Dive and focus lights

Light & Motion GoBe Light Review

Brent Durand
Photo, Video, Fluoro and Topside from the Same Light Body

 

Light & Motion GoBe Light Review


Photo, Video, Fluoro and Topside from the Same Light Body

Text and Photos By Brent Durand

 

 

 
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Light & Motion’s GoBe light has become a popular option for divers since it’s launch in fall 2013. The stylish compact design stands out from other lights on the dive boat while performance is what you would expect from Light & Motion (manufacturers of Sola lights).

I have been demoing a GoBe 2.2 Ah body with 500 wide, 500 spot, red focus light and Nightsea lightheads the past couple weeks on several different housing / camera combos. Thanks to our sister company, Bluewater Photo, for helping make this happen. Below are my impressions from the dives.

 

The GoBe Light

The GoBe has many benefits. Aside from being affordable, is it very lightweight and can be used as a dive light, focus light, red focus light, fluoro diving light, bicycle light and countless other topside activities. The fact that you can change lightheads (above water) makes it a great light for newer divers/photographers who will slowly add more heads and also for more seasoned divers/photographers wanting light for a specific application.

The lightheads themselves are very easy to change as long as you keep an eye on the o-rings (as underwater photographers we know this well)!

The power button is very easy to depress, which is great because it doesn’t move when mounted on a housing and pushing with one finger. Battery power level indicator is a must, especially for those who night dive frequently.

 

 

Highlights

  • 2 bodies available (2.2 Ah and 3.0 Ah Li-Ion)
    • The 3.0 AH has a longer burn time for the 700 lumen and 500 search lightheads
  • 6 different lightheads
  • Available in several kits based on intended use
  • 5 power modes
    • High, Medium, Low, Extended, SOS
  • Easy-to-push power button with power level indicator
  • Various mounting options
  • Only 160 grams
  • USB rechargeable li-ion battery

 

GoBe 2.2 / 500 Spot used for sharp focus on moving subject. Canon 5D MkIII, Aquatica housing, 100mm macro lens, 2x strobes.  Photo: Brent Durand

 

 

 

Wide Lighthead

Brightness (lumens):  700

Beam Angle:  60 degrees

Burn Time (with 3.0 body):  1.5hrs at 700 lumens (high), 12hrs at 100 lumens (low)

Best Uses:  Focus or Video light, hiking, camping or other activities where field of view is more important than beam distance.

 

 

Spot Lightheads

Brightness (lumens):  500 & 700

Beam Angle:  20 degrees

Burn Time: 

o   500 (with 2.2 body):  1.5hrs at 500 lumens (high), 12hrs at 70 lumens (low)

o   700  (with 3.0 body):  1.5 hrs at 700 lumens (high), 12hrs at 100 lumens (low)

Best Uses:  Dive light, cycling, trail running or general flashlight.

 

GoBe 2.2 / 500 Spot as focus light & Nikon D7100, Nauticam housing, 60mm macro lens, 2x strobes.  Photo: Brent Durand

 

Search Lighthead

Brightness (lumens): 500

Beam Angle:  8 degrees

Burn Time:  500 (with 3.0 body):  2.2hrs at 500 lumens (high), 18hrs at 70 lumens (low)

Best Uses:  Technical dive light, signaling, illuminating distant objects

 

 

Red Focus Lighthead

Brightness (lumens):  165

Beam Angle:  60 degree

Best Uses:  Focus light for critters that are sensitive to white light, outdoors to maintain night vision (night photography, kayaking, etc)

 

 

Nightsea Lighthead

Brightness:  .7w

Beam Angle:  20 degrees

Best Uses:  Fluoro diving & underwater fluoro photography. The GoBe Nightsea isn't as powerful as the larger Nightsea light, but provides enough blue light for great photographs on cameras that can handle higher ISOs. Every diver will have a thrill night diving with the GoBe Nightsea and the Nightsea mask filter.

