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New LED Lights from L&M


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#21 goslin_1

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 01:02 PM

Nick heres some answers to your questions.
[font=Arial Black]
Russ/Paul, how about adjusting the light level of these new lights? Are you planning multiple levels without filters so that we can do some stealth low-light shooting at night?

The Sunray 1000 and 2000 will have an adjustable brightness, probably a low, medium and High setting like our Elite lights currently use.

Is the battery pod for the Sunray 2000 going to be a complete redesign? I had 2 mystery floods in the past with your existing pod design, hence the guard that I've built for my Bluefin to protect those wee doors on the front. I think the pod design could do with a bit of beefing up. Also I can rarely get the IR light control from my handgrip to work properly. It's hit or miss and I end up having to use the red buttons on the pods to synchronise the levels of my 2 lights (halogens). Would much prefer a simple 3-position switch and some visual feedback about what light level I'm at without cycling through the levels to find out.

The battery pods will be a different design then our current, we are looking at a more robust and simplistic design than what is currently available from any manufacturer. We are on the same track with a simple switch which I also would prefer and lose the button.

Also I'd love you guys to change cables from Subconn to EO. I've had the steel conductors in your Subconn cables fatigue through a few times at either the cable gland or at the change in diameter at the pod end. Never had that problem with EO connectors on various products I've owned. I think they might be copper rather than steel and so survive the repeated bending better. I've now converted the crimped connection inside the lamp heads to a tiny connector block so it's more easily serviced in the field by replacing or shortening the cables when they fatigue through again.

This is also something we are investigating.

Oh, and I had a lamp head flood completely the other day when a cable gland worked loose without me noticing. That could be improved. It only cost me a new bulb after washing everything out.

And last but not least I'm converting my light arms from Locline to Gorillapod links as the Locline just gets noisier and noisier with age. It's kind of embarrassing and I've recently noticed critters actually flinching when I move my lights. In contrast the similar Gorillapod links are silent. I don't know whether that's because of different material from Locline or the fact that they're less hollow.


The Locline has always been a noisy product, not sure about changing over to something else it would have to be something superior for us to consider changing.

Sorry for all the negative stuff. My L&M halogens are brilliant lights when they're working properly, which is most of the time. Nice wide beam with no hotspots at all, having multiple levels is fantastic, and I've only ever had a bulb fail when the light head flooded or I turned the light on with a hot, very freshly charged battery.

[color="#FF0000"]To answer the question on the angle of the beam for the Sunray 2000 its the same as our 21HID lightheads which has an approximate coverage of 75 degrees.


Will shortly send a fuller report on my Bluefin and lights to Paul as discussed by email.
[/quote]

Edited by goslin_1, 12 October 2007 - 09:33 AM.

Best Regards,

Russ Sanoian
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#22 goslin_1

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 01:13 PM

I am interested in buying some new lights for my Gates HC7, so let me try this question again:

What would the beam angle be on both the Sunray 1000 and the 2000?


The angle of the beam for the Sunray 2000 is the same as our 21HID lightheads which has an approximate coverage of 75 degrees. We have an adaptor that will allow you to attach our lights to your housing.

Edited by goslin_1, 11 October 2007 - 03:33 PM.

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#23 Nick Hope

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 07:27 PM

Hi Russ, thanks for all the replies. Great that you're designing a simpler more robust pod :)

The Locline has always been a noisy product, not sure about changing over to something else it would have to be something superior for us to consider changing.

Well, the Gorillapod stuff is basically the same but silent, so in my view definitely superior. I was thinking you guys could maybe lay down your own mould tool for links similar to that (but without the rubber part) and then use them for both light arms and tripod legs. Just a thought.

