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Old 10-06-05, 12:01 PM   #76
allgoo19
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Originally Posted by Slartybartfast
how about the planet bike beamer 5? i had emailed them asking how the super spot compared to the cateye el500, and if it was water resistant and they downplayed the superspot in favor of the beamer- "However, I would suggest checking out our new Beamer 5. It is super compact and puts out a ton of light (though I don't know the exact candlepower.)". not like they'd actually give the candlepower to me or anybody else, like for the rest of their models.

and of course the only information google can find on this model is at the interbike product preview page:
I searched Beamer5, and only result I came up with was Beamer3. If it's a 5 LED version of Beamer3, and also the price indicates, it'd be close to Cateye EL300.

I don't have experience with EL300 but from some members posts, it's much weaker than 1w EL500. Also other members who have both Palnet Bike Super Spot and Cateye EL500(both are 1w LED), comparing them saying, they are quite similar in the intensity but EL 500 has tighter light pattern.

Last edited by allgoo19; 10-06-05 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 10-07-05, 05:29 PM   #77
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I just purchased a Lupine Passubio XC from Gretnabikes (only US distributor, I think) they put the 25W bulb from the Lupine Nightmare Pro in it for free. I don't have a camera so I can only tell you how it compares to the system I am replacing, which is a Niterider Digital Evoloution. The Lupine light is brighter in both the full power and the econo power modes the reserve mode is about as bright as the Niterider at full power. The Lupine li-on battery is about the size and weight of two 9V batteries. Altogether about half the weight of the Niterider system (although the Niterider used a NIHM battery). There is no comparing the quality, the Lupine system is in another league. At full power the battery will run an hour and a half (haven't timed it in econo mode) and has a reserve that gives you a few minutes. The Lupine attaches without any mounting bracket, making it easy to switch from one bike to another (I have 4 bikes and purchased three extra Niterider mounts to be able to switch the Niterider from one bike to another). The Niterider cost me $235 (not including the extra mounts) and the Lupine cost me $330, but I had to send the Niterider back (the whole system) to get the "smart" battery replaced (twice) and the third one still went wacky, that meant I went without lights for a month each time and the poor quality of the Niterider connectors sent me into total darkness five times while riding (for no aparent reason) when they came apart. I don't anticipate a repeat of those issues with the Lupine light. You can mix Lupine batteries from one model of light to another and from one year to another, the connectors are the same on all models and all years.
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Old 10-09-05, 10:48 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Ok, I realized that my light has a more efficient reflector and apparently, light & motion uses custom halogen bulbs that get 30 lumens/watt. Which means that the 16 watt beam that I normally run gets about 480 lumens, and the 11 watt beam gets 330 lumens, which explains why it gets almost as much light as a HID. And on both beams, I'm running around 800 lumens.
I'm pretty sure that there is nothing special about the L&M bulb, what they are doing is "over-volting," running a stock 6V halogen bulb at 7.2V.

There is an interesting article about watts vs. lumens here:
http://nordicgroup.us/s78/wattslumens.html

For me the most eye-popping thing is that a halogen bulb over-volted by 20%, like the L&M, can give more lumens per watt than a HID. The tradeoff is that bulb life suffers.

Here's another good article:
http://www.myra-simon.com/bike/lights.html
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Old 10-09-05, 10:55 PM   #79
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That's what I thought but since I couldn't find their bulbs anywhere, I'm tempted to think they're at least a bit special, plus I found similar bulbs that didn't quite fit and they indeed were designed for 10.8 volts.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:12 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
Incident metering is not designed for this kind of light but the lights that falls even on the subject like sunlight.
As a professional lighting technician, I can affirm that this is incorrect. Incident meters are designed to measure the intensity of light at the point of the sensor, whether your source is broad and diffused or narrowly focussed.

