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Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:17 pm
by Vjw
Sola lights will be on sale at divers fair weekend of July 27-29th at underwater sports in Seattle (not advocating any store - just FYI place to find them cheaper). :)

Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:04 pm
by djmcmath
stphnmartin wrote:Gotta watch out for hot spots and drop off on the lower end lights--if you're concerned with consistent coverage. I am concerned! :bye:


Hot spots and drop off are *exactly* what bugs me about my current light. It isn't that it isn't bright enough, it's just way too spotty. Frankly, I could probably build a good shade/diffuser assembly for a fraction of a new light, and just deal with a redneck hack-job setup. (shrug) Or maybe I could get one of those cheap-o Chinese lights and diffuse 20000 lumens instead of 1000. Hmm.

Ok, lots to think about. Thanks. :)

Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:56 pm
by stphnmartin
Gotta watch out for hot spots and drop off on the lower end lights--if you're concerned with consistent coverage. I am concerned! :bye:

Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:21 pm
by dlh
The Sola products have fair degree of industrial design and a warranty. There is some real value in that for some folks.

But most of these LED lights are an aluminum tube sealed by a 2cent o-ring. The led modules, batteries, and chargers are commodity items. Given the opportunity I would save the extra $200 and forget the warranty. Use your savings and buy a extra one as a backup light. BTW. this eBay model is many times brighter than a Sola 1200, more in line with the Sola 3800 Lumen model according to the person who recommended it to me.

Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:47 pm
by H20doctor
The China stuff is built pretty well just because it's cheap doesn't mean it won't last I have several several China lights and they work extremely well if you take care of them and rinse them off after every dive
https://www.lightmalls.com/archon-diving

Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:37 pm
by H20doctor
Sola Are spend Dee Buggers

Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:17 am
by djmcmath
dlh -- I'm loving the whole "totally off-brand absolutely made in China piece of super-bright poorly built stuff" look of that light. I might get one just because they're cheap. ... Alternately, the entry level Sola stuff starts at a little over $200, so I might be better served by getting a decent Sola 800 or 1200 ...

stphnmartin -- your work is where I'd *like* to be, in my wildest imagination. Just comparing my work to yours, off the cuff, I think I also need to get a tripod and some improved macro capability. And, clearly, I need a few thousand dives focused on developing the skills and experience to get good, stable, well-lighted video, haha. I sometimes try to explain to people what kind of awesome stuff you see down there, in an effort to explain why I dive; that video really nails it.

Thursday night dives are tough for me; work starts unusually early on Friday mornings. I'll try to make a point of coming out for one in the next couple of weeks, if I can. I'm not *desperate* for a new light, but I'd like to figure out which direction I'm going with this one.

Thanks for the inputs.

Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:41 pm
by ljjames
my dive buddy and I are big fans of the SOLA lights. On the smaller lights that work with it, we use the diffusion dome for even wider/smoother light (the SOLA Video Pro LE aka a 3800 with the dome)

Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:01 pm
by dlh
While I have not tried this light, a UW Video shooter I know highly recommended this light. At $83 plus this cost of batteries and a charger for another $50 you could buy 3 of these for the cost of one Sola. Might be worth a try if your budget is tight.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Photography-Vi ... 2749.l2649

Re: Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:37 pm
by stphnmartin
I've got 2 sola 3800s. They don't have a spot mode, so they are flood only. I use a sola 500 for spot and then turn on the 3800s to do wide angle shots.

If you wait till xmas time, Backscatter usually has a sweet deal on solas. I picked up the two 3800s for $349 each.

If you come to ththth you can see them in person and I can loan them to you for a dive. You can also look at my videos to see the lighting results.

Options for video light - Sola 3800 S/F vs. FantaSea Radiant 3000 vs ???

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:01 am
by djmcmath
I'm looking at upgrading my lighting setup. Right now, I've got a TovaTec Fusion 1000 with my GoPro, and I do alright. The TovaTec beam is very bright at the center, with a lot of fall-off towards the edges, so exposure is problematic. Either I get the center correctly exposed and the edges badly underexposed, or I get the edges right and the center washed out.

I've googled for reviews, but data is sparse, and reviews tend to be vague, one-sided, or uninformative. ("I used this light on my honeymoon, and it was awesome!" or "Great light, works really well!") Backscatter has the Sola 3800 S/F for $600, listed as their most popular light, so I'm starting with that as a baseline, both in terms of price and performance. I'd love to see two lights compared side by side, underwater, but I'd settle for opinions from the wise folks of the board.

So ... thoughts for a decent video light that doesn't break the bank?

Thanks,
Dan