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Orcalight Seawolf-22000 lumens in the Maldives


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#1 Ferg42

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 07:48 AM

Hi All,

 

I recently had the opportunity to try out the ridiculously powerful Orcalight Seawolf video light in the Maldives and thought people here might be interested. Stuart Keasley (bottlefish) did a detailed technical review here so I won't go into too much depth on the specs. The main outstanding feature of this light is the sheer lumen-power. A single lighthead can push out 22000 lumens. I had previously considered my pair of 4000 lumen lights to be powerful, but this blows them out of the water. 

Why would you want or need so much light? I would say the main reasons are either for lighting very large objects in dark environments, such as deep wrecks or in interior of caves, or in shallower, brighter environments the lumen power comes into play to compete with natural light. Still photographers know that you need as much strobe power as possible to fill in the foreground shadows, especially when shooting into the sun. I've always been interested in achieving a similar look in video, and up till now that's been very difficult.

The Orcalight is not particularly small or light unit, but there again that is to be expected for such a powerful beast. The unit I tested is an umbilical arrangement, where the battery can be fixed either to the side of your cylinder or clipped to your BCD. Underwater this arrangement is fine and I found it didn't affect my buoyancy much at all. I think officially it is quoted as 200gms negative. The only problem I encountered was boat entry and exit from the water was slightly complicated when it was very choppy as I was effectively attached to the camera. However, Orcalight have since announced a self-contained unit, which should eliminate this problem. 

In use the unit was simple and reliable. I had no issues. It came with two lenses, a 60 degree and a 90 degree. I found the 90 degree sufficient to cover the FOV of a 17-40mm lens on full frame. I believe a 120 degree lens is also now available, which would suit those using a fisheye lens. Note the angles are horizontal field of view, rather than the diagonal 180 of a fisheye.  The light output was great and definitely a step up from anything I had used before. At 8-10m depth and beyond with bright tropical sunshine, the light balanced well with the natural light, and coverage was even. I was able to shoot off some stills as well- see attached pic below. Depth around 12m, ISO 200, 1/100th f8. 

 

 

I only managed a couple of dives with the light in the end as I was also shooting stills, but here are a few clips- 

 

 

It left me itching to shoot more with it, and I feel it has the potential to help create some really unique shots which weren't previously possible. This is particularly true with 4K video where there may be the potential to pull decent quality stills from the video- helpful when you need to shoot both with limited underwater time.

 

Ethics Statement: I have no association with Orcalight. I was kindly loaned the unit by Alex Tattersall of Underwater Visions, and Shane Newman of Orcalight provided very useful tips and is extremely responsive to requests for information.

 

 

 

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#2 CheungyDiver

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 04:41 PM

Hi Fergus

 

I agree the Orca SeaWolf light is a fantastic LED light. Great even light and colour rendering. Clever way to transport and use of high capacity rechargeable batteries. One thing I don't like is the opening and closing of the canister. Two hex bolts and only way of opening is use a blunt flathead screw driver next to bolts. I am going to suggest Orca provide some sort of snap latches or even a  thumbscrew. Great light and output is 22K lumen as specified. 

 

 

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  • Thumb screw.jpg

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#3 Stuart Keasley

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 11:18 PM

Hi Fergus
 
I agree the Orca SeaWolf light is a fantastic LED light. Great even light and colour rendering. Clever way to transport and use of high capacity rechargeable batteries. One thing I don't like is the opening and closing of the canister. Two hex bolts and only way of opening is use a blunt flathead screw driver next to bolts. I am going to suggest Orca provide some sort of snap latches or even a  thumbscrew. Great light and output is 22K lumen as specified.

OrcaLight have already redesigned the method of opening and securing the lid, have a read of the following for details:

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=52724
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#4 CheungyDiver

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 12:41 AM

Errr you lost me there. Which part shows the re-design?  The method is still  "The top plate attaches to the cannister via two M5 allen key bolts" 

 

 

 

 

 

I carry a set of allen keys but what if  I didn't?  I have two sets of these lights and I have to change it to M5 thumb screws. I also carry a little "crowbar" to prise the lid open :)  The  piston o-ring lid works well so well that it create a reassuring  cushion of air when the lid is close and the thumb screw is handy for securing it down with one hand.

 

I am designer myself and ergonomics and ease of use is important. Don't get me wrong I am just pointing out one issue not a big deal to some but it is to me. So what if the M5 bolts could be made more user friendly? Anyway I hope I have not upset anyone. If I have I apologize. These are terrific lights first and foremost.

 

If there is a new design then lets me see I could update it.

 

Dive in peace...cheers

David

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Edited by CheungyDiver, 24 April 2014 - 12:55 AM.

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#5 Stuart Keasley

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 03:47 AM

 

Errr you lost me there. Which part shows the re-design?  The method is still  "The top plate attaches to the cannister via two M5 allen key bolts" 

 

Tail end of the same paragraph.....

 

The top plate attaches to the cannister via two M5 allen key bolts, seal is via to large barrel o-rings. The plate needs to be inserted in the right position, then the bolts alternatively tightened to slowly draw the plate into place. This takes time and care, arguably a good thing to ensure that you've fitted the lid properly, however it's something that would become frustrating over time, especially if you are trying to install a fresh set of batteries in a rush. OrcaLight have confirmed that they are testing a new fitting method, incorpating a thumb screw and latch attachment, that will make removal and replacement of the lid far easier without negating the integrity, they will also be incorporating a connection point for the battery charger into the plate to alleviate the need to remove batteries for charging.


Edited by Stuart Keasley, 24 April 2014 - 03:48 AM.

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#6 CheungyDiver

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:55 AM

ah I see. I must be blind

 

Thanks Stuart

 

Great to see that. I shall have my canister lids updated. 

 

Cheers

 

David


Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/