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Nicool

Member Since 08 Aug 2008
Offline Last Active Sep 11 2014 06:28 AM
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Topics I've Started

Z240 erratic behavior after 3 year - expectable?

29 June 2014 - 12:00 AM

Hello all,

 

I am writing to report a problem i have encountered with my 2 Inon Z240 type IV strobes. I have done a search on this forum for similar issues, but what i found was different, people were having issues in Manual, not in TTL, and this was due to corroded ACC (auto-cancel circuitry) button.

 

First, let me state that these 2 strobes have been purchased in April 2011, always used together, first with a Nikon D7000 setup (housed in Hugyfot), and since May 2013, with an Olympus OM-D EM-5 camera (housed in Nauticam NA-EM5). Always connected to cameras with optical fibres, produced by Inon (those which screw nicely on the strobes). I use them mostly in TTL, though occasionally i have used them in manual with my Olympus camera (in which case, i set the camera to shoot manually, 1/64th of flash power, so I should not be impacted by ACC whatsoever).

 

I never had any trouble with these strobes, until recently:

-21nd June: did 2 dives, strobes worked perfectly. In the evening, i changed the eneloop batteries in preparation for the second day.

-22nd June: from the beginning of the dive, the left strobe didn't work well, either not firing, or firing very weak. I did multiple configuration changes, from TTL to manual and back, unplugged the optical fibers from the housing side and plugged back. At the end of the dive it seemed back to normal (screwed almost the full dive...), but honestly i don't remember exactly what i could have done which worked eventually (had other gear issues and tried many many things). Needless to say i checked the stobes for water leak in the evening, there wasn't any.

-27th June: we go diving! and i have the unpleasant surprise to see my strobes are going mad again: first i am shooting TTL and then manual, the left strobe doesn't fire at all, the right strobe fires a tiny bit, not enough to lit. Then i switch to manual and it doesn't help, i don't manage to lit the subject... Apparently (my wife was observing) the left strobe didn't shoot, and the right one did (but was mostly very weak). However i randomly had some shots well lit (a bit over-exposed actually), which i presume were lit by the right strobe - it's been about 1 shot every 5, and then i got some series of 5-6 shots with  right strobe firing... To conclude, the behavior of the right strobe was totally unpredictable, and the left strobe wouldn't shoot.

-28th June: i am back home and take the housing in the pool for some more relaxed testing (I hadn't opened anything). Same symptoms as before, so I try to switch the optical fibers (just the strobe ends), and miracle! my left strobe is now working, and the right one doesn't work. Of course i am guessing i've got 1 optical fibre problem, but just to see, I also switch the optical fibres on housing end and... both strobe work! both in TTL and manual..

Of course before each dive i would do a dry strobe test, which passed all times.

 

 

I would tend to conclude on fibre optics issues, but when I look at my fibre optics on strobe end i can clearly see the camera's flash light transmits well, on both.

I can't say I am relieved because i am still not clear on the root cause, so I don't know whether my strobes will spoil my next dive or not. It seems easy to blame the optical fibres, but why would the strobe manage to lit from time to time (27th June), whereas I haven't touched the optical fibres??

 

Does anyone see clearer in what happened to me? Could it be that my optical fibers got sort of ill-positioned (twice) and that would explain the whole problem?

 

 

Another thing that worries me is the call i gave to an Inon dealer on 27th June, to get his opinion on my problem. He's saying that it's not at all surprising that strobes stop working after 3 year of usage, because there are components which perish inside (e.g. capacitors, but also others). So he offered that i send the strobes to him for repair, and in the (likely) event that he wouldn't be able to fix them, he would ship them to Inon japan. He sais such a service has costed about 500 Euros (and one month waiting) to another customer for 2 Inon Z240s!!! I asked if there would be other strobe brand where you don't have to pay 250 EUR/strobe after 3 years, and he told me Inon were the most reliable ones in his view...

3 years of ownership for me should be about 150 dives, and i am sure there's plenty of much more active shooters around here. I am wondering if all have had failing Inon Z240s.

 

What is your reading of the above? Is it normal to go through costly repair of your Inon Z240 after 3 years of usage?

 

thank in advance for your help on this,

i am must stay i am quite puzzled/disappointed, but maybe I am just unaware that strobes are (expensive) perishable items.

 

cheers

Nicolas


Subsee+10 on Oly 60mm does not focus... am I dumb?

27 May 2014 - 05:18 AM

Hi macro enthusiasts!

 

I am having probably a silly problem, but cannot find the solution by myself, so I'd need some advice...

 

My camera is an OM-D EM-5, that I use with an Olympus 60mm macro, all in Nauticam housing+port.

This works brilliantly, the camera focuses very well underwater.

 

But when I add my new Subsee+10 dioptre, attached with the Nauticam flip dioptre holder, I cannot manage to get in focus. That brilliant auto focus doesn't work at all anymore.

I was expecting some degradation, but not that much.

 

What's your experience with such a setup? Do you shoot everything in manual focus?

 

cheers,

Nicolas


OM-D EM-5 battery (indicator) issue

06 May 2014 - 09:55 AM

Hi all,

 

Sorry for this extra OMD EM5 thread, but I have a precise area of concern that i think may be relevant to many, and it would be easier to find than in the 39 pages of the thread started by Alex Mustard!

 

So I have 2 battery issues with my camera:

1/ the battery indicator displays only when it's getting low. There's a workaround to get it displayed permanently in the EVF, but that's only if you enable the auto-switch, which you don't when the camera is in a housing...

   => so it's hard to predict when my camera is getting low on battery

2/ when battery is low, the indicator is not consistent in the information displayed. Simple example: i do a dive and check that the camera doesn't give me any battery warning before turning on. Since I am going to shoot the same config the week after, i just leave everything in the housing, with camera off, of  course. The week after, in the water, when I turn on the camera, it gives me a 'low battery' indicator, and turns off after a few shots...

 

This is very annoying for underwater photography!

Have you guys faced the same problems (can't believe my 2 olympus battery are lemons)? 

Have you found workarounds?

 

I miss my Nikon batteries which kept precise track of remaining power (2 digits percentage), and history of the number of shots taken since last charge.

With Olympus it's like a surprise each time I turn my camera on!

 

cheers

Nicolas

 


which buoyancy arms

29 January 2014 - 12:58 PM

Hi all,

 

Now that I have changed to a more compact gear (Nauticam housing for OM-D EM-5), I find my Stix large&jumbo floats unsufficient: I am still far from neutral, and I don't have much remaining room on my ULCS basic arms.

Several brands now offer buoyancy arms that are empty on the inside (ULCS, Inon, Nauticam...), and I'd need your advice to pick the right one.

What I've read on the Nauticams sounded good: made of carbon fibre for even smaller density, very robust etc. etc.

Your advice on quality & cost effectiveness would be very welcome :)

 

cheers

Nicolas