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The Incredibly Bright Line of 15,000-22,000 Lumen Orcalight Seawolf Video Lights

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The Incredibly Bright Line of 15,000-22,000 Lumen Orcalight Seawolf Video Lights


THE ORCALIGHT SEAWOLF LINE OF VIDEO LIGHTS ARE SERIOUSLY BRIGHT!

The Orcalight Seawolf 860 is 15,000 lumens of light from a self-contained body, no extra cables or battery pods. This is a seriously bright light and one we have been looking forward to using at The Digital Shootout.

Orcalight Seawolf ​860 Test - By Joel Penner

I had the opportunity to take out the Orcalight Seawolf 860 15,000 lumen lights on the Tuesday morning dives. These lights pack 15,000 lumens on each arm of my underwater video rig! The lights are seriously bright, and I was able to shoot scenes with darker blue ambient water than previously possible. Check out the video below to see my first two dives with the Canon EOS-1D C and the new Orcalight Seawolf 860's.

Orca Seawolf Lights and Canon 1DC - Video by Joel Penner

Orcalight Seawolf ​860 Test - By Jim Decker

The Video below was shot with the Panasonic GH4. There are select clips in the video notated with the "Orca" light being used.

Panasonic Lumix GH4 4K Camera - Video by Jim Decker

Full Range of Optics

One of the unique features of the 860 is the ability to change out the front optic for different angles of coverage. There's 45, 60, 90, and 120 degree optics available. These can be swapped by removing the front bezel. My favorite for this trip is the 120 degree since I was shooting the Panasonic Lumix G Micro 4:3 FISHEYE 8mm lens. I used the 90 as well but it was just a little too narrow in some wide angle situations with the fisheye lens, but would be no problem with a rectilinear lens. The 45 and 60 would be more likely to be used for diving rather than imaging for deeper light penetration and overall brightness with a concentrated beam.

Buoyancy and Handling

The light is about 1.75 lbs. negative. I added a Stix FB-10 float belt and a few Stix FUL-3 float to the arms and it made the system perfectly neutral. Having large lights is actually an advantage in getting steady underwater video. The mass of the system helps stabilize it underwater. I usually hold the system by the back of the light heads to get a wider stance to help avoid any wobbles.

Battery Life and Charging

The specs have this at 40 minutes at full power. In practice, I was able to get almost 2 dives out of the lights by turning it off between shots. Charging can either be done through the back of the light without removing the battery, or by removing the battery pack.

Light Performance

Like I said before, these are some seriously bright lights. The whole idea with a bright light is to be able to use it at shallower depths and still pull off a darker background. Usually in clear tropical water the ambient light is so strong in the shallows that lights have little effect on a wide angle scene. The lights were bright enough to pull of some still images at depths of about 40 to 50 feet.

Orcalight Seawolf ​2260A Test - By Joel Penner

While on Grand Cayman prior to The Digital Shootout, I had the opportunity to test the Orcalight Seawolf 2260A canister video lights. Using the lights off-camera for the purpose of creatively lighting a scene, we had four Orcalight Seawolf 2260A lights at our disposal. Diving the U.S.S. Kittiwake in the late afternoon for two dives provided our stage for these lighting experiments, which varied from low power of 7000 lumens to high power of 22,000 lumens.

In the first shot, we went deeper, two decks below, to attempt some creative lighting on low power. Selectively placing the lights in and around the small room, not only lit up the scene, but also provided additional visual interest that we would not have had using only on-camera lighting.

Later, we moved the canister lights up to the airbank storage level. These large and numerous airbanks were used on the Kittiwake for submarine rescue. We turned the lights to full power and attempted to provide washes of light coming from the lower staircase and behind each of the large rows of airbanks.

Toward the end of the dive, we relocated the canisters to the bridge and shot the wreck from outside. The lights were also on high, 22,000 lumens. The results of this final experiment, lighting up the bridge from the inside, would have been better had we waited another 30 minutes or so. However, you can see that the Orcalight Seawolf 2260A lights on full power - 22,000 lumens - provide plenty of light to counter ambient light conditions.

Special thanks to Michael Maes and Ellen Cuylaerts for making this test possible. Also, thank you Chase Darnell of DNS Diving for logistical support.

Orca Seawolf Lights and Canon 1DC - Video by Joel Penner

Conclusion

The new Orcalight Seawolf line of video lights are seriously bright with a complete line of choices for many underwater video lighting requirements! The Orcalight Seawolf 860 is the smallest form factor that packs a punch of 15,000 lumens. If you need/want the power of the Orcalight Seawolf 2260A but prefer to run the lights on a handle or mounted to your camera rig, the Orcalight Seawolf 1560A is a great choice! It's the same power of the Orcalight Seawolf 2260A but doesn't have a separate battery canister. The Orcalight Seawolf 2260A can be used for the videographer who wants to add off camera creative lighting to their scene and provides additional runtime due to its larger battery.

<a href='http://www.backscatter.com/sku/or-lgt-1561.lasso' class='standard'>Orcalight Seawolf 860</a> - 15,000 Lumen Light Orcalight Seawolf 1560 - 22,000 Lumen Light Orcalight Seawolf 2260 - 22,000 Lumen Light
Pictured from left to right: Orcalight Seawolf 860, Orcalight Seawolf 1560A, and Orcalight Seawolf 2260A lights.


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