My Focus Lights for Underwater Photography

Focus Lights for Underwater Cameras

My Focus Lights for Underwater Photography

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The focus light also called modular light, is quite important for night shots or photos in dark places. I have tried and still work with a few models.

On the picture above, from left to right, Green Force HID + A12 battery, UK-Mini Q40, BigBlue with 1 Led and the FIT 2400 LED

Anemone and diver with Green Force light in Papua New Guinea

There are lights made especially for focusing. I had a small UK-Mini Q40 but the light was not good as it was leaving traces on the picture. It’s fine as a small dive light, but for photo, a flood light is a must.

I bought “Nocturnal Lights” which was not strong enough for me, although the company has now released some stronger models like the SLX800i.

I then bought BigBlue which has an abundant flood light, although it’s still not very strong.  It is also quite bulky. The fact that the light shuts down for three seconds after each flash to not influence the picture is a good idea, but in some cases it disturbs more than it helps me. Three seconds is a long time if you want a series of fast, repetitive shots.  However, some underwater photographers like this feature. Not all of the BigBlue models have that feature.

My Fantasea Nano Led Focus Light was quite inexpensive and is really efficient, I always have it as second source of light or backup light.

Nocturnal Lights SLX 800i Focus Light Specifications

Configuration 1X SLX 800i Light, 1X Ball Joint Adapter
Construction Full aluminum Housing with Double O-ring Seals
Power 6X AA Batteries
Burn Time 8 Hours with a max output for 2 hours
Color Temperature 5000° K
Beam Angle 60° internal diffusers installed
Includes 12° internal reflectors and 90° adapters
Depth Rated 328′ (100m)
Buoyancy 0.5 lbs (226.80g)
Dimensions 3 x 7″ (7.0 x 14cm) Without Handle
Weight 1.4 lbs (635g)

 

Bigblue FF1X5 Compact Diving light Specifications

Light Source 1x 5 W LED
Light Output 250 lumens
Material Casing: Aluminum alloy, anti-corrosive anodized
Power Source 4 x AA Alkaline 1.5 V or Ni-MH 1.2 V rechargeable
Angle of Light Beam 60°
Safety Thermal protection system prevents the light from overheating, double O-ring seal
Color Temperature 6500°K
Burn Time More than 2 hours at full lumens
Maximum Depth 100 m tested
Buoyancy 120 gravity with batteries
Switching System Magnetic rotary switch system
Front Glass Tempered optical glass
Dimensions 2.20 x 8.11″ (56 mm x 206 mm)
Weight 16.22 oz (460 g)

 

Fantasea Line LED Nano Focus Light Specifications

Light Intensity Wide and even beam
Luminance about 18,000 mcd
Burn Time 8 Hours
Depth Rating 300′ (100 m)
Color Black
Batteries 4 AAA
Dimensions 5.2 x 1.4″ (133 x 36mm) (L x Diameter)
Weight 0.13 lb (60 g)

 

Modular light on housing

I recently bought a very nice FIT 2400 lumen LED light. It’s quite compact and strong, and the intensity can be set to different strengths so that it can be easily used with a weak light for macro. The photographer can switch the camera from white to red light. The lithium battery can be recharged with its own charger. It’s a good idea to purchase a spare battery to keep constantly charged so that you can switch it out when needed.

I also use a Green-Force light (which is basically a dive light) including a HID head light connected with an “umbilical” to the long lithium battery (A12) that I set in my back with my tank. The light lasts up to five hours. It’s really great, but not easy to travel with. That’s the reason I now use mainly small size lights. There is enough choice of good lights today.

 

FIT2400 Specifications

Lumens 2400 White / 200 Red
Beam Angle White 120 Degree, Red 120 Degree
Battery Lithium-ion 3.7V/5500mAh
Burn time White LED Full 100% around 60 mins, Red LED 5 hours up
Depth Rating 100m/330ft
LED spec CREM XM-L U2*4PCS (White, 5700K~7000K) + CREE XP-E N3*2PCS (Red, 620nm)
Color temperature 5700K~7000K(White)
LED Life more than 50000 hours
Material Aircraft degree aluminium
Size 50(D) x 124.8(L) mm
Weight 210g
Conclusion

In my sense, the best focus light needs to be small, with high capacity battery. The light should be plain (flood) to avoid any trace on the picture and it must also be powerful. An option to modify the power, by steps, from low to high is nice to have but not a must.

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