#24 videodan

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 07:39 PM

I saw the new LED lights at DEMA this weekend, and they are definitely the lights of the future. I expected them to be very good, but they surpassed my expectations. The already excellent Sunray HID lights paled in comparison to even the smaller Sunray 1000 LED. The Sunray 1000 (9 LED) and the larger Sunray 2000 (18 LED) were both far brighter and whiter than the HID's. The light was very even and looked plenty wide. As far as color rendering, I seriously belive the LED's are much better here also, from watching video shot with both. Some of the advantages of the Sunray LED's are: Longer burn time, multiple power levels, instant on/off, very long life, high shock resistance, color filters, and lower cost. And maybe one of the biggest advantages of all is being able to enhance ambient light daylight shooting with a color correction filter on the camera, with filtered LED lighting. At the show they played a video shot with a cc filter in ambient light, and then turned on the Sunray 2000 lights with a color filter (and with cc filter on camera), and the colors in the video looked amazing. These LED lights can enhance your daytime shooting as well as at night. Plus they are very bright, and will need the multiple power settings. HID's and Halogens will soon be obsolete. A few pictures below.
Dan

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#25 shawnh

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 10:14 PM

Dan,
I too was very impressed with what I saw at the show. Hopefully I will have more to report on this soon. The daylight shooting with lights and CC filter on looks extremely attractive and makes good sense. More to come.
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#26 Mini Dive

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 04:03 PM

Plus they are very bright, and will need the multiple power settings.


Thanks for the pictures. I am really interested in these lights.

Do they have multiple power settings? If so, what percentage do they set to?

Edited by Mini Dive, 06 November 2007 - 04:04 PM.

Dive deep, play with sharks . . .

So long and thanks for all the fish . . .

#27 Nick Hope

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 10:55 AM

I'm interested to know how the filter fits in. It would be cool if it could be a flip filter of some sort so we wouldn't have to find a place to store them and risk dropping them. Looks to me like a Cokin filter holder on that pic. Maybe it's just a prototype.

Also did they have any new pods and switches on show?

#28 videodan

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 03:43 PM

Mini Dive - They both should (nothing official yet) have multiple power settings, but the specifics are not final yet.

Nick - Currently the Sunray 1000 had a screw on filter, and the Sunray 2000 had the Cokin filter holder as you saw. Nothing is final yet, and I agree that a flip filter would be nice. The easier everything is underwater, the better. The new pods and LiIon batteries for the Sunray 2000 won't be available till April, and the new pod parts and electronics to use the Sunray 1000 with our existing battery pods are not finalized yet. The Sunray 1000 is supposed to be shipping in December.

Shawn - Saw your's and Wagsy's video's playing at the show and both were very good. I also see Wagsy's stuff playing at the Florida Dive Show, and so does mine. BTW, missed you by a day at the show. The new Sunray LED's certainly are some very nice underwater video lights.

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#29 DanB

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:57 AM

Hi All,

The plan is for the SunRay 1000 to have 3 power levels, like the current LMI halogen lights, and for the SunRay 2000 to have 2 power levels.

Both light heads will have a 52mm filter thread so you can attach any common filter out there. The demo units at DEMA just happened to have the Hoya filter on the 1000 and the Cokin system on the 2000, but they could've been easily swiched around since they have the same threds. But let's talk about this for a little bit.

I got to test these lights out last month and the sample footage playing in the DEMA booth was mine. The lights worked perfectly so there was little "testing" to be done as far as the light was concerned. It was working out the filter system that was most challenging. Not only is the attachment system and issue, but which filters do you choose? Will off the shelf filters do the job? Well, what exactly is the "job"?

I guess that's the question. Why filter your lights? What is the desired effect? Once you know that, then you can pick the proper filter. If no filter exists in the land photo world to fit our needs, then custom UW filters will have to be created.

I'm going to leave the question at that for now and see where this takes us. I have my own ideas but I'd really like to know what you guys hope to accomplish by filtering lights. Then, let's make sure we get the filters we need in a system that works for us.

