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Has anyone bought and used the Kraken Ring Light 3000?

 

It looks like a good solution for the macro photographer for creating a smaller rig.

 

I've always liked the ring flash for macro work, and have one for land use. It seems that it would be nice to have underwater as well.

 

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Hi;

 

Here's a couple of studio shots I took using an Oly E-M1 MKII and 60mm lens. 125th/sec f/14 so it seems like there's lots of light with the strobe (really quick flash) feature.

 

ring_light_demo-1.jpg

 

ring_light_demo-2.jpg

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Great photos! What are you using for a sync cord? I love the flash but have a Nauticam NA-7D housing and I hate the price of the Nauticam sync cord compared to the generic (or even Kraken) ones. Is the Nauticam cord really necessary or could something less expensive work?

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I did just now find out from Kraken that the connector on the strobe is Sea & Sea plug-in. That's good to know. Now to find a proper sync cord that's not the expensive-Nauticam type. Optical Ocean Sales has a nice selection of 10Bar ones - just need to figure out which one... ;-)

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For info, we found that this doesn't work with Red LED fibre optic triggers. I'd be careful with low quality fibre cables too, check first.

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I used the less expensive 10Bar one on the tests, SSHL-SSHL.

We have the same with a Nauticam/10Bar screw cap that should work ok.

 

I'll have to see about trying it with a red led trigger. Alex did you try a thicker, multistrand cable? We've found the SS ones to be the best, even better than Nauticam, except they only come in SS plug style.

 

Jack

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I went and bought one yesterday (Kraken 3000) plus a Kraken optical cord (Sea&Sea ends). I should be able to fashion a Nauticam connector out of some black rubber tubing, or else I'll design and 3d print something that will work.

 

I'm really looking forward to trying this out. I love ring flashes with land macro photography, so this should be a lot of fun.

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That's not used for anything, just in the manufacturing process.

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I am interested in this as well. One requirement is to get enough light for the exposure and Jack's test is promising. Another is to get enough light to 'compete with sunlight' which I expect will work at least for objects at close range. Regarding the former point, does anyone know if this LED ring light flash pulse is as short as conventional strobes (so much less than 1/250th of a second so illumination is independent of shutter time). If the LEDs give a longer (let's say 1/20th of a second) pulse, and technically I think they could without overheating, greater illumination can be achieved by using longer exposures up to the flash pulse length. In other works, would Jack's shot at 1/125 sec have been brighter/dimmer at 1/60 or 1/250, respectively.

 

Another question: youtube videos seem to suggest you can run the ring in continuous mode and still use the pulse flash. If so this could be both a focusing light and low-power strobe.

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Yes, you can use the light continuously in white, red or uv and have it flash. It is not a true strobe, but a very fast, high-powered flash. It is not TTL, so your camera settings will vary the light exposure.

 

Jack

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How bright is the flash (as far as I know, LED flashes do not have much power)?

=> Does the power allow to close aperture and reduce exposure time enough, so that one can get a dark background??

 

Wolfgang

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I am just interested to know how the experience with the ring flash is growing:

 

Is it known now, how long the "flash" lasts (for instance when Jack, in the example photos above, increases shutter speed from 1/250 to 1/125 1/60 and so on, does the exposure by the "flash" still increase (and, in paralell of course, the background become also more exposed by dayligth))?

 

Wolfgang

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The flash (strobe) is longer than a conventional underwater strobe. At slow shutter speeds (1/60) it won't freeze the action. For that you have to use a higher shutter speed.

 

I've been happy with either 1/125 or 1/250 and my Kraken 3000. My first one had a faulty strobe sensor (wouldn't fire reliably). I asked about it and a replacement was immediately shipped, including return shipping label so I didn't have to pay anything.

 

The replacement worked perfectly from the very first, and it's a great ring light and also a great strobe. My dives are around 72min. I keep the ring light on 25% power (white) or in strobe mode (also runs the light at 25%). So far the battery only shown minor discharge during the dive, and I keep the ring light on the entire dive. DIscharge is shown via the status light (blue = full, green = middle, red = low). So far I've barely gone into green.

