What is this set up ?

Richichi

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I was watching Dexter when he pulled out this set-up. It all looks very strange to me and was hoping someone knew what this was and could explain it to me. Is it dedicated to Olympus or is it flexible to all systems. Is that a flash (reversed) or some power pack
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Pix nailed it; a ring flash used commonly in close-up and macro work and forensic photography. They're normally TTL units (ergo you require a specific one for each make of camera). The portion on the hot-shoe is the same as any other flash, batteries and circuits, but the flash tube mounts at the end of the lens.
 
I guess we'll all have to take your words on it.
 
Ring flashes are specialist tools, and yes, compared to a normal, basic speedlight, they are a little pricey, but any time you buy specialist gear that's normally the case. They're only meant to light a comparitively small area near the lens.
 
Some people use ring lights for portraits. It's somewhat more common for fashion than anything else. It tends to give a somewhat flat light, but it falls off at the edges, giving the images a specific feel. Also, if the subject is against a wall or something, they get a halo type shadow around them.
But one of the main reasons that someone would use a ring light for portraits, is for the unique catchlights.

A few examples from Google Image.

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1318/584437896_4e5316ba88_z.jpg?zz=1
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8323/8142598866_9fdf524945_z.jpg
 

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