By Debi Daugherty
Recently, I felt the need for additional light for macro photography. In trying to keep the camera gear small with my TG-4, I settled on the Weefine ring light 3000. This is a combination of both constant light and strobe. It also offers 3 colors, white, red and UV, to allow for changing colors to suit different purposes, and can be used on multiple settings. It can also run with no light and strobe or in standby mode that turns off the light and allows you to set back to previous settings with a single button push. The buttons are hard to push. I couldn’t push both buttons with one hand, and had to use two hands to change the configuration, but that also allowed me to see the lights on the buttons to confirm the settings.
A fiber optic sync cable is needed to use it in strobe mode with the camera’s internal flash. It will not work in TTL mode, but since the light is only useful with macro, running manual or adjusting camera settings usually isn’t a problem. In strobe mode the default setting, adjusts the current color light down to low power, but it can be reset to a higher power with the right control button. I tried white with strobe, red with strobe, no light with strobe and constant white during my first couple of dives with it.
I found the red with white strobe great for night dives as it didn’t disturb some of the fish and crustaceans as much as my constant white light. These crabs would run away when I ran the ring light in white mode, but stayed around when I ran in red plus white strobe.
The amount of light this gives off (Continuous light max 1800 lumens / Strobe light max 3000 lumens) was not enough for larger camera’s. Dan found that F8 is the max that it will allow by itself at minimal focus distance with 60mm lens with the EM5 Mark II. It works well as focus light, and helps with focus hunting for the larger camera, but so does a much cheaper focus light.
The buttons are a little hard to push, and I had to use two hands to make sure I have both buttons pushed to change the settings. I would have liked a little more of a display for knowing what mode I’m in, as it uses different colored lights around the two buttons for both the mode (color) and for battery level (blinking), and when in strobe mode (triple blinking red), you can’t tell what the battery level is. I was able to use both the manufacturer and third party batteries for three hours with no issues in strobe mode. The constant light mode uses more battery, so only lasts about 45 minutes at full power.
The TG-4 also has a microscope mode that doesn’t use the internal flash, so the constant light mode is great for this setting. Also great for videos.
I didn’t get a chance to try out the UV mode, other than just changing the settings, as I didn’t have a yellow filter for the camera. Filters or other attachments have to be placed under the weefine light, as it doesn’t have threads for additional attachments on the front of the light.
This didn’t impeded any of my wide angle shots, nor did it introduce and backscatter or vignette to my wide angle shots with low power constant light. My wide angle settings turn off the flash, so you might want to put the light in standby mode when doing wide angle or just between macro swim mode. I was still able to get the camera into this tight places without worrying how I was going to get light down into the crevice, as it was right there. You do have to get very close to the subject to fully light it, but that is expected with a light for macro photography.
The light has a built in swivel on a standard 67mm thread, so once you have it tightened onto the threads on your housing then you can adjust where the battery compartment is. There wasn’t instructions for how to do this included with the light, so we had a little head scratching before we realized that the plastic rectangle fit inside a cut-out on the light. See image below. This dongle then allowed you to move the battery compartment placement without over tightening the screw on portion. Since this was just a bit of plastic, I drilled a hole in it, and put it on a string to take diving, in case I needed to move the battery for a tight space.
Battery charging had a few issues. The included charger requires 2 amps provided to it, and has a battery indicator built in. Charging time is 4hrs per battery. It did not include an AC to USB power supply. We tried a couple different configurations with the included cable, barrel to USB cable, and w ith a micro-USB cable to USB cable (micro-USB connector on charger). We tried both cables to a third party IPad charger and to an Apple IPad charger. The best combination was the cable it came with and the Apple IPad charger. If the battery was less than half full, the other combinations took over 12 hrs and still had not fully charged the battery. Also we recommend buying a second battery, so you always have one charged and ready.
Lumens: 1800 Continuous / 3000 Strobe
Beam Angle: 90 Degrees in water
Color Temperature: 5000-5500K
Burn Time: 45 mins @ 100% Continuous, 12 hours Strobe
Charge Time: 4 hours/2A (USB cord included)
Switch: Dual push button on/off intensity & mode adjustment with battery level indicator
Modes/Power: Flood: 100%/75%/50%/25%, Red & Blue: 100%/50%/25%, Flashing
Depth Rating: 330ft/100m
Dimensions: 123.8 x 159.6 x 40.6mm
Mount: Swivel 67mm threaded Male