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Focus light - when are they needed?

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#1 JDelage



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Posted 18 January 2014 - 07:29 AM

I'm putting a rig together and I don't know whether I need a focus light. When are focus lights most and least needed?





#2 tdpriest


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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:09 PM

I use a focus light for macrophotography, and not for wide angle.


It's obvious that night dives will need a focus light, often red to avoid spooking the fish.

#3 kc_moses


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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:11 PM

I never really pay much attention to "focus light". My current rig consist of one video light (Archon D32vr) and one strobe (Sea&Sea YS-D1). The video light gives me wider angle (120 degree) as many focus lights are very narrow. I'm primary shooting video, the video light is double duty as focus light since it has a red light mode, and it was very handy when I was shooting mandarin fish.

#4 diggy


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Posted 18 January 2014 - 11:36 PM

For almost all Macro photography i use a focus light irrespective of night or day. It just makes it easier for the camera to focus much faster, especially with 100 mm macro lenses and/or added wet diopter's/macro convertor lenses. So yes a decent focus light should form a part of your rig in my opinion.






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#5 Ted_Wideman


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Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:23 PM

I'm putting a rig together and I don't know whether I need a focus light. When are focus lights most and least needed?






Diggy is right, it makes focusing easier and faster. I also use focus light in macro, but not on the brightest time of the day.

Edited by Ted_Wideman, 21 January 2014 - 10:46 PM.

#6 E_viking


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Posted 26 January 2014 - 01:47 AM

Be Aware that you can spook the Object with a Focus Light.

Some animals does not care, some others get spooked with white light, but not red.

Some other animals just turns away. An example is the Pygme Seahorse ( no Eyelids)

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#7 Interceptor121


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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:21 AM

If you buy a close up lens buy a focus light as well as otherwise there are chances you will be in trouble


Generally cameras do not have problem of focus when there is plenty of depth of field but once this gets limited due to high magnification extra light is essential


If you use manual focus and there is enough light to see what you are focussing on a focus light may not be needed


For what concerns pygmy seahorses I have taken stills with a focus light at 10% of 1000 lumens and shot video with two lights dimmed down


They were not particularly happy but it was fine


I have done the red light trick for mandarin fish, you can buy red filters to push on sola lights or get a light that has a red beam but be aware that even red is not invisible fish still sees it and turns away if they feel threatened regardless of light colour

Edited by Interceptor121, 26 January 2014 - 11:22 AM.

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#8 dpaustex



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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:48 PM

I guess it depends on the rig, and if you're shooting at night.


The Ikelite strobes (DS 160/161) have a built in focus light. Works great.  I also use a NightSea light for fluoro diving (another subject altogether) which also has a filter for "white" light.


For WA, you probably won't need one.


You can also mount a small flashlight as a focus light, but you'll tire of turning it on and off during the dive.