Forums > Photography Talk > Paul c Buff vs Kacey Enterprises beauty dish

Photographer

CE Photog

Posts: 236

Columbus, Ohio, US

I'm looking at two 22 inch beauty dishes, and have narrowed it down to Paul c buff and kacey enterprises for my alien bee lights. One dealer had it for 70ish and the other for over 170 for nearly the same thing. Any advice on the two?

Apr 24 13 10:47 am Link

Photographer

CE Photog

Posts: 236

Columbus, Ohio, US

Anyone?

Apr 24 13 12:56 pm Link

Photographer

ThomasBlanchardFineArt

Posts: 222

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

I have the Paul c buff version in silver.   Comes in white as well.  Kacey is white only I believe.   

I can say the Kasey is probably built better.   I hate the on the buff version the center reflector is a separate piece that goes in the umbrella holder.   I'd rather the 1 piece of the Kacey.   It's also double duty if you get both the AB adapter and the speedlight adapters for the same dish.

Now you are making me want to get rid of my buff smile

Apr 24 13 02:19 pm Link

Photographer

JC D Photography

Posts: 17

Los Angeles, California, US

You should try the Fotodiox 28 inch better than the smaller one.

http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-10DISH-2 … alien+bees

Apr 24 13 02:22 pm Link

Photographer

MichaelClements

Posts: 1739

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I've not tried Kacey, but use a white Buff, no problems with it whatsoever, some of the work in my port is shot with it.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120310/19/4f5c21207afee.jpg

http://www.michaelclements.com.au/

Apr 24 13 02:29 pm Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7246

New York, New York, US

I use two Fotodiox one 22inch and 16inch. That is pretty much what I use most of the time. The issue with Fotodiox is that they don't fit snug, they have a little play between the light and the unit itself. The 22inch kit was about 110 for a bowens mount. The 16inch kit was about 69 bucks. Not bad, it does the job.

Apr 24 13 02:45 pm Link

Photographer

Marty McBride

Posts: 3132

Owensboro, Kentucky, US

I have the white 22" PCB. It does well what a beauty dish is supposed to do, for very little money.

Apr 24 13 03:19 pm Link

Photographer

IMAfoto

Posts: 72

Riverside, California, US

If I remember correctly the PCB Silver is about 1 ½ stops brighter, the PCB Silver with sock is about ¼ stop brighter.  The quality of light is subjective; obviously, PCB w/o sock has a more direct beam of light and has more punch.  PCB with sock looks close to Kacey, but I have not done extensive tests so do not quote me on that one. 

BC Photo wrote:
I can say the Kasey is probably built better.   I hate that on the buff version the center reflector is a separate piece that goes in the umbrella holder.   I'd rather the 1 piece of the Kacey.

I do agree with this, it depends what is more important to you.

Apr 24 13 03:22 pm Link

Photographer

Hacklight

Posts: 459

Macon, Georgia, US

The Buff dish is a bit flimsy, but I've gotten good results with it (in silver):

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120616/21/4fdd5acf3b3f8.jpg

Can't speak to the Kacey.

Apr 24 13 07:31 pm Link

Photographer

OG Foto

Posts: 226

Los Angeles, California, US

I use the PBuff silver. It is great outdoors. Indoors I use it with a 30 degree grid and love it. I have tried the Kacey as well and honestly did not see much of a difference to justify liking it more or less in terms of image quality. The silver buff is definitely more powerful and as someone mentioned 1.5 to 2 stops more intense. I tried both dishes on the same light in doors and had to really make about a 2 stop adjustment. I have heard some say that Kacey produces better skin tones. I didn't see it in my test.

Also, I agree with the guys above who did not like the buff disc that you have to insert everytime. I like it fixed. One piece. The buff disc that you insert into the umbrella holder is loos and I have to tighten it. It has also slipped during shooting and wasn't bouncing light. The dish also gets dents but I have seen no image degradation from it. Kacey BD is plastic.

