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DIY Better Beamer! - [ WARNING: Image Heavy!! ]


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#1 Art

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:39 PM

I went to buy a Better Beamer and decided to make my own when I saw the price.  Yes, make my own! :lol:

 

Seems like an incredibly easy concept and I had the materials at home to give it a shot.....

 

Ingredients:

 

1) Fresnel magnifier..... Check

2) plastic for the frame.... I used a HILROY plastic binder. (I think the brand was Hilroy... see link below, this is what it looked like)  I cut up the front cover and the back cover.

- this isn't quite stiff enough... but read on

http://www.11x17.com...c_0803_nobg.jpg

3) you need some stiff board... like the lid of a shoe box is about right.  .... check... we have tons of shoe boxes in the house... all female... but that doesn't effect the design! ;)

4) DUCT TAPE

5) Some indestructible Glue ( I used a two part mix, industrial glue... buy  it at Home Depot)

6) this one was a bit tricky.... the fresnel magnifier is bendy/flexible.  I needed something  to stiffen it a bit... I found a plastic bubble packaging for batteries or something.

- where the seam is on the package makes a nature rail if cut properly.  So, I cut out two rails, one for the top and one for the bottom.

 

I have this industrial two part glue, put some in the rail and glued it to the fresnel.  perfect.

 

Cut the arms of the frame from the Hillroy binder to meet my needs... see the attached pictures.

 

Used duct tape and glue to put it all together and used some cloths pegs to keep it all tight as the glue cured and dried.

 

And.... VIOLA!!  

 

Arts BETTER BEAMER, home made version!

 

Cost ....

 

Under $10 vs about $100 with shipping and taxes!!  For the amount of times I will use it.... PRICELESS.

 

Unless I use it all the time, then I will buy the Factory made one.  For now, this will do just fine.

 

What you are seeing.....

 

This is how this contraption looks like laid out.

 

Attached File  Beamer_0690.jpg   170.71KB   0 downloads

 

The arms, in black, are the HILLROY plastic covers for their presentation binders.  Not the 3 Ring Binders.  Flexible, thin plastic with metal tab to attach paper.

 

I put a stiff board against it and used duct tape.

 

Then, BENT the back so it hugged the flash, once elastic band wrapped around it... see a few pictures down.

 

Attached File  Beamer_0692.jpg   384.29KB   0 downloads

 

Then, cut out the plastic stiffener for the Fresnel magnifier.  Look on the edges.  You only need two rails.  The sides get glued into the Duct Tape... NOT the HILLROY or you won't be able to bend it.  You need a hinge, the duct tape works to attach and to hinge.

 

Attached File  Beamer_0691.jpg   395.42KB   0 downloads

 

Below, attached to FLASH.  Used the wrong flash! :(  Wanted to use my GODOX HSS flash, too lazy to set it up again!! {sigh}

 

Attached File  Beamer_0693.jpg   443.97KB   0 downloads

 

Close up of the FRONT as it sits on Camera.

 

Attached File  Beamer_0698.jpg   405.37KB   0 downloads

 

A shot to show you my set up in the back yard....

 

Attached File  Beamer_0694.jpg   467.88KB   0 downloads

 

My BLIND to hide me and the camera rig from the birds...

 

Attached File  Beamer_0696.jpg   496.65KB   0 downloads

 

The NET RESULTS of this little experiment....  Please feel free to ASK QUESTIONS... MAKE COMMENTS.

 

Attached File  Cardinal_1.jpg   248.71KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  Cardinal_2.jpg   289.92KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  Sparrow_1.jpg   169.06KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  Sparrow_01.jpg   231.73KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  Sparrow_02.jpg   226.94KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  Sparrow_03.jpg   239.08KB   0 downloads

 

Taken with:

 

Nikon D800

Nikkor 200-400mm f4 VR

Yongnuo YN568EX

Tripod

Camo Blind

Home Made Cheaper Better Beamer


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#2 james23p

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:38 PM

Very cool Art!

Jim

God bless all those in harms way and Go Navy!




D700 w/MB-D10, D605 w/MB-D14, D200 w/MB-D200, D50, Coolpix P330.

Nikon 1 stuff: Nikon V1, Nikkor 10mm f2.8 pancake w/HN-N101 & HC-N101, Nikkor 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 w/HB-N101 Aspherical VR,, Nikkor 18.5mm f1.8 w/HB-N104, Nikon 1 FT-1, SB-N5 w/Polaroid Diffuser .

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Nikon Series E lens, 28mm, 100mm, 135mm, 75-150mm, 70-210 f4.