 

GoBe Nightsea & Canon 5D Mk III, Aquatica housing, 100mm macro lens.
Photo: Brent Durand

 

GoBe Nightsea & Canon 5D Mk III, Aquatica housing, 100mm macro lens.
Photo: Brent Durand

 

GoBe & GoPro

The GoBe can be paired with Light & Motion’s compact camera tray & flex arm to create a compact underwater video rig. I tested the 500 spot lighthead with a GoPro Hero 3+ and it was a great combo. The single light illuminated the field of view of the camera when shooting close to the subject of the reef, while the handles helped keep the camera steady for all shots. I would recommend, however, purchasing the 700 wide lighthead if video is the primary use of the light.

 

The author testing the 500 spot with the compact camera tray and flex arm.

 

Note: If you're shooting wide-angle (or any shot where you're not within your video light's range), it's best to turn off the light and use a GoPro Underwater Video Filter.

 

 

Conclusion

The GoBe light system is a versatile light and a great option for divers who want a compact, lightweight light at a nice price point.

For more information on purchasing the GoBe, visit Bluewater Photo’s Light & Motion GoBe Light page.

 

The GoBe light & handlebar mount provide light to gear up for a night dive.

 

 

About the Author

Brent Durand is an avid California beach diver, photographer and writer dedicated to capturing unique underwater, ocean lifestyle and adventure images. Brent is editor of the Underwater Photography Guide. Make sure to follow UWPG on Facebook for updates on everything underwater-photography.

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Sea Dragon Lighting System Review

Brent Durand
SeaLife's Compact Photo/Video Rig Packs a Punch

 

Sea Dragon Lighting System Review


SeaLife's Compact Photo/Video Rig Packs a Punch

By Brent Durand

 

 

 
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SeaLife introduced the Sea Dragon system this past fall with the release of three new lights, one strobe and the Flex-Connect grip system. This lighting system is the perfect companion to SeaLife’s popular DC-1400 and with the Flex-Connect grip and arms it’s effortless to switch configurations depending on whether you’d like to shoot photo or video. The lights boast 1200 and 2000 lumens in compact bodies, complete with battery level indicator lights, three power modes and 100 degree beam. The versatile strobe can be shot in automatic (TTL) mode or in manual power mode.

I had a chance to demo some SeaLife Sea Dragon gear while diving this past weekend and share the most important facts in the review below.

 

Key Features

Sea Dragon 2000 Video Light

  • 2000 lumens
  • 100 degree beam angle
  • Rechargeable li-ion battery
  • 60 minute burn time at full power
  • 3 power level settings
  • Depth rated to 200ft / 60m
  • Auto flash detect mode briefly turns off light if strobe is fired

 

 

Sea Dragon 1200 Video Light

  • 1200 lumens
  • 100 degree beam angle
  • Rechargeable li-ion battery
  • 75 minute burn time at full power
  • 3 power level settings
  • Depth rated to 200ft / 60m
  • Auto flash detect mode briefly turns off light if strobe is fired

 

 

Sea Dragon Strobe / Flash

  • Automatic (TTL) mode and manual power
  • Large adjustment knobs & easy-to-read decals
  • Fiber optic cable requires minimal maintenance
  • Takes 4x AA batteries
  • Depth rated to 200ft / 60m

 

 

In the Lab

The SeaLife Sea Dragon kit is compact and lightweight. The DC-1400 takes great 14-megapixel photos and HD video underwater and topside (outside of the housing). Once the housing is mounted to the Flex-Connect tray, it takes only the push of a button to swap handles or to add/remove the flex arm. This is useful for quickly breaking down the gear for transport or for switching among lights/strobes in between dives.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do we need light for underwater photography? To bring back the color that’s lost at depth. Learn more in our underwater lighting fundamentals article.

I set the DC-1400 camera up with the 2000 light and strobe so that I could shoot photos and video on the same dive. As a second camera, I put a GoPro Hero 3+ on a second Flex-Connect handle with 1200 light.

Both the light & strobe battery covers twist closed and are protected by two o-rings. As with all o-rings, these should be inspected and cleaned frequently. The strobe is triggered by fiber optic cable that runs down the handle to the strobe mask (snapped onto the front of the DC-1400). The full rig fits into a small laptop-style bag for easy transport to the beach, dive boat or airplane.

