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#1 snoack

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Posted 27 July 2002 - 09:12 AM

Some of the posts here, 2 flooded video lights and my own experience trying to take some decent non macro shots in the red see convinced me that it is about time to buy a strobe.
The only question is : Which one ?

When i bought my Camedia 3030Z and the Oly PT-010, i was looking for something small that would let me dive in rough conditions without thinking too much about the camera. Adding a strobe will make the whole system bigger, but i don't want to stick to macro and close ups forever, so that would be ok.

I'm even planning to upgrade to a digital SLR system in the future (having seen Erics pictures), but decided to wait at least one more year. That is the reason why i also decided against buying a wa-lense now.

I've been following the posts in this forum and found several strobes that are an alternative but i simply cannot make up my mind which one to order. Should i go for a "real powerfull one" that would also fit to my future system or should i buy a small one that is cheaper but fits to my current needs ?
I also want to be able to use a flexible arm system.

These are my candidates:

Sea & Sea YS25DX.
+ Rather small, not too expensive
+ 7 settings
- No TTL (for future system),
- Not very strong

Sea & Sea YS90DX
+ Strong enough
+ 12 settings
+ TTL (for future system)
- Rather big
- Rather expensive
- Requires manual setting for now

Epoche ES 150DS
+ Small
+ The cheapest one
- Probably too weak
- lots of negative reports

Ikelite DS50
+ strong enough for now
+ TTL now and for future systems
+ not too expensive
- i've never seen it mounted on a flexible
arm like the ones from Sea & Sea or Fisheye

Ikelite DS125
- not yet available in Germany

I'd aprechiate any comment that could help me to choose a strobe
(because i'm heading for Bali in September and i want to take my new strobe with me
:)

Thanks in advance - Sabine

#2 snoack

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 12:47 PM

How very sad, not even Ike tried to tell me why i should go for one of his strobes :)

Come on,
beeing in my situation,
would you buy a small strobe, play around with it, stick to shooting macro and close up and sell it with the camera and housing later on or would you buy a big one ?

???? Sabine

#3 james

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 01:33 PM

Hi Sabine,

I think you need to recalibrate your expectations. You have the YS90DX down as a strong strobe, and rather big.

Compared to some of the strobes I have used, it is rather small, and not that powerful! :) lol

I would put it down as the smallest strobe you should look at - working up from there.

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

#4 snoack

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 01:48 PM

James,

i'm sure you're right but compared to the other strobes it is relatively strong, isn't it ?

Sabine :)

#5 james

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 02:28 PM

Hi Sabine,

Yes, compared to the strobes in your list it's powerful.

What I meant was I would start your list with the YS90 and work your way up from there. Something like:

YS90DX
DS-50
DS-125

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

#6 SharpDiver

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 08:01 PM

I am really, REALLY trying to keep from jumping into your traps, James, but this time I just can't help myself.

Why in the world would you put the DS-50 ahead of the YS-90DX on a sliding scale, particularly for someone whom you know is shooting an Olympus camera? IF Ikelite can deliver a slave sensor that will make the strobe fire in sequence with the camera's strobe, (and it does seem that some of them are working now) you might have something that will quench in sequence with the camera, but that is your only control option. You have absolutely no manual control, except distance. Who would choose this over a 7 stop dial adjustment?

What have you got against Sea & Sea?

#7 snoack

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 11:30 PM

To James,

i did not want to start a general stobe discussion. We all know that the stobes i labeled strong are actually on the the lower end of the scale but
i bought the Oly housing because i wanted something small and handy, in full knowledge that it's possibilities are limited. Adding 1 or 2 strobes, strobe arms and a tray will open up new possibilities but my system won't be small anymore.
Right now it would be ok for me to add a less expensive 'dwarf' strobe, tray and one short flexible arm, because all i want to do now is beeing able to shoot decent macros and closeups without too much backscatter and with more options to light my pictures.

The future is another story. Upgrading to a digital SLR and using one of those 'dwarf strobes' is ridiculous but i don't know what i'm going to buy in 1 or 2 years and it is very hard to predict which of the strobes available now will work with a camera/housing produced next year.
I'd buy a YS90DX or DS125 if i could be sure it will work with my future system. But what if it doesn't ? And what about E-TTL ?
I'm simply afraid i'll end up with a more expensive strobe that has more power than i need right know but is needs to be replaced anyway when i start 'upgrading'.

I probably started with the wrong question, i should have asked:
Do you think that todays strobes will still be a good choice for a camera/housing produced in the future ?

Sabine

#8 SharpDiver

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 04:49 AM

I think what James was trying to say, and what I am going to say is that the Epoque and YS-25DX seem like a waste of money to me (us). I tried the Epoque and had sync problems. They may have solved them by now, but I don't know.

I just don't think you can go wrong with a YS-90DX. It can sync to your pre-flash camera by fiber optic, and hard-wire to a D-SLR (albeit with manual control only) in your future. If someone is going to come out with something that will communicate with E-TTL or D-TTL is a big question mark, and one that is not likely to be answered for several months. If your YS-90DX won't slave sync to this new theoretical strobe, that would be a shame, but then nothing else you would buy now would either.

It also does a better job than its closest competitor at keeping to your vision of a compact system. Ultralight Nikonos tray and two 5 inch arms and you're good to go. If you want a little more spread and can handle the extra bulk, go one 8 and one 5.

Anyway, that is my opinion.

#9 james

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 06:36 PM

I like the YS90DX a lot - in fact I own one. I would not however classify it as a "powerful" strobe by any means. I don't think I belittled it in my post.

Good pt though about the DS-50 - I forgot about that. It is about as powerful or maybe a bit more powerful than the YS90DX.

My point is that in answer to the original poster - if you get a digital SLR camera sometime in the future, whichever strobe you get from that list, EXCEPT for the DS125 - will ONLY be as good as a secondary strobe to your DSLR system. You'll want something bigger as your primary strobe to blast some photons in there when you are shooting f22 with your macro lens...

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

#10 snoack

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 12:40 AM

Thanks for your input - i'll forget about small and cheap :) and order the YS90DX.
I will post first results in October (when i'm back from Bali)

Sabine

BTW (The price in the US is ~ 500 $ compared to ~ 850 EUR here in Germany !!!!)