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MF Rokinon 14mm f2.8 ED AE UMC(Ai-P)

MF Rokinon 85mm f1.4 ASP AE UMC(Ai-P)

Sigma 24-70 f2.8 EX DG HSM, Tamron's SP 70-200 f2.8 LD Di IF/Macro BIM, Kenko Pro 300 1.4 TC DGX, Tokina 100 f2.8D Macro At-X.

Pro Manfrotto 055XV with Markins M10 ,Sirui P-326 6-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod with Markins Q3 Emille, Manfrotto Compact MKC3-H01M with Combo Head, 3Pod PTT1H Table Top Tripod with Giottos MH1304 Ballhead.


#3 Wheatsack

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:55 PM

Well done Art .... are you taking orders... :rolleyes: :D


Peter................................................ f8....and be there....

#4 Art

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 12:55 AM

Well done Art .... are you taking orders... :rolleyes: :D


:lol:

NO!

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#5 Dennis

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 07:58 AM

Very cool! The results are great


Thanks, Dennis.

Photography: 100 percent art, 100 percent technical. It takes a photographer to blend them into an image.

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#6 Art

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 09:39 AM

Thanks, Dennis.


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#7 Sailjunkie

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:33 AM

Duct tape - The Handyman's Secret Weapon!  :lol:

 

Art, Red Green would be so proud of you.  :lol:

 

That said, those bird images are great.  Nice work.  :)


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#8 Art

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:36 PM

Duct tape - The Handyman's Secret Weapon!  :lol:

 

Art, Red Green would be so proud of you.  :lol:

 

That said, those bird images are great.  Nice work.  :)

 

 

Thanks, Mark.

 

Duct Tape is the Be All and End All to life's little challenges!  That, and a little glue to make it permanent! :)


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#9 Art

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:37 PM

I have to experiment with this again only with my GODOX flash.  It is HSS compatible.  Shutter speeds on the Yongnuo are just like the speedlites... 250 max.  No good for nature.

 

Would have much preferred 600s or faster!


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#10 Old Dog New Tricks

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 09:57 PM

I tried to make one, didn't see a lot of difference,but my fresnel was kind of small.  It was out of a busted flash attachment.  Nice exposure, how far out was the perch?


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#11 Art

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 10:10 PM

Maybe 30-40 feet.  It throws the light a long way, these picks are all in bad light and in the shade.  Later on in the day when that part of the yard is all shade.

 

I am very impressed with this idea.

 

I bought the Fresnel Glass at a craft store. It is the one they sell for reading.  Very flexible, you have to reinforce the top and bottom with something stiffer.  I had a blister pak for garden gloves, or batteries or something... just cut the plastic off that.  Worked like a charm.

 

It was easy to make, beats spending $100 CDN, ball park.


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#12 Dennis

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 07:23 AM

You can get these on ebay, new for $36.95. This is the link to Nikon one.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...1e401%7Ciid%3A1


  • Art likes this

Thanks, Dennis.

Photography: 100 percent art, 100 percent technical. It takes a photographer to blend them into an image.

​Film: That tangible image that you can see and hold.

My Web Site.
My 500px page.

My Instagram.
Member; Colorado Springs Creative Photography Group

Nikon D4, D200, Fm2, FM, Mamiya RB67.
 


#13 Art

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 08:53 AM

$36.95

$18.91 shipping

---------

$55.86

$14.50 Exchange

---------

$70.36 $CDN

  9.15 TAX

--------

$79.51

$10.00 Postal Service charge, bumped up from $5

--------

$89.51 CDN

 

Sucks to be Canadian sometimes.

 

Mine cost me $10 and an hour of fun trying to do it.


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#14 Dennis

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 09:36 AM

Yeah, if you make another one, you will need the slates on the top/bottom as well to help concentrate the light. Leaving it open will let a lot of the light out.


  • Art likes this

Thanks, Dennis.

Photography: 100 percent art, 100 percent technical. It takes a photographer to blend them into an image.

​Film: That tangible image that you can see and hold.

My Web Site.
My 500px page.

My Instagram.
Member; Colorado Springs Creative Photography Group

Nikon D4, D200, Fm2, FM, Mamiya RB67.
 


#15 james23p

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    Right Jazz! :D

Posted 21 July 2017 - 12:25 PM

"Mine cost me $10 and an hour of fun trying to do it."

Art the Toronto Parks and Recreation department said it's not code but they will build you one for $3000 After you get a professional flash accessory builder permit! :P

Jim
  • Art likes this

God bless all those in harms way and Go Navy!




D700 w/MB-D10, D605 w/MB-D14, D200 w/MB-D200, D50, Coolpix P330.

