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About videodan

  • Rank
    Sting Ray

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Delray Beach, Florida USA

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Sony HDR-FX1, Sony TRV-900
  • Camera Housing
    Light & Motion Bluefin HD, L&M Blurfin Pro V900
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Light & Motion Sunray Pro HID & L&M Elite Halogens
  • Accessories
    Also an Aqua Video FX1 housing
  1. First off, I would like to apologize to George and other forum members for my poor choice of phrases when disagreeing with him on certain statements. While the context of what I said has not changed, I should not have so rudely disagreed, as he is an educated professional and a fellow underwater videographer. We should all welcome newer technology, especially if it will give us what we need for a better price. LED, HID, or whatever suites your needs, technological advances are always welcome. Dan
  2. Steve, I look forward to your review. What will you be shooting in Alaska? NWDiver, sorry to hear about the flood, and I hope they replace it quickly. I agree the 2000's on low are still pretty bright for macro. I wonder if a screw in ND Filter would work, otherwise make some type of diffuser. Wagsy uses yogurt containers as diffusers, or maybe there is a screw in one available somewhere. Have you used yours on a night dive yet? They are pretty impressive, and you'll be glad there are three power levels. wolfeeldiver, the Sunray 2000 lightheads screw together with an o-ring seal, as I'm sure your 1000's do also. Extra care is needed, because the o-ring can easily pop out when re-assembling the head. Dan
  3. Again, you're spewing more deception. The "new LED" is less efficient than the current LED, no matter how you look at it. L&M currently make an "affordable, lightweight underwater LED video light" that surpasses the" light output of a high quality third generation 50 watt HID", without any of the cons of HID systems. Now, who makes this oh-so-wonderful "high quality third generation 50 watt HID ( which, by the way, is being claimed by the best ballast/bulb manufacturers to deliver over a 100 Lumens per watt, attain full brightness in less than 10 secs and have no problems with constant re-start..." for underwater videography? Don't forget to include the power loss from the ballast in your lm/w rating. How long does that fragile filament last? How easily does that fragile filament break? How expensive is a replacement bulb? Don't forget that 10 seconds is an eternity when you're missing your shot. Please produce facts, not fiction. Dan
  4. No, the wattage will be ~27W. @ ~ 2736 lm. Very trivial, as the LED's @ 350ma/emitter run on a constant 3.2v, so an increase in wattage is also an equal increase in current. 4 emitters/LED operating at 350ma/emitter is 1.4A/LED, which is an increase in current and wattage at the same time, while the voltage is constant.No matter what, there is no "improvement of 400% over current LED technology". Sorry. There is actually an approximate .06% loss of efficiency vs. the XR-E series LED. However the lower thermal resistance (3°C/W vs. 8°C/W), the 110° beam angle, and the four individually addressable emitters per LED should all be a big advantage for future LED lights, but not necessarily for underwater videographers. I can't imagine blinding creatures any worse than I already do, not intentionally of course. The Sunray 2000's are extremely bright, and unless you are cave diving in huge caverns, I don't see why anyone would be needing anything more. A note on the Sunray 2000's: While writing this reply (~50 min.), I put one of my Sunray 2000 light heads in water in the kitchen sink, cranked up on full. It never got hot, just barely warm. And this was in South Florida tap water, which is not particularly cool. In the air (not recommended) they get very warm, very fast. Conclusion is that the Sunray LED's are very well engineered with a highly effective heat sink, and operate at a very efficient power level. I do believe they will last a lifetime, or at least close to the rated 50,000 hours, whichever comes first. Dan
  5. Congratulations Mike, I'm sure they will work well for you. At DEMA, I saw the Sunray 1000 prototype, compared to the Sunray 2000 prototype, compared to the Sunray HID. The 1000 was brighter and whiter than the very good HID light. The 2000's are extremely bright, so I use medium more often than full, and low for closeup. I look forward to hearing how well the 1000's work for you underwater. I'm very happy with mine. Dan
  6. Not true. If you read the XLamp MC-E LED PDF sheet, it says "4X the flux of XLamp XR-E LEDs, same footprint" but the maximum efficiency is 101 lm/W, vs. 107 lm/W for the single die XLamp XR-E LED. With the unreleased XLamp MC-E LED you will get 4X the light from the same sized LED, but it will require more than 4X the current, which is lower efficiency. You will certainely not get "Thus, six of these will put out 2500 Lumens @ 350 ma...an improvement of 400% over current LED technology!" Dan
  7. Dave, I assume you have the Bluefin Compact, so I can't help you there other than to suggest you contact L&M for advice. How do you like the lights so far? I believe the filters will need to be different for various depths as well as for water color and other conditions, just as we have to manually white balance for variable conditions. I think we want to balance the color temp of the lights to the color temp of the ambient light which varies with depth, turbidity, time of day, etc. So it seems to me that an assortment of filters may be needed. I will have a better idea after this coming weekend shoot. Dan
