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Thread: Better beamer operation

  1. #1
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    Default Better beamer operation

    Hi all,Woody and I have just purchased Better Beamers and I am wondering if Akos + some of his mates could shed some light
    on the mysteries of flash +Beamer photography. All help would be much appreciated. Rosco.
    comments and reposts welcome

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    I'm strictly a 'flash Extender' newby, but use mine on a 430EX operated from the hot shoe. I plan to get a TTL cable so I can move it away on a bracket to lessen red / steel eye, but it's not a big problem even now. I use mine generally on -1.6 flash compensation, but look at your histogram to adopt to differing light,subjects and situations. I start taking photos of birds I'm trying to approach when I'm well away to get them used to the flash, some react more than others. Most of the photos I've posted in the last month have used extended flash, you can judge the lighting for yourself. Definitely a good thing to fill shadows and salvage backlit situations. As has been said on another thread here on 'Better Beamers' dont leave your flash looking toward the sun with one of these attached, mine can make a leaf smoulder within about 5-10sec's on a sunny day
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

  3. #3
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    Hi Ross

    LikeTrevor said, trial and error is the best way to learn how to use your flash witha BB.

    I also use a 430EX and have found that I get the best results withsetting mine at around -3.

    I was using it at -1 to -1 2/3 but was spoiling a lot of shots with steely eye. I am amazed how far they through the light and have attached two shots taken at Eulo Qld.,while I was camping on the Paroo River.

    These shots were to see how far the unit pushed the light out, taken with 18mm lens setting F3.5 @ 1/60th ISO 400.

    As Trevor also said “‘Better Beamers' don’t leave your flash looking toward the sun withone of these attached”, I have got some burn marks on my flash from the sun, and I thought that I was looking out for this.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_7865pse.jpg   IMG_7866pse.jpg  
    Regards, Geoff Brown LITHGOW NSW

    Reposts welcome

    Flicker Account http://www.flickr.com/photos/geoff_brown/

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    Geoff, what a great illustratration of how well the BB concentrates the flash.

    I made a DIY BB similar to the one described elsewhere on this site when I had a manual focus film camera.

    It worked well but the main problem was getting a torch beam with enough light output to enable me a sharp focus of the subject. I got lots of blurry shots and the occasional sharp one. The other problem with distance shots at night is red-eye which the BB will accentuate because of acute angle between the beam and camera axis.

    Now that we all use auto focus cameras getting infocus shots is far less of a problem but you will still need a decent light beam for the autofus to work properly. In this department I would recommend one of the new small FOCUSSABLE LED torches with a minimum light output of 140 lumens. LedLenser make several good ones.

    As far as red-eye goes nothing has changed except software processing.

    Good luck
    Richard Jackson
    http://www.owlphotographer.com/
    your comments and suggestions are welcomed

  5. The following user says thank you to Richard Jackson for their reply:

    Geoff Brown (02-01-2012)

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    Set your flash at 50mm manually, install it and shoot, is really all there is to it. I use the flash exposure compensation on the 580EXII and set it at -1 2/3 for general work, -1 to -2/3 for dealing with harsh daylight. +-0 for night work. Move the comp up and down as required to avoid blowing highlights. At night the camera is in manual, the flash on auto. I generally try to keep the SS in the range of 1/80- 1/250 for daylight fill work, high speed sync will work of course but you loose flash power. And of course you need a min effective focal length of 300mm to get full coverage. Off camera flash of course is generally better for red eye/steel eye prevention.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    Thanks to all for there advice it is good to know there is such a wealth of knowledge so close at hand. Rosco.
    comments and reposts welcome

  8. #7
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    Off camera flash will still not avoid red/steel eyes sadly. Even though mine sits on a Wimbereley flash bracket with an extra 150mm upward extension, the red eyes are still there. Especially with owls. But as Richard said.... software.

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    I agree with you on owls with red eye, Akos, though I would suggest modifying that by saying it's not a 100% cure, particularly for situations using fill flash in daylight, I find that I have to deal with steel eye a lot less often when I have a flash bracket. Seems it's senstive to the eye position on the bird. Otherwise we might as well leave the flash in the hot shoe.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

  10. #9
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    Yes, the bracket helps as you said Chris, but it's still no panacea. But better than hotshoe.

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