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Old 08-24-2012   #1
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Wish I had a nice image to share!
But I have a question...how many of you
"regulars" use a flash for fill? And if so...
use the Better Beamer attachment for it?
TIA

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Old 08-24-2012   #2
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Default Re: Better Beamer

I've used the better beamer. I have to admit it was handy when I used it. Setting it up was a bit of a pain, though, and of course for nature photography your flash really doesn't recycle quickly enough many times. Overall, if at all possible, you're probably best off going flashless, but certainly having that flash for subjects at a reasonable distance away will ensure a critical sharpness that can be a bit tough to obtain without one.

Bottom line: It's another tool in the toolchest of a well-equipped nature photographer. Just remember that every tools weighs something, and you have to weigh your likelihood of lugging it along with the amount of use you're likely to get out of it.
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Old 08-24-2012   #3
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Originally Posted by JDArt View Post
I've used the better beamer. I have to admit it was handy when I used it. Setting it up was a bit of a pain, though, and of course for nature photography your flash really doesn't recycle quickly enough many times. Overall, if at all possible, you're probably best off going flashless, but certainly having that flash for subjects at a reasonable distance away will ensure a critical sharpness that can be a bit tough to obtain without one.

Bottom line: It's another tool in the toolchest of a well-equipped nature photographer. Just remember that every tools weighs something, and you have to weigh your likelihood of lugging it along with the amount of use you're likely to get out of it.
Thanks, JD. I'm anxious to start "birding", and will use my house as a "hide" to photograph backyard birds for awhile. I have a plan to arrange a perch for birds to wait until the feeder is clear for them to take their turn. But the natural sunlight is not going to cooperate at certain times, either because of angle or intensity. So fill flash comes to mind. My SB900 can be adjusted to a beam of 200mm equivalent, which may suffice...but I was thinking that a narrower beam would be better, since I'll be using a 400mm f2.8 w/either a 1.4X or 2X TC.
I also wonder if there's a "startle factor" when using flash, ie. if the birds dislike flash and will avoid the perch!
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Old 08-24-2012   #4
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I use it quite often. It is useful to extend the range of the flash, either as fill flash or as the main light. Only bird that I saw to get "startled" are the magpies. Most of the garden birds, such as tits, finches, etc. are not startled at all. Same goes with the duckpond birds.
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Old 08-24-2012   #5
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I use it quite often. It is useful to extend the range of the flash, either as fill flash or as the main light. Only bird that I saw to get "startled" are the magpies. Most of the garden birds, such as tits, finches, etc. are not startled at all. Same goes with the duckpond birds.
Thanks for responding, Gautam! That's informative. I've had a Wimberely Gimbal head for years, but they have this arm to mount the flash over the lens, which I don't own. Mounting the flash in the hot shoe will save some $$, but are there ill effects? Do birds exhibit "red-eye" under any circumstances during daylight hours? Some human subjects can. Just asking, as once I start, I'd like to have what is essential.
I have birds such as Cardinals, Chicadees, Titmice, Bluejays, Juncos, Gold Finch and Sparrows and Crows all during the Fall and Winter months. Hummingbirds (my absolute favorite) will be leaving soon (7-10 days) for their epic migration. Catbirds, Warblers, Rose-crested Grosbeaks, Orioles, and that rare Blue Bunting (for our area) and other birds I see will be gone until the Robins return in the Spring!
Our property abutts a 400-acre vegetable farm. Turkey and Deer are abundant!
I'm lucky to live near several national wildlife refuges, but trekking with 40lb of gear, even with a bicycle w/trailer, can be exhausting! I'm 62, and strong, but not up to all challenges!
So, I'll start with backyard birds (we have several feeders), and see how I do over the next couple weeks. I don't expect expert results, as I think bird photography is a "hobby" that requires full commitment and a lot of time dedicated to the pursuit!
Hey, thanks to anyone who can shed some light on this subject! I found www.naturephotographer.net, and it's a very entertaining site! Some of the folks featured live in my region! So...life is good!
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Old 08-24-2012   #6
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I do have ducks that appear every late Spring! They mate, but sometimes I don't see their chicks. Not sure what kind they are, could be common Mallards or Wood Ducks!
We have beavers, as well! They are a pain, as their dams do damage! I appreciate their work ethic, but on occasion, I must interfere! They always win, given their nature! But you live with the critters!
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Old 08-24-2012   #7
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I use the better beamer and also burned my lens hood hehe
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Old 08-25-2012   #8
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I rarely use my BB, I prefer to use my camera settings using a high ISO to get the light I need.
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Old 08-25-2012   #9
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Originally Posted by trapman View Post
Thanks for responding, Gautam! That's informative. I've had a Wimberely Gimbal head for years, but they have this arm to mount the flash over the lens, which I don't own. Mounting the flash in the hot shoe will save some $$, but are there ill effects? Do birds exhibit "red-eye" under any circumstances during daylight hours? Some human subjects can. Just asking, as once I start, I'd like to have what is essential.
Hotshoe mounted flash can cause red-eye for some large birds. Small birds usually show very prominent catchlight that needs to be corrected in pp. Small mammals like squirrels and rabbits can also show red-eye.
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Old 08-25-2012   #10
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Thank you all for taking the time to reply! Much obliged!


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