 

 

 

In the Water

The DC-1400 is easy to use underwater, even when switching between photo and video modes. The Sea Dragon lighting nicely complements the housing and makes it easy to capture great images.

You can actually keep both the strobe and light on at the same time. When shooting video the strobe won’t fire. When shooting photos, the video light acts as a dive light to help you see and help the camera focus. The auto flash detect turns the video light off for a second when the strobe fires to ensure that your shot is not affected by any of its light. The benefit is that you can turn them both on at the beginning of the dive and be prepared for anything. Just switch between photo and video with the press of a button and have fun.

 

Cabezon on a bat star. SeaLife DC1400 with Sea Dragon Strobe.

 

More advanced shooters will enjoy the manual light control of the new Sea Dragon strobe. Also, both the strobe and lights have a wide range of movement on top of the Flex-Connect handle, allowing for perfect positioning to eliminate backscatter. When combined with the Flex-Connect bendable arm, the strobes/lights can be positioned at any angle for creative shooting and lighting effects.

The Flex-Connect handle with Sea Dragon light (2000 or 1200) is also a great option for GoPro cameras, producing a wide, powerful beam from a small light that’s easy to clip off on your BCD.

 

Conclusion

Divers who are interested in underwater photography but don’t have a strong photography background will enjoy the new Sea Dragon lighting system. It can be used in auto mode but can also introduce photographers into manual lighting & camera control. The price is right, and the compact nature of the rig means makes it easy to carry underwater and while traveling. 

 

 

About the Author

Brent Durand is an avid California beach diver, photographer and writer dedicated to capturing unique underwater, ocean lifestyle and adventure images. Brent is editor-in-chief of the Underwater Photography Guide. Make sure to follow UWPG on Facebook for updates on everything underwater-photography.

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Review: Sola Nightsea UV Light

Scott Gietler
See what Fluoresces in the Philippines in Scott Gietler's Review of the Sola Nightsea

Review: Sola Nightsea UV Light


See what Fluoresces in the Philippines in Scott Gietler's Review of the Sola Nightsea

By Scott Gietler

 

 

 
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Ultraviolet light has increasingly been in the scuba spotlight lately, and for good reasons. We know that normal white light brings out the reds and other colors while diving, but UV lights take this to a new level: we can see the fluorescent properties of the reef, corals, fish, invertibrates and much more. If you haven't seen a UV light underwater, imagine swimming through a real-life blacklight poster. It's very cool.

Light & Motion developed their powerful Sola Nightsea UV light, and I took it on our yearly Bluewater photo workshop in Anilao, Philippines for testing on a night dives. The light acts as a flourescent exciter, which means the light stimulates certain marine life to "flouresce" and emit light in colors we normally don't see.

 

 

Sola Nightsea Specs & accessories

  • Run Time = 110 minutes on High & 4.5 hours on low
  • Rechargable = Li-ion Wet Recharge in 150 minutes
  • Dual Mode = Included phosphor snap-on filter for use as a white light (remember, this isn't a standard diving light)
  • Factory Sealed = No O-Rings to clean and re-seal
  • Mounting Options = Pistol grip, T-handle, D-ring, hand strap, video locline, photo ball and YS mount
  • Smart Dashboard = Battery status indicator, mode selection indicator and charge status indicator
  • Includes a handstrap (wrist strap) and phosphor filter

 


This "white light" cap allows you to turn your Sola Nightsea light into a regular "white" light.


The Nightsea camera filter goes over the outside housing port, and only lets the flourescent light hit your camera lens.


This is the nightsea "mask filter". It slides over the outside of your mask, and lets you see only the flourescent light that the marine life emits when hit by the UV light. 

 

Sola Nightsea initial impressions

 

I was initially skeptical about how much I would enjoy using the Nightsea light. Hever, owhen I did my first UV dive, I was pleasantly surprised that the entire underwater world was lit up beautifully, in a way that I've never seen before!

The light is small, light, strong, and easy to use. You do not need to be an advanced photographer to pick up this light and immediately get some very cool shots. The light has a spot and flood beam, but for this review I only used it on the flood (wider) beam. For small macro subjects, I suppose I could have switched to the spot beam for a stronger UV light.

