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In this photography tutorial, you will learn the difference Between Ringflash and Rayflash.
Tags:Comparison Between Ringflash and Rayflash,Lighting techniques,lighting tutorials,model posing,photography tutorials,photojohnricard,rayflash.,ringflash,studio equipment,studio lighting
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Now, the ring flash is a light that is very popular with fashion photographers especially like overseas in Europe but in the US as well. Now, this has always been a very expensive light running about a thousand dollars for the thing that you see Jennifer holding. And in addition to that you also need to pack that you plug the ring flash into. The ring flash gives you a very distinct type of light, problem has always been that you need like a thousand dollars in order to create that look but now because of products like this Ray Flash, you can spend maybe $300.00 maybe a $150.00 and get something that looks like a ring flash.
The first thing we’re going to do is connect the Pro Photo ring flash to an icon D3 body. So, there’s a little screw on the back here. Screws onto the tripod mount of the camera. And that’s basically it to connect the ring flash. You can kind of reach your shutter button here and you can reach the shutter button here and the light is surrounding the flash.
Now, the Ray Flash is something very different in the sense that it runs off of a regular on camera flash unit. So, we’re going to connect the Ray Flash to the flash and then we’re going to put the flash on the camera and you see something that looks very similar. We have the light around the lens, it’s the same way we do on the Pro Photo. But when we make this comparison between the type of look we get from the Pro Photo Ring Flash versus the Ray Flash, we wanted to make things as similar as we could. So, we put both of these lighting devices on to Nikon D3 bodies and we put the same lens on both of the cameras which is the 24 to 120 AFS VR Nikon lens. It’s probably one of the worst lenses Nikon ever made. I really hate the lens. Mine is not sharp at all but the reason we’re using that particular lens is because it’s the only lens I have two copies of that we could put onto the two bodies. So, we can at least eliminate that variable.
So right now, what we’ve done is we’ve set up the ring flash in one of my favorite ways to use it. We put our model one foot away from the background paper and we’re going to be shooting a full length portrait of her using the lens at 85 millimeters. So, you’ll notice she’s holding a light meter and very often what I’ll do is I let the model hold the light meter and I’ll have for call off the numbers on back of the light meter as I fire the light and adjust the power until I can get the light to be set to F11. So, we’ve set the Pro Photo Ring Flash to be F11 and it’s interesting to know that using a 500 watt second pack on the Pro Photo, we’re going0 only at about half power—but we went to set the Ray Flash to F11. I had to dial the ISO on the D3 up to 2500 and I put the flash on half power in order for us to get an F11 on our model at that distance but we want to keep as many things the same as we could so we even know the ISO is different. They’re both going to be at F11 and they’re both using the same lens.
So now, Peter is shooting with the Ray Flash. Now, one of the problems that he’s going to encounter of course is his recycle time is going to get longer and longer with each picture that he takes because he’s at half power. If you look on the right side of your frame, you can see Peter’s light. Its On now and he’s probably done about 20 shots so far but we want to get an idea of how long is it taking his flash to recycle.
Now, this can really be a problem because he’s going to loose his rapport with the model if he can’t get her on a rhythm where he is shooting every two or three seconds.
Now, the same thing she said applies to the photographer and that’s why you’ll notice that I’m sitting when I use the Ring Flash and the same goes for Peter because if I move one step closer to the model, I’m going to put more light on her because as I move the light moves and if I go back a step or two then I’m taking away light from the model and she’s going to be too dark. So, once you get the light right on a Ring Flash or Ray Flash you really need to stay put just like she needs to stay put. So, that’s why a lot of times I’ll just sit when I use the Ring Flash.
So, one of the other things you have to deal with the Ring Flash is that it actually makes a circle of light around the model and you have to be able to aim that circle if you aim the flash too low then sometimes you find that her head is dark and her body as well. If you aim it too high, you might find that her feet are dark and the rest of her is lit properly so what you need to be able to do is aim the light around the lens. So, using this Ring Flash it’s not that difficult. I can just loosen the screw a little bit and then I can adjust the camera up and down and then there are some other screws here and here that allow me to adjust the lens up and down inside the light so I get a decent amount of play in terms of how I can move this lens inside the ring. And when I’m shooting with the ring light, I’ll adjust it different ways, you know, angle it up, angle it down to make sure that that circle gets where I need it to be.
Now, on Peter’s Ray Flash, he does have some range of motion in terms of how he can adjust the circle around the lens but he definitely has less adjustability and you notice it doesn’t necessarily stay where he needs it to stay so that’s a bit of a concern in terms of aiming that circle of light exactly where you wanted to be. We’re going to take a look at the pictures from the Pro Photo Flash and from the Ray Flash. So right now, you’re looking at the Pro Photo picture and now you’re looking at the Ray Flash picture. To my eyes, they’re basically identical. I really don’t see a difference. I’m sure there is someone who can take these images and blow them up to a 100% on their monitor and talk about the shadow and the light quality and the specular or diffused highlights on and on and on. To my eyes they basically looked exactly the same.
We set up another way that I like to use the Ring Flash. Sometimes I like to use it where it just fills in the light so we put two umbrellas, there’s one on the left side of Jennifer and there’s one on her right side. These are putting out almost enough light to light her but they’re just a little bit under exposing her. Then we’re going to use the ring flash, that center of her to fill in the light that those two umbrellas are not putting on her in between the three will get a nice look. It turns to be something that’s a little bit rounder. We get a little bit of shadow on her face and it’s not as flat as a regular ring light shot because the ring is not doing 100% of the light. It’s just doing some of the light.
So, what we’ve done now is we’ve recreated the Pro Photo set up using the Ray Flash. On one side we have an icon SP800 with a pocket wizard and on the other side we have an icon SP800 with the pocket wizard and then basically doing the same thing that the Pro Photo AC Strobes we’re doing in the last set up. They’re putting out almost the right amount of light but just a little bit less light than we need for the picture and that extra amount of light that we do need for the picture is coming from Peter and the Ray Flash. So, when we put these two things together, the soft light from the umbrellas and the hard light from the Ray Flash can get a really nice look that has some hard light and some soft light together in the same shot.
So right now, we’re looking at the picture taken with the Pro Photo Ring Flash with Pro Photo AC strobes use to fill in the light.
And this is now the Ray Flash shot where we use the Nikon flashes to fill in the light.
To my eyes they look exactly the same. I would say yes you can. Use the Ray Flash and the Nikon Flash just to create a look that looks a whole lot like what you could do with the Pro Photo Ring Flash and the Pro Photo AC strobes.