Build and handling
There are now quite a few ring-flash/flashgun adapters on the market and while most of them cost a fair amount, the Oh Flash comes with a surprisingly low price tag of £84.99.
Phottix Oh Ring-flash: Features
Flash expert Bob Martin tests the Phottix Oh Flash ring-flash adapter for creating ring-flash images with a normal flashgun.
Does the low price point mean it'll fall at the hurdles or will it prove that you sometimes get more than what you pay for? This test will give the answer.
Once you pick up the Oh Flash you’ll quickly see where the costs have been saved – the build quality is much lower than that of the RayFlash or Orbis models with the front of the ring being made of flimsy plastic, similar to the kind you find in gadget packaging rather than on the front of flashgun.
The designers of the Oh Flash made an important decision regarding the design and rather than trying to make a perfect ring, they have cut a ‘V’ shape into the top where it meets the flashgun. This allows the AF-assist beam from your flashgun through and improves low-light auto focus but surprisingly, it doesn’t spoil the ring effect as much as you would think. It does, however, ruin the catch lights in any reflections so you’d have to do a bit of Photoshop work to get the perfect circle catch lights.
Phottix Oh Ring-flash: Build and handling
The flashgun mount is made from soft rubber with the now familiar Velcro fastener which enables the unit to be more versatile with other flashguns and camera combinations. You have to make sure that the adapter fits squarely on the flashgun or the light will fall unevenly on your subject and you’ll have to brace the adapter to hold it back in position.
Without bracing the adapter, you are best of only using it when the camera is level as it does tend to bend out of place, putting undue strain on your kit. This makes using it for macro work extremely awkward indeed unless you come up with a way to brace the adapter first.
Phottix Oh Ring-flash: Performance
The Oh Flash doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the quality of the quality of the light. You get the ring-flash effect with the classic light falloff with little evidence that it’s been produced by a low cost adapter. The one factor that is affected is how much light the adapter eats up. The RayFlash needs +1EV of flash compensation for the correct exposure whereas the Oh Flash needs between +2EV and +3EV and although it doesn’t sound like much, it makes a huge difference in the field.
With Oh Flash
First of all, you will often want to use a smaller aperture to get maximum depth-of-field to make the most of the ring-flash effect but as the Oh Flash absorbs so much power, you will regularly find yourself with your flashgun set to full power. The same is true if you want to use the Oh Flash in bright sunlight, you’ll find that it’s just not powerful to fill in. The lightweight design does have one distinct advantage over its heavier rivals – it places less strain on your flashgun’s hinge and camera hot-shoe and reduces the risk of damage.
Phottix Oh Ring-flash: Verdict
Despite the flimsy build quality and the less than perfect catch light reflection, the price is substantially cheaper than the competition, making the Oh Flash the ideal first buy for those looking to experiment with ring-flash. There are five different models available, you just need to make sure that you get the right for your flashgun and camera setup.
Phottix Oh Ring-flash: Pros
Low cost way to get into using ring-flash
Velcro mount makes it more flexible for other flashguns
Phottix Oh Ring-flash: Cons
Low cost is evident in build quality
Soaks up more flash power than similar models
Phottix Oh Ring-flash:Specification
||Inner: 109mm Outer: 189mm Height: Min 155mm (depends on model of camera)
The Phottix Oh Ring-flash costs around £85 and is available from HKTDC.com here:
Phottix Oh Ring-flash