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Sea&Sea YS-D1/YS-D2 Not Designed For High Speed Sync

ys-d1 sync 1/250 1/320 half dark high speed sync

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#1 Bob_W

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 03:28 AM

On a recent trip to Indonesia, I experienced what appeared to be a sync problem with my rig. Olympus E-M1 and Sea&Sea YS-D1 strobes. Looking to get a black background, I switched the camera from 1/200th to 1/250th. The result was a half exposed image. Searching the web, I found a thread from July 2014 on Wetpixel discussing the problem (http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=53721). While a number of alternate setting combinations were discussed, there was no clear comclusion. My own feeling was that I shouldn't have to manipulate a number of settings in order to bump the speed and get a full image. Sure, changing other settings in conjunction might produce a better image. The two images demonstrate the problem. They're not particulary good in many aspects, but were shot of the same subject, the same distance, etc.. The only difference being one at 1/200th, the other at 1/250th.

 

1-200th.jpg

1-250th.jpg

 

I sent a query to Sea&Sea describing the situation. Their response is pretty clear:

 

Hello Bob,

  The SEA&SEA YS-D1 is designed to work with flash sync speeds up to 1/200. The strobes are not equipped for “high speed sync”, sync speeds greater than 1/200 sec. The strobe timing will not pair higher than 1/200th of a second, leaving a portion of the image dark. There is no update at this time if SEA&SEA will produce strobes capable of high speed sync.

Thank you for your inquiry,

 

Sea&Sea USA

2380 Mira Mar Ave.

Long Beach, CA 90815

562-498-3708

 

I followed up by asking about the new YS-D2. Their response was the same:

 

 

Hello Bob,

  I am sorry to inform you that the SEA&SEA YS-D2 will not sync in speeds higher than 1/200.

Thank you,

 

Sea&Sea USA

2380 Mira Mar Ave.

Long Beach, CA 90815

562-498-3708

 

So it's pretty obvious that for those of us looking to achieve those stunning black background shots by using high speed strobe / small aperture shots, Sea&Sea YS-D1 and YS-D2 strobes are not the ones to use.

 

If I had found this post before I bought my Sea&Sea YS-D1s, to replace my Inon S-2000s, I wouldn't have bought them. Maybe this information will help some of you.

 

Bob W


Edited by Bob_W, 11 November 2015 - 03:30 AM.


#2 JackConnick

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 10:35 AM

Hi;

 

I've found this problem with TTL, but it seems to be ok in manual. Did you try manual with them?


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#3 giffenk

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 01:41 PM

Seems to me you are running into a high speed sync situation? The dark part is the shutter closing.

http://www.exposureg...-sync-flash.htm

#4 Bob_W

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 04:30 PM

Hi;

 

I've found this problem with TTL, but it seems to be ok in manual. Did you try manual with them?

 

Jack,

 

The strobes worked OK in manual mode. I should have added "TTL" to the title and original post. My intent with this thread was to call attention to the fact that the strobes not designed to sync above 1/200, so that anyone thinking about buying them would have a little more information to work with. It's not information that's readily availble.

 

Bob W



#5 hellhole

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 04:36 PM

Back up a little...
So ttl mode... Cannot set 1/200 and above... No good
Manual mode.. We can set anything




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#6 JackConnick

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 05:45 PM

You can sync up to the shutter sync spped of your camera with the strobes in manual. SLRs sync between 180-320th/sec. Compacts don't matter as they have an electronic shutter.

 

Honestly, I never shoot these in TTL above 1/200th a sec anyway in TTL and have actually found they can work to 1/250th at times - but it's wierdly intermittant.

 

Jack


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#7 divengolf

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 05:30 AM

Jack,

 

I am having trouble understanding how the strobe is a limitation on the sync speed. It has always been my understanding that the camera dictates the max sync speed. I use a D7000 with a max. of 1/250. I also thought that the strobe fires much quicker, i.e. 1/1000 or faster, even at max. dump. So the camera front and rear curtains should dictate the max. sync speed.

 

I have YS-D1s and always use manual camera and strobe settings, so it's apparently not an issue for me. But I'm trying to understand the issue.

 

What am I missing?

 

Harry



#8 hellhole

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:13 AM

The issue is at TTL mode

#9 JackConnick

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 08:10 AM

Harry;

 

No, you're right, generally it is the camera. The OP has brought up that the YS-D1 has issues syncing in TTL faster than about 1/200th of a sec. It does not affect manual use of the strobe.


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#10 divengolf

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 01:27 PM

Jack: Thanks.



#11 Jock

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 12:39 AM

Bob,
 
in your posting you write: "Looking to get a black background, I switched the camera from 1/200th to 1/250th. The result was a half exposed image." and "it's pretty obvious that for those of us looking to achieve those stunning black background shots by using high speed strobe / small aperture shots... "

Everybody please correct me if I am wrong, but I think that reducing the sync speed cannot give you the results you want!
 
