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Thread started 06 May 2017 (Saturday) 07:03
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Any difference between backwards shooting in silver octagon umbrella vs a beautydish ?

 
CanonYouCan
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Post edited over 3 years ago by CanonYouCan.
     
May 06, 2017 07:03 |  #1

I while ago I bought a beautydish with gid of 40cm which I would like to sell for a portable beautydish (foldable) of 70cm.

Then it doesn't take up too much space in bags and it's lighter.
http://www.benl.ebay.b​e …03987f:g:j9QAAO​Swvg9Xed0o (external link)

But now I'm just realising, isn't that +- the same effect as it bounces too ?
A beautydish is harsh light, but shooting inside a silver softbox umbrella is also harsh light, or is there a difference ?


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May 06, 2017 08:01 |  #2

CanonYouCan wrote in post #18347674 (external link)
A beautydish is harsh light, but shooting inside a silver softbox umbrella is also harsh light, or is there a difference ?

Only you control how "harsh" a light is. Won't the effect depend on the size of the source & the distance it is away from the subject?


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Wilt
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt.
     
May 06, 2017 08:50 |  #3

Once again, as is often the case in photography, is that the true answer is, "It DEPENDS!"

A beauty dish is classically a parabolic reflector with a center disk to reflect the light back to the dish rather than to emanate directly to the subject from the incandescent hot light or flash. The beauty dish provides a concentrated light source where the center is the brightest and the light gently falls off at the edges. The surface of the beauty dish can be silvered or white, with white yielding a 'softer' light.

So IF your umbrella was a parabolic design, it could mimic a beauty dish pretty closely, IF it was


  1. a parabolic umbrella of similar diameter,
  2. assuming both had the same surface treatment (silver vs. white) of its reflective surfaces
  3. and the light source pointed backward at the umbrella

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Post edited over 3 years ago by MayaTlab.
     
May 06, 2017 10:10 |  #4

Wilt wrote in post #18347720 (external link)
Once again, as is often the case in photography, is that the true answer is, "It DEPENDS!"

A beauty dish is classically a parabolic reflector with a center disk to reflect the light back to the dish rather than to emanate directly to the subject from the incandescent hot light or flash. The beauty dish provides a concentrated light source where the center is the brightest and the light gently falls off at the edges. The surface of the beauty dish can be silvered or white, with white yielding a 'softer' light.

So IF your umbrella was a parabolic design, it could mimic a beauty dish pretty closely, IF it was


  1. a parabolic umbrella of similar diameter,
  2. assuming both had the same surface treatment (silver vs. white) of its reflective surfaces
  3. and the light source pointed backward at the umbrella

I don't think I've ever seen a single beauty dish that adheres to the definition of a paraboloid. In fact most reflectors sometimes described as parabolic (such as, for example, all deep umbrellas) are nowhere near a paraboloid.

Given the extreme variety of beauty dishes and the way they interact with the various flash tube designs on the market, I'd agree with you, "it depends". Just not on anything related to a paraboloid :D.




  
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Post edited over 3 years ago by dmward.
     
May 07, 2017 08:36 |  #5

Beauty dishes were first used in the late 30s and 40s for glamour headshots of Hollywood actresses.
They were designed to create a tube of light, rather than a cone of light, without a center hot spot but with smooth transition from highlight to shadow.

The diameter was about twice the width of a human head so that there would be wrapping of indirect light.
The center deflector was incorporated to eliminate a center hotspot and to make all the light indirect.

The original design was for photoflood lights that extended into the dish behind the deflector.

Modern interpretations for strobe use have probably varied from the original design substantially. Regardless, in my view, there are modifiers that accomplish the original intent reasonably well. Some are collapsible.

The only way to find the one that works best is to test several with the lights with which they will be used most often.


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May 07, 2017 09:41 |  #6

Well said DM.


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Post edited over 3 years ago by Lotto.
     
May 08, 2017 00:54 |  #7

I just got a 32" silver deep umbrella type octobox and did a test vs a beautydish. This cheap umbrella box controls the spill lot better than a regular umbrella of softbox, but the focusing and quality of light are just different from a real metal beautydish.

Flash inside the 32" octobox, no difussion vs AB 22" beauty dish..


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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt. (3 edits in all)
     
May 08, 2017 01:07 |  #8

MayaTlab wrote in post #18347757 (external link)
I don't think I've ever seen a single beauty dish that adheres to the definition of a paraboloid. In fact most reflectors sometimes described as parabolic (such as, for example, all deep umbrellas) are nowhere near a paraboloid.

