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Strobe Arm Length?


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#41 kkgodiving

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:23 PM

A very popular setup seems to be a 5" arm connected to the housing-side, and an 8" arm on the strobe side. James


Is there any specific reason to have the shorter arm on the housing and the longer one on the strobe? I am going to use this set up this weekend: 12" on housing and 5" on strobe on a 10.5mm lens. Note: the 12" were new acquistion. Thx.
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#42 tubino

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:36 PM

Is there any reason for preferring two segments per side over one? Is there any reason not to use say a single 6" arm per side for macro and a single 12" per side for wide angle?


The setup I just used for macro was, on each side, Ikelite handle to ball adapter, clamp, 5" ULCS double-ball, clamp, short Sea & Sea ball adapter. I found that with the extension and flexibility of a clamp on either end, and the inches of the ball adaptor, that a single arm, even a short one, was fine for macro (90mm). I liked the results I got with the strobes usually pointed in, and didn't find a need to elevate them much, if at all, over the port, so the short arms were not a problem for me. I thought this gave pretty even and shadowless lighting, which I liked. (And it kept the whole rig fairly tight and easy to use, which was a big plus, as it was my first time using a DSLR underwater, and first time with 2 strobes.) Maybe this one would have been better with a little more light from above, but you sure get a good look in the mouth.

Posted Image

I think that for macro, setting up the lights with single short arms, on about the same horizontal plane as the lens, helps get into narrow spots like this one. The crab was tucked into a narrow crevice:

Posted Image

I guess I'd do something similar next time, but will probably take 8" arms too, and add them when shooting wider than 90mm.
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#43 Undertow

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 10:49 PM

Is there any reason for preferring two segments per side over one? Is there any reason not to use say a single 6" arm per side for macro and a single 12" per side for wide angle?


you will have far more flexibility in positioning the strobes with the extra joint in the middle - if necessary one can fold the strobe in close to the port to point out & 'edge' light. its also easier for transporting the housing.

Is there any specific reason to have the shorter arm on the housing and the longer one on the strobe? I am going to use this set up this weekend: 12" on housing and 5" on strobe on a 10.5mm lens. Note: the 12" were new acquistion. Thx.


with the shorter one inside it's easier to lay the strobes on the ground to the side of the housing topside, making storage & transport easier.

cheers

chris
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#44 kkgodiving

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 03:19 AM

with the shorter one inside it's easier to lay the strobes on the ground to the side of the housing topside, making storage & transport easier.


Thanks, Chris.
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#45 wolfeeldiver

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:22 AM

I rarely shoot with both strobes permanently affixed to the camera.

I typically shoot with one strobe (my fill) fixed on an arm coming in from the right side, at about the 2 or 3 o-clock position. Then the more powerful main light is the one that I fine tune most of the time. Sometimes I light from above, from front, from behind, from the left, from underneath. It just depends on the composition desired at the time.

To accomplish this, I have a quick disconnect mechanism on my main strobe's arm, so that I can uncouple it underwater if desired. During a dive I typically disconnect from the housing and hand hold it in my left hand. I'm typically swimming about, housing in right hand, main strobe and arm in left hand. If I turn the housing from horizontal to vertical, its quick and easy to redirect the light from the desired direction. No needing to adjust any fixed arms. The arm is about 3' long. This method allows me to quickly move the strobe on the fly, fine tuning and adjusting the light angle, direction, and distance to fit the subject and scene. It takes a little practice but with this method I find for me more useful to get the desired lighting.

In summary.. I recommend giving some consideration to "hand holding" your main strobe instead of it being always fixed to the housing.

Edited by wolfeeldiver, 20 August 2008 - 11:32 AM.


#46 Chris Yorke

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 08:23 PM

I have found this whole topic to be very informative. I to am new to this and have often asked myself about arm length. I currently only have a single strobe (DS125). I wish to replace the ike arms with the ultra lights. Hope no one mines me hijacking this information.

