Morning Dove
captured by D5 / 800mm / SB-5000 / MagBeam Wildlife Kit

We’ve been very fortunate to receive a couple of feet of snow over the last 24hrs, perfect timing to try out MagMod’s MagBeam Wildlife Kit. After I reposted an old video on the BetterBeamer, a fan emailed telling me that it was so “yesterday” and I need to try out the MagBeam so I called up B&H and had one shipped to me. Being pinned to my desk, it was the perfect time to give it a whirl cause when shooting birds in falling snow, you need that kiss of flash light to bring out their colors. So with Sharon keeping warm dressed in her ski clothes while she works at her desk as the office doors are wide open, I shot from desk testing.

Steller’s Jay
captured by D5 / 800mm / SB-5000 / MagBeam Wildlife Kit

The basics are pretty simple here, the Wildlife Kit is a new twist to the Projecta / Tele flash extender. There are many applications for this attachment, mine is simple, to increase the effective DoF I can shoot with when using flash fill. I’m using the SB-5000 / Wildlife Kit for a kiss of light. The folks at MagBeam (who make a few kits) created a pretty darn good video on their Wildlife Kit which you should really give a gander. The two BIG advantages to Wildlife Kit is how compact it is when not in use and its ease of attaching to the flash. While the Fresnel is same math, the round shape and rubber unit does seem to produce a bit of a sweeter kiss of light which I’m totally all over (for the shots here, camera exp comp 0, SB-5000 -1 1/3)!

The set up I’m using here is the D5 / 800mm / SB-5000 / Wildlife Kit mounted on the Zenilli using the Wimberley F9 flash arm . The SB-5000 is talking TTL with the D5 via the WR-R10. I’m testing at the same time the new Eneloop Pro AA 2450amh batteries which REALLY hold a charge! You’ll see in the video how they adjust the Wildlife Kit to hit the target. They are dead right on advising this as most photographers don’t take the time to do this. They do though have the flash in the hotshoe which I recommend you don’t do. Why? To start off with, ask yourself where the flash will go when you shoot vertically? There are other reasons, but this is the main one. Would I recommend the Wildlife Kit over the BetterBeamer? That’s really a darn good question to be honest with you. The BetterBeamer weighs less and the one I use has got to be at least fifteen years old so I know it lasts. But the Wildlife Kit has a tad less “harsh” light than the BetterBeamer. If you don’t own one, I would recommend starting out with the Wildlife Kit. I guess I need to stop writing and get back to testing while the birds are cooperating to see if I can determine at least for my photography, which is the best tool.

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