Which of These Three Beauty Dishes Produces the Best Photos?

Beauty dishes are one of the most popular lighting modifiers out there, but they are not all created the same. Mola makes some of the most revered beauty dishes on the market, but with seven different models, you might wonder which is right for you. This excellent video comparison takes a look at three of the most popular versions to help you pick the best for your work.

Coming to you from John Gress, this great video compares three different beauty dishes: the Mola Setti, Mola Demi, and the Mola Rayo 15-inch. Mola's beauty dishes and reflectors are well known for their design that features ridges, which the company claims help to focus the light more effectively. A lot of portrait and beauty photographers swear by them. The Setti is one of the most popular models, featuring a 28-inch interior that is meant to provide very contrasty light. On the other hand, the Demi features a 22-inch interior meant to create an even center light shaft with a graduated transition to the edge, which sits about a half-stop below the center. Lastly, the Rayo 15 produces a 75° spread of hard, directional light with a lot of punch. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Gress. 

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7 Comments

Ken Yee's picture

I'm not sure using the others at the same distance was proper usage.
The other distance = diameter test mentioned would have been interesting..

Walter Melrose's picture

So each reflector will have it’s “sweet spot”
Based on its design and specific parabolic shape it’s foci (focus point) will occur at different distances from the subject.
Using them all at the same distance would not be a true test of the specific light quality and function.

Lee Christiansen's picture

Firstly... The "BEST" photos...? Different perhaps. And these are quite different dishes - albeit all Mola.

I was looking forward to this video, despite the misleading title. But it failed to deliver on several levels.

A true test needs to have identical poses to study fine differences.
The high, black neckline doesn't allow us to see how the shadows look under the chin.
Using the dishes at same distances means they're no being used at their designed sweet spot
Using one of the dishes with an opal centre disc changes the performance significantly.

I fear that FStoppers is just becoming a "I found this video" website. There seems to be little in the way of discernment between any old thing found on YouTube and quality tutorials.

We have erroneous titles all over the place and videos which at best, non-informative and at worst, completely wrong in almost every factual way.

Is no one watching the videos before posting them?
Is there any editorial control?

I find myself visiting here less often, and I find most often when I do, I don't find the urge to watch anything - and heaven forbid we should actually get a well thought out piece that has words... It seems editorial input extends no further than linking to the same video that everyone else is linking to this week.

To those who have a life, I'll save you some time...

The video compares 3 Mola dishes in a way that is hard to see proper differences, uses the dishes incorrectly and ignores the fact that some have different centre discs than others, with a model that can't sit still and wears clothing that hides part of the character of such modifiers. In the end you'll feel unsatisfied with what promises to be a careful comparison, but in the end just becomes a puff piece of "I've got 3 dishes..."

There - saved you some time.

Alex Zenzaburro's picture

i think they just generate traffic for the same youtubers every time.
probably some kind of sponsoring, and a clever one if you think about it.

I bet none of their staff is over 30, non of them learned photography, all of them started after the digital age, and they just read some stuff on the internet and post it here if it sounds ok to them.

I only read this page because google news keeps recommending it.

Its so full of it, that i made a profile just to post how well their articles are, so their concept of "quality-click-baiting" works :)

Gill Thompson's picture

"Which of These Three Beauty Dishes Produces the Best Photos?"

ANSWER:None of them...accessories and modifiers do not produce beautiful photos. PHOTOGRAPHERS DO. No matter what Gear is being used, proper use of it is subjective to the artist using it and the style of work they produce.

Blake Aghili's picture

I have most of those : Rayo BUT the 16" and WITH Opal Glass. And then Euro and Mantti .
Euro and Manti I can use alone - ( alone = without a fill light to soften things up - ) for a more friendly portrait ! But if it is good skin model and for a beauty fashion, I always go with Rayo 16 with Opal Glass Plus a large Octa behind it to soften the light a bit if need be.

Alex Zenzaburro's picture

why did they use it in the same distance?
They work like a parabolic mirror.

A photographic page that doesn't know the concept of a focal point.

excellent