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Second strobe advice

strobe second ikelite ds-161 ds-125 ds-51

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#1 tassietraveller



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Posted 20 August 2014 - 01:22 AM

Hi All,


I've just recently purchased my first underwater dslr set up. I'm now the happy owner of a Nikon D7000, ikelite housing and a single DS-161 strobe.


I have a tokina 12-24 mm wide angle lens and a nikkor 60 mm micro lens.


I've taken it out for one day of diving so far (3 dives) with the wide angle set up. Whilst I can see a marked step up from my previous point and shoot set up, I had trouble lighting a number of my shots with the single strobe. Admittedly I have a lot to learn regarding strobe positioning and setting the exposure on my camera. However, I note that most uw photographers would recommend two strobes for wide angle shooting.


I'm on a tight budget. Although I got my set up for a bargain, it has pretty much broke the bank.


My questions are: Should I be looking for a second strobe? Another DS-161/160 is outside my budget (even second hand). I've seen a DS-125 that I could potentially afford. What do you think of this as a pairing? I know they have slightly different outputs in terms of intensity and colour. How about an even cheaper (and less powerful) DS-51?


I've searched on forums here but can't find much info on using two different strobes. Will it be tricky balancing the differing powers? Should I maybe (as I've seen some of the experienced photographers suggest) stick with one strobe and master that, and maybe a year down the track look for another DS-161?


Any help/advice would be much appreciated.



#2 Stoo


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Posted 20 August 2014 - 03:56 AM

Hi Nick

Congrats on the new system. I shoot with the same camera and 161s. I added a second 161 a few months after I got my last camera. It made a significant difference in my images... Not only with WA as you would expect, but also with macro... More even lighting, shadows eliminated etc.

I don't think you would have any issues with using a DS25. I rarely have my strobes set at more than a little over 1/2 power as it is. I really prefer subtle lighting... I'd stick with Ike though... Just so they look like they go together!

Hope this helps.

Edited by Stoo, 20 August 2014 - 07:18 AM.

#3 tassietraveller



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Posted 20 August 2014 - 07:58 PM

Hi Stoo,


Thanks for the advice.


I've done a little more research and it seems that if the serial number of the DS-125 is above 5000 it should also work on TTL settings.


I agree on the matching ikelite look....gotta look the part when I'm clicking away! I think the DS-125 is a similar size and look to the DS-161 so I'm sure all the fish will think I'm pretty special  :B):

#4 JackConnick



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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:20 PM

Having matching strobes is pretty nice to try to evenly light larger "reefscapes". However, you could save a bit by buying the DS-160. Other than the "video light" they are the same. I wouldn't bother with a DS-125, they are really old and you won't have the same power and probably recycle time on both sides.



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#5 tassietraveller



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Posted 21 August 2014 - 01:46 AM

Thanks for the input Jack.

I checked the specs in both strobes:
DS161 - recycle 1.4 secs, output power 160 W/sec, guide number 12, angle of coverage 90 degrees
DS125 - recycle 1 sec, output power 110 W/s, guide number 10, angle of coverage 90 degrees

The angle of coverage is the same and recycle times are close. The main difference is the power output. Do you think this will be really noticeable in my photos?

I can get the DS125 with an arm and sync cord for $350. I'm guessing a second hand DS160 plus an arm and cord will be more like $1000.

I'm doing a one off job that'll give me $400 to spend. It will probably be a while until I can scrape together $1000 (and convice my wife!).

What do you think?

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: strobe, second, ikelite, ds-161, ds-125, ds-51