Points in Focus Photography

Speedlights: Flash Extenders

Flash extenders are useful tools when you need to increase your flash’s reach, such as in wildlife or bird photography when using a super telephoto lens. However, they can be used in many other situations to limit and direct light from a flash.

Flash extenders are normally used when the subject is at long distances, even with a 400mm lens. At short distances, there is a good chance that due to the increased flash power, the camera won’t be able to drive the flash at a low enough power.

The standard zoom setting for most flash extenders is 50mm. Adjusting the flash’s zoom position will still change the size of the projected beam, but not necessarily in the way one would expect.

  • Widening the zoom (i.e 28mm instead of 50mm) will produce a narrower beam with the extender attached.
  • Increasing the zoom (i.e. 85mm instead of 50mm) will produce a wider beam with the extender attached.


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