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Shooting Video, is UK Aqualite any good?


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#1 kc_moses

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:09 AM

I keep reading Focus light is different between shooting photo vs video, but no one explain why. My primary application is shooting video, and the UK Aqualite seems to fit my budget, and I plan to get the 90 degree version.

 

Could some one share some light if there is a better choice in that budget range, or what thing I should look for in a video light? I plan to get a pair, it should be sufficient for night dive right? For day time, I plan to rely on ambient light since I will be at the tropic and normally is between 40 to to 90 ft, with great visibility.



#2 Interceptor121

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:57 PM

Two 600 lumens are more than adequate for night dives and macro. However 90 degrees beam is actually not that important, it will only reduce your working distance before you need to change the position of the lights, unless you have a really wide lens with more than 130 degrees the 90 degrees of the beam will not actually be used

Another light to consider is the Epoque is cheaper and is 1000 lumens also this one very wide at 105



#3 kc_moses

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:31 AM

Thanks! I kind of found another light that I think would be a good fit. It's the Archon D32vr. You probably see it in Scubaboard. What I like about this is, it has the red LED mode. I think that will allow me to dive in stealth mode at night to look for shy creature, and not attract backscatter. Once I found some creature, I could switch it to white and take my snapshot. I know 1400 lumen could be too strong, especially for macro, but the 2nd mode, which I think is around 700 lumen should be okay. Worse case, I could get an Epoque/UK Aqualite that goes to the cold shoes for macro down the road.

 

Right now my mentality is, it's better off to get a higher lumen for now, and get something too low of lumen and get stuck with it. After all, with higher lumen, we can always add diffuser to cut down the light. Right?

 

Oh, the Archon is 120 degree.



#4 Dupsbear

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:11 PM

I've used the Aqualite on several trips and love them.  I shoot 2 lights, one mounted below each of my 2 strobes.

 

For the money and size, they are hard to beat.

 

The lights come with 2 batteries and a charger.  The charger will charge from a laptop computer or any USB power supply.

 

There are 3 different heads for the lights and are interchangeable; a 90 degree, 65 degree and a 20 degree.  Each reduction in angle yields a more powerful beam, but I use the 90's for video and a 20 for a night dive light.  The color of the light is most pleasing.

 

One of my underwater videos using 2 Aqualites in Cozumel may be found on my YouTube channel, which is Dupsbear.

 

To view the video, go here.

 

Barry

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#5 kc_moses

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:13 AM

Thanks Barry, the UK Aqualite doesn't look like it can shine more than 10 ft away, which I was told a stronger lumen would be better. I wish there is a night dive video demo the Aqualite. The Archon is actually about same price as the Aqualite, but provide 1400 lumen. I will consider it soon as it's getting close to my dive trip!



#6 Dupsbear

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:50 AM

The light you mention is very interesting and many times with light, more is better.

 

One of the ads I saw for the Archon advertises light coming out the side of the front lens, as if that is preferable.  However, light coming out the sides may increase backscatter or just a glare in a diver's eye.  I do not know that, but I do know from years of teaching and shooting u/w photography, that you do not want to light up the area between your subject and the lens, which a side light will do.

 

The Archon only comes with one battery; a second battery is another $25.  The UK light comes with 2 batteries that can be charged from a laptop; the Archon may charge from a laptop, but I did not see that feature advertised.

 

The Archon does not come with any way to mount it, so a bracket must be purchased.  The UK light comes with (2) 1/4-20 threaded holes that makes mounting easier, but one still might have to purchase a ball joint to mount.

 

I also noticed the size of the Archon, which is almost twice the diameter, longer and heavier.

 

Please, I am not putting down the Archon light!  I would love to have 1400 lumens; that does remind me that the UK light has 4 power settings, but the Archon only has two.

 

I think you could not go wrong on either light.  If you get the Archon, let us know how it performed; one post and video I saw showed flickering with the Archon light in low power mode.  Not sure why that happened, but that could be a deal breaker for me.

 

Good luck,

Barry

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#7 kc_moses

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:14 PM

Barry, the 4 settings on the Aqualite is one of the feature I do consider seriously as it give more flexibility. But the I'm not sure if its low lumen would allows me to grow should I need more light. The Archon has red color mode, which only the SOLA line has, and you know how expensive that line of products get! I think the red mode could be useful, and I read from other forum that the guy who has the Archon ended up use the red mode more then he thought he would.

 

Another thing to consider is the support, since it's from China, you just can't get a replacement or have it fix if the LED goes out. But with that price and the lumen rating, I think it's a gamble that's worth to consider. For the Archon mount, they do make it, and my brother will be visiting China in April so he will be able to get it for me.

 

The flickering issue you saw in youtube is because that diver shot the video at 48 fps, he has yet to confirm if the problem will go away if he shot at other frame rate. I'm concern about battery as I don't use light during day time, and 1 battery is enough for one night dive. I haven't been to trip where I could do two night dive a day, so I'm okay to charge the battery over night.

 

If I ended getting the light, I will definitely report back. My trip is late May to mid June, so it's going to be a while.



#8 Interceptor121

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 01:33 PM

I think you are over estimating the red mode. On worst cases you can put a filter on your lights to achieve that Besides fish still sees the light at a certain point so don't think you are invisible