Bluewater 1500 Lumen Focus Light Review
A great focus light allows you to obtain quick and sharp autofocus with your camera in low-light situations underwater. The Bluewater 1500 lumen focus light is our newest upgrade from the original Bluewater focus light, which has since been discontinued. The Bluewater 1500 features a 100-degree white beam, an ultra-long burn time of 90 minutes at full power, and a depth rating down to 100m (330 ft). At 145 grams underwater, this little light offers unlimited focusing opportunities for an excellent price point.
At Bluewater Photo, We are Having a $50 OFF Launch Day Special for the Bluewater 1500 Focus Light! Get yours now for $175!
Specifications and Key Features
- 1500 lumen beam with a 100 degree beam angle
- Red beam for sneaking up on critters that can't see red light
- SOS and strobe mode for saftey
- 90 minute burn time at full power
- LED life - 50,000 hours
- Depth rating: 100 meters (330 ft)
- Power level options - 100%, 50%, and 25%
- Battery life indicator shows how much battery is left on the light
- 21700 Lithium Ion battery with USB-C charger port and charging cable
- Size: 37mm (D) x 147mm (L)
- Weight: 265 grams on land and 145 grams underwater
Bluewater 1500 Focus Light in the Box
Build Quality and Ergonomics
There is no light on the market that is simpler and sturdier than the Bluewater 1500 focus light. It's made from a hard, anodized aluminum, and it didn't take a single scratch in tough dive conditions. The light has a simple, double oring design that makes it extremely resistant to flooding. Overall, it's a hard metal tube and we think even prolonged use is not going to affect this light.
When it comes to ergonomics - there's one button - it's as simple as that. Focus lights are designed to have all the features in the world. They just need to be able to allow you to see and allow your camera to focus. The single button on/off switch allows you to flip through beam colors and power levels.
Bluewater Photo Focus Light After a Dive
1500 Lumen White & Red Beam
The new Bluewater focus light features an upgraded 1500 lumen white beam - 500 more lumens than the last rendition of the light. While you don't need more lumens to help you focus quicker, having a 1500 beam allows you to slowly creep into the realm of underwater video lights. Though we recommend more lumens for shooting video, we were able to take a little bit of wide angle video with this light.
The beam angle of 100 degrees makes the light soft, wide, and even. It's perfect for facilitating focus while not having the beam appear in your shots. And if the 1500 lumen beam is starting to appear in your photos, all you have to do is turn down the power. There are three power settings for each beam - 100%, 50%, and 25%. A simple press of the button allows you to scroll through beam power settings with ease.
A metridium anemone photographed with the Bluewater 1500 focus light and no strobes. f/13, 1/50, ISO 1250
To switch to the red beam, all you have to do is hold the power button for one second. A red beam is useful for both creative photography and to sneak up on critters that can't see red light. You can take photos with strobes and the red light on, but we recommend toning down the power of the red beam so it is overpowered by your strobes and doesn't show up in the shots.
The Kraken 1500 also makes an excellent dive light because you can do night dives in the red mode and not have worms and bait fish attracted to your light all the time. It frees up the space in front of your camera so that you don't have a lot of little photo bombers in your shot.
A metridium anemone photographed with the Bluewater 1500 focus light in red mode and no strobes. f/13, 1/50, ISO 1250
Perhaps the most exciting feature of the Bluewater 1500 is the upgraded 21700 lithium ion rechargeable battery that allows for a 90 minute burn time at full power. We were easily able to get two full dives out of this light with the light on the whole time. Most focus lights only get through one dive before needing to be recharged! Lowering the power will allow you to get even longer burn times. Fortunately, you don't really need 1500 lumens of light to focus with most photos. So if you keep the light at 50% power, you'll still have a very functional light and a lot more burn time.
The light is equipped with a battery level indicator on the top of the light. It's not super accurate, but it does tell you when you don't have a fully charged battery so that you know to charge before your next dive.
SOS/Strobe Mode Safety Feature
The Bluewater 1500 focus light has a built-in strobe/SOS mode that can be used to signal divers or passing ships that you are having an issue in the water. While we never want our customers to have to use this feature, it's great to know you have a tool with you in the event of a tricky situation in the water.
Bluewater 1500 Focus Light for Underwater Photography and Video
As we said before, you don't need that much in a focus light. They're pretty simple. With the Bluewater 1500, the focus from my Nikon Z6 camera was quick and snappy in conjunction with the light. It was a very dark day of diving and the light was essential for good photographic performance.
A photograph taken with the Bluewater 1500 lumen focus light and dual Ikelite DS 230 strobes. It's clear that all the light is from the strobe and the focus light does not interfere with the quality of the image or produce a hotspot.
Yeah, we decided to push the light a little past its preordained use. Instead of using the light primarily for focusing, we also decided to see what we could do with it when it comes to underwater photo and video. Now, the normal use for this light is to help you focus on subjects in conjunction with strobes that would fill in the color in your photos. But if your strobes were to die, we found that 1500 lumens can sometimes be enough to at least get some color in your photos. We were quite impressed with the beam angle and how much of our wide angle photos we could cover with the light.
A wide beam angle with the Bluewater 1500 lumen focus light.
The light was also a great tool for creative backlighting as you can see in the image below.
Using the Bluewater 1500 lumen focus light for creative backlighting
Finally, 1500 lumens is not quite enough to take underwater video in every video situation. But in low light conditions, the Bluewater 1500 can allow you to take decent underwater video with good colors. The wide beam produces a great quality of color and light fall off. Overall I captured some clips that I was happy with. Given that this was out of the scope of what the light was designed to do, it's a nice little feature to have.
At Bluewater Photo, We are Having a $50 off Launch Day Special for the Bluewater 1500 Focus Light through June 24th! Get yours now for $175!
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