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Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer Flash Extender for Use with Telephoto Lenses - for Canon 430EX & Pentax AF500FTZ

You Pay: $36.95

The Visual Echos FX5 Better Beamer Flash Extender will help increase the reach of the flash and increases the flash output by about 2 to 3 f/stops. It focuses and concentrates the output of the flash into a narrow beam via the fresnel screen that gets positioned in front of the flash. This allows shooting at greater distances and shooting with smaller apertures.

The Better Beamer is designed to be used with lenses 300mm and longer, and its rugged, injection-molded plastic side supports are attached to the flash head by a sturdy elastic "hook-and-loop" band. The rigid supports hold the Fresnel screen in place in both horizontal and vertical formats. Just weighs 2 1/2 oz.

The FX5 version is designed to costum fit the Canon 430EX and Pentax AF500FTZ flashes.

Excellent for wildlife and birding photography, where long-distance fill-flash is often required, especially with a bright sunlight background. The use of fill flash opens up the shadows without the appearance that a flash was used.
When used with TTL flash metering, exposure is automatically set by the camera and flash, and no special compensation is required.
Reduces the drain on battery power by two-thirds.
Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer Flash Extender for Use with Telephoto Lenses - for Canon 430EX & Pentax AF500FTZ
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Visual EchoesFX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes
     
    4.6

    (based on 36 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (23)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (11)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    100%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Lightweight (34)
    • Packs small / compresses (25)
    • Easy to use (23)
    • Reliable (16)
    • Strong construction (8)

    Cons

    • Poor quality (3)

    Best Uses

    • Wildlife photos (26)
    • Sports/action (6)
    • Fill flash (3)
    • Landscape/scenery (3)
    • Lighting (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (18), Semi-pro photographer (8), Pro photographer (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (22)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Essential for the Wildlife Photographer

    This is quite possibility the most inexpensive way to take your wildlife and bird photography up to the next notch. It gives you the ability to easily reach inside and under shady trees and...Read complete review

    This is quite possibility the most inexpensive way to take your wildlife and bird photography up to the next notch. It gives you the ability to easily reach inside and under shady trees and get well lit shots that would otherwise be impossible.

    The Better Beamer itself is quite solidly constructed, but mounting and aiming can be a little challenging. I found adding hook & loop fasteners to the inside of the arms and the sides of my flash helped the mounting situation a little (though that also makes it sit against the flash less snugly).

    Aiming is a different beast. The Better Beamer works extremely well at focusing your flash's light, so well that in many situations especially at the wider end of it's range (300mm), misalignment can cause part of the frame to not receive coverage. Anything wider than 300mm or closer than about 30-50 feet will have a bright spot in part of the frame and not much else.

    One downside is the lack of a slip over cover (not the storage pouch), so the Beamer can be covered when not being used. As it is you must be very aware of where the Beamer's lens is pointing in relation to the sun. I've seen more than a one flash that's been melted from errant sunlight.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Works Well when Aligned Correctly

    I bought this to help reach out and fill in shadows when shooting wildlife. Overall I like it and find that when it is aligned correctly it creates very pleasing results and it allows...Read complete review

    I bought this to help reach out and fill in shadows when shooting wildlife. Overall I like it and find that when it is aligned correctly it creates very pleasing results and it allows me to get shots I never would be able to get under other lighting conditions.

    For some reason when I attach the better beamer to my flash it usually is either too high or too low. Playing with the straps and resetting the beamer on the flash usually fixes this but it is time consuming and usually requires me to take a number of "test shots" to insure that the beamer is aligned with my lens. After a while of running around with it attached, I find that the beamer can slip a little and it needs to be adjusted.

    After speaking with some other Better Beamer owners I learned that many use a flash bracket that allows the flash to move up and down. Since my bracket does not do that, this may be part of the problem I have.

    The beamer does feel a little flimsy but it needs to remain light weight in order to work. It is a little clumsy to attach and hard to hand hold but after using it a while you start to get use to it. Only major thing to watch is the sun. You need to keep the sun away from the lens or you risk melting your flash or even causing a fire. A little piece of tough spun clipped onto the front lens when it is not being used prevents this.

