The following is a combination of too much time on my hands and boredom. I've always wanted to see how my different light modifiers compare to each other, specifically my speedlight modifiers. I didn't bother to test my studio lights and their modifiers because I pretty much know what the results look like. However, when using speedlights, I tend to vary between using an umbrella, small Photoflex softbox, homemade beauty dish and bare flash. This is a comparison of those modifiers, all using a Sunpack 383 as the light source. But just to make things interesting, I threw in a video light to compare with the above. All of the pics are straight out of my 5D and only resized and sharpened for web. I tried to keep the exposures about the same, but since different modifiers eat up different amounts of light, the exposures may vary a little. WB was set to auto. This first series has the lights placed about 14' from the subject. Bare flash homemade beauty dish with a 16" diameter photoflex 15"x18" softbox white umbrella in shoot thru mode same umbrella reversed video light Now here's where the real results come in. I moved the light to approximately 3' away and repeated the shots. I didn't bother to reshoot the bare strobe shot as I would rarely use it that close and un-modified. Beauty dish from 3' away Photoflex softbox from 3' away Shoot thru umbrella from 3' away umbrella reversed from 3' away video light from 3' away I also thought it would be interesting to see the light pattern so I set the light up about 3' from my back drop and underexposed the light a few f/stops. beauty dish. Note the center "dead" spot softbox umbrella. I forgot to take a pic of it in shoot thru mode. video light The differences are subtle but each modifier has it's own unique "look". The farther away you place the lights from the subject, the less difference you see.