As a rule of thumb (I do not talk about special situations here) when shooting wide angle, you balance ambient light (in the background) with the strobe light (foreground). In macro, you normally use small apertures and fast shutter times. So the background exposure is ALWAYS black! Try shooting with your macro settings and without a strobe, and you will see. Your photo with 1/250 is a proof for this - black. And it would still be black with 1/200, 1/125.
 
With a strobe (shooting macro and using standard macro settings on the camera), exposure is determined by strobe POWER only. The "strobe burning time" does not matter at all, it is always much shorter than any sync speed. 
 
The black background can be achieved by: Using a snoot on the strobe (= selective lighting) or using Photoshop ( :evilgrin: ) or by positioning the strobe in such a way that the light beam does not reach the background, i.e. strobe must not be pointed forward.
 
TTL might be an additional problem unless you use spot exposure mode on the subject: The exposure system wants to achieve an "overall neutral grey". The Strobe tries to (but cannot) lighten up the background, so the foreground can easily be overexposed.
 
So what do you need sync speeds smaller than 1/200 in macro mode for? No idea. IMHO you do not need it at all. In (ambient light) wide angle it makes sense for fast moving subjects like dolphins or so when you want to add some lighting to the body or belly. 
 
Jock


Edited by Jock, 15 November 2015 - 12:45 AM.

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#12 tamas970

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:17 PM

I suppose these were shot mostly manual. BTW shame on the testers that didn't bring out the issue... Happens, that someone just forgets the settings at TTL and tries shooting a pod of dolphines/barracudas/etc coming by. My rx100 syncs 1/500 as well (e-shutter) does that mean I am loosing strobe performance beyond 1/200?



#13 Lwang

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 09:18 PM

you can't shoot TTL with shutter speeds faster than your camera's sync speed.  Any shutter speed above that, the shutter curtain is not fully open when the strobe fires off (usually with duration in the thousandth or a sec).  The fact it works in manual is probably a fluke since when doing a full dump of the strobe, the duration is a maybe 1/200 sec.  So if you have your shutter speed set to something like 1/800 sec, your shutter curtain will open one quarter of the way before the rear curtain starts closing, and 3/800 sec later, the rear curtain closes.  So for that whole duration of the shutter traveling across the filmplane, the subject was lit up by the strobe's 1/200 sec burst of light.  If you turn down the intensity in manual mode, you will likely get cutoffs of light like your picture above.



#14 diverdoug1

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 08:35 PM

I also have this issue only in TTL mode

#15 BrankoOcean

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 01:22 AM

There is a way how to do it with TTL.

 

s-TURTLE TTL trigger for SONY MILC systems. This adapter works with SONY MILC system cameras.

You can change between TTL  and MANUAL mode during the dive. You just have to set the WL (wireless mode) in the flash setting.

 

I'm not sure may I post the link here?


Edited by BrankoOcean, 05 May 2018 - 01:23 AM.


#16 Pavel Kolpakov

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 02:16 PM

Hi Bob,

 

I tested YS-D1 at 1/250 and 1/320 on several cameras in TTL, - no problem. I tested it also at 1/500 in TTL (Nikon D50 + #11031 TTL-Converter),

- YS-D1 works perfect even at 1/500. 

YS-D1 works fine at all "normal" sync speeds of camera (without FP), because underwater strobes cannot work in FP mode (FP = 40 khz long time flicker). Underwater strobe can make only a single short pulse.

This is actual for all underwater strobes. 

 

Dark part on your image, - is a shutter curtain. Camera mechanical shutter has concrete speed for fully open window, only at this speed the underwater strobe can light the full shot. For modern cameras it is about 1/200 sec. For sync speeds faster than 1/200, the window is not fully open but just as open strip, and we need FP flicker to light the shot evenly when that open strip moves through the shot.

This is in short words. If you evaluate term "sync speed" deeper, everything will become clear for you.

 

According the Olympus E-M1 User's Manual (page 110), your camera maximum normal sync speed is 1/125. In reality it can be some better, even up to 1/200. 

The maximum sync speed 1/320 in User's Manual is pointed to original flash FL-LM2 only. I suppose, this flash FL-LM2 can work in FP 40khz flicker at such fast sync speeds. I guess that 1/320 is FP sync speed there. Unfortunately i don't have E-M1 camera on hands to check.

 

What happens in your case:

      At 1/250 sync speed your FL-LM2 burns (flickers 40khz FP), triggers YS-D1 by optical cable, YS-D1 emits a single light pulse (it is more visible in TTL), and you see the shutter curtain on the shot. This is because camera does not open full window at 1/250, but open just a strip. At 1/320 camera opens that strip more narrow, you see it as well.  

      But if you use sync speeds less than 1/200 (better use 1/125), camera fully opens the shutter window, the shot is lighted evenly by underwater strobe.


Edited by Pavel Kolpakov, 06 May 2018 - 07:00 AM.


