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Inon Z-240 vs. Sea & Sea YS-D2

Inon Z-240 Sea & Sea YS-D2

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#1 Mark Twain

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 02:31 AM

Hi,

 

I'm currently searching for a pair of strobes for my Nauticam housing and I'm wondering if I should go for Inon Z-240ies or Sea & Sea YS-D2 (or alternatively YS-D1, although they are more difficult to find these days in Europe).

 

I'm slightly leaning towards the Inon Z-240 (Mark IV) as it can be used with fiber optic sync cords (whereas the YS-D2 would require 5-pin nikonos cords on Nauticam housing) and I read far more posts complaining about the quality of Sea & Sea flashes than Inon's flashes. The YS-D2 would be stronger than the Z-240 (32 vs. 24) but this advantage disappears when using the diffusor to achieve the same angle as the Z-240. So the advantage that remains are the more intuitive controls of the YS-D2.

 

Price is basically the same.

 

Any other thoughts? Thanks in advance!


Edited by Mark Twain, 03 August 2016 - 02:32 AM.


#2 hellhole

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 07:30 AM

I would choose the z240 over the d2. Unless you find one that is really rally cheap...

I think the fiber for nauticam on d2. I firmly believe that it's the optic cable... That is the issue.

BTW.. What camera system are u using?

Edited by hellhole, 03 August 2016 - 07:32 AM.


#3 katy-kid

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 07:37 AM

Hi there Mr. Mark Twain, here are my thoughts:

 

I owned a pair Sea and Sea YS-D1's, (I have not used the YS-D2's as of yet, so take this review with a grain of salt...), and thought they were too, for lack of a better word, strong. There was no healthy in between, and what I mean by that is if they weren't on full power they weren't bright enough, and when they were on full power or close to that, it was just waaaaaay too much; I didn't like the perfect circle of light I achieved even with filters. I bought a pair of Inon z-240's and after a horrific experience with the user manual, (you'll figure that out soon if you buy a pair...), I can say I do love them. They have flash tubes that are vertical and horizontal and mine came with a few different choices of filters, both warm and cold. The fall off at the edges seemed a lot more smooth to me; really the only super annoying part about these is the manual, (obviously...), but also you cannot fire them rapidly, (which I don't think you can really do with any strobe in that price range anyway?). After I saw both Alex Mustard and Thomas Peschak using Inon strobes, my mind was pretty made up to stick with these. Just a disclaimer, DO NOT purchase these off ebay from a random dive store if you can help it. They may be a bit cheaper, even if they are brand new, but buying at an official dealer if you're looking for brand new, you are really paying for service which is worth it to me. Good luck!


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#4 Mark Twain

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 07:47 AM

Thanks for the answers. I'm using a Sony A7 inside Nauticam's NA-A7 housing. I've already downloaded the manual of the Inon Z-240 and it is indeed trash. But after a bit of googling I found some decent manuals on the internet. Basically, using the Z-240 is pretty easy if you do not have TTL. Just put them on FULL for a full dump or manual and adjust the strength of the flash with the right wheel (if I remember correctly).

 

I'm going to buy those Z-240 (you convinced me :lol2: ) from a local dealer here in Vienna so if something goes wrong I know in whose letterbox I'm going to pee :diablo: :D



#5 hellhole

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 04:36 PM

Actually.. It's not that difficult.. And if u are buying from a local dealer.. They should teach you how to use the strobe. I would bring my set up to the shop and makes sure If I want to fo that it works with the fo. And if I want to do sync cord what to take note of... And of course how to control the strobe.

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#6 jozef

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 08:24 AM

Hi…

A big S&S fan but Inon's a superior product….Price & accessories compel me to stay w/ S&S….occaisionally exceed their depth rating which puts em at risk…Don't fret manual, If you know how to install batts & clean o rings, the rest is playing…

 

Best of luck!

