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DIY - Beauty Dish for portable strobes

posted Aug 5, 2011, 11:12 PM by Rick Phillips   [ updated Apr 1, 2012, 2:24 PM ]

 After seeing may people with their own version I thought I would take my crack at building my own Beauty Dish for my portable strobes. I gathered some common supplies that can be found at most any hardware store, and put them together for what turned out to be an impressive light modifier for my camera kit.
What I used consisted of:
1-13" steel mixing bowl
1-8" Steel plate
1-4"square device cover 
4-3" bolts
12-nuts for 3" bolts
4-washers for them bolts
1-1/4" extension nut
2 -1/4" bolts with nuts
2-corner brace bolts with nuts
2-90 deg corner braces
1-90 deg angle brace

I used the 4" device cover, viewed below, to make a bolt hole template on both the bowl and the plate, and for the strobe access hole in the bottom of the bowl. This plate also allowed me to sturdy the bowl and create a solid point for which to mount the flash and stand to the beauty dish.

This is what the finished mounting looked like after painting, white inside the bowl and white on both sides of the plate, and assembly. The 3" bolts are at the corners and the extra nuts space the plate out  to the desired gap from inside bottom of the bowl.

You will have to measure up and drill holes into the brackets depending on you model of flash and the trigger setup you use.
Mounted with the flash and trigger attached.

Output was very nice and it creates a small ring that is centered around the softened light.
Front flash view and target flash results are shown below.

Here are some examples of the light with the DIY Beauty Dish on bare strobe. 
Very soft light and shadows are not very sharp on horns of the shell.
On the right is with the flashes built in diffuser from the strobe only ( No Beauty Dish attached ) Harsh shadows.
I did have to reduce the power output of the flash, so some power is lost in the DIY Beauty Dish.

And the Ring light in the eyes is great.
DIY Beauty Dish

Hope this is helpful, drop me a line if you would like more information.