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NWDiver

Wait for LED?

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So we have purchased the new system; Gates HC7, MWB and SWP25 Lens. It was at the top of what we wanted to pay but now we are wondering about lighting. We have a pair of Hartenberger Nanos which will work for night dives and macro but are considering adding:

 

Green Force Squid HID 50, w/three hour battery pack

http://www.h2ophotopros.com/component/page...mart/Itemid,26/

 

OR do we make due with the Hartenbergers and wait to see were LED tech goes in the next year???

 

Upcoming trips include: Yap/Truk Feb/08, Cocos/Mapelo April/08 and Lembeh Sept/08.

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So we have purchased the new system; Gates HC7, MWB and SWP25 Lens. It was at the top of what we wanted to pay but now we are wondering about lighting. We have a pair of Hartenberger Nanos which will work for night dives and macro but are considering adding:

 

Green Force Squid HID 50, w/three hour battery pack

http://www.h2ophotopros.com/component/page...mart/Itemid,26/

 

OR do we make due with the Hartenbergers and wait to see were LED tech goes in the next year???

 

Upcoming trips include: Yap/Truk Feb/08, Cocos/Mapelo April/08 and Lembeh Sept/08.

 

Good choice on the Gates - you will love it i am sure.

 

Those Squids look pretty good - 3hr battery is a real feature.

 

The problem with Hartenbergers is the weight is in the light itself and that makes it hard on the wrists and therefore hard to hold a steady shot. I much prefer having the battery packs on the bottom of the housing and light lightheads on top. You especially notice it if you need to push the lightheads forward to back light macro subjects - heavy lightheads will pull the front of the housing down.

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You will like the Gates housing and SWP25, I have both and really like mine. I am really interested in going LED and waiting for more field reports before deciding.

 

OT - I made a bracket to keep the float in place on the SWP25. If you are interested in making one I can PM you pictures and details.

Edited by Mini Dive

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Having just filmed a week with LED (I currently own HID), I can't look back. Brighter and 3-5x battery life. Instant on/off, adjustable, durable. I would absolutely wait.

-shawn

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As you know it is always a problem to compare systems head to head. For Green-Force I could not find how many lumens they put out to compare to L&M.

 

Shawnh, what HID system/s do you own and what LED system did you work with?

 

L&M claims "Our 2000 lumen light consumes less than 25 watts of power while delivering 50% more light than our 21 watt HID." So does this mean their top of the line US$3700 system is the equivalent in output of a 32 watt HID system??

 

Does anyone know of any company besides L&M that has a LED system equivalent of a 50watt or more HID system?

 

Thanks....

Edited by NWDiver

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Well, this may help. I was shooting side by side with a buddy who has the 50 watt greenforces. My system seemed noticalbly brighter. I didn't do any specific tests, just shot together at night and observed. It could be a function of intensity of my lights.

-shawn

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Shawn

Was that a 50WATT light or a Greenforce 50? The silly marketing naming for Greenforce will probably backfire. Their 10Watt HID is called the 50 because it supposedly is equal to a 50W halogen (depending on which halogen bulb, that's nonsense). The GF 50W HID (aka 250 squids) shoots out more than 3500 lumens on each side (minus the diffuser and other inefficiencies). Even with a 110° diffuser on, I'm confident it's brighter than the L&M LED light.

It does come down to not just brightness but how good the beam of light is. Some lights seem 'brighter' because the beam is narrower. Depending on what you want to shoot and the beam spread you like, I would suggest you choose based on that vs specs (which may be based on more marketing than actual facts). I believe one of the sponsors, marine cameras, has a small .mov on the beam patterns for a few different light heads. You may want to start there.

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Good points Drew. These were the big boy GreenForces. That being said, I think you are right about the wider beam. Mine was narrower for sure.

 

I was shooting with prototype LED 2000 series. These are set to be released in April I believe...don't quote me on that. The 1000 series that is just released are brighter than my L&M HID 21 Watt set and consume far less battery.

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Hi,

 

The application of latest LED technology to underwater video lighting is perhaps the most interesting development in this field since HID began to displace halogen.

 

LED is definitely the way of the future, but their are a few things to keep in mind...

 

Semiconductor technology is literally advancing by the month...which is an issue for large scale manufacturers of underwater video lights. So expect dramatic year by year improvements in performance specs until the technology settles down and matures...as is now the case with the high power HIDs.

 

For example, we have just obtained the latest LED emitter from a German manufacturer which, as a SINGLE LED emitter puts out 1000 lumens of 6000 degree kelvin light...the same a a 50 watt halogen! Eventually, LEDs such as this will seriously challenge high power HIDs...but not for a while yet.

 

In the short term, LED video lights will displace low power HIDs such as 10w and 24w. The two models that HDVSEATEK will release in January 2008 are intended as replacements for the low power HIDs...at a much cheaper price and with the advantages of being very compact, power efficient solid-state devices. They are currently being field tested here in Australia and so far the HDV footage looks great.

 

Cheers for now,

 

George

www.hdvseatek.com

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