So in the end. Either or.

Apr 24 13 07:41 pm Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36704

Columbus, Ohio, US

2nd generation Buff is akin to double layer tinfoil. Kacey dish & ring is a good product.

Apr 24 13 07:48 pm Link

Photographer

Chris David Photography

Posts: 477

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Kacey one has a similar shape to Mola but not sure how close the light characteristics are to it. Lightweight and durable would be important factors to consider as I use a 28" metal dish and the weight restricts maneuverability in outdoor situations due to stability.

Apr 24 13 08:36 pm Link

Photographer

photoguy35

Posts: 922

Goodyear, Arizona, US

BC Photo wrote:
I hate the on the buff version the center reflector is a separate piece that goes in the umbrella holder.   I'd rather the 1 piece of the Kacey.

I got so fed up with the new 2 piece design I went and bought some 5" drywall anchors, and used the bolts to permanently mount the reflector disk.  Just drilled 3 corresponding holes each in the dish and reflector, put the bolts in from the back of the dish, ran a nut all the way down to the dish, then used a nut above and below the reflector on each bolt to position it.

Apr 24 13 09:12 pm Link

Photographer

Barely StL

Posts: 912

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

I don't own either one. I've used a PCB dish a couple of times in another photographer's studio. Had no problems. Don't know whether it's the old or new model.

You might want to check out this blog on shooting with a beauty dish. The author (also a friend of mine) has the original PCB dish. He is more critical of the current model.

http://davedavisphotography.com/?p=909

I considered buying s 45-inch Kacey dish at one point but came to my senses and realized just how large it is. I got the 33.5-inch Mola Euro instead. The Euro won't even fit in my full-size car.

Apr 24 13 09:26 pm Link

Photographer

GM Photography

Posts: 6100

Olympia, Washington, US

I have the Silver Buff HOBD and honestly... I won't use it in my studio.  It's OK for outdoors if you need to over power the sun, but other than that, I think it is much too harsh.

The Kasey dish looks nice, but was more than what I wanted to spend.

I ended up getting an ephoto 22" dish.  It's silver, but I painted the inside matte white.  http://www.amazon.com/ePhoto-22-Inch-Ph … B003NFYLWC

I also have the same dish with a speedlight mount that I left silver.  Definitely get the grid.

Apr 24 13 09:59 pm Link

Photographer

Lee K

Posts: 2411

Palatine, Illinois, US

Get a Mola.  Pay the people who deserve the profit from the R&D.  They last forever anyway.

Apr 24 13 10:29 pm Link

Photographer

MarcMarayag

Posts: 77

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

mola and kacey should have similar light

i enjoy my kacey very much but i do love my mola as well

Apr 24 13 10:32 pm Link

Photographer

Patrick Shipstad

Posts: 4622

Burbank, California, US

I've used my Buff for over a decade and it's awesome.. just does what it's supposed to do!

Apr 24 13 10:38 pm Link

Photographer

INTROSPECTION Lab

Posts: 34

CLEARWATER BEACH, Florida, US

I have used and loved the 22" White interior Buff for years, and get nice variations with the sock and / or the Grid.  However just looked at the NEW ?? versions. Dropped the price by $20 bucks but sure sacrificed a lot of quality...

Apr 24 13 10:46 pm Link

Photographer

Dan Brady

Posts: 610

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Kacey. Fantastic dish

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8293/7845096090_03d096dd42_n.jpg
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8197/8241571952_64f0d71dfb.jpg
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8083/8280901469_ee6911e489.jpg

Apr 25 13 07:23 am Link

Photographer

Good Egg Productions

Posts: 15706

Orlando, Florida, US

photoguy35 wrote:

I got so fed up with the new 2 piece design I went and bought some 5" drywall anchors, and used the bolts to permanently mount the reflector disk.  Just drilled 3 corresponding holes each in the dish and reflector, put the bolts in from the back of the dish, ran a nut all the way down to the dish, then used a nut above and below the reflector on each bolt to position it.