Nikon 1 stuff: Nikon V1, Nikkor 10mm f2.8 pancake w/HN-N101 & HC-N101, Nikkor 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 w/HB-N101 Aspherical VR,, Nikkor 18.5mm f1.8 w/HB-N104, Nikon 1 FT-1, SB-N5 w/Polaroid Diffuser .

F100 w MB-15, N80, FM3a, FE2(Black and Silver) and EM.

Nikkor 24-85G ED AF-S VR, 70-300G ED AF-S VR, 28-105 3.5-4.5 AF-D, 50 1.8 AF-D, Nikkor 18-35 f3.5-4.5 AF-D ED.

Nikon Series E lens, 28mm, 100mm, 135mm, 75-150mm, 70-210 f4.

MF Nikkor's 50 f2 Ai, 500 f4 ED Ai-P.

 

MF Rokinon 14mm f2.8 ED AE UMC(Ai-P)

MF Rokinon 85mm f1.4 ASP AE UMC(Ai-P)

Sigma 24-70 f2.8 EX DG HSM, Tamron's SP 70-200 f2.8 LD Di IF/Macro BIM, Kenko Pro 300 1.4 TC DGX, Tokina 100 f2.8D Macro At-X.

Pro Manfrotto 055XV with Markins M10 ,Sirui P-326 6-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod with Markins Q3 Emille, Manfrotto Compact MKC3-H01M with Combo Head, 3Pod PTT1H Table Top Tripod with Giottos MH1304 Ballhead.


#16 james23p

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    Right Jazz! :D

Posted 21 July 2017 - 12:31 PM

Government is so out of whack just read a story in the U.K. about a couple who had a neighbor park his car without permission in their driveway while he went to china for the summer he even asked them to take car of his cactus in the note he left. Yet the city said it's not their problem take it to civil court spend thousands of dollars and they warned them not to damage the car. Here they would slap a sticker giving the owner 24 hours to move it after that it gets towed.

The best projects here in Memphis have all been privately run and funded. The city had to upgrade our trolley system and it's been 2 years and counting and stil no trollies.

Jim

God bless all those in harms way and Go Navy!




D700 w/MB-D10, D605 w/MB-D14, D200 w/MB-D200, D50, Coolpix P330.

Nikon 1 stuff: Nikon V1, Nikkor 10mm f2.8 pancake w/HN-N101 & HC-N101, Nikkor 10-30mm f3.5-5.6 w/HB-N101 Aspherical VR,, Nikkor 18.5mm f1.8 w/HB-N104, Nikon 1 FT-1, SB-N5 w/Polaroid Diffuser .

F100 w MB-15, N80, FM3a, FE2(Black and Silver) and EM.

Nikkor 24-85G ED AF-S VR, 70-300G ED AF-S VR, 28-105 3.5-4.5 AF-D, 50 1.8 AF-D, Nikkor 18-35 f3.5-4.5 AF-D ED.

Nikon Series E lens, 28mm, 100mm, 135mm, 75-150mm, 70-210 f4.

MF Nikkor's 50 f2 Ai, 500 f4 ED Ai-P.

 

MF Rokinon 14mm f2.8 ED AE UMC(Ai-P)

MF Rokinon 85mm f1.4 ASP AE UMC(Ai-P)

Sigma 24-70 f2.8 EX DG HSM, Tamron's SP 70-200 f2.8 LD Di IF/Macro BIM, Kenko Pro 300 1.4 TC DGX, Tokina 100 f2.8D Macro At-X.

Pro Manfrotto 055XV with Markins M10 ,Sirui P-326 6-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod with Markins Q3 Emille, Manfrotto Compact MKC3-H01M with Combo Head, 3Pod PTT1H Table Top Tripod with Giottos MH1304 Ballhead.


#17 Art

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:28 PM

Yeah, if you make another one, you will need the slates on the top/bottom as well to help concentrate the light. Leaving it open will let a lot of the light out.

 

 

I never realized that!! Thanks, Dennis.  I thought the top and bottom were open.  I can MODIFY this..... with .... DUCT TAPE!! :lol: 

 

Makes sense, because this one has wonky stability left and right.  With the top and bottom covered, it will be solid and not move once on the flash.

 

Excellent!  Have to find some shoe box board..... just look in my wife's closet! :)


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#18 Art

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:29 PM

"Mine cost me $10 and an hour of fun trying to do it."

Art the Toronto Parks and Recreation department said it's not code but they will build you one for $3000 After you get a professional flash accessory builder permit! :P

Jim

 

 

Add a ZERO if you are talking City of Toronto!! :lol:


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#19 Art

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:33 PM

Government is so out of whack just read a story in the U.K. about a couple who had a neighbor park his car without permission in their driveway while he went to china for the summer he even asked them to take car of his cactus in the note he left. Yet the city said it's not their problem take it to civil court spend thousands of dollars and they warned them not to damage the car. Here they would slap a sticker giving the owner 24 hours to move it after that it gets towed.

