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Thread started 17 May 2010 (Monday) 11:27
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The Beauty Dish: Quality Of Light, Deflectors, Coverage, Falloff And Catch Lights

 
Methodical
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Sep 27, 2011 08:02 |  #91

Hey Robert this is some good piece of data (the whole testing) but especially this below. I kept wondering why some BDs were smooth and others were stepped - now I know. I ordered the Kacey BD based on people here with way more experience than myself. Your shot with the Kacey grid really makes me want to get one of those as I see some really interesting shots can be made with them.

Now the real question. Where can I get one of those doll heads for my own lighting test?

Thanks...Al

TMR Design wrote in post #10201984 (external link)
That's exactly what makes a dish like the Speedotron, Kacey or Mola so interesting. I know that a lot of people use and like the dishes that are smooth but those dishes are the ones that produce light very much like an octa or softbox and that isn't very characteristic of the traditional light produced by a beauty dish.

The stepped rings provide contrast and offer a very different look than that of a smooth dish.


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Sep 27, 2011 14:34 as a reply to  @ Methodical's post |  #92

HI Al,

I'm not so sure I stand by my original statement any more... loll

At the time I wrote it, all I had was the Speedotron 22" dish and I made an incorrect assumption that other dishes with the same stepped appearance would have the same characteristics. I was wrong. I don't see this as a negative thing in the Speedotron as much as it is a different thing and it's going to be up to each person to decide if they like it, notice it, or care about it. The projected pattern is noticeably different from other similar dishes and the 'steps' appear, whereas with other dishes of the same appearance (Kacey, Mola) have a smoother and more even projected pattern and overage.

Anyway....

This was the thread I had started when I was looking for a mannequin head. Somewhere in the thread I list the name of the merchant and the item number but I have no idea of whether either of them still exist.

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=254023


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Sep 27, 2011 19:47 |  #93

Thanks Robert. The company you got yours from still exists. I already see the head I want and wig.

TMR Design wrote in post #13172056 (external link)
HI Al,

I'm not so sure I stand by my original statement any more... loll

At the time I wrote it, all I had was the Speedotron 22" dish and I made an incorrect assumption that other dishes with the same stepped appearance would have the same characteristics. I was wrong. I don't see this as a negative thing in the Speedotron as much as it is a different thing and it's going to be up to each person to decide if they like it, notice it, or care about it. The projected pattern is noticeably different from other similar dishes and the 'steps' appear, whereas with other dishes of the same appearance (Kacey, Mola) have a smoother and more even projected pattern and overage.

Anyway....

This was the thread I had started when I was looking for a mannequin head. Somewhere in the thread I list the name of the merchant and the item number but I have no idea of whether either of them still exist.

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=254023


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Sep 30, 2011 01:43 |  #94

TMR Design wrote in post #10195944 (external link)
Recently the beauty dish has become a very common light modifier for photographers and is no longer a novelty or something that’s only used in fashion, glamour or beauty work.

I took a 22" Speedotron dish and a 16" ebay dish (both converted to Elinchrom mount) and conducted some controlled comparisons. I'm not trying to prove anything or convince people to by one product over another. This is simply to offer some point of reference for using a 'stepped' beauty dish versus a smooth one, and how using various deflectors are different distances will affect quality of light, coverage, falloff, etc.

There’s also a lot of misinformation and speculation about quality of light and the ever-popular white vs. silver question. It’s interesting because although there are differences between white and silver I’ve found there to be more of a difference created by the shape of the dish than the interior finish.

The Setup

The subject is 6 feet from the background, which is roughly a middle gray seamless paper. The light source is exactly 45 degrees off the camera’s axis (camera left) and is raised up and angled down towards the subject so that the center of the dish is just below the chin and that is where I’m taking meter readings. Aperture remains constant throughout all tests to ensure that depth of field, shadows and transitions are rendered identically.

