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SOLA 4000 LED Video Lights


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#41 decostanza

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:16 PM

Bluefacemanta,
Thanks for the update... and it sounds as if you are having quite a time with them.

Our rep called today and said ..."um...they shipped them to Florida...(where I was LAST week...which the rep was well aware of) but we will get them to you" Told him that I would have been surprised to see them today eventhough he promised me they would be here. Too much drama with Light and Motion so these things better be the cat's meow or someone is going to get a GREAT deal on a pair of "brand new, never been used Sola 4000"
off my soapbox now...

If you have a chance to post footage of your shoot I'd be very interested in seeing it...
Best regards,
Don

#42 decostanza

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 02:08 PM

Since I have been somewhat vocal about Light and Motion recently I feel an update is in order. Got my lights yesterday (what an ordeal) and just got back from a dive at our local "mud puddle" quarry...WOW are these things bright. Since this was the first dive with them I was curious what the burn time would be and about 50 min in they were starting to tell me they had enough. That surprised me as while I initially had them at full power, it was way too much in the sulpher layer and had to drop them back to 1/2 power 10 minutes in the dive. We had an 81 min dive (in 40degree water) and they were on the entire time...last 30 min was on the lowest power setting since we were shallow and I was receiving a red light. Overall, while our rep/Light and Motion dropped the ball by not keeping me up to date with all the delays and I had to chase them for updates which is what really ticked me off (prefer folks that are candid...if there is bad news tell me, I can deal with that) anyways...these are some very impressive lights.

I had an email from another rep that handles another type of light (dual 50w HID) which I was seriously moving towards but have decided to stick with these for a while. Time will tell if Light and Motion has a hit on their hands but theinitial dive at the quarry is quite promising...my only concern now is whether at full power they are too bright for the caves I dive.



Best regards,
Don

Edited by decostanza, 08 January 2012 - 02:10 PM.


#43 Pete L

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:57 PM

Hi Don,
Glad you got your lights & all is good. I told you they were worth the wait! As for the battery, i have heard with some battery types that they actually take a few charge/discharge cycles to reach full potential, so you may find them getting better soon. On high, you only get about an hour anyway, so that would put a drain on them very quickly. If you have them on high for 15 minutes then they are already 1 quarter empty.
Unfortunately for me, the weather hasn't been great here at Byron so no footage yet.
Looks like i am sticking to photos this trip.
Would love to see some footage when you get some.
Cheers Pete.

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#44 decostanza

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:54 AM

Bluefacemanta,
Here is a very short excerpt of what I shot yesterday. Not as pretty of imagery as many here but for a quarry... its what we have to dive. The only thing I was concerned about on the initial trial was burn-time, beam spread/penetration, weighting on my scooter and Locline arms. Not concerned about all the backscatter and particulate in the column.

[vimeohd]34783766[/vimeohd]

#45 Pete L

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:06 AM

I like the video Don.
High on my list of want to do's is diving a plane! Never done it.
Cheers Pete.

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#46 decostanza

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:48 AM

Thanks Bluefacemanta...
Best regards,
Don

#47 uwxplorer

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:28 AM

I test dove the Sola 4000 in the Channel Islands yesterday (courtesy of Blue Water Photo) and mounted it on the center post on my L&M Stingray housing (I have two ULCS arms on the handles, each carrying a Big Blue VL1300 light). I was mainly practicing macro and for this purpose they are definitely too bright at full power. Essentially, I was using position 4 or less (out of 7), otherwise I could see the Sony CX500V adjusting the gain downwards. I tried a few "wide angle" shots and the light did not make any apparent difference in terms of water penetration with full power. In fact, when turning my two BB lights (supposedly 2,600 lumens total) and the Sola (supposedly 4,000 lumens), I did not feel like there was a major boost in illumination power... But then again, this is SoCal and the viz is not always that great (although we had easily 30+ ft of viz during that trip).
I did not keep the lights on permanently, but right during the first dive, the red LEDs in the back turned on (supposedly telling me that the battery was getting low). The light was brand new and had been charged the night before, so I and BWP were quite surprised.
Anyhow I went ahead with three more dives without any surface interval recharging (1 hr each, I probably could have tried that). Early on during the last dive, the light shut itself off. Meanwhile, my BB VL1300 were still burning strong and were more than enough for all my shots (again macro, so not too demanding). I think I remember it did turn off a couple times in previous dives, but at least I could turn the light back on. This time, it was the end.

