O Flash review
I had the pleasure of testing the O Flash from Image Melbourne, having been using the RAYFlash ring flash for the past 9 months and tested the Orbis ring flash, I was excited to test another ring flash system. I’ve been using ring flash lighting for a while from studio ring flashes to the speedlite ringflash attachments being review here.
Below are my review and comparison between the RAYflash and the O Flash system.
At first glance, the O flash looks very similar to the RAYFlash except the reflector does not form a complete circle; it is slightly bigger than the RAYFlash and has a slight oval shape to it. The construction is solid plastic with a clear vacuumed formed cover to protect the optics. The O Flash uses a Velcro system to secure itself to the speedlite which allows it to fit more sytems than the RAYFlash which is moulded for each light and camera combination
Apart from the obvious difference in construction and mounting method, the O Flash seems to use a slightly different optical light transfer to the RAYFlash. It has one solid optic fibre (if you can call it that) vs the 4 separate optic fibre to the Ray flash. (see pictures)
Performance wise, the O flash seems to consume almost 2 stops of light from the output of the flash, the RAYFlash only consumes around 1 stop. The light quality is similar to the RAYFlash however I did notice a slightly more shadow on one side of the flash. Below are the photo comparison, you can see the shadows are slightly darker to the model left.
To get understand the problem, I decide to test the difference between the two flashes, as you can see from the diagram to the right, 5th row, the light in the O Flash does not travel evenly across the ring, the light starts to drop off half way around down the ring compare to the fully lit RAYFlash thus explaining the shadow on the model (camera held in portrait view with flash on left hand side). The light meter also confirms that it consumes 1 stop more light than the RAYFlash.
Another thing I was interested in examining was the catch light in the models eyes, I wasn’t sure if the O flash will produce a nice circular catch light. If you look at the last comparison of the photos to the right, there is a subtle difference in the catch light, but not enough to worry about. Bear in mind that this was taken at close up to the model, in normal shooting conditions the ring would show as a bright dot the eyes.
A very good feature of the O flash is that it allows the focus beam on the speedlite through to allow low light focusing. The Ray flash blocks the light thus making it harder to focus. If you want to use a ring flash to cover events, this is a very nice feature as it allows you to take photos in almost pitch black condition, this was evident when I used it to do some backstage work at Sydney Fashion week.
- Able to adapt to different speedlites
- Allow focus beam to pass through flash
- Uneven light across ring
- Consumes 2 stops of light
Overall I was impressed with the O flash for the value for money it offers, the RAYFlash is over $300 USD + freight. The O flash gives very similar light characteristic of the RAYFlash with the shadow signature of a ring light system. Although it produces slightly more shadow on one side, I can live with it for the difference in price to the RAYFlash. I would recommend this for anyone wanting to test or move into using a ring light system.