    Reviewed by 36 customers

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    5.0

    Better Beamer

    By Bob

    from Orange County, CA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Pack
    • Easy to Use
    • Lightweight
    • Reliable

    Cons

    • Weak Construction

    Best Uses

      Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

      Works better than I expected. It needs to be on an adjustable flash bracket if using a 500mm lens.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Great for that much needed extra beam.

      By B Mac

      from Springfield Illinois.

      Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

      Easy to use and helps with the photos.

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Still getting used to it

      By Eric

      from CT

      Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

      First flash extender I've used. It works pretty well, trying to learn better technique. It's a bit flimsy, coiled use a better mechanism to attach it to the flash itself.

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Great flash extender

      By Wildlife gal

      from Selah, Wa

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Pack
      • Easy to Use
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

        Wanting to improve my wildlife photography and after reading a lot, I decided to purchase the Better Beamer. Glad I did. It has really improved my photos and for only [$]bucks! It's not too often you can find gear that improves your photography and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It stays on my flash without sagging, is easy to pack, and lightweight. The lens seems flimsy, but it works and doesn't add weight to my pack. I think if properly used and stored it will last a long time. I'm very happy with it.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        directs more light further

        By Endoman

        from Philly

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

          Increases your flash's reach in a compact and light package that won't hurt your budget; Recommend adapting to your flash with something stronger than just the supplied Velcro strip. Would be nice if it came with a case. There's a learning curve re: its use, but, once mastered, provides a good solution to low-light and/or fill flash wildlife photography.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          4.0

          Huge help with smallish flash

          By archer

          from RI

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Pack
          • Easy to Use
          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • Uneven Light Pattern

          Best Uses

          • Sports/Action
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

          This is great for allowing me to get more light on my bird feeder than my flash alone will do. This way I don't have to get as close and risk scaring off the birds. It makes getting good exposures at higher shutter speeds (for freezing motion) much easier.

          The only negatives I have found is that the light pattern isn't quite centered in front of my lens, so I have to push it down just a bit (this may go away as I use it more and things wear in a bit), and the light pattern isn't as even as I would like. On most subjects this isn't an issue, but when I was testing on a smooth even surface, the lighting pattern was easily visible.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Great product, must for wild life

          By PK

          from Canada

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Pack
          • Easy to Use
          • Lightweight
          • Reliable

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Sports/Action
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

            Friend of my recommended,and i'm doing the same.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            just that little extra kick of light

            By PandT Photos

            from Orange County, CA

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Pack
            • Easy to Use
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

              Getting the big for Wildlife photography is something that leads to acquiring expensive camera, lenses, flash and other accessories. It was nice to find something that added a ton of return on a small investment.

              If you are into wildlife, or looking to use a 300+ focal length for scenery, and have a flash (specifically the 430EX II in this case), this is well worth the money. It gives that extra kick of light to fill in the shadows on days of flat or contrasty lighting.

              Used best when you are in Av mode, it helps balance out the scene. Less useful when you are trying to grab animals in motion as it may not keep up depending on your battery situation with the flash.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Wonderful addition to my gear bag.

              By El on the Mountain

              from Virginia

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Pack
              • Easy to Use
              • Lightweight
              • Reliable
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                Bought this to help with my bird shots, it does a fantastic job of throwing light. Puts a nice catch light in the eyes.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                I told him "don't look directly at me"

                By Darkroom convert

                from Sun City West AZ

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Pack
                • Easy to Use
                • Lightweight
                • Reliable

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Sports/Action
                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                  I use the Better Beamer for birds and was blown away when shoot herons/Egrets at distances of 100-200 ft (560mm lens) and I have RED-EYE in the birds!! of course the egrets it is WHITE-EYE..! works excellent and I love the fill flash with birds with backlight, it couldn't be better! now it is in the bag at all times! Don Price

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Better Beamer

                  By jim t

                  from Warwick, Rhode Island

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Pack
                  • Easy to Use
                  • Lightweight
                  • Reliable
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                    A must have for any nature photographer. Better Beamer is terrific. Make sure you order the item that fits the flash you have. You will be satisfied with this product.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Great little gadget!

