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Sola Photo 1200

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$400
Sola Photo 1200 USD
$400

"I love my Sola modeling lights. Absolutely brilliant invention, and with the ability to switch on the red LEDs, I can get some night behaviors I never could before" – David Doubilet (AlertDiver)

Featuring:
• 1200 lumen white flood and 300 lumen red flood output certified to the FL-1 Standard
• Depth Rated to 100 meters
• Red light is not visible to many underwater creatures, allowing a shooter to approach, focus, set up shot, and shoot with strobes without disturbing animal beforehand
• A powerful LED array using the best CREE LEDs and enhanced firmware.
• Colored Status LED for battery and mode indication for easy power management.
• Multiple imaging mounts available, including standard 1" photo ball, 1/2" Locline, and YS mount.

Included:
• 2 Amp Charger & Zippered Bag

Recommended:

$20
$20
$100

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Sola Photo 1200 Angle

More Views

  • Sola Photo 1200 Angle
  • Sola Photo 1200 Front
  • Sola Photo 1200 Side
  • Sola Photo 1200 Rear

Specifications / Features

Specifications:

  • Lumens:

    60°

    • High – 1200 / 300 (red)
    • Med – 600 / 150 (red)
    • Low – 300 / 75 (red)
  • Run Time:

    • High – 70 mins
    • Med – 140 mins
    • Low – 280 mins
  • Charge Time:

    2.5 hrs

  • System Weight:

    248 Gr.

  • Size:

    4" x 2.1" x 2.1"

Features:

  • DEPTH RATED

    Fl-1 Certification depth rating for waterproofness.

  • FACTORY SEALED

    Factory sealed system offers flood free performance with FL-1 Certification.

  • FLOOD BEAM

    Wide beam pattern for a large pool of light to optimize overall visibility.

  • RECHARGEABLE

    Li-ion rechargeable via direct external port is convenient and hassle-free.

  • RED LIGHT

    Red lighting offers discreet visibility without affecting night vision or wildlife subjects.

  • VERSATILE

    Modular design supports a variety of mounting options.

Reviews & Recommendations

Reviews and Recommendations

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Field Review: Sola Focus Light

Alex Mustard


[*NOTE: The Sola Photo 600 has been upgraded to the Photo 800 and Sola Photo 1200 since this review was written.] Regular readers of my…

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[*NOTE: The Sola Photo 600 has been upgraded to the Photo 800 and Sola Photo 1200 since this review was written.]

Regular readers of my reviews will know that I try and cast a critical eye over products. Despite the high quality of most gear these days, I don't see the benefit to readers of writing reviews that say every product is totally wonderful. I adopt a similar approach with my photos, always looking for areas for improvement. So it might be a surprise to hear straight off that the Light and Motion SOLA 600 focus and video light is my favourite underwater photography accessory of the last 12 months. Let me explain.

The importance of a focus light for underwater photography is entirely dependant on what you shoot. If you favour shooting large pelagics in the open ocean or wide angle scenics on a shallow Red Sea reef, they are thoroughly unnecessary. But if you like macro, murky water or night diving then a good focus light can make the fundamental difference between getting and shot and missing out. Norwegian underwater photographer Christian Skauge tells me that in his home waters, he always encourages new shooters to purchase a decent focus light for their compact cameras, before even buying a strobe. There is no point taking photos if the camera cannot focus!

The most obvious difference is size, the SOLA 600 is about half the size and lightweight (0.54lbs/245g), a considerable bonus for the travelling photographer. To pretty much eliminate the risk of flooding, the SOLA 600 is a completely sealed unit, charged through gold plated connectors on the back and turned on and off via a lockable magnetic switch. You push it forward and release to turn on the torch, pull it back and release to switch on the red light mode (more about this below) and pull or push it to either end and hold to switch it off.

It is hard to talk about focus lights and not mention reliability. At the price, one could expect the top models to be bullet proof, but in the past, they have certainly not all been. A quick search of the Wetpixel forums will flesh out the facts. It is always tough to assess reliability during a short review period. Being such a fan of the SOLA, I have been stretching out this review period to extend its stay with me! I have tested it in the Maldives, Florida, Bahamas, UK and Holland. It has worked faultlessly, throughout. I have even lent it out to five other photographers, without problems.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the SOLA600 is the red light mode. It is often quoted that using a red light for focusing is beneficial because many species of marine life cannot see it. So you don't scare your subject in the process of focusing on it. The SOLA really works in this regard, but using it also really taught me that not all red lights are created. I have often added red filters to my diving lights, but have failed to notice any real advantage. This is because many red filters, while turning the light red, let through other colours too, which marine life can see. The SOLA600's red LEDs produce a very narrow spectrum of red light. You can see the difference by shining it on the cover of a magazine, a poorly filtered light will allow you to differentiate far more colours then the very pure red LEDs. The less colours you can see, the more effective the light.


