Jump to content


Photo

Strobe Advice Needed


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Akforsyth

Akforsyth

    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 22 August 2018 - 08:37 AM

Good morning everyone.  I am hoping that I can get some advice from the knowledge base here as I am quite new.  I'll start with a bit of background.  I've been a diver for 24 years, with the past 14 of it being in the commercial/professional area.  When I went commercial, as many of us do, recreational diving went away.  It was not until this past year when I decided that I needed to change that and took myself for two weeks to Roatan with my trusty little GoPro, Gobee lights, and filters.  Well for a shitty little setup, I managed to get a few really nice shots that ended up as wall pieces in my house.  So I kinda got the bug and that is what brings me here.

 

I recently purchased an Olympus OM-D E-M5 mark ii with PT-EP13 housing.  I was looking for a new travel camera and this combination seemed to cover both on land and underwater.  So far I love the camera.  On land it is awesome, and I have taken in in the pool once and played around and was impressed even without any strobes.

 

Now my next purchase needs to be some strobes.  As I always use work cameras I really never gave it a thought as to the cost or ability of strobes, I just used what was given to me and did what was asked.  Now that I want to excel at my own hobby, I want to be a little bit more discerning.  I realize that I will get what I pay for and with that I don't mind paying for decent gear.  I do find myself a little overwhelmed when trying to figure out what would work for me best and not break the bank as I will only be using this rig when I travel once or twice per year plus a few additional times just for practice in the cold water.  I am mostly interested in general underwater shots (nott macro so much) and wide angle.  I am hoping that some of the knowledge base here can impart some of their wisdom and opinions on what they feels would work best for me.  Cheers.



#2 espenmoe

espenmoe

    Starfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oslo

Posted 22 August 2018 - 11:43 AM

I have almost the same setup (Meikon hosue). Also looking for strobe advise.



#3 Vondo

Vondo

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Illinois

Posted 22 August 2018 - 01:10 PM

What is "breaking the bank"? I.e. what's your budget?



#4 hyp

hyp

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 58 posts

Posted 22 August 2018 - 10:06 PM

Might also be interesting to see what lens you're planning to bring underwater. The amount of coverage a strobe can bring is pretty important.



#5 diver dave1

diver dave1

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 975 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:chess, u/w photography

Posted 23 August 2018 - 01:57 PM

Welcome to the addiction!

You bought a nice camera and housing.  You said wide angle shots are of interest to you.  Wide angle shots mean lots of light spread over a large area.  That directs toward more powerful strobes set a good distance apart.

If you buy 2 smaller strobes, you will get some degree of coverage and light but not as much as you will want with time.   If you buy a single more powerful strobe to start and limit the bank breaking, you will be half way to what you will really want.  If you buy the smaller ones, you will still be 100% of the way from your ultimate goal.  I started with the smaller strobe path and spent more in the end.  Hoping to keep you from that mistake.

If going new, I would buy an Inon Z-330 with an 8" and 5" arm plus floats to provide lift.  If you can find good used Inon Z-240's, that would work great.  But you cannot tell how many shots have been used with those strobes.  Some people sell the Z240 to upgrade tot he Z330.  I would buy the Z330 and save up until I could afford the second one.

There are other brands of strobes that sell good, powerful strobes at similar or higher cost.  I am familiar to Inon so I will stick to discussing that brand. 
The other brands can be just as good or better and others will likely chime in to discuss ones they know about.

 

Hope that is some help.  You will find your 2 strobe will cost more than you likely spent on your housing.  YIKES!


Nauticam D7000, Inon Z-240's, 60 micro, 105 micro, Tokina 10-17

www.shiningseastudio.com


#6 ChrisRoss

ChrisRoss

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 276 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney Australia

Posted 26 August 2018 - 05:24 PM

I've been using Z-240 with my EM-5 II and now EM-1 MkII, never wanted for power, on the OM-D you get plenty of DOF at f8 and I have not felt the need to stop down. This means the strobes have an easier time of it. I generally have my strobes 2 stops off full power At 8 on the dial for many shots. The Z-240 has a guide number of 24, the little S-2000 is guide number 20, maybe 1/2 stop less and angle of coverage is slightly less.

I would guess that S-2000 would be quite capable within those parameters, but might struggle on full frame where you might be stopping down to f11-16 range. It would take longer to recycle as it natively takes longer to recycle at full power and it is using a greater fraction of it's capacity under the same shot conditions. It's nice and compact but as a consequence the dial knobs are small and fiddly.

If you can afford it get the Z-330, otherwise you could get two S-2000 strobes for around the price of one Z-330

#7 Vondo

Vondo

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Illinois

Posted 26 August 2018 - 05:39 PM

I've been using Z-240 with my EM-5 II and now EM-1 MkII, never wanted for power, on the OM-D you get plenty of DOF at f8 and I have not felt the need to stop down. This means the strobes have an easier time of it. I generally have my strobes 2 stops off full power At 8 on the dial for many shots. The Z-240 has a guide number of 24, the little S-2000 is guide number 20, maybe 1/2 stop less and angle of coverage is slightly less.

I would guess that S-2000 would be quite capable within those parameters, but might struggle on full frame where you might be stopping down to f11-16 range. It would take longer to recycle as it natively takes longer to recycle at full power and it is using a greater fraction of it's capacity under the same shot conditions. It's nice and compact but as a consequence the dial knobs are small and fiddly.

If you can afford it get the Z-330, otherwise you could get two S-2000 strobes for around the price of one Z-330

Sometimes for macro (not the OP question) the D-2000/Z-240 are a too powerful with the Oly cameras. I regularly use the -1.5 diffusers in that setup. It's fine if you want lots of d.o.f., but if you want shallow d.o.f. it can be a challenge.



#8 Akforsyth

Akforsyth

    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 27 August 2018 - 12:27 AM

Thanks everyone.  You gave me some good food for thought.  I was initially going to go with 2 smaller strobes with the intention of upgrading, but now see the error of my ways.  I'm now looking at either 1-2 Z240's or possibly YS-D1's...  I appreciate the help.  Cheers



#9 Draq

Draq

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 348 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 28 August 2018 - 02:27 PM

A small bit of god news is that since Inon recently came out with a new strobe to replace the z_240, and those are finally starting to ship, there are a number of used Z-240 strobes out there and you can probably find a nice pair at a decent price.  They are excellent strobes and used as you describe should last for years if they were not abused by the prior owner.  



#10 JMartel

JMartel

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 47 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 30 August 2018 - 08:13 AM

Thanks everyone.  You gave me some good food for thought.  I was initially going to go with 2 smaller strobes with the intention of upgrading, but now see the error of my ways.  I'm now looking at either 1-2 Z240's or possibly YS-D1's...  I appreciate the help.  Cheers

 

If you are buying new, the YS-D1's aren't available anymore. You have to go to the YS-D2J. I would advise against buying a used YS-D2 (the non-yellow ones) as there were a lot of quality control issues on those strobes. I had replaced one of mine 3 times before they gave me the upgraded one. I'm still leery of the new ones.



#11 Mr. Grouper

Mr. Grouper

    Sea Nettle

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts

Posted 31 August 2018 - 11:54 AM

Sea & Sea YS-D1 or Inon Z-240 are good options for you, specially because you'll be traveling with them since they are compact and lighter than some other brands, still powerful enough for wide angle shots  with micro four thirds cameras. There are several of these strobes for sell in this site at fair price.

 Good luck!