Flashpoint/Godox have just announced the EC-200 extension head, adding an effective and extremely low-cost tool for cosmetic and macro photography. These heads are exclusively designed for the Evolve 200 / AD200 pocket flash, a widely popular and highly efficient product, operated by long-lasting lithium batteries.

Throughout my career I have used various types of ring flashes and parabolic umbrellas. I also collaborated with Swiss lighting manufacturer Broncolor for over a decade on countless marketing and promotional projects, and shot their launch campaigns for the original Para 330 and Ringflash C.

Super model Iman for DeBeers global campaign (2003), shot with Broncolor Para330, and Fujifilm GX680III, on Fujifilm Provia film.

These types of lights are often used by fashion photographers, as they are both easy to work with and offer many options—the Broncolor Paras in particular, which range from the 88 to 330, can produce a wide variety of effects. However, neither types are ideal for extreme close up work when balanced, even front-lighting is required.

The new remote heads from China on the other hand, are small and light enough to allow for several of them to be mounted on a camera flash bracket and rail.

Selecting tiny but wide-angled reflectors, the resulting light is much less harsh, and more feathered than the output from a ring flash, in very close distance. The total weight of, let's say, four extension heads with the small reflectors and including the bracket/rail set is just about 24 ounces, making handheld shooting is easy.

This new kind of 'Quad Ring' set up offers also the additional advantage over traditional ring flashes of allowing individual control of each of the flash heads in turn, which permits me to limit the output of the flash hitting the model's face from underneath.

This is not as easily achieved with a ring flash.

Placed on tripod, the four extension heads are still mounted on the bracket and rail, but the camera is hand-held, so the four lights hit from a slight angle.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, GF 250mm lens, F8, 1/4000 sec, ISO 100

The Evolve 200 / AD200 pocket flash performs extremely well and reliably in HSS (High Speed Sync) mode, and when used for this 'Quad Ring' arrangement, provides output powerful enough to completely black out direct midday sunlight.

This four-light arrangement also makes an excellent off-camera light by simply setting the contraption on a tripod and shooting from various angles around it.

The 'Quad Ring' is also off-centered in this image. This time it's placed to the camera angle, resting on a tripod.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, GF 120mm macro lens, F11, 1/125 sec, ISO 100
As evident by the unusual catchlights, the four extension heads are mounted on bracket and rail around the lens here.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, GF 120mm macro lens, F11, 1/125 sec, ISO 100

The announcement of the new remote heads is timely. The recent release of new macro extension tubes by Fujifilm for the mirrorless medium format GFX 50S (and the release of the GF 120mm macro lens) have ushered in a new era for macro photography. One can now easily shoot 1:1 handheld, with very fast and reliable autofocus, or manually focus while zoomed in.

Compared to previous systems, macro photography with medium format mirrorless cameras has become easy and accessible. Adding the creative options created by the convenient new remote heads, it has never been more fun to shoot close up!


About the Author: Markus Klinko is an award-winning, international fashion/celebrity photographer and director, who has worked with many of today's most iconic stars of film, music, and fashion.

Klinko has photographed the likes of Beyonce, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell, and Iman. His editorial clients include Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, and Interview magazine.

You can find more of his work on the Markus & Koala website or by following him on Instagram.