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focus/video light for macro

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I have been using a Backscatter Macro Wide 4300 as focus/video light but due to poor technique on my part (salt water dripping from fingers) the contacts have become pitted. Backscatter can repair it but I have also been thinking about what would be ideal to use with a Sony 90mm macro lens. The light would act as a focus light, night dive light, and video light. Video is not my priority but I do use it and possibly would like to use it more.


The MW4300 has a focus beam with 14 degree coverage. Good for focus assist but too narrow to cover the 27 degree angle of view of the 90mm lens. The wide beam has a coverage of 90 degrees which is what I have been using. But with so many people dedicated to macro I was wondering if there are video lights with a coverage that better matches typical macro usage. I don't know what the optimal coverage would be. Wide enough that you don't need snoot-like precision in aiming the light but narrow enough to maximize light intensity for a given total lumens output.


The best I have found so far is the Sola 2500 Flood, with or without focus light, which puts 2500 lumens in a 60 degree beam. Based on a back-of-the-envelope calculation, based on image circle areas, I expect that to be equivalent to a 7500 lumen light with 90 degree coverage. You can get two Solas with flood but not focus light for a similar cost as one MW4300 and the two together weigh a tiny bit less than one MW4300 with batteries. Having two, you can charge one while diving the other or mount both simultaneously to double burn time by using them sequentially, double intensity by using the simultaneously, or widen beam coverage in the horizontal plane. Redundancy is also nice in case one fails.


Getting 1 or 2 is not really the point though. My main question really just is if people have been using a video light that is optimized for macro work and that doesn't cost or weigh a ton?

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Kraken Hydra 1500 is excellent.  Two white-light levels, but as important, it has a red mode and an instant-off setting which detects the strobe and momentarily douses, both very useful at night and for macro (no red tinge).  Cheap, too, with removable batteries.  I really respect Sola lights, but the Kraken’s purpose-built features earned my affection for focusing.  Pretty cheap, too, $179 (although no battery is included)

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I have a Sola 500 photo, and 1200 photo. 


Both have been flawless for the years I've owned, them. I use them mostly as focus lights (the red light is great), but also as primary night dive lights, as well as lighting during some macro use. 


The sealed construction really makes them easy to deal with.

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