Given the extreme variety of beauty dishes and the way they interact with the various flash tube designs on the market, I'd agree with you, "it depends". Just not on anything related to a paraboloid :D.

The beauty dish might not have a parabolic profile you would expect from my earlier description, but the beauty dish nevertheless 'funnels' the light in a somewhat collimated manner to produce harsher edged shadows than you expect to get from a 'large source'. So it behaves more like a parabolic reflector than it does behave like even a silvered umbrella. Its shadow is responsible for the classic below-nose-to-lip appearance of Butterfly lighting.


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MayaTlab
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Post edited over 3 years ago by MayaTlab. (4 edits in all)
     
May 08, 2017 06:27 as a reply to  @ Nick5's post |  #9

Wilt wrote in post #18348896 (external link)
The beauty dish might not have a parabolic profile you would expect from my earlier description, but the beauty dish nevertheless 'funnels' the light in a somewhat collimated manner to produce harsher edged shadows than you expect to get from a 'large source'. So it behaves more like a parabolic reflector than it does behave like even a silvered umbrella. Its shadow is responsible for the classic below-nose-to-lip appearance of Butterfly lighting.

What does "funnelling" mean ? Sending light at a narrow angle ? If so a grid can do so, does that mean that the grid behaves like a parabolic reflector ? Or maybe you mean reflecting light rays in parallel ? In which case the form of a paraboloid really is required, as well as the possibility to place a properly designed light source at the focal point of the reflector (important !), and the proper silver material - and no beauty dish has these qualities. A cheap $50 Cactus pseudo "parabolic" silver umbrella like the one attached corresponds better to that description - and still not that well. Very few modifier can actually claim to be truly parabolic, and it might not even be a desirable quality (very few people use Broncolor's Satellites for example). Broncolor's smaller paras (88 and 133), for example, have an acceptable shape, at least for fabric reflectors, but are intentionally manufactured with a somewhat softer, satin, silver material that scatters light rays a little bit (to improve illumination evenness and reduce the occurence of multiple, stepped shadows, which are frequent with fabric silver reflectors).

In addition, I'm not sure a BD's interest lie solely in its beam angle - personally that isn't the first thing I look at when using one - and that varies considerably depending on the BD and flash tube design anyway.


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The reason why shadows may appear "harsher edged" than the physical size of a light source would indicate isn't necessarily because that light source's modifier is parabolic or not (very few are anyway). Most of the time it's simply caused by the uneven illumination of the reflector from the subject's point of view (for example, with a centre that's far brighter than the edges), and that can be caused by a lot of factors. That's a very, very frequent occurence with beauty dishes. See photo.


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Frankly, there is so much variation between BD designs and their interaction between them and the various flash tube designs, and so many variables to take into account when comparing them with the various silver indirect reflectors on the market, that any blanket statement is unlikely to be helpful - particularly since, given the extreme variety in BD designs and flash tube designs, people tend to have different expectations of what a BD should do.

As Dmward wrote, at some point CanonYouCan will have to experiment and test by himself.



  
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May 08, 2017 07:09 |  #10

Nerdy stuff ... :)

I never saw beauty dish in the shape of parabolic.
If there is any then it can only gives a doughnut parabolic light because the strobe position should be in its focus point. And it will be a "deep" beauty dish (first pic).

The light can be focused parallel forward by directing the interior in proper way like Mola, but its more difficult to make and it can only give multi ring paralel light :)


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May 08, 2017 09:07 |  #11

Another important piece of this question is placement of the modifier in relation to the subject and use of diffusers.

If you have an umbrella and beauty dish of similar diameter and they both have a diffuser on the front, they are going to be more similar.

If you are at a longer distance from the subject, they also become more similar.

At closer distances, they tend to be used differently and the quality difference tends to be more apparent.


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May 08, 2017 10:14 |  #12

MayaTlab wrote in post #18348982 (external link)
What does "funnelling" mean ? Sending light at a narrow angle ?

As I stated earlier, " 'funnels' the light in a somewhat collimated manner'

A grid or snoot does NO true collimation, it merely masks the beam so its angle of coverage is not as wide. A collimated source creates a somewhat harsher shadow edge. But the beauty dish, in being a somewhat large (compared to subject head) source which is used relatively close to the subject, has the harsher shadow of the collimated source yet also with some shadow penumbra softening of a larger source.

