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Gear Reviews

The Big Blue Video Light from Liquid Sports

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Jeff light torch full

At first glance the range of Big Blue lights from Liquid Sports looks impressive and so I field tested the VTL 2500P. It boasted an impressive wide beam of 120ª (2500 lumens variable) for video work and a 10ª beam (900 lumens) to be used as a torch. There is a choice of 4 different levels of brightness plus an SOS function. I have to say right away that I was not disappointed.

Jeff light torch

The light is a good size and sits comfortably either in the hand or mounted on a camera. There are extra fittings to help do this as well as a shaped hand grip.

 

The 2,500 lumens has a colour temperature of 6,500K and gives a good even spread of light well suited for video. Occasionally when very close to my subject and in danger of ‘over lighting’, I was able to switch easily to  one of the less bright settings. I often meet divers who feel the brighter and bigger the light the better, but for video, this is not true. Generally, any artificial light added to a subject should only enhance the ambient light and so keep the scene looking as natural as possible. I always say to students on my courses, ‘don’t add light – just put back colour’.

Jeff light pipefish

 

With this Trumpet Fish in a wreck, too much light would have either ‘burnt out’ the fish, or made the background sea and diver too dark. It’s all about balance and the VTL 2500P makes this easy.  (Image taken from video frame)

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI rarely go filming anywhere without my GoPro mounted on the top of my Gates housing. It gives me the wide angle shots I need to make up a sequence while videoing the close ups with my Sony. It’s a great combination and the GoPro gives a really nice perspective when sensitive lighting brings back the natural colour of the subject. Here again the VTL2500P gives a wide and even spread of light which fits well with the GoPro’s angle of coverage.

The VTL 2500P is made of anodised aluminium alloy and the lens is made of tempered optical glass which makes it a tough and durable little unit. It generally retails at around £360 for the light and fittings.

Here are the technical specs from the Liquid Sports web site:

Technical details

Technical details

Light Source: 7 x XML LED + 2 x XPE Red LED

Light output: 250Lm (level I), 625Lm (level II), 1250 Lm (Level III), 2500 Lm (level IV)

Light output (Flood beam mode): 1250Lm (Level III), 2500 Lm (Level IV)

Light output (Spot beam mode): 900Lm

Light output (Red colour mode): 100Lm

Casing material : Aluminium alloy, anti-corrosive anodized

Power source: Li ion rechargeable battery pack 32650

Angle of light beam: 120° wide beam

Colour temperature: 6500K

Burn time: 1.5hrs (level IV), 3hrs (level III), 6hrs (level II) and 15hrs (level I)

Maximum depth: 100m tested

Size: Dia. 55.5 x L. 143.6mm

Weight in air: 461g (including battery)

Buoyancy in seawater: -233g (including battery)

Switching system: Push button with battery indicator

Front glass: Tempered optical glass

Bottom: Safety valve design

For more information, visit: www.liquidsports.co.uk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you would like to learn about techniques of underwater video contact Jeff at uwv@scubaverse.com.

Photos: John Spencer-Ades (www.thescubaplace.co.uk)

Jeff is a multiple award winning, freelance TV cameraman/film maker and author. Having made both terrestrial and marine films, it is the world's oceans and their conservation that hold his passion with over 10.000 dives in his career. Having filmed for international television companies around the world and author of two books on underwater filming, Jeff is Author/Programme Specialist for the 'Underwater Action Camera' course for the RAID training agency. Jeff has experienced the rapid advances in technology for diving as well as camera equipment and has also experienced much of our planet’s marine life, witnessing, first hand, many of the changes that have occurred to the wildlife and environment during that time. Jeff runs bespoke underwater video and editing workshops for the complete beginner up to the budding professional.

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