The “Chinatown Special” is a new DIY speedlight beauty dish design by Todd Owyoung. As you can guess from the name, the majority of the parts came from a Chinatown restaurant supply warehouse. 100% crop, strobist info and shooting notes after the jump.
Subject is seated roughly 5 feet in front of a set of white cotton curtains.
- Nikon SB900 into “Chinatown Special” DIY Beauty Dish close to the subject, high and camera left just outside the frame
- 42″ photoflex reflector positioned low camera right, just outside the frame
- Background – Snooted Nikon SB-600 behind subject pointed at white cotton curtains.
This photo was taken with the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens at 200mm and f/3.2 at ISO 640 and a shutter speed of 1/60 using the Nikon D3. Considering that I’ve come to depend on the new 70-200 down to 1/10th of a second, the shutter speed of 1/60 was more than fast enough given the new VR II image stabilization and the stopping power of the SB900.
ISO640 enabled me to use far less flash power for the key light and the background light than the same shot taken at ISO200. As you can see from the 100% crop below, the noise at ISO640 is pretty insignificant.
Catchlight Characteristics – 100% crop
Despite costing about $20, the catchlight produced by the Chinatown Special is very similar to what you’d expect from a commercial version costing hundreds of dollars. Notice how even the distribution of light is around the center of the dish.