#17 Interceptor121

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 09:13 PM

Having a fast shutter speed definitely helps having a dark background irrespective of TTL but it is not sufficient per se.
You need to have a water column behind it not any other type of background otherwise the light will reflect on it no matter what and the only way to accomplish a black background is a snoot or digitally altering the photo.
TTL is not really the issue here a lot of people use TTL for macro and obtain black background anyway see this example
https://flic.kr/p/245PToq
The same settings do not produce a black background on a similar picture as the whip coral is near the reef here

https://flic.kr/p/245PWgE

However if you had 1/2000 less light would have propagated to the background

I have seen people taking black non reflective slates in water to shoot skeleton shrimps as even a snoot may not work



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Edited by Interceptor121, 07 May 2018 - 09:17 PM.

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#18 Bob_W

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 12:21 PM

Hi Bob,

 

I tested YS-D1 at 1/250 and 1/320 on several cameras in TTL, - no problem. I tested it also at 1/500 in TTL (Nikon D50 + #11031 TTL-Converter),

- YS-D1 works perfect even at 1/500. 

YS-D1 works fine at all "normal" sync speeds of camera (without FP), because underwater strobes cannot work in FP mode (FP = 40 khz long time flicker). Underwater strobe can make only a single short pulse.

This is actual for all underwater strobes. 

 

Dark part on your image, - is a shutter curtain. Camera mechanical shutter has concrete speed for fully open window, only at this speed the underwater strobe can light the full shot. For modern cameras it is about 1/200 sec. For sync speeds faster than 1/200, the window is not fully open but just as open strip, and we need FP flicker to light the shot evenly when that open strip moves through the shot.

This is in short words. If you evaluate term "sync speed" deeper, everything will become clear for you.

 

According the Olympus E-M1 User's Manual (page 110), your camera maximum normal sync speed is 1/125. In reality it can be some better, even up to 1/200. 

The maximum sync speed 1/320 in User's Manual is pointed to original flash FL-LM2 only. I suppose, this flash FL-LM2 can work in FP 40khz flicker at such fast sync speeds. I guess that 1/320 is FP sync speed there. Unfortunately i don't have E-M1 camera on hands to check.

 

What happens in your case:

      At 1/250 sync speed your FL-LM2 burns (flickers 40khz FP), triggers YS-D1 by optical cable, YS-D1 emits a single light pulse (it is more visible in TTL), and you see the shutter curtain on the shot. This is because camera does not open full window at 1/250, but open just a strip. At 1/320 camera opens that strip more narrow, you see it as well.  

      But if you use sync speeds less than 1/200 (better use 1/125), camera fully opens the shutter window, the shot is lighted evenly by underwater strobe.

 

As I looked back through this thread that I started 2 1/2 years ago, I found it interesting to read all the suggestions to 'solve' the problem. In reality, they weren't solutions, but workarounds. According to Sea & Sea, the solution was 'Don't do that!. Neither the YS-D1, nor YS-D2, was designed to sync above 1/200'. My point was to make others, who might be experiencing the same problem, aware of Sea & Sea's official position. And to know that they are not alone. I solved my problem by getting rid of the YS-D1 strobes.

 

Pavel is experiencing excellent results using the Nauticam/UW Technics TTL converter. But like everything else, Your Mileage May Vary. We have found that TTL converter (but the correct part number for D500) to be completely unreliable when using it with a Nikon D500 in a Nauticam housing. So much so that we have gone through 3 different TTL converters, and it's still not working correctly. A number of friends, and someone we met on a trip to Indonesia, have had similar experiences. And when he sent his rig in for service, he was told that according to Nauticam (JP), 'No one is having this problem'. I wonder if Pavel's TTL converter is one that he built?

 

But discussion is good and we all keep learning things. Maybe we can't use them today, but will, hopefully remember them when we need them. :)

 

Bob W



#19 Pavel Kolpakov

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 12:54 PM

We have found that TTL converter (but the correct part number for D500) to be completely unreliable when using it with a Nikon D500 in a Nauticam housing. 

If you have any problem with TTL setup, i can help. 

By the way, i heard positive reviews from D500 users, who installed TTL board.


Edited by Pavel Kolpakov, 08 May 2018 - 04:11 PM.


#20 Pavel Kolpakov

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 01:04 PM

 I solved my problem by getting rid of the YS-D1 strobes.

That info i wrote, related to all underwater strobes, not only YS-D1. Maybe it was too much text, but in short words i wanted to say the following:

 

1) Most of modern cameras with mechanical shutter have maximum sync speed about 1/200 (without FP). At faster speeds there is a dark strip of shutter curtain visible on the shot, if use simple single pulse strobes. Underwater strobe is single pulse strobe, it cannot make FP 40khz flicker.

 

2) Underwater strobe does not have any limitations in sync speed.

If camera supports sync speed 1/500 (without FP), underwater strobe also supports 1/500.  If anybody interested, i can make a video of Nikon-D50 and YS-D1, YS-D2 work in TTL at 1/500.


Edited by Pavel Kolpakov, 08 May 2018 - 04:10 PM.






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