The MagBeam is the most unique, versatile, and totally awesome fresnel lens speedlite flash modifier ever created for photographers. Use the Tele Lens for a laser-like precision beam with 2 to 3 effective extra stops of useable light.
What is a “fresnel”? Its a funny word. You can say “fr-eh-nel”, or “fr-ez-nel”. But you gotta pronounce it like it’s French, cause it is.
Way back in the early 1800s, a French physicist named Augustin Fresnel designed a new type of lens for lighthouses. The lenses were monstrous, and that was a good thing because lighthouses need to project crazy bright beams of light out 'to sailors who can’t hardly see good' (thanks Derrick).
If you’re not a 19th-century sailor, you’re probably more familiar with their modern, evolved cousin used in Hollywood and stage lighting. Hollywood style fresnel lights were used to collimate light since the days of silent film.
Collimate, by the way, is another fancypants word. But it just means “to make light travel in a straight line". The point is, the only artificial light sources available in early film days were so hot, they could literally burn your house down--so they used lenses to shape their light rather than softboxes or other types of flammable materials.
Sometimes photographers need more "juice" from their speedlites, and the MagBeam is up for the job. It’s designed to give you up to 2 to 3 effective extra stops of useable light. Think of it like a magnifying glass: when you concentrate light it is effectively more intense. This means more light at a greater distance, and your flash recycles 4 times as fast. Ya, its a big deal.
What else can you do with brighter, concentrated light?
- Use a faster shutter speed with wildlife and bird photography for sharper photos. With 2 to 3 stops, you could go from 1/50s to 1/200s or 1/400s! That's a big deal.
- Use a lower ISO speed to improve your image quality. Going from ISO3200 down to ISO800 or ISO400 is a huge improvement!
- Place your flash further away from your subject -- this is especially helpful with photographing people outdoors, and you want to overpower the sun, but a bare flash doesn't cut it, so you have to bring your flash in real close. Move it further away for a wider composition!
- Overpower sunlight for outdoor portraits. Sometimes you want that darker sky, but don't want to bring out a big, heavy, expensive flash to give you the power you want. With 2 to 3 effective extra stops of useable light, your sky can go from near-white, to a rich blue!
- Turn your flash power down to improve your recycle times. You'll get more flashes, more consistently, in a shorter amount of time when your flash doesn't have work so hard to recycle its power, which means you'll capture more photos with better flash quality!
The MagBeam’s rigid lens focuses light better than the wobbly, paper-thin alternatives. The more light that’s focused, the brighter and stronger it appears.
And thanks to its lightweight silicone housing, the MagBeam prevents unnecessary light spill out the top and sides without sacrificing portability and ease of use. Less spill means better efficiency, and a cleaner, prettier light.
Sharp, multi-spotlight control!
When fully extended, the MagBeam + Tele Lens give you super-focused light with a harder edge, similar to a stage spotlight. Not to mention the 2 to 3 effective extra stops of useable light, the MagBeam delivers light shaping like you've never had before.
Collapse the MagBeam down one stage and now you have a slightly wider beampattern with beautiful shape and crisp edges.
Collapse the MagBeam down all the way and now your wide beam turns super-wide, without losing the sharp edge and control. Its like a grid but with less spill + 2 more stops of light!
We've shot, tested, and measured lots of different light outputs. Below is a quick demo on how the MagBeam stacks up against a bare flash. Both the light shaping and total output are totally transformed.
Check out even more information about the MagBeam here: How to use the MagBeam