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Focusing lights! Your thoughts.


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#1 AndyC

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:45 PM

Hi,
I'd like your advice on focusing lights.
I've been following a topic on manual v auto focus macro ports. Seems most users favour AF ports and focus lights.
My question is, if you use this method. Which focus lights do you favour and why?

Cheers Andy.

#2 Viz'art

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 02:09 PM

I recently aquired a Sola 600 from Light & Motion and have nothing but good thing to say about it, I'm sure there is some other lights out there, but this baby really rock for its size.
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#3 Kilili

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 02:28 PM

To me, manual focus is a pain for macro, and I'm positive the camera does a better job than I. For a spotting light, I use the Intova Supernova, which I think is about 500 lumen or so on high, and has wide beam. Many people prefer much lower power focus lights and narrower beams. I've tried a number of different ones, but this one works much better for me.
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#4 MIKE POWELL

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 02:54 PM

I second the Sola 600. I haven't used them much, but bought two to use a video lights. Small, light, no assembly to charge and plenty of power.
I think Alex Mustard did a report on them....should be able to find it here.

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#5 AndyC

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 10:20 PM

I recently aquired a Sola 600 from Light & Motion and have nothing but good thing to say about it, I'm sure there is some other lights out there, but this baby really rock for its size.

I agree, the Sola looks like a really nice piece of kit, especially like the lower power red setting. But wow! I think they just thought of a number and called it the price. Not sure if I can justify the high $$$.

Andy.

#6 Paul Kay

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:24 AM

As I said in the last thread I use a Kowalski Mini Xenon as a spotting light (fitted either on top of the housing or on a flash arm). This partly reflects where I dive - autumn in a dark Scottish sea loch for example requires decent light anyway - but I like the wide beam which enables me to spot subject matter easily and I then have no problem focusing on it at all.
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#7 PRC

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:35 AM

Was with Alex when he had the Sola and it is a lovely bit of kit but the price tag is pretty scary for a poor person.

As I recall in his review Alex suggested that a dedicated focus light designed for the job was better than a standard torch.

mmmmm - dunno - light is light is light.

All that can be different is beam spread and intensity - please correct me if you disagree.

So I got a cheap led torch from Kent Divers (UK) here

With a bit of fiddling in the machine shop I made a cover that takes a plastic lens which by playing with the surface finish I can create pretty much any intensity and beam spread or take even a red gel filter.

So what is the ideal intensity and beam spread ?

Maybe some reference pictures of a white illuminated wall would be appropriate to gauge ( unless we want to get technical with meters and suchlike ).

Not trying to hijack your thread Andy but with some information on what is proven successful we might find a cheaper alternative for the poor !

Edit - Paul the Kowalski Mini Xenon I am sure is a fine piece of equipment but it is 455 !

Paul C

Edited by PRC, 15 September 2010 - 01:38 AM.

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#8 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 02:20 AM

I think Alex Mustard did a report on them....should be able to find it here.


http://wetpixel.com/...00-focus-light/

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#9 EspenRekdal

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 02:38 AM

I had the pleasure to borrow one of these on two 90 minute night-dives recently. What struck me as incredibly handy was the quick switch from white to read light. Many of the critters (in my case small crustaceans) stopped running away when I switched to red light. I found the red light a little difficult at first, but my eyes adapted after a while. I think the red light really has great possibilities especially for us diving in dark, deep fjords as I believe fewer of the animals here actually have red eye receptors.

To make it short, I just recently ordered a couple. First as a focus light but also for macro video where I think they will do very well!

E.

Edited by EspenRekdal, 15 September 2010 - 02:45 AM.

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#10 AndyC

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 03:59 AM

As I said in the last thread I use a Kowalski Mini Xenon as a spotting light (fitted either on top of the housing or on a flash arm). This partly reflects where I dive - autumn in a dark Scottish sea loch for example requires decent light anyway - but I like the wide beam which enables me to spot subject matter easily and I then have no problem focusing on it at all.

Thanks Paul,
Again though, this is a pricey beast! and to add to Paul.C's point. Is a light, just a light, after all??

Andy.

#11 AndyC

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 04:07 AM

I've come across this one.

http://www.cpspartne...ntova/mini.html

It comes in under 50, It as a wide beam, diffuser and bracket accessories available and is 130 lumens.
I'd be interested to hear if anyone has used one as a focusing aid.

Andy.

#12 PRC

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 04:23 AM

For me I don't like the battery type.

AA for me is the way to go if you are out on a liveaboard or in the boonies of Mexico you will be be able to beg borrow or steal AA's.

As it happens my strobes use AA's so three sets of cells offer redundancy for the strobes and use of an AA cell torch with associated travel weight saving.

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#13 AndyC

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 04:57 AM

For me I don't like the battery type.

AA for me is the way to go if you are out on a liveaboard or in the boonies of Mexico you will be be able to beg borrow or steal AA's.

As it happens my strobes use AA's so three sets of cells offer redundancy for the strobes and use of an AA cell torch with associated travel weight saving.

Paul C

Good point with the batteries! I also have Inons.
But batteries are cheep, small and you can get rechargeable. So for under 50, I think I'll give it a go.

Andy.

#14 Damo

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:32 PM

Hi guys n gals,

I have used this little fellow from cameras underwater...and I like it...for my macro stuff.....on my dx-d200 rig
Quite cheap too.

Have a look..

http://www.camerasun...sh/fisheye.html

Dunno of anyone here has tried this one?? i accept its not a big spread but it seems to do the job for me so far!

Dam
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#15 Panda

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 03:04 PM

Dunno of anyone here has tried this one?? i accept its not a big spread but it seems to do the job for me so far!

Dam



They are on my banned list.
Mine and 4 others I know of have either flooded or just stopped working for no good reason. Same with the discontinued LED 360.

I just use a little 4xAA LED torch now, and don't seem to have any issues with hot spots.

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