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Everything posted by ashic

  1. @Barmaglot thanks! (At times, it feels like these forums are a private q&a with you!) Would it be something like https://www.uwvisions.com/essentials/flash-triggers/uw-technics-hss-ttl-convertor-for-nauticam-housings/ ? Or are there ones specifically for Seafrogs?
  2. @Barmaglot thanks... that makes sense. I was looking to replace the tray too, as it's a bit tricky to screw in, having caught a bit of rust over four years. Quick question - what would be an additional arm across the top be used for?
  3. I have a Sony A1 in a seafrogs housing and a YS-D3 mk-ii strobe. I use a seafrogs trigger to fire the strobe over a fibre optic connection. That's been working really well. HOWEVER, he seafrogs trigger has a tiny battery, and while rechargeable, if I'm diving 2-3 times a day, it runs out of juice. What doesn't help is that it drains during the time it's on - regardless of whether you're firing or not (of course, it drains faster when shooting). So unless I open up the case and turn the trigger off for surface intervals, it really limits the number of shots. Seafrogs did mention the turtle ttl triggers work with seafrogs cases (when I'd previously asked them about ttl - the seafrogs trigger doesn't support ttl). Reading around, I see that it claims a much higher number of flashes on a single charge. And as an added bonus, I get ttl. I guess one downside is the old school USB-A charging interface. Are there other triggers you'd recommend that (most importantly) can last a lot longer on a single charge, and potentially have TTL?
  4. I've got a lowly seafrogs housing that I've been fairly happy with (paired with the awesome Sony A1 and a YS-D3 mkii strobe). The tray I've been using is fairly basic, and on a recent dive trip, I was really annoyed by the poor quality clamps I've been using until now. They were either too lose meaning the strobe would get dislodged even with mild swimming, or too stiff to the point where one actually cut into a bit of the rubber on the ball of my strobe. I think I do need to upgrade to a better quality tray + arm system that will allow easier loosening / tightening to keep the arms compact when travelling, and move them while underwater while not worrying whether they'll stay in place or not. Since it's a one time purchase, I'm fine with spending a bit more if it's genuinely worth it. Which brand(s) / model(s) would you recommend?
  5. @Barmaglot Looking for something like this. Does it fit in the VPS port, or does it use the strobe cable bulkhead?
  6. Thanks for all the help Managed to put one together and it's firing the strobe (on land at least)!
  7. Would be very interested... well... less so about the cost, but more for the fun (I'm an engineer and love tinkering!). Any starting points for what plugs to get? My strobe and housing both use Sea&Sea connectors, I believe.
  8. I've got a Seafrogs full frame Sony housing that supports fibre optic cables, and a Sea&Sea YS-D3 strobe. I'm looking to get a cable for this set up. I see that Sea&Sea have three lengths - 310mm, 453mm, and 725mm. Any advice on which length to go for? Price is pretty similar for all three.
  9. I see that we need to clean and lubricate the o-rings of our housing and strobes. Do we do this before a dive, or after? Or both? And should we do this every day we dive, or is it a once in a while thing? I've been diving with the seafrogs housing for the A7iii for about three years... Granted, very rarely... And other than just cleaning the main o-ring without taking it out, I haven't really done any maintenance. Should I clean and lubricate more regularly?
  10. Yes, and if I were a pro underwater photographer doing 50+ dives a year, I'd not even ask the question and go directly to Nauticam. I dive rarely - maybe 1-2, possibly 3 times a year, and for me the land photography stuff comes first. So, while I know putting underwater gear first would definitely get me better images, I'm sort of having to spend according to priorities. I've happily spent £740 on the YS-D3 mk-ii strobe, and the improvement that's given is amplitudes above what I was getting without lighting. But then if the next improvement comes at an expense of £1.5K+ overlay, I'd probably spend that on a lens upgrade that I'll be using several hundred times a year.
  11. It's a big extra though: WWL-1B: £1195 Seafrogs 28-60 port: £149 Bayonet adapter: £79 28-60 lens: £449 WWL (would I need this in addition to the WWL-1B?) Total (assuming just WWL-1B): £1872 Seafrogs A1 with 6"/8" port: £702/£719 The latter does then give me a LOT more cropability, and 1/400 shutter.
  12. That makes complete sense except for the fact that I already own an A1 for overwater photography
  13. @ChrisRoss it was a number of fish moving in a little hideout, hence the repeated shots. The composition was the same, but their movement made for interesting shots. I'm getting more and more tempted to get the A1 housing next. Even if Seafrogs, it won't be worse than the seafrogs A7iii housing. At it can deal with flash at 1/400 with the mechanical shutter in full frame. I understand the point about two strobes not being additive. That makes sense.
