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smk82

Focus light recommendations

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I'm looking for a focus light at the moment, and rather torn by what to choose. Based on where/how I have my strobes angled to correctly light/minimize backscatter I can't use the focus lights in the strobes themselves, so I'll ideally have to mount it on the housing itself or use a triple clamp arrangement.

 

Currently considering

Sola 800P

Gobe Red focus light

Fix NEO 1000 WR FS

F.I.T Flare 1200 WRS

 

Ideally I'm looking for something which will offer both white and/or red modes. Recommendations/thoughts would be welcome from people who use these - also whether mounting the light by ball mount, hot shoe YS or ball mount via a triple clamp on a strobe arm is better.

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There has been loads of threads on this, smk82. Worth having an explore.

 

I bought the Sola 800P about a year ago and like it. A few people have reported problems with them in recent threads. But mine has been fine so far. It's light, charges easily and lasts well beyond an hour dive on a full charge. I can recommend it.

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You need to be careful as if you aim the focus light forward you will have exactly the back scatter issues you mention. Focus lights are effective for close range photography where you are stretching the exposure so much there is not enough light to focus. In silty environment the focus light exposes exactly the same backscatter problem. I have two sola 1200 and when I do stills i use one as a dive focus light. In reality I found it of little use as focus light but much more useful as dive light on my current rig however on a small compact I had before the canon s95 the focus light made a big difference. What camera have you got that has such focus problems and what are you planning to shoot with the focus light?

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I'm in the market for a focus light as well. Presently I use an I-Torch Video Pro 3, but the threads are wearing out on the body section at the back end despite my slightly OCD-ish attempts at cleaning and lubing. I've looked (over the internet) at lots of lights - mainly at specs, and find that most lights sold as focus lights also do double-duty - given enough intensity, as video lights. In my mind, providing a little light so a lens can focus - usually a macro lens, and illuminating a scene for video are two entirely different propositions! Regardless, I recently tried my wife's I-Torch Fish Lite 24 and found the wide beam angle (110 degrees) very distracting and annoying. Even in the relatively low vis of our local waters, it lit up a large area in front of me and washed the foreground in light that I found very distracting. The Video Pro 3 has an 80 degree beam and is very useable for macro, although unfortunately too hard-edged for wide angle work.

 

So, after a few days spent wandering the internet for a more modest beam angle, white and red settings, a user-replaceable rechargeable Li-ion battery and a depth rating of at least 300' all in a robust and sturdy package, the only option that fits most of the criteria is the L&M Sola 800P. I've yet to try one, so I don't have any useful comments on its performance at this point.

 

Sorry for the ramble, but hopefully it helps with criteria for selecting a light.

 

Lee

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Some people love the red light some other think is utterly useless. I fall in that group and would rather get a sola dive that can switch to spot beam

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