Giant corals, crinoids and anemones everywhere were lit up in amazing green and red colors. Of course, not everything was lit up, but on the coral reef huge sections glowed in dazzling colors. I stayed down as long as I could on this dive. I was definitely a fan.

My camera was quick to focus on any subject I shined the Sola nightsea light on. Sometimes the animal did not glow brightly, and sometimes shutter speeds were slow. When this happened, I sometimes had to open up my aperture (I usually shot in Av mode) at the expense of depth-of-field. Photos with a shutter speed of less than 1/100th often were soft due to a little bit of camera shake blur.

I kept the Nightsea light on high power for most of the dive, and it easily lasted the entire dive.

Recommended Settings & undewater photo tips

  • Wear the Nightsea light on your wrist. The light comes with a wriststrap.
  • I usually shot in Av mode (Aperture priority mode), exposure compensation -0.7, matrix metering, auto white balance, RAW + jpeg
  • I recommend using a high ISO, anywhere from ISO 800 - ISO 3200 depending on your camera sensor. Canon 5D Mark III shooters can shoot at ISO 6400. I had no noticeable noise in my photos using ISO 1600 with my Nikon D7000, I may use ISO 2500 next time.
  • A mid-range lens works best. If you shoot wide, you will need 2 Sola nightsea lights for the proper coverage. A long macro lens like a 100mm macro lens may result in too much camera shake. My Nikon 60mm macro lens worked well. You want to be able to get very close to your subject, and shine the UV light from a close distance.
  • The faster the shutter speed, the less camera shake you will have. I prefered to have at least 1/100th of a second shutter speed. Some objects will fluoresce more than others, so if the shutter speed is too slow you will need to open up the aperture all the way, and/or shine the UV light very close to the subject. 
  • You don't want sunlight mixed in with these photos, so use this light only at night.

 

Sola Nightsea Underwater Photos

 


Brain Coral. F3.5, 1/250th, ISO 1600. NIkon D7000, 60mm macro lens

 


Many fish have fluorescent lines. F5.6, 1/400th, ISO 1600

 


F4, 1/50th, ISO 1600; Nikon D7000, 60mm macro lens

 


Lizardfish, F4, 1/200th, ISO 1600

 


Crinoid, F5.6, 1/60th, ISO 1600

 


Coral. F5, 1/400th, ISO 1600

 

Final Impressions - Sola Nightsea

What I learned was - you never know what will flouresce with the Nightsea UV, and what colors it will show. This light has "rekindled" my interest in taking some unique photos, and I am looking forward to taking it on a night dive in California waters this month!

 

About the Author

Scott Gietler is the owner of the Underwater Photography Guide and Bluewater Photo. He enjoys helping others learn underwater photography online, in the store, and during international photo trips that he attends with his customers.

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear or Sola Nightsea UV light through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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I-Torch Pro6 Light Review

Brent Durand
Video, Focus-Assist, Red Beam and UV Light: The Pro6 Does it All

I-Torch Pro6 Light Review


Video, Focus-Assist, Red Beam and UV Light: The Pro6 Does it All

By Brent Durand

 

i-torch pro6

 

 
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I-Torch builds upon the Pro4 and Pro5 and with the brand new Pro6 video and focus light. The light combines the most coveted features from several light models and manufacturers into one compact unit. Boasting a bright and very wide beam, the light is designed for those shooting photos, video and/or night diving.

The Pro6 is made of anodized aluminum, with a double o-ring seal protecting the battery and internals. The primary mode has 3 power settings for white light and 2 for red light (ideal for shooting critters at night like cephalopods, lobsters and even mandarin fish). Hold the switch down for a couple seconds and the UV light is activated. A great addition to the Pro6 (and the new Venusian III and Pro5+) is the battery level indicator light built into the power button. The green, orange and finally red glow is an important feature - convenient and safe. The Pro6 takes one rechargeable lithium battery and comes with a spare so that you can always have a battery charging.