#47 Andy A

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 06:45 AM

What is the recommended length for strobe arms when doing Wide Angle shooting? RIght now I only have a 6" arm connected to an extended arm mount at the release handle on an Ikelite housing (this is their standard 4086.61 set-up that comes with the DS-125 kit). This has worked great while doing macro work, but I'm thinking I'll want the strobes a bit further away for WA. So what's a good overall length? And am I better off getting a single longer arm or just adding another section to my existing one - like a 4"?

thanks!


Could do with advice on this topic myself !!

#48 pacey999

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 09:04 PM

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and pretty new to UW photography.

I know this is a little off topic, but could i have peoples thought on what system of arms is recommended. It seems that most people are using the ULCS, has anyone used alternatives like the TLC system?

I've been using 10Bar housings with 10bar arms and I believe they are ULCS clamps, but I find it quite difficult to set the correct tension to be able to move the arms fairly freely yet hold in place. I have been experimenting with lots of different strobe positions to see the results. I know that the TLC system doesnt use o-rings so I guess it would be smoother to move the strobes around but they wont hold in place as well as the ULCS. Does anyone have any experiences with the TLC's that they could share? Or is it best for me to go for the ULCS?

I'll be upgrading to a Aquatica AD7000 and using it with 2xInon Z240 strobes.

Also, I found my previous setup (10Bar NEX-5 and 1xInon Z240) very heavy underwater which was find in most circumstances but qutie tiresome when trying to hold stead for extended time and maintaining buoyancy over fragile reefs. I would like to get my next system trimmed to neutral buoyancy, does anyone have any recommendations about what buoyancy system to use and how much bouyancy will be required for an Aquatica AD7000 with 8" dome or 105mm macro port & 2xZ240's.

Thanks in advance for any advice,
Mark

#49 pacey999

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 09:08 PM

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and pretty new to UW photography.

I know this is a little off topic, but could i have peoples thought on what system of arms is recommended. It seems that most people are using the ULCS, has anyone used alternatives like the TLC system?

I've been using 10Bar housings with 10bar arms and I believe they are ULCS clamps, but I find it quite difficult to set the correct tension to be able to move the arms fairly freely yet hold in place. I have been experimenting with lots of different strobe positions to see the results. I know that the TLC system doesnt use o-rings so I guess it would be smoother to move the strobes around but they wont hold in place as well as the ULCS. Does anyone have any experiences with the TLC's that they could share? Or is it best for me to go for the ULCS?

I'll be upgrading to a Aquatica AD7000 and using it with 2xInon Z240 strobes.

Also, I found my previous setup (10Bar NEX-5 and 1xInon Z240) very heavy underwater which was find in most circumstances but qutie tiresome when trying to hold stead for extended time and maintaining buoyancy over fragile reefs. I would like to get my next system trimmed to neutral buoyancy, does anyone have any recommendations about what buoyancy system to use and how much bouyancy will be required for an Aquatica AD7000 with 8" dome or 105mm macro port & 2xZ240's.

Thanks in advance for any advice,
Mark

#50 Steve Williams

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:58 AM

Hi Mark,
Welcome to Wetpixel! A lot of folks like the StiX floats to adjust the bouyancy of their rig. Typically the wide angle setup with the big air bubble in the dome will have more bouyancy than the macro rig. On my rig the big dome is neutral without additional floats. I add four of the big Stix floats to my 5 inch arms with the macro rig. A float collar around the macro port will also work well but can be hard to keep attached depending on your port. It just takes a little experimentation, every setup/housing can be a little different. I found that balance is important too. Out of the box my rig was nose heavy and would become hard to hold in place for more than 5 minutes or so. If your trying to get just the right expression on the goby's face it can become sort of a pain.
A little time in the pool with your new rig will tell you if you need to make adjustments.

Lots of folks here use the TLC arms you asked about, quality of both is great.

