User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  0
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: You guys heard of the Better Beamer? A flash accessory

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    You guys heard of the Better Beamer? A flash accessory

    It's a very cheap gadget designed to velcro onto your Canon or NIkon strobe which pumps up the light and is used for giving a long range subject some fill. Normally used for bird photography. I've been to the website in US and it costs $38 but they charge $50 to post the damn thing. Total cost around $90 for a $40 product.

    I want to source one in Australia, surely they must be available but I don't know.

    http://www.adorama.com/Reviews/pwr/p...Metz-54-4.html
    Last edited by mal from cessnock; 03-02-2011 at 10:42pm. Reason: Clarification
    .
    Cheers, Mal

    crafthouse images - my Flickr

    Canon EOS 5DM3, 7D and a modest collection of "L" goodies

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    09 Apr 2010
    Location
    Palm Beach
    Posts
    1,043
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You could try eBay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/FX-6-FX6-VISU...#ht_2278wt_988

    Still in the USA but more realistic postage.
    Andrew

    Mostly Canon gear

  3. #3
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Now that's a good idea - I hadn't thought of the US eBay

  4. #4
    In Training MarkChap's Avatar
    Join Date
    09 Jan 2008
    Location
    Widgee, Queensland
    Posts
    2,241
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mal,

    I don't think they are available anywhere in Australia
    Give google a try, if you are half handy, you will find a few tutorials to DIY one
    Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Install One Today
    I shoot Canon
    Cheers, Mark


  5. #5
    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Oct 2009
    Location
    Forster- Tuncurry, eastern Australia
    Posts
    1,600
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    G'day Mal

    Having a sqwiz at the link - I see that it's a better made version of a DIY I did way back in film days to shoot possums at night ...
    A 10cm dia cardboard tube from AustPost, a plastic focusing screen the sort that some people use to read small print better and some white poly stuff used for cooler boxes

    I worked out the focal length of the focusing screen - turned out to be about 8inches (in them old days), cut the cardboard tube to that length, cut the white poly stuff to 10cm dia and glued it into the cardboard tube (careful here as glue is also a solvent) and then carefully cut a rectangle for the head of (the old) Metz flashgun

    It worked a treat, and all for less than $10
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

  6. #6
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you Mark and Phil

    Seems like I'll be giving a DIY a go - it is the nature of the screen that makes me think it may be a tricky build. I know the etched plastic magnifying glass screens you are referrihg to, I'll try to source one and away I go.

  7. #7
    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Oct 2009
    Location
    Forster- Tuncurry, eastern Australia
    Posts
    1,600
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    G'day Mal

    The Fresnel lens design is no big deal - try your local newsagent of $2 shop ... try them out in the shop to ascertain the focal length - some are 15cm, others up to 20cm

    Regards, Phil

  8. #8
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Phil

    Do you work out the focal length by measuring the distance from screen to object when it is in best focus?

    Then how do you work out the length of the cardboard tube? You can't be sure of the distance your photographic subject (ie bird) will be from the front of the lens - so what do you do?

  9. #9
    Member inmotion's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 Oct 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    153
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    HI Mal I have a better beamer and have used it with th 200-400 VR shooting Galahs at 40m range and a big improvement was noticed
    search Sar Nop s post as i know he uses one as well--cheers jim

  10. #10
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanx Jim, where did you source yours?

  11. #11
    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Oct 2009
    Location
    Forster- Tuncurry, eastern Australia
    Posts
    1,600
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    G'day Mal

    Focal length ...

    1- in the shop, look thru the screen to see what sort of distance is between the lens and the target - fingers are usually okay to look at - and if it's about 15cm [6"] to 20cm [8"] you'll be okay
    2- I remember a couple of thousand years ago when I was a little fella, I got a magnifying glass and burned holes in things
    Use the same method for a more precise focal length

    3- this becomes the distance between the flash tube & the fresnel lens
    4- cut the fresnel lens - sometimes scissors, sometimes via fine toothed hacksaw blade then smooth outer diameter
    5- glue / stickytape onto end of cardboard tube

    6- stuff flash into other end of tube and run experiments by shooting into back yard etc an night to determine exposure

    Regards, Phil

  12. #12
    Member inmotion's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 Oct 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    153
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    HI I think it was Nature scapes in the US but still pretty cheap and super effective
    as I said check our Sar Nop or even PM him as he is very helpfull
    good luck

  13. #13
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very helpful Phil, thanks very much.
    I used to do the same with magnifying glasses when I was young.

    This method would seem to be far superior to buying a poorly made product. Now to find a fresnel lens. First stop, the $2 shop

    inmotion, thanks for your help. I'll search the members list and PM asking him for his view on this.

    Thanks again to all board members for your great help.

    Cheers, Mal

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    17 Nov 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    201
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Mal
    Ive bought 2 of these at different times for different flashes from:
    http://www.rpphoto.com/
    both times the postage was only US$12.00 which is a bit more reasonable than the 50+ bucks everyone seems to quote over there
    cheers
    Bryan
    Bryan

  15. #15
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Bryan - a great help. I can do $12 for postage - very reasonable.
    Cheers, Mal from Cessnock

  16. #16
    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Oct 2009
    Location
    Forster- Tuncurry, eastern Australia
    Posts
    1,600
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    G'day Mal

    One of the funny things that happen when packing up a house to move to another ... is going thru old boxes that haven't been opened for years
    and inside one was the old tube & fresnel from 2 decades ago!!!

    I'll post some images of it & from it during the next 24 hrs

    Regards, Phil

  17. #17
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Phil looking forward to seeing them

  18. #18
    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Oct 2009
    Location
    Forster- Tuncurry, eastern Australia
    Posts
    1,600
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    G'day Mel

    Okay mate - here's what I've got...
    I ran some tests overnight to show you its operation.

    I found that with the tube at the focal length of the fresnel lens, it showed a perfect match of the flash tube on the target ... ie: not good. I cut 25% off the length of the tube (28cm down to 22cm) and got a much better flash display

    1- the device in all its hi-tech guise ...


    2- this is a daylight shot of the 'target' - a tree in the neighbour's back yard. Camera to target distance is 25 - 30metres


    3- this is a show-shot taken with lens at 50mm


    4- this is final shot taken with lens at 200mm


    Biggest issues ... focus & aim
    1- focus: Shooting over this distance -and at night- focus is impossible. I have a torch labelled "1 million candlepower" that I use for possum hunting in the bush & this did a good job in highlighting the upper branches and allowing the camera to autofocus

    2- aim: Aiming the thing is another 'drama' - the slightest knock of the tube will send the flash 1/2m - 1metre off sideways, so be careful !!

    Hope this helps a bit
    Regards, Phil
    Last edited by OzzieTraveller; 07-02-2011 at 9:10am.

  19. #19
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wow Phil, you certainly went to lot of trouble. You images are clear and demonstrate the use of your great little gadget.

    Thanks for the trouble you have gone to. If I go down this track I will post you images of the completed product.

    Cheers, Mal from Cessnock

  20. #20
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    29 Jul 2009
    Location
    Cessnock, NSW AU
    Posts
    472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A roundup to this thread - I ordered the Better Beamer from the States for <$40 and it arrived today

    Thanks to everyone who responded and helped me so much.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •