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My DIY Beauty Dish

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by C0L0N3L, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. C0L0N3L

    C0L0N3L Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hey all,
    I thought I'd share my beauty dish adventures with you all.

    I saw a large stainless mixing bowl for $10 wich started this whole project off.

    What I used:
    Stainless steel mixing bowl - $10.15
    plastic plate - $1.75
    1/4" washers (45 pack) - $3.13
    1/4" Dome nuts (12 pack) - $3.32
    1/4" wing nuts x 3 - $1.68
    1/4" nuts x 11 - $0.99
    24x1/4" threaded rod - $3.94
    1000x25x3mm Aluminium bar - $6.24
    Grey primer - $2.75
    White Matte - $2.75
    Black Matte - $2.75
    Clear - $2.75

    Total $42.20

    The stuff
    [​IMG]

    First remove the cat from the dish.
    [​IMG]

    I drew up a template in inventor, cut it out and stuck to it the dish using some spray adhesive.
    [​IMG]

    I decided to drill the holes first.. why because I figured cutting out a large chunk of the middle of the dish would make it even more difficult to drill the holes. So to drill the holes to 1/4" (6.35mm) I ended up using 4 drill bits slowly increasing in size, try it and you'll find out why.. unless your lucky enough to have a drill press and some nice drill bits.
    [​IMG]

    Cuting out the hole for the flash, I used a rotary tool (dremel thingy) and a re-enforced cutting wheel, I highly recommend earmuffs and safety specs for this..
    [​IMG]

    Holes cut and fixed up.
    [​IMG]

    Time for the plate.
    [​IMG]

    Now I ended up using the dremel to try and flatten the area around the holes as my bolts were aiming at the center of the dish instead of the holes they were supposed to go into.. forgot to take a picture though.
    [​IMG]

    I scuffed up the plate and dish with some 100grit sandpaper. Washed them and applied some ESP (easy surface prep) probably not nescary but I had it so I used it.
    [​IMG]

    Primer applied.
    [​IMG]

    I used a hacksaw to cut the rod up to make my bolts since the Bunnings didn't have any bolts with a full length thread.
    [​IMG]

    Bolts..
    [​IMG]

    After First coat of white paint.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cutting the 3mm Aluminium for the bracket.
    [​IMG]

    Bent
    [​IMG]

    Got lazy with the pictures after that..

    The dish ended up with 2 coats of white on the inside (I should have done like 4 thinner coats) The outside got 4 coats of black and 3 coats of clear 2 coats of clear for the white.

    Finished.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Spread 1-2 feet from the wall
    [​IMG]

    I love it. The flash obviously looses alot of power, probably 2 stops maybe more, still very useable though.

    Examples (click for bigger)
    It is a little hard to see in these ones but you get a nice doughnut catchlight in the eyes which I really like, I might make a sock for it though just to see how that goes.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I will hopefully get a comparison with a profoto beauty dish tomorrow.

    Just ask if something is unclear or you want to know more, happy to help.
     
  2. Deftone2k

    Deftone2k In the Darkroom

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    15,989
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    Newcastle
    Hey Dude

    Very nice work!

    Really like the DIY side of this :)

    Did you save that template by chance? :)
     
  3. OP
    OP
    C0L0N3L

    C0L0N3L Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Thanks man.

    Yeah fixed it up a bit hope it helps
    Beauty Dish Template

    I'm not sure where else I can put it so if the link goes down just pm me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  4. Dexamenus

    Dexamenus Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Adelaide
    Love it mate!

    Great work, might knock one up sometime :p
     
  5. sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    looks more effective than mine
    LINKY

    [​IMG]
     
  6. OP
    OP
    C0L0N3L

    C0L0N3L Member

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    Thats pretty cool though, how many watts?
     
  7. sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    35 from memory
     
  8. SyN

    SyN Member

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    wow nice
    the cat turns out much nicer after the mod! :thumbup:
     
  9. John_Boy

    John_Boy Member

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    Thats a pretty cool DIY, looks like it did the job well too!:thumbup:
     
  10. et_fone_home

    et_fone_home Member

    Joined:
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    Melbourne
    Oh Nice work on the DiY! Seems to do the job!

    Would you think a plastic bowl could be used to replace the metal bowl?
     
  11. OP
    OP
    C0L0N3L

    C0L0N3L Member

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    I don't see why not, you might even be able to find a flat white one to save painting.
     
  12. xtortion

    xtortion Member

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    Nicely done. I sseriously don't know how some of these things can cost hundreds and five hundreds of dollars. Especially when mass produced.
     
  13. Arch-Angel

    Arch-Angel Member

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    Surprised you went and painted the inside of it white :confused:

    The appeal of beauty dish light is the spectacular highlights and the fall off to almost black. Because of this the best quality dishes are usually the ones with the glossiest (almost mirror finish) centre diffusion plate... There is also a lot less light wasted this way - you'd probably gain about a 2/3 stop of light by not having matt white paint.

    Personally I really like the example pics you've given - the lighting is fantastic, but in my mind I think it looks more like it was done with a softbox than a beauty dish.

    Can really appreciate the DIY aspect of this though :thumbup:

    (before anyone mentions Mola having white internals, I'm pretty sure they're very high gloss from what I've seen. Big difference between gloss and matt for light reflection...)
     
  14. ehor

    ehor Member

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    That's weird my Mola center plate is not a shiny mirror, it's just white.
     
  15. Arch-Angel

    Arch-Angel Member

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    Might have been the Mola Beamm I saw then... (it was pretty much polished finish).

    I know they do the white, but think they are all available in regular (unpolished) silver too aren't they? (Not just the diffusion plate, but the entire interior surface)
     
  16. triggerpeg

    triggerpeg Member

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    :shock: very very dangerous that exposed ballast - Hope youve sealed or encased it with a non-conductive surround.

     
  17. ehor

    ehor Member

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    ahhh the beam is just a polished Euro :)
    The standard deflector plate is a metal disc with holes in it though.
     
  18. Arch-Angel

    Arch-Angel Member

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    Oh really? Do you mean the mounting holes, or is it gridded?

    I've been looking to get a BD for a while and keep seeing the Mola's mentioned, but don't know that I can justify the price over a yum cha ebay job for a 6th of the price... :(

    Still don't know what size to get either. Bigger softbox = better, but does the same apply to BD's when their point is to produce directional light?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  19. ehor

    ehor Member

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    no the center plate inside the dish is just a round metal disc with lots of holes in it. the opaque white glass diffuser is optional though (what I have in my setti)

    if you can't justify the mola's then look at the speedotron and kacey (abs plastic, perfect for speedlight use).

    EDIT: As for bigger the better, depends what you are trying to do. Maybe hire one for a bit and see if it suits your style/method.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    C0L0N3L

    C0L0N3L Member

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    Yeah, when I was adding it up I thought crap it's probably close to a bought one.. a quick look changed that.
    I think Ed has cleared this up.. but from my research from people trying plain stainless and a mirror for the reflector they get a bunch of rings of hard light (DIY anyway) might be different if you can engineer the dish.

    I just looked at a white profoto one today and it is a little bit more glossy but no more glossy than a flat white though(which they didn't have in supercheap) Unfortunately no comparison shots though..
     

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