Beauty Dish
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Old 01-26-2009   #1
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Default Beauty Dish

Hi again,

Can someone give me an explanation about a beauty dish? is it use on the flash of camera or the studio strobes? and what will be the difference?

Which is better, the white one or silver one? which one i should use if i want something soft but contrasty?

Is there different sizes and does it matter or i should go with standard size [22" i saw mostly]?

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Old 01-26-2009   #2
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Default Re: Beauty Dish

Beauty Dishes work best on strobe heads that have a protruding flash tube. On a camera flash or some studio strobes (such as older Dynalites), the effect isn't quite the same. The protruding flash tube allows the light to go forward and sideways and really fill the dish. Some have opaque domes in them, some have translucent, and some have an ability to mount a grid in the center. Some have large grids that fit over the entire dish.

I haven't seen a silver beauty dish. But would expect that to give a little more contrast and maybe more specular highlights. I think it would be pretty specialized. The white ones on their own have good mix of soft/contrast. Like most lights, the closer you can get it to your subject, the softer it will be. Some people put a "sock" over the light to soften it a bit more.

The usualy placement of a beauty dish is directly overhead (paramount or butterfly lighting) with a fill card or light underneath.

22" seems to be the common size, but I've seen them from 14" to around 36". Again, larger/closer is softer. A larger light from further away can have the same effect on the face, but the larger light further away will light up the background more. As you bring the light in closer the light falls off faster, giving better separation from the background (unless the model is right up against the background).
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Old 01-26-2009   #3
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Default Re: Beauty Dish

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
Beauty Dishes work best on strobe heads that have a protruding flash tube. On a camera flash or some studio strobes (such as older Dynalites), the effect isn't quite the same. The protruding flash tube allows the light to go forward and sideways and really fill the dish. Some have opaque domes in them, some have translucent, and some have an ability to mount a grid in the center. Some have large grids that fit over the entire dish.

I haven't seen a silver beauty dish. But would expect that to give a little more contrast and maybe more specular highlights. I think it would be pretty specialized. The white ones on their own have good mix of soft/contrast. Like most lights, the closer you can get it to your subject, the softer it will be. Some people put a "sock" over the light to soften it a bit more.

The usualy placement of a beauty dish is directly overhead (paramount or butterfly lighting) with a fill card or light underneath.

22" seems to be the common size, but I've seen them from 14" to around 36". Again, larger/closer is softer. A larger light from further away can have the same effect on the face, but the larger light further away will light up the background more. As you bring the light in closer the light falls off faster, giving better separation from the background (unless the model is right up against the background).
OK, thanks, i have a question about if the beauty dish of any brand can fit on a different brand of head, and i am now looking at 2 or 3 kinds of beauty dish but seems 1 is out of stock and 2 others i am not sure which to get.
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Old 01-26-2009   #4
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Default Re: Beauty Dish

Most of them are specific to a brand of strobe head. However, I have taken the Speedotron 22" beauty dish (similar to a Mola, but only $150) and removed the speedo connector and replaced it with other connectors. It is easy to remove the speedo connector (four screws), but then you need to find a connector for the other brand and do some surgery on it.

I would think that most beauty dishes could be rigged to work with a camera flash (noting the caveats in the original message) with some minor surgery or with a variety of clamps.

What are the dishes that you are looking at?
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Old 01-26-2009   #5
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Default Re: Beauty Dish

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
Most of them are specific to a brand of strobe head. However, I have taken the Speedotron 22" beauty dish (similar to a Mola, but only $150) and removed the speedo connector and replaced it with other connectors. It is easy to remove the speedo connector (four screws), but then you need to find a connector for the other brand and do some surgery on it.

I would think that most beauty dishes could be rigged to work with a camera flash (noting the caveats in the original message) with some minor surgery or with a variety of clamps.

What are the dishes that you are looking at?
I was in a local store where they sell Hasselblad H3D and Profoto lights, i tested H3D [31] with 1 profot light only using 22" on the salesman, i didn't like the results as it was overexposed or bright even the light was far pr further away and we lower the value, but maybe because of the wrong seetings on the camera.

