When deciding which Beauty Dish to use with your lighting, there are many different variables to choose from. In this Blog, we look at the differences between Beauty Dishes and try to help you decide which one would best suit you.
There are two different types of beauty dish we have available, one being the Standard Beauty Dish and the other being the Collapsible Beauty Dish. The standard version of the beauty dish will be made of solid metal, which means that minimal setting up is required. This type of beauty dish is great if you are using it in a fixed location or studio, simply attach is to your light and you’re away. The Collapsible Beauty Dishes are foldable and compact which makes it easy to carry around and good if you need them to be portable between different shoots. To set up the Collapsible Beauty Dish, you simply have to push down each rod until they lock into place. To fold the Collapsible Beauty down you would again just need to push down on each rod and release the locking mechanism. Here is a YouTube video which may give you a better ideal on how the collapsible beauty dish works.
The standard beauty dish can come in 30.5cm, 42cm, 55cm and 70cm and the collapsible beauty dish can come in either 60cm and 100cm. When it comes to size, it depends on what you're shooting and the effect that you would like in your photographs. As a general rule of thumb, smaller modifiers will produce a harsher light, and larger modifiers will produce a softer light. If you're going to be shooting mainly tight head shots, then you may be able to get away with a 42cm beauty dish, however the 55cm and the 70cm will give you more coverage. Please see video below to see the difference in the quality of light between the three sizes of Beauty dishes that we offer.
We offer two different colours for our beauty dishes, Silver and White. In terms of the softness of light, both types of beauty dish will be similar (provided that both beauty dishes are the same size, and are at the same distance away from your subject), however the Silver Beauty Dish will give you a more contrasting light with more specular highlights. The White Beauty Dish on the other hand, will result in a more natural looking lighting. A Silver Beauty Dish will also accentuate the texture in the skin more than a White Beauty Dish would. The example photos below were both taken with a 55cm beauty dish with the identical camera settings (ISO 100, f/11 1/125 second). The one on the left was taken with a Silver Beauty Dish, and the one on the right was taken with a White Beauty Dish. Notice how much brighter the highlights are on the left photograph compared to the one on the right.
Honeycomb Grids are used to restrict the spread of light, preventing light from spilling onto areas that you don’t want light to fall, such as on the background when you are shooting a low-key image. Here at PIXAPRO, we measure our Honeycomb grids in centimetres. The smaller the grid, the more restricted the spread of light will be. With honeycomb grids, there is a slight loss of light compared to the beauty dish without a honeycomb fitted. There is also a slight loss of softness since the spread of light is being restricted.
Having gone through the details and specifications for each beauty dish, it is safe to say that each of them has their own particular usage. If you are looking for a large portable beauty dish, then you are better off use the collapsible beauty dish. If you have a studio and are taking close-up shots, then a standard beauty dish will suit you better. And with the different colours of the beauty dishes creating different effects, this will all end up being down to your own needs as a photographer. But we would always recommend having a Beauty Dish as part of your equipment as they are very useful and can offer a different effect and lighting that you can’t get from other modifiers.