What you really need to judge a headlight's effectiveness (electrical and durability considerations aside) are two pieces of data: beam characteristics (shape, falloff, etc) and intensity. Beam pattern photos at a standard distance and all shot at identical exposures are a good way to judge the former, and an incident lighting meter that gives you readings in footcandles is an excellent way to judge the latter. A good set of data might be to measure the distance from the fixture at which you get 2 footcandles in the brightest part of the beam.
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Old 10-15-05, 01:17 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by threephi
As a professional lighting technician, I can affirm that this is incorrect. Incident meters are designed to measure the intensity of light at the point of the sensor, whether your source is broad and diffused or narrowly focussed.

What you really need to judge a headlight's effectiveness (electrical and durability considerations aside) are two pieces of data: beam characteristics (shape, falloff, etc) and intensity. Beam pattern photos at a standard distance and all shot at identical exposures are a good way to judge the former, and an incident lighting meter that gives you readings in footcandles is an excellent way to judge the latter. A good set of data might be to measure the distance from the fixture at which you get 2 footcandles in the brightest part of the beam.
I am going to disagree that beam photos tell you much of anything useful at all. All it tell you is that some guy at a agreed upon distance with an unknown camera, an unknown sensor/film, and an unknown lense used an aperture / shutter speed that may or may not be in agreement with what everyone else is using took a picture against a wall that is an unknown color. Most of the people taking the pictures may well be using software/camera firmware/scanner firmware that makes it "look nice" with out actually telling them anything.

That tells me nothing other than lights sure are pretty. It is nice to see beam patterns that is certain.

but if I can take a spot reading against a known object (like a grey card) at various parts of the beam it tells me a hell of alot more than a picture some dude took after pointing a light at his wall.

wether it tells anything to anyone else.. perhaps that is a different matter.

If you want I can go back and color correct all of those light pictures and make them look like totally awesome lights.
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Old 10-18-05, 07:00 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by wheezl
I am going to disagree that beam photos tell you much of anything useful at all. All it tell you is that some guy at a agreed upon distance with an unknown camera, an unknown sensor/film, and an unknown lense used an aperture / shutter speed that may or may not be in agreement with what everyone else is using took a picture against a wall that is an unknown color. Most of the people taking the pictures may well be using software/camera firmware/scanner firmware that makes it "look nice" with out actually telling them anything.

That tells me nothing other than lights sure are pretty. It is nice to see beam patterns that is certain.

but if I can take a spot reading against a known object (like a grey card) at various parts of the beam it tells me a hell of alot more than a picture some dude took after pointing a light at his wall.

wether it tells anything to anyone else.. perhaps that is a different matter.

If you want I can go back and color correct all of those light pictures and make them look like totally awesome lights.
All this talk and no sample.

If you have a better idea, just post your result. It's much easier to be a critic and bashes other people's result than to create something. Are you afraid of bein g criticized, wheezl?

And you too, threephi. I'd like to see your test result if you claim yourself a professional. I'd expect see much better result than mine. I wouldn't even think about bashing someone before I tried something.

Just look at all the posts in this thread, I'm the only one posted the result and nobody else. What a bunch of big mouths and nothing to back it up!!

Last edited by allgoo19; 10-18-05 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 10-18-05, 07:36 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
All this talk and no sample.

If you have a better idea, just post your result. It's much easier to be a critic and bashes other people's result than to create something. Are you afraid of bein g criticized, wheezl?

And you too, threephi. I'd like to see your test result if you claim yourself a professional. I'd expect see much better result than mine. I wouldn't even think about bashing someone before I tried something.

Just look at all the posts in this thread, I'm the only one posted the result and nobody else. What big mouths and nothing to back it up!!
Heh, no I am not afraid of being criticized. If you look back it was you who jumped on me after my offer to use a light meter. I like my light and don't really care to measure it. I was offering the light meter as a service to the folks who might be interested and everyone shot me down. So since I have a job that requires long hours I am not going to waste my time when I could be sleeping or seeing my friends and family. (also I haven't unpacked from moving and have no idea what box it's in )

My point wasn't that photos are bad. My point was to defend the concept of using a light meter since you didn't really understand what I was trying to explain. Perhaps I explained poorly.

