I won’t take long on this one because it counts high on my no-brainer list.
Wanted a ring light. Why? Wanted to play. Oh, and circular catch lights. What to do?
First up. The standard go to, the Diva Ring Light Nova. Cool, but more than I am willing to pay since this is likely a passing fancy if not a toy.
Second on deck. The knockoffs. In addition to a nice one at Southeastern Camera locally there are the ones here and here. Nice, but after looking at all of these I realized being tied to a light stand and a power chord was a bit of a buzzkill.
Third round flash modifiers. Looked at a couple of options, but having had luck with Neewer products in the past (TTL flash back when I was with the house of Nikon, and octagon and rectangular softboxes) I went with the <deep breath> Neewer Round Universal Collapsible Magnetic Ring Flash Diffuser Soft Box 45cm/18″ for Macro and Portrait Photography.
Huge success. Thoughts and some sample shots.
- A bargain at about $25.
- Built very well. Magnetic rod coupling to keep the shape work well and all other materials seem durable enough.
- Compact. Folds down like a reflector in to a small carrying bag that is provided.
- Not only does this attach to the flash and camera model do away with flash stands and power chords it is very light meaning that you can walk around using this handheld without issues.
- I used it with lenses of focal lengths between 50mm and 100mm and these worked great with it.
- While some reviews said these types of flash modifiers lost light requiring bumping up the flash EV I did not find this to be the case. I actually had to dial back the EV using TTL so as not to blow out the picture. Your results may vary.
- Even lighting around the ring and considering what this is doing (bouncing light around internally) that is fairly impressive. Makes me want to cut one open to see how this is done, but I refrained.
- Great for portraits as I expected, but the real surprise has to be macro shots. Samples below.
In conclusion this immediately raced to the top of my list of lighting bargains even ahead of my Limostudio 3 light kit and Yongnuo triggers and flashes and their light saber. Sample shots below.