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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Orbis ringflash Review

If you Google “Orbis ringflash review” you will get about 32,900 results. Needless to say there have been many reviews done on the Orbis Ringflash, so I am going to try to do something a little bit different. I am going to write about how I used the ringflash out on location, and how it worked with both TTL and manual metering.

I would like to start out with a few thoughts on the physical make up of the Orbis, and how it is mounted. The flash mount that holds the flash inside the Orbis is flat out amazing. I mounted three different flash units into the Orbis and all three of them stayed in place and I did not worry for a second about them slipping out. The Orbis flash mount was able to hold my Nikon SB600, SB900 and my Lumopro LP160 flawlessly.

The first time I saw the Orbis demonstrated it was being hand held up to the camera. When I tried shooting like this I had a bit of a shaky hand shooting so I then ended up mounting the flash on a stand. I have seen a few different DIY methods to solve this problem, and in the end Orbis came out with a mounting bracket that works like a dream. It is called the Orbis Arm
and in my opinion purchasing the mounting bracket is the best way to go right off the bat.

If you have ever used a conventional ringflash then you are in for a huge surprise. The Orbis is nothing like other ring flashes. It will give you the same light for the most part, but in a small easy to handle package.

The units weight is just a fraction of conventional ringflashes and does not require a power pack beyond your flash unit. For some people the TTL option is going to be a deal maker, but I must admit having the option of TTL or manual is always a great choice to have.

Beyond the ringflash's traditional lighting look the Orbis works just as well for an off camera main light or fill light. I have talked to a few different photographers that have the Orbis in their regular light kits and many of them also use it as a great on axis fill light.

The Orbis ringflash is a very capable light modifier that can be used for far more than just a ringflash. When I took it out for a location shoot I ended up using it off camera most of the time. This allowed me far more effective blending of daylight and flash.

The Orbis is easy to transport and has an all but instantaneous set up time. With the Orbis on a lightweight stand outside in the breeze the set up was very stable and I did not have to worry about the wind taking it away as it would have done with an umbrella.

My overall opinion of the Orbis ringflash is that it is a very well designed and built flash modifier that is capable of far more than just it's initial intent. If you are in the market for a light weight ring flash that is versatile enough to work as other types of light sources then you should take a good hard look at the Orbis ring flash. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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