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Been looking at some of the blue led lighting options out there for night fluo diving and in the end just finding it way too expensive what it is so looking at the DIY options. I use those inexpensive $30 ebay 2000lm dive lights from China (not really 2000lm but bright enough) for my regular dives and has over 25 dives so far without flooding so far. I'm now looking at trying the more powerful 8000lm rated ones like the Skyray the under $80 http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SKYRAY-Diving-Scuba-8000LM-5x-CREE-XM-L2-LED-100m-Flashlight-Torch-18650-26650-A-/311326974725?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item487c88a305 How hard would it be to open one of these type of lights to desolder and replace the LED's with the equivalent royal blue 450nm LED's? Not sure if this would be the right one but something similar: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/10-Pieces-3W-High-Power-LED-Emitter-ROYAL-BLUE-445-450nm-/121185868503?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item1c373d9ad7 From that point I think its only a matter of ordering blue excitation filter to replace the front glass on the torch or to stack on top depending on thickness. I've seen them for around $20-30. That would end up being under $140 for a 5x Royal Blue LED light. - I'm planing to build 2-3 of these for photo/video rig. All the other components like yellow barrier filters for mask & camera are affordable so definately buy ready made options. Thoughts?
As NEX shooters will know all too well, there is a lack of lens options for the system. Up until recently, there has only been one dedicated wide angle option (16mm + FE) and one Macro option (30mm). It’s also possible to use the 18-55mm kit lens with external (wet) diopter for a closer perspective. Any other macro options? How about the Nikonos 80mm with extension tubes? I’ve recently completed two dives with my NEX 7 and the Nikonos 80mm. To improve focus distance, I attach two extension tubes . My quick impressions: Its super macro on the NEX! For NEX users, ‘nuff said. It’s fun! It’s a real challenge to shoot. I’ve had a lot of with this lens. I feel is a high risk, high reward type set up. Its best suited to calm conditions where you have plenty of time to shoot. i.e. Blue Heron Bridge. Several shots were on a recent night dive with a bit of current. My % keepers were much lower. A magnifying viewfinder is a necessity. Since you have to judge focus yourself. With extension tubes, the only way to focus is to rock in and out. With this lens, and underwater in general, I have not found the focus peaking on the NEX to work very well, even with focus lights. Maybe I’m doing it wrong…. It’s heavy. Having the system more neutral would help the handling a lot. Even at f16, DoF is razor thin. The resolution isn’t great. I think this has always been the issue with the 80mm, but the 24mpx on the NEX 7 doesn’t help it along. There is plenty of detail, just don’t crop down or pixel peep. First, the set up NO, NO. Look THIS way. Flounder eyes. Moving objects are difficult but not impossible. Both could be better, but for my level, not bad considering the limitations of the set up. Sometimes, even stationary subjects can be difficult. Hey, I meant to focus on the pinchers and not the eyes. I swear! When it works… Guitar fish eye, Corals, Worm, Blenny.
Here's a little compilation of the footage I took on the 2 night dives we did in February in Kona with Jack's Diving Locker. It was an amazing experience: apart from the guides, my husband and I were the only 2 divers and some pretty amazing things floated by. The biggest challenges were keeping the critters in frame, keeping them in my 2 beams of light from my Sola's (Matt, the dive guide, used 5 lights!!!!), keeping things steady, and getting the aperture right. Lots of things to consider. I think if I'd had a week, I'd have come away with some award winning stuff , but alas, 2 night dives of 75 minutes each was all we had. Song is "You're So Cool" by Hans Zimmer feature in the movie "True Romance". Filmed on my Sony HDR 550 with 2 Sola 1200 lights (painfully inadequate!!!) Hope you enjoy. https://vimeo.com/61169972