 

Specs

  • 2400 lumens, 120 degree beam LED light
  • 3 levels of white, 2 levels of red, 1 level of UV (Ultraviolet light)
  • Push button with battery indicator light
  • Aluminum head and body
  • Includes 2 rechargeable lithium batteries
  • 1 hour burn time at highest setting
  • Cost:  $599 USD

 

In the Lab

The Underwater Photography Guide recently tested many different Light & Motion and I-Torch lights in a dark room in order to determine brightness and beam width during actual use. We held all the lights in the exact same position, using my camera light metering system to compare the brightness of each light. The second we turned on the Pro6 we noticed how wide and even the beam was – no hot spot at all. The 120 degree beam angle definitely stands out and will be an excellent choice for video shooters, especially when using two Pro6s. Brightness of the white and red light was competitive with other lights in the same class, however the UV light was less bright than dedicated UV lights. Stay tuned for a full report on these light tests.

 

i-torch pro6

Battery level indicator lights on the Pro6 and Venusian III lights.

 

In the Water

I had a chance to test the Pro6 on a morning dive in Malibu, CA. Unfortunately and fortunately, this day came after one of the largest swells in years, along with standard SoCal “June Gloom.”  In short, visibility was poor and the water was dark – but that’s pretty good for light testing.

The first thing I noticed was how wide and powerful the beam is (I’m used to a Sola Photo 600). It took a few clicks to switch between the power modes, which I often do when diving on a high power and then reducing power for focus light use or red light. The new battery power indicator light is also a critical feature in my opinion. The glow was subtle but visible in the murky water.

The UV light is not as powerful as dedicated UV lights pumping out more lumens, however some UV light is better than no UV, or having to carry a second dedicated UV light. If using the UV light on top of the housing as a focus light, you’re limited in how close you can hold the light away from the subject. When hand-holding the UV light the diver can position the light very close to the subject – very important for capturing the ambient luminescence. Mounting the light on strobe arms as a video light allows more creative light placement. I'm looking forward to an in-water UV test and predict that the weak UV power will be an issue for compact shooters but that DSLR shooters will be able to use high ISOs to capture sharp, properly exposed images.

I didn’t get a chance to record video during my dive, but stay tuned as we’ll have some samples in the near future. Given the wide and powerful beam of the Pro6, doubling them up for video should produce excellent results, even for wide reef scenes.

 

i-torch pro6

I-Torch Pro6 after a 1-dive test.

I-Torch Pro6 Pros

  • White light, red light & UV in one unit – feature packed!
  • Compact and lightweight for a 2400 lumen light
  • Battery level indicator light
  • Cheaper than other lights with similar lumens

 

I-Torch Pro6 Cons

  • Power switch isn’t as easy to operate as on a Sola light
  • UV Light isn't very strong compared to dedicated UV lights

 

I-Torch Pro6 Pro & Con

  • Unscrewing the light body to recharge the lithium battery is less convenient than simply plugging in a Sola light, but much better for back-to-back diving because you can just swap batteries (a Sola will need to be plugged in for a few hours).

 

In Conclusion

The I-Torch Pro6 is a great light. It’s packed full of features in a compact and light aluminum body. While the UV light isn’t as strong as in dedicated UV lights, it's still a nice feature to have if you want to bring the port cover and mask cover along on your night dive. The price is also right.

So whether you want to be ready to shoot video, stills of a variety of subjects or want to travel with a lot of functionality in a single light, the Pro6 is a great option.

 

About the Author

Brent Durand is an avid California beach diver, photographer and writer with a rapidly growing portfolio of unique underwater, ocean lifestyle and adventure images. Brent is editor-in-chief of the Underwater Photography Guide. Make sure to follow UWPG on Facebook and Twitter for updates on everything underwater-photography.

 

 

Further Reading

 


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

 
 
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Night Diving in a New (UV) Light

Brent Durand
Diving with the Dyron Solaris 4200 lumen ultraviolet light. Check out these awesome results!

Night Diving in a New (UV) Light

Diving with the Dyron Solaris 4200 lumen ultraviolet light

By Brent Durand

 

 
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When I was younger I went through a blacklight poster phase, but didn’t think much about it again until diving with Dyron’s Solaris 4200 lumen ultraviolet light. I’ve used the UV light a few times and it has turned my familiar Malibu reef dives into a whole new experience. Switching off my primary light and turning on the UV light awakens a new fluorescent world popping against the dark structure of the reef – green anemones, sea stars, metridiums, cup corals, fish eyes and much more. Before we dive in, let me talk briefly about how ultraviolet light works underwater.

