Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes

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

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

B&H # FLFC07063
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  • 1Description

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.
In the Box
Visual Echoes FX5 Better Beamer Flash Extender for Use with Telephoto Lenses - for Canon 430EX & Pentax AF500FTZ
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description
    Modifier Type Flash Extender
    Attachment Method Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 0.2 lb
    FX5 Better Beamer for Select Mid-Size Flashes is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 41.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Huge help with smallish flash 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.
    Date published: 2013-07-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Does exactly what it is supposed to do I use the Better Beamer with a Canon 100-400 L lens on an EOS 40D with a 430EX Speedlite to take pictures of birds. The birds are often in the shade, and the 100-400 is not exactly a fast lens (f/5.6 at 400mm), so it is difficult to get proper exposure. With the Beamer I can use the flash to provide fill light at quite a distance, and get shots that would not be at all possible without it. The Beamer is very lightweight, and takes very little space in your bag.
    Date published: 2008-06-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wildlife in Rain Forests I use this for wildlife photography. It definitely increases the range of the flash and saves battery life. Rain forests tend to be very dark by camera standards. With this, you'll catch the bird in the distance. The only downside is that with nothing holding the fresnel lens top and bottom, it does take some abuse. This is still better than another model I saw with a hard plastic frame all around, which would make it too bulky for travel, in my opinion. Mine lasted about 5 years though before I ordered my replacement lens, which arrived quickly. Also, since my flash is not the exact model intended, I found that it fit a lot better with velcro on the sides of the flash and inside of the plastic supports. It does take some practice putting it on correctly.
    Date published: 2008-12-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from just that little extra kick of light 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.
    Date published: 2013-07-05
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great for little birds The first time I used this product was to photograph a bluebird in my backyard. As he posed for me on my fence, I was able to get great shots (EOS 30D, evaluative metering, 300mm f4 IS, 430ex flash @ -1 plus this extender) and keep the bird fully exposed. In the past, the little birds have always been underexposed. With this easy to use extender, it's very easy to get professional looking bird shots even with a (relatively) short lens.
    Date published: 2008-04-10
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from 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 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.
    Date published: 2008-04-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Works for me! 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.
    Date published: 2011-04-05
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Reach Out This product is nice for bird photography because it effectively extends the reach of the flash unit, illuminates birds in a dark canopy and creates a nice catch-light in the eye. It seems to work pretty nicely against an open sky as well. It is pretty easy to assemble and when disassembled is completely flat for easy storage. The warning about it being a magnifying lens is not stern enough. If left in the back seat of the car on a sunny day it could torch something so it is better to hide it under something or disassemble it.
    Date published: 2010-06-17
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