For quite a while I’ve been wanting to make a beauty dish, i think it was since my friend Tony made one a couple of years ago.
So I finally got to make it, I started doing a little research by reading other DIY beauty dishes. The first one was I read was the one made by David Tejada, which is the one my friend Tony used as inspiration for his; then I also read the one by Tom Seibert from Light and Pixels, his design I liked better after the corrections he made because of the way you could adjust the position of the reflecting mirror.
So after I got my list of materials ready, my girlfriend, Voula, and I went shopping for everything on the list. But there was a little problem, we couldn’t find the plastic gutter downspout connector anywhere, not in Home Depot nor Lowe’s. I got a little frustrated because the only gutter downspout connector I was able to find was a metal one and I didn’t want to use it with our SB900′s, so I put the project on hold for a couple of weeks while I did a little more research.
So, after looking for more information on how to make the beauty dish, I found Todd Owyoung from I Shoot Shows. I really liked the detailed instructions of his DIY beauty dish, called “The Chinatown Special”. The only thing with his is that he used a pre-made bracket from his Lastolite softbox, and since I work in a machine shop I decided to make my own bracket. I won’t go into the details on how I made everything since I machined my own bracket and not many people have access to a machine shop, but I plan on making another beauty dish and redesign the bracket.
So this is what I used to make it.
I will replace them with 1½ ” bolts.
This is the part of the bracket I designed, it’s upside down in the photo.
As you can see, the center hole is the shape of the SB900,
also you can see I messed up the bottom left hole in the picture.
This two parts were cut from some handles we had left over from an old job.
This part I made a little larger, but since the locking screw
was not allowing the bracket to rest flat on the bowl,
I had to cut it to almost half the length.
This one was not part of the original design, but because of the problem
with the screw I was having, I made this part to be able to place the locking
screw lower and not touch the bowl. The flash stand rests on it.
The bracket put together.
I also machined this plate, it’s 6″ in diameter.
The completed beauty dish.
Nikon D300s | Sigma 10-20@ 10mm | ISO 200 | f6.3 | 1/250
SB900 on beauty dish to top camera right
about two feet from me.
SB900 with a snoot bottom camera left
same distance as beauty dish.