A little background....
I have been doing UW photography for...well...a long time. My first camera was my Dad's Nikonos II with a flashbulb strobe (no kidding!)
The first system I bought was a Nikonos V and two Sea & Sea YS-120 strobes, back in the 1990s. Pre-digital (!), top of the line, at its time.
I loved those strobes. Simple, rugged and totally reliable. They used 8 AA batteries each. They had plenty of 'wallop' for wide angle shots and you could turn them down to 1/2 power and put on a diffuser for macro. I normally ran NiCad rechargeables, but if push came to shove I could go the local store (anywhere in the world) and buy batteries if I needed to. I shot thousands of frames with those strobes. I went from a Nik-V to a Olympus 4040 to a Nikon D70 to a Nikon D300...but always dragged my YS-120s along.
Fast forward to about 2006. My luggage was stolen in Honduras and I lost my strobes. By then the YS-120 was discontinued and the current "pro" model was the YS-250, so that's what I went with.
I unpacked the box I received and the first thing that came to mind was..."Damn, these things are big!"
After setting them up, the next thing that came to mind was..."Damn, these things are heavy!" I could drop 5 pounds off my weightbelt.
When I took them out in the ocean and pulled the trigger for the first time I had to pause a minute or two to let the afterminage on my retina fade a bit before thinking, "Damn, these things have a lot of power!" and cranking my camera down to f/32.
These strobes have a lot of 'wallop', in fact, much more than I needed. Need to shoot a wide-angle of the Queen Mary, bow to stern? Use the 250's. They'll do the job. I never worried about a charging Great White. Fire one frame and the poor fish would be blinded for life. Or at least stunned long enough for me to make an escape.
One thing I love about the 250's is that they have a "dial-a-power" knob and you can turn them down to nothing if you need to. Thank the gods for that because I never ran them above 1/2 power and do most of my shooting at 1/4 power.
So this leads me to my current dilemma: I am sick and tired of hauling these big, heavy things across the globe.
Sea & Sea discontinued the 250s, and I can see why: too big, heavy, over-powered and expensive for most use. I really like Sea & Sea products but even I am tired of those strobes.
So what's the alternative?
Please note: I like to shoot macro AND wide angle. The 2 and 4 AA cell strobes I have seen in the past do not seem to have enough power for wide angle. But I have not shopped around for strobes in a long time so maybe that's changed...?
I don't shoot video, just stills. Aiming lights are nice but I rarely use them. I don't need or use TTL; I shoot everything manual.
What's a good strobe these days that can shoot wide-angle and can be dialed down for macro?