Therefore when I started looking for a beauty dish, a grid was a must-have. After all how else can you control the spill, right? I did some research and settled on this eBay package: 16" Beauty Dish With Grid for Speedlite. Today I received it and learned that this is a Cowboy Studio product. Indeed they have similar thing on their web site.
The first thing I did was to examine the light pattern under different flash zooms, with no fabric diffuser or grid installed. I used both normal and recessed position for the front diffuser.
Here is what I like:
- Fit and finish are solid. I especially like the silver dish coating - somewhere between reflective and matte.
- Mounting looks sufficiently rugged with metal plates and thumb-screws
- Lightweight enough for use on a nano stand.
- Central reflector is attached to the dish with 3 wires which offer normal and recessed position. This design is lightweight. Off course I'd rather have one position that works really well instead of figuring out which one to use.
- Grid is of the right diameter, is attached to the dish using grid's plastic tabs, which provide an adequate hold.
- No user manual. No biggie. I would still love to hear an "official" take on flash zoom and reflector position.
- Mounting hardware prevents tilting the dish down by more than about 45°. Might be a problem if you do not use the dish on a boom or are not willing to modify (cut) the hardware.
- No provisions to use two flashes. Unless you are into modding, which I suspect I might be.
- Major bummer. The flash mounting hardware is such that the flash barely enters the inside of the dish. This results in an unappealing light spill pattern almost unaffected by flash zoom or reflector position. Compare that to the light pattern with the entire pivoting part of the flash inserted into the dish. The difference is stunning!
Continue to the problem resolution.