Well, I guess it had to happen some time. What? A ring-flash for the iPhone. And not only that, but a ring-flash that looks like an Anglepoise lamp. My feeling is that there are some iPhoneography nerds out there getting very excited right now.
It’s called the LEDock, a clunky, heavy name which belies the breezy and good-looking design of the lamp itself. The LEDock is an articulated arm which clamps onto a desk edge, and terminates in a dish with 108 LEDs arrayed around its edge. In this form, it makes a nice desk lamp, albeit a $150 desk lamp.
But flip the outer ring of LEDs away from the inner dish and you now have an iPhone-ready circle, complete with 30-pin dock connector for mounting and a grabby hook at the other end to steady it. Thus secured, the iPhone can snap pictures of perfectly-illuminated subjects.
A ring flash on a regular camera gives shadowless light – almost. The light from the left of the ring fills in the shadows cast by the light from the right, and so on around the circle. The result is flat (and flattering) illumination with a tell-tale dark halo of shadow around your subject.
The LEDock does this for your iPhone. You probably won’t use it for portraits, but you can take product shots, still lives and perfectly-lit scans. This will be great for digitizing business cards and other dead treeware.
Like everything interesting these days, the LEDock is a Kickstarter project, and it launches today. Early birds can kick in a $120 pledge. Me? I can’t wait, so I’m currently fiddling with a flashlight and an Orbis ring flash adapter to see if I can make my own.