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Member Since 14 Sep 2009
Offline Last Active Jun 16 2018 05:56 PM

Topics I've Started

Retras in the water

16 November 2017 - 03:17 PM

My pair of new retra strobes arrived this week and I got out for a dive locally yesterday. I own 6 inon Z240s and have been using them since 2010 so this was a bit of a change for me. Some thoughts and observations:


- Of the two diffusers received, one fits well and the other wobbles. It fell off in the car on the way to the dive site so I tied it to the strobe arm for the dive. 

- The retras are bigger than the inons

- The only way to put the battery cap down while inserting batteries is on the contacts or on the o-ring, risking picking up dust

- There is no serial number on the strobes. Luckily my insurance company is prepared to add them to my policy anyway

- The recycle time occasionally becomes really long. Camera times show dark photos after a 25 second pause in one case, and after 3-5 seconds in other cases. This is on 75% and 100% power and I wonder if it is the overheating protection kicking in. Water temperature yesterday was 15 degrees.

- The pilot light is very diffuse, and I image could be difficult to see with in bad vis. It's nice to have two power levels and the button doesn't get knocked on/off like the inon aiming light and pre-flash buttons


All that said, I was very happy with the power, coverage and light quality of the strobes. The vis was good and I don't think my strobe positioning was optimal, so hard to judge backscatter potential. The colour temperature and brightness of the images was excellent. After 170 shots, the strobes were still showing three green lights out of four on the face plate. Here are a few comparative shots all on my Canon 5D4, 14mm lens and 8" dome, uncropped.


2 x Inon Z240s, full power, one warm diffuser, one standard diffuser, f8, 1/40, iso400

Attached File  20170521-IMG_6727.jpg   131.18KB   25 downloads


Kelp with the retras, full and 75% power, f13, 1/50, iso800

Attached File  20171116-IMG_9309.jpg   140.47KB   24 downloads


Taken after a 4 second interval, would have been nice with strobes:

Attached File  20171116-IMG_9310.jpg   118.06KB   22 downloads


Fish on the run, f10, 1/50, iso400

Attached File  20171116-IMG_9347.jpg   146.99KB   24 downloads


Eyes in the roof, f10, 1/200, iso400

Attached File  20171116-IMG_9385.jpg   136.59KB   24 downloads


Overall I'm happy with them and looking forward to taking them in the caves. I'll be interested to see how they perform off camera and in warm water.

Taking the housing as carry-on

15 July 2017 - 09:15 PM

Some time ago I mentioned that I was using a basic backpack as carryon with a fully constructed camera & housing inside. Someone asked for photos and I never got around to taking them. Yesterday I was helping Dad work out how he is going to pack for an upcoming trip and took some photos. Behold - camera in housing, housing in back pack, within the carry-on size, and room to wedge three t-shirts (for padding) and a couple of strobes around it. I then take a shoulder bag/"purse" with laptop and back up drive, plus maybe a second lens.


Attached File  Photo 15-7-17, 7 43 20 pm.jpg   124.96KB   63 downloads


Attached File  Photo 15-7-17, 7 43 48 pm.jpg   121.84KB   60 downloads


Attached File  Photo 15-7-17, 7 44 23 pm.jpg   124.23KB   58 downloads


The only real drawbacks here are back pain after carrying it across the airport and the risk that someone at the airline will want to weigh your bag, and subsequently try and force you to check it. Having a ratty looking backpack has saved me from being selected for random weigh ins. The advantage is that you land at your destination with a camera in housing and all you have to do is plug the strobes in and jump in the water.