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About Monterey

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    Monterey, California

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  1. Wow, thanks for all the replies. Very helpful! I didn't know Sea & Sea was doing its manufacturing in China.
  2. 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? --clark
  3. Here I am. This website is rather confusing. It took a while to figure out how to 'enable' postings to other forums. I still haven't figured out how to edit my profile. You'd think that since I created that content that I'd be able to edit it as well, but there seems to be no way (at least now) to do that... I have been diving for 43 years. Started UW photography with my dad's Nikonos II and a flashbulb strobe back in the days when "sex was safe and diving was dangerous."
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