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#30 Nick Hope

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 08:17 PM

Well Dan it would be interesting to be able to project a blue/green light that allows us to use a blue-water CC filter on the camera and still use the lights without the illuminated foreground turning red.

I tried exactly this with a 50W dichroic halogen light a few years ago. I had a 3CCD camera but my blue water CC filter could not be removed and the housing didn't allow manual white balance.

I was basically experimenting with a mixture of blue and green marker pen on clear plastic to create the right complimentary of the red. In the end the required colour was so dark and cut out so much light that I didn't use the filters.

But if you have such a strong light as you say you do with these new LED lights, and a good white colour to begin with, then perhaps it might work to some degree. My feeling is that you'd need a significantly deeper shade of blue/green than shown in the filter on the pictures.

A "warm" filter might be useful for night dives.

I can imagine a little "flip" arrangement with an over-centre hinge so that we didn't have to keep track of the filters or unscrew them during a dive.

#31 videodan

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 03:23 PM

OK Dan B., I'll take a wild guess at this. Since the cc filter on the camera is a subtractive filter that blocks some of the blues and greens but passes reds and yellows, I would think we would need the exact opposite on the lights to shoot through cc filter with ambient light ahd artificial fill light. Does this filter exist? I don't know. I would think we would need a filter for the lights that blocks some of the reds and yellows, but passes the blues and greens. Whatever the specs are on the URPro filter, get the exact opposite for the lights. Like I said, this was a wild guess.
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#32 craig

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 03:45 PM

Videodan, you're right. Does it exist? More than likely not. The good news is it doesn't need to.

Underwater filters are roughly a mixture of 2 filters; a strong warming filter and a green removal filter. The warming filter doesn't need to be compensated for on your lights (although you could do so if you desired). The green removal does.

This article contains tables that describe the green removal component of a number of suitable underwater filters, including the UR Pro ones. Simply matching the magenta component of the lens filter with an equal strength green filter on the light would be a good start.

I use this technique presently with all my wide angle still shooting. Generally, my lens filter is a flourescent rather than a simple magenta. Results are just fine.
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#33 Steve Douglas

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:37 PM

Took a good look at them at Dema and they are impressive. Nice wide beam, no hotspots and the different pods will be able to be adapted to older housings.
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#34 DanB

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 05:29 PM

Nick- Yes, it would be interesting. In fact, I’d say that’s what interests me the most out these lights. Being able to filter the artificial light so that it matches the color of ambient light underwater would be great. That way, the on camera filter and manual white balance would correct both sources equally and you’d get even color throughout the scene. Wow! How cool is that!?

Videodan- You jumped the gun on me, man. I was wondering if there are any other filtering desires out there besides this? Wanna go warmer?? For what? Cooler? Why? I must confess that I can’t think of any other reason to filter the lights. But maybe that’s because I’ve got such a one track mind right now and all I can think about is correcting mixed lighting.

So, if anyone has had any other desire to filter lights, I’d like to know why.

But back to Wide Angle Mixed Lighting (as this is all I seem to think about lately). I dove 2 SunRay 2000s with a slew of filters trying to see what would happen. These lights were amazing because they were twice as bright at my HIDs, even filtered. The deepest filter I used only took out about 1 stop of light (and that one was clearly wrong from the start). Most were less than a stop, and the ones I ultimately settled on took out less than a 1/2 stop. I was now able to light up a subject in a shallow, high ambient light situation. My light was bright enough, now I just needed to make it white enough.

Like you said Nick, mixed lighting has always been a challenge because it turns your foreground red. Why? It’s being over corrected by the camera’s CC filter, right? So maybe what I said above is not really what you want. Maybe you don’t want to make your artificial light match ambient after all. Instead I think you want to put a filter on your video lights that that will make it appear white after it has passed through your camera’s color correction filter. Take water out of the equation. Make a lighting filter that will neutralize your camera’s CC filter.