2 days ago i went to a studio for a local strobist meeting, was testing a normal strobes and speedlights, but i tested once a Profot light with a beauty dish, it wa smaller size not sure what but it was small size or at least smaller than what i saw in the store, and i was using my H3D 39, took few shots and i got amazed, the results were amazing.

I have Hensel lights, so now i am looking at this brand, i don't feel i should get that one Profoto light with the beauty dish, i think i want to stay with Hensel.
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Old 01-26-2009   #6
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Default Re: Beauty Dish

There is a "beauty dish" made by Photogenic which is actually brushed aluminum inside and out. There is the deflector cap over the tube and it produces a nice light for certain kinds of portraiture. That particular model is tried and true. The Photogenic Machine Co. goes back to the 1920s and I gave an old tungsten unit made in the 50s that is built exactly in the same configuration for use with a 1000 watt Photo-flood lamp.

Problem is, there are many similar items sold as "beauty dishes" that not exactly the same as the originals because he are too small. The may have the deflector cap but the simply wont do the same job because of their size and a few other properties that are lacking. In fact some of the smaller ersatz dishes do more harm than good. The first thing to understand that beauty dishes are not designed for feathering. The deflector cap eliminates the UMPBA, the essential "hot spot" that is associated with regular 16 inch metallic parabolic reflectors. There is then no difference in illumination potential between the UMBRA and the PENUMBRA which is the edge of the beam of light which normally surrounds the hot spot. This smoothness is what creates the flattering light that is associated with the big dish beauty lights. This being the case, theses beauty lights are not particularly good main lights for character studies of men- they will do fine as fill lights in those circumstances. By not being able to feather the light you will loose some control over the placement and intensity of the specular highlights and evenness of lighting on the subject's face. Beauty dishes will take care of the even illumination but will not effect the specular highlights to any great degree.

The beauty dishes I have used of the years that have worked well are the ones made by Photogenic, Brauncolor, Norman and Norman. The Speedotron ones look very nice but i have no experience with them- my Speedotrons have standard reflectors and I use them with light modifiers. Many years ago Rollei the makers of the famous medium format TLRs and SLRs cam out with the Rollei Lights and had great beauty dishes surfaced with white titanium based paint. All of the reflectors that I have mentioned are dedicated to units of the same manufacturer but in some cases a bit of work at a machine shop can result in a nice adaption. They will not work with circular flash tubes or ones that are flush mounted on the lamp head. As mentioned, the ones that protrude forward from the flash tube socket.

I hope this helps. Ed
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Old 01-27-2009   #7
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Default Re: Beauty Dish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Shapiro View Post
There is a "beauty dish" made by Photogenic which is actually brushed aluminum inside and out. There is the deflector cap over the tube and it produces a nice light for certain kinds of portraiture. That particular model is tried and true. The Photogenic Machine Co. goes back to the 1920s and I gave an old tungsten unit made in the 50s that is built exactly in the same configuration for use with a 1000 watt Photo-flood lamp.

Problem is, there are many similar items sold as "beauty dishes" that not exactly the same as the originals because he are too small. The may have the deflector cap but the simply wont do the same job because of their size and a few other properties that are lacking. In fact some of the smaller ersatz dishes do more harm than good. The first thing to understand that beauty dishes are not designed for feathering. The deflector cap eliminates the UMPBA, the essential "hot spot" that is associated with regular 16 inch metallic parabolic reflectors. There is then no difference in illumination potential between the UMBRA and the PENUMBRA which is the edge of the beam of light which normally surrounds the hot spot. This smoothness is what creates the flattering light that is associated with the big dish beauty lights. This being the case, theses beauty lights are not particularly good main lights for character studies of men- they will do fine as fill lights in those circumstances. By not being able to feather the light you will loose some control over the placement and intensity of the specular highlights and evenness of lighting on the subject's face. Beauty dishes will take care of the even illumination but will not effect the specular highlights to any great degree.

