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09-27-2009, 02:47 PM   #1
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O-Flash, ring flash alternative. Anyone tried?

I saw this on eBay and it appears to be an interesting and very low cost alternative to a ring flash unit, attaching to a hotshoe flash such as the AF360 or AF540, etc...
Has anyone tried this yet? i did a forum search and nothing came up. I am considering giving it a go for under $50 to see if it works. uses internal prisms as opposed to fiber optics as i've seen with similar devices.

here is the link to one of many auctions on eBay from different sellers, all appear to be in Asia:

[NEW][RF165] Best Flash Ring/Pentax AF-540 FGZ + GX-20 - eBay (item 320408116703 end time Oct-03-09 01:21:48 PDT)




says in the ad copy that it supports TTL metering too. interesting.

09-27-2009, 04:56 PM   #2
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There is this-
strobist modular ring flash photo lighting for flash/strobes - the orbis™ by enlight photo
09-27-2009, 06:23 PM   #3
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A tested alternative

I've tried the ring flash from Saturn Ring Flash and I really, really like it.

Here is a link: Saturn Ring Flash Adapter

I have it on a K20D with a Metz 58 flash and I use it on PTTL just fine, with a 1+ compensation on the meter. The flash attaches very securely to the Metz' head and is quite lightweight.

Don't know about the ebay specials, but this particular ring flash makes me wonder what the $299 ringflash folks are smoking. This one works just fine!

Regards,

germar
10-08-2009, 10:20 PM   #4
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i went ahead and ordered the $44 eBay one - figure it is worth a try for that price. wasn't sure which size to get since my measurement was in between two models, so I left it in the hands of the seller. hopefully whatever he sends will work.

10-09-2009, 04:05 AM   #5
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While I can't comment on the product, having no experience in either flash nor macro photography.
I can most definitely vouch for the seller. having purchased several items from him personally I can say without hesitation he is an excellent and very fair ebay seller.

I hope you made an offer, as he almost always accepts reasonable offers and includes free, fast international shipping.

Paul
10-09-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nikuyakun Quote
While I can't comment on the product, having no experience in either flash nor macro photography.
I can most definitely vouch for the seller. having purchased several items from him personally I can say without hesitation he is an excellent and very fair ebay seller.

I hope you made an offer, as he almost always accepts reasonable offers and includes free, fast international shipping.

Paul
good to hear, thanks.
yes, i made an offer and he countered back and i ended up saving a few bucks and ordered an extra K10D battery from him too.
10-10-2009, 08:55 PM   #7
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...in case anybody still cares about this thread...

OK, i came home this evening to find my package from China on the porch, MUCH quicker than i expected. On initial inspection, the device is gigantic and made of fairly breakable plastic. It looks like it could become broken in my camera bag if i am not careful. Anyhow, the 175mm model is the one i got for use with my K10D and AF540FGZ flash, and the fit is perfect. it mounts securely with the attached velcro loop and the flash ring portion clears the lens just fine with room to spare.
One annoying thing is that the added weight of the O-flash will cause my flash head to swivel forward or to the side when i tilt the camera; anybody know how to tighten down the flash head??

here's an in-the-dark mirror shot showing how the light passes through the internal reflectors:


No time to set up a proper test, I used my wife's running shoe for the first comparison.

This is the Pentax AF540 flash (TTL mode) WITHOUT O-Flash:

(definite hot spot on top and shadows on bottom)

...and here it is WITH O-Flash(TTL-mode):

...much more even light dispersion.

I think for the price, this is a fine deal and at first blush appears to do what it claims. now i can go out and shoot some bugs!

Last edited by mikeSF; 02-16-2011 at 09:03 AM.
11-23-2009, 06:11 PM   #8
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Here, there is some one who get the o-ring 165 for K20+540FGZ

O-Flash ring

It seems that the 165 is shorter and allows the head of the 540fgz to be blocked on the macro position

11-25-2009, 11:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by clover Quote
Here, there is some one who get the o-ring 165 for K20+540FGZ

O-Flash ring

It seems that the 165 is shorter and allows the head of the 540fgz to be blocked on the macro position
thanks Clover - i only wish i knew the first thing about reading French...

from what you said, it makes sense that the shorter model will pull snugly against the bottom of the lens and prevent the flash head from tilting forward...right?

i have since found that i can stuff a piece of firm sponge in between ring and lens to keep the ring from leaning forward...but with this rig, i may not want to be seen in public snapping my macros, lol.

After using the O-Flash for over a month, i am able to get fairly predictable results with it and find it well worth the cost. Because the light is bouncing through the internal channels of the device, i am typically running max flash output on my 540 unit, a bit less if the subject is very close.
11-26-2009, 04:30 PM   #10
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These look good except for one thing. All I see is a strain put on the flash shoe which is plastic. I'd rather see somthing securely mounted to the lens and using the lens to hold the weight somehow. I've already had a flash shoe break and it's a pain to wait 2 weeks for the part.
11-27-2009, 06:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
These look good except for one thing. All I see is a strain put on the flash shoe which is plastic. I'd rather see somthing securely mounted to the lens and using the lens to hold the weight somehow. I've already had a flash shoe break and it's a pain to wait 2 weeks for the part.
You can use this with an Orbis flash: strobist modular ring flash photo lighting for flash/strobes - the orbis™ by enlight photo
07-05-2010, 11:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
These look good except for one thing. All I see is a strain put on the flash shoe which is plastic. I'd rather see somthing securely mounted to the lens and using the lens to hold the weight somehow. I've already had a flash shoe break and it's a pain to wait 2 weeks for the part.
very good point, Peter! the more weight on that little shoe, the more dangerous.


bumping this older thread to add a new pic I shot this morning using the O-flash.

Last Sip


I was trying to shoot this without flash and their were too many shadows inside the can. Then, with flash there were hot spots and dark shadows. I attached the O-Flash and it lit up the inside of the can just perfectly! I was using 1/4th power on my AF540 and f/8 on a 28mm Vivitar.

Last edited by mikeSF; 01-10-2011 at 03:22 AM.
09-22-2010, 02:12 PM   #13
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do you have macro shots using the flash?
09-23-2010, 07:02 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
The Orbis is a nice, big ring, but it is a bit pricey, and I don't know if the arm would work with another unit. By the time you add the cost of the cable and adapter, the Orbis unit is about the price of a Sigma ringflash, and for another $100, there's the Pentax.
01-07-2011, 02:53 PM   #15
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Reviving this thread as I've gone ahead and bought this contraption for a trial at macro lighting without the need for a dedicated macro ring flash.

It does have the issue Peter describes that it places a decent amount of extra weight on the flash, transferring directly onto the hotshoe. I find myself wanting to prop the thing up with a spare hand to alleviate this pressure. And when shooting with the 540 flash in portrait orientation, I have to hold the o-flash apparatus with the left hand to stop it from falling down.

Otherwise, it's a decent accessory for macros and fill-light situations.

Here it is set up on my gear:






As for results, not bad:



Doesn't diffuse the light much, as seen here with reflection from shiny surfaces:


And as for fill light for portraits, it's not bad, but pretty ordinary if you don't have good ambient/continuous light - otherwise it appears much light harsh frontal flash:



and the typical 'ring' light effect, only it's a horseshoe reflection:



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