RayFlash Rotator. Well-made and versatile the Rotator is a fascinating alternative to the conventional L-bracket.
Flash-brackets haven't changed much in design over the years but the novel Flash Rotator from Ray Flash promises additional versatility.
RayFlash came to the attention of portable flashgun users a while back with the introduction of the RayFlash Ring, an affordable light shaper that emulates the typical ring-flash look without breaking the bank. The second accessory launched by the company is less ambitious technically but no less interesting or useful for that. The concept is simple enough, it’s a rotating flash bracket that maintains TTL flash synching regardless of position.
Currently available in both Nikon and Canon versions, and priced at $149.95 in the US or around £119 (inc VAT) after a recent drop from £156 (inc VAT) in the UK, the Rotator has a built-in hot-shoe and TTL extension cable, but, the clever thing is that the cable is fixed and yet it maintains electrical contact with the rotating bracket and hot-shoe. The purpose, if you have a minute to adjust it, is to provide more flattering lighting. You can position the flashgun at any position around the lens’ axis, though in practice this will most likely mean between horizontal and vertical compositions.
As well as the rotating unit, three different size body brackets are supplied as well as a single body attachment mount meaning it will fit all current Nikon and Canon bodies from enthusiast to pro-level Being made from mainly aluminium it’s sturdy enough to use as some support and nicely finished. The TTL flash lead looks good quality too but unfortunately it doesn’t work with both makes, you must select the version for your brand. Apart from that, the only real shortcoming is that flash sits forward making the combination somewhat front heavy, though that would also depend on the model of flashgun. Most manual focus rings are likely to be obstructed as well, though in fairness it’s less of an issue when composing vertically.
With just one hot-shoe and no option to add a second (or third) it less convincing for macro set-ups as it could have been. However, with a fairly generous 100mm internal diameter, wildlife photographers using long lenses might find the Rotator appealing for adding catch lights. And, for just about every other photographic discipline, it’s a compelling option to the conventional L-shaped brackets.