 
 
 
 
ISO 400, 1/5, f/2.0:  Diving with a UV light awakens a brilliant fluorescent world.
 
 
 

UV Light Underwater

 
Most night divers are familiar with bioluminescence, where single-celled organisms glow when disturbed by fin kicks or any other turbulence in the water. Fluorescence has similar properties because both are a type of luminescence, however it is only seen when shining a UV light on the subject, which stimulates the glow. The effect of the UV light is maximized at night when there are no ambient light wavelengths.
 
The Dyron Solaris UV light has two modes – 40% (2000 lumens) and 100% (4200 lumens) and it's predicted to last 30 to 50 minutes, respectively. I shot my photos and hunted subjects at 100% power and it lasted for each full dive, turning it off while not in use.
 
Dyron also included an orange gel with the light, which serves to isolate the fluorescent subjects from the background. One gel is cut and carefully placed inside your housing port. Then, in order to see what your camera “sees,” you need to also look through an orange gel. I opted against putting the gel inside my mask for two reasons: 1) the gel heavily reduces the light you’re seeing underwater, making for a very dark dive, and 2) fogging issues. My solution was to create an orange gel viewing window and zip tie it to my strobe arm. This allowed me to dive without modifying my mask and look through the window while inspecting a subject and starting to compose a shot.
 
 
 
 
 
An orange gel is placed inside the housing port to isolate fluorescence and make it "pop."
 
 
 
 

In order not to be distracted by a gel cover in front of my eyes for the entire dive, I constructed this "viewing window."

 
 
 
I use a Canon s90 and the Dyron 67mm macro wet lens. I handheld the UV light, which allowed for great flexibility with angle of light as well as distance of light. I shot in AV mode to capture ambient (UV) light with no flash and spot metering, and was able to maximize brightness without burning out the highlights by increasing or decreasing the distance I was holding the light from the subject.
 
Compact cameras are more limited with ISO than dSLRs, and I pushed the ISO to 640 in order to get a shutter speed fast enough to produce sharp images. One thing to note is that the fluorescent glow of the subject needs to really fill the frame in order for the camera to focus and find a fast shutter speed. I tried unsuccessfully to shoot a number of smaller subjects and have a bunch of OOF (out of focus) abstract art to show for it. Maybe a fine art collector will purchase the series for a million dollars?
 
 
 
 

ISO 640, 1/2, f/2.0:  One of many fluorescent subjects that I just wasn't able to capture.

 

 

ISO 640, 1/4, f/3.2:  Green anemone next to a starfish.

 
 
 
 
ISO 640, 1/13, f/2.0:  A couple orange cup corals
 
 
 

Want to try it yourself?

In summary, the Dyron Solaris UV light will bring a whole new light (pun intended) to your night dives, whether shooting photos or just kicking around the reef. Bluewater Photo has one to rent, and once you try it, you’ll be hooked!
 
 
 

About the author

Brent Durand is an avid California beach diver and ocean-inspired photographer. You can see more of his work at www.brentdimagery.com.  
 
 

Further reading

 

 


Support the Underwater Photography Guide

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo and Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


 

Light & Motion Expands The SOLA Series

Michael Zeigler
Light & Motion has expanded their very popular SOLA line of underwater photo & video lights.

Light & Motion Expands the SOLA Series

New lights have been added, and prices have been lowered

by Michael Zeigler

 

 
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Light & Motion, developers of high-powered portable underwater lighting systems, has continued to expand it SOLA line of products.  The most popular focus lights amongst underwater photographers seems to be the new SOLA Photo 800, which recently replaced the SOLA Photo 600.  The broad beam allows photographers to focus on their subject, and not so much where the focus light is aimed.  The stealth red mode allows shooters to get close to critters that are typically more sensitive to white light, like some crustaceans, small gobies, mandarin fish, juvenile fish, and mollusks. 

They also introduced the Sola 2000 and Sola 4000 lights, targeting underwater videographers with those lights.