This is not a wild guess, Dan, this is exactly the conversation you and I had at DEMA. I tested many different “blue” filters with these LED lights and got pretty poor results. Trying to match ambient was impossible. But when I tried to neutralize the UR Pro in my housing with some Cyan, it started looking good. I stacked up about 8 layers of a Cyan gel filters on the light heads before I got the density I needed. Now, when I turned on my Cyan(ish) light it was properly converted back to white by my UR pro.

I dove this system for days and got some pretty encouraging results. I found the best thing to do was manually white balance with ambient light with the camera’s CC filter on. This gave me a proper ambient setting. Then, whenever I turned on my lights they were perfectly balanced. Very cool. I suppose I should post some video soon to back this up, eh? :-)

All this being said, there is still a lot to learn here. I’ve just scratched the surface and by no means have perfected the process. It is going to take a lot more work to dial this in. But I think it’ll be worth it.

DanB

#35 Drew

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 06:37 PM

Hey hey Mr Baldocchio
One more reason for filtered lights is to make the light red. Some marine life are less tuned to that bandwidth so they tend to be less reactive. Note the spotting lights for mandarin fish etc.
I've recently done some experiments with red cellophane covering my 100W halogens and found a reduction in squirmy scriggly things swarming around the light and the marine life don't react as they do with normal light. It does kill off 3 stops of light easily so it's not without cons.
In daylight, if your fill lights are redder and you MWB to that, your background automatically becomes bluer, which is a desirable effect.

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#36 DanB

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 08:18 PM

Hey hey Drew

So if you make the light red, it won't bother your subject as much. Ok. Cool. Do you then try and correct it back to natural color somehow or does it stay red like that? Like the military green night vision scopes. Is that watchable?

"In daylight, if your fill lights are redder and you MWB to that, your background automatically becomes bluer, which is a desirable effect."

You know that's what I thought, but really the opposite on the color wheel of red is cyan, not blue. So it doesn't make your water bluer, it make it more cyan. (And that's what I think water color is really, cyan.) But therein lies the rub. It's making your ambient even more cyan (or blue) so you get this icky, reef lit by ambient next to colorful reef lit with lights. The mix is harsh, not smooth. If you make sure the reef looks good with white balance then it will blend with a lit foreground as well as trail off into the distance. (or am i dreaming here?)

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#37 Nick Hope

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 08:51 PM

Dan B, do you know what was the code number of the cyan gel filters you used? Those Rosco or Lee swatch books are really helpful in picking out colours to try before getting hold of samples.

I was watching Howard Hall's Coral Reef Adventure the other day and I noticed a lot of the foreground corals and fish were very red. I don't know if this was something to do with the down-conversion from IMAX to DVD but it really looked like they'd white balanced with ambient light at depth and then turned their artificial lights on. But they may well have used a technique similar to what we're talking about here but not used much cyan filtering on the lights. Great footage nontheless.

#38 videodan

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 09:18 PM

craig - Excellent article, glad you're here to help us. All that has been said to this point, what else can you add? We need a solution that will work with most conditions in both blue water and green water. I think the majority of us are using URPro "CY" or "GR" filters and won't be changing them, now we need to match the lights. Do we want neutral, warmer, or cooler output from the lights, and what would be their various effects? These are questions for anyone to answer.

DanB. - "all I can think about is correcting mixed lighting". I think that's what we all want. I'm thinking neutral is the way to go, as you have been trying to do. Maybe have some slight variations for those who want a different effect, but basically neutral. Definitely post your video results for those who couldn't attend. It shows some very good results. You also mentioned (I believe) that you had a lot less "squirmy scriggly things" when using the cyan filters. Seems to me I've had worse problems with the scriggly things when using Halogen's (redder) and less with the HID's, but it could be totally unrelated to the lights. BTW, I didn't realize cyan was the opposite of the URPro CY. Have you tried a flourescent filter as Craig mentioned? You're the man who is going to make this all work for us, so we want to help you succeed.