  14. @ChrisRoss that worked! I got lucky on the first dive as the flash didn't actually fire due to the connector to the bulkhead not set properly (another reason I might get the A1 seafrogs and use fibre optic... The sync connector on the seafrogs is a pain to align). Had the flash fired, at 1/500, half the image would have illuminated destroying all the photographs. The mirror top really helped and I tried out everything to make sure before going in. All I can say is WOW. The strobe makes such a huge difference in terms of colour, vibrance, and everything else. I'll post some photos I took when I'm back in London, and have had time to process the work. With the strobe, the shots look amazing straight out of camera, compared to ones without which will need a lot of editing. Also sort of glad I ended up with the ys-d3. The fast cycle times really helped in certain circumstances. Although, at times I did get trigger happy. The strobe kept up for 10 shots but then "rested" for 90 seconds before replenishing. I'll experiment with the strobe some more on my next trip. But would you say getting another strobe and running at 11 each (instead of one at 22) would give better results? It'll definitely cycle a lot faster. But I expect if not set up properly, the backscatter might be more difficult to manage. Might even try iso 400 and strobe at 11, or even higher ISO. On land, I can comfortably push the A7iii to 6400 ISO with denoising in post.
  15. Wow... That's a mine of information! I'll try out everything you said in tomorrow's dive. Thank you very much!
  16. I've got my first strobe for my A7iii in a lowly seafrogs housing with the Sony 16-35 gm. The strobe is the YSd3 mk 2 (I was looking at the z330, but stock issues meant this the ysd3-2 was the only option prior to my flight). There's no ttl, due to the housing only supporting a sync cord. The strobe is firing, so that part works. I'm looking for some pointers as to what settings I should use. From my understanding, 8 on the strobe roughly means f/8 aperture. Or do I have it completely wrong? I'm looking to (at least in the beginning) have things in sharp focus before experimenting with blur, etc. The A7iii supports fill flash, slow sync, rear sync. I'm mostly shooting at f/8 with a min ss of 1/500s at 16mm, and getting iso values of 100-350, mostly below 250...so happy with that (bright Caribbean waters!). I've been using rear sync. Is this correct? The reefs are quite bright anyway. Would fill be a better option? I wonder if I'm getting away with poor settings because there quite a lot of ambient light. Appreciate any tips or tutorial recommendations.
  17. I've just received delivery of my first strobe, and it says it's for underwater use only (doh!). Is it ok to hook it up and fire a few test shots to make sure the cabling, triggering, strobe levels, etc. all work properly? Can this be done on dry land? Or would that cause damage to the strobe? I can't believe I'm asking this question, but having not used an underwater strobe before, wanted to check.
  18. It sounds like an alignment issue. Do you have a cover on the camera? Are all the rubber inserts in the housing in tact / in place? I've had an issue with the 16-35GM zoom gear where it'd just slip from time to time even if fixed with the top lever thing. I added some tape under two of the rubber pads in the gear and that seems to create enough grip for it not to slip. Similarly, I have some issues with the power lever, and I resolved that by adding a bit of tape on top of the bottom right rubber to elevate the camera slightly, and that solved it for me. Yes, these things shouldn't happen, but the damn thing's been watertight for quite a few dives now, and it's only £500 or so. You get what you pay for I guess, and for the price, it's pretty decent. Just needs a bit of diy to resolve the issues - which I think vary from unit to unit. Once I figured out the problems, I just spent about an hour on land tweaking tape here and there until everything worked. And it did!
  19. Absolutely ridiculous. I can think of two reasons for this: 1. They're clueless and don't realise an even "moderately good" rating from Phil would boost their sales significantly considering the extreme costs of the "good" housings. 2. They fear a terrible review because they're obviously not in the same league as Nauticam, etc. Now (for the time being), I'll happily stay on the Seafrogs as I don't dive and shoot underwater often enough to justify the cost, and I imagine there's many out there who are similar. As such, not providing a pretty cheap review unit seems plain dumb.