 

Lower pricing on the Sola lights

Light & Motion has also lowered the price on the SOLA Photo 500 and SOLA Photo 800 to $299 and $499, respectively.  

 

SOLA Series

SOLA Photo 800

The SOLA Photo 800, featuring a wide, clean flood beam, and a wide red light "stealth" mode, each with three intensity levels.

 

 

SOLA Photo 500

The SOLA Photo 500, featuring a clean 60 degree flood beam which can double as a video light for the new class of compact cameras.

 

Comparing the SOLA Photo 500 and Photo 800

See complete comparison chart below.  All lights are placed 15" from the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

         Photo 500 & Photo 800 - Low Power.                               Photo 500 & 800 - High Power.

 

Red "stealth" mode on the Photo 800.

 

 

 

SOLA Photo 1200

The more powerful SOLA Photo 1200. Featuring 1200 lumens, a wide, clean flood beam, and a red light "stealth" mode, each with three intensity levels. Similar to the Sola 800, but with 50% more power. Great for people who shoot stills and video.

 

 

SOLA Dive 1200

The SOLA Dive 1200 comes standard with the wrist mount, and features a flood beam of 60 degrees, and a narrow beam.

 

      

 

 

 

 

              Dive 1200 flood beam.                                                      Dive 1200 narrow beam.

 

The front of the Dive 1200, showing the flood and narrow beam lights.

 

Sola 2000 Video

 

sola 2000 video

The Sola 2000 video offers only a wide-beam of white light, 60 degrees wide, at 3 power levels, maxing out at an incredible 2,000 lumens.

 

SOLA 4000 Video

SOLA 4000, featuring an adjustable beam, and 7 levels of intensity, up to 4000 lumens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 SOLA 4000 showing on/off & travel mode.                                Front of the SOLA 4000.

 

 

SOLA Comparison Chart*

MODELS Photo 500 Photo 800 Photo 1200 Dive 1200 SOLA 2000 SOLA 4000
Lumens 500 Flood

800-Flood

226-Red

1200-Flood

226-Red

1200-Flood

500-Spot

2000-Flood 4000-7 levels
Burn Time (mns)

100-High

400-Low

65-High

260-Low

65-High

260-Low

65-High

160-Low

50-High

200-Low

50-High

200-Low

Size 57mm x 101mm 57mm x 101mm 57mm x 101mm 57mm x 101mm 57mm x 101mm 85mm x 143mm
Weight 283gr 283gr 283gr 305gr 283gr 808gr
MSRP $299 $499 $699 $699 $899 $1599

*Source: http://www.lightandmotion.com

 

Pictures taken with the red "stealth" mode

All attempts of getting close to this tiny blue-ring top snail with the white flood beam resulted in the critter retreating into its shell.  It was un-phased by the red mode focus light of my SOLA Photo 800, and allowed me to get this picture. Due to the fast shutter speed, the red light was not recorded on the sensor as ambient light. Uncropped. Nikon D90, Ikelite housing, 60mm macro + 1.4x teleconverter. 1/200th, F40, ISO 200.

 

Similar story to the picture above, in that I could not get close enough to this Crevice Kelpfish with the white flood beam.  The red light did the trick. Due to the fast shutter speed, the red light was not recorded on the sensor as ambient light. Nikon D90, Ikelite housing, 60mm macro lens + 1.4x teleconverter.  1/200th, F14, ISO 200.

 

underwater photo with the sola 800 light

This photo was taken right after sunset, in Anilao. F13, 1/250th, ISO 200, NIkon D7000 + 105mm lens, Sea & Sea housing. The red light from my Sola photo light allowed me to not scare the Mandarin fish, and surprisingly my Nikon 105mm lens locked focus fairly quicky with the red light. It lit up the entire area, and several other photographers were taking mandarin fish photos using my light! - Scott

 

All of the Light & Motion lights mentioned here are available from our equipment sponsor, Bluewater Photo & Video.  Be sure to click or call for all your underwater photography needs.

