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Need help: Nikon D300, Inon Z-240's, Sea & Sea TTL converter


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#1 saoslund

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 09:23 PM

I just made the U/W transition to digital. Purchased the gear from a guy who has since gone out of business.

The gear: Nauticam housing, Nikon D300, Inon Z-240 (2 of them), Sea & Sea TTL converter for Nikon, fiber optic cables (as well).

My questions: to shoot S-TTL with the Inon's: what should the camera/in-camera-flash settings be? (I have both fiber optic and the S & S converter for Nikon. I simply am not able to get any decent test shots [in my living room!] with the S & S converter, so I have learned to shoot on manual with the fiber optic cables.) To get to TTL digitally, can I use manual settings in camera, or am I relegated to a Program mode in order to get S-TTL (Inon's version of TTL) to work? (Prior to digital, I had a Nikon 8008 in a Tussey housing; set camera to Manual, but SB 105's to TTL, and it worked beautifully; is there a digital equivalent to this?)

Next, what should the settings of the S & S converter be? There are 4 letters (A-D).

Finally, I assume the Inon's should be set to S-TTL, but I just couldn't get the D300+Inon+Sea & Sea converter to produce a decent shot (all very dark). I'm sure the settings I've used are just wrong, but I can't seem to come up with right "recipe" for this combination.

Using just the fiber optics, what should the Nikon camera/pop-up-flash settings be in order to get to S-TTL?

This is my first set of Inon strobes, and the 2 manuals are HORRIBLE.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Scott Oslund
www.scottoslund.com
Scott Oslund
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#2 diver dave1

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 05:37 AM

Life should not be so hard, should it? I also had the Tussey with an 8008 at one time.
You should be able to shoot just like with the 8008.
Camera can be in Manual, pop-flash UP, fiber optics to the strobes, S-TTL on the strobes, try something like 1/125 and f8 for a test.
Shoot into a mirror and check the resulting picture. If the strobes are flashing in the picture, you should have TTL working.
There is a button on the back of the Z240 for pre-flash, no-preflash. Rather than try and decipher the button position guide, just try it both ways into your mirror and see if there is a difference.
Once you have the strobes flashing in the mirror pic, you should get good pics in your test room.
Still not satisfied, try the preflash button in both positions when shooting in your test room. There should be a difference.

This is how I tested/confirmed use with my D90 and Z240's.
Cannot help with the converter. I only use fiber optics.

Nauticam D7000, Inon Z-240's, 60 micro, 105 micro, Tokina 10-17

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#3 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 03:53 PM

If I were you, I'd use the fiber optic cables and lose the Sea and Sea TTL convertor.
www.flickr.com/photos/alextattersall

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#4 Nicool

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 12:32 PM

Hi Dave,

I also have just received 2 Z240, and suffered trying to understand how to use S-TTL with fiber optics (creepy manual...).
You're suggesting to setup the D300's flash to 1/125th of its power when using the strobes in S-TTL mode.
I don't understand: if you restrict the power of the internal flash to its minimum, how could the camera shoot several pre-flashes at different powers (to assess the amount of light needed), and finally tell the Z240s which is the power to use for final exposure?

#5 saoslund

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 12:48 PM

So, I ditched the Sea & Sea TTL converter, and am using the fiber optic cables. While shooting in manual scares me a bit (always had TTL with film and my Nikonos 105's), I think I have it figured out. I set the camera on Manual, and program the camera's internal flash to fire at about 1/100 (can't recall the exact setting...the camera is packed away, leaving for a trip in 2 days). I also set the camera's menu to allow flash to sync as high as 1/320th. Set the Inon's to M, and set the "right dial" of the Inon's so it's at the 12 o'clock position (as a starting point). BE SURE TO PUSH DOWN AND LOCK THE "AUTOMATE" BUTTON ON THE LOWER RIGHT HAND OF THE STROBE. Then, just set a reasonable shutter speed and f-stop (for macro, I sync the camera to 1/125-1/250th, aperature F11-16, take the picture, and look at the histogram. Adjust f-stop or strobe power accordingly. If the picture is too light, turn the small right dial on the top right of the strop clockwise from the previous 12 o'clock position. For wide angle, with the strobes turned off, take a reading off some blue water, adjust the iso/f-stop/shutter speed until the camera's meter reads a good exposure, turn the strobes on, take a shot. Adjust the STROBE's right dial to either add or subtract power of the strobes, or move the strobes back from the subject to get a proper exposure. THIS WORKS. GOOD LUCK. Just FYI, with the camera's internal flash set very low, I was able to take rapid succession photos (in macro). For what it's worth, I found Martin Edge's book "The Underwater Photographer" a great help.

Scott Oslund
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Scott Oslund
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#6 bvanant

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 05:07 PM

Hi Dave,

I also have just received 2 Z240, and suffered trying to understand how to use S-TTL with fiber optics (creepy manual...).
You're suggesting to setup the D300's flash to 1/125th of its power when using the strobes in S-TTL mode.
I don't understand: if you restrict the power of the internal flash to its minimum, how could the camera shoot several pre-flashes at different powers (to assess the amount of light needed), and finally tell the Z240s which is the power to use for final exposure?

You are right. To get sTTL from the strobe, the camera must be in TTL mode as well, but that uses up camera batteries and is slow so if you want to shoot fast, set the camera and the strobes in manual and set the camera strobe as low power as you can. But in that mode no, TTL.

Bill

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#7 Nicool

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 03:49 AM

You are right. To get sTTL from the strobe, the camera must be in TTL mode as well, but that uses up camera batteries and is slow so if you want to shoot fast, set the camera and the strobes in manual and set the camera strobe as low power as you can. But in that mode no, TTL.

Bill


OK, that was my understanding too.

#8 nealshields1

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 06:25 AM

If you can pop up your flash definitely go optical.  We made the mistake of purchasing a housing that doesn't allow the camera flash to pop up and our TTL converter leaked. So now we have a fried TTL converter and no way to use the housing without purchasing a new ttl converter.  

 

Sea&Sea's customer service doesn't reply and their recommended repair facilities say they can no longer get replacement parts.  The converter cost $595 and has been on 3 one week dive trips!

 

The battery cap on the converter twists on instead of pushes in  like the flashes.  As near as I can tell when you twist it on you risk stretching the o ring as it tries to turn with the cap and you get a leak.  Apparently they are known for this problem.  If I ever find parts to fix mine, I will rotate the cap back and forth after I screw it down to allow the o ring to settle in.  Note: we have over 400 dives all with cameras and this is the second piece of equipment that we have had leak and the first was over 20 years ago, so we know how to close a camera or flash without a hair in the seal.