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Old Aug 14, 2002, 3:35 PM   #1
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Default Dissapointment with CoolLight SL-1....

I waited with anxious anticipation while B&H shipped my SL-1 ring light for the CoolPix 28mm thread size cameras. It arrived today and the first thing I discovered is that for $99 it's like some toys, "batteries not included."

After a call to B&H (I couldn't determine if it was a 6 volt or 3 volt requirements - it uses two 3 volt lithium batteries) to see what the voltage requirements were, I used my 6 volt Eagle Eye Dual-Force Pro PowerPack to power it and it works fine as far as that goes.

The serious downside is that there are 8 small, high intensity lights in a circle. The device is useable from about 1 inch to about 5 inches, but, Nikon uses no diffusion so if the object being photographed is in any way reflective (watch face, your eye, shiny coin, etc.) there will be 8 perfectly evenly spaced bright lights reflected on your image. Sort of looks like a tiny "flying saucer" in a scienc fiction film.

I'm working on trying to fabricate some type of translucent diffusion device to make a "softbox" type light out of this - but as of now, I would say be careful in spending your money if you intend to photograph anything reflective - you WILL PROBABLY be dissapointed. This thing could have been better designed from that perspective....

Lin
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Old Aug 14, 2002, 6:42 PM   #2
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Ack. Thank you for the info.
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Old Aug 15, 2002, 2:29 AM   #3
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Default Poor sales or bad research

I was informed about the reflective feature also it does not work the best for Dental work. But I believe this can be rectified by placing a thin greese proof paper (assed in cooking) over the Cooll Light

In OZ the batteries were supplied by the retailer

Keith in OZ
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Old Aug 15, 2002, 1:15 PM   #4
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Default Suggestion

Hi Lin,

I would suggest that you find a broken flourescent light cover that you can cannibalize. Take the proper measurements etc... and cut out a doughnut to fit over top.

Hope that helps!
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Old Aug 15, 2002, 2:00 PM   #5
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Another sorce of diffusion material is your local home improvement store. The matte white diffuser used in kitchen for drop ceiling lighting work great and most stores have broken or cracked panels that they will give you as they can't sell them. All you have to do is cut them to size with a sharp blade.
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Old Aug 15, 2002, 2:04 PM   #6
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One more diffusion material that will work in a pinch is a couple of sheets of lens tissue, taped or held in place with rubber bands. Any port in a store right?
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Old Aug 15, 2002, 2:18 PM   #7
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Default Yes

Yes. This is the material that I'm talking about.

Quote:
Originally posted by geyer
Another sorce of diffusion material is your local home improvement store. The matte white diffuser used in kitchen for drop ceiling lighting work great and most stores have broken or cracked panels that they will give you as they can't sell them. All you have to do is cut them to size with a sharp blade.
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Old Aug 15, 2002, 4:01 PM   #8
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i did make mention of the LEDs in another thread about imaging jewelry. LEDS are point sourced lights and generally are prefocused by the built in clear assemble of each LED. i have never seen the sl1 light i sort of assumed it would have additional diffusion for the situations it was designed for
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Old Aug 17, 2002, 11:16 AM   #9
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Default Tried the diffusion suggestions - but....

unfortunately instead of bright pinpoints of lights, I now have a circle of fuzzy lights. I actually bought $24 worth of Norman Enterprises DF45 diffusion pack which consists of about everything useful for this purpose. It just doesn't help much.

I'm afraid that this is one of Nikons "mistakes". In my opinion, the CoolLight SL-1 has very limited usefulness for macro work, being limited primarily to non-reflective subject material.

I spend an inordinant amount of time on the telephone with Nikon's technical support and technical advice people. It seems that the cameras have TTL flash support and would be able to use a regular ring flash EXCEPT - the ring flash units all connect via a hotshoe. Other than the connect method, neither the engineers nor I could see any electronic impass to using either Nikon's or other manufacturer's ring flash units which are voltage compatible with Nikon.

The bottom line is that if someone could adapt the wiring, it would probably be possible to use Nikon'd "real" ring flash unit, the SB-29S with the digitals. All it would take would be an adapter ring to step down from available 49mm filter threads to 28mm to mount the flash unit itself. Then a hotshoe to flash connect would need to be fabricated. Finally, some means to either mount or carry the unit which normally attaches to the hotshoe and holds the 4 AA batteries would need to be considered.

There was a "hint" that a true ring flash "may" be under development.

In the meanwhile, there is a useable ring flash which does work. It's expensive, but ultimately perhaps the only present workable solution. It's called the Digi-Slave RF-50 distributed by SR-Inc.

The RF-50 has available 28mm ring thread mount and uses the camera's internal flash to fire the ring flash as a slave, via a sensor on the back of it's housing. The device retails for $249 and is available for about $10 less than that via the web.

The unit was designed for some of the Olympus digicams, but reportedly works fine with the Nikon CP series as well.

Here are links to the distributor and to a review:

Lin

http://www.srelectronics.com/rf50.html

http://www.dcresource.com/Ringflash/...sh_review.html
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Old Aug 20, 2002, 5:32 PM   #10
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Default COOL-LIGHT SL1

[font=Comic Sans MS] /font]Hi folks - I just got the CoolLight SL1 for my CP4500. While I agree that it could have some usage limitations due to reflectiveness, it has become absolutely indispensable for my outdoor macro "nature" shots of pollinators, butterflys, bugs, spideys and other creepy-crawlies. BTW, the SL1 instruction sheet DOES have a boxed "warning" stating that "the image of the light source itself might be exposed depending on the subject". But, alas, we only see these things AFTER we have purchased an item which may not always be easy to return.
Anyway, I have recently gotten the crispest, clearest best-colour macro digifotos ever using the SL1. I typically set the exposure down about -1.0 for best results outdoors. Interestingly, I find that the buggies and butterfilies seem to be less disturbed by my macro intrusion when using the SL1. My speculation is that typically the critters would be disturbed by the shadows cast by human and/or camera, but that with the SL1 light they are temporarily tricked into thinking that the sun is just shining a little more brightly. Who can say? This morning a very confiding Silver-spotted Skipper, who had posed, amazingly, for at least eight shots without disturbance, actually flew onto the SL1 and sat there for a second. Now, that iis quite a recommendation for its use, no? Cheers - agblum
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