  8. OK, I have time to go into more detail now. The keyword is still WOW!!!! These lights really amazed me last night, and I have used DiveRite Halogens, L&M Halogens, and L&M HID's in the past. Many different flashlights also, as I sort of have a light fetish. The Sunray 2000's give bright a new meaning. The beams are incredibly bright on high (2000 lm./head), very bright on medium (1000 lm/head) and plenty bright on low (500 lm/head). The beam is very clean, very wide, very even, and very white. These are the whitest lights I have ever seen, and don't worry about the CRI either. The lights made everything look beautiful, with brilliant natural looking colors, and absolutely no washed out colors, and in my opinion, far better in every way than HID or Halogen lights. Remember, these are not your standard flashlight LED's, they are some serious lights unlike anything I have seen before. The burn time is much longer with the same sized batteries than with the HID's (which are better than Halogens) and with much better quality light, and more than twice the brightness as a bonus. It is really awesome having instant on/off with no warm-up or hot restrike delays, plus three (definitely needed) power settings at your fingertips. All three settings work excellent, with no major change to the color temp, unlike Halogens. I only manually white balanced one time for the entire dive, with excellent results from all three power levels. Another benefit (or just luck) was I hardly had any squiggly worms, where everyone else had lots of them. Is this due to the lights burning cooler, or maybe something else? I don't know for sure, but the difference was quite noticeable. L&M really did a fantastic job designing and building these new lights. I now have no doubts that LED technology is definitely the way to go for high performance self contained underwater video lights, and L&M did them right. My conclusion - Highly Recommended. BTW, I have color conversion filters on the way, so next weekend I will try color balanced ambient light shooting in the daytime. Dan
  9. Just got home from a night dive with the L&M Sunray 2000 LED lights, and it is almost midnight here, so I'll keep it short for now. WOW!!!!
  10. Hi Billy, I have a question. What monitor are you getting, and where are you getting it from. BTW, nice job on your old port. Thanks. Dan
  11. I'm using the URPro CY bluewater filter. I'm pretty sure the CTMS filters we need would be the exact opposite of the CY filter, and I'm not sure which that is, or if that is even 100% correct. Here is some early information from L&M on the blue/cyan filters for the lights. I will post an update as soon as it is available. Cokin is just a brand, so only the numbers are relevant, and any brand should do. L&M is still working out some specifics for the filters. Remember the KISS principal, Keep It Simple S.... We always want to keep things easy to use, protected from damage, and unobtrusive. I think L&M originally considered a flip up filter system, but decided against it. The CTMS is a 52mm threaded system which should work fine as I shoot with the CC filter 99.9% of the time anyway. The shallow bridge dive was without CC filter so the lights would blend in well. I have not shot with the CTMS yet, so I still have much to learn. Dan
  12. Hello New guy, welcome to Wetpixel. I have no experience with Nocturnal Lights, except that I researched them prior to buying L&M Sunray 2000 LED light system. First off, the high end Nocturnal Lights LED SLX Quad Underwater Video Light Package is a 300 Lumen light, which will not be much good for anything more than very close up or macro shooting. This may be good for you, but was not of interest to me. Second is price and you thought they were cheap. They are $1,250 per pair, so 2 x 300 lm = $2.08/lm plus batteries and charger. By comparison to L&M Sunray 2000 LED light system which are $3,799 per pair, so 2 x 2000 lm = $1.05/lm with 3 power levels, batteries and charger included, plus the light heads are neutrally buoyant. Sunray's are more expensive overall, but half the price per lumen. I'll bet the SLX Quad's will make your housing top heavy, which is not recommended. You are on a budget so you're probably better off finding used Halogen or HID lights, and best if they specifically fit your housing. Also do a Wetpixel search for "lights" and find out what others have been using. Good Luck. Dan
  13. Ron, as with all expensive equipment (especially underwater), extra care needs to be taken to ensure it will function properly for a long time. I handle my equipment with the utmost care, but still unexpected things happen. Look at the pictures of my pods, there are many unavoidable nicks and gouges, but they never (knock on wood) leaked. They can take some abuse, but I wouldn't push it too far. The pod housing is very strong, but you wouldn't want to knock either end very hard with anything, or you may get damage. I have bumped mine into many things without any problems. Dan
  14. Well I had a good weekend diving with the Sunray 2000's, 90' daytime dives on Saturday and a 14' under-bridge daytime dive on Sunday. I'll be doing the first night dive with the 2000's this coming Saturday. They definitely are more than twice as bright as the 950 Lumen Sunray HID's, and very white (sunlight balanced). On the deep dives they were very effective in the ledges and walls, and quite visable in direct sunlight. I should have some color conversion filters by this weekend to color balance the lights to work with the URPro color correction (CC) filter on the camera. L&M calls this CTMS - Color Temperature Managment System. You can then white balance as normal with your CC filter, and use the lights to enhance and highlight your subjects without turning the background green, or blowing out the reds, as with normal lighting. On the shallow bridge dive, I white balanced on the sun without the cc filter, and then went about shooting in and out of the sunny areas, and into the very dark areas under the bridge. It was like I brought the sunshine under the bridge with me, and the transition was near perfect. BTW, vis was only about 15-20' and greenish. Colors under the bridge were vibrant and balanced, and I had no problems going back and forth without needing to adjust settings. After the dive, some divers that I didn't know told me they had seen two super bright lights coming towards them for about 5 minutes before they could actually see me. They had thought it was a mini-sub. High performance LED's are the way of the future for underwater shooting. So far all positives, and no known negatives. Even the price is somewhat reasonable when you compare the performance and features to other systems. I'm definitely keeping them. Dan
  15. You're correct Nick, I had to slide them back to line of sight for the IR to function correctly. A little secret, bounce flash as opposed to direct flash hides many imperfections. It also depends on the flush water PH level. My Bluefin 900 got trashed on one liveaboard trip from their water, but a light wipedown with CRC 6-56 will bring back the finish, just let it soak in and then wipe it dry. Low on the 2000's looks pretty good for close ups. I will shoot some on Saturday and report back. Dan
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