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Diving with Both Strobes and Video Lights?


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#1 Phoenix1

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:44 AM

Question for the DSLR crowd with cameras that do macro stills and video: Does anyone dive with four lights--one set of strobes for stills and one set of video lights for macro?

Some reading on other posts suggests that video lights are not really ideal for stills (at least my two Sola 1200s probably aren't), and except in really shallow water, macro video probably benefits from lights.

It seems theoretically possible to add a triple clamp to the end of my ULCS arms and piggy back the relatively light Solas next to my Sea & Sea strobes.

Too much equipment? Too much hassle?
Rich

Current rig: Nikon D800 in an Aquatica housing; Nikon 17-35 wide; Nikon 105 macro; 2 YS-110a on ULCS arms

#2 bvanant

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:09 PM

I almost always dive with a Sola and two strobes, and for macro video at least a single sola is most often enough light.
If your strobes have modeling lights you can add them to the mix for video as well.
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#3 Steve Williams

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:22 PM

Hi Rich,
Triple clamps work very well to hold the Sola 1200's. It's really only one additional light to carry around if you usually have a Sola mounted for a focus light. Is it too much of a hassle? You're the only one who can decide that. You might think about using shorter arms and the rig would be easier to handle.

I've found I'm not very good at mentally setting up to do both video and stills on the same dive. The process is so very different that I don't have any luck shooting both. Maybe with your experience you won't have that problem. I'd guess video shooters would have an easier time transitioning than still shooters. There are clearly exceptions, Emjae come to mind as someone who has proven he can do both. I'm not that gifted. Don't be surprised if it takes you a while to figure it out.

Good luck,
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#4 Phoenix1

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:46 PM

Steve:

Thanks for your insight. I have serious doubts myself that I can handle both. I think you're right: Mentally they require different mind sets. They certainly require different skills. I've got a fair amount of experience with stills, but I'm still very new at video with a separate rig. I'm not at all sure I'm up to managing both with one box.

In any event, it's fun to try, to learn and to try again. I'm headed out in December to Cozumel for the maiden voyage for my new D800 rig, and the currents are likely to be enough of a challenge. I'm not sure up up to trying both video and stills on this short trip, but I will probably try some natural light shallow stuff that I can reasonably process later in Final Cut Pro. We're measuring a couple weeks in Dominica in the spring. That may be a better place to play, experiment and see what I can do with lights.

You're the former pilot, yes. I think you helped me with other issues. Again, my thanks.
Rich

Current rig: Nikon D800 in an Aquatica housing; Nikon 17-35 wide; Nikon 105 macro; 2 YS-110a on ULCS arms

#5 guyharrisonphoto

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:41 AM

You can also use one of the new high-powered and tiny video lights (Sola 4000, Kelday 4V) which are 4000 lumens and only slightly larger that the Sola 1200. Put one of these on the housing cold shoe mount and it does not interfere with your strobe positioning, and no difficult flddling with triple clamps. Yes, the trjple clamps work well (that is my current set-up) but every time you loosen them your strobes change position. The single shoe mount light is independent and is instantly accessible for switching to video. You can use a short double ball arm and clamps for more versatile positioning.

Gives enough light for quality wide angle video and more than enough for macro video. Since you can dial down the intensity, it also works as a focus light. Everything in one.

I am going to move this direction as soon as I sell my current dual light set-up.

#6 Phoenix1

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:23 AM

A fairly expensive solution, but one worth thinking about.
Rich

Current rig: Nikon D800 in an Aquatica housing; Nikon 17-35 wide; Nikon 105 macro; 2 YS-110a on ULCS arms

#7 ash814

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 02:40 PM

Instead of triple clamps, you might consider the shackle clamps from Nauticam: http://www.xray-mag....mounting-system

#8 tdpriest

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:14 AM

Just to add my ha'p'orth (old Yorkshire for stirring, a little): I've always found that setting up my system for flexibility yields second-rate results. Setting out with a particular shot in mind yields intermittently excellent images. I think it takes a very special, or a very peculiar, mind to be able to set up radically different shots in rapid succession; the difference between stills and movies is about as radical as I can imagine...

... and, in passing, I would have thought Sola 1200's fine for stills. Too much light makes it difficult to balance foreground and background and generates lots of lovely backscatter, all nicely blurred in the continuous illumination of a video light.

#9 Timmoranuk

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:52 AM

Just to add my ha'p'orth (old Yorkshire for stirring, a little): I've always found that setting up my system for flexibility yields second-rate results.


I'm in absolute agreement with you Tim. Even when I was shooting a top-end compact and had the choice to take along both macro and wide-angle wet lenses I quickly realised that it was folly and I always concentrated on a single technique. Today, I do shoot DSLR video and my rig is configured in such a specific way that I could not imagine even 'taking a snap', and its not for want of illumination with up to 21,000 lumens at my disposal...

Maybe, there could be room for both video and stills when shooting macro subjects but once the initial decision is made, I'd likely remain with that technique for the whole dive. But I rarely shoot macro...
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#10 Harrygray

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:16 PM

Question for the DSLR crowd with cameras that do macro stills and video: Does anyone dive with four lights--one set of strobes for stills and one set of video lights for macro?

Some reading on other posts suggests that video lights are not really ideal for stills (at least my two Sola 1200s probably aren't), and except in really shallow water, macro video probably benefits from lights.

It seems theoretically possible to add a triple clamp to the end of my ULCS arms and piggy back the relatively light Solas next to my Sea & Sea strobes.

Too much equipment? Too much hassle?


NO I dont like to drive with so many lights on. It is trouble for others

#11 Aussiebyron

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

Posted Image


Here is my setup with the recent addition of Two I-torch Video Pro 4 lights attached with 3 way clamps. Up to now I have been using the I-torch video 3 as a focusing light and not even bothering with the video LED from the Ikelite Ds161 movies as they have no power (supposed to be 500 lumens). I decided that I would get into doing more video with my D7000 and needed small, bright and cheapest video lights and found the Video pro 4's the way to go over the Sola 1200's.

I mainly went with two video pro 4's as they have good even spread and two would be needed for shooting wide angle with the Tokina 10-17mm......maybe not at 10mm tho.

If you already have two Sola1200 I dont see any issue of just mounting one or maybe two on the middle mount for both stills (focusing light at low power) and video for macro. Honestly the size of the Sola1200 is that much and wouldnt be a hassle. Get the best of both worlds.

Regards Mark
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