Browsing articles from "February, 2014"

Focus Light Mount on a Budget

I started thinking about my underwater photography at night and how much of a pain it had been focusing on things without help from others shining their torches or fumbling with the camera in one hand and a torch in the other, so I started looking for a focus light mount to go on the cold shoe adapter on my housing, you know the one that looks like it holds a flash.

Edible Crab hiding

At first I was shocked by the price, £50 for the adapter and another £50 for the clamp to hold the light (plus delivery) and I was looking in all the usual haunts, Cameras Underwater, Bristol Cameras and then Ebay but they all came back the same, an extremely high price for something that I had a feeling would cost less than £2 if manufactured overseas and delivered to the UK if made in plastic. So I then started looking at other solutions and found a clamp for 50p delivered from China (it was too small in the end), and I was in a large market near where I live and one of the stalls had some screwdriver extensions with a thinner version of the loc-line for £1 and I was about to order a cold shoe mount with large thread to resin into the base of the loc-line when I started discussing it on a Facebook group I am a member of.

I explained what I was looking for and that I was happy to build it if anyone knew how, and how much I was willing to spend on a new one not expecting what came next, a guy called Alex joined in the conversation from a company called Underwater Visions, they mainly deal with Nauticam gear in the UK which I didn’t know at the time, and he said he would look into it and see what he could come up with. The next day I had a message and he said he had found something but it didn’t look pretty, my reaction was a little withdrawn as I was expecting it to be uglier than I looked the morning after back in my student days. I kindly asked him to be patient for my next payday and he had no problem with that.

So about a week or so later I contacted Alex to let him know I had the money and how did he want paying, we sorted that by online bank transfer and I sat back waiting thinking it would be 3 or 4 days. I had actually forgotten I was waiting for a parcel and was annoyed at the Postman for knocking so loud the next day. Bleary eyed I went to the door and scribbled something on the screen of that little digital box they carry around, said Thanks and shut the door holding a package that I had no idea could be. I stumbled into the kitchen and filled the kettle, oblivious to the solution to my focus light mount issue being right under my nose.

Alex’s attitude when chatting to him on Facebook had been one of an old school shop keeper, an extremely friendly chap who just wanted to help, and with dealing with higher end gear wasn’t offended by someone looking for a cheaper option, I think he understands some divers don’t have thousands to spend on strobe arms and trays, but just because it is cheaper it doesn’t mean it isn’t something that will do the job well, or well enough for those of us with extremely limited budgets.

I made my morning tea and sat down still looking blankly at this package that had 24hr delivery stamped on it, so I pulled open the envelope and tipped out a box and sheet of paper, it still didn’t sink in. When I looked at the paper it was clear what it was and suddenly it felt like Christmas, I opened the box and with a thud a little bundle of goodies fell to the table. I ran out to the car to get my (cheap Chinese) dive torch which is going to be my focusing light and checked it fitted in the clamp, it is made of molded plastic for all its parts with an aluminium 3 inch cold shoe mount (YS or Sea and Sea style join).

Focus Light Mount

By the time I had placed it on my housing, set the camera up and tried it out my tea had gone cold but that was the least of my worries, the weather here in the South West UK has been atrocious with 20m+ swells and 60mph+ winds meaning it is going to be a while before I get to try it.

Focus Light Mount on HousingMany Thanks to Alex for saving me a lot of time making something I have a feeling would break (which is why I was using my cheap Chinese torch) you can contact him at info@uwvisions.com and you won’t regret it.