Flashpoint/Godox have just announced the EC-200 extension head, adding an effective and extremely low cost tool for cosmetic and macro photography. These heads are exclusively designed for the Evolve 200 / AD200 pocket flash, a widely popular and highly efficient product, operated by long lasting lithium batteries.
Throughout my career, I have used various types of ring flashes, and parabolic umbrellas. I also collaborated with Swiss lighting manufacturer, Broncolor, for over a decade, on countless marketing and promotional projects, and shot their launch campaigns for the original Para 330 and Ringflash C.
These types of lights are often used by fashion photographers, as they are both easy to work with, and offer many options, particularly the Broncolor Paras, ranging from the 88 to 330, can produce a wide variety of effects. However, neither types are ideal for extreme close up work, when balanced, even front lighting is required.
The new remote heads from China on the other hand, are small and light enough to allow for several of them to be mounted on a camera flash bracket and rail. Selecting tiny but wide – angled reflectors, the resulting light is much less harsh, and more feathered than the output from a ring flash, in very close distance.
The total weight of let’s say 4 extension heads with the small reflectors and including the bracket/rail set, is just about 24 ounces, therefore handheld shooting is easy and without strain.
This new kind of Quad ring set up offers also the additional advantage over traditional ring flashes of allowing individual control of each of the flash heads, and to permits to limit the output of the flash hitting the model’s face from underneath. This is not as easily achieved with a ring flash.
The Evolve 200 / AD200 pocket flash performs extremely well and reliably in HSS (High Speed Sync) mode, and when used for this Quad Ring arrangement, provides output powerful enough to completely black out direct midday sunlight.
This 4 light arrangement also makes an excellent, off-camera light, by simply setting the contraption on a tripod and shooting from various angles around it.
The announcement of the new remote heads is timely. The recent release of new macro extension tubes by Fujifilm for the mirrorless medium format GFX 50S and the GF 120mm macro lens, have ushered in a new era for macro photography. One can now easily shoot 1:1 handheld, with very fast and reliable autofocus, or manually focus while zoomed in. Compared to previous systems, macro photography with medium format mirrorless cameras has become easy and accessible.
Adding the creative options created by the convenient new remote heads, it has never been more fun to shoot close up!