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Member Since 14 Sep 2009
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 01:34 AM

#379224 Controlling Z240

Posted by errbrr on 29 November 2016 - 02:46 PM

I don't know about the S-TTL stuff as I don't use it, but I consider this to be correct for manual operation:


Manual Mode (Magnet switch pressed + camera flash set to manual 1/64) 
-Right Dial at 9 oc position, slightly underexposed(darkest)
-Becoming brighter as I turn the dial clockwise and becoming more and more overexposed.
-Brightest at position 8 oc.


The setting on your camera flash shouldn't matter, as long as it isn't pre-flashing (check your manual to ensure the camera isn't attempting to eTTL it). But it seems like you are achieving the expected result with the brightest position at 8 o'clock or the "set it to 11" marking on the strobe. It's also worth noting that 11 won't give you a full dump of the strobe - you need to turn it to Full to get this. You can test it by watching how long the red light takes to come back on after flashing. It's slightly longer for a full dump vs a manual-set-to-11.


If you leave the magnet switch out/unpressed then the strobe will be pre-flashing. If the camera is set to flash manually and therefore the shutter is capturing the pre-flash, you will get the same dim flash appearing in all pictures regardless of settings.

#377172 Strobes - does this exist?

Posted by errbrr on 18 September 2016 - 08:36 PM

I'm lucky - I dive with the world's most disciplined buddies. :-)


For reasons of cave conservation though I wouldn't like to consider a cable option. I can't stand scarred cave floors.

You need a bigger tunnel :-) Long cables are better than tripods from a conservation perspective. You could consider laying one along the line during a setup dive and coming back to take the photo later.


The options I outlined require some DIY as they're not commercially available. The other option is to throw a lot of money at the problem - a few 10,000 lumen heads would give you enough power for reasonable pictures dependent on cave size and colour.

#376934 Strobes - does this exist?

Posted by errbrr on 11 September 2016 - 05:16 PM

Hedwig made me a triggerfish with a piezo switch in it - push to trigger the strobe plus it triggers off light flashes as per normal. Very handy! But I think they were a once off product rather than a commercial run. Other things I have tried include SB105s, the old ikelite substrobes which flashed when first turned on, and using a small LED torch pressed against a triggerfish attached to the off camera strobe. The torch is quite tricky to do with one hand but could be improved by using a push button torch and duct taping parts together. The rise time of the LED is enough to mimic a flash when you first turn it on.


Doing multiple flashes underwater during a long exposure requires minimal/no ambient light. I found a small back-up torch on the ground pointed backwards was helpful, and even then myself and my buddy swam into the walls a lot. Composition is tricky but I really liked the lighting impact of reduced on camera light. This photo is a particular favourite. No on camera flash and three strobes on the diver triggered manually during as I held the shutter open in bulb mode until I saw his strobes go off.




I guess the other option is to use a tripod and multiple short exposures, combined later.

#373444 Why I don't cave dive (+link to BBC article)

Posted by errbrr on 09 May 2016 - 06:15 PM

Most cave diving is NOTHING like that. You are reading about a trip to Everest  and saying you could never take a walk in the park.

That's a good comparison, I like it.


130m deep and water temperatures close to freezing put this dive at the extreme end. I would much rather dive those conditions in a cave (predictable, no wildlife, no winds, waves or tides) than in the ocean. Cave diving allows for deco habitats, staging of spare gear and (in my experience) usually less pressure to get in the water at an exact time.


It's an interesting case because not getting the bodies out would have delayed large payments from a national insurance scheme to one of the widows for many years. It's hard to argue that they should have been left there. It also highlights that when expedition-level cave divers get themselves killed, the best placed people to do the recovery are often their friends. The authorities don't have the skill level to do it, and often don't have enough knowledge to determine how skilled the divers volunteering actually are.


Try to stay alive, everyone. Underwater body recoveries are no fun at all.

#373408 Remote Strobe Trigger

Posted by errbrr on 08 May 2016 - 06:32 PM

Triggerfish are very available - I just had some turn up today. Try emailing Hedwig at triggerfish@telenet.be to order. There is also a Facebook page.


I use mine on the end of sync cords on my inon Z240s. I have seen them work well with a variety of strobes and Hedwig will be able to tell you if yours are on the list.


The Heinrich-Weikamp RSUs will also work but they are better in dark places and usually fail completely with too much sunlight.

