The beauty dish is a commonly used light modifier these days. I don’t use it often myself (personal preference), but they are quite popular as, when used well, they can create a very pleasing look that no other light source can provide.
But, not all beauty dishes are created equally. While all the different brands and sizes are fairly similar, and everybody has their favourite, they’re all a little bit different. So, with that in mind, here are some that are all at least a little bit different.
I had somebody asking me about making their own DIY beauty dish that they could use with speedlights. Personally, I’d just buy a generic inexpensive S-Fit beauty dish on eBay and use it with the StrobiesXS bracket if I was looking to start playing around with beauty dishes on the cheap, but I can understand folks wanting to have a go at making their own and see how they stand up against the commercially available solutions.
The one I’m going to start with is the one that has the most “finished” and manufactured look. While the dish itself looks relatively inexpensive to make, it does mount on the bracket that comes with the Lasolite Ezybox (which isn’t so cheap). I would imagine you’d be able to make one of these for the far less expensive hotshoe softbox brackets available on eBay.YouTube responded to TubePress with an HTTP 410 - No longer available
This one isn’t a very large beauty dish, but it’s probably about as low budget as it gets.YouTube responded to TubePress with an HTTP 410 - No longer available
This one’s a little bigger than the one above, but also relatively inexpensive to make. Looks like the brackets have warped the plastic a bit though.YouTube responded to TubePress with an HTTP 410 - No longer available
And, as a little extra, here are some examples of what you can do with a beauty dish when you have an understanding of what they do and how they work. Without a lot of engineering, I would say that most of the DIY options out there really don’t have the configurability of some of the commercially available beauty dishes, and you’re certainly not going to get the kind of power out of a speedlight that you can with a big studio strobe, but this might inspire your design a little bit.YouTube responded to TubePress with an HTTP 410 - No longer available
Now, don’t get me wrong, I regularly make my own modifiers, snoots, grids, reflectors, diffusers, etc., usually because a specific job calls for something a little unusual, but for me, the amount of time it would take to make something I’d be happy to use (especially for a paying client) would far exceed the amount of time it would take to earn the money to cover the cost of a basic beauty dish.
That said, some folks out there have been getting some pretty incredible results with their home made beauty dishes. Perhaps I should have one of them make one for me?