Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish review

Jul 29 2010

Have you ever dreamt of a beauty dish you can easily carry around with you? Or a beauty dish you don't have to check as baggage when flying? If so, Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish reflector may be of interest to you.

Pro Kit Beauty Dish is made of plastic, and it weighs only 25oz (700g), which makes it possible to attach it to a flash head rather than to a bracket (see Aurora Firefly Beauty Box, for instance). It is lightweight enough to be handheld by an assistant (on a mini-boom, for example) or even by the photographer him or herself. And, of course, you can put it on a lightstand, as you would normally do with a beauty dish.

Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: front angle view Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: back angle view

The design of Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish is elegant. It looks and feels professional. The quality is great, and the unit is built to last. It is easy to assemble, and it takes just a couple of minutes to do that.

There are two large white panels that you attach to each other with snap fasteners to form a collar that is 20" (508mm) in diameter. Similarly to other Speedlight Pro Kit products (see Flexi Bounce and Pro Kit 4), the beauty dish comes with a small dome that goes on the top of your flash to add some diffusion inside the dish. You also put a silvered inner reflector (dish) on the top of the dome to redirect the flash light into the sides of the collar and eliminate the hot spot. Both, the dome and the inner reflector are attached with a rubber band. Once you have them on you flash, all that's left to do is to insert the flash into the collar and secure it with the included Velcro strap.

We find that the attachment is well implemented. Despite the size of Pro Kit Beauty Dish, it does not wobble on a flash head at all. The unit sits tight, which makes it very comfortable to work with.

Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: main panels and case Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: snap fastener on inner silvered reflector (dish)
Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: inner silvered reflector (dish) Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: small diffusion dome and inner silvered reflector attached to a flash head
Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: assembled unit close up Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: attachment close up, Velcro strap

When you are done with your photo session, it takes just a few seconds to break the dish down and put it in its stylish case. The case comes as a part of Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish package, and it is only about an inch thick. All parts of the dish collapse flat and fit into the case pretty easily. (We typically do not flatten the diffusion dome, as it fits fine even when assembled.) There is actually enough room in the case to fit some additional accessories. For example, you can fit both, Pro Kit Beauty Dish and Pro Kit 4 Softbox into the case.

As we mentioned above, Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish is shaped as a cone and, therefore, it does not focus the light quite as well as parabolic beauty dishes do, but we still like the quality of light it delivers. Probably adding a sock (front diffuser) to increase the number of lighting options would be a nice addition to this unit. (Hopefully, the company will start selling accessories for Pro Kit Beauty Dish, at some point).

Please note that light quality you get from Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish differs significantly depending on how you assemble this light modifier. To illustrate, we conducted a small test. For both images below, we used identical camera settings, and the flash power was set to the same value in manual mode. The left image was taken with the inner reflector almost touching the diffusion dome (like shown in one of the product shots above). For the right one, we pulled the inner reflector farther from the flash (about an inch difference from the previous position).

Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: single light portrait example Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: edge light example, single light source

As you can see, the difference is more than noticeable. So, to get the most of your Pro Kit Beauty Dish, we recommend installing the inner reflector as far from the flash head as possible.

There is a couple of examples below taken with Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish positioned about 3-4 feet from the subject. No other light sources were used.

Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: inner reflector close to flash head
Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish: inner reflector far from flash head

In conclusion, Speedlight Pro Kit Beauty Dish is a professional grade accessory that is durable and reliable. Its portability makes it perfect for professionals on the go. Pro Kit Beauty Dish can impress a broad range of photographers, as well as their demanding client.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.





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