 

I love the look of ring light macro photos, but will probably add back a strobe as I do like some fill light. Since I have now removed the wire port from my housing, I'll be using optical.

 

One caution, at least based on what I found. The ring light is bright enough that when I tried a DS51 with the Ikelite screw-in optical trigger, the ring light alone would continuously fire the DS51 just from the ring light (not strobe). Granted, with the cover off the Ikelte optical trigger, it's very sensitive. I had to position the DS51 behind the ring light and use reflected strobe light from the ring light to fire the flash. That's not optimal, so I bought another optical sync cord so I can connect the strobe directly to the housing and fire both simultaneously.

 

How it would respond with a different strobe (i.e. Inon Z240 etc.) would be interesting to see.

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I used one quite extensively on a recent trip on the Chertan in Milne Bay. It triggered just fine with my Nauticam LED trigger for the EM1-II using home made sync cables (I use two fibers in the Inon bushings. Not as bright as a strobe of course and a quite long exposure time but worked very well for nudibranchs and also quite well for some black water dives shooting pelagic critters at night.

 

Cheers

Bill

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Indeed - the replacement ring flash triggers perfectly with my Canon 7D on manual (pop-up) flash with minimum power. I'm using a Sea & Sea type II cable and a custom 3d printed fitting for the optic ports on the Nauticam NA-7D.

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Thank you for the info!

 

Can the power of the "flash" be adjusted, or is it always at 3000 lumen and one has to change shutter speed for this?

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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Strobe power can be adjusted, from 100% to 0%. The last one sure gave me difficulties with the first light when trying to figure out what was wrong. Basically on 0% power, your camera sync flash (or led) turns the strobe OFF. That can be useful...

 

For example, you could use the ring light as focus lamp for a couple of big outboard strobes, and then (like many focus lights) have it turn off when you take the photo.

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Very interesting...

When I understand Sunnyboy correctly, he is using the ring light plus strobe(s) simultaneously.

No problem with differences in the color temperature between LED and strobe(s)?

 

Wolfgang

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Dear Wolf Eel - could you please let me know how you identified that your first Weefine ring light had a faulty sensor? I just bought one and sometimes it strobes and then other times it doesn’t. I thought it might be the fibre optics cable but that doesn’t seem to be the issue. I also read and re read manual to make sure it wasn’t user error either. I’ve used it on 3 dives now. It usually won’t strobe for the first 10 to 15 shots.. I turn it off and back on then try different power levels until it eventually works. On my last dive it also didn’t shoot reliably midway and towards the end of dive. I didn’t touch the settings at all once it started strobing to see if I could identify problem. When it’s working it’s great! Any help appreciated. Thanks

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I reviewed both the Kraken (Weefine) 1000 and 3000 ring lights in issue #101 at uwpmag.com. I think that most of the questions ask above are answered in my review of both light. Find the review on the front page of the magazine in the back issues section, it is a Free PDF download.

 

Happy to answer any followup questions.

post-2618-0-37820600-1558371862_thumb.jpg

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It was process of elimination. It didn't work well from the first time underwater, so I gradually eliminated all other possible issues until it could only be the ring light. Ultimately I was doing an A/B test with the same camera & optical cord on an Inon Z240 and the ring light. The Inon would always trigger and the kraken would not. The rep suggested my power wasn't high enough, so I repeated the test with 100% power from the on-camera triggering strobe. Same result.

 

In the end they sent me a new Kraken 3000 and the new one worked from the very first time out of the box. That kind of "proved in hindsight" that it was the first 3000 that was at fault.

 

Note - everything else worked perfectly on the first 3000, just that it would not reliably fire when triggered.

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I am in the Philippines right now and every other dive I am using only the Kraken to shoot the tiny stuff

Pictures when we get home.

bill

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