No one is bashing you and I think that since you felt attacked you ended up disagreeing as a defense mechanism.

Those pics are great and I may have come off sounding harsh.. perhaps that was me getting defensive.

To sum up:
I had the idea to use the light meter, I got shot down. It seems like the project sounded more interesting to me than anyone else. I am going to go replace my brake pads now.
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Old 10-18-05, 08:19 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by wheezl
I like my light and don't really care to measure it. I was offering the light meter as a service to the folks who might be interested and everyone shot me down. So since I have a job that requires long hours I am not going to waste my time when I could be sleeping or seeing my friends and family. (also I haven't unpacked from moving and have no idea what box it's in )
Interpretation.

"I don't have the time I can waste like you do. I have my light meter but I'm too busy, so I suggest you do it."

A few peple made a requset that they want to see my comparison test, so I wasted my time and did the test. I thought I did my part to help other members. I thought many peple would follow and post their result. If you can't compare the lights A, B, C, side by side you can still compare A, B, followed by another member B, C comparison test, so you can come up with some idea what comparison between light A and C.

Guess what? Nobody followed. All I got was the opinion that saying the test was inferior and suggested something else, while they can do their own. Sure, it's much easier when you sit around in the couch, tell the wife to get a beer. get a bag of chips and tell her how bad the beer tastes and suggest something else.

Sure, I have 60 hours a day in my hand just laying around and no work. Is that what you are saying?
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Old 10-18-05, 08:32 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
Interpretation.

"I don't have the time I can waste like you do. I have my light meter but I'm too busy, so I suggest you do it."

A few peple made a requset that they want to see my comparison test, so I wasted my time and did the test. I thought I did my part to help other members. I thought many peple would follow and post their result. If you can't compare the lights A, B, C, side by side you can still compare A, B, followed by another member B, C comparison test, so you can come up with some idea what comparison between light A and C.

Guess what? Nobody followed. All I got was the opinion that saying the test was inferior and suggested something else, while they can do their own. Sure, it's much easier when you sit around in the couch, tell the wife to get a beer. get a bag of chips and tell her how bad the beer tastes and suggest something else.

Sure, I have 60 hours a day in my hand just laying around and no work. Is that what you are saying?

Wow, you really are stretching here. I do have enough time to waste that I considered using the light meter to test. You'll notice that NO ONE was interested. In light of the fact that NO ONE was interested, I decided not to waste my time.

I was never criticizing the very useful pics you took. I was however criticising your complete lack of undertsanding about what a camera is and what a light meter is. That's all! I know I came off sounding like a jerk. That's because I am a jerk.

I suggested that it would be neat to use a light meter also. You jumped on me so I felt it wise to explain a bit about what I was thinking. In hindsight I'd have to say it didn't work out.

I THINK YOUR PICTURES ARE GREAT.

So stop feeling persecuted already.
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Old 10-18-05, 08:48 PM   #86
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I know I came off sounding like a jerk. That's because I am a jerk.
Apology not accepted. Next ride, steven holds you, we beat you down for a good solid 5 minutes with your own light meter.
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Old 10-18-05, 08:57 PM   #87
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alright everyone just chill out. I think both methods have their place in "measuring and evaluating light."

Anyway... just wanted to say thanks to allgoo19 for posting up the comparison. I was about to buy the Cateye 1 LED light but saved some money and went for the HL 500 II instead (as suggested) and I've VERY impressed with this light. For only $10 (clear model at nashbar right now) i think it was a steal. I'd highly reccomend this light to anyone who is on a tight budget. My friend just bought a 3 led light and this one blows it away. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 10-18-05, 09:18 PM   #88
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Apology not accepted. Next ride, steven holds you, we beat you down for a good solid 5 minutes with your own light meter.

in that case I am totally not going to figure out what box it is in.
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Old 10-18-05, 09:46 PM   #89
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alright everyone just chill out. I think both methods have their place in "measuring and evaluating light."

