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Strobe Test Results


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#1 Gazzer

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 06:40 AM

We have just completed a strobe test for the following units:

Inon Z-220S/Z-220
Inon D-180S/D-180
Ikeite DS50
Ikelite DS125
Sea & Sea DX90
Epoque ES150 ES

The test report is still a work in progress but results so far may be of interest. Report can be found at http://www.scubacam....Strobe Test.pdf

#2 herbko

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 09:15 AM

Interesting results.

I've been told that the two Inon's are identical inside except the Z220 has two capacitors and the D180 only one, which should make the Z220 one stop brighter. You results are consistant with that. I've used a YS90dx and know that to be almost a stop weaker than the Z220, which is also in rough agreement with your report.

I'm a little surprised at results for the Ikelite strobes. Maybe Ike would have something to say about that. It wouldn't surprise me if the measurements have a color bias.
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Canon 5D; Aquatica housing; 2 Inon Z220 strobes; Canon 100mm macro, 17-40mm ; Sigma 15mm FE, 24mm macro, 50mm macro

#3 Gazzer

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 09:25 AM

Interesting results.

I'm a little surprised at results for the Ikelite strobes. Maybe Ike would have something to say about that. It wouldn't surprise me if the measurements have a color bias.


It surprised us as well. The colour temperature is the only thing we can think of however you would imagine it would have also effected the beam angle results which do seem to make sense. Ike's comments would be very interesting

#4 herbko

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 09:49 AM

Interesting results.

I'm a little surprised at results for the Ikelite strobes. Maybe Ike would have something to say about that. It wouldn't surprise me if the measurements have a color bias.


It surprised us as well. The colour temperature is the only thing we can think of however you would imagine it would have also effected the beam angle results which do seem to make sense. Ike's comments would be very interesting


Your beam angle measurements compares the power fall off from center to edge so shouldn't be affected by a possible color bias.
Herb Ko http://herbko.net
Canon 5D; Aquatica housing; 2 Inon Z220 strobes; Canon 100mm macro, 17-40mm ; Sigma 15mm FE, 24mm macro, 50mm macro

#5 JPS

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 03:29 AM

Could you post the details (manufacturer, type, model #, etc) of the flash meter used? My current understanding is that there is a variety of models around, and I'd like to try to understand better what and how they measure.

Also, if someone has good links to flash meter "theory" pages at least I'd be interested in reading through some stuff...
Nikon D200, Ike housing, 2xDS125; Fuji E900 + Inon Z240

#6 JPS

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 03:47 AM

Couple of more questions. You mention:

"A few of the strobes, Inon Z-220S, Ikelite DS125 & Epoque
Es150 DS allow manual firing of the strobe simply by using the
strobe controls. The Ikelite DS50, Inon D-180 and the Sea & Sea
YS-90DX were triggered by an Olympus C2040 camera in Olympus
PT010 housing. The D-180 and the YS-90DX used a fiber
optic cable while the DS50 was hooked up to an EV controller to
trigger the strobe."

How is DS125 manually triggered? Was the EV controller in pre-flash or no-pre-flash mode (is C2040 preflash camera? I do not know if this affects measurements, but would like to know anyhow)?
Nikon D200, Ike housing, 2xDS125; Fuji E900 + Inon Z240

#7 Gazzer

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 05:36 AM

Couple of more questions. You mention:

"A few of the strobes, Inon Z-220S, Ikelite DS125 & Epoque
Es150 DS allow manual firing of the strobe simply by using the
strobe controls. The Ikelite DS50, Inon D-180 and the Sea & Sea
YS-90DX were triggered by an Olympus C2040 camera in Olympus
PT010 housing. The D-180 and the YS-90DX used a fiber
optic cable while the DS50 was hooked up to an EV controller to
trigger the strobe."

How is DS125 manually triggered? Was the EV controller in pre-flash or no-pre-flash mode (is C2040 preflash camera? I do not know if this affects measurements, but would like to know anyhow)?


Going back to the very first question, I don't have the flash meter details with me, that's my partner David's baby, perhaps he can reply on this one later. Getting back to the questions above:

1. The DS125 is manually triggered by switching the strobe on, switching to test and then off causes the flash to fire. It was set to full power. We actually tried the strobe with the EV controller as well (set to full) and result was the same.

2. The C2040 is a preflash type camera and the EV controller was set accordingly (ignore pre-flash, DS50 only)

#8 CheungyDiver

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 07:13 AM

[Could you post the details (manufacturer, type, model #, etc) of the flash meter used? My current understanding is that there is a variety of models around, and I'd like to try to understand better what and how they measure. ]


Hi JPS

Its a Capital F-2 flash meter.


specifications:

Measuring method: Incident light (for flash light)

Measuring range: F2 F22 at ISO 100

Measuring time: Standard 1/60s or 1/125s

Accuracy: +_ 0.3 EV (1/3 stop)

Receptor/Sensor:
Silicone Photo Diode ( visual sensitivity adjusted by means of built in filter, incident light measuring white hemispheric integrator.

Film Speed settings: ISO 6, 12, 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800

Aperture scale: F Numbers 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32

Power: 9v battery


A photographer friend of my had it for donkey's years. Thought I put to good use.

Cheers

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#9 cmm1970

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 09:02 AM

Suggestion: One of the administrators should make this a sticky on the strobes and lighting page. It will be very helpful to those just making entry into the hobby/sport when they are trying to select strobes.

Good work!
Mike

#10 JPS

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 09:45 AM

Gazzer and David, thank you for the details.

I am still pondering about how to interpret the relationships between guide numbers and angles of coverage. Great to have some consistently measured results for basis of discussion. I am sure that more knowledgeable types will jump in...

Now that I think about it one of the most "meaningful" practical tests could be to evaluate the strobes capability to evenly light area to distance of around 2 meters. Beyond that, much of the reds will be lost anyhow. If I read your guide number readings correctly, Inon D-180 and Ikelite DS-125 would be the two that have most difficulties in shedding enough light... but is that a limitation in practice? In other words, what are the situations when guide number is the bottleneck instead of angle of coverage?
Nikon D200, Ike housing, 2xDS125; Fuji E900 + Inon Z240

#11 Gazzer

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 06:44 PM

Gazzer and David, thank you for the details.

I am still pondering about how to interpret the relationships between guide numbers and angles of coverage. Great to have some consistently measured results for basis of discussion. I am sure that more knowledgeable types will jump in...

Now that I think about it one of the most "meaningful" practical tests could be to evaluate the strobes capability to evenly light area to distance of around 2 meters. Beyond that, much of the reds will be lost anyhow. If I read your guide number readings correctly, Inon D-180 and Ikelite DS-125 would be the two that have most difficulties in shedding enough light... but is that a limitation in practice? In other words, what are the situations when guide number is the bottleneck instead of angle of coverage?


I think we need to be very careful in reading too much into the Guide Number evaluation. As we said in the report, the Guide Number on it's own is not that important. As a 'rule of thumb', while using camera and strobes underwater, no mater how powerful the strobe, anything much more than 6' (1.8m) camera to subject distance is not going to produce great results. Colour will be lost sure, but importantly, sharpness and definition also. That's why wide angle lenses are so important underwater! It's the old saying, if you think you are too close, get closer!

So using 6' (1.8m) as a maximum workable distance, then all of the strobes in test manage this with no problem. Remember we conducted the test at f8 which is the smallest aperture setting for most consumer level digital cameras. To answer the question directly, Guide Number will never be a bottle neck, at least not with these strobes.

#12 Gildow

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 09:32 AM

Couple of more questions. You mention:

"A few of the strobes, Inon Z-220S, Ikelite DS125 & Epoque
Es150 DS allow manual firing of the strobe simply by using the
strobe controls. The Ikelite DS50, Inon D-180 and the Sea & Sea
YS-90DX were triggered by an Olympus C2040 camera in Olympus
PT010 housing. The D-180 and the YS-90DX used a fiber
optic cable while the DS50 was hooked up to an EV controller to
trigger the strobe."

How is DS125 manually triggered? Was the EV controller in pre-flash or no-pre-flash mode (is C2040 preflash camera? I do not know if this affects measurements, but would like to know anyhow)?


Going back to the very first question, I don't have the flash meter details with me, that's my partner David's baby, perhaps he can reply on this one later. Getting back to the questions above:

1. The DS125 is manually triggered by switching the strobe on, switching to test and then off causes the flash to fire. It was set to full power. We actually tried the strobe with the EV controller as well (set to full) and result was the same.

2. The C2040 is a preflash type camera and the EV controller was set accordingly (ignore pre-flash, DS50 only)


I'm inclined to think that by using "Manual Firing" method to fire the strobe is not a good idea unless u can be sure that ALL strobe are fired at FULL power.... (eg. turning of and on might not means full discharge of capacitor...might be juz a low level firing to verify the strobe is working)

I'm no expert here..maybe someone can verify if this is a good method of firing....