 

J



#7 bvanant

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 03:29 PM

I don't understand why you think the D2 will not work with fiber; I am using them and they work fine (but the fiber needs to be very high quality). I use both and for warm water I think the Inon's are great, in cold water with dry gloves the D2 is much better and at night in the dark it is easy to see the D2 controls.  As for longevity it appears that Inon is winning that battle.  

Bill


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#8 giffenk

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 06:07 PM

From a functional perspective, the INON has 1 feature that SEA & SEA does not have: Auto mode. Something to consider if you feel that it will be of benefit.



#9 Mark Twain

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 01:04 AM

I don't understand why you think the D2 will not work with fiber; I am using them and they work fine (but the fiber needs to be very high quality). I use both and for warm water I think the Inon's are great, in cold water with dry gloves the D2 is much better and at night in the dark it is easy to see the D2 controls.  As for longevity it appears that Inon is winning that battle.  

Bill

 

Unfortunately I have no idea where I read about the incompatibility, I was 100% sure I read it on Nauticam's homepage about Sony A7/ii mini flash trigger but I can't find that information there any more. Probably my fault.

 

Longevity and reliability is very important for me, those two factors justify sacrificing the better controls of the D2.

 

Auto mode is not really important for me. Previously I had Ikelite DS125/161 in an Ikelite housing but I hardly ever used TTL (sometimes when doing macro).



#10 TimG

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 01:19 AM

Hi Mark Twain

 

I can certainly confirm the reliability of Inons. I've had them for the last 16-17 years and have never had a problem. I've had a Z220 and Z240s. The Z240s have worked flawlessly including being in the water almost every day - 2/3 dives a day - for a year. 

 

The only issue I have ever found was with the Z220 when it could be difficult to get them to power on depending on which set of batteries were used. It seemed to be an issue of the batteries touching the contacts correctly in the battery compartment. This has never been a problem with the Z240 which I use with Eneloop batteries.

 

I would suggest, if you go with Inons, that, if you are not using them, you install batteries and let them charge for a few minutes every couple of months. This keeps the capacitor topped up. I've found that if you don't do this the initial charging time can be relatively slow - a couple of minutes - and this can be a bit scary! I've thought a couple of times that I had a problem but it just required patience for the capacitor to recharge. An occasional charge prevents this.


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#11 hellhole

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 01:21 AM

Many people are reporting that their fo cable are not working with the nauticam flash trigger.. Some say it's the cable.. Some says it the trigger.. Some says it's the d1/d2. ...

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#12 bvanant

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 11:15 AM

I was under the impression that the multi-strand cables were working. I am using an LED trigger that seems to work fine, but no TTL of course.

Bill


Bill
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#13 Nicool

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 09:50 AM

Many people are reporting that their fo cable are not working with the nauticam flash trigger.. Some say it's the cable.. Some says it the trigger.. Some says it's the d1/d2. ...

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My own experience: quality cables such as the nauticam and inon ones do work with this low-power signal trigger. However the unbranded/cheap cables that i had always been using with multiple cameras.
However my experience applies only to the inon strobe, i haven't tried the Sea and sea.

#14 balexandrescu

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 05:21 PM

I started off with one YS-01, then added a YS-110 and finally YS-D1 when the first 2 flooded and had to be repaired. My main issue with the Sea & Sea strobes has always been lighting consistency. It seemed that about either the strobe did not fire or the light intensity blew out the image or was too dark. Getting consistent and reliable lighting was just frustrating. And after my flooding incident, I became OCD with cleaning and inspecting the O-rings that I was really not enjoying my surface intervals very much.
I then bought 2 Z-240's and have been very happy. Now any poor exposure is just my fault :-)
Also, the way the battery cap screws over the O rings with the Inon means an end to my OCD problems. I just never ever find sand or debris on the O-rings when I replace the batteries. Whether the inevitable debris on the blue Sea & Sea O-rings is meaningful is debatable I suppose, but it bothered me to see it. Now it's one less worry.
I hope this helps.
Good luck!


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#15 Kraken de Mabini

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 12:02 PM

I have used both the Inon Z240 and the Sea&Sea YS-D2 strobes.  Both work just fine, but...  