You sorta did what used to be.

I have the 1st gen 22" dish from PCB.  I love it.  LOVE IT.  And now, looking at the 2nd gen, I hope I can continue to bang out accidental dings for many years.  I'm not convinced of the not-completely-rounded/parabolic shape of the new one, and I definitely don't like the 2 piece design.  Seems like you could damage it every time.

For the record, I love the dish.  I love the light that comes out of it.

Apr 25 13 07:47 am Link

Photographer

Martin Schiff Photo

Posts: 3599

Maitland, Florida, US

I am also not a fan of the two piece design of the PCB 22" dish. I also have several Bowens mount dishes for other lights, and they are much more versatile.

Also, the flat back design of the PCB does not allow you to angle it downwards which limits its usability quite a bit.

I have the 22" Fotodiox bd with grid, and am very happy with it (Bowens mount).

-- Martin

Apr 25 13 07:58 am Link

Photographer

BlueMoonPics

Posts: 4429

New York, New York, US

I guess I have the original PCB silver beauty dish.  I really like it and it's quite sturdy.  Like others have stated it will bring out every blemish on the models skin.  You will be doing lots of retouching.

I don't mind the center piece because I can change the lighting somewhat by positioning it further out or closer to get different subtle effects.  Lately I've done some tests with the center piece completely off and with a sock I like the shadows that it produces.  With this configuration it has a hot center and less light on the edges of the BD.

This was my most recent BD shot.
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130423/19/51773e9b73c75_m.jpg

This one was gridded. I don't remember if 15 or 30 deg.  Positioning is very critical at closer range.
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121229/14/50df6cf2af354_m.jpg

BD but don't remember if it was gridded.
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120928/06/5065a74958dcb_m.jpg

This is the BD but about 15 feet away from the model.
Notice the shadows.
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121129/07/50b784ea35fc7_m.jpg

Apr 25 13 08:01 am Link

Photographer

Ezhini

Posts: 1601

Wichita, Kansas, US

I am not answering your question of choice between Kacey and Buff dish.

However, I would like to point out that, whatever dish you choose to get, the Kacey bracket would be a great addition to your gear.

I have a Mola dish, but I bought the Kacey bracket. With this bracket, I am able to use Buff Einstein lights and Nikon Speedlights.

The bracket is well made, sturdy and works.

What I found was that some speed lights may not quiet fit the bracket as they need to: The height of the wingnut upon which the speedlight sits is not tall enough to center the speedlight in the dish's hole . But A simple three dollar soultion will fix that issue by raising the speedlight to fit right in the center of the dish hole!

Apr 25 13 08:58 am Link

Photographer

Daniel DeArco

Posts: 89

San Francisco, California, US

Here's a shot with my Kacey. Did pretty well for me!

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130326/23/51528fd24bd9b_m.jpg

Apr 26 13 12:06 am Link

Photographer

Innovative Imagery

Posts: 2815

Los Angeles, California, US

I have the newer high output silver with the sock and one grid.  I prefer to use it as all three items combined. I put the sock on and then press in the grid.  This gives me very fluid skin tones and not a lot of extra light spilling around.  Otherwise just with the sock.

Outside, when I want to over power the sun, I appreciate the extra stops of power the silver dish provides.

I like the adjustability of the two piece design, but I wouldn't object if it was a permanently mounted disk.  It does allow stacking dishes in a much smaller space by being able to remove the disk.

It is a tool like anything else and you need to run tests to see what it does under your conditions and decide upon viewing the results which you like when.  I preferred to save the $100 and get other stuff.

Apr 26 13 05:38 pm Link

Photographer

Jackrabbit Photo

Posts: 1

Long Beach, California, US

Cherrystone wrote:
2nd generation Buff is akin to double layer tinfoil. Kacey dish & ring is a good product.

