BACK IN THE DAY, newbie underwater photographers were often advised to start with close-up work. You could pre-set your camera and flashgun, so all you had to do on the dive was find a subject, frame it with the wire-framer supplied with your close-up lens, and press the button for nicely exposed, sharply focused pictures.
Anything else introduced so many variables that your success rate was inevitably reduced, sometimes to zero, until you’d built up some experience and expertise.
The biggest challenge in this has always been lighting. You generally need the camera so close to the subject that positioning one or two strobes to deliver even illumination is tricky.
On land, the ring-flash, a strobe with a circular flash tube that fits around the lens, has been an accepted solution for years. Now Weefine has a similar product for the underwater photographer, the Weefine Ring Light 1000, a ring-light that produces a continuous beam of light rather than a flash.
The light comes from a series of LEDs arranged in a circular pattern. An L-shaped sticky-out bit holds the battery, a rechargeable 18650 lithium type. Simply unscrew the battery-housing, the long arm of the L, to access the battery for charging.
Weefine Ring Light mounted on compact camera housing.
Battery and charger are both supplied, and if you’re stuck somewhere without power, an adapter supplied with the light will allow you to use three AAA batteries instead.
On the side of the battery-housing is the on/off switch. Hold this down for a few seconds and the light comes on or goes off, or press and release the switch to alter the light output. You can choose from high, medium and low settings.
The unit is completely self-contained, so once you’ve charged the battery and screwed it to the light, the unit simply screws to the lens-mounting thread on your housing or, as I chose to use it, to the front thread of an add-on macro lens. Thread size is 67mm. There are no other connections to camera.