Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Retras in the water

Retra strobes

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 errbrr

errbrr

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 359 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:17 PM

My pair of new retra strobes arrived this week and I got out for a dive locally yesterday. I own 6 inon Z240s and have been using them since 2010 so this was a bit of a change for me. Some thoughts and observations:

 

- Of the two diffusers received, one fits well and the other wobbles. It fell off in the car on the way to the dive site so I tied it to the strobe arm for the dive. 

- The retras are bigger than the inons

- The only way to put the battery cap down while inserting batteries is on the contacts or on the o-ring, risking picking up dust

- There is no serial number on the strobes. Luckily my insurance company is prepared to add them to my policy anyway

- The recycle time occasionally becomes really long. Camera times show dark photos after a 25 second pause in one case, and after 3-5 seconds in other cases. This is on 75% and 100% power and I wonder if it is the overheating protection kicking in. Water temperature yesterday was 15 degrees.

- The pilot light is very diffuse, and I image could be difficult to see with in bad vis. It's nice to have two power levels and the button doesn't get knocked on/off like the inon aiming light and pre-flash buttons

 

All that said, I was very happy with the power, coverage and light quality of the strobes. The vis was good and I don't think my strobe positioning was optimal, so hard to judge backscatter potential. The colour temperature and brightness of the images was excellent. After 170 shots, the strobes were still showing three green lights out of four on the face plate. Here are a few comparative shots all on my Canon 5D4, 14mm lens and 8" dome, uncropped.

 

2 x Inon Z240s, full power, one warm diffuser, one standard diffuser, f8, 1/40, iso400

20170521-IMG_6727.jpg

 

Kelp with the retras, full and 75% power, f13, 1/50, iso800

20171116-IMG_9309.jpg

 

Taken after a 4 second interval, would have been nice with strobes:

20171116-IMG_9310.jpg

 

Fish on the run, f10, 1/50, iso400

20171116-IMG_9347.jpg

 

Eyes in the roof, f10, 1/200, iso400

20171116-IMG_9385.jpg

 

Overall I'm happy with them and looking forward to taking them in the caves. I'll be interested to see how they perform off camera and in warm water.



#2 Tom_Kline

Tom_Kline

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 957 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:57 PM

Nice report! Were you using Eneloops?

 

I guess one will have to learn how to hold the battery cover in one hand while swapping out the batteries - maybe wedged between fingers or cupped in palm with one finger allowing use of the other fingers? I have done this while swapping out batteries with rig in very cold (barely above freezing) stream (strobe was above water allowing for battery swap).

 

Backscatter has posted a video:


Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Currently used housed digital cameras: Canon EOS-1Ds MkIII, EOS-1D MkIV, and EOS-1DX; and Nikon D3X. More or less retired: Canon EOS-1Ds MkII; and Nikon D1X, D2X, and D2H.

Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 200mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 60D, 150D, and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.

http://www.salmonography.com/

 


#3 errbrr

errbrr

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 359 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 25 November 2017 - 01:40 PM

Yes, eneloops. I suspect I am supporting the brand, I'm on my fourth batch of 80 batteries at this point. I just wish they would make the sparkly ones again  :)

 

Field battery changes for me normally involve damp hands, wet hair and a very dusty or muddy rock to balance everything on. I can see holding the battery cover in my teeth for the retras might be the best option. At least it stops distracting chit chat while prepping for the next dive!



#4 Tom_Kline

Tom_Kline

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 957 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 26 November 2017 - 08:24 PM

I think you need to learn the Nikon F film loading technique - One had to put the back somewhere when reloading film (back was not hinged but came off along with the camera bottom). Holding between the fingers worked well. See pic with one of my Retras which just arrived. That is snow in the pic.

 

_7D29091.jpg


Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Currently used housed digital cameras: Canon EOS-1Ds MkIII, EOS-1D MkIV, and EOS-1DX; and Nikon D3X. More or less retired: Canon EOS-1Ds MkII; and Nikon D1X, D2X, and D2H.

Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 200mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 60D, 150D, and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.

http://www.salmonography.com/

 


#5 errbrr

errbrr

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 359 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

Posted 02 December 2017 - 01:28 PM

The nice thing about cave diving is that there is rarely snow underground. That looks cold!



#6 Oskar@RetraUWT

Oskar@RetraUWT

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 22 posts

Posted 26 December 2017 - 06:00 AM

Hi Liz, thank you for posting your impressions!

 

Regarding the diffusers: They have lock/unlock positions indicated on the dome which correspond to a black dot on the strobe. You should get a *click* when they are locked. All diffusers produce a slightly different sound and feeling as they have slightly different thickness on the edges but should be locked securely. If you aren't getting that please let us know.

 

Regarding the recycle time: The heat protection circuit sounds an alarm and turns off the strobe to prevent further usage, it does not slow down the recycle time. If you experienced a slower recycle time this could be simply because the batteries could not provide the "juice" needed to power the strobe. This could be a combination of water temperature and battery age. 

 

Thank you very much!


www.retra-uwt.com