In our ongoing series S.U.P.E.R. (Scubaverse’s Underwater Photography Equipment Reviews), Nick and Caroline Robertson Brown from Frogfish Photography review new underwater photography equipment, general diving equipment, and some older favourites too.
For the tenth instalment of S.U.P.E.R., Nick and Caroline take a look at Exposure Marine’s SUBM3 MK2 Dive Light.
Our Exposure Marine SUBM3 MK2 dive light has arrived for testing. It comes in a padded, and yet light-weight protective case that keeps everything together. For us, this is already a good sign. Inside you find the torch, its charger, instructions, allen key, a neoprene hand mount, a neoprene protective bag for the torch and a wrist lanyard.
The light is good looking and not too big and heavy. Ours is bright metallic red, although it does also come in black. It boasts 1800 lumens at full power and will last, at this brightness, for 2 hours. Refreshingly it also holds its charge whilst not in use. Straight away though, one of the features that we liked best was the option to use the torch at 3 different power settings. So while you are diving, if you want some light, but do not need full power, you can turn it down to Medium (150 lumens) or Low (50 lumens) and it will then last for a whole 24 hours! Whilst underwater, with the torch strapped to my left hand, these power settings can be selected by simply tapping the metal casing of the torch. As I am also using both hands to control my underwater camera, this is really helpful, as I simply tapped the dive light on the strobe arms to change the power and did not have to look down at any controls or let go of my camera to do this. Whilst we tested the SUBM3 in the lovely warm waters of The Bahamas, this is also a big advantage in cold water, with thick gloves on, when you do not want to be fiddling with buttons and switches. The display on the back of the torch lets you know what power setting you are currently in and how much burn time (battery life) there is left at this particular setting.
So for using underwater with a camera setup this is a great dive light. The hand mount is comfortable, and easily adjusted, and I could simply make small movements in my left hand to adjust the direction of the beam to light up any dark subjects that my camera might struggle to focus on. Of course, you can also use the Ultralight Torch Mount to mount this dive light onto your camera rig directly, or combine the torch holder with the INON Weight Plate to use it as a remote light on your photographic subject.
The SUBM3 is rated to 200m. It has no external mechanical switches so the risk of flooding this dive light is remote. There are no external moving parts to get clogged up with sand. Sensors pick up the fact that you are underwater, and switch the torch into its dive mode automatically. On land, there is a pressure pad style button that works so that this light can be used as a torch or a bike light. It is very well designed. Whilst this light was not specifically designed to be used by underwater photographers, it certainly stands up to the task. We also used it for a spot of modelling, with both of us using it as a dive light whilst posing for the camera. The SUBM3 MK2 will be a great addition to any dive bag.
For more information, visit www.ultimatesportsengineering.com/exposure-marine.
To find out more about Nick and Caroline and Frogfish Photography, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.