The Beta Shell is the pinnacle of rugged protection for camera lenses of all shapes and sizes. An essential piece of gear for those who take things a little more seriously. When you're facing harsh conditions, your expensive gear would feel better if it found itself inside this black canister of tough proportions. It's hard as a bunker on the outside, soft and overly cushioned on the inside. This is the newest Beta Shell 5 lens protection case. Good glass is essential for photographers, and some lenses are so expensive that proper protection is just as important. If you got an expensive piece of glass, you might want to have a look at what the Beta Shell has to offer in the full review right down below!
What is this exactly?
The Beta Shell 5 series is the latest of cases designed to provide bombproof protection for most DSRL lenses. Its exterior is made out of hard ABS plastic that can withstand extreme impacts along with a water-tight seal that offers water-proof, dust, dirt, temperature changes and moister protection. The cylindrical shape is the obvious choice for housing lenses, but even small compact cameras will fit in as well with the help of some custom fitting arrangements we'll talk about later. With such a high level of protection, the beta Shell 5 case is surprisingly lightweight and feels to have a high quality professional build.
You'd think a bombproof case won't be the easiest nor quickest form of access to what's most important, but in fact the Beta Shell 5's improved twistable top lid opens and closes smoothly requiring very little effort. I've got a sneaking suspicion that all of this lubrication has something to do with it. The lid itself is ribbed and has enough grip area so that even if you have gloves on you'll be able to open up the Beta Shell case. The Beta Shell 5 can be tightened closed mid way or completely for a "max seal" which will be water tight. What I don't understand is why anyone wouldn't completely twist to close the Beta Shell 5 lid or why there's even such indication. It isn't any harder to do so and it's not like it'll take you longer to close or open up the lid.
So the on the outside the Beta Shell 5 case looks like a little bad ass bombproof case, but on the inside it's got all the soft padding you could ever wish for. In order to protect your valuable lens from shock and impacts, there are two thick white memory foam pads that are positioned at the top and bottom of your lens while a more rigid and dense foam material goes around the base of your lens keeping it centered and protected all around. The interior walls are also lined with soft microfiber material so there's no hard or bare plastic to come in contact with your gear.
Because every lens has a different diameter, the Beta Shell 5 case comes with a Fit & Trim kit comprised of two cutting sticker guides and four extra black foam insert pads that you'll need to cut a hole thru one of them to custom fit your type of lens. The process is quite easy and instructions are included to help you out. These inserts help prevent your lens from moving around as they center your lens inside the cylinder case. Once you've got everything fitted inside the Beta Shell case, you should end up with a snug fit without any movement whatsoever.
The Beta Shell 5 series of cases come in a variety of different sizes to accommodate all types of lenses. Picking the right Beta Shell case is important to better fit your lens. The one we got to review is the smallest Beta Shell 5 case available priced at $59, the 5.100. It's best for small prime lenses such as the Nikon 35mm, 40mm, 50mm. The longest lens I was able to comfortably fit inside the Beta Shell 5.100 is my Nikon 18-105mm lens while my Sigma 50mm prime lens has the widest body of them all, fit in perfectly, albeit without its hood on. To see what Beta Shell 5 case is right for your gear, check out the full lens and camera compatibility list here.
Depending on your camera gear bag and the size of your Beta Shell 5 case, you'll be able to fit a few of your lenses inside your bag. Where bags aren't water-proof, having your expensive lenses protected inside the Beta Shell 5 case really does make sense. If you decide not carry your Beta Shell 5 case inside your bag, the built-on bungee cord and multiple strap attachment holes offer versatile travel and carry configurations.
So who's it for?
The most expensive lens at my disposal is the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 at $500. I do feel better keeping it inside the Beta Shell 5 case, but I also didn't mind when I had it stored and carried around inside one of my well padded camera bags to be honest. Personally, I don't see myself using such extreme protection with what I've got at the moment. When my camera is more expensive than my most expensive lens, I really don't see the point of me having to use a Beta Shell and neither should you. If you're a professional photographer or just a prosumer with very expensive lenses, you on the other hand will find the Beta Shell 5 case to be a smart and valuable investment to keep your valuable gear protected against anything and everything.
Overall the Beta Shell 5 case offers extreme rugged protection against all elements at a somewhat affordable price with great quality construction and user friendliness. For what it's worth, we can highly recommend the Beta Shell 5 series of cases to anyone thinking about purchasing them for their next wild shooting adventure.