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Just getting into macro and wondering if a focus light is needed?  I have one however wondering if its worth the weight to have underwater. 

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Yes, you need one. Depending on the lighting conditions you will find your camera may not autofocus without one.

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Yeah, it depends on how good your camera's autofocus is and how it deals with lowlight; and if your strobe has a focus light built-in - which some do.

I find with my Nikon D500 I almost never need a focus light.

I'd suggest you try it first and see how you get on with one. Focussing lights are not a cheap item and, like most battery things, if you don't use it and keep it in a good charged state, the battery tends to deteriorate if its a rechargeable one

 

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agree, it depends on the camera, generally many cameras will AF OK if your subject if out on the reef.  If there are lots of overhangs around you may be missing out on subjects if you don't have a focus light.  It also depends on where you are diving, in the temperate waters I dive a lot, it is pretty standard to have a dive torch on day dives, there's lot's of critters found in the dark under overhangs or in caves and it also helps with spotting some of the well camouflaged ones.  If you have a camera you might as well use your focus light for this purpose.

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Thanks I’ll bring it with. I’m shooting a a7R3 and the auto focus is good but I guess it doesn’t hurt to try it out. 

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9 hours ago, smurillo said:

Thanks I’ll bring it with. I’m shooting a a7R3 and the auto focus is good but I guess it doesn’t hurt to try it out. 

Just be aware that some subjects leave if you shine a focus light on them - things like small fish that you need approach closely.  Be prepared to turn it on and off as needed.

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On 8/27/2021 at 7:08 PM, ChrisRoss said:

Just be aware that some subjects leave if you shine a focus light on them - things like small fish that you need approach closely.  Be prepared to turn it on and off as needed.

Thanks, i did learn that.  It also has a red light that I used also.

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2 hours ago, smurillo said:

It also has a red light that I used also.

As you probably saw, some fish are slightly less worried by red lights - but even then, be cautious!

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I shoot an a7rIV. I keep a focus light mounted (but not necessarily turned on) all the time.

Shooting macro, it seems to happen a lot that by the time I've move the camera in to close enough, I've blocked so much ambient light that without a focus light, my camera will not get a focus lock. As well, it's hard for me to even see the subject very well in the viewfinder (or LCD).

I don't see why a focus light needs to be expensive or heavy. I use a plain old (cheap) 1000 lumen video light I happened to have. 1000 lumens is totally overkill, in a light that is a spot beam. In a wide beam, it's more than is needed, but not really OVERkill. Mine does not create any problems for me, that I have noticed yet. The point is, it does not need to be very bright at all. A lot of focus lights are only around 200 lumens and that should be plenty for macro. In which case, it's so dim compared to your strobes that it doesn't need to turn off for the shutter release. So, any old small, not-very-bright light will do.

It does need to be on a mount that allows you to reach it all the way out to the front of your port, so I can shine down almost directly on the front of your port. Otherwise, if you have a close working distance lens, you end up blocking the focus light from the subject when the port is close enough to take the picture.

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