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Strobe Advice

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#1 caroline.power


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Posted 27 March 2019 - 07:28 AM


 Two years ago, I purchased Sea and Sea YS-D2 strobes. They have been a nightmare since. On the first dive, they were leaking from the seam on the main compartment. Eventually, I sent them in to be fixed. Even though this is a manufacturer defect common to this strobe, Sea and Sea told me it was user error and charged me an insane amount to repair them. Now one of those strobes just blew the flash tube on a dive. I'm done.


Can anyone recommend more reliable strobes than Sea and Sea? I've heard amazing things about Inon. I am looking at the D200 or the Z330. They appear to be mostly identical except for the power output. Does any one know exactly how much more light the Z330 puts out than the D200?








#2 TimG


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Posted 27 March 2019 - 07:40 AM

Hi Caroline


Really sorry to hear about your strobe problem. I don't know if you have read them already, but there are a number of threads with folks having problems with Sea and Sea YS-D2 - although it seems those who have the "J" variant are having a better time of it.


You may also have seen a number of threads about the Inons: highly recommended - including by me. I've had the Z240 for years and have never had a problem. I don't think anyone has reported reliability problems with the new Z330. I can't recall seeing any issues with the D200 but worth a search on WP to make sure.


As for power output, I think this link should answer your question: http://www.inon.jp/p...obe/lineup.html

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#3 davec13o2



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Posted 27 March 2019 - 04:18 PM



Sorry to read about yet another poor YS-D2 experience.  I have also seen occasional comments about problems with the "J" type, enough so that I choose to stay clear of them. 

I finally bought a couple of Z330s, but found in the Inon instruction book (and through the vendor's contact with the factory) that they should not be connected with a Y-cable for

triggering, which is how I intended to use them.  However, it was reported on another thread in the lighting forum that this worked.


I returned the Inons and ordered Retras (www.retra-uwt.com) which are advertised to be available in the next 3-4 months.  Retra are about the same price as the Inon and test

results at their site show better beam uniformity, among other things.  They also can provide a wire cable-fiberoptic converter trigger which I intend to use until a proper TTL

fiberoptic converter becomes available from UW-Technics.  There's an ongoing thread about Retra at the lighting forum here.  They appear to be well regarded.


I've been working on finding a strobe solution for about a year now - not easy.

Edited by davec13o2, 27 March 2019 - 04:20 PM.

#4 ChrisRoss


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Posted 27 March 2019 - 09:48 PM

The figures are fairly straight forward for strobe power, the Z-330 is GN 33 and the D200 GN 20.  This is about 1 1/3 stop difference in output at full power  They both have a 110° field without diffusers. 


The YS-D2 is GN 32 - very close to the Z-330 you might think, but it has an 80° beam so its not apples to apples.  With the 100° diffuser it reduces to GN 24 and the 120° difffuser is GN 20. 


If you add the bundled diffuser to the Z330 you lose 1/3 stop so it's about GN 26.  So more power and a wider beam than the YS-D2 with 100° diffuser.


The INONs seem to have a very good reputation for reliability, I have been using my Z-240s for about 3 years now with no problems.  The manual is totally confusing, but a plain english guide is here:  https://reefphoto.co...-inon-strobes-1


The D200 is very new so probably not much data available, I would suggest putting your name down for a Z-330

#5 Interceptor121


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Posted 27 March 2019 - 11:28 PM

I would recommend buying second hand Z240 type 4 there are some good deals out there as people upgrade to Z330 avoid type 2 that are no longer supported


The Z330 is a very powerful strobe and this at close range is more an issue than an opportunity

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#6 ChrisRoss


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Posted 27 March 2019 - 11:40 PM

Would depend on what camera you were shooting and the f-stop, possibly a problem shooting a 1" sensor camera at f4, probably not so much shooting a full frame rectilinear at f16?  To the OP which camera do you use?

#7 adamhanlon


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Posted 28 March 2019 - 12:38 PM

I am sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with YS-D2s. Sadly, you are joining a large number of people that have experienced problems with them. A common thread seems to be a failure by the manufacturer to acknowledge the problems. 


http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=60161 (among many other similar posts)


Returning to alternatives, powerful strobes do not always need to be used at full power :)


As power output increases, strobe output becomes harsher and the quality of light they produce declines. Hence it is always better to run a powerful strobe at 3/4 power that to use a less powerful one at full power. 

I have used the Z330 for macro (and wide angle) photography very successfully. 



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#8 Undertow


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Posted 30 March 2019 - 10:12 AM

As others say, the Inon Z-240 has been an UW workhorse for many years and I hear good things about the newer Z-330.


That said I chose to go with Retra - have one of the previous models and a preorder in for the newer model. So far its been fantastic, great light quality, ease of use etc.


The ikelite ds160/161 etc produce lovely light but they (like some other strobes) are very big and bulky and I find the controls very awkward to use UW.





#9 oneyellowtang


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Posted 31 March 2019 - 09:04 AM

I'm currently in Anilao and managed to pick up 2 new Z-330's in Singapore on the way here. After 3 days of shooting with them I can't be more pleased.

I have 4 Z-240s that I've been rotating for years (my son and daughter both shoot with single strobe set ups, so all 4 get used by the 3 of us when we dive together). I've always been satisfied with the Z-240's except in a few wide angle situations (Cocos Island at the cleaning stations, where I wanted just a little more light, for example), but the Z-330's (so far) have exceeded my expectations.

I'm able to shoot at lower power with a faster recycle time for the same shot (same camera settings) compared to my Z-240's. The controls are definitely improved from the Z-240 as well (larger knobs, easier to turn (with better tactile feedback), the M setting is past "Full" instead of before it, etc.), and the built in strobe light shade has proven useful in keeping lighting balanced on light, sandy foregrounds.

#10 String



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Posted 01 April 2019 - 08:28 PM

Hi Caroline
I don't think anyone has reported reliability problems with the new Z330.

A work colleague of mine had one die after 20 dives 2 weeks. Just refuses to fire but looks like it is (charging whine, LEDs etc)

I think his replacement when he eventually sourced one is ok.

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