As promised earlier, here is a set of images taken with a 22" white beauty dish. The images are with just the dish, the dish with a diffusion sock, the dish with a grid, and the dish with a grid and diffusion sock. Camera is a Canon 5D mkII with a 100mm f/2.0 lens. ISO 100. Speedotron Force 5 monolight with Speedotron 22" beauty dish. The back of the mannequin's head is 3-1/2 feet from the background. Mannequin's nose to focal plane of the camera is 56" and the nose to beauty dish distance is 33". There is a white fill card to the camera left 12" from the ear that shows (just out of frame). No other lights.
|22" beauty dish|
|22" dish with diffusin sock|
|22" dish with grid|
|22" dish with grid and diffusion sock|
The light, camera, model, and background positions remained the same for each test. The lens aperture was adjusted to maintain approximately the same exposure for each. The dish alone was at f/7.1. Dish with sock was f/5.6. Dish with grid was f/5.6. The grid and sock together sucked up a lot of light and that version was at f/2.0.
Obviously, the big aperture change for the last image contributes to the very different look (very shallow depth of field), so I also did the last example (dish and sock) with the strobe power turned up so I could be at f/5.6 and here is what that looks like...
|22" dish with sock and grid at f/5.6|
You can see that by adding the sock (2nd image) the shadow side of the cheek opened up. Adding the grid (3rd image) adds contrast. The 4th image with grid and sock opens up the shadows again, but still maintains some contrast. The image is overall softer because it was shot wide open with a 100mm f/2.0 lens. The fifth image is a better comparison shot, as it was taken at f/5.6 like the individual grid and sock images.