The beauty dishes I have used of the years that have worked well are the ones made by Photogenic, Brauncolor, Norman and Norman. The Speedotron ones look very nice but i have no experience with them- my Speedotrons have standard reflectors and I use them with light modifiers. Many years ago Rollei the makers of the famous medium format TLRs and SLRs cam out with the Rollei Lights and had great beauty dishes surfaced with white titanium based paint. All of the reflectors that I have mentioned are dedicated to units of the same manufacturer but in some cases a bit of work at a machine shop can result in a nice adaption. They will not work with circular flash tubes or ones that are flush mounted on the lamp head. As mentioned, the ones that protrude forward from the flash tube socket.

I hope this helps. Ed
Thank you very much for your answer, i appreciate it
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Old 01-30-2009   #8
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Default Re: Beauty Dish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Shapiro View Post
There is a "beauty dish" made by Photogenic which is actually brushed aluminum inside and out. There is the deflector cap over the tube and it produces a nice light for certain kinds of portraiture. That particular model is tried and true. The Photogenic Machine Co. goes back to the 1920s and I gave an old tungsten unit made in the 50s that is built exactly in the same configuration for use with a 1000 watt Photo-flood lamp.

Problem is, there are many similar items sold as "beauty dishes" that not exactly the same as the originals because he are too small. The may have the deflector cap but the simply wont do the same job because of their size and a few other properties that are lacking. In fact some of the smaller ersatz dishes do more harm than good. The first thing to understand that beauty dishes are not designed for feathering. The deflector cap eliminates the UMPBA, the essential "hot spot" that is associated with regular 16 inch metallic parabolic reflectors. There is then no difference in illumination potential between the UMBRA and the PENUMBRA which is the edge of the beam of light which normally surrounds the hot spot. This smoothness is what creates the flattering light that is associated with the big dish beauty lights. This being the case, theses beauty lights are not particularly good main lights for character studies of men- they will do fine as fill lights in those circumstances. By not being able to feather the light you will loose some control over the placement and intensity of the specular highlights and evenness of lighting on the subject's face. Beauty dishes will take care of the even illumination but will not effect the specular highlights to any great degree.

The beauty dishes I have used of the years that have worked well are the ones made by Photogenic, Brauncolor, Norman and Norman. The Speedotron ones look very nice but i have no experience with them- my Speedotrons have standard reflectors and I use them with light modifiers. Many years ago Rollei the makers of the famous medium format TLRs and SLRs cam out with the Rollei Lights and had great beauty dishes surfaced with white titanium based paint. All of the reflectors that I have mentioned are dedicated to units of the same manufacturer but in some cases a bit of work at a machine shop can result in a nice adaption. They will not work with circular flash tubes or ones that are flush mounted on the lamp head. As mentioned, the ones that protrude forward from the flash tube socket.

I hope this helps. Ed
Ed have you used the Elinchrom ones?
Im looking at a 17" one

Bryan
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Old 01-30-2009   #9
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Default Re: Beauty Dish

Hey Bryan- I never used that brand so I went to their website to have a look. Those dishes are very interesting. In the illustrations on the site- it seems that the reflector is highly polished but i have never seen on in person. I like the idea of a translucent deflector. It would be nice if yo could test it out.

It looks as though it is well made but I have now idea how it is going to preform, Test it out if you can and let me know.

Ed
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Old 01-30-2009   #10
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Default Re: Beauty Dish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Shapiro View Post
Hey Bryan- I never used that brand so I went to their website to have a look. Those dishes are very interesting. In the illustrations on the site- it seems that the reflector is highly polished but i have never seen on in person. I like the idea of a translucent deflector. It would be nice if yo could test it out.

It looks as though it is well made but I have now idea how it is going to preform, Test it out if you can and let me know.

Ed

Thanks Ed will do If its like anything else ELinchrom its quality so I will let you know Ill opt for the 17" one for head shots
Thanks as usual your the best!!


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