  20. Thanks for all the bits of information. Right... decision time.... For now, I'll stay with the Seafrogs A7iii housing with the 6" dome and the 16-35 GM. I'll get a sync cord, and consider TTL for the next housing when I do upgrade. So with the seafrogs + sync cord option, which strobe should I get: z-330 or the YS-D3 mark 2? The latter comes with a diffuser and stuff, so price wise they're the same. I think the z-330 is a bit smaller, so fits better in the suitcase (though not by much). The YS-D3 does have some very impressive refresh numbers - at quarter output, it's got no recharge time, and 0.6 seconds at half output. I expect I can't go wrong with either given that I've been shooting with no lights till now. Masters of underwater photography - what's the final verdict?
  21. Thanks for the awesome input Going to go with a strobe, and very likely the Z-330. @Barmaglot you mentioned the housing had issues with triggering. I have https://seafrogs.com.hk/collections/sony/products/sony-a7-iii-fe12-24mm-f4g-40m-130ft-uw-camera-housing-kit-with-6-dome-port-including-long-port-for-fe90mm-macro-lens-white . There's a cable that looks like it goes to the hot shoe of the camera, and that connects to the rough thing on the top. Would I need any specific cable to fire the strobe? The description says that to fire it, I'll need this: https://seafrogs.com.hk/collections/underwater-strobe/products/sea-frogs-5-pin-sync-cord-to-nikonos-type-bulkhead-for-underwater-housings-100m-330ft Is that specific one required, or would I be able to use a cable from the strobe manufacturer? @Phil Rudin read your review. It's very helpful. (Also the one on the 14 GM!). I was thinking of upgrading to an A1 housing as I now have an A1, but the others have convinced me that for now, getting a strobe would be better. In addition to the Sony 16-35GM, I also have the lowly but mighty Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 in my arsenal. While it can't deal with the A1's pixel requirements, it resolves brilliantly for the A7iii. It's minimum focus distance is 19cm. Is that a better option than the 16-35 for underwater? And if so, would that work better with the 6" dome or a flat port? I'm guessing the answer is going to be dome, and the the 16-35 would be better, but want to confirm.
  22. Thanks for the great advice. I completely understand the notion of growing with gear and buying once rather than multiple times. It's why I got premium glass when beginning, and have been happy doing so as I didn't outgrow lenses within 1-2 years. I would be looking to get a strobe / light for the long term, rather than buying and replacing in 1-2 years. I'm happy to pay more for something that'll last me many years as opposed to saving £100-250 now to pay more later. I can't jump from a £500 housing to a £3500 one - I can't really justify that seeing how rarely I get to dive, but paying a bit more for a strobe that'll last me years is something I can definitely accept. In terms of lights vs strobe, as a photographer - I completely get how much more powerful strobes are. Videos like and are making me think twice. In the first video, the guy's using one 10K lumen and one 5K lumen light, and doing commercial work with that setup. The Sony A7iii is very good in low light and higher ISOs (I happily push ISO to 6400, and can get very good results with post processing and noise reduction tools). The Solar Flare mini 12000 can strobe at 12000 lumens. Hence, I was thinking if the light would be "good enough". I have absolutely no doubt that a strobe would be better quality. I guess my question is if a (good) strobe is 100%, and no light is 0%, would the Solar Flare mini 12000 be 20% or would it be 80%, or somewhere in between. In terms of strobes, I appreciate your views on the YS-D3 - online reviews place it as the bee's knees! I do see Sea & sea have a mark 2 out already and have discontinued the mark 1. I wasn't aware that the issues were present - when paying that much, you'd expect the thing to work! So, really appreciate the warning. I can't see availability of the Retras in the UK. The nauticam UK site does have the Pro for £982 (and the Prime for roughly £826 on the EU website), but the main vendors don't seem to carry them. I do see vendors carrying the YS-D3 MK II (£739), and the Z-330 Type 2 (£679). The Solar Flare Mini 12000 isn't that much less expensive - £595. Apart from the Retra Pro, the others are pretty close together in pricing. So, given the context, would you still recommend the strobe, and if so, which one? I'm guessing the answer is the Z-330, but would like to confirm. @Barmaglot you mentioned " Since you already own a UWT converter".... erm... is that the cable that's inside the Seafrogs case? This the cable that's set up inside the case: https://seafrogs.com.hk/collections/spare-parts/products/spare-sync-port-bulkhead - is that what you mean? Or is it something else I'd need to get? Lastly, would I need to get a cable that goes from the "round thing" in the link above to the strobe, or would that cable come as part of the package? And if not, would that cable need to be a seafrogs cable, or would it be from the manufacturer of the strobe? (Is there a name for that cable?) Is TTL dependant on the housing? Obviously a high end strobe would have TTL, as does the Sony A7