Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

L&M Sola 1200


  • Please log in to reply
68 replies to this topic

#21 ronscuba

ronscuba

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 365 posts

Posted 15 January 2011 - 08:53 AM

Thanks for the review Peter. Do you have any video footage with the lights we can see ?

#22 peterbkk

peterbkk

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore
  • Interests:Scuba Diving, Photographry Underwater Video.

Posted 15 January 2011 - 04:05 PM

Thanks for the review Peter. Do you have any video footage with the lights we can see ?


Sure. I'll post something in the next week or so.

Regards
Peter

#23 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10632 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 15 January 2011 - 08:32 PM

Charging was never a problem. Both resorts at Bunaken and Lembeh had the typical Indonesian dive resort power issues - flipping from government power to generator, fluctuating and fading power and occasional blackouts - but the chargers all coped well with whatever came through the line. I did use a Belkin surge-protected power-board as an extra precaution.


Did you know if they put the power through voltage regulators? A few of the resorts I know have these in the lines. Makes the world of difference in protecting electronics.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#24 peterbkk

peterbkk

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore
  • Interests:Scuba Diving, Photographry Underwater Video.

Posted 16 January 2011 - 12:38 AM

Did you know if they put the power through voltage regulators? A few of the resorts I know have these in the lines. Makes the world of difference in protecting electronics.


No, I don't think they had any voltage regulators. When running off government power, the lights would go up and down and the fans fluctuate in speed.

Regards
Peter

#25 kkfok

kkfok

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 141 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong

Posted 21 February 2011 - 07:17 PM

I am really impressed by this light. I really like its ability to change the angle of coverage so I can use it as a video light and dive light.

Do you guys have any experience traveling with it to EU countries? Any problems as it is factory sealed and I can't remove the battery from the unit.

#26 peterbkk

peterbkk

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore
  • Interests:Scuba Diving, Photographry Underwater Video.

Posted 21 February 2011 - 07:24 PM

Thanks for the review Peter. Do you have any video footage with the lights we can see ?


Here is some footage of the lights working under extreme conditions (1 meter visibility).

http://www.peterwalk...m/Seahorse.html

Great light!

Regards
Peter

#27 uwxplorer

uwxplorer

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 309 posts

Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:28 PM

Here is some footage of the lights working under extreme conditions (1 meter visibility).


Very nice.

#28 Spacker

Spacker

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 38 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 23 February 2011 - 01:01 AM

I am really impressed by this light. I really like its ability to change the angle of coverage so I can use it as a video light and dive light.

Do you guys have any experience traveling with it to EU countries? Any problems as it is factory sealed and I can't remove the battery from the unit.


You should be fine, I've flown to large parts of the rest of Europe from London. The only country I've ever had problems with battery powered kit is Israel whose officials insisted on taking my laptop PSU and post it to me some months later (obnoxious little Israeli custom officials brings out the worst in me).

#29 kkfok

kkfok

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 141 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hong Kong

Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:04 PM

You should be fine, I've flown to large parts of the rest of Europe from London. The only country I've ever had problems with battery powered kit is Israel whose officials insisted on taking my laptop PSU and post it to me some months later (obnoxious little Israeli custom officials brings out the worst in me).

Thanks. Did u keep it in checked or in hand luggage?

#30 sfarwell1

sfarwell1

    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:57 PM

I purchased a clone of your setup minus the the center light, along with a sony XR550v, Your information very valuable as well the near negative boyuncy, thanks

#31 peterbkk

peterbkk

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore
  • Interests:Scuba Diving, Photographry Underwater Video.

Posted 30 March 2011 - 05:18 AM

I purchased a clone of your setup minus the the center light, along with a sony XR550v, Your information very valuable as well the near negative boyuncy, thanks


Great. I hope you have as much success as I have had with this setup.

#32 Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas

    Humpback Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2840 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:filming/editing/exotic travel. l write reviews of editing software, books, tutorials and Mac based NLE related products for the www.kenstone.net and www.lafcpug.org sites as well as articles for Asian Diver Magazine and wetpixel. I am one of the founding members of the San Diego UnderSea Film Festival

Posted 07 April 2011 - 07:08 AM

Here is some footage of the lights working under extreme conditions (1 meter visibility).

http://www.peterwalk...m/Seahorse.html

Great light!

Regards
Peter



Nicely done video, well told. Also like the music that comes on with the seahorse. I have used the piece myself on a project and it is a great one to teach cutting to the music with.
Steve
www.kenstone.net
www.lafcpug.org

Steve Douglas
www.worldfilmsandtravel.com

I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.

#33 rramaley

rramaley

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 78 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 10 April 2011 - 05:16 PM

Earlier this week i collected 3 x Sola 1200 video lights from my friend David at ScubaCam here in Singapore.

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

Lessons learned:

  • 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.

Regards
Peter


I just bought my own pair of Sola 1200s as well and can't wait to stretch their legs on our Red Sea trip. I love that they are only a fraction of the weight of the old L&M Sunray lights, are so much easier to charge and prep, and you can even convert them as needed to a hands-free dive light (just need to buy the wrist strap) - pretty nifty!!!