The red light mode of the SOLA600 focus light, produces a narrow spectrum of red light, making the light less visible to marine life, but well suited to help our cameras focus.

The SOLA600 is the first red light that I have used that you can clearly see works in not spooking many marine species. I found the red light was most effective on invertebrates: mollusks, crustaceans, coral polyps, echinoderms etc. Another benefit is that this includes worms and other plankton that enjoy swarming around our dive lights at night - these are definitely reduced by the red mode. However, many shallow water fish are clearly able to see red light, but when asleep (on night dives) it didn't wake them. It is also worth noting that while the light may be hard for critters to see, they will still detect an ungainly approach. It is not a license to race or trash around. All of the photographers who tried this also commented positively on this aspect. In the Netherlands, one shooter even told me that they thought it even seemed to attract lobsters to the camera. Perhaps the lobsters were confused about the meaning of a red light in Holland?

The other important advantage of the red light mode of the SOLA600 over using a filter is that it allows us to easily to switch modes. The red light mode provides enough light to dive comfortably, but the big disadvantage of staying red is that you don't see the colour of subjects. Many of the best macro pictures celebrate the beauty of a fabulous creature on a beautiful background. Like the majority of photographers, I don't believe in moving subjects for the sake of my photos (and as a biologist nothing is more annoying than seeing a critter on a background it would actively avoid in the wild). So to find the best natural compositions, we need to be searching in full colour. It is important that the SOLA600 lets us switch instantly back to white.

So to conclude, I have been really impressed with the SOLA600. It produces a wide, soft pool of light, ideal for helping us focus, without having to constantly re-aim our torch. It has been a pleasure to use. The small size is a big plus for travel and for mounting on my housing. The red light mode has undoubtedly enabled me to get close encounters with marine wildlife that I have previously struggled with, ultimately helping me bag shots I hadn't been able to before. But given the price we should expect it to last and from my tests its fully sealed design seems bomb-proof. If it turns out not to be, you'll hear about it on the forums.

But if you are a serious macro and night dive shooter then Light and Motion's new light should be high on your wish list. All the photographers who tried the one I had have already bought one or are planning to soon. Me included. It is the best focus light I have used and my standout underwater photography accessory of the last 12 months.

Highly Recommended.


Field Review: Sola Focus Light

"I love the Sola lights!"

Andrew Caplan


I love the Sola lights! I bought the Sola Photo 1200s to replace my one Amphibico HID light. The Amphibico light, a single unit, weighed…

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I love the Sola lights!

I bought the Sola Photo 1200s to replace my one Amphibico HID light. The Amphibico light, a single unit, weighed a lot more than the two Sola lights combined and then some! The Sola lights are small and compact, easy to turn on & off.

The 3 different power settings for changing the beam from spot to a wide beam area are awesome. I have never run out of light. On a night dive it’s like driving a car with the zenon lights and the ocean lights up, but be careful not to blind your fellow divers, my son reminded me of that! The lights are super easy to recharge with a small compact travel charger - and not having to remove the batteries as I had to do with my Amphibico speaks for itself. The batteries seem to last forever! The display is user friendly for both observing the battery and charging status.

Before I decided on buying the Light & Motion I researched different manufacturers. I had even entertained buying another Amphibico, which would mean probably getting the accompanied Sony Video Camera, however I learned that Sony was refusing to make an all important upgrade in its firm ware to allow for automatic white balancing. I quickly ruled them out, I called Light & Motion and spoke to your tech team and they were great. They helped me decide on which package would be best suited for me.

These aren't the cheapest lights but the quality that Light & Motion brings to the market is surpassed by none.

"I love the Sola lights!"

Used this product?

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Lumen Test

Lumen Test


FL1 Standard: Ready to Go: Light and Motion is the first lighting company to test and certify their lights in accordance with the ANSI/NEMA FL-1 Standard. Using an integrating sphere, the actual lumen or light output and run-time is precisely measured and certified. No more guessing.  See for yourself.

Lumens
Runtime

Beam Test

Beam Test


BEYOND BRIGHT: See for yourself what the beam patten looks like and if it will provide the perfect light to enhance your favorite activities.

Light & Motion

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Sola Photo 1200

$400
  • Lumens:
  • [60°]
  • High – 1200 / 300 (red)
  • Med – 600 / 150 (red)
  • Low – 300 / 75 (red)
  • Run Time:
  • High – 70 mins
  • Med – 140 mins
  • Low – 280 mins
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