Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Which strobe is the best for me ?


  • Please log in to reply
70 replies to this topic

#1 rmenashes

rmenashes

    Starfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 15 April 2002 - 07:08 AM

Hi,
I have just got Aqutica 995 housing for my Nikon Coolpix 995. I have been suggested to buy the Nikonos SB-105 strobe, does its the best fit for my configuration ?? Are there any other strobes might be better ?
Any suggestions will help.
Thanks
Rami M

#2 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9969 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 15 April 2002 - 07:24 AM

Hi Rami,

That would be an excellent strobe choice for your setup, but it is not the ONLY strobe you can use. What you consider the "best" will depend a lot on what you are using it for.

For Macro, it will be GREAT! If you want to shoot wide angle with a wide-angle lens, this strobe or any of the other "smaller" strobes may not give you enough power or angle of coverage.

Ikelite and Backscatter both have "Strobe Comparison Charts" which you might want to check out.

Here is Backscatter's:

http://backscat.vwh....allstrobes.html

HTH
James Wiseman
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#3 MikeO

MikeO

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1025 posts
  • Location:Fairfax, VA, USA

Posted 15 April 2002 - 07:24 AM

Any strobe that recognizes Nikon TTL protocol should work with the camera. Ikelite's new DS-125 is compact and powerful -- I bought two and use them with both my housed film camera (with sync cords) and my Olympus digicam (with slave sensors) . . .

Mike Oelrich
Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#4 derway

derway

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1136 posts
  • Location:Pasadena CA

Posted 15 April 2002 - 05:14 PM

Ikelite seem to be the best in terms of power, coverage, recycle time, shots/charge, reliability, etc.

They are also much less expensive than Nikon.

I've use them with my housed N90s and my housed G2, and never had any trouble with compatibility, or anything.
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#5 davephdv

davephdv

    Doc Eyeballs

  • Senior Moderator
  • 2284 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Goleta CA

Posted 15 April 2002 - 06:17 PM

I've owned Nikon, Sea and Sea and Ikelite strobes. I prefer the Ikelites for recycle time and color temperature. Don't believe Sea and Sea's charts. They are excellent strobes but the 30 is no way as powerfull as the Ike 50 and the 120 isn't as powerfull as the Ike 200. From personal experince I would say that Ike's strobe comparison chart is very accurate.:)
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

Life is a beach and then you dive.

My Website


#6 SharpDiver

SharpDiver

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 159 posts
  • Location:Kansas City, Missouri

Posted 15 April 2002 - 07:31 PM

Since no one else who uses this strobe has chimed in, I will.

You most certainly want to look at the YS-90DX. You can hardwire it, slave it or fiber-optic slave it. These other options may not be important to you with this camera and housing, since you have hardwire capability, but you might change cameras or housings, or add another system. In which case the YS-90DX will adapt.

The twelve level control of the manual control is a very valuable tool. Once you have some experience with your camera, you'll find that you can probably make better decisions about the amount of light needed than the camera can. Twelve clicks over 3 f-stops is a lot of control.

It is relatively small, relatively light, and uses standard AA batteries (rather conservatively I might add). The fact that I rarely if ever use the maximum setting on either one or two strobes attests to the fact that the strobe has plenty of power for digital photography.

It is the most versatile strobe on the market, in my opinion.

#7 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9969 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 16 April 2002 - 04:57 AM

Hi again Rami,

I agree 100% with Jeff about the YS90DX. FWIW, I have BOTH a Nikon strobe and a YS90DX.

The YS is a compact, extremely versatile strobe. It uses AA's which is very good, since there are excellent NiMH AA rechargables available at a good price. I can easily get 2 dives shooting 60+ shots per dive from one set of 1800 MaH batteries.

I found the adjustable power settings VERY useful last weekend when I was trying to shoot some white gorgonian polyps against a red and blue background. Exposure control was extremely important and TTL just wasn't getting it so I switched to manual. First shot was still overexposed in the white, so I stopped the strobe down and shot again. Bingo. Nice white exposure in the foreground and nice blue behind...

One thing I did notice that I was very disappointed to see was that the angle of coverage of the YS90DX is NOT as wide as S and S claims. This may be important when shooting wideangle.

HTH
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#8 rstark

rstark

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 406 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 16 April 2002 - 09:08 AM

Hi Rami,
You only have two choices in my opinion. One is the Sea&Sea YS90DX and the other is the Ikelite DS125. The reason for this is that your housing does not provide the ability to use TTL. On the 995 the TTL sensor is on the pop-up flash which is covered by the housing. If you try to use TTL all your shot will be overexposed by the flash because the sensor does not "see" the light output and does not sqelch the flash.

