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Member Since 15 Jun 2011
Offline Last Active Nov 21 2017 02:27 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: RETRA Strobe Thread

15 November 2017 - 01:03 PM

My kit just arrived.  Two days from Slovenia to Florida, amazing!


The quality of the strobes, battery packs, accessories and LSD are superb and seem rock solid.  The solid aluminum housing is a thing of beauty.  No comparison to the plastic housings of my YS-D1.   I have not seen quality like this since I looked at Seacam stuff.  Even nicer, neoprene covers included to make the strobes and battery packs neutrally buoyant.  When I attached the extended battery pack, it was also rock solid, no flex, seemed like a single unit.  Controls still accessible.


this is just a very well designed set of gear


i might post some photos tomorrow.


Trying to book a hammerhead shark dive to test these babies out!

In Topic: RETRA Strobe Thread

13 November 2017 - 08:23 AM

Got my shipping notice today.  Thanks Oskar!

In Topic: Sync Cables or Fiber Optic?

01 November 2017 - 05:08 AM

Hi sunnyboy


please post some feedback and photos with the Kraken ring flash.  I am considering one of those, as well.


And Christine, I would add that I am a big fan of my Nauticam housing and port system.  It is bulletproof and has served me faultlessly with no need for servicing after 4 years of saltwater diving, so long as you are diligent about giving it a quick rinse after your dives.  If you have decided to go ahead and change systems, you are not going to regret choosing Nauticam. 

In Topic: Sync Cables or Fiber Optic?

27 October 2017 - 10:44 AM

Hi Christine


Like sunnyboy  says, overall your weight savings might not be much for the whole rig.  The Nauticam housings and ports are substantial and heavy.  Definitely heavier than Ikelite housings. You will save some weight on the strobes, but you need to add up everything to compare.


But, if you change, then it sounds like you are in luck that Nauti offers both a non-ttl and a ttl strobe trigger.  I would opt for the led trigger and fiber cables for simplicity and rapid recycle if you are not going to need TTL.  Sounds like you can add TTL through the fiber optic cables if you want, by buying the flash trigger, which would be a good thing for macro dives.


Very nice of nauticam to offer a choice  . . . 


Good luck with your system.  Like you, I am eagerly awaiting my Retra strobes!

In Topic: Sync Cables or Fiber Optic?

27 October 2017 - 08:02 AM

Here is what seems to be the general consensus:


Advantages of Sync Cables:


1.  They are not limited by the on-camera flash recycle time, and so are much better for rapid-fire situations (of course, you are still limited by the recycle time of the strobe itself)

2,  Some housings now support electronic TTL exposure circuitry for auto TTL exposure, but these tend to be clunky, expensive and are not widely available for different housings or different cameras.

3.  Work with any camera that has a hot shoe (ie, all of them).


Disadvantages of Sync Cables


1.  As a general rule, no TTL exposure is possible, manual only (if you only do manual, then this is not a factor, but I love TTL for macro work especially)

2.  Expensive

3.  Require additional seals, and can flood which can damage the cables and maybe the strobe.

4.  Limited to the type of flash connector on the strobe and housing, so must be careful with compatibility


Advantages of Optical Cables


1.  No housing or cable seals necessary, and no flood risk.

2.  Less expensive

3.  TTL exposure possible for virtually any camera that has a flash which can fit into a housing, assuming the external strobe has TTL compatibility.

4.  Universally compatible


Disadvantages of Optical Cables


1.  You are limited to the on-camera flash's recycle time.  Some people try to get around this by going to manual mode and setting the camera flash at the lowest power, but it is still a lot slower than electronic cables.  Some people try to use LED flash triggers which recycle instantly but you lose TTL and, again, these are  not widely available across many cameras and housings.  But, Nauticam does make these LED triggers for some housings and cameras, so check when you upgrade as you might be in luck.




I have an Olympus EM-5 (original) in a Nauticam housing.  I use  YS-D1 strobes with optical cables.  I use TTL exposure almost exclusively for macro shooting and even for a lot of wide angle.  I think the optical cables are great.   The only area where they do not keep up is rapid-fire things like shark feeds or bait ball action.  But this is a very tiny percentage of my shooting and I can adjust somewhat by going to manual exposure and setting the on camera flash to lowest power.  This is still not nearly as fast as my friends who use electronic sync can shoot.


I also have the retras on order. I plan to use them with the optical sync, but I ordered them with the Sea and Sea electronic connection as they said that is the one most widely available, so I have an option.  But, If I find I really need rapid-fire, I will probably try to find an LED trigger and avoid electronic sync cords and their potential for flooding,


Looking at your current system, you have the best of both worlds.  Ikelite has really perfected electronic sync TTL exposure with a lot of different cameras, so you have TTL and rapid fire at the same time, if you want it.    I would seriously consider staying with Ikelite for that reason.  I think retra offered their strobe with an Ike connection.alone.