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Ring Light
Old 02-27-2003, 10:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have seen a few posts using A ring light for glamour photography. Thinking of trying the same. Any suggestions on where or what to buy in the way of a ring light.

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Re: Ring Light
Old 02-27-2003, 11:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know what market you live in, but if you live anywhere near any major or semi-major market, rent before you buy. Ringlites are expensive, and they give a certain specialized look that you may or may not appreciate. The idea is that since the light comes from 360 around the lens axis fully frontal, the light is shadowless. Actually, the light is 100% shadowless if you're photographing something smaller than the source itself (a major reason why it's also used with product/still life), but if the subject is a person, it creates a halo drop shadow, along with a smooth, concentrated key light or fill on the subject that depending on your exposure can intensify color saturation, and creates a unique, round catchlight. In all, the look tends to be a bit 70s-ish in a way. I like it, particularly since I like to hand-hold and move around my subject; the light is always frontal, as it is mounted on-camera around the lens. It does add a couple of pounds to your camera set-up, though, it's not light.

Broncolor and Elinchrom make great ringlites (so I hear) but they and their systems are prohibitively expensive for me, though I used Broncolor gear in school. The Profoto head is good, but the Profoto system is also very expensive (I've used both). I hear that the head can be converted to use with certain other systems like Norman or Dyna-Lite but I don't know for sure. I'm about to purchase the Hensel Porty system with a ring head. This fall I'll be posting tons of it when I get back from Europe.


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