There is a general rule of thumb with beauty dishes that says they are best used at distances of about 1 to 2 times the diameter of the dish. For the purpose of these tests and images I’ve placed the beauty dishes 1.5 times the diameter of the dish from the subject.

I’ll be using a Speedotron 22” white beauty dish and a generic 16” silver pebbled dish. The 22” dish was placed 33” from the subject and the 16” was 24” from the subject. For the silver deflectors I have an Elinchrom mini and I modified the large deflector supplied with the 16” dish so it mounts to the Elinchrom strobe using the central umbrella mount of the strobe and that is what I’m calling the maxi deflector. The diameter of the mini is about 4 1/2” and the maxi is 5 7/8”. In all the tests with a deflector I took 2 images, one with the deflector 1” from the base of the dish and one with the deflector 3” from the base of the dish. I chose to measure from the base of the dish because it proved to be easier to see and measure than from the actual flash tube. In addition to the deflectors I also tested with a white translucent diffusion sock and a Kacey honeycomb grid.

I set my custom white balance for a bare bulb strobe with no reflector or additional modifiers. I did this as a reference so that it would be obvious to see how in some cases modifiers do change and affect color temperature and tint.

Images

A look at how light falls on the subject

The first shot is with the 22" dish and no deflector. Just to give you a sense of the field of view, I measured approximately 6 feet horizontally and that is consistent in all the images demonstrating how the light falls on the subject and the background.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
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As compared to the 16" dish with no deflector.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO

I know this is an old post, but I have to ask you a question, is this how you would position the beauty dish on a live model?

Second what was the main purpose of a beauty dish when it was first designed? In your professional opinion, what is this modifier supposed to be doing, vs a soft box, umbrella, barebulb, ect... (any other light source).

After I hear your answers, I want to ask more questions. It is interesting the exact position you placed the dish for testing on the mannequin in the OP.

I understand the purpose of the test, it is to show differences of various types of dishes and how they perform against each other.

I love this link (external link) on your website to Will Crockett's metering vid. You have all sorts of goodies on your servers root folder.


http://www.speedtest.n​et/result/1460485335.p​ng (external link)

  
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jdear
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Sep 30, 2011 07:20 as a reply to  @ akfreak's post |  #95

You don't need to gel the entire face of the beauty dish, you can just gel the inside, covering the flash tube (as long as you have some room for heat dissipation)

I gave up trying to gel my bigger dishes any other day.

I might blog about gelling in this manner shortly.




  
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TMR ­ Design
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Oct 02, 2011 11:21 |  #96

akfreak wrote in post #13185796 (external link)
...I have to ask you a question, is this how you would position the beauty dish on a live model?

It is one of numerous lighting setups I would or could use. I'm using a very traditional and generic position for a main light, and one that gives me strong shadows, a loop off the nose, and high contrast.

The placement of the light was really more a means of demonstrating the highlight to diffuse and diffuse to shadow transitions and had nothing to do with demonstrating how to light for a great portrait. ;)

akfreak wrote in post #13185796 (external link)
Second what was the main purpose of a beauty dish when it was first designed?

I honestly couldn't tell you. I don't know anything about the history of the beauty dish.

akfreak wrote in post #13185796 (external link)
In your professional opinion, what is this modifier supposed to be doing, vs a soft box, umbrella, barebulb, ect... (any other light source).

Supposed to be doing? Hmmm. I know what it does for me.
Depending on how it's configured it can be anything from a soft, diffused light source, to a harder, more contrasty source, with a million variations on that. I love being able to control the central hot spot and how it transitions to the outer part of the dish and unlike other many sided modifiers, you always get a perfectly round or elliptical catch light rather than octagons, decagons and starburst effects.

akfreak wrote in post #13185796 (external link)
After I hear your answers, I want to ask more questions. It is interesting the exact position you placed the dish for testing on the mannequin in the OP.

I understand the purpose of the test, it is to show differences of various types of dishes and how they perform against each other.

