My Focus Lights for Underwater Photography
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
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|
|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)|
|Dimensions||5.2 x 1.4″ (133 x 36mm) (L x Diameter)|
|Weight||0.13 lb (60 g)|
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.
|Lumens||2400 White / 200 Red|
|Beam Angle||White 120 Degree, Red 120 Degree|
|Burn time||White LED Full 100% around 60 mins, Red LED 5 hours up|
|LED spec||CREM XM-L U2*4PCS (White, 5700K~7000K) + CREE XP-E N3*2PCS (Red, 620nm)|
|LED Life||more than 50000 hours|
|Material||Aircraft degree aluminium|
|Size||50(D) x 124.8(L) mm|
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.