Ringflash for Weddings?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by shachr6, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. shachr6

    shachr6 TPF Noob!

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    What are the pros and cons? What do you use for lighting at a wedding?
     
  2. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    I've never used a ringflash, but for weddings I use a hot shoe flash with various diffusers. Most people that use ring flash use them for fashon and product shots.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cons: flat lighting and red-eye
    Pros: none that I can think of

    I use two off-camera, hand-held strobes

    -Pete
     
  4. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    you wont get the range out of it you need to light anything except maybe people 10 feet in front of you in a dark reception hall.

    if its a more powerful unit you will not be able to hold/handle it well (too heavy)

    also, you usually want your light source higher up for a wedding for reasons that include the above by Christie

    you could bring it to do a setup shot of the bride from the shoulders up might look nice, also could use it on close ups or candids of the setup, but most likely its gonna get in your way.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I saw a photographer covering an event (it was an 'opening party' for a drilling rig) and he was using a ring flash. I too wondered about using one for weddings.

    As far as I can see, there might be a few times where I would even consider used one...and that would be when shooting just one or two people and specifically going for that flat glamor look.

    I would much prefer some sort of directional lighting.
     
  6. jmborkowski

    jmborkowski TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, light that hard doesn't seem like a good idea at a wedding.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Where's the idea that it's hard light coming from? I've seen some shots from ring flash setups where the lights just as soft as a speed light with one of those small soft boxes on it.
     
  8. jmborkowski

    jmborkowski TPF Noob!

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    Could be the lighting I've seen in fashion shots is intentionally hard.

    In any case, being limited to on-axis lighting bothers me more.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't say 'hard' light...but definitely 'flat'.
     
  10. jmborkowski

    jmborkowski TPF Noob!

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    You're right, "hard" probably isn't the right word.
     
  11. Craddie

    Craddie TPF Noob!

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    It would be good for details like shots of the rings, close-ups of the cake etc, but I would NEVER use it to shoot people.

    The reason cheap P&S cameras get so much red-eye in their subjects is because the flash is so close to the lens. This is using a flash that goes all around the lens! Ack!

    On top of that, it's flat light that likely isn't powerful enough to be of much use. You'd be better off using the pop-up flash on your camera.
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Raise you're hand if you've actually used a ring light and not one that uses LEDs and is made for macro.

    You can get an ABR800 for $399. That's a 320 w/s ring light with modifiers that control how hard/soft the light is. If anyone's ever shot a person with a ring light, you'll notice this cool little effect where the catch light in the eyes are little white circles which are reflections of the flash tube. They're not red dots like say a flash that is bouncing right from the subjects eyes and into the lens.

    Also, if you go on the some what general consensus that most speed lights are about equivalent to 60w/s, with the pop up flash being about 15 iirc, then the ABR is has about five times as powerful. It also has a recycle rate of 1 second, so it's going to smoke a speed light that takes 4-7 seconds.

    The down side? Battery pack. But there are modifiers that attach to the a speed light and act just like a ring light. You lose power, but if you're shooting with a 580EX II or an SB900, then you may have a little bit to spare. They're expensive, running $150-$300 for the two that are actual products and not homemade. That would probably be the best bet as you can use it, then remove it.

    There is a member on one of the forums I frequent that uses an ABR800 for event photography. He bought the vagabond and fixed it so he can carry it in a back pack. I think it's rated at about 1200 shots at full power with a B800, so there should be no difference in power comsumption. I'm sure it's a bit heavy, but hey, he has enough power to destroy anyone else in the room that's not shooting with monolights or anything similar.

    http://alienbees.com/abr800.html
    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2008/03/full-review-ray-flash-ring-flash.html
     

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