Phottix Aether Collapsible Ring Flash Adapter
Why fork out for a dedicated ring flash when you could convert your existing flashgun into the same thing? Well, that’s the thinking behind this pop-up fabric contraption. The cat’s cradle of elastic cords in the centre secures the ring to your lens surprisingly effectively, while your flash fires through a portal at the top of the ring and is held in place with a strap.
While hardly the most elegant set-up, it does work. The quality of its illumination is sublime, as it produces a noticeably softer light than any other product here, with shadows completely eliminated. But this softness comes as a direct result of the Aether’s huge 45cm diameter, which makes it cumbersome when composing macro shots. The design also reduces the flash output by three to four stops, though this isn’t a deal-breaker for close-ups.
When you’re finished shooting, the Aether folds flat, like a reflector, and is stowed in a more manageable 21cm pouch.
Pros Unbeatable light softness; well priced; packs down small
Cons Unwieldy to use, especially on a tripod; significant light loss
We say Beautiful macro lighting, if you can work around its bulk