To illustrate the effect (and ignoring the tangent about mathematical profile of the beauty dish!) of a somewhat collimated source, one can look at page 49 of
Master Lighting Guide by Christopher Grey, 2004. (Unfortunately permission is needed to reproduce portions of this book electronically.)


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Post edited over 3 years ago by MayaTlab. (3 edits in all)
     
May 08, 2017 11:51 |  #13

Wilt wrote in post #18349116 (external link)
As I stated earlier, " 'funnels' the light in a somewhat collimated manner'

A grid or snoot does NO true collimation, it merely masks the beam so its angle of coverage is not as wide.

That we agree.

A collimated source creates a somewhat harsher shadow edge.

Dito. By collimated, I assume you mean what I called "parallel" in terms of light rays reflection.

But the beauty dish

Which isn't a collimated (parallel) light source at all :D.

BTW, I hope that we are talking about a silver BD here, because it makes no sense to talk about "collimation" or "parabolic" with a white modifier as white scatters light in all direction regardless of the angle of the light rays that strike it.

, in being a somewhat large (compared to subject head) source which is used relatively close to the subject, has the harsher shadow of the collimated source yet also with some shadow penumbra softening of a larger source.

A result that can be obtained with any modifier that will give you the same light distribution when looking into the modifier from the subject's POV (in the case of Beauty dishes, often like the pictures above). That in itself is uncorrelated to whether the thing collimates light rays or not or the beam angle. If we were to put the subject in a room made of Ventablack, you wouldn't see any difference between various modifiers with various beam angles as long as they are illuminated in the same way from the subject's POV.

To illustrate the effect (and ignoring the tangent about mathematical profile of the beauty dish!) of a somewhat collimated source, one can look at page 49 of
Master Lighting Guide by Christopher Grey, 2004. (Unfortunately permission is needed to reproduce portions of this book electronically.)

You aren't seeing the effect of a collimated light with the pictures shown on p49. You are seeing the effect of the effective light source's size, from the subject's POV (which may be different from its physical size) and the light intensity evenness / distribution of that modifier's interior from the subject's POV.

To go back to your suggestion to the OP, i.e. to choose a parabolic umbrella made with the same material as the BD, and the same size, the thing is in reality quite a lot more complicated.
For example :
1) most pseudo parabolic silver umbrellas will look like this from the subject's POV. That's a fairly (actually, significantly) different pattern from all hard silver BDs and the shadows will definitely look quite different (multiple edges galore in general). I've seen only one pseudo parabolic silver umbrella that avoids this bicycle wheel illumination pattern, Paul Buff's soft silver PLM. That's because it uses a silver material that scatters light a little bit more than the usually more reflective silver materials that are used with most pseudo parabolic umbrellas (you could argue that it doesn't behave like a parabolic modifier then :)). That's another problem : there are a lot of different silver materials with different light reflection properties.


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2) Most white umbrellas can be used so that you get a rather narrow hotspot when looking into it, either by shoving the light source inside or choosing an appropriate reflector, which somewhat-ish corresponds to what a lot of white BDs do. But then it doesn't need to be parabolic as white materials scatter light rays in all directions anyway. Deep white umbrellas, which aren't parabolically shaped at all, can be used to that effect.
3) In both cases umbrellas will behave quite differently from most BDs in other areas (beam angle, mounting practicalities, etc...) - i.e. things aren't simple. In addition, finding the right umbrella with the right size may be difficult. There isn't a smaller soft silver PLM than 137cm for example these days.
4) If you expect something else from a BD other than just the "harsher shadow of the collimated source yet also with some shadow penumbra softening of a larger source" then a tremendous quantity of other factors come into play. What if I told you, for example, that what I personally use a white BD for, I replicate (and far from exactly) with an octabox with a modified front diffusion layer :) ?

So that's the problem : it's difficult to present CanonYouCan an alternative to a BD since BD designs and results vary widely, other modifiers designs vary widely, their uses vary widely, expectations vary widely.
It is, sometimes, easier to find alternatives. For example, a Paul Buff soft silver PLM with its front diffusion cover gives a somewhat similar light as a similarly sized typical octaboxes with several diffusion layers and without grids. Even then, many variables may make one choose one over the other. But beauty dishes ? Too many variables to be able to give a simple answer.



  
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Any difference between backwards shooting in silver octagon umbrella vs a beautydish ?
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