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Strobes versus Video Lights

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I'm moving from my D300 to a D810. I have been using two Ikelite DS161M strobes. I would like to get some of your opinions on possibly switching to video lights (BigBlue 15000) capable of producing 1500 lumens up to 15000 lumens. I would like to shoot some video and my thought process was that using really good video lights would provide the necessary lighting to accomplish both. (I might be wrong) Please let me know your thoughts about this.

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I'm moving from my D300 to a D810. I have been using two Ikelite DS161M strobes. I would like to get some of your opinions on possibly switching to video lights (BigBlue 15000) capable of producing 1500 lumens up to 15000 lumens. I would like to shoot some video and my thought process was that using really good video lights would provide the necessary lighting to accomplish both. (I might be wrong) Please let me know your thoughts about this.

Many have tried. Most have failed. You get a lot more light from the strobes (think low ISO and small aperture) and it doesn't last long (think very high effective shutter speed). Non-moving nudibranchs maybe, moving critters and wide-angle not so much.

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The video lights aren't bright enough yet. I tried cave shooting with some very bright video lights and found I needed to use f2.8, ISO1600 and such a slow shutter speed that everything was blurry. Strobes are a much better investment - even cheap ones will give you a better result.

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You may be looking for the holy grail? Think of the energy requirements of powering a full time light bright enough to replace a strobe.

 

In general video lights are on full time. Strobes are very momentarily. Common 4 AA powered strobes are good for a several hundred pictures. Considering that the strobe is on for a very very short time for each picture (2 to 6000? microseconds) the 4 AAs provide energy for a very short period of time.

 

I claim it is not an issue of making the video light bright enough, the issue is dragging enough batteries around to last a dive.

 

Or am I over thinking this?

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Are u taking more then 300+ picture per dive? That is about that they rated a std battery will last. 2 set of battery and one charger would take up much space.

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Agreed with most above. Stills need huge amount of light, there is a reason why people carry 1+kg strobes in pairs around the world...

 

According to Interceptor121's calculations, a pair of 20k+ lumen fish-grill/buddy blinder might do the job (f/8 - sharp corners, ISO400 - not much noise, 1/250 sec - no motion blur). However this needs at least 500W highly efficient LED-s for that and a submarine to power them.

 

The only viable solution I see is the evolution of video lights, where they can flash too. Hybrid systems, such as the subtronic fusion are already available, however I have doubts about their longevity (=too much heat stress from the LED's to the flash tube). The concept of the I-torch symbiosis I like better (strobe and LED-lights are thermally separated), their specs (poor CRI LED, high CT strobe) less so.

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Agre

edit. The concept of the I-torch symbiosis I like better (strobe and LED-lights are thermally separated), their specs (poor CRI LED, high CT strobe) less so.

 

 

Good point! To get the specs you need you will have to buy lights and strobes separately. Combo units are likely to compromise one or both with respect to your needs.

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To get the specs you need you will have to buy lights and strobes separately. Combo units are likely to compromise one or both with respect to your needs.

 

It could be done, but nobody is doing it - or at least the information of the combo units (Subtronic fusion, Ikelite DS161) is limited - btw, other than the Subtronic I haven't seen a high-power LED high-power strobe combination, I'll do some more research on the german forums if there is some experience with it.

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It could be done, but nobody is doing it - or at least the information of the combo units (Subtronic fusion, Ikelite DS161) is limited - btw, other than the Subtronic I haven't seen a high-power LED high-power strobe combination, I'll do some more research on the german forums if there is some experience with it.

 

 

What you are looking for might be like searching for a combination of limousine and pickup truck!

Edited by Tom_Kline

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What you are looking for might be like searching for a combination of limousine and pickup truck!

SUV Limo? :)

 

Jokes apart, it's not soo complicated to combine an LED and a flash in a single housing. One could argue about the benefits, since the electronics (LED driver + flash capacitor+IC) doesn't bring any synergy, just need more sophisticated cooling.

True however, for serious WA video often a pair of 4-5k lumen lights are needed, this cannot be punched together with a flash tube because of the extreme heat generation.

Edited by tamas970
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I recall a story from Alberto Nava's talk about shooting in Hoyo Negro with Nat Geo. They were keen on lighting things with constant light instead of strobes, so the team ran a large amount of cabling through the cave to hook up a 3 phase generator to run topside in the jungle. The photos are nice, so I guess it worked.

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OK, Soooooooooooo not a great idea. I guess for now I will stay with using my two DS161M Strobes. However at 500 lumens each they don't satisfy my lighting requirements for video. I think after saving up some more money (I spent it all on the camera and housing) I would still like to try adding the BigBlue to my equipment list. I like the specs 1500 lumens with a burn time of 30 hours or 15,000 lumens for 30 minutes, Positive buoyancy 160degree etc. etc. Still interested in your opinions and feedback, Thank you

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1123014-REG/bigblue_vl15000pm_video_led_dive.html

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To me, quality of the light is at least as important as its intensity. I can't find a cri & r9 value for the bigblue, but being sceptical. If they had 90+, they would advertise...

 

Color temperature is another issue, in water 1-2000K is "lost" compared to daylight, thus WARM is the right direction, ideally around 4800K. Certainly not the 6500+ values often seen in uw lights.

 

 

OK, Soooooooooooo not a great idea. I guess for now I will stay with using my two DS161M Strobes. However at 500 lumens each they don't satisfy my lighting requirements for video. I think after saving up some more money (I spent it all on the camera and housing) I would still like to try adding the BigBlue to my equipment list. I like the specs 1500 lumens with a burn time of 30 hours or 15,000 lumens for 30 minutes, Positive buoyancy 160degree etc. etc. Still interested in your opinions and feedback, Thank you

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1123014-REG/bigblue_vl15000pm_video_led_dive.html

Edited by tamas970
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Good info from all of you. Thank you. tamas970 I like your comment and I will research that data. Thank you

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is that big blue 1800 lumen is enough for macroghraohy if i want to use video light or i should to use more lumen ???

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For macro night/deep 1800lm is fine. not perfect, but does the job, you can even add a warm diffuser if you are close enough to the subject.

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For macro night/deep 1800lm is fine. not perfect, but does the job, you can even add a warm diffuser if you are close enough to the subject.

it comes (1800 lumen big blue ) with yellow diffuser ...so what is ideal rang of lumen can be perfect ????because there are another rang of 2400 and more and i decide to try a single one of them ...

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I'd say 3000+LM with decent LED color should do the job. Still weaker than a single s2000 though.

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