                    By rbadiola

                    from Schaumburg, Il.

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Pack
                    • Lightweight
                    • Reliable

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                      For the price of this, you'd have a significant improvement with your nature/wildlife shots.

                      It's a really simple contraption, although it makes a lot of difference.

                      This is perfect for bird shots, especially for birds on a tree where light does not reach the subject.

                      You can basically make your own, but for the price of this, I'd rather not deal with the hassle. Get one and see the difference!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      Very good for the money

                      By Photo_Obsessed156

                      from Frisco, TX

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Pack
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Sports/Action
                        • Travel
                        • Wildlife Photos

                        Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                        A little difficult to align, but works well once setup. I used it with a Pentax K10D and Pentax AF-360FGZ flash, it easily lit the tops of trees 40-50 ft away in daylight - comparison of the Pentax AF-360FGZ by itself and with the Better Beamer showed an obvious improvement.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        More keepers than ever

                        By MichaelL

                        from Montgomery, IL

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        See all my reviews

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Pack
                        • Easy to Use
                        • Lightweight
                        • Reliable

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Wildlife Photos

                          Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                          Being able to add a touch of light to my wildlife photography, especially to birds in shadow, has greatly increased my number of keeper shots. As a matter of fact, I may have to re-take some shots I thought were good, and replace them with new shots using the Better Beamer because I know I can now improve upon them.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          A must have for wildlife photograpy

                          By baltamouf

                          from Los Angeles, CA

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Pack
                          • Easy to Use
                          • Lightweight
                          • Reliable

                          Cons

                          • Really bad case

                          Best Uses

                          • Wildlife Photos

                          Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                          Really easy to use and provide consistent and quality results. The must have to fill shadows and add a pop in the eye of any wildlife

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          EXCELENT BOOM FOR MY FLASH

                          By hfgerena

                          from Trujillo Alto,PR.

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Pack
                          • Easy to Use
                          • Lightweight
                          • Reliable
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Wildlife Photos

                            Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                            Bird photograpy and any wildlife.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            Works, but overpriced IMO

                            By mSum

                            from SLC, UT

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Wildlife Photos

                              Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                              I was surprised how simple this thing is. No way should it cost as much as it does...but there seems to be an unwritten rule that photo gear costs double what it should.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Really nice peace of equipment

                              By jsimard

                              from Montreal, Qc

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy To Pack
                              • Easy to Use
                              • Lightweight
                              • Reliable
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Wildlife Photos

                                Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                                Nice built, solid, light weight. Improve my wild life photo with it.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                Works for me!

                                By Brad

                                from San Francisco Bay Area

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Pack
                                • Easy to Use
                                • Lightweight

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Wildlife Photos

                                  Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                                  We get a lot of small birds in our backyard and I've been consistently unwhelmed by the photos I've taken of them as I've always had to overexpose the entire scene to get the bird, who might be sitting in the shade, exposed properly. My flash alone wasn't cutting it so I decided to give the better beamer a try and I was quite surprised to see the difference it made. My sky's aren't blown out now, and the birds are vibrant and detailed. My only niggle with it is that it is a bit flimsy, but I guess you don't want something too heavy on your flash.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                   
                                  4.0

                                  Better Beamer Adds Punch to PIcs

                                  By Circle Bar B Bill

                                  from Lakealnd, FL

                                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Easy To Pack
                                  • Easy to Use
                                  • Lightweight
                                  • Reliable

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Wildlife Photos

                                    Comments about Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes:

                                    I bought the Better Beamer to add pop to my Bird shots and it did just that. The action is frozen and the subjects and have catchlight in their eyes, even at a considerable distance. It does exactly what I wanted in giving my shots that extra added pop.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

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