Since Adam was asking for personal experience i’ll shared mine with a pair of Retras which i borrowed for about 1700 shots over 6 dives (some dives 2h40 long with action, i am not shooting that crazy
My current strobes being Inon z240 x2, here is my subjective take on the Retras:
Pros for retras:
-maintenance: much quicker to swap batteries as i am leaving the oring in and grease it every 10 openings only
-simplicity of usage
-no acc button/magnet that can get stuck/corroded and mess-up my photos
-fiber optics routing (rear mounting ball easier i find)
-battery indicator... though i like in principle the idea, in reality it didn’t turn too reliable, and after exchanges with Retra it appeared it was due to me using very old batteries (1st gen eneloop). I bought some new eneloop pros but couldn’t try them as i had to return the strobes before.
-ease to mount various diffusers
-resistance to overheating - though i haven’t tested it that much but trust that aluminium housing helps cooling strobes down
-batteries drain if left in strobe turned off! Again this may not happen with my fresh eneloop pros, but with my inons i had the habit to leave batteries in between dives (usually i dive once a week on weekend only) and that wasn’t a problem with inons
-strobe angle: probably just subjective, but i was shooting with shark diffusers (didn’t get the wide angle diffusers) which are supposed to preserve the retra’s original 110deg, but i felt like the coverage was lower than with my Z240s and diffuser (although 110 degrees).
Now i am left to choose between Retra and Inons and still not sure what to do :-)
The over-heating issue of the Inons was big concern for me but Adam’s review indicates this is solved... although i wish Inon didn’t keep that statement on letting strobe cool down if the problem really got addressed!
Also, not sure how useful the rotating Inon shade is.
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