#372747 Reply for image/footage request for free

Posted by errbrr on 18 April 2016 - 07:54 PM

If they lead with "there's no budget but..." I go polite reply. They might come back one day for another request with budget.


The ones who dance around and don't mention payment get a very short "happy to discuss pricing for your request, let me know exactly which pictures you are interested in". 


If they come back after that with a rate card or similar then all good. If I get a sob story from a commercial provider or comments that imply they are getting paid for their bit but I shouldn't want money for mine (hobby journalists)...at that point I tend to send one blunt email and then ignore. Journo's working freelance normally have a fair bit of sympathy for the no pay no photo position, although they can be pushy when desperate.


What I have learned is that there's no point pricing stuff until I've worked out if there is a budget. I wasted a lot of time searching for the appropriate image and working out how much to charge. No more! Acceptance of usage fees (that they exist, not exactly how much) first, spending a lot of time on their request second.

#372254 A question about footage requirement

Posted by errbrr on 05 April 2016 - 04:27 PM

Interviews may be free (depends if you want to be on TV!) but existing footage for broadcast could reasonably go for $100 per second and up.

#372210 FS: Inon Z240 Type4 Strobes

Posted by errbrr on 04 April 2016 - 06:42 PM

You might be a bit overpriced. Z240s are available for $589 USD new if you look in the right place.

#368093 Weaker+stronger strobe in pair?

Posted by errbrr on 08 December 2015 - 07:37 PM

I often use one Z240 on full power and the second on 3/4 power. I like the 3D effect of slightly more shadows from one direction while shooting wide angle. I use the stronger one as main light and the weaker one as side fill, or aim the stronger at the background and the weaker at a close-up subject.

#367883 Strobes versus Video Lights

Posted by errbrr on 03 December 2015 - 08:47 PM

I recall a story from Alberto Nava's talk about shooting in Hoyo Negro with Nat Geo. They were keen on lighting things with constant light instead of strobes, so the team ran a large amount of cabling through the cave to hook up a 3 phase generator to run topside in the jungle. The photos are nice, so I guess it worked. 

#366390 Sony A7 Nikonos 15mm Test Image

Posted by errbrr on 22 October 2015 - 06:10 PM

While I think I could justify to my Dad that I have borrowed it (given he hasn't used his Nik Vs in a few years), justifying sending it to the States might be a little harder. Your offer is otherwise excellent :-)

#364636 Using nalgene or latched acrylic jar to put your non-waterproof torch?

Posted by errbrr on 25 August 2015 - 02:54 PM

Without the camera, how would you capture scenes of enthusiasm like this? On mobile otherwise I'd post the photo itself, sorry.


#361966 another strobe or 105mm

Posted by errbrr on 08 June 2015 - 07:47 PM

If you prefer wide angle shooting, go the second strobe. If you prefer macro, go the lens. 


Wide angle can be challenging around here but when the visibility delivers (or if you like the wrecks or the caves) it's the only way to go.

#361492 Why do you shoot underwater?

Posted by errbrr on 25 May 2015 - 07:11 PM

Awesome photos Tim.


Perhaps it reflects the diving I'm doing at the moment, but I find that I'm shooting to tell the story of the dive trip. Which means not just the underwater pretty shots, but also the getting in/getting out images, and getting prepared images, and all the bits that go with it. The shots of sea lions playing underwater that I took on the weekend are nice, but having the shot of the boat we got there on, and going snorkelling to get the shot of the sea lions hauling out when they got bored, and the shot of them harassing divers underwater for fun - all those images are part of communicating the experience of diving with sea lions.


I'm definitely driven by sharing what I'm taken. As well as showing what we saw when we got there, I want to show how we did the dives, the effort that went in, and the fun that was had between times. To tell the story to those who may not have the chance to experience the same.

#357294 Full Frame SLR wide angle corrector port tests

Posted by errbrr on 31 January 2015 - 06:23 PM

Thanks for the explanation of the components Alex - I studied the housing photos you posted earlier but wasn't able to spot the difference. I am very interested in something similar with my rig based on those results you are posting. I currently shoot the Canon 14mm full frame in the caves behind an 8" dome and rarely dip below f8 because the rocks go all fuzzy around the edges. Even at f8 or f9, close up rocks give an irritatingly fuzzy foreground. A bigger dome is not feasible as it may not fit through the restrictions. Your setup would solve that problem very nicely.


The 14mm lens doesn't however take a filter as the front element is not flat - would it still work? Maybe with a little duct tape on top of the blu-tac...