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Opinion abou new subtronics?


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#1 fras

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 11:32 PM

Have you seen it?
www.subtronic.de
it have integrated e-ttl for many cameras

#2 Jolly

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 12:37 AM

they don't feature real E-TTL. They are actually the normal strobes with a built in Heinrichs E-TTL Converter.

+ manual settings available right at the strobe
- if you still want to have a Nikon(os) TTL compatible strobe, you don't have that anymore
- requires S6 wiring
- price

converter into the housing:
+ price
+ only one converter and you can connect 2 strobes with common Nikonos 5 pin sync cables
- no manual mode available (only selectable on the converter topside when housing is open. or you have to install a button/switch for underwater usage).

However it's a conversion method, no real E-TTL implementation as Sea&Sea does (but their first E-TTL strobe is mickey mouse, expect a larger one to be released).
Same limitations as Ike's conversion: no high speed sync, no 2nd curtain sync, converter has to be adapted to every new camera. Ike does it for every housing they offer. The Heinrichs converter (and the subtronic lineup) support the 300D and 10D for the time being. 20D support is announced.

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#3 satura

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 01:03 AM

They aren't just the converter included, they do the special canon-preflash (modulated over a longer period) which is required for acurate results. (Information from the "Boot"). The converter without the new subtronics only use a standard-preflash. http://www.chem.hels...ge/hispeed.html

I'm told that the high-speed sync is just software disabled...

Mini:
+ size
+ power
+ prize (same as Inon Z220 in europe)
- battery

Midi:
+ power
+ battery
- size

Maxi:
+ power (real 200Ws)
+ battery
+ Dual sync port
- size
- prize

All:
+ look and feel
+ highest quality sync cables
+ S6 connector available
+ charger
- "soldered-in" battery (Because of that I bought a DS-125 instead...)

#4 Jolly

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 01:27 AM

Satura,

that's what they want to make you believe :wink: . Somehow Subtronic has a problem to admit.

the modulated preflash is replaced by a constant preflash. That's why a characteristic curve is implemented into the electronic.

I would be very very surprised if they suddenly did an engineering jump and feature a modulated preflash. But the Boot information from Subtronic itself doesn’t sound convincing to me. But I might be wrong.

However I still find the advertising “E-TTL strobe” misleading. You can not plug the strobe onto any E-TTL camera like a real E-TTL strobe.


Julian
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#5 Jolly

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 01:29 AM

I'm told that the high-speed sync is just software disabled...


oh, then why they just don't enable it? ;) :D
No high speed sync without proper E-TTL protocol chip.

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#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 01:48 AM

I wish everyone would stop getting so excited about having TTL. Yes it works. But I don't want it.

I want to be in control of my lighting. I admit that on film TTL was essential. On digital it is not because you get an immediate verification of your exposure on your LCD screen. Read the TTL anonymous discussion. Rant over!

Ocean Optics in London already have this strobe in stock. I am hoping to have reason to be popping by there next week and shall report.

I had heard that it wasn't a Heinrichs converter in there.

If I was a canon user I would be far more interested in a strobe that would allow 2nd curtain synch and high speed synch than one that provides TTL.

Alex

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#7 MikeVeitch

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 02:14 AM

I wish everyone would stop getting so excited about having TTL. Yes it works. But I don't want it.

I want to be in control of my lighting. I admit that on film TTL was essential. Alex


Hear hear Alex. I always teach people the basics of light and exposure and refuse to let someone use ttl if they are taking a class with me, afterwards they can do what they want but the whole point of taking a class is to learn, not use a clutch.

However, i must disagree with you that TTL is essential with film, i have something like 2500 dives with a Nikonos and used TTL maybe twice and never saw a need for it?

Rant over as well
Mike

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#8 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 02:31 AM

Yeah, I take your point, Mike. I note that you weren't using TTL on those Mantas! ":)"

I was trying to make the point that lots of people want TTL on digital because they felt (as I did - having not been taught how to do it on manual by someone like you!) that TTL was essential on film. People don't accept/realise that there are massive differences between digital and film - not just in the technology but also in the way we can shoot. People want TTL for historical reasons - rather than thinking what they need for the current technology.

I have just tested the Inon D2000 and their cuckoo-TTL (my expresssion) works really well. However as soon as I had done the dives I needed for the review I switched the strobe to manual - for my own photography.

Alex

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#9 MikeVeitch

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 02:44 AM

You are definitely right by saying digital changes the way we shoot. I have actually become less of a perfectionist with my digital shots in RAW as i know that i can fix it after by an fstop or whatever.

But it also opens up a whole new world in allowing a ton of shots per dive and also allows for a lot more creativity by allowing us to try so many different lighting ideas and seeing the result right there instead of waiting for the film to be developed. I really like the try try again approach.

People keep saying that they don't want to miss that once in a lifetime shot and that is why they want TTL. WEll if they understand fstops they should be within an fstop of proper exposure anyway before they even attempt the photo, and as i stated above, one f stop is easy to fix these days post process...

