A light in the dark
Diving torches are often divided into different categories depending on power, color temperature, size, type of battery and so on. From a purely practical point of view, I tend to divide them into two large sections: those with a narrow beam, very powerful, used for exploration, turbid water, and for lighting at a certain distance, and those with a wide beam, less powerful, used to observe the seabed up close. The new Orcatorch D910V underwater torch, of which I was able to test a prototype, is placed in the second category but does not renounce to a power worthy of exploration torches.
(photo by P.Formis)
Constructively very robust, measures 129.5x45x53 mm, it can withstand falls from 1 m in height and seems optimal for rocky environments I explore, without suffering too much for scratches. It has a titanium button with a locking system, to prevent it from unintentionally turning on in the bag (which is very useful! Think of arriving at the beach and finding out that it has no more charge...); it is magnetically rechargeable without any need for battery removal, which greatly reduces the risk of flooding. The charging time is approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes, therefore lower than for various other models on the market. The fact that the charger goes into the correct position even just laying it on the torch charging port makes it more difficult to do mistakes in fitting the contacts and cause deficiencies in the charge.
An interesting thing about this torch is the trim in the water: the weight of 430 g (not insignificant if added to everything else and if you have to walk for a long time in the mountains before reaching the diving point) becomes only 215 g in water , making it very comfortable and easy to handle, also thanks to a rubber ring that makes it easy to handle without slipping. For those who are passionate about technical diving, the maximum operational depth tested for this torch is 150 m: I will never reach that, but I can assure you that at least up to 45 m the torch has no problem whatsoever!
The neutral color temperature makes possible to have a white (5700K) and diffused (120 ° angle) light, ideal for having no reddish or bluish photos in the case of a strobes/environment light mix, a common situation with wide-angle lenses; this makes the D910V a perfect torch also for underwater video shooting in continuous light.
As always, at the end of use especially in saltwater, it is advisable to wash the torch with clean water, which in any case is built with the best anti-corrosion anodized materials, in order to increase its durability in a "hostile" environment to metals such as the ocean.
I went with this torch to look for river crabs (Potamon fluviatile) in a Tuscan watercourse, and I must absolutely stress one thing: normally underwater torches are not usable out of the water, because they quickly overheat, being designed for environment underwater. The D910V, however, has an advantage: an intelligent self-protection system against overheating, so that when it reaches a temperature of 65 °C, the torch automatically reduces its power.
This allows you to use it even out of the water, and this is a great advantage for those who, like me, look for animals in dark and humid environments, where a normal torch could be ruined, or in environments on the border between water and shore, where the continuous dives and emergences could wear down the instrumentation. In this way, therefore, I was able to look for river crabs among the boulders of the river, even under rock canopies or in shelters in the mud, without fearing for the safety of my light source.
I also tested the D910V Orcatorch in deeper waters.
A resistant torch perfect for every environment (photo by E.Canciani)
The most important thing, in my opinion, is that such a powerful torch can be used, even if it has a wide beam, like a snoot on medium-sized subjects. A particularly confident pumpkinseed allowed me to put the D910V on the bottom, and take a photo of its “radiography” showing vertebrae and a full stomach, using a fisheye lens, and mixing this backlight with ambient light to show the green background. Most torches I used in the past were too weak to assure success in these experiments.
Backlit pumpkinseed with Orcatorch D910V and ambient light, fisheye lens.
Orcatorch D910V revealed during tests a great quality, with a wide warm beam, useful as a focus light and as the main light source. The robust structure and long-lasting charge make this torch reliable even in harder conditions, as muddy turbid waters, night and caves.
Let yourself be guided in the beauty of the depths by Orcatorch D910V, the key to open darkness doors.
Author: Marco Colombo – www.calosoma.it