Anyway... just wanted to say thanks to allgoo19 for posting up the comparison. I was about to buy the Cateye 1 LED light but saved some money and went for the HL 500 II instead (as suggested) and I've VERY impressed with this light. For only $10 (clear model at nashbar right now) i think it was a steal. I'd highly reccomend this light to anyone who is on a tight budget. My friend just bought a 3 led light and this one blows it away. Thanks for the suggestion!
Thank you, nitroroo.

I feel very rewarded.
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Old 10-18-05, 10:03 PM   #90
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...went for the HL 500 II instead (as suggested) and I've VERY impressed with this light. For only $10 (clear model at nashbar right now) i think it was a steal. I'd highly reccomend this light to anyone who is on a tight budget. My friend just bought a 3 led light and this one blows it away. Thanks for the suggestion!
I second that.

I'd like to get something a little brawnier, but I can navigate the unlit (dark) greenway paths here up to 10 mph with my Cateye HL500 II (2.4W Halogen), which I've been super happy with for the past two years. I've been using it almost daily and I've never had a problem. I've dropped it several times and gotten it soaking wet once or twice and I'm still on the original bulb.

The Cateye is good for about 3.5 hours, the cheapie for at least 30 hours (much longer on blink). I use the HL500 II as my "to see" light and a super cheap 5-LED thingy as my "to be seen" light, and as a backup. On lit streets, I just need to be seen, so I run the cheapie on blink, and I flip on the Cateye if I need to see in the dark.

Here's a link to my super cheap 4-aaa light on eBay, if anyone's interested: http://cgi.ebay.com/5-LED-BICYCLE-HE...temZ8710792871

And here's the HL500 II at Nashbar:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

Like I say, brighter lights are on my wishlist, but until I decide I'm ready to fork out the serious $$ (or to embrace my true geek nature), these'll do me.

BTW, allgoo19, I'm in the process of making the handlebar camera mount (using the HL500 II's mounting bracket) as you suggested in this post: Camera Mount

Are you still using yours?
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Old 10-18-05, 10:47 PM   #91
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allgoo, I tried....

I have a digital camera that does not have "exposure lock" that can repeat the last setting used. It has "aperture priority".
You can pick one of two apertures and then move a slider sideways to change the "exposure". It does not tell you much. When the LCD screen is on you can see the "exposure" change as you slide the slider over. You just have to set it and try a photo.

I took 7 or 8 lights out in the driveway, set up a tripod, took a bunch of pictures of each light. I set water bottles at two set distances and measured the distance to a bike against the garage etc. I got the pictures in the computer to see If I had something to post. I also experimented with labeling the pictures.

I finally deleted them all and gave up for the day, they were terrible. ARGH. I have to find a camera setting that will show them all in some kind of fair comparison. The difference between the high and low powered lights is so great that I did not yet find one camera setting that will show them all.

Any camera experts have an idea? I tried auto. I had some ambient lighting, that may have been one problem. I'm going to try the very dark bike path. I also can pick from averaging, center weighted, and spot light metering on my camera. I can change the iso too. I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 10-18-05, 11:04 PM   #92
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BTW, allgoo19, I'm in the process of making the handlebar camera mount (using the HL500 II's mounting bracket) as you suggested in this post: Camera Mount

Are you still using yours?
No, I didn't make that idea into reality. I was thinking of getting a small digital camera at the time and what I actually got was Olympus C8080 which is pretty chunky and heavy.

I still think the idea would work as long as the weight of the camera is not more than the Micro Halogen light, which you can find plenty of them these day. But in order to use it on your bike, either you have to have very fast camera or anti-shake camera(in a small camera body) to minimize the camera shake.

If you haven't bought the camera, many models of Panasonic P&S camera(with image stabilizer feature) should be considered for reducing the shake.

If your bike has suspension like mountain bike, that would help reduce the vibration too. That of course, if you are planning to take shots on the run.