Now you might be thinking that this is bad news. It's not. You will initially have a steeper learning curve but in the long run you will be a better photographer for it. You will be forced to shoot all manual. Sounds hard but its not. You will learn to control the camera and strobe and will not be suprised at the output because you will have a better understanding of what is going on. I don't want to see your housing on Ebay because of this. Use this to learn the manual controls and it will be good for any camera you buy in the future.

BTW my opinion would be the Sea&Sea because of the finer adjustment of manual control. The S&S 90dx has 12 output levels, the Ike DS125 has 4.

________
Robert

#9 rmenashes

rmenashes

    Starfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 16 April 2002 - 11:45 AM

Hello all,
Thank you all. Now its much more clear to me that I want my strobe to have as much manual control as posible. The news that my housing is blocking the option for TTL shooting is very dissapointing. It's seems that the YS-90DX is the most popular strobe ,but what about Ikelite 200 which seems not to mentioned at all.
Thanks
Rami M :):(:)

#10 SharpDiver

SharpDiver

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 159 posts
  • Location:Kansas City, Missouri

Posted 16 April 2002 - 12:00 PM

Digital cameras don't require as much light as film in general. Also the rigs end up smaller and lighter.

An Ike 200, which is a marvelous strobe, would be a little large for an Aquatica 995, in my opinion, both physically and with regard to output.

If I were in your shoes, the decision would come down between the Ikelite DS-125 and the Sea & Sea YS-90DX, and it would be a tough decision.

The DS-125 has more output, an excellent modeling light, and perhaps a better color temperature, but it has a proprietary battery instead of standard AA's and is bulkier in your gear bag.

The YS-90DX has finer control of the output, uses AA batteries, offers incredible flexibilty in ways of synchronizing with your camera and packs well, but it might not cover the full width of a wide angle conversion lens and there is no modeling/diving light.

Good luck.

#11 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9969 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 16 April 2002 - 12:18 PM

Bummer.

The flash sensor on the CP990 is right next to the lens. It's not TTL, but it's close.

I looked at a closeup of the 995 and the flash sensor IS on the popup flash. Is this really blocked by the Ikelite housing? If so, you will be shooting in manual no matter what because the camera just will NOT be able to control the flash. The camera WILL be able to sync the flash (fire it when you press the button) but it will not be able to control the flash duration.

The flash sensor on the CP5000 is sort of in the middle of the camera and it is not blocked by Ike's housing. Perhaps Ike will chime in here about the 995.

Jeff, do you think that 2 YS90DX strobes would have the coverage for a wideangle lens similiar to the Nikonos 15mm?

If so, I might sell my trusty SB102. It can't quench fast enough for macro without pulling it back like 2 feet behind the camera...:-)

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#12 SharpDiver

SharpDiver

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 159 posts
  • Location:Kansas City, Missouri

Posted 16 April 2002 - 01:20 PM

Plenty. I have done it with my 15mm.

#13 derway

derway

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1136 posts
  • Location:Pasadena CA

Posted 16 April 2002 - 01:33 PM

The ds-125 would be my vote. It too has many power control levels, and can synch in just as many ways. More power, faster recycle, wider coverage, better color temp. Seems pretty clear to me.

The ikelite battery packs and charger are bomb proof, and no doubt required to deliver the stunning recycle times delivered.

Don
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#14 SharpDiver

SharpDiver

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 159 posts
  • Location:Kansas City, Missouri

Posted 16 April 2002 - 02:27 PM

Don, respectfully, a couple of comments.

12 power settings vs. 4.

Slave sync is built in, not an added expense and not an added piece to lug around.

The YS-90DX can recycle faster than I can get ready for the next shot. I have never waited for the strobe.

Warmer temp does not necessarily mean better, just warmer. Sometimes to the point of too red.

Battery pack may be bomb-proof, but what happens when it goes overboard? AA's are pretty easily located worldwide.

#15 rstark

rstark

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 406 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 16 April 2002 - 02:34 PM

Both strobes have advantages and disadvantages. The reason I went with the 90DX is because of the built in slave and the 12 step manual power. As far as color temp is concerned, the white balance can be adjusted in camera on the 995 (a little warmer or a little cooler).

