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Member Since 17 Oct 2012
Offline Last Active Feb 28 2015 08:15 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Questions about Crystal River, Florida

11 January 2015 - 06:34 PM

I really liked birds. I last went during off season and they spent about 8 hours in the water with only 4 people on the boat, while we watched other operators make two trips! I really loved their customer service.

Flashes weren't a problem then but again, small group in off season and I was the only one with a camera.

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In Topic: Anybody in Miami/Ft Lauderdale area looking for photo-diving buddy?

08 June 2014 - 07:38 AM

Blue heron bridge is about an hour and fifteen minutes north of you, and I've never seen such a concentration of photographers like that! Obviously I love diving there but it's only 15 minutes away from me. Heck it's a 5:20 high tide today, plenty of time to make it up! Www.divebhb.com

In Topic: Strobe recomendations for a Nikon D90 in an Iklelite housing - HELP PLEASE

28 March 2014 - 03:52 AM

There is a visible increase in power with the ds160 vs the ds125 and the same is true for ds125 vs ds50, what are you going to be shooting? A lot of people start with two de50's.

I use more than two for cave diving where models take off camera strobes to illuminate the cave and provide depth to photos, for open water there are uses for them but fish hate to carry them so...

The value drop will be lower if you buy used than new. Selling price depends on condition and luck!

Letting the magic smoke out is a joke because when they break, electronics sometimes let out a little smoke, like a tiny explosion of a circuit. Because there was smoke, and now it doesn't work, we joke that they run on smoke held in the circuits and once the magic smoke escapes the circuit, it stops working.



In Topic: Strobe recomendations for a Nikon D90 in an Iklelite housing - HELP PLEASE

27 March 2014 - 06:07 PM


Thanks guys for the suggestions, I'll look into those.


In regards to purchasing "used" strobes:

  • what life could I expect?
  • how often should all the O rings be replaced?
  • is there other bits that require periodic servicing?
  • how lond should the battery last? and
  • what percentage of the new price should be a fair deal?



I have purchased a total of 4 used strobes. I've managed to crack the body of one strobe after 3 years of use, but other than that, none of them have "worn out." 


Ikelite strobes don't have that many orings. There is one compression seal oring on the battery pack, which sees very little wear and you could probably go years between replacements easily. They have a quad ring on the dial/knob which also sees very little wear and I've never had one wear out. 


Ikelite recommends yearly service but, and don't tell them this, I think it depends on the way you use and care for the stuff. 


Ikelite DS125's and 160's use proprietary battery packs. They have some very old ones with nickel cadmium batteries, which you should avoid. They are likely old and worn out. They make nickel metal hydride packs which seem to function just fine with occasional or frequent use for years. Then they have lithium packs which give an insane number of shots and are so new that I doubt anyone has worn any out. 


What I really like about the ikelite strobes, especially when linked to the ikelite housing, is the ability to control the strobes with a dial on the housing, and the ability to quickly switch from manual at multiple powers to TTL with some variability incase the camera is figuring it wrong. Because it's electrical, you don't waste your camera battery firing the flash on your camera, which also means you can follow up faster with shots, and the custom battery packs give faster recycle times than is possible with strobes using AA batteries. If you aren't firing at full power, you can get several shots in a burst, which is, while not impossible, harder to do when using optical syncing on strobes with AA batteries. Of course, there are downsides: higher chance of strobe failure due to electrical cord failure, and the difficulty of switching to other housings later without either using nikonos bulkheads and getting a different cord, or buying the optical cable adaptors which aren't super cheap. 


The DS50 and DS51 use AA batteries and I like them as well. For off camera flash work, they are great because of their little red ready light which faces you when the strobe is facing away, allowing you to easily see if the slave is ready to fire. 


Inon and Sea and Sea both tend to use AAs, and both have really nice options. Ikelite is not the only kid on the block, and for many people, those other strobes offer a better option. 


For a DS125 with a NiMH pack, I would really like to pay $250, and would expect to pay $350. For a DS50, I'd really like to pay $100, but would expect to pay $200. The trick is, once you own two, then you just keep an eye out for bargains until you have 4, and then you just keep an eye out for extreme bargains... it's really hard to have too many strobes, as long as you also have enough slave triggers and models or support divers! 



If you do go with a strobe that uses AA batteries, invest in some good rechargeables and a nice charger. I like Eneloops, and I use the Eneloop charger for trips. Locally, I like a smarter charger that charges each cell individually, and has the option to give reports on mah used for the cell, and to refresh the cell by doing special charge cycles occassionally. I number my cells and keep them stored as sets in different AA battery containers. 


Good luck on your search! Remember to insure your equipment! (not that any of us plan to harm it but eventually the magic smoke gets out) 

In Topic: Strobe recomendations for a Nikon D90 in an Iklelite housing - HELP PLEASE

26 March 2014 - 08:00 AM

Ikelite housing? Might as well use Ikelite strobes! Used ds125's run $400-$600. I've been impressed with ds50's as well but they run from $200-$400, so depending on the deal you find, 125's offer a lot of Bang for the buck.