Because I have never tried it in real world, I don't know how bad the vibration affects the photo.
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Old 10-18-05, 11:37 PM   #93
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Because I have never tried it in real world, I don't know how bad the vibration affects the photo.
I have been thinking about the same thing. Wondering if a fat roll of rubber and the image stabilizer would be enough. I'm also not sure if I want to fashion something completely new or rip the head off of one of my crappy tripods and attach that.
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Old 10-18-05, 11:38 PM   #94
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allgoo, I tried....
I admire you just for trying.

It's much easier to have a camera with full manual control and full information LCD. It's always better to try something else than keep wishing.

I suppose your camera doesn't have manual exposure control(aperture, shutter speed).

The next best thing you can try is to

* press the shutter button half way while aiming it to something else in the dark and in the about the same distance to the light pattern you are trying to show. That'll lock the exposure and focus, you can't separately lock them. Then keep holding the shutter button, turn your camera toward the light pattern and give it a full press.

* Check the shot you just took. If it is over powering bright, light that "something else" you used to lock the exposure little brighter(but not as bright as the light pattern) then repeat the step above.

If this works, you'll know by the first shot you take. Repeat it in different amount of light, you'll get the hang of it.

Your camera may have the control that you are not aware of. If you can tell me the make and the model of the camera, it's eaiser to find out.

Last edited by allgoo19; 10-18-05 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 10-18-05, 11:56 PM   #95
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I have been thinking about the same thing. Wondering if a fat roll of rubber and the image stabilizer would be enough. I'm also not sure if I want to fashion something completely new or rip the head off of one of my crappy tripods and attach that.
The first part of your concern is very reasonble. But even if he buys it just for this purpose, he can always use the camera for something else which the camera originally designed for.

To the second part, it maybe wise to try it with old film camera he may never use again. If it can hold the light(Micro Halogen) which is heavier than most compact P&S, it'll hold up under normal vibration. It's not wise to hit the bumpy unpaved road at first try and if you are expecting clean image from that, you are expecting too much anyway.
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Old 10-19-05, 12:03 AM   #96
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The first part of your concern is very reasonble. But even if he buys it just for this purpose, he can always use the camera for something else which the camera originally designed for.

To the second part, it maybe wise to try it with old film camera he may never use again. If it can hold the light(Micro Halogen) which is heavier than most compact P&S, it'll hold up under normal vibration. It's not wise to hit the bumpy unpaved road at first try and if you are expecting clean image from that, you are expecting too much anyway.
Oh I actually meant specifically for my little Canon point and shoot. I certainly with him the best of luck with his.

I could just use a regular clamp, but they are a bit heavy for the job.
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Old 10-19-05, 07:40 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
No, I didn't make that idea into reality. I was thinking of getting a small digital camera at the time and what I actually got was Olympus C8080 which is pretty chunky and heavy.

I still think the idea would work as long as the weight of the camera is not more than the Micro Halogen light, which you can find plenty of them these day. But in order to use it on your bike, either you have to have very fast camera or anti-shake camera(in a small camera body) to minimize the camera shake.

If you haven't bought the camera, many models of Panasonic P&S camera(with image stabilizer feature) should be considered for reducing the shake.

If your bike has suspension like mountain bike, that would help reduce the vibration too. That of course, if you are planning to take shots on the run.

Because I have never tried it in real world, I don't know how bad the vibration affects the photo.
I have a Canon A70, which, BTW I DO NOT RECOMMEND FOR ANYONE, unless "anyone" is a real jerk -- in which case buy two or three. The camera has some nice features (full auto AND full manual AND pretty much everthing in between; video with sound), but it's way too delicate for real-world use. Despite careful handling, I had to return it twice for service (which was, to be fair, quick, friendly and effective). It's the stupid way they designed the zoom lens (it gets stuck on its way in or out), and they used the same bad design on all their "powershot" digital cameras. Google "Canon E18" for more info.

Anyway, it still works for now (although the LED screen is dead) and it weighs in at 12.5 oz with batteries, not too much more than the HL500 II light at 7.5 oz. I will check out the Panasonics when it's time for a new camera.

