Sony HVL-RL1

Ring light for compatible Sony digital cameras

Item #: 158HVLRL1

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1 Review

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Close-up and macro photography is well-known for making arresting pictures of commonplace things. But if you try to use a regular flash unit, or worse yet, an on-board flash to illuminate such things, you could be in for a few disappointments. First of all, when you're shooting subjects that close, it's possible that the camera and lens itself could be in the way of your light. And secondly, even if the flash is softened by a soft box, you might have some unwanted shadows from the light being off-axis with the lens itself. Wouldn't it be great if you could put your soft light source right next to your lens somehow?

Oh, wait... you can, with this HVL-RL1 ring light for compatible Sony cameras. It's ideal for full-frame cameras like the ground-breaking Sony Cyber-shot® RX1 and the Alpha SLT-A99V. This ring light is perfect for portrait and fashion photography as well, as it makes for engaging light reflections in pupils and halo-light shadows surrounding the subject.

Product Highlights:

  • circular flash unit surrounds lens for even illumination of close-up subjects
  • ideal for macro, portrait, and fashion photography
  • power unit mounts on hot shoe of compatible cameras
  • attaches to 49/55mm diameter lens
    • FA-MA1AM Macro Light Adapter (not included) required for use with SAL30M28 or SAL50F18 lenses
  • unit can be switched from full illumination to right/left dominance for easy control of shadows
  • brightness can be adjusted steplessly from approx. 10 to 100%, for precise control of creative lighting effects with the dimmer
  • includes 49/55mm adapter ring and shoe adapter
  • powered by 4 AA batteries (alkaline or Ni-MH)
  • power consumption: 4.4W
  • dimensions:
    • power unit: 2-9/16"W x 3-1/8"H x 3-1/8"D
    • illumination ring: 4-7/8"W x 5-5/8"H x 1"D
    • 6.9 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Ring light with battery compartment/accessory shoe and 13" connecting cable
  • Shoe Adapter
  • 49mm Ring adapter
  • 55mm Ring adapter
  • Carrying case
  • Operating Instructions
  • US Warranty sheet
  • Canada Warranty sheet
  • Warning sheet regarding power switch

Product Research


Overview: The Sony HVL-RL1 ring light provides illumination of small hard-to-light objects for macro shooting. It comes with two ring adapters to fit 49mm and 55mm diameter lenses and a shoe adapter. The light is powered by 4 "AA" batteries (not included). The light and ring adapters can be stored in the supplied carrying case.

Compatibility: The ring light is compatible with Sony interchangeable lens cameras and Sony Digital Still cameras that have the Multi Interface Shoe. It can also be used with some Sony interchangeable lens HD video cameras with an Accessory Shoe or Multi Interface Shoe. With the supplied Shoe Adapter, the ring light is compatible with Sony interchangeable lens cameras with the Auto-lock Accessory Shoe. In all cases, the camera must have a lens with a 49mm or 55mm filter thread.

Adjustable Brightness: The brightness of the ring light can be adjusted to give you full control of the creative lighting effects. A continuously variable rotary control lets you dim the intensity from 100% to 10%. There are no steps or "clicks" on the control, however, there are 10 marks representing 10% increments.

Shadow Effects: You can change the lighting effect to cast shadows on one side of the subject or the other. A 3-position switch lets you choose illuminating the left side, right side, or both sides of the ring.


  • Illumination Intensity: approx 700 lx (0.3m in MAX mode)
  • Color Temperature: approx 5500 K
  • Recommended Shooting Distance: 0.1m to 1.0m (3.9" to 39")
  • Lighting Distance (MAX mode):
    • 0.3m (11.7"): approx 700 lx
    • 0.5m (19.5"): approx 250 lx
    • 1.0m (39.0"): approx 60 lx
  • Battery Life:
    • AA alkaline batteries: approx 40 mins in MAX mode
    • AA Ni-MH batteries: approx 110 mins in MAX mode

Our Product Research Team

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Sony HVL-RL1 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Sony HVL-RL!

Written By Frank P., Beachwood N.J. on Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased this a month ago. Have used it numerous times on my Sony A65. Works very well, have no complaints. Would recommend to a friend.

Pros: Variable light adjustment. Comes with 2 adapters for my 55mm and 49mm lenses.

Cons: None

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