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andy_deitsch

Focus Light Suggestions

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My Sola 600 is acting up so I'm in the market for a new focus light. When I bought the Sola back in 2011 it was considered to be "the" focus light to get. Now I'm wondering what the current thinking is on focus lights. I only need it for photography so don't care about video light capability. It would be great to get some feedback on what people like.

Edited by andy_deitsch

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Hi Andy

 

I got the Sola 800 Photo about 3 years ago. Very happy with it. It has red LEDs which seem to bother the critters less - and the usual variable output. And white light of course. Sturdy, light-weight, good battery life and inexpensive. Relatively.

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I have the iTorch Pro6. It has four power settings for white, two for red, one UV. If anything it is too bright even on the lowest setting. The replacement Pro 7 is even brighter (5000 vs 2800 lumens.) The battery is replaceable but explodes (!) if put in a charger the wrong way. The beam is very wide and soft which is nice as a focus light, and it's compact.

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I'm using an Inon torch, I like them as they use AA NiMH same as my flash, the350 lumen one I'm using lasts 2.5 hours on 3 x AA batteries. They have a number of options. I also have a 1400 lumen torch (700 lumen low setting) that will last 3 = hours on the 6 AA batteries. They a quite well made.

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+1 for Sola Photo - used 800, changed to 1200 recently. Perfect size/power combo for focus usage.. great as a night dive light too. Also the red beam is super useful, a lot of crits are scared/annoyed of white light. Really like Sola (L&M) support as well - they are super helpful (even with 2nd hand lights ;] ).

That said, nowadays market has expanded a lot, so there is plenty of alternatives, especially if you are looking for something with higher power, like the iTorch suggested above.

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Thanks for the feedback. I haven't tried support at L&M so maybe I'll contact them about my Sola before I completely give up on it. I do like the idea of having the UV in addition to the red and white lights. Not sure how often I'd use that though.

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I forgot to mention that the iTorch battery lasts forever. Just don't put them backwards in the charger, our dive shop had a pretty serious fire after doing that. It exploded out of the charger and bounced around the room with fire. But I think the newer batteries may have fixed this bug? I drew a BIG plus symbol on mine.

 

I've used the UV light maybe once in the water. Mostly I turn it on by accident, "oh yeah, it has UV."

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Thanks for the feedback. I haven't tried support at L&M so maybe I'll contact them about my Sola before I completely give up on it. I do like the idea of having the UV in addition to the red and white lights. Not sure how often I'd use that though.

 

Try..they have changed a casing on one of my lights completely for free..and light was waaaay out of warranty. Also if its just the battery that is dead, you could even fix it yourself - there is a few dive shops round that sell those batteries. Otherwise perhaps L&M can have a look at it, since you are in US, it will be even easier to get it looked at.

As for UV...strongly recommend reading below before you venture there...and be careful...once you start fluro diving that's it, a normal night dive will seem super boring :P

 

http://sb.fluomedia.org/fluolinks/

 

Also, a great comparison of yellow filters here - you need one for your camera:

 

https://www.uni-due.de/zoophysiologie/cc.guests/FluoreszenzFilterFinalUSApdf.pdf

 

Good luck!

Edited by makar0n

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Thanks for the feedback. I haven't tried support at L&M so maybe I'll contact them about my Sola before I completely give up on it. I do like the idea of having the UV in addition to the red and white lights. Not sure how often I'd use that though.

If it's out of warranty, they'll repair it for a flat charge (around half of a new one) but the postage can be pricey, or offer a trade in percentage to trade up to a new model. They're very fast and you'll get back a virtually new light depending on the problem. There's also a reset procedure that can often fix the problems. Worked for me on one light, another I had to get repaired. Give them a call or e-mail.

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I have the Weefine 2300 smart focus lamp and like it very much. White/Red and even Blue for fluorescene.

It is the first lamp with red LEDs that I have and I am impressed: I use red as standard for daytime macro focus ligth and evn at nigth dives I use more than 50% the red LED as main ligth. So I am able to get nice photos of ligth avoiding animals as shrimp and even basketstars...

