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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 28 May 2012 (Monday) 21:18
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Let's talk beauty dishes - but not the PCB

 
snyder17315
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May 28, 2012 21:18 |  #1

I currently have the Paul C. Buff 22" white high output beauty dish. It's ok. Build quality is servicable, but the quality of light has me wanting. I mainly find that the light produced by it is not punchy or dramatic enough. It looks a little too smooth to me.

So; now I'm searching for a replacement. I'm considering either the Kacey dish or the Mola. I use a pair of Einsteins if that helps with anyone's feedback/experience. Thanks!


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dmward
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May 28, 2012 21:52 |  #2

I have a 28" dish from fotodiox that I like.
The Kacey dish is well regarded.
One question; how far away are you using the dish?
I have an original version PCB dish that gives good results.
Have you tried the PCB silver dish? If the white is too smooth the silver may be just what you want.


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arich
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May 28, 2012 22:45 |  #3

I have the silver PCB dish and I like the light it gives me but more or less detest the build quality and get particularly annoyed that I have to assemble it on location. If I could get the older model that would be swell. The fotodiox seems highly reviewed but doesnt ever seem to be in stock at Amazon


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PLLphotography
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May 28, 2012 22:49 |  #4

I have a 22 inch BD from Fotodiox I got in the other day. It's huge and can only imagine how large a 28 inch model is. I came with the sock diffuser and grid for around $100.


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PhilF
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May 28, 2012 22:53 |  #5

snyder17315 wrote in post #14497795 (external link)
I currently have the Paul C. Buff 22" white high output beauty dish. It's ok. Build quality is servicable, but the quality of light has me wanting. I mainly find that the light produced by it is not punchy or dramatic enough. It looks a little too smooth to me.

So; now I'm searching for a replacement. I'm considering either the Kacey dish or the Mola. I use a pair of Einsteins if that helps with anyone's feedback/experience. Thanks!

describe punchy and dramatic..... or better yet... show us samples of pictures that you want to do with a BD but PCB brand can't deliver.... I'm curious.


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K.C.
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May 28, 2012 23:33 |  #6

snyder17315 wrote in post #14497795 (external link)
I currently have the Paul C. Buff 22" white high output beauty dish. It's ok. Build quality is servicable, but the quality of light has me wanting. I mainly find that the light produced by it is not punchy or dramatic enough. It looks a little too smooth to me.

Big flat round things tend to make smooth light. You'd find the same true for the Elinchrom, Profoto, Balcar, Norman and pretty much any other shallow, white pan shaped modifier.

The shape of a Mola Demi is different, modulating the light as it dissipates towards the edge of the modifier. The effect is more contrast.

Making the BD deeper will add contrast, as will using a silver finish. This will be consistently true with any modifier, fabric or metal, and almost any shape, octagonal, round or rectangular.

Notice the popularity of the Elinchrom deep octa softboxes, same effect, more contrast because of the depth.

Given those qualities, there's a lot you can do with any modifier. Feather it, flag one or both sides at the subject, move it closer or further away from the subject.




  
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K.C.
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May 28, 2012 23:41 |  #7

I should add that if you shot the Mola Demi and Euro from the same distance you'd find the Demi more dramatic, to use your term. The Demi is actually just a small Euro. If you moved up to the Setti everything changes because it's much deeper and little wider and therefore creates a longer throw which results in more contrast at similar distance. Move up again to the Mantii and the opposite would happen. It's a nice big, shallow modifier that produces wonderful smooth light, but still creates contrast because it's not flat.

(I have the luxury of owning all of them plus a few others, so I am speaking from experience. FWIW.)




  
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dmward
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May 28, 2012 23:52 |  #8

That's the thing; every modifier has a unique way of shaping light.
What's important is knowing what you want and what characteristics are most likely to deliver the results.


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K.C.
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May 29, 2012 00:13 |  #9

dmward wrote in post #14498408 (external link)
That's the thing; every modifier has a unique way of shaping light.
What's important is knowing what you want and what characteristics are most likely to deliver the results.

Very true.

What's even more important is learning what you can do with the simplest of modifiers. Give me a small white umbrella and couple of pieces of black board and I'll show you contrast and drama that everyone will think is a BD.




  
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snyder17315
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May 29, 2012 08:32 |  #10

To all, thank you for the feedback so far!

@PhilF - I'm actually quite fond of the work you do, I've been following your photography in the glamour and nude section for some time now.

@K.C. - Thanks for the insights to the Mola dishes. What you described was pretty much what I would have expected based on their respective sizes and shapes.

As for my disappointment with the PCB dish, yes, part of it is the light quality and the other part (like arich mentions) is the build-quality and ergonomics of it. I would consider the silver version of the PCB dish, but I'd still have to deal with the quality and construction of it.

Right now I'm leaning towards the Kacey dish with a grid, as the Mola w/grid is just a bit too expensive.


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PhilF
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May 29, 2012 13:44 |  #11

snyder17315 wrote in post #14499650 (external link)
To all, thank you for the feedback so far!

@PhilF - I'm actually quite fond of the work you do, I've been following your photography in the glamour and nude section for some time now.

thanks Robert.

I actually use a silver PCB BD and an EBAY BD. I have never used a white BD because I figured it won't give me enough contrast and power(in case I need it). I think by going to a silver BD route would benefit and narrow your choices down.


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Allen ­ K
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May 29, 2012 15:25 as a reply to  @ PhilF's post |  #12

Hi Phil,

I too, admire your work and to see that you do it with ebay gear is quite amusing from the fact that I could probably have a mola and never (at this point) arrive at the quality of your images. Hats off to you. So my question...I am looking for a BD. Which specific Ebay seller/unit do you use? Studio-98,etc. I believe you might have mentioned this in another thread but I couldn't find it in a search.

Again, your work is stunning.

Allen


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snyder17315
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May 29, 2012 15:32 |  #13

PhilF wrote in post #14501113 (external link)
thanks Robert.

I actually use a silver PCB BD and an EBAY BD. I have never used a white BD because I figured it won't give me enough contrast and power(in case I need it). I think by going to a silver BD route would benefit and narrow your choices down.

I just ordered a 30 degree grid for the PCB dish, though I may exchange it for the silver dish still (I've got a few weeks left on the 60 day return). It could be the white coating that's causing my dissatisfaction with the PCB dish, to me it just looks like more of a really focused quasi-softbox. I want something more contrasty and hard.


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bobbyz
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May 29, 2012 15:35 |  #14

Not expert like some here but here is quick snaps with the kacey dish. Looks punchy to me. Would be nice if showed some shots. Helps avg joe guys like me.

IMAGE: http://www.bobbyzphotography.com/img/s11/v32/p22818329-5.jpg
IMAGE: http://www.bobbyzphotography.com/img/s1/v20/p959540450-5.jpg

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snyder17315
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May 29, 2012 15:36 |  #15

bobbyz wrote in post #14501721 (external link)
QUOTED IMAGE

This is exactly the kind of look I'm going for.


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Let's talk beauty dishes - but not the PCB
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