Tips For Choosing a Ring Flash

A ring flash is a circular photographic flash fitted around the lens of a camera. Ring flashes are frequently used because of their size and ability to angle and evenly spread light to illuminate shadows of close-up subjects. Generally, shadows are created when subjects are photographed from a distance. However, the ring light flash mimics the effect of a soft box by softening the edges of the shadow giving the photo a dramatic result. Ring flashes are commonly used in macro photography and fashion photography. In macro photography, the photographer shoots tiny subjects and tries to capture the maximum amount of detail. Fashion photographers use ring lights because they create shadows or ring lights similar to halos around subjects in photographs.

Choosing the best ring light flash is dependent on the photographer’s purpose, photographer’s preference and compatibility with camera equipment. Fashion photographers generally prefer a ring light large in diameter to ensure the shadows captured are softened; whereas a macro photographer may choose a ring light small in diameter to ensure all angles of subjects are captured.

When first purchasing a ring light flash, it is wise to purchase an affordable model to determine the type sufficient for normal use. Cheap ring light flashes are commonly found online through third-party retailers such as or eBay. The prices generally range from $50-$100; whereas, direct retailers like Canon and Nikon, have prices that range from $100 to well over $500. A cheaper alternative is to buy the product second-hand. Amateur photographers may opt to purchase a second-hand camera ring flash from online retailers opposed to direct retailers to ensure receipt of the best ring light at reasonable costs.

Ring light flashes are an asset to any photographer, amateur or professional. The key to choosing a ring flash is determining the purpose and finding products compatible with the photographer’s preference and price range.