By Evan Ackerman
Despite looking slightly wonky, ring flashes are really a worthwhile upgrade if you use flash a lot. Why? A flash is a monodirectional light source offset from your lens, and most of the time it casts weird shadows and fuglifies your pics. A ring flash solves this problem by emitting light from a circle around the lens, evenly lighting your subject and even creating some neat effects.
The Ray Flash is an attachment that sticks itself onto your existing flash (assuming you have an expensive Nikon or Canon external flash) and redirects the light through “a sophisticated system of internal light-shapers.” It’s not supposed to significantly alter the brightness of the flash, or change the color temperature.
A worthwhile upgrade it may be, but the Ray Flash costs a staggering $200 from ExpoImaging (the same people who brought you the ExpoDisc). I can’t fathom why it costs this much since as far as I can tell there’s no electronics in there… But, I guess it’s still cheaper than buying a second external flash unit to help cancel out those shadows, and leaves you only needing two hands instead of three.