   For me, the Z240's were more difficult to set and use, the manual is confusing and useless, and it took me months to figure out the knobs, buttons and their settings.  I finally sold mine when the lower right button controlling the Manual strobe intensity popped out without my realizing it, and I could not get sufficient light during critical shots.  

  With the YS-D2 strobes the settings are much simpler, intuitive and easy to change when in a hurry to take a photo.  Changing the YS-D2 batteries is also easier and faster, and should the O-ring be pinched one cannot push the cap in and lock it.  In contrast, I flooded a Z240 because the yellow battery cap O-ring got pinched when I screwed the cap back on, and I wrongly thought it was OK;  it is necessary to inspect this O ring after each battery change.

  The Sea&SeYS-D2 strobes are almost neutrally buoyant and need no flotation.  The Z240's are heavy underwater and benefit from added flotation.  For me, the YS-D2 is an UW photographer's friendlier strobe.



#16 donboka

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:09 PM

I'm gonna stick my neck out a bit here...
I cannot believe that people still support Sea & Sea strobes, I have to assume either 1) they produce a much better final product to sell in the US or 2) the opinions are heavily biased.

As Wolf Eel mentioned, the Z240s are unnecessarily complicated with all the knobs, but I know A LOT of photographers who have been using the same strobes for years. They send them for maintenance every now and then, pay a bit of money and get it completely renewed. 
The Sea & Sea ones, on the other hand, present all sorts of issues. I have lost 3 YS-D1s and 1 YS-D2 to battery explosion, tube issues and just unidentifiable issues. I have met photographers who have lost more than that. I have seen many S&Ss ruin photography trips and the most important: at least here in HK the service is completely useless. Anytime you send your strobe for servicing, the warranty covers nothing, the price to fix it is the price of a new strobe, it takes forever to fix them and service is atrocious.

Seriously, it's time to stop beating around the bush: Sea & Sea needs a wake up call, people have to stop buying their strobes(I know I have) and their products in general. 

 

Sorry if anyone is offended. I'm trying to help by being honest. 



#17 Mark Twain

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 11:54 AM

I'm glad that I have bought Z-240ies from what I've heard about Sea & Sea so far. The knobs are definitely to small and to numerous, especially in comparison to my previously owned DS-161/125 and the battery compartment is a bit fuzzy - but what counts in the end is reliability.

 

Unfortunately I did not have many occasions where I could try out my new strobes but in a few days I'm going on a trip to the Red Sea and I will report more after that.



#18 Nicool

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 01:23 PM

I'm gonna stick my neck out a bit here...
I cannot believe that people still support Sea & Sea strobes, I have to assume either 1) they produce a much better final product to sell in the US or 2) the opinions are heavily biased.
As Wolf Eel mentioned, the Z240s are unnecessarily complicated with all the knobs, but I know A LOT of photographers who have been using the same strobes for years. They send them for maintenance every now and then, pay a bit of money and get it completely renewed. 
The Sea & Sea ones, on the other hand, present all sorts of issues. I have lost 3 YS-D1s and 1 YS-D2 to battery explosion, tube issues and just unidentifiable issues. I have met photographers who have lost more than that. I have seen many S&Ss ruin photography trips and the most important: at least here in HK the service is completely useless. Anytime you send your strobe for servicing, the warranty covers nothing, the price to fix it is the price of a new strobe, it takes forever to fix them and service is atrocious.
Seriously, it's time to stop beating around the bush: Sea & Sea needs a wake up call, people have to stop buying their strobes(I know I have) and their products in general. 
 
Sorry if anyone is offended. I'm trying to help by being honest. 


Thanks for the report donboka.
I have fortunately bought 2 inon strobes in 2011 and never stopped shooting them since then. Never any issue, and i must confess i haven't sent them for servicing, as i don't know what would be the purpose (i manipulate the knobs in rinse tank and they never block).
Looking at the S&S specs i got interested somehow, but i am glad you cleared my doubts.