Behind the scenes: Strobe testing in the Red Sea
Day 2 of the Wetpixel strobe test started bright and early at Explorer Divers and we set out for the dive sites at Mesa Mubarak, south of Port Ghalib. These sites are (in)famous for a resident dugong (Dugong dugong) named Dyson, which seems to happily coexist with large numbers of snorkelers and divers.
What is less well known about the site is that there are a number of gorgeous coral pinnacles on both north and south sides of the bay.
My goal today was to test the Symbiosis SS2 strobe system. Uniquely this has both a strobe with a guide number of 32 and a 2000 lumen video light in a singe package. In honour of its video capabilities, I used the Nikon D500 with a Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 rectilinear lens, behind a Seacam (9”) Superdome.
The diving was on beautiful coral pinnacles, covered in hard and soft corals, with huge amounts of life. This provided an excellent challenge for the Symbiosis strobes. Of course, theft that we were diving in bright, clear water also meant that their power output was challenged.
The Symbiosis strobe is triggered via fiber optic cables, and the receptacles for the Inon type connectors are slightly too large (for my Inon connectors), which meant that I needed to take care that the connectors remained connected and they did fall out a couple of times.
I did test the Symbiosis’s TTL and found that it consistently overexposed, at least with my TTL board and set up.
Our second dive, to the south side of the bay was on a fairly really dived part of the site and we were rewarded by large amounts of very healthy corals.
After lunch on the boat, we scrambled when it was reported that Dyson the dugong has been sighted. Emperor’s Divemaster Lisa and I descended quickly and were able to snatch a couple of images before he took flight.
We then patrolled the seagrass beds and came across some of the very large green turtles (Chelonia mydas) that share the area.
After a careful approach, one tolerated us enough to allow for some images while it fed on the seagrass.
We the returned back to the jetty, and after a quick gear turn around set out by vehicle for a night dive at the Port Ghalib Fish Market! This site offers a steep wall with lots of great macro life.
I had switched back to an Inon Z330 on one side and the Retra Flash on the other.
My focus light died during the dive, and it was immediately obvious how bright the 220 lumen focus light on Inon’s new strobe is. For those that use focus lights to align snoots, this should be a major advantage.
Please check back tomorrow for more reports from the field.
- Day 1.
- Day 2.
- Day 3.
- Day 4.
- Day 5.