A 100 mm is always a better choice as you get more space between the camera and subject. Also a shallower depth of field helps. Most subjects in Lembeh can be covered by this lens. A diopter is useful for getting some creative images and helps with the really teeny weeny ones. I normally carry one. That said the 100 mm is also good enough to cover most. Worse case a bit of cropping is always a possibility.
I had a similar issue. What battery charger do you use ? It seems that if the batteries are not equally charged and placed in the strobe there are chances that this may happen. It happened with one of mine. I sent it to Inon and they repaired and sent it back. Of-course as is always the case they never did mention the cause, but by thinking back step by step and checking with another pro photographer i deduced this to be a reason.
here is what they wrote :
By their idea,
When the camera battery is low , the triger signal from camera is not recognized on Z240 strobe, Z240 recongnize it as "noise"
And it cause some circuit trouble.
And here is the explanation i got from my buddy :
I'd be thinking that there is fault with perhaps your battery charger for the Eneloops (do you use what is known as a Delta V charger - ie. senses voltage and battery temperature?)
This is the one I use, as I did have some battery failures.... all caused by cheap timed chargers. These work by timing the charge to the battery, so if you have only used say 10% of the battery capacity and you put the battery in the charger, so it charges for the full cycle and then overcharges the battery/s. The Star-Delta type chargers sense the voltage and only top-up the battery if it isn't flat. Also its important that the charger senses and charges individual batteries, many charge pairs only, or sets of four. These don't sense each individual battery and then also over charge perhaps one battery over another. Overcharged batteries KILL strobes of any make. As they are then high in voltage, particularly just after they have been charged and put directly in the strobe.
I do hope the above helps and that your strobe is still under warranty.
Thank for all of the replies everyone! Some really great tips here.
My main issue is that I am going to be backpacking so don't really fancy taking any heavy roller bags with me. Thankfully most of my camera gear will fit into my 30l rucksack which fits within the hand luggage dimensions (definitely not within the weight restrictions) and on my back doesn't look too crammed.
The only thing I am going to worry about are my strobes and arms which will most likely need to go in my main backpack, carefully wrapped in clothes! I will have to try and pad out the sides of the rucksack as well. I knew all of those styrofoam sheets I've been saving would come in handy one day!
Yes this makes sense. Although i may warn you that i did a similar thing, albeit not with my strobe but my housing. It was packed in a heavily padded bag(Like a beer cooler) and carefully wrapped around it was my 3 mm wetsuit, with clothes crammed around. And yet after a few trips, the housing window had an issue. So as far as arms are concerned, its not an issue, but strobes, i would like in a safer place. Just my two bits You can still pack them well enough without any problems.
Thanks a bunch for the help. The D500 came in the mail the other day and I'm getting excited.
Now I'm thinking that I might get the Ikelite DS160 strobe to have TTL flash and minimize the number of things that I have to juggle while I'm shooting. Anything wrong with that idea?
Digital TTL shooting underwater does not always give you the most creative lighting. And in time, i would guess most photographers switch to manual mode. Here are two articles that may help, one written by one of the best underwater photographers today (in moi opinion :-)