________
Robert

#16 derway

derway

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1136 posts
  • Location:Pasadena CA

Posted 16 April 2002 - 07:03 PM

Does any power setting finer than a half stop, really make any difference?

Does any power setting below about 1/8 make any difference?

I'm honestly asking here, not being sarcastic...

I shoot TTL, with compensation, almost all the time, so manual is of little interest to me, currently.

Battery packs don't go overboard. But your point is valid. No matter what equipment you have, if it is crucial, you seem to need N+1 of them, where N is the number you actually use in one day.

If you need 2 strobes, you need to bring 3.

2 N seems to be too much... :)

Don
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#17 davephdv

davephdv

    Doc Eyeballs

  • Senior Moderator
  • 2284 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Goleta CA

Posted 16 April 2002 - 07:49 PM

I have two Sea and Sea 90s (not DX) that I bought because of the the included TTL slave strobe and the supposed wide angle capacity. Also to use for macro. I felt them not to be as powerfull as the Ikelite 50 for macro and of very limited value for wide angle.

As per the above post I now have 3 DS125s that do
every (macro and wide angle) thing well and are not much bigger than the 90. The 90 is a good strobe, but the 125 is better. I agree that you really have no need for more than 4 settings. You could never keep your strobe to subject distance constant enough to properly use 12 power settings. Also the Ikelite remote TTL slave is much more usefull than the TTL slave sensor on the 90. No debate is necessary as either strobe will give you great photos and will be much better than no strobe.
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

Life is a beach and then you dive.

My Website


#18 SharpDiver

SharpDiver

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 159 posts
  • Location:Kansas City, Missouri

Posted 16 April 2002 - 08:11 PM

{Edited comments from 4/22 in brackets - see my post from 4/22}

Does any power setting finer than a half stop, really make any difference?  


Maybe, maybe not. The stops on the YS-90DX appear to be approximately 1/3 stop each {or 1/2 at the top of the scale 1 stop at the bottom, if Sea & Sea know their strobe}.

But, there's a difference between 1/2 a stop and 1/2 power. Shooting manual with a DS-125 you have the choice between a full dump or a half dump, with nothing in between. If my guide number math is correct, that is 2 full stops {My guide number math was wrong, It is one stop}. On the YS-90DX you would have 6 {wrong, 2 or 3 depending on how the YS-90DX "really" works} possibilities in the same space. Halving again (1/2 power to 1/4 power) covers the ground that the YS-90DX covers with three (a full stop), and halving again (1/4 to 1/8) would be a half stop {wrong, another full stop}.

In practice, I can tell you that one click on the YS-90DX is barely noticeable, but two (2/3 of a stop) lets you subtlely correct an exposure. I would hate to give up those first six clicks.

However, discussing the Ikelite manual controls when we are discussing digital cameras leads us into a deeper morass. Those manual settings on the DS-125 are only available on a hardwired system. The digital slave sensor is not supposed to work with the manual settings, though I have heard from some that 1/8 and 1/4 power do (but 1/2 doesn't).

I believe that my second comment in this thread was that I would have a hard time choosing between the DS-125 and the YS-90DX, were I in the position of choosing. My purpose in continuing to beat this dead horse is to make sure the Ike fans don't influence the newly initiated with their "pretty clear choice". It's not clear. Both have advantages and disadvantages, some of which I would rather not go into until Ike has a chance to sort out the latest batch of slave sensor problems.

Find me one post on any bulletin board anywhere of a YS-90DX strobe that didn't work as advertised the moment it was attached.

[Edited on 4-22-2002 by SharpDiver]

#19 davephdv

davephdv

    Doc Eyeballs

  • Senior Moderator
  • 2284 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Goleta CA

Posted 16 April 2002 - 08:22 PM

DS 125 has manual settings of Full, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8. Between those and moving the strobe in and out I can't imagine needing more settings. What is the difference between a setting of 7/12 and 8/12th? As I said both strobes will work fine but having owned both I think the DS 125 does macro better than the 90 and I don't think the 90 does wide angle well at all. Of course I know a guy who uses a Nik V and 2 Ike 50 strobes and gets better wide angle than I ever well so technique is really the key element in a good photo and not the strobe.
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

Life is a beach and then you dive.

My Website


#20 derway

derway

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1136 posts
  • Location:Pasadena CA

Posted 16 April 2002 - 10:59 PM

Just a correction. I was wrong. 1/2 power is 1 full stop. By definition.
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave