SeaLife Underwater Light and Flash Operating Guide

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Revision as of 14:55, 26 March 2013 by Galloa (Talk | contribs) (Adjusting your camera exposure and flash brightness)

Optional reading: SeaLife Underwater Photo-Video Light Instruction Manual and SeaLife Digital Pro Flash Instruction Manual.

Safety Warnings

Avoid using light above water for prolonged periods of time. The light is designed for underwater use to help displace heat. Turn light off if any parts of the light become hot to the touch. If water has entered the light, immediately turn off power and discontinue use. Remove batteries and allow the inside to dry. Contact the SeaLife service center for repairs. Use new or freshly-charged AA batteries. Do not mix old and new batteries together. Remove batteries from light before transporting, traveling or long periods of storage. Do not expose light to heat or direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Observe all SCUBA dive safety rules and control your buoyancy at all times. Consult your dive instructor for dive safety questions. Visit for updates to this manual and underwater photography tips

(digital pro flash)

Safety Warnings

Always discharge flash before opening the waterproof door, by moving the power switch to the “TEST” position, and then to the “OFF” position. This will discharge the high-voltage electricity stored in the flash. If foreign objects or water has entered the flash, discharge and turn off flash. Continued use in this state may cause fire or electrical shock. Contact the SeaLife service center for repairs. Do not attempt to access the electronic circuitry for any reason. The internal electronics uses high-voltage components that may result in severe electrical shock. The On/Off/Test switch contains a powerful magnet. Keep away from compasses and electronics to avoid magnetic interference. Do not expose flash to heat or direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. Observe all SCUBA dive safety rules and control your buoyancy at all times. Consult your dive instructor for dive safety questions. Visit for updates to this manual and techniques on underwater photography. Check out the online guide called Great Pictures Made Easy.


(digital pro flash) Thank you for purchasing the SeaLife Digital Pro Flash. Novice and experienced divers alike know that the deeper you dive, less light penetrates the water. While this descending drama adds to your excitement as a diver, you will find that it also challenges you as an underwater digital photographer. The water filters out red and yellow so everything looks blue. The fact is that reefs and fish are bursting with color. A powerful underwater flash system is the best way to restore the lost colors. Without Digital Flash With Digital Flash This instruction manual will guide you through all the essential information on how to operate and care for your flash, and tips on capturing some of the best underwater pictures of your life.

All the Pieces


(Pro-Video Light:) IV. Loading batteries 1) Unscrew the battery cap 2) Remove the battery holder 3) Insert 4 new or freshly charged AA batteries into holder. 4) Make sure each battery is installed correctly according to the polarity markings on the battery holder. 5) Make sure O-ring and sealing surfaces are perfectly clean and undamaged. 6) Screw on battery cap (hand tighten – don’t use tools)

(digital pro flash) Insert 4 new or freshly charged AA batteries. Open the battery compartment cover and insert batteries according to the polarity markings above the battery compartment.

Preparing your flash

(digital pro flash) Unlock the latch by sliding down the safety lock. Lift the latch and open the waterproof door to access the battery compartment, pre-flash setting, and auto mode setting. Important: • Make sure the flash and you are perfectly dry before opening the waterproof door. • Open the waterproof door with the door pointing down, so any water trapped around the o-ring does not drip inside the flash.

Pre Flash

(digital pro flash) Set the Pre Flash switch to the “0” position for all SeaLife cameras. For non-SeaLife digital cameras, set switch to the #4 position to start. More information about finalizing the Pre-Flash setting for NON-SeaLife cameras is provided on page 19 of this manual. What is a Pre-flash? Most digital cameras have one or more pre-flashes to assist in autofocus/auto-exposure setting of the camera. The Pre-Flashes occur before the camera’s primary flash fires. The Pre-Flash Setting switch tells the external flash how many pre-flashes to ignore before firing. For example, if your digital camera has 2 pre-flashes, you would set the Pre-Flash Setting switch to 2. The external flash will now ignore the two pre-flashes and fire on the third primary flash. SeaLife cameras do not have a pre-flash when the camera is in External Flash mode. More information on how to make the correct pre-flash setting for your non-SeaLife cameras is described on page 19 of this manual. Pre-flash cancellation settings (continued): Switch position Description of setting 0 Cameras with no pre-flash For all SeaLife cameras [Camera set to Ext Flash mode] 1 Camera with 1 pre-flash [and cameras with rapid-fire pre-flash*] 2 Camera with 2 pre-flash 3 Camera with 3 pre-flash 4 Camera with 4 pre-flash

  • Note: The #1 pre-flash setting works with cameras that use 1

pre-flash or a rapid-fire pre-flash system because it has a built-in 50 millisecond delay between the first pre-flash and the primary flash. More information on how to calibrate the pre-flash setting for your non-SeaLife cameras is described on page 19 of this manual.

Auto mode

(digital pro flash) Set the Auto mode switch to the “1” position for all SeaLife cameras and “4” position for all Non-SeaLife digital and film camera’s. More information about the Auto mode setting for your NON-SeaLife camera is provided on page 20 of this manual. What is the Auto mode? Auto mode will automatically control the brightness of the external flash and help you to achieve optimal image exposure. When the external flash fires the light sensor located in the front of the flash will instantly measure the light reflecting from the subject. If it senses too much light, it will quickly stop the flash and prevent the image from being over-exposed. There are 4 possible Auto mode settings. settings. One of the four settings will be best depending on your camera type. The #1 setting will result in slightly less powerful flash brightness and #4 will result in a more powerful flash brightness. More information on how to calibrate the Auto mode setting for your non-SeaLife camera is described on page 20 of this manual.

Operating the Light

(Pro-Video Light:) 1) Push and hold the mode button for 1 second to power ON the light. 2) Push the mode button to change between the following light modes: 100% ➜ 50% ➜ 25% ➜ Blinking ➜ SOS ➜ 100%........ 3) Push and hold the mode button for 2 seconds to power OFF the light.

Maintaining a waterproof seal (Before your dive)

(Pro-Video Light:) 1) The light uses two O-rings to maintain a waterproof seal. 2) Every time you open the battery cap make sure the O-rings and sealing surfaces are clean, undamaged and lubricated. 3) Dampen a clean cotton cloth and wipe it around the o-ring and o-ring contact surfaces to remove any hair, sand or debris. 4) Carefully inspect the o-ring for cuts, tears or other damage. Replace o-rings immediately if damaged. 5) Lube O-rings if dry. Apply a small amount of silicone lube on your finger tip and wipe it around the O-rings. Wipe off excess lubricant. The o-ring should appear wet.

(digital pro flash) Close and seal the waterproof door. Make sure the O-ring is perfectly clean and undamaged. Carefully close the waterproof door to make sure nothing gets trapped near the o-ring and make sure o-ring slips into position and does not get pinched. Make sure the waterproof door is completely closed. Lock the latch by sliding the safety lock upwards. Important: Refer to Maintaining a Waterproof Seal in section VII of this manual on how to inspect the O-ring for cuts, tears, dirt or other damage. Clean or replace as necessary. Do not grease O-ring. Wipe the O-ring and contact surfaces with a damp cotton cloth to clean. Never stretch the O-ring.

Care and Maintenance (After your dive)

(Pro-Video Light:) 1) After each dive, soak the sealed light in fresh water for about 15 minutes to remove any residual salt, sand and dirt. Never allow the saltwater to dry on the light. 2) Push the mode button about 10 times to clean any saltwater or sand trapped under the button. 3) Let the water drain out of the two small holes located at the bottom of flexible arm (under the tray) 4) Dry off the light with a towel. Make sure you and the light are dry before opening the waterproof battery cap. 5) Remove batteries before storing the light. 6) Allow light to thoroughly dry before storage. 7) Never use any detergents, cleaners, solvents or chemicals to clean the light. 8) Insert a fresh Moisture-Muncher capsule (item #SL911) inside the battery compartment during storage to help keep the inside dry and free of corrosion or mildew during storage.

Replacing the O-rings

(Pro-Video Light:) Replace the two O-rings if damaged or at least once per year. 1) Use the O-ring Remover tool provided to lift and remove the O-ring. 2) Carefully clean O-ring grooves and O-rings before installation 3) Install O-rings by stretching and lifting O-ring into the groove. Do not roll the O-ring or allow it to twist. 4) Apply a small amount of silicone lube on your finger tip and wipe it around the O-rings. Wipe off excess lubricant. The o-ring should appear wet.

Attaching light to underwater camera

(Pro-Video Light:) Important: Only attach the light to cameras/housings with minimum thread depth of 0.250” and using standard 1/4-20 tripod type thread. Don’t over-tighten screw or you may damage the housing and threads. 1) Align the underwater camera to the light’s mounting screw and hand-tighten. Use small screw provided for mounting one light. 2) To attach two lights (or a combination of one light and one SeaLife Digital Pro Flash), use longer screw

(digital pro flash) Attach camera (housing) to the flash’s mounting base. Carefully hand-tighten the mounting screw. Do not over tighten! Important: Only attach the flash to cameras/housings with minimum thread depth of 0.250” (6.4mm) and using standard 1⁄4-20 tripod type thread. Never force or over-tighten the screw, or you may damage the housing seal and threads.

(digital pro flash) Attaching camera/housing to two flashes. You can easily add up to two flashes to your underwater camera. Using dual flashes helps avoid shadows and will further intensify brightness and color. Remove the smaller mounting screw (0.625” / 15.9mm, item

  1. SL96025) from each flash unit. Attach the larger mounting

screw (1” / 25.4mm, item #SL96022 - not included) through both flash mounting trays and into the camera housing. Rotate each flash head so they are aiming in the forward direction as shown. Note: A longer mounting screw (Item #SL96022) is required when mounting two flash units. Contact your local SeaLife dealer or to order a longer screw.

Connecting Flash Link optical cable to the external flash

(digital pro flash) The Digital Pro Flash includes the Flash Link optical cable (item

  1. SL962). The optical cable is used to transmit the light from the

camera to the light sensor under the external flash head. The external flash will fire when the light sensor detects light coming from the end of the cable. The external flash should come with the optical cable already attached to the flash head, but it is good to know how the cable can be removed and attached. 1. Turn the cable locking screw counter-clockwise by about 2 rotations to loosen the clamping effect of the lock. Do not remove the locking screws. 2. Insert the optical cable into the hole of the cable lock until the cable stops [make sure cable is pushed up all the way]. 3. Turn the cable locking screw clockwise to lock the cable into place [finger tight only – Do not over tighten].

For SeaLife cameras: Attach the other end of the optical cable to the camera adapter included with your SeaLife camera. The following example shows the optical cable being connected to the SeaLife DC800/DC1000 camera adapter. Push the optical cable into one of the grooves so it’s locked firmly into position. The end of the cable must be directed at the camera’s flash but should not stick out beyond the adapter. The adapter has two grooves, so you can add another cable when using two flashes. 2. Attach the Flash Link adapter around the lens and push down until it locks firmly into place. There are two small locking mechanisms located on the outer edge of the adapter that should lock in to the camera housing. Make sure the adapter is oriented so it is aligned with the recessed flash window. 3. Once the cable and adapter is firmly attached, run the cables along the bottom of the flash base and up the flash arm. The cables should be secured to the flash arm using the Velcro ties provided with your flash accessory.

Are your pictures or videos too red?

(Pro-Video Light:) GOOD: White balance set to Cloudy BAD: White balance not set to Cloudy

Aiming and releasing the light

(Pro-Video Light:) The flexible flash arm is fully adjustable to allow quick and easy aiming of the light. Check the camera display to make sure the light is aimed at the subject before taking a picture. You can remove the light from the arm, by pushing the release button located on the side of the grip. Note: The flexible arm consists of seven 1-inch (2.5cm) links covered by foam rubber sleeve. You can bend the flexible arm in any direction, but if you force it beyond the point of resistance, the links will separate. If the links separate, you can reconnect it by pushing the links together until they snap in.

Test the camera and flash (above water)

(digital pro flash) Now that you have made all the correct settings to your flash and camera, take a few more test pictures to make sure the camera and external flash fires together. 1. Power on the camera and flash. a. Make sure the camera settings are set as described in section III of this manual. b. Turn the flash brightness power knob on the back of the flash to the for Auto. 2. Wait for the red flash-ready light to turn on. 3. Take a series of test picture while viewing the external flash at an angle (Don’t look directly into the flash). 4. The camera’s flash and the external flash should be firing together. 5. If the external flash is not firing at the same time as the camera’s primary flash review the instructions on the previous page or refer to the trouble shooting guide at the end of this manual.

Advanced Settings

(Pro-Video Light:) Customized Light Modes You can select between 8 different light mode settings: • Flash Cancellation ON or OFF: When ON, the light dims for 2 seconds when detecting external flash. • Light Power Levels: Single power (100%) or 3 power (100% ➜ 50% ➜ 25%) or 3 power plus signal (100% ➜ 50% ➜ 25% ➜ Blinking ➜ SOS) • Power Overdrive: Increase light power to 600 lumens for 2 minute. To change the light mode setting, remove the battery cap and holder. On the bottom of the battery compartment you will see 3 small toggle switches. Use a pen or similar object to adjust the switches. See next page for light mode settings. 3 small toggle switches located inside the battery compartment

Adjusting your camera exposure and flash brightness

(digital pro flash) This section will show you to make quick and easy adjustments to your camera and flash for achieving the best picture color and brightness. Make sure you become familiar with these basic adjustments before you dive with your new external flash. Overexposed picture Properly exposed picture Contrast and Colors are Good contrast with vibrant colors. washed out You can adjust your camera setting and/or external flash settings to achieve the best image exposure and color.

see op guide

External Flash adjustments:

(digital pro flash)

Now that you are familiar with camera adjustments that effect picture color and brightness, this section will describe how to adjust the external flash. Flash Brightness control You can manually or automatically control the external flash brightness by adjusting the brightness control knob located on the backside of the flash head. Take some test pictures and experiment with the effect of the brightness control. If the test image is over exposed (white or washed out colors), turn the power adjustment 1 or 2 bars clockwise to reduce the flash brightness and take another picture. Do this until the image exposure satisfactory. If the test image is under exposed (dark), turn the power adjustment 1 or 2 bars counter clockwise to increase the flash brightness and take another picture. Do this until the image exposure is satisfactory. Remember that the flash will only reach about 6 ft to 8ft (1.8m to 2.4m) depending on water visibility, so make sure to keep your underwater shooting distance within that range. If you turn the brightness control all the way counter clockwise, to the position, the flash will be set to Auto mode, and automatically adjust the flash brightness.