After the first 2 dives with them, I thought I would share my experiences, updating this thread over the next month or so as I use it more often.
Two of the lights are mounted on loc-line flexi-arms on the top of the Bluefin Pro control arms. The third light, on a slightly shorter flexi-arm is mounted on the top of the housing. Photo of the lights, setup in a macro configuration below.
Firstly I tested a full cycle on full power in the sink at home. Lasted about 63 minutes, some 7 minutes short of the advertised 70 minutes. I expect to get slightly longer burn times once the batteries have run a few cycles. Also will get longer with a more normal on-off pattern of use. But all seemed well so I took them diving.
Now, for convenience sake, my two test dives were at Palau Hantu off Singapore's southern coast, in a murky sea surrounded by oil refineries, land reclamation projects and one of the busiest shipping ports in the world. Visibility on a good day is 3 meters. More typical is 1 to 2 meters. But the area does have a huge macro population including nudis and seahorses. Enabled me to test the lights down to 14 meters, just to make sure that there are no flooding problems.
My tests showed that:
- none of the lights flooded!
- running the lights on a mix of full and half power, the batteries easily last 100 minutes over two dives, and longer
- the light is bright and, with 3 of them, give a broad even coverage (need to test later in WA conditions)
- the light color is clear and white and very constant
- easy to operate and, with a bit of practice, easy to set to the right output
- three lights give a lot of flexibility for positioning, enabling macro lighting in awkward places and allowing trucking shots without losing light coverage
- setting up the lights on the housing takes just a few seconds
- taking the lights off the housing is also fast, enabling you to switch to a waterproof surface camera in a minute, depending on which port is on the camera
- not having battery pods and cables is convenient
- arms and lights fold forward under the front of the housing handles for easy handling when not in use
- significantly lighter and more convenient for travel than any previous light system I have owned
- chargers are universal, small and light
- without the battery pods the housing is now a bit top heavy. Not a problem for handheld but not good if I want to put the camera down. I will make a lead-shot pouch and use some straps to hold it under the housing to move the balance lower.
- need to drill a small hole in the loc-line at both top and bottom to get the seawater out more easily.
So far very impressed. Looks like L&M have kicked a big goal with this light.
Early January I will take the camera and lights to Lembeh and Bunaken so I'll update this review after some intense use.
Edited by peterbkk, 11 December 2010 - 07:25 AM.