I don't plan to do much "on the run" shooting, but I do think it would be cool to have the camera already out and ready instead of having to dig it out anytime I see something photo-worthy. And it would be nice to be able to use the bike as a tripod.

And, to be honest, I just have a thing for easy-to-make, elegant, simple and practical solutions.

I think the Cateye halogen headlight + the cheap LED is a good simple solution to the basic urban lighting problem, and I hope the camera mount works out that way, too. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 10-19-05, 08:41 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allgoo19
I admire you just for trying.

It's much easier to have a camera with full manual control and full information LCD. It's always better to try something else than keep wishing.

I suppose your camera doesn't have manual exposure control(aperture, shutter speed).

The next best thing you can try is to

* press the shutter button half way while aiming it to something else in the dark and in the about the same distance to the light pattern you are trying to show. That'll lock the exposure and focus, you can't separately lock them. Then keep holding the shutter button, turn your camera toward the light pattern and give it a full press.

* Check the shot you just took. If it is over powering bright, light that "something else" you used to lock the exposure little brighter(but not as bright as the light pattern) then repeat the step above.

If this works, you'll know by the first shot you take. Repeat it in different amount of light, you'll get the hang of it.

Your camera may have the control that you are not aware of. If you can tell me the make and the model of the camera, it's eaiser to find out.
I am using no flash and a tripod, so I can't hold the camera in my hands very well. I've been using the timer. I can still try it anyway. The problem is so far, what shows the led lights about right just shows the 16w HID as a white screen. What shows the HID about right shows the led as a few pixels of color.

I'll spend some more time on it. I can adjust and make pictures that look "about" like what the eye sees, but if I adjust a little off it's not a good comparison. That's what made me stop trying the other day.

I have an HP photosmart 935.
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Old 10-19-05, 08:56 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allgoo19
No, I didn't make that idea into reality. I was thinking of getting a small digital camera at the time and what I actually got was Olympus C8080 which is pretty chunky and heavy.

I still think the idea would work as long as the weight of the camera is not more than the Micro Halogen light, which you can find plenty of them these day. But in order to use it on your bike, either you have to have very fast camera or anti-shake camera(in a small camera body) to minimize the camera shake.

If you haven't bought the camera, many models of Panasonic P&S camera(with image stabilizer feature) should be considered for reducing the shake.

If your bike has suspension like mountain bike, that would help reduce the vibration too. That of course, if you are planning to take shots on the run.

Because I have never tried it in real world, I don't know how bad the vibration affects the photo.
I spent over a year riding summer and winter with a digital camera mounted on my handlebars. I even made a clear rain/snow cover and have some good snow (taken while it was snowing) pictures. After a while you get sick of just the one position point of view. For example, a group shot requires riding ahead and turning the bike around. Also the videos were acceptable on the street, but the microphone did not deal with the wind very well. I finally switched to using a nice camera bag as a holster strapped to the stem. This allows shooting easily at any angle while moving, or not. I have plenty of moving shots of riders behind me. You just blast away and delete later. Since you can invert the image in the computer I shoot upside down under my arm, or over my head etc. It's easy, I don't actually aim with the screen or the viewfinder I just point the lens. It's better than you would think. Much better.

I had to reduce the file size a lot to post these, but these are taken while riding. Front, back, side, whatever, It's better than on the bars.

Last edited by 2manybikes; 10-19-05 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 10-19-05, 11:18 AM   #100
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So, I've read through this wholethread and still have questions

I need a light that will allow me to ride our rails to trails for excercise. These are all flat, smooth gravel paths, no auto traffic nearby. I ride an MTB, usually in the 10-13 mph range focusing on keeping the cadence up rather than pushing taller gears for more speed. It appears from the thread the lower level lighting categories will suffice for what I need. Can anyone comment on the following cheapies I'm looking at? I will NOT be doing any high speed or singletrack/descents with this light. I save that for weekends when the sun is out

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...=479&pagename=

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...=479&pagename=
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