I love this link (external link) on your website to Will Crockett's metering vid. You have all sorts of goodies on your servers root folder.


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Oct 02, 2011 13:58 as a reply to  @ TMR Design's post |  #97

@ TMR,

Thanks for taking time to respond. I know you know a lot about lighting and photography in general so I was a little curious as to the placement of the dish in your setup for testing. I know there are no rules when it comes to photography and light is light. However with that said, I would think the testing position would at least be close to the position of which that particular modifier was designed for.

I wanted to let you know a few things about a BD. It was designed for high fashion photography I am sure you know that to some degree. The beauty dish was built for a specific purpose. That purpose was to suck in the cheeks of a model. The beauty dish creates contrasty not specular light for for people who have faces with nice symmetry and angular features. You want to make sure the model has lots of make up or great skin because the kind of light the BD creates will show all imperfections, like holes or bumps. Get out the bondo if you have to but make that skin smooth so the light doesn't show off all the imperfections (saves a ton of time in post).

More, the BD will also flatten a high nose and will sure put a shadow behind the cheek bone creating more of a 3D look. IMO it is perfect for narrow or thin and faces. The reason is in how it casts the shadows, the shadow density and the feathered edges of the shadows are. It's perfect for semi skinny models. A word of warning if you use it on a model that is too thin, it is going to make her look worse. Her already sunken cheeks will be really sucked in and it is not flattering at all. The shadows will look real bad.

Also don't try to use it on someone with a round face, it will make the face look even more round along with flattening their nose into a pancake. As a general rule when using a BD you will use it in a butterfly position. In that position, it will let you test the dish for it's intended purpose. In that position you will see what I mean about sucking in the cheeks.

I really liked your testing and effort put into this thread. I wanted to let you know a little information about a BD . Like I said before there are no rules in photography, but if you try to use with its intended purpose in mind, you might see results in a more dramatic way. Again standard position is slight camera right or left in a above pointing downward to create the pattern of light I described above (butterfly).

I hope this info will help in in choosing to or not to use a Beauty Dish, and if you do how to use it in a way for which it was intended. I don't use them much. I have found I can use a soft box careful and positioning can achieve much the same look. All without showing all the sink imperfections. I do have a speedo 22" and will use it when I have the perfect girl, they are so few and far between. I always find myself dealing with regular people (not models) and trying to make them look good. The BD will never help 99% of the ones I shoot. So it sits in the case most of the time.


Last thing, it does make a nice catch light doesn't it. I have been experimenting on a LED double row of lights in a circle pattern that wont influence much of anything to the scene, that can be used for a round catch-light creator. Have you seen Tron Legacy? There is a scene where Sam ( a main character) gets his disk. One of the models goes and gets his disk and when she picks it up she has this awesome ring catch light but it doesn't seem to affect the scene, just a cool catch light. I will post it for you to see.


Edit to add the image and fix typos
Looking at this as a still it looks like she has contacts in creating that catch-light. Hell I don't know, it looks cool in the movie, LOL

IMAGE: http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6173/6206982804_2489bd11d6_z.jpg


I will take that image down in a day or so, after you see it. I don't like to use copyrighted content, in this case for educational, I made an exception. It will be removed!

http://www.speedtest.n​et/result/1460485335.p​ng (external link)

  
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Dec 26, 2012 14:02 |  #98

Now that Rob is back, maybe he'll be able update the images on this great thread!


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Dec 27, 2012 01:13 |  #99

Dave Jr wrote in post #15409405 (external link)
Now that Rob is back, maybe he'll be able update the images on this great thread!

bump


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Jan 04, 2013 05:57 |  #100

I wish to buy a beauty dish.
I did look for "Kacey" that seems to be the most popular here. But seems to be impossible to find in Europe.
I did find a thread where a guy suggested Photodiox beauty dish, but same problem... I did look over amazon and ebay in UK, Germany, but nothing found...