Another thing that I want to mention is that the test was conducted "around 4:00pm and concluded at
7:00pm."

it will means that the it's done over a period of non-constant ambient light...I'm no expert here..but don't you think that the the enviroment changes from a evening sun to night or maybe even to artificially lighted enviroment would very much contribute to the different readings?

Have you tried taking the result of the same strobe at 4pm, 5pm or every hour to verify that they do not change and remain constant?

Juz my 2 cents...

#13 Gazzer

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 12:54 AM

I'm inclined to think that by using "Manual Firing" method to fire the strobe is not a good idea unless u can be sure that ALL strobe are fired at FULL power.... (eg. turning of and on might not means full discharge of capacitor...might be juz a low level firing to verify the strobe is working)

I'm no expert here..maybe someone can verify if this is a good method of firing....

Another thing that I want to mention is that the test was conducted "around 4:00pm and concluded at
7:00pm."

it will means that the it's done over a period of non-constant ambient light...I'm no expert here..but don't you think that the the enviroment changes from a evening sun to night or maybe even to artificially lighted enviroment would very much contribute to the different readings?

Have you tried taking the result of the same strobe at 4pm, 5pm or every hour to verify that they do not change and remain constant?

Juz my 2 cents...


We were also concearned that maybe the method of triggering was leading to the lower readings, that's why we also tried the strobe with the Ikelite EV controller set to full power, result was exactly the same.

The relative ambient light would make no difference to the flash meter reading. We were concearned that strong sun light could effect the results which was why we started the test later in the afternoon. As it was the day was overcast so it really was not a problem. The time between testing the DS125 the first, second and third time would be no more than 1 hour. All results consistant.

#14 Goondoo

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 11:24 AM

We have just completed a strobe test for the following units:

Inon Z-220S/Z-220
Inon D-180S/D-180
Ikeite DS50
Ikelite DS125
Sea & Sea DX90
Epoque ES150 ES

The test report is still a work in progress but results so far may be of interest. Report can be found at http://www.scubacam....Strobe Test.pdf


I've always wanted to see a updated list on these strobes, thanks a million.
BTW, I have a strobe not in your listing, I stay in Singapore. Are you interested to test a strobe not in your shelf too? I am really interested to know how my Sunpac strobe will stand beside the identical Epoque.

#15 Gazzer

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 10:04 PM

[quote]
I've always wanted to see a updated list on these strobes, thanks a million.
BTW, I have a strobe not in your listing, I stay in Singapore. Are you interested to test a strobe not in your shelf too? I am really interested to know how my Sunpac strobe will stand beside the identical Epoque.[/quote]

Yes would be no problem to test the Sunpac, happy to do so. We will be going back to the pool to conduct further tests, no date set yet. If you want to 'lend a hand' your more than welcome! Will let you know when we fix a date.[/quote]

#16 Panda

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 12:34 AM

Great work, this is important research.

An interesting method of comparison would be to do the tests using one standard diffuser to eliminate the beam angle variable.

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#17 Goondoo

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 01:24 AM

[quote][quote]
I've always wanted to see a updated list on these strobes, thanks a million.
BTW, I have a strobe not in your listing, I stay in Singapore. Are you interested to test a strobe not in your shelf too? I am really interested to know how my Sunpac strobe will stand beside the identical Epoque.[/quote]

Yes would be no problem to test the Sunpac, happy to do so. We will be going back to the pool to conduct further tests, no date set yet. If you want to 'lend a hand' your more than welcome! Will let you know when we fix a date.[/quote][/quote]

That will be awesome. Just email me at goondoo@atozworld.com when you need it :lol:

#18 CheungyDiver

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 04:22 AM

Hey Gary

If only someone will lend us another flash meter plus UW housing then we can calibrate both meters and use it in the pool test at the same time. Rather than measuring just one full stop power and beam angle we can measure wider up to 2 f-stops. How about a colour meter. I heard there is such a thing - not sure how that would relate to the actual intensity of the strobes.

Goondoo
Great to know another inqusitive digital UW shooter in Singapore. Lets see if there are more who want to volunteer their strobes especially if they are different to the ones tested.

Cheers

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#19 Gazzer

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:09 AM

Great work, this is important research.

An interesting method of comparison would be to do the tests using one standard diffuser to eliminate the beam angle variable.


Panda, not sure I understand exactly what you mean but testing the same strobes with the manufacturers supplied diffusers would also be an interesting comparison. The results may be surprising! Pool here we come!

#20 Gildow

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 08:32 AM

Hi Gazzer...

Why not ask if Ikelite could T-Loan/Sponsor their Digital meter for u to test? since they make one, and u are from scubacam and scubacam is **wink Wink*...

:lol:

Juz a thought...