The best projects here in Memphis have all been privately run and funded. The city had to upgrade our trolley system and it's been 2 years and counting and stil no trollies.

Jim

 

 

That is ridiculous.

 

Speaking of Trollies.... Toronto has "Street Cars" (same thing) and we have a mega million dollar deal with Bombardier who has delivered, late, shoddy vehicles.  So, Transit cancelled a pile of them.  So, they are currently upgrading the tracks.

 

Why?

 

Because when they got these stupid vehicles, someone forgot to mention they are LOWER than the last ones so all the stops had to be adjusted.  So... lay new track too!!!  It's just tax money, don't worry about it.

 

So, now that they are doing The Queensway, the downtown line is blocked.  And... they are using buses.  Everyone LOVES THE BUSES.  For DECADES, I have said get rid of those garbage cans and replace them with buses... 

 

So, while the RIP UP miles of road, cause traffic rush hour CHAOS and lay NEW TRACK!!!!, they are going to study BUSES.

 

ONLY IN TORONTO!  BURN THAT TAX MONEY!!

 

Plenty more where that was plucked!


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#20 Herman

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 03:21 AM

I'm seriously impressed, Art!!!

😃

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#21 Sailjunkie

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 11:55 AM

ONLY IN TORONTO!  BURN THAT TAX MONEY!!

 

Plenty more where that was plucked!

 

In BC, we call it Translink.  :o


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#22 Art

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 12:20 PM

I'm seriously impressed, Art!!!

Thank you, Herman.  Now... have to modify it as Dennis suggests.

 

UPGRADE! :lol:

 

Mark,

 

We have the TTC... same deal.... one big money suck.


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#23 Art

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 12:37 PM

Phil,

 

I would say you are 100% correct on the COWBIRD. Looks like the Cardinals nest got "inhabited".

 

This new bird is now all over the feeder!

 

https://www.birdwatc...headed-cowbird/


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#24 ericbowles

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 04:26 PM

That's a really neat project and obviously works well.  Thanks for sharing.

 

Was there any trick on the distance between the flash and the fresnel lens?  Your design was similar to the Better Beamer but the Harbor Digital Designs version is much shorter.  I was thinking about something similar for a small flash like the SB-500 or SB-300.  Those are lower power flashes that could be carried in a bag routinely (unlike the heavier SB-910 and others) and a little pop could be nice.  

 

I saw something on Amazon about specific focal lengths based on the fresnel lens.  It looks like 3 packs of credit card sized lenses are around $6.50 US.


Edited by ericbowles, 02 August 2017 - 04:32 PM.

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#25 Old Dog New Tricks

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 05:15 PM

The commercial ones are open top and bottom.  I would use white inside to add to the reflection.


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#26 Art

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 05:24 PM

Eric,

I am sure there must be some magical, optimal distance for each fresnel glass.

I took a flash light, went into my backyard at night, and put the light throughthe glass and then estimated the distance. I thought this was a bit of a joke until I tried it and it really does throw the light farther.

So, based on my retail fresnel lit, and my light test, I guesstimated the distance.

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#27 Art

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 05:27 PM

Cliff,

Better Beamer is open top and bottom but I think I will try this again and make a better one.

The arms of the Better Beamer are solid so the entire front element doesn't move! Mine is more flimsy and does move.

Looking for a way to correct that.

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#28 Herman

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:54 PM

This posting had slipped my mind... must be getting old. Very interesting topic and I admire your creativity, Art.

I had been looking at the Better Beamer FX4 (suitable for my SB-800) for quite some time but just coulden't make up my mind. Possibly because it looked so flimsy.

Anyway, I decided today to purchase the more sturdy MagMod MagBeam Wildlife Kit.

See link: https://youtu.be/7wespk8Ijj8 for product details and a comparison vs the Better Beamer.


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#29 Art

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 02:10 AM

Herman,

That is a great link. I think the Magmod is a better buy.

However, in Canada, shipping and taxes in....approx. $330!!! :lol:

I will stick with my contraption for now.

Greatly looking forward to a review.

Is your flash HSS?

Otherwise, you will be shooting at 1/250s....with a long lens, this isn't enough.

I went out and purchase a GODOX...nice flash and not expensive. Wild, shooting synced flash at 1/1200s or more!!

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#30 Herman

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 07:35 AM

Art, I presume HSS meaning high speed syncronisation = 1/320s (type Nikon SB-800)

 

The Magmod was ordered via Amazon Germany  and expected coming Wed or Thu.

 

Will provide feedback...

 

:)


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