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pakman

Vid Light Arms: locline flex arms vs articulated/ulcs arms

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So as I mentioned in another thread, I've upgraded to a dual 24W HID umbilical/ canister light setup. I had previously attached my single HID light to loc-line flex arm and that appeared all good. Someone suggested going to articulated arms... I'd hate to start dealing with buoyancy arms etc if I go that route due to the added weight of the articulated arms/ hardware . But I guess they would be the way to go if you are dealing with stiff currents and want to setup your lights wide... Actually, with video lights, what's the widest I would want to set them? In my case, with 2x24W HID's and a port that provides aprox 70-80 degree FOV.

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I have ULCS arms, but I think they are overkill for my lightweight lamps. I believe the arms were originally designed for photo strobes which need the extra strength due to the weight of the self contained batteries.

 

Since you already have the locline arm and are happy with it, I would just get another as long as it can support the weight of your new lamps.

 

I think setting the arms wide for video is to limit backscatter and keep the bugs away from the lens on night dives.

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While I have both the ultra light arms and the flexible loc arms, I definitely prefer the loc arms. Even when I was using those heavy UK cannons as opposed to my current L & M lights, I preferred the lightweight, flexibility of the these arms. While they might not support the lights topside, once I was in the water they supported everything I could throw at them, even in the strong currents of Tahiti and the Cocos. The big thing for me was that I could easily change their position in the water to adjust for the shot rather than have to fool around, loosening the stiff ultralights, repositioning them just the way I wanted and then having to tighten them down again. What a pain they were.

Steve B)

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm still undecided. Going with articulated arms, I could reuse my inon 8" arms that I have for my still camera setup. I would still have to get 4xball mounts at about $25 a pop.

 

Actually I found the loc-line arms I have now (I think the 3/4" size) pretty stiff and not that easy to move around. But then, I was only using a single light and it pretty much stayed in 1 position... :)

 

The local company 10bar sells a flex arm but mountings won't work unless I DIY something. I would order loc-line parts directly from www.modularhose.com but their lowest int'l shipping would be 3x the actual cost of the parts!

 

Steve, you wouldn't know what size loc-line hose L&M uses for their lights? Also, looks like for mounting they just have a loc-line base attached to the light head and I guess you would just pop it off to remove the lights.

 

http://www.uwimaging.com/hc7/gallery.htm#

 

http://www.uwimaging.com/hc7/lights.htm

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To add more difficulty to your decision.....

 

I have no problems adjusting my ULCS arms. The wide angle coverage of my lamps probably helps. Once set, I don't adjust them much on a dive.

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Just adding my opinion. My L&M housing came with locline arms for the lights. I prefer ULCS arms for 2 reasons, 1 you can get more distance/positioning with ULCS and 2 the locline arm mounts for the L&M gave the arms some play which caused the lights to wiggle a little. It drove me nuts.

 

I also like the fact that I can easily add options to the ULCS arms such as a slate, monopod, etc...

 

Ryan

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Ah, I think we've made his decision even more difficult. :)

 

hehehe... for awhile yes... ended up just getting the ball adapters so I could reuse my existing arms from DSLR setup. The problem with the flex arms was trying to figure out a way to mount the Salvo light head securely. I could use the standard locline ends, but I was worried they would rotate and the repeated popping them on and off the locline arms would loosen the screw in the delrin.

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Interesting reactions all, I've not had any problems with my arms moving around once they are set. It is just so easy to readjust them quickly and I love that. Plus, I can always add or take away parts of the arms to make them longer or shorter as needed. Of course, I do that part topside. Sorry Pakman, I think they are 3/4" but not sure. They look it tho

Steve B)

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Good advice, and I agree with Steve. If the Locline arms support the weight of the light, then that is the way to go. I have both the L&M HID (3/4" locline) and the L&M Halogen (1/2" locline), and underwater they stay pointed where you want them. You will definitely be repositioning them often for various shots, so ease of use is valuable. Ultralights would be a lot more difficult to manipulate, especially in the dark. Topside the Locline are flimsy, but the Ultralights will be more awkward. Another good thing about the Locline is when (true story) that large aggressive territorial male Loggerhead in the Bahamas hits you full speed with his shell, the lightheads will pop back in and you can fire them up again.

Dan

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the locline arm mounts for the L&M gave the arms some play which caused the lights to wiggle a little. It drove me nuts.

Mine drove me nuts too because the ball mount at the bottom is a little too loose and the whole arm would swing around, even underwater. I eventually drilled a hole right through the lowest piece of locline and the metal ball mount and put a pin through. I'm talking Stingray II / Sunray Halogen here.

 

The other end is not too clever either. The lamp head tends to work loose over time. Tightening the screw that goes into the lamp can help but eventually it bottoms out and then you need to add an extra washer or shorten the screw.

 

Having said all that I'm pretty happy with locline arms and they're great for getting into tight spots where articulated arms might get in the way.

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OK, now I've decided to go with a hybrid arm... half articulated and half flex arm.... :)

 

Just kiddin...

 

But honestly, thanks everyone for the feedback. Lot of good pro's and cons for each. I'm sure it will help others who are also starting out in u/w video.

 

Nick, I had similiar experience when I first tried the flex arm on my Gates housing. Had to try a number of lock washers before it would stop loosening on the handle. But then the Gates handle has metal threads so I could really crank down on the bolt. I was worried as my light heads are made of delrin that if I have to keep cranking down the mounting bolt, it will eventually strip the threads in the light head.

Edited by pakman

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