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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If Ikea Made a Ring Flash

Is there a hole in your life that only a light with a hole in it can fill?

Are you pining for a ring flash but have neither the money for an Orbis nor the DIY skills to roll your own?

You may be in luck. The folks over at DIY Photography have just come out with a hybid version. And, as the headline suggested, this is one you assemble yourself.

It's made out of the same flexible vinyl material you'll find in folders and binders, so it is reasonably sturdy but by no means indestructible. I have played with one, and the quality of light is very good. (There is progressive ND filtration at the bottom and the light levels are pretty consistent around the ring.)

It is a universal (or nearly so) fit. It's also cheap, at $25. The only thing it doesn't come with is an allen wrench and a weird, quasi descriptive Ikea name like Reng Flösh, or maybe Reh Dyye.
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:: DIY Lighting Kit Ring Flash ::

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36 Comments:

Blogger Tompano said...

Not sure if this is at all relevant but, actually all IKEA names are proper Swedish usually very basic descriptions of the object. So a good IKEAesque name for this would be Ringblixten Strålande. :)

May 11, 2011 10:28 AM  
Blogger Setcamper said...

Very cool- looks like he's building a complex pizza box until it's finished. Charging extra for the bracket, especially when the speedlight is basically mummified by rubber-bands, seems a bit gratuitous.

Can it work if you're camera has battery grip? Doesn't look like it from the vid.

May 11, 2011 10:32 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

More then eager to give it a try.

And I would definitely see some good use of the double flash bracket as well.

May 11, 2011 10:48 AM  
Blogger SJCT said...

I'm curious if this ring flash would work for macro as well as portrait or is it specific to one? If anyone knows, I'd appreciate some info. Thanks!

May 11, 2011 11:23 AM  
Blogger Patey North said...

Just read the post on this over at the DIYP site. Thanks for posting your take on it!

Hoping to see some real-world user test shots taken with it... the samples on the site are gorgeous but it's hard to see the quality of the ringlight on its own, as it's being mixed with other sources. Of course, it's so inexpensive it's kinda hard to lose!

May 11, 2011 11:42 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Wow!
I could never bring myself (or my wife) to drop $200 on a ringflash. This one looks great for the money. I'm ordering one today.
Oh yeah... "Lighting in Layers" is amazing. I loaded the last disc into my Ipod Touch and get to watch in my downtime!
Thanks again Dave!

BTW,I'm the loon who kept bowing to you at Flashbus NYC. My wife thinks I'm nuts. Maybe she's right.

May 11, 2011 11:54 AM  
Blogger Novak Photos said...

seems too good to be true. can you post some test images that you shot. for $25, it seems worth the risk!

thanks DH, keep it up!

May 11, 2011 12:11 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I just totally jumped the gun there and ordered one. Finally there's no excuse for my lazy ass to not make a ring flash myself! Can't wait to see how the light looks like!

May 11, 2011 12:26 PM  
Blogger James said...

'Reng Flösh' - very good :)

May 11, 2011 12:46 PM  
Blogger Matthew G. Monroe said...

David: Udi was kind enough to let me beta-test the DIY Ring Flash for more than a month prior to its launch, and I have to say that I'm incredibly impressed the quality of light that the unit puts out. It's a very even light that comes from the front ring, with only a slight gradation towards the top.

The build quality is also quite good, though -- as you mention -- it's made out of plastic binder material, and so it's not the sort of tool that will last a lifetime. On the other hand, with the price of the ring flash being so reasonable, it's probably worth getting two or three of these units at a time to play around with.

My only issue with the ring flash (and it's not really an issue) is that I use Vivitar 285's as my main strobes, and they are sized just a bit too big for the mounting hole. No problem though... A few quick cuts with an x-acto knife, along with some velcro to help secure the strobe, and a 285 works just fine.

May 11, 2011 12:59 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

At that price how can I NOT look into it! Did you get a chance to figure out the Stop loss?

Michael

May 11, 2011 1:20 PM  
OpenID chotaurl.com said...

FYI, $24.95 for the ring-flash kit + $8.50 for shipping.

My multiple attempts to purchase failed when I used IE. Worked the first time in Firefox.

May 11, 2011 1:25 PM  
Blogger sd_nyc said...

@ Setcamper: I wondered the same thing, but take a look at the bracket video and skip to the 52 second mark and freeze. Notice the bracket is held in place by slots in the corrugated plastic. If it won't slide down far enough to accommodate a large gap between the tripod mount and bottom of lens you could cut new slots or skip the slotting and just use duct tape. The same strategy could be used to adapt the bracket to cameras with off center tripod mounts.
@everyone else: Apparently the bracket positions the flash below the camera, so you'll need some sort of off camera capability for the strobe.

May 11, 2011 2:43 PM  
Blogger udijw said...

Hi David, I was wondering where all the traffic was coming from. Now I'll never get my stats right :)

thanks for mentioning the ring on strobist. As a homage I think I may end up doing a strobshinke iste version.

May 11, 2011 5:40 PM  
Blogger rickdallasphoto said...

I think I'll cough up the cash for an Orbis Ring. Durability and instant gratification makes that a better choice for me. Neat little trinket though.

May 11, 2011 6:42 PM  
Blogger Rick Tracy said...

It looks really neat, But I can't tell how it attaches to the camera.

May 11, 2011 8:21 PM  
Blogger dd said...

but how many stops of light do we lose?

May 11, 2011 11:36 PM  
OpenID admin said...

Just bought one, with the bracket. Are they already shipping? I've got an event on the 27th-31st that I wouldn't mind taking it to.

