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Archive 2013 · PCB Beauty Dish - Silver or White?
  
 
Cr VI
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · PCB Beauty Dish - Silver or White?


I've decided to try a beauty dish with my AB mono-lights. Buff offers the option of a white or a silver reflecting surface. However, the specifications on the spread (un-socked) make them seem like two different animals. The white is at 135 degrees and the silver at 45 degrees.

I have no experience with this type of reflector to fall back on, so I would appreciate any insight on the most useful choice.

Thanks.



Feb 25, 2013 at 04:26 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · PCB Beauty Dish - Silver or White?


That's an interesting spec diff that I never noticed before. The thing that comes to mind for me is that the silver may be polished somewhat to make it more specular/efficient.

If that is the primary case of the differences (other than the obvious white/silver), and the shape of the BD appears to be the same, it could be akin to the difference between shining a light on a mirror vs. a piece of white paper. One (mirror) reflects the light much more narrowly iaw AI=AR, while the other (white paper) "scatters" the light into more directions due to the greater variance in surface texture (i.e. more angles).

I've got no experience with the PCB BD's themselves, but my silver BD is much more textured than the what the PCB offering appears to be in the web pics. I'd think that for most BD applications, the white would be the way to go, as the polished silver (vs. soft white or textured silver) would be pretty "hot". Of course, you can always "sock" it.

You might want to give PCB a call and discuss it with them, but for a first time @ BD, I think the question is more about a specular vs. diffuse lighting output ... people largely opting for a BD to provide softer wrap light with the center plate blocking (also removable) some of the direct light that can create hot spots. So, imo, unless you have a specific reason for going with the PCB silver, the white would be my recommendation for most people. I'm using my silver BD often as a large silver reflector in addition to a "BD".

I'm sure others can chime in with more direct experience between the two, but I do find the difference interesting. You might ask PCB if they have a link / file of an image showing the lighting pattern difference. Maybe they've got something that just isn't on the website. You can also check out the technical forum @ PCB where you could post a question on the issue.



Feb 25, 2013 at 05:06 PM
PeterBerressem
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · PCB Beauty Dish - Silver or White?


IMO, you have to try both and judge for yourself the different looks. There's no profit in listening to verbal descriptions the like of "the white is softer, the silver gives more pronounced shadow edges with harsher fall off" etc.. PCBuff offers a return period, so I'd make use of it.
Though for a start, Hensel have a lightformer comparison at their site: (hope that the link works)
http://www.hensel.eu/en/infos/compare-light-formers.html?no_cache=1



Feb 25, 2013 at 06:42 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · PCB Beauty Dish - Silver or White?


PeterBerressem wrote:
. PCBuff offers a return period, so I'd make use of it.


This too ...



Feb 25, 2013 at 07:19 PM
 

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myam203
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · PCB Beauty Dish - Silver or White?


I have the silver beauty dish, but would like to get the white one as well. I don't find it to be too harsh, but it's extremely efficient, so it's good for shooting outdoors and overpowering the sun. However, the spread can be too narrow when you're shooting in a confined space indoors. I tried doing a portrait with it a few weeks ago in my house, and at about 6 feet away, I couldn't get even coverage of my subject from their head to their waist. Another light would've solved that, but so would the white dish instead.

I've attached a few shots here where I used it.





Silver BD at ~20 feet - not a typical distance for a BD, but its efficiency is useful here







Silver BD again at ~20 feet, attempting to mimic sunset on a cloudy day







Silver BD at ~6 feet - light started to falloff on bible, had to lighten below that area




Feb 25, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Sebastian
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · PCB Beauty Dish - Silver or White?


If I were using it mainly for people I'd start with the white BD and 30 degree grid.


Feb 26, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Cr VI
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · PCB Beauty Dish - Silver or White?


Thanks all.

I spoke with Kimberly at PCB. She was very helpful and straight forward.

Summary: 1) They sell quite a few more of the white over the silver, 2) Most users who shared their application with her use the silver outdoor for the added "punch" and reduced wind profile as compared to a soft-box, 3) The sock pretty much changes it to a 22" round soft-box with some degree of intensity difference between the two surfaces.

Again, thanks everyone for the input...and Peter's link above was quite good.



Feb 27, 2013 at 06:09 PM





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