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#10 Kasey

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 03:03 AM

I disagree with you on this point Alex. I learned to shoot uw using a dSLR without TTL available. I became quite good at calculating my strobe-subject distances and fine tuning my exposures. Now that i'm shooting film, however, I've learned to really appreciate an accurate TTL system. The number of shots we can take with digital is great, but now looking back I think that half of my shots were attempts to fine-tune my exposure which can be automated with TTL. I'm sure the critters I shoot appreciate being flashed half as many times!
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#11 Jolly

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 03:41 AM

I had heard that it wasn't a Heinrichs converter in there.
Alex


It is. In certain cases companies prefer to state something different due to marketing pressure or something like this. I know as well what subtronic is stating officially.

After the new i-TTL converter is released - no surprise for a sooner or later Subtronic i-TTL.

Julian
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#12 Jolly

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 03:43 AM

oh, forgot to confirm: I'm on manual as well! 100% convinced! Will join TTL Anonymous as well :-)
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#13 craig

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 05:42 AM

I wish everyone would stop getting so excited about having TTL. Yes it works. But I don't want it.

I want to be in control of my lighting. I admit that on film TTL was essential. On digital it is not because you get an immediate verification of your exposure on your LCD screen. Read the TTL anonymous discussion.   Rant over!  

Ocean Optics in London already have this strobe in stock. I am hoping to have reason to be popping by there next week and shall report.

I had heard that it wasn't a Heinrichs converter in there.

If I was a canon user I would be far more interested in a strobe that would allow 2nd curtain synch and high speed synch than one that provides TTL.

Alex


Yes, yes, and yes! Couldn't agree more. The need for E-TTL with Canon is 2nd curtain. High speed sync might be good too. TTL exposure itself is of limited value with digital.
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#14 manatee19

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 07:42 AM

The hardest thing with beginners is to teach them that moving from TTL to manual does not mean a freefall into rocket science...

A simple exposure table with about 12 numbers in total on it can go a long way. I never used TTL underwater but on some rare occasions. Could have used more but I preferred to go manual for one reason that Alex mentions: CONTROL.

Going from snapshots to image making means taking control of the image and this is what beginners should strive for once they overcome their trigger-happy habits.

And yes you can be less careful about exposure in RAW mode but it always comes at a price which can mean more noise and artifacts in your image. RAW helps us but it is not the best solution to solve exposure problems; practice and control are the way to go.

Michel

#15 t-bohn

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 02:04 PM

In my experience, the Subtronic are far too heavy.
If you go out for two dives and can't recharge in between you are screwed... I ran out of power all the time. The Subtronic are designed for film based systems.
You cannot open the strobe to remove the bulb if a airport security freak is complaining.

I talked to Subtronic at the BOOT show in Germany 4 weeks ago. They told me that they plan a strobe with exchangable battery pack which would fix most of the problems that I had with my strobes.

I'll never again buy a strobe that does not accept standard cells...

Cheers
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#16 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 04:34 PM

Fair criticism Torben.

I think Subtronic also made the mistake of discontinuing their one strobe that was most suitable for digital - the Alpha.

I use a pair of Alphas and they always last through a full day of diving (I dive a lot too - I'm talking more than 500 shots - although not on full power). In terms of power output they are good too (although they were always the least powerful in the Subtronic line) - using them in Cayman back to back with some Ike DS125s I would use the Ikes on 1/2 power where I would use the Alphas on 1/4 power.

Always seemed a pity to me that they stopped making them - just when they needed them most!

Alex

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#17 frogfish

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 05:25 PM

I talked to Subtronic at the BOOT show in Germany 4 weeks ago. They told me that they plan a strobe with exchangable battery pack which would fix most of the problems that I had with my strobes.


Did you get any sense of when this new strobe with changeable battery pack might be available?
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#18 Jolly

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 06:32 AM

Torben,

you don't have to remove the bulb in order to pass airport security.
IATA dangerous goods regulations prescribe removing bulb or battery.
Subtronic has addressed this problem with a certification from the german aviation's authority. You can show this piece of paper when security staff has doubts. But you never know - if they won't accept unless you remove the battery .... . Removing the battery is the better solution for travelling.

I do agree, digital times require longer lasting batteries or/and exchangeble batteries.
However I have only heard that the Mini's battery life can be critical when you shoot a lot. Never heard any complaints when it comes to battery lasting with the bigger Subtronics.

Alex,
when did Subtronic stop producing the Alpha as it's still offered on their webpage?

Julian
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#19 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 06:44 AM

Dunno Julian. I was just told that they had. A couple of friends of mine had seen mine and wanted some. They were told that they were no longer offered. One got Ike 125s and one Inon 220s. So if Subtronic does still make them then they lost 4 strobe sales!!

I have also heard that the Mini can't always do a whole day. But I have not tried on myself.

The Alpha always had the most flashes per charge of the old subtronic range. But I guess that this was because it was the weakest and they all had the same batteries. So if the big ones (Gamma and Mega) are turned down to the same power as the Alpha then I would suspect that they would last as long.

Alex

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#20 Jolly

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 08:14 AM

Wasn't the Alpha the best selling at all?
Maybe it is just replaced by the "midi" (160 Ws)?

Maxi with 200 Ws (here with S6 E-TTL, but available as "film" strobe as well):
Posted Image

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