In summary, I was not blown away by the light, although I probably did not use them in the most appropriate conditions. Moreover, considering that you need two of these to set up the proper light in macro (or for any kind of shot as a matter of fact), that's an investment that deserve serious testing. In my case, the 2 BB lights cost me less than the price of the Sola (from my estimation, the lumen/dollar is about the same for both products. Note that the BB lights are not represented in L&M comparison chart)
I am grateful to BWP for having given me the opportunity to test the light and would be happy to hear different feedback on the light.

PS: I'll not that the new Sola 2000 could potentially be interesting too, but since they L&M claims similar burn times as for the 4000, I have some doubts about the practical relevance of these figures...

Edited by uwxplorer, 04 March 2012 - 09:31 AM.


#48 Steve Douglas

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:38 AM

Hey UW Explorer,
Where in S. CA. are you usually diving out of?
Steve
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#49 Drew

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:48 AM

I tried a few "wide angle" shots and the light did not make any apparent difference in terms of water penetration with full power.

What kind of subject are you shooting that you'd expect a significant difference? How far was your subject from the lights? The fact is that 4k lumens isn't a lot, especially if the beam is wide and the subject is too far.
I suggest you try shooting subjects that are no more than 3-4ft from the lights.

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#50 uwxplorer

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:03 PM

@Steve: mostly the Channel Islands (from Ventura or San Pedro) but occasionally, I drive down to San Diego, either for the wrecks or to dive the local sites with a friend who has a boat and knows the local sites inside out.

@Drew: you are exactly right, a large beam throwing out not even twice as much as my two existing lights will not make a large difference in medium distance shots (~10 ft). And since I have already plenty for macro shots, I probably should test them again in the range you are mentioning (probably two of them, replacing my existing Big Blue lights).
I was mostly disappointed by the battery life.

#51 Rui_Guerra

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:15 PM

Hi all,

 

I've just get a SOLA 4000 and know that they cannot be used out of the water, because of the heat that it generates.

 

But I wonder if one can use it in warm tropical waters, at around 35, 36 or 37ºC? Or for instance in a heated swimming pool? 

Anyone have tried it or knows if these kind of water temperatures will be a problem for the SOLA 4000?

 

Thanks,


Rui Guerra
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#52 Rui_Guerra

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:20 PM

I'm very impressed with the customer support from Light & Motion ! Just minutes after I've send a ticket with the water temperature question I got their answer:

 

"Dear Rui,

Any water temperature that would be unsafe for Sola 4000 would likely be unsafe for you, too.  Tropical water is fine; perhaps staying away from volcanic water in Hawaii or shooting in a hot tub would be a good idea, but almost any open water conditions, even in very warm tropical water, will not hurt the light."

 

So, if someone have the same question, this is the answer. :-)

 

Cheers,


Rui Guerra
Underwater Photography
http://www.photoguerra.net

#53 jonny shaw

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:10 PM

I used Pete L's for a pool shoot a couple of months back, pool was about 32c and lights were being used constantly and no issues at all

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#54 Pete L

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:40 AM

Wow here is a blast from the past!
I remember this thread.
I have to say after having my Sola 4000s now for some time I absolutely love them.
The 7 power settings are so versatile.
Mine have been running flawlessly & I couldn't be happier with them.

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#55 decostanza

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:39 PM

speaking of being a blast from the past...While I started off with some bad experiences with my Sola 4000's...I have to say I have become a solid fan of their equipment and the company.  In addition to the initial issues, I have had 2 seperate occasions where I had to send one of the units back.  Blaise has been my main contact and he has been fantastic in taking care of the issues and making sure I wasn't without my lights for too long.  Just got back from another cave trip a month ago and these things rocked!  For example...I have been diving Ginnie Springs for well over 10 years and I saw things I have never seen before with these lights.  Between the light these put out and the customer support from Light & Motion... I have no hesitation recommending them to anyone.