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#39 Drew

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 05:42 AM

Mr DB
Cyan is the direct opposite of red. Basically at 1000-1500°K or so will force MWB to shift to the cyan/blue. It's obviously a look and works for certain shots. I'll try to get around to downloading those tests sometime this year. Am travelling too much these days.
The other look you mentioned of white balancing with ambient light is only effective up to 30 ft for most cameras, afterwhich the red-blue WB shift of the camera can't compensate.
My personal use of lights is to create creative lighting situations in the daytime for either macro or fill for WA shots, and of course night dives. The redder the light the less reactive the marine life in my short experimentation with my video lights. The red spotting light for stills works very well which is why I migrated the idea to video. Obviously you'd have to MWB to a gray card, which is why I think 1000-1500 is probably the max any video camera can MWB.

URPro's Kirk does have a video filter designed for use with halogen 3200°K in daylight use. I don't remember what my findings where with that but obviously I didn't like it enough to stay with it. It does work for a few types of shots but overall the esthetic of shooting with lights in daytime use never appealed to me for general use.

Hey hey Drew

So if you make the light red, it won't bother your subject as much. Ok. Cool. Do you then try and correct it back to natural color somehow or does it stay red like that? Like the military green night vision scopes. Is that watchable?

"In daylight, if your fill lights are redder and you MWB to that, your background automatically becomes bluer, which is a desirable effect."

You know that's what I thought, but really the opposite on the color wheel of red is cyan, not blue. So it doesn't make your water bluer, it make it more cyan. (And that's what I think water color is really, cyan.) But therein lies the rub. It's making your ambient even more cyan (or blue) so you get this icky, reef lit by ambient next to colorful reef lit with lights. The mix is harsh, not smooth. If you make sure the reef looks good with white balance then it will blend with a lit foreground as well as trail off into the distance. (or am i dreaming here?)

db


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#40 craig

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 08:47 AM

craig - Excellent article, glad you're here to help us. All that has been said to this point, what else can you add? We need a solution that will work with most conditions in both blue water and green water. I think the majority of us are using URPro "CY" or "GR" filters and won't be changing them, now we need to match the lights. Do we want neutral, warmer, or cooler output from the lights, and what would be their various effects? These are questions for anyone to answer.

There are three UR Pro filters listed in the table of that article: the CY, GR, and VLF. That article was written in 2003 so I don't know how much as changed since then. In my experience, the CY and VLF filters looked, measured, and worked very much the same even though UR Pro advertised them for different applications.

The main difference between the CY and GR filters is the strength of the warming effect. The CY filter also included twice as much green removal which I found counterintuitive. I measured these filters with a Gossen color meter which should be reasonably accurate. A spectrometer would give a little more insight to how the filters work though.

Let's say we work with the CY or VLF filter and place a CC60G filter on the light. The light filter counteracts the magenta filteration on the lens and leaves only the 140 mireds of warming. That amount of warming will cause the camera to white balance to the LED light somewhere around 3200K. The background will be cold but the foreground will be white. If you don't like the background that blue then you should use a cooling filter on the lights as well. I don't think anyone will be motivated to do that, though.

If you work with the UR Pro GR filter instead, you add a CC30G filter to the light and are left with only 30 mireds or so of warming---about the equivalent of an 81C. That amount of warming is of little consequence to the camera.

As long as the foreground white balance is comfortably within range of your camera's capability you should be OK. With still cameras it is also important to know the native white balance of the sensor, but still cameras and video cameras are different in that respect. Since video cameras can tolerate a lot of green and still white balance successfully, you don't need an exact match for things to work. A CC60G filter has a 2 stop light penalty whereas a CC30G only has one.

On my last trip, I shot a combination of a Lee FL-B 3600K (a bit stronger than a UR Pro GR) with a CC30G on my strobes. The results were very good and I shot colorchecker charts beforehand to demonstrate that no colors were ruined in the process.
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