And I have a new toy to write about. The RoundFlash Mobile Softbox 45 cm is the first real solution I have found for converting your system flash into a ring flash. I have tried a few different variations over the years but was never happy with the results. After we all had a play with Toms one way back at the Palm Valley shoot, 10 of us put our money together and bought in bulk….
Due to the huge dimensions the RoundFlash gives a very even and soft light. It is quit and easy to put together and easy to pack up, the small magnets on the sides are a cleaver idea. The arms that fold out to separate the fount and back of the RoundFlash simply clip together with magnets. There should be no hotspots or dark areas on the front surface of the flash, but if there are adjust the zoom on your flash head (like mention in tips and tricks below). The diffuser together with your speed-light are the perfect soft & round light source.
Flash EV+ 1 1/2
I personally own a 400ws ring flash and a 90w ring light both of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The ring-flash is portable and powerful but to powerful for up close or with your lens open wide. The ring-light can’t be used with out mains power (limiting its use outside the studio) but its constant light is great for up close and wide aperture. It has that even ring-flash look but at a fraction of the price.
click on the photo to advance the slide show.
But I would also like to see the possibility of masking out 1/2 of the flash surface, (maybe via a black ring attached via Velcro), this way I could have a narrower ring size caught in the subjects eyes i.e. In some of the photos I found the ring size a little broad and would like reduce it for so that the eyes aren’t completely overtaken by the flash.
From a recent wedding, I used the ROUNDLASH to give a nice even lighting for the rings.
The Ring flash adapters I have used in the past haven’t impressed ma much in the past but this is the first device that has a quality build combined with ease of portability. The RoundFlash fits all standard & tele lenses you want to use, especially the large professional portrait lenses with a diameter up to 10cm. With a smaller lens, a lens hood can be used to keep the RoundFlash in the right place. The mounting system allows you to take pictures in horizontal & vertical mode as well as directly above your subject looking down.
Tips and tricks
I have found that direct TTL will have a very low light cast, so you may have to use your in camera flash compensation to add more light if you want a more highkey look (some where between +1 and +2 ev).
Manually zooming your flash head in and out and cause a different light dispersion so you can get different looks.
You can mount your flash off camera and use it as a type of softbox for indirect lighting, and you can even combined it then with wireless triggers.
If you are shooting from an elevated position looking slightly down check at the RoundFlash is securely fastened to your system flash and the lens. The first time I tried that I hadn’t done the Velcro strap up tight enough around the flash head. The flash fell out of the mounting hole and my photos were all under exposed.
It is very big when it’s on your camera. So it can add to that barrier between model and photographer.
Dimensions: 45 x 16 cm (diameter x depth) Pack size: 16 x 20 cm (width x height)
Opening for lens: 10 cm (diameter)
Opening for shoe mount flash: 8 x 8 cm (width x height)
Weight: 307 g (333 g with pouch)
1 RoundFlash Magnetic Black