 

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Nocturnal LED dive & focus light

Lee Peteson
Here is the first look at the new small single LED light from Nocturnal, the Nocturnal M220 LED Dive light

New Nocturnal M220 LED Dive Light

 

Here is the first look at the new small single LED light from Nocturnal, the Nocturnal M220 LED Dive light.

 

It uses only 3 AA batteries and is 5.5 inches long and 2 inches wide at the front. It weights 12oz dry and 6 oz in the water. It produces a white LED light, 220 Lumens. Depth ration is 100 meters. A simple twist on-off on the rear cap and it has dual O-rings for secure water protection - making it very hard to flood. Retail price is around $170 in the USA. There are a few for sale now, but the official release date is May, 2010.

 

Burn time is about 2 hours and then it slowly fades, according to Nocturnal - but I look forward to testing this out myself underwater.

 

small Nocturnal LED dive light / focus light

 

The light beam is a high intensity sharp center with soft but wide coverage. This is a great dive light because of it's size and bright output. It is solid and very durable and machined out of aluminum and hard anodized. It could be used as a camera focus light with a diffuser to lower the intensity of the bright center spot.

 

At ISO 100 at 1/60 of a second you will get an f-stop of f11.5 at 12 inches. If you are using an SLR camera with a good macro lens I would suggest a camera setting of F22 at 1/250 second to help keep the hot spot from showing up in the exposure.

 

Better yet, a diffuser that would cut the light output in half would be even better. Still enough light to support auto focusing but not enough to show up in the exposure.


The Ultralight mount will work very well with the Nocturnal light. 

 

This dive light also comes with a write-mount strap, which is perfect for underwater photographers who want to use it as a dual purpose night light and focus light.

 

nocturnal dive light with ultralight focus light mount

 

This light is carried at Marine Camera and other underwater camera shops.

 

 

Keldan Luna 8 LA-V 2100 lumen

Lee Peterson

Keldan Luna 8 LA-V 2100 lumen

Video Light Review

Reviewed by Lee Peterson

 

 

With the underwater video industry shifting into DSLR video, the need for superior lighting underwater has become a problem for those who want the best results. I have been testing the Keldan Luna 8 LA-V 2100 lumen LED video light and the color fidelity is the best of any of the light that I have tested. It is bright and the light distribution is very even and wide. I will be taking some underwater video with it shortly.

 

The best advantage with this system is that there are no external cords to mess with. It is completely self contained and in the water it weighs only 0.31 lbs. It can be installed on flex arms or Ultralight arms. With a burn time at high power of 80 minutes, two dives would be more than possible with just one charging.

 

 

 

 

 

Keldan Luna specifications

 

Keldan Luna 8 LA-V 2100 lumen LED Video Light
$1,993.99

* Electrical power: 10-40 watt, 5 power levels
* Color temperature: 5000 kelvin @ 20 watt
* Color Rendering Index: 95 (Ra)
* Luminous flux: 750 - 2100 lumen
A 23 watt compact fluorescent lamp emits about 1500–1600 lm.[
The difference between the units lumen and lux is that the lux takes into account the area over which the luminous flux is spread. A flux of 1000 lumens, concentrated into an area of one square metre, lights up that square metre with an illuminance of 1000 lux. The same 1000 lumens, spread out over ten square metres, produces a dimmer illuminance of only 100 lux. Mathematically, 1 lx = 1 lm/m2.
* Beam angle: 90_
* Candle power (HIGH): 1400 cd
Candlepower is a measure of light taken at the source-not at the target. Foot-candles tell us how much of that light is directed at an object we want to illuminate. If you want to figure out LED equivalents, first you must know how many lumens your LED's each produce. Then divide that value by 12.57 and you have candlepower of the LED. This is not foot-candles, remember foot-candles are illuminance. You are measuring radiance.
* Battery: 59 Wh Li-Ion ( nom. 14.8 V / 4.5 Ah )
* Burn time: 80 min (HIGH) / 240 min (LOW)
* Charge time: 3-4 h
* Dimensions: 12 cm/4.8 in diameter, 29 cm/11.6 in length,
* Weight: 1.10 kg/2.42 lbs (0.14 kg/0.31 lbs in water)
* Accessories included: Bracket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Purchase Kelan Luna Video light from Marine Camera

 

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