Congrats on the new setup!
Cheers,
Steve

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#51 chris.evans

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:19 PM

Hi guys, I am going to be diving the Red Sea and Zanzibar this summer and just bought my first strobe from backscatter! They claim it "can be used for all applications from wide-angle to macro photography"..

However, I thought the arm really doesn't get the strobe too far from where my flash is:

Posted Image

Also, though the site said the Sea & Sea mask worked with this housing, it doesn't fit... I will have to maybe saw through the metal ring the cable connects to fitting..

So do I now buy an extender to attach to this arm? I don't want to get to Egypt and realize that I need something.

Do you think this will work?

CE

#52 Steve Williams

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 04:18 PM

I'd give the boys and girls at Backscatter a call and ask them how it fits. Is the Sea & Sea mask you have the one that needs to be cut to fit? They may have a slick way to do it you haven't tried yet. Just guessing.

I'd call them before I started cutting metal.

I don't think that model from S&S has an extension available but I've been wrong before. If it doesn't you can still take some nice images by careful strobe pointing. Play with it in the pool and try pointing the strobe off axis from the subject so so don't light up all the water between the lens and the mermaid. Use the edge of the light cone to illuminate your subject. You can get away with very short arms using that technique.

Cheers,
Steve

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#53 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 09:26 PM

On most occasions now I have taken Alex M's advice and use only one arm length per strobe. Usually this is a single 6 inch length and I use (and openly admit to having a commercial interest in providing) StiX arms with integrated large or Jumbo floats. I personally find them very lightweight and good providers of buoyancy and, as a modular system, floats can be added or removed to suit different setups.

There are occasions where I find two arm segments are useful, when lighting large areas (the rabbit ears technique as Julian C and Alex M call it).
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#54 Bent C

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 06:37 AM

I recently purchased a set of StiX (two six inch and two nine inch) arms with floats from Alex. They seem to be very well made and are very light. I havenīt tried them in water yet, but I look forward to try them out.

regards

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#55 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 12:27 PM

Glad they have arrived Bent. Let me know what you think.

Best wishes
Alex
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#56 Drew

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 02:29 AM

There are new arms made of carbon fiber, which are lighter than the conventional arms and also positively buoyant. The Aqua-Foto Team division, H20 Sales, makes them and they are coming out with even bigger float arms that are lighter than aluminum ones.
Read a little about them here:
http://wetpixel.com/...velook/3972/P2/

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#57 diggy

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 06:52 AM

Thanks Drew,

You get them here :

http://www.aditech-u...bjb-29x210.html

I am going in for 4x8" ones very soon for the new 7D system i am going in for. Look really nice.

Cheers,

Diggy

There are new arms made of carbon fiber, which are lighter than the conventional arms and also positively buoyant. The Aqua-Foto Team division, H20 Sales, makes them and they are coming out with even bigger float arms that are lighter than aluminum ones.
Read a little about them here:
http://wetpixel.com/...velook/3972/P2/


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#58 Drew

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:06 AM

Diggy those are made of Aluminum. The Carbon fiber ones weigh more than half of aluminum arms and have more buoyancy. I'll be reviewing them in this month.

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#59 oskar

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 04:33 AM

How are trays with dual handles used with a compact camera, like in
the Ikelite example earlier in this thread?

At least my right hand is busy with the housing so I don't see quite how I should use both handles during shooting other
than for transportation, but what am I missing since this seems to be the default setup?

What could be a good dual WA strobe combination with only left handle?

Handle and a 5" + 8" on the left + just ball + two 8" on the right? Or is it better to go symmetrical with dual handles?

Is it good for flexibility to have a ball-joint next to the strobe or is it good enough with an arm that ends in a direct YS-connector?

Cheers
/O

#60 Aliens

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:00 PM

Which arms and clamps do you consider to be the best quality? Nauticam, ULCS or TLS?