, in combination with that same EF 610 DG Super flash?

I just haven't any clue whatsoever, which is why I'd happy, if someone here (or wherever really...) could tell me or at least attempt taking an educated guess on this matter.

Thank you so much in advance for your truly valued and assumedly helpful replies ;-)

1 upvote
babalu
By babalu (8 months ago)

A very specialized item; those who need such a ring flash , mainly professionals like doctors or researchers in need of accurate macro lighting, will rather stay with their present ring flash equipment . Also it looks awkwardly big and intrusive.. and needs a flash unit on top of the DSLR .

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
mr.izo
By mr.izo (8 months ago)

big is usualy good ehn comes down to artificial light... would be nice to see some test, i can imagine use of this gizmo on two or three flashes off camera..

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (8 months ago)

This is not designed for macro use. It is more similar to a studio ringflash. It is designed for portraits and fashion work.

5 upvotes
Glen78
By Glen78 (8 months ago)

Man, I was really interested in this until I found two things:

1. It costs $200 US! I imagine the manufacturing cost is no more than $20.

2. They do not have a model that fits the SB-700, only SB-800 or SB-900.

For $200 you can get a dedicated ringflash and not have to fool with this contraption. For $50 and compatible with SB-700, D600 and a 105 VR micro I would have bought it.

1 upvote
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (8 months ago)

What ringflash can you get for $200 with TTL?

2 upvotes
PenGun
By PenGun (8 months ago)

The very similar Cowboy Studio device goes for $35.

1 upvote
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (8 months ago)

PenGun, I have those LED ring flash lights as well. They do not have TTL on them and have a very quick fall off. Pretty much useless for anything but macro work or low light venues.

1 upvote
Ben Ramsey
By Ben Ramsey (8 months ago)

Kinematic Digit, I don't think he was referring to an LED ringlight but to one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0032CBTF8, which does indeed seem very similar.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

they have to price it high because they won't sell many.

0 upvotes
Glen78
By Glen78 (8 months ago)

Kinematic Digit, there are quite a few TTL capable ring flashes for under $200.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xttl%20ring%20flash%20nikon&_nkw=ttl%20ring%20flash%20nikon&_sacat=0&_from=R40&_udlo=0&_udhi=200

0 upvotes
skyrunr
By skyrunr (8 months ago)

$200 pass... DIY

1 upvote
Total comments: 76