Wow...you and I have a very different understanding of what tinfoil is. I use both the white and the silver new ones and they're both about as solid as they come.

Also...I absolutely *love* the two piece design as it allows me to use the BD either as a BD proper, or by removing or simply by not installing the center blocker, as a large high efficiency reflector for outdoor beach session.

Buff makes quality products.

Mark

Dec 23 13 09:19 am Link

Photographer

David Nelson Photograph

Posts: 348

San Antonio, Texas, US

OG Foto wrote:
I use the PBuff silver. It is great outdoors. Indoors I use it with a 30 degree grid and love it. I have tried the Kacey as well and honestly did not see much of a difference to justify liking it more or less in terms of image quality. The silver buff is definitely more powerful and as someone mentioned 1.5 to 2 stops more intense. I tried both dishes on the same light in doors and had to really make about a 2 stop adjustment. I have heard some say that Kacey produces better skin tones. I didn't see it in my test.

Also, I agree with the guys above who did not like the buff disc that you have to insert everytime. I like it fixed. One piece. The buff disc that you insert into the umbrella holder is loos and I have to tighten it. It has also slipped during shooting and wasn't bouncing light. The dish also gets dents but I have seen no image degradation from it. Kacey BD is plastic.

So in the end. Either or.

I agree with much of what you have said, I use the PCB silver reflector and I love the results, the reflector that goes in the umbrella hole can be a pain, but that also gives the PCB the ability to modify the reflection and the light.

I have also found the PCB beauty dish with the vagabond mini excellent for use on-location on windy days and when I want to add a little punch to the photo, the sock also modifies it so it is more like a round softbox

Dec 23 13 09:34 am Link

Photographer

FlirtynFun Photography

Posts: 13151

Houston, Texas, US

Jackrabbit Photo wrote:

Wow...you and I have a very different understanding of what tinfoil is. I use both the white and the silver new ones and they're both about as solid as they come.

Also...I absolutely *love* the two piece design as it allows me to use the BD either as a BD proper, or by removing or simply by not installing the center blocker, as a large high efficiency reflector for outdoor beach session.

Buff makes quality products.

Mark

sorry but the older version of the PCB beauty dish was a decent design. The new one is crap, which seems like it was fabricated in someone's garage with a pair of tin snips.
I have one of the older white ones (the Kacey is similar) and I have one of the newer silver HO ones. The silver HO model I use outside, bit it is cheaply built (and not in a good way)

Dec 23 13 09:45 am Link

Photographer

descending chain

Posts: 1219

Fullerton, California, US

Lee K wrote:
Get a Mola.  Pay the people who deserve the profit from the R&D.  They last forever anyway.

Agree

Dec 23 13 11:10 am Link

Photographer

DBVE Imaging

Posts: 1907

Fort Worth, Texas, US

I use the newer version of the 22" White Beauty Dish from Buff.  I have used most all of the popular brands at one time or another.  The Buff version is as good performance wise as any of them, even those that cost a lot more.  There is the issue of the two piece design, but to me that has never been a problem.  The quality of construction is fine.  I am not sure what those are referring to about them being tin foil.  Mine is very solid and well built.  The quality of light output is amazing.

Dec 23 13 11:17 am Link

Photographer

Joseph William

Posts: 2025

Chicago, Illinois, US

Barely StL wrote:
I don't own either one. I've used a PCB dish a couple of times in another photographer's studio. Had no problems. Don't know whether it's the old or new model.

You might want to check out this blog on shooting with a beauty dish. The author (also a friend of mine) has the original PCB dish. He is more critical of the current model.

http://davedavisphotography.com/?p=909

I considered buying s 45-inch Kacey dish at one point but came to my senses and realized just how large it is. I got the 33.5-inch Mola Euro instead. The Euro won't even fit in my full-size car.

Very interesting article thank you for posting, but his web design is crazy annoying .

