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A few years ago, when I was just starting out with photography, I posted a set of instructions to make your own Better Beamer flash extenders.  Essentially these are large lenses placed in front of the flash bulb to focus them onto a tighter spot, so that the flash can reach incredible distances.  Think of it as your flash zoom head on steroids!

Materials: The main materials you will need are a large fresnel lens (used as reading aids for poor-sighted), some rigid material to hold the fresnel, and some velcro to assemble the whole device.  Details below!

Extender is made up of 1 fresnel (~ 5 dollars) and 2 pieces of plastic, scored and folded to form the cone-like structure above. The plastic is further lined with the remnants of an defunct umbrella, to prevent light leak and throw the light forward. Everything is held together by velcro!

Extender is made up of 1 fresnel (~ 5 dollars) and 2 pieces of plastic, scored and folded to form the cone-like structure above. The plastic is further lined with the remnants of an defunct umbrella, to prevent light leak and throw the light forward. Everything is held together by velcro!

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Assembled Extender

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Photograph taken from my apartment (10th floor) of the streets. Not the brightest, but bear in mind – we are talking 50 meters of light throw from a shoe-mount flash!