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Help - Inon or Ikelite Strobes to go with a G9 in Ikelite Housing


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#1 tdc

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 12:11 PM

I'm hoping you can all help me as I'm in the process of buying a new setup before a late Nov trip to Hawaii.

Preamble: I'm upgrading from my setup with a Canon A80, Inon AD mount and lenses and Inon D-180 strobe. I love this setup, but I want to get more pixels, bigger screen, raw, and better movie mode. The G9 seems practically perfect, even though I have to dump almost all my gear (and cards chargers) to move forward.

I have a Canon 40D for land as well (it is amazing), but I'm relunctant to bring it underwater (and there aren't a lot of choices yet anyway).

The Ikelite housing for the G9 seems really nice, and with the short port, I can get the wet mount lenses to use with it. I like the flexibility to shoot between macro and wide angle on the same dive (and video too).

For strobes, I have two choices:

The obvious one is to go with Ikelite, probably a DS-125 or a DS-125 and a DS-51. These will let me shoot eTTL in P-Av-Tv and manual in P-Av-Tv-M. (Canon point and shoots don't meter TTL in Manual mode).

The other choice is to go with one or two Inon Z240 strobes. These would let me shoot sTTL, External Auto or Manual in P-Av-Tv, or Manual or External Auto in M. (Note that you can't switch between P-Av-Tv and M on the dive because the strobe needs to be set differently for pre-flash).

The big pros for the Inon solution is reliability associated with the setup -- no electrical sync cords, and I haven't heard a lot of problems with Inon's underwater (and I've had none either).

I'd like to have strobes that I could use if I brought my 40D underwater. Certainly, the Ikelite ones would work well with a Ikelite Housing, but I'm not sure if that would be the best choice for the DSLR. Are other housings likely to support Ikelite's eTTL? What about sTTL.

Has anyone had experience with the G9 or G7 in an Ike housing?

#2 tdc

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:06 PM

update: It turns out that the Z240, unlike the D-180 and D-2000, allows you to turn on and off the preflash (advanced cancel circuit) while in the water, so the problem in switching from P-Av-T to M is removed!

tdc

#3 Islandbound

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 03:12 AM

I have used both the DS51 and the Sea and Sea YS-110 with the G7 in an Ikelite for hundreds of photos. The obvious benefit of the DS strobe is the ability to shoot in TTL mode. This is great for quick photos when you dont have time to set up the strobe such as when a ray or shark swims past. The glaring problem to me with TTL is that the camera shoots in 1/80th shutter speed which can lead to blurred photos from surge or flotation issues. Recently I have been using the YS110 and solely shooting in Manual mode with the G7. This has allowed me to shoot almost all photos both WA and Macro in F8 at a shutter speed as high as 1/200 virtually eliminating blur and picking up a great deal of smaller detail from the enhanced DOF. If I was starting to buy strobes again and didnt have money already invested I would buy the DS125 in a heartbeat and have no regrets. Ikelite makes a product as good as anything on the market and their service is the best on the market. The DS125 will allow both TTL shooting as well as full Manual mode photos like I described. The DS51 is simply not powerful enough in many cases in WA shots to illuminate adequately.

#4 vkalia

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 09:24 AM

I am just putting together a backup system (G6 in Ike housing) and went through the same decision process.

In the end:
DS50/51s - just not powerful enough for the price - except for TTL, Inon and S&S trumped it in all aspects
D125s - much more expensive
Z240s - superb strobe for the price -- pretty much the standard (actually, I looked at the D2000, which has all the main features of the Z240 that I care about, except a sync cable)
S&S YS110 - slightly more powerful than the Z240/D2000, slower recycle.

In the end, I decided to get the YS110. As I shoot RAW, I dont really need a blazing fast recycle time with my G6. The slightly greater power of the YS110 and its slightly wider beam angle did it for me.

I still think that the Inon Z240s are the best strobes in the market and I will continue to use them with my DSLR rig. But they are one of the most customer-unfriendly company I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with, and so I was happy to find a reason to send my money elsewhere.

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#5 jeremyl

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 11:05 PM

TDC.

Curious what you ended up with. I am all but set on the G9 w/ Ikelite housing + single DS125, and ULCS arms/tray. I will play with this seup for a while, anticipating adding a second strobe one day, and getting a housing for my D70. The Z-240 sounds like a great strobe, but the simplicity of "going Ike" seems too hard to pass up.

Jeremy