Dec 23 13 11:42 am Link

Photographer

robert christopher

Posts: 2680

Snohomish, Washington, US

I have both. I tend to go for the kacey 9 times out of ten. The buff ( first generation ) is very heavy. If I forget that fact and pull it off without thinking my stand will do a backflip like a trebuchet and throw my light into a studio wall. The kacey is also plastic so doesn't dent. Many of the beauty shots in my portfolio are with the kacey dish. His service rivals buff so don't be concerned with that.

Dec 23 13 12:39 pm Link

Photographer

Fotografica Gregor

Posts: 4122

Alexandria, Virginia, US

they have the Paul C Buff beauty dishes at our studio - they work as far as it goes but are kind of clunky and loose in their attachment to the lights.   They only come with a black grid which are a bit too tight in terms of spread.  I think they are pretty mediocre....

I own a Kacey dish and because it is light weight and can't dent I use it many times traveling or on location.   I have the black and white grids made by honeygrids for it and like it very much -

my preference is the Mola Demi and Setti honestly but I find the Kacey to be superior to the Paul C Buff dish by a considerable margin *if* you buy the grids for it - but that adds considerable expense....

Dec 23 13 12:45 pm Link

Photographer

Andrew Thomas Evans

Posts: 24078

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

DBVE Imaging wrote:
I use the newer version of the 22" White Beauty Dish from Buff.  I have used most all of the popular brands at one time or another.  The Buff version is as good performance wise as any of them, even those that cost a lot more.  There is the issue of the two piece design, but to me that has never been a problem.  The quality of construction is fine.  I am not sure what those are referring to about them being tin foil.  Mine is very solid and well built.  The quality of light output is amazing.

I've used the old one mostly, but the new one seems easy to use and the design seems like it could be a bit more efficient.

For $80 wouldn't be bad to try, and if nothing else use outdoors (with the additional piece or not) as if it falls or something so what, it's cheap.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Dec 23 13 05:04 pm Link

Photographer

Ezhini

Posts: 1601

Wichita, Kansas, US

Dont know about the dish from Kacey.
But, I got a great carrying case for a dish from Kacey, wich has a side pocket for the grid too!

Dec 24 13 06:55 am Link

Photographer

T A R I K

Posts: 1245

BRONX, New York, US

I have the P. Buff 22" Silver BD with sock and love it ......................

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/140120/07/52dd47d6a344b_m.jpg

Jan 20 14 10:02 am Link

Photographer

JeffTabb Photography

Posts: 66

Brooklyn, New York, US

MichaelClements wrote:
I've not tried Kacey, but use a white Buff, no problems with it whatsoever, some of the work in my port is shot with it.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120310/19/4f5c21207afee.jpg

http://www.michaelclements.com.au/

WOW!!! I LOVE this. Awesome work bro!

Jan 20 14 10:15 am Link

Photographer

Bodyshop Studio

Posts: 66

Provo, Utah, US

I have the Kacey dish, and love it.  It is lightweight, and great on a boom.  No worries.  The only problem I have with the Kacey, is getting grids.  They only offer one grid, and have been out of stock since the middle of last year.  I have emailed several times to get an ETA on a grid, with no response.  Ended up just buying the complete grid system from Buff, which, at 22 inches fits nicely in front of my Kacey, but we have to rig it on.

Jan 20 14 10:19 am Link

Photographer

Jason Vincent Archer

Posts: 386

San Angelo, Texas, US

I bought the first generation PCB 22" dish with white interior and got some good use out of it. It performs well and has a great price tag for what it does. My only gripe was that it didn't hold up well to wear and tear. I realize others may have had a different experience with theirs, but mine is pretty beat up.

I've since purchased a Mola Setti (white) and have fallen in love with it. It wasn't cheap, but has been worth the extra cash. If it's feasible to do so, I'd recommend saving up a little and going with a Mola Demi for a 22" dish.

Jan 20 14 12:24 pm Link