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Gates VL8 Video Lights

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#1 chemsaf



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  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:U/W Photog.

Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:48 PM

We picked up two of the first production run of the Gates VL8 LED video lights on Thursday and had them underwater on Vision on the south side of Santa Rosa Island on Sunday morning. We did 10 dives over three days running the lights every dive in the rough, 20 - 40' vis cold water of the Northern Channel Islands and a love affair is now a commitment. Easy to use, mounted on ULCS arms make them more stabled and less of a problem than the LockLink arms we were using.

Shot video with a L&M BlueFin using a Sony HDR 9. We were using a L&M wide angle lens. coverage was very even and color temperature was right on. We white balanced per our usual for the location and got better color quality than when using HIDs.

The power packs recharged during the normal surface interval between dives. On a couple of dives, middle of the day, we did not recharge between dives and we did not run down the batteries. Most of the time we were shooting on 1/2 power so the predicted burn times were tolerable. The night dive got blown off - literally - 30 knot winds - so we could not check them out at night. That will happen in early September.

Bottom line - a well engineered - what else from Gates - easy to operate LED array that will perk up any video shooting.

I will post a You Tube link to some clips soon.

Neal - the technical end and Sharron - the video geek.