The 2300 lumen white ligth is plenty to use as main ligth for nigth dives and even, at a pich, works for video (so far I make video sequences only occasionally).

 

Wolfgang

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I have inquires a repair of my sola video 1200

$150 plus shipping costs will get you a refurbished light

Am sending one in myself

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have inquires a repair of my sola video 1200

$150 plus shipping costs will get you a refurbished light

Am sending one in myself

Good info, thanks!

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+1 for the iTorch 6+ 2800 lumen light. It's simple, durable, and has great battery life. 2 hours runtime easy, and you can swap out the battery between dives. I solved the charger problem by purchasing a 3rd party charger with reverse connection protection for $15. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HNM8FKE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

The Sola 1200 is also great, and I have successfully replaced my own battery with a $20 ebay purchase. About 5 minutes with a soldering iron is all it takes.

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To be honest you don’t need to spend a fortune on focus lights and definitely you don’t need power. Even 200 lumens are ok for most situations unless you want to use for video

One thing that is useful is shutoff with flash as the focus light does alter the white balance of the picture and may even burn highlights if too strong. Am not sure there are any but for macro the built in light if my inon strobes works just fine so have not bothered using the sola at all

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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To be honest you don’t need to spend a fortune on focus lights and definitely you don’t need power. Even 200 lumens are ok for most situations unless you want to use for video

One thing that is useful is shutoff with flash as the focus light does alter the white balance of the picture and may even burn highlights if too strong. Am not sure there are any but for macro the built in light if my inon strobes works just fine so have not bothered using the sola at all

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

That's often true, but I use the "focus light" on my camera as my primary dive light as well. In locations like the UK or PNW where we have dark and murky waters a powerful light is required. A strong flood is great for lighting up the reef and getting true colors for the eye, not just the camera.

Edited by davehicks

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That's often true, but I use the "focus light" on my camera as my primary dive light as well. In locations like the UK or PNW where we have dark and murky waters a power light is required. A strong flood is great for lighting up the reef and getting true colors for the eye, not just the camera.

That’s exactly how I use my sola more as a dive light to that regard I like the narrow beam option

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Another vote for the Sola series. They have the occasional quality issue (I lost my 1200 and replaced it with a 2000 and that one has lost its "spot" mode...) but my experience with their service has been very positive.

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I am very partial to the Kraken Sports Hydra 5000 Plus WSRU focus light. Pretty much covers all the bases - Beam Angle: 110 Degrees Underwater (flood) 15 Degrees Underwater (spot), Burn Time: 60 minutes @ 100% flood, Depth Rating: 330ft/100m

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I have to put in a vote for the Fix Neo Mini 1000. I have mine mounted on my cold shoe. You can get it in both a white/red or all-white spot/wide version. I have one of each. Both settings can be put on at 100%, 75%, 50% and 25%. Additionally, the light has an auto-off feature that senses your strobe and shuts down, so it won't affect the exposure. The light is bright enough that is functions as my dive light. I agree with posters above that having a red options is very useful for some creatures, although I have to say that my EM-1 often has a tough time locking focus with red light. I generally only use it for one night dive before recharging, so I'm not certain of how the battery life will hold up for multiple dives in a row, but I've never had an issue with it lasting for one dive.

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Hi - I just changed to a scubalamp P53 following a review on another wetpixel forum. It also has a strobe mode which may be useful for some. They are not cheap, but the quality is very good.

 

I found mine at - https://underwater.com.au/shop/scubalamp-p53-video-strobe-light.html

 

There are two things that I would change:

 

- an attachment point for a lanyard

- simple off - need to cycle through 5 modes to turn off.

 

All the best

 

John

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I was at the dive shop the other day and was looking at the Kraken Hydra 1000 WSR Plus Focus Light. It was pretty inexpensive, but the red light seemed very dim compared to the Sola 800 photo light.

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if you still after one i have a fix neo for sale, put it on today under "heap of stuff for sale" , plus head can be changed to a video light.

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