I did hear a story of someone finding a lonely Sola 600 light (minus arm or camera housing) laying on the bottom at one of the dive sites around Sydney a couple of months ago. This tells me that the snap attachment to the arms is not fail safe and, while before there was a battery cord that would be a back up to keep the Sunray light from sinking into the depths, you don't have this luxury anymore. As a result, I've decided to take a bit of string and tie the light heads to the arms about halfway down in case the camera gets banged in a way that knocks the light off.... Might be a once in a blue moon occurrence but I don't want to take my chances...

#34 peterbkk

peterbkk

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore
  • Interests:Scuba Diving, Photographry Underwater Video.

Posted 10 April 2011 - 06:10 PM

I did hear a story of someone finding a lonely Sola 600 light (minus arm or camera housing) laying on the bottom at one of the dive sites around Sydney a couple of months ago. This tells me that the snap attachment to the arms is not fail safe and, while before there was a battery cord that would be a back up to keep the Sunray light from sinking into the depths, you don't have this luxury anymore. As a result, I've decided to take a bit of string and tie the light heads to the arms about halfway down in case the camera gets banged in a way that knocks the light off.... Might be a once in a blue moon occurrence but I don't want to take my chances...


I came to the same conclusion. I figured that it might be possible to snap open a locline arm and lose the light-head, for example, when struggling with a strong current on an ascent line...

So, I bought some strong brass picture-frame wire (no rust). It runs invisibly down the centre of the locline arm and wraps around the screw-head that holds the locline arm to the light-head and, at the other end, to the housing mount. The wire is about 2 inches (5 cm) longer than the locline. Invisible but adds some protection.

I have not yet, after about 50 dives, snapped a locline underwater but I have done it accidentally in the rinse tank. The brass wire worked.

Photos attached.

P2154915.JPG
P2154909.JPG

A friend of mine who works in the aircraft industry is looking for a stainless steel "figure of eight" washer so I can replace the "brass wire loop around the screwhead" with a better engineered solution of attaching the wire.

Regards
Peter

#35 Alexx

Alexx

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 155 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Croatia/Split
  • Interests:Diving, diving, diving:)

Posted 11 April 2011 - 12:05 PM

I`m looking to buy pair of Sola 1200 dor my 7D setup, you guys have more video with these?
Canon 7D, Aquatica housing, 2 x Inon Z240, Sigma 10-20, Tokina 10-17, Canon 100mm macro, 2x Inon LE550W, 2xMangrove 4L6 lights

- Underwater Abyss -

- Vimeo Channel -

#36 sfarwell1

sfarwell1

    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:41 PM

Peter
I purchased the the " complete Sola Video arm mount kit (p/n 802-0260) but I need the female part that attaches to the housing any helpwould be great
Skip

#37 Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas

    Humpback Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2840 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:filming/editing/exotic travel. l write reviews of editing software, books, tutorials and Mac based NLE related products for the www.kenstone.net and www.lafcpug.org sites as well as articles for Asian Diver Magazine and wetpixel. I am one of the founding members of the San Diego UnderSea Film Festival

Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:41 PM

So, I bought some strong brass picture-frame wire (no rust). It runs invisibly down the centre of the locline arm and wraps around the screw-head that holds the locline arm to the light-head and, at the other end, to the housing mount. The wire is about 2 inches (5 cm) longer than the locline. Invisible but adds some protection.

Great idea Peter. I will be getting some new Keldans soon and will do the same thing. However, like you, I have never had a loc lin attached light ever come off, even in some horrible currents in Tahiti.
Steve
www.kenstone.net
www.lafcpug.org

Steve Douglas
www.worldfilmsandtravel.com

I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.

#38 peterbkk

peterbkk

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore
  • Interests:Scuba Diving, Photographry Underwater Video.

Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:25 PM

So, I bought some strong brass picture-frame wire (no rust). It runs invisibly down the centre of the locline arm and wraps around the screw-head that holds the locline arm to the light-head and, at the other end, to the housing mount. The wire is about 2 inches (5 cm) longer than the locline. Invisible but adds some protection.

Great idea Peter. I will be getting some new Keldans soon and will do the same thing. However, like you, I have never had a loc lin attached light ever come off, even in some horrible currents in Tahiti.
Steve


Hi Steve,

A bit of extra insurance never hurts. I have snapped the locline in the rinse tank so I know that the system would work in practice. But, it is also important to check the screws that hold the arms to the housing as they are not long and, if they work loose, could also come off underwater. I use a drop of loctite to secure those screws.

Regards
Peter

#39 divingbubbles

divingbubbles

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sheffield England

Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:26 AM

Hi Peter, are the solas dimmable from the handle of your housing?

Thanks Alan.

#40 peterbkk

peterbkk

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Singapore
  • Interests:Scuba Diving, Photographry Underwater Video.

Posted 03 June 2011 - 03:54 PM

Hi Peter, are the solas dimmable from the handle of your housing?

Thanks Alan.


No. The light controls are on the light heads. I doubt if an infra-red signal would carry that far through water. It'd have to be a radio signal.

That's one feature from the previous system that I do miss but it is only a slight inconvenience.

Regards
Peter