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Better Beamer Flash Extender
Posted By: stormtech, 02-06-2013, 11:21 AM

When I was shopping for a flash extender to use on my AF540FGZ while shooting my longer lenses, there was little information available. The question comes up in the forums quite often about which model fits our Pentax flashes, and how they actually installed and work. Here is just a brief article on the flash extender and how it is installed.

Here are some pics and some explanation on how the Beamer goes together. The exact one I bought was here:

Amazon.com: The Flash X-Tender Better Beamer FX-6 Flash Output Booster for Nikon SB-900 Flash: Camera & Photo



In this first pic are the parts. You get the 2 side pieces, a strip of velcro and the lens. Disregard the velcro on the flash in this pic as that is my Lumiquest strip for holding my softbox and gel holder. The side pieces are labeled L and R so when they are installed the proper angle is achieved. Also, each side panel has a piece of velcro fastened to the outside of the u-shaped part to help hold it steady with the velcro strip.



In the above pic, I just loosely installed one side, and left if a bit forward on the flash so you can see how the u-shape of the side panel fits on to the side of the flash. With mine (FX-6) it is a perfect fit.



This photo shows the side panels installed The velcro strip simply wraps around it all and holds fairly well.



Another view from the underside of the flash.



Here are the panels installed. Notice at the ends are thin velcro strips. This is how the lens is attached.



Here is the lens which comes with its own plastic pouch. Notice the velcro on the edges where it will attach to the ends of the side panels.



And here is is with the installation complete. It is actually kind of a cheap setup, but it works very well, and there really aren't any commercially available alternatives that I know of. Sometimes a little adjustment is required to the vertical orientation - it will sometimes seem that it is shooting too low. The problem here is that if you try to adjust the flash head up just a little bit, it won't stay. If you go as far as adjusting the flash up to the first click, it is way too high. I've seen a couple folks on the forum try different things, but even in the straight forward position it is usually close enough. I tried this out in the near dark one night - amazing how far the flash will carry with this. I like up my tractor in the pavilion just fine which is ~50 yards from my deck. I also saw some gear setups where the camera/lens was mounted on a gimbal, and they made a bracket the attached to the gimbal somehow, and held the flash/beamer up above the lens a bit while they used an off camera flash cord to connect it. If I was going to use the beamer on a regular basis, I would fix myself up something like that.

Last edited by stormtech; 07-03-2014 at 11:10 AM.
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02-18-2016, 11:52 AM   #31
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I got Better Beamer today and now I'm thinking about a flash bracket.

I'm wondering if there's a no-name Chinese bracket which would work like sidemount flash bracket and which could be attached to the lens plate (lens fixed in Wimberley Sidemount head).


(I already own this flash cable: http://www.amazon.com/JJC-Off-Camera-Connecting-Pentax-Camera/dp/B00M7WRDQ8 )




02-18-2016, 12:56 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
I got Better Beamer today and now I'm thinking about a flash bracket.

I'm wondering if there's a no-name Chinese bracket which would work like sidemount flash bracket and which could be attached to the lens plate (lens fixed in Wimberley Sidemount head).


(I already own this flash cable: http://www.amazon.com/JJC-Off-Camera-Connecting-Pentax-Camera/dp/B00M7WRDQ8 )

I use this

http://www.jobu-design.com/Sidemount-Flash-Bracket--Small_p_56.html
02-18-2016, 01:02 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote

This looks fine, but...


"This is the smallest flash bracket we make. It centers the flash approximately 3" from the mounting surface of the tripod collar-foot."


I'm not sure if this distance is OK for DA560(?).
02-18-2016, 01:23 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
This looks fine, but...


"This is the smallest flash bracket we make. It centers the flash approximately 3" from the mounting surface of the tripod collar-foot."


I'm not sure if this distance is OK for DA560(?).
I use this with the Sigma 500. I find you do not want the Beamer directly on center with the lens. I actually have it so it bends away from the Sigma. I do not get "funny" eyes in birds and animals using this method. Directly over the center of the lens tends to deliver some odd eyes from time to time

Plus it is not expensive and it is sturdy

Bottom line - I find offsetting the Beamer away from the axis of the lens works better for me. However I think it will do fine over the 560.

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