Beauty dish vs Octabox

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Beauty dish and octabox are two very useful apparatuses for photography. These are basically specialized light sources or reflectors to get a better light contrast in photos. Here we will discuss the pros and cons of using a beauty dish and an octabox.

What is a beauty dish?

The beauty dish is a parabolic lighting device used for photography. This is basically a reflector dish attached to a light source and provides soft light on a definite focal point. This one is more like a normal reflector. But there are some differences between them.

A beauty dish is necessarily larger than a normal reflector. The diameter of a beauty dish is two or three times larger than that of a normal reflector.

Another difference is its central opacity. There is an opaque covering before the light source. This is to avoid direct light falling on the subject. This photographer gets a softer light using a beauty dish than a normal reflector.

Profoto OCF beauty dish:

This is a light modifier for photography with a special feature. The feature that makes it different from others of this kind is, it is collapsible. Which makes it easy to carry outside? This is also lightweight and thus easily transportable. It provides softer and non-diffused reflected light.

Uses of a beauty dish:

The beauty dish is mainly used for light sourcing in photography. The basic function is to deliver a softer light on a focused point. But this is not used in all kinds of photography. Generally, in the case of portrait and fashion photography, a beauty dish is used as it provides a concentrated light on models. Most of the other light modifiers tend to diffuse the light on the subject. But the beauty dish reflects light from all angles. Its unique parabolic shape allows it to illuminate the light on subjects from all directions.

Pros of using Profoto of beauty dish:

A beauty dish is undoubtedly an essential light modifier for photography. Here are the advantages you get from it :

  • This is a must for a standard 3-light setup. This one is mainly used as the key light of a 3-light setup. Light from beauty dish flawlessly fits in the pocket developed by hard-edge lights. When you will go for editing the photo, you will be able to enhance that effect and get a high-definition photo.
  • Profoto oct beauty dish allows maximum texture details and contrasts along with concentrated light due to its parabolic shape.
  • Profoto oct beauty dish provides softer light as well as dimensionality of light. Though it is not too soft as the umbrella but allows medium-level softness of light. You can always change the hardness by regulating falloff or feathering.
  • It is easy to transport. In the case of doing outdoor photography, you will always need lighting. But other light modifiers are heavy and also tough to transport while the beauty dish is easy to transfer.
  • You may need to work in an outdoor windy environment. In that case, a beauty dish is always a good choice over an umbrella. The beauty dish is slightly windproof.
  • Profoto oct beauty dish is comparatively cheaper than other light modifiers.

Cons of using a beauty dish:

A beauty dish is a great gear for photographers, though it has some disadvantages also:

  • The provided light might be harsh sometimes. Beauty dish does not give you the softest light. It provides a medium-level softness to the reflected light.

What is an octabox?

Octabox is a kind of light modifier used in photography. An octabox is basically one type of softbox only it has an octagonal shape instead of the rectangular shape of the softbox. This provides softer and deeper lights for photography like a softbox.

The basic difference between an octabox and a softbox is the shape. Octabox is more of a circular shape that allows a circular twinkle in the models’ eyes which looks like sunshine and makes the photo more natural.

Uses of an octabox:

More or less all types of photography need octabox. So we can say this is a versatile light modifier. But it is mainly used in portrait photography as it gives natural eye sparkles. Octabox is used to spread a deep and soft light during photography. It does not reflect light rather it diffuses it. As it is octagonal in shape, it covers more space than that of the softbox.

Pros of octabox:

Octabox is a great light modifier. Here are the advantages of octabox:

  • An octabox gives soft, dependable, and broad light which is flattering and uniform.
  • Octabox is an amazing light modifier tool. You can get different types of light depths by using strobes. It gives less edgy light by mounting a strobe internally closer to the octabox. For more edged light, mount the strobe internally and far from octabox which will provide crisp shadows.
  • The inside of octabox is silver patterned which allows softer and more dispersed light.
  • While using an octabox, you do not need to change its placement of it. But in the case of the rectangular softbox, you need to change its position from vertical to horizontal while you change your camera position.

Cons of octabox:

Disadvantages of octabox are:

  • These are tough to handle and set up.
  • Octabox requires more power than other light modifiers.
  • Octabox is not usable outside without a reflector as it is only the source of diffused light.


Octabox and beauty dishes are two different types of light modifiers. These provide different types of lights, one is diffused another is reflected. But considering softer light, you should choose octabox. On the other hand, the beauty dish is more compact and consistent.

In the case of photography outside of the studio, you need to consider profoto ocf beauty dish as it is easily transportable. This also has an optional diffuser facility which allows a photographer softer light like an octabox.

Both products allow good light support for photographers. You need to select according to your need.