Review of the RayFlash Ringflash Adaptor

Manufacturer: ExpoImaging
Model: Ray Flash Ringflash Adaptor
Price: £187

The Ray Flash turns your Nikon SB 800 or Canon 580EX flashgun into a ring flash.

It slides over the head of your flashgun and hangs down, with the lens poking through the hole. It is held in place by a pressure pad tightened by a thumbscrew. Those used to small self-contained ring flash units will find the Ray Flash enormous by comparison, but unlike the former, this makes it big enough to take most modern zooms, making it useful for portraits.

The light is spread evenly around the ring thanks to a cunning arrangement of reflectors inside. It has no controls of its own – you adjust the output using your camera and flashgun – but we found that our SB 800 provided perfect exposures in TTL mode with the Ray Flash attached, and the light was beautifully even.

Sounds great, but there are some drawbacks. First, it only fits (officially) the top of the range Nikon and Canon flashguns, though I’m sure you could adapt some other models to fit. Second, if you fail to sufficiently tighten the pressure pad, it tends to fall off when pointing the camera downwards.

Finally, it costs nearly £200. This seems a hell of a lot of money for something that is entirely plastic and has no electrical parts.

In its defence, if you already have the flashgun, this will be more powerful than a basic ring flash (you only lose one stop) and fits a wider range of lenses.

If you don’t, you’ll have to add the cost of that too (£250-350) which makes the combined total comparable to high-end macro flash units with multiple, individually adjustable heads – though you’ll still have a normal flashgun that can be used for other types of photography. After all, ring flash does have limited uses.

A handy piece of kit but the price put us off

Simple, effective, more versatile than a ring flash

Falls off if you’re not careful, very expensive for what it is

What Digital Camera Score: 83%