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Apparently, ring flashes are made to fit tightly around lens, or with different larger diameters.

How does the size affect lighting in resulting photos, and what factors (besides bulkiness) should be considered when choosing the size? Intended usage is fashion/portraiture.

  • Are you sure that you want to use a ring flash for portraits? They will cause circular reflections or highlights in the centre of the pupil, which usually look at least very strange. You can find example images of this effect e.g. here: thephoblographer.com/2013/08/20/… – jarnbjo Jan 16 '19 at 11:46
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    @jarnbjo It's a matter of taste - while you find it "strange", the link you provided describes the specular highlight as "beautiful" and "method loved by many models and many photographers". This question was actually asked from me by another photographer, so for the purpose of the exercise, yes, let's assume I already have decided to use a ring flash. – Imre Jan 16 '19 at 13:16
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In my opinion, the main factor to consider would be power output.

Many ring flashes are only suitable for close up and macro photography because the original premise was that your camera and you would cast shadows. So the power will probably not be enough when you step back and try to use it on a full body portrait.

Regarding the size, I would assume, as with all modifiers, the larger the softer. But I doubt the difference is very noticeable, as you do not have directional light, but you probably will notice it on the halo-shadow projected behind the subject.

One interesting option is the softboxes that act as a ring flash using a normal speedlight. They are lens-independent.

And you can use them as an off-camera softbox too.

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