May 12, 2011 3:44 AM  
Blogger Dave Kesarisingh said...

Just a couple of thinks to note.

IKEA products used to be named after people as the MD would be able to remember them (I'm sure I read that somewhere). I used to work for a company which produced posters, prints and canvases for IKEA.

Having just been bought the ORBIS ring flash as a present, this one is cheap enough to get a couple.

May 13, 2011 1:32 PM  
Blogger Debbi_in_California said...

Please finish up with your 'turning your garage into a studio' series. Especially the garage door part

May 13, 2011 1:50 PM  
Blogger Mark Maguire said...

I got inspired after reading this at lunchtime and made this when I got home.

http://www.thepixeldiary.co.uk/2011/05/home-made-ring-flash.html

May 13, 2011 1:58 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

Debbi-

That is gonna be spread out over time. Missus is getting a kitchen redo that outranks new garage doors ...

:)

May 13, 2011 9:50 PM  
Blogger Grant D. Taylor said...

I really want one of these. Still learning a lot about lighting and would love to play around with one of these. Price is good enough I might just have to get one just to try it.

May 14, 2011 12:46 AM  
Blogger ZMAB15 said...

Thanks a ton for this link. It arrived today and initial impressions are very positive.

May 14, 2011 4:16 PM  
Blogger clayton said...

David you need to tell her who is boss...but be ready to duck. I'm doing the exact thing at my house!

Thanks for the link. I tried to buy it today but the order would process.




Debbi-

That is gonna be spread out over time. Missus is getting a kitchen redo that outranks new garage doors ...

May 14, 2011 8:09 PM  
Blogger Adi Talwar said...

Want to build you own? Try the link below

http://www.diyphotography.net/from-paper-to-ringflash-in-few-easy-steps

May 14, 2011 10:08 PM  
Blogger mitchman said...

Really cool design! Thanks for sharing.

For the perfectionists (not me) you'll notice that there is the trademark circular catch light in the eyes of the example models. But there's also another catch light, that I'm not sure where it's coming from.

Still cool though! :)

May 15, 2011 1:50 AM  
Blogger Vince Edward said...

The photos (examples) definitely have multiple light sources. I think there is one that might be lit solely by this thing. But, overall from what I can see the quality of the light looks to be good. I'd love to see examples from someone in the Strobist Flickr group. Maybe Mr. Hobby can add the link once that happens.

May 15, 2011 5:32 PM  
Blogger clspangler said...

Just got mine on Friday. I've put it together but haven't had time to shoot with it. Overall quality is good considering it's made of cardboard and vinyl. My only concern is traveling with it. If you try to pack it you may crush the inner ring.

I bought the bracket but doubt that I will ever use it. A D3 or D300 with battery grip probably won't mount to the bracket. Also, if you have an L-bracket you have to remove it since the tripod socket has to be on the lens axis. I'll probably mount my flash to a light stand and stick the ring on top.

May 16, 2011 10:55 AM  
Blogger Max Archer said...

I got mine today.

Light quality is pretty good. If anything, there's too much "ND filtration" at the bottom, and it's brighter around the top, which I didn't expect. (And in my mind puts it over the similarly cheap "finished' ring adapters that you can get on eBay.) I cut the corners at the bottom and put some velcro inside so I can stick it to the speed strap on my SB-800, so I don't have to tape it on every time. I'm not even going to try with an SB-900.

The bracket doesn't work for me. It does fit on my gripped bodies, but it's just too thin to support a flash and the ringlight at the same time. I'll be putting my flash on a lightstand, and the ringlight on the flash.

I'm doing an event over Memorial Day, I'll use it and post some pics to the flickr group after.

May 17, 2011 12:01 AM  
Blogger Matthew G. Monroe said...

Patey, Mitchman, and Vince: Though I can't provide any direct insight on just how many lights were used to illuminate most of the sample images on the DIY Kit site, I can tell you that the one image that's link below was shot using just the DIY Ring Flash (with a Vivitar 285 as the source strobe):

http://www.diy-lighting-kits.com/wp/wp-content/gallery/ringflash/anya.jpg

I was an early beta-tester of the Ring Flash, and used the unit to photograph many of my family members and friends. The image that's linked above (from the DIY Ring Flash site) was shot in one of our kid's rooms, using solely the Ring Flash.

May 17, 2011 12:50 AM  
Blogger valtteri said...

I just got mine yesterday, and didn't hesitate to try it out! For simple portraits at home, it's excellent! It doesn't seem that sturdy since it's only thin plastic and cardboard, so I suggest not taking it outside. But if you're on a tight budget, I think it's definitely worth the price.

Here's a shot of my girlfriend from yesterday: http://i.imgur.com/rAecU.jpg

In addition to the ring flash, there's a bare SB-28 pointing to the back wall.

May 20, 2011 3:32 AM  
Blogger MarcWPhoto said...

Here is a little review I wrote of this gizmo:

http://marcwphoto.blogspot.com/2011/05/review-of-diy-ring-flash-from-diy.html

May 21, 2011 2:32 PM  
Blogger Molnár Bence said...

Hi David,

I registred a HUngarian domain for the strobist, and I have redirected it to your website!
www.strobist.hu

Thanks for the entries in recent years, I learned from you all of the basics :)

Greatings, Bence
www.molnarbence.com

May 24, 2011 6:01 AM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

Thanks, Bence

May 24, 2011 10:49 AM  
Blogger jcb said...

good day all. not sure if anyone would still want to see samples of shots taken with the ringflash, but you can follow this link, there's a public album on facebook composed of such photos. :)

photos taken at a club called Bliss in the Philippines.

June 10, 2011 1:41 PM  

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