Is there any good beauty dish not so expensive and easy to find in europe? :-|


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Jan 04, 2013 23:43 |  #101

The Fotodiox dishes are sourced in China along with most of their other stuff.
Spend some time on eBay and you should be able to find something similar.


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Jan 05, 2013 09:45 |  #102

Dave Jr wrote in post #15409405 (external link)
Now that Rob is back, maybe he'll be able update the images on this great thread!

I obviously cant speak for Rob, and we all hope he comes back, but judging by his removing all his links, and he hasnt posted yet, it seems as though he has decided not to return.




  
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Jan 05, 2013 13:41 |  #103

zulutown wrote in post #15442710 (external link)
I wish to buy a beauty dish.
I did look for "Kacey" that seems to be the most popular here. But seems to be impossible to find in Europe.
I did find a thread where a guy suggested Photodiox beauty dish, but same problem... I did look over amazon and ebay in UK, Germany, but nothing found...

Is there any good beauty dish not so expensive and easy to find in europe? :-|

I understand that the Kacey dish can be shipped to Europe, but that the carriage is very expensive indeed (EDIT: after all the taxes are added at this end). It then becomes more viable to look at Mola dishes because the cost advantage of the Kacey has gone.(EDIT: or been greatly reduced.)

Take a look at http://www.ebay.co.uk …d=beauty+dish+7​0cm&crdt=0 (external link) gives you a selection, all shippable to Italy.
Here's one from Germany http://www.ebay.co.uk …-/350586660470#vi-content (external link)
Here's a selection from ebay Italy http://www.ebay.it …y+dish&_sacat=0​&_from=R40 (external link)
Finally, here's one from my friend Sean at Bessel Lighting. http://www.ebay.co.uk …ctors&hash=item​3ccd95b504 (external link) The listing says they can't ship outside the UK, but they can (cos they've just shipped 3 parcels to Ireland for me). It just costs extra. Ask him or Martin, very helpful guys indeed.
Now all you have to do is choose! :lol: !
Oh, if you get a grid shipped at the same time, there is less chance of transit damage. As Customs people / carriers / postmen sometimes like to play football with our parcels, this may save problems.

BDs are notoriously delicate in transit so if you plan on using it on location, think in terms of a case. Some folks use a case designed for the Irish frame drum (Bodhrán (external link), say Ba-roarn) others simply look at drum cases.


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J ­ Kacey
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Jan 05, 2013 13:50 |  #104

Whortleberry wrote in post #15448491 (external link)
I understand that the Kacey dish can be shipped to Europe, but that the carriage is very expensive indeed. It then becomes more viable to look at Mola dishes because the cost advantage of the Kacey has gone.

We ship to customers in Europe daily. Average S&H is 64 usd.


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Jan 05, 2013 14:55 |  #105

J Kacey wrote in post #15448541 (external link)
We ship to customers in Europe daily. Average S&H is 64 usd.

Sounds very reasonable from your end (the bit over which you actually have any control) - but when it has reached our side of the 'Pond', our beloved Governments may/can/do add import duty on the initial cost plus shipping. Then on top of that they add Tax (20% UK, 21% Italy, 23% Ireland). Yes, they tax the shipping. Yes they tax the import duty. In the UK, they even charge to collect the taxes. Yes, it stinks! One of the lumps in the mashed potato of life!

Zulutown did impose a caveat that it should be ".... not so expensive and easy to find in europe". While I'd certainly agree that the initial cost of a Kacey is totally warranted, with all the add-ons which are outside the maker's control I feel that they fall outside Zulutown's parameters. If I were in the market for a BD then, yes I'd order without hesitation - for someone just dipping their toe in the water, I believe that the additional charges could tip the balance. But it all inevitably hinges on individual definitions of "not so expensive".

I've edited the original post to hopefully clarify.


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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The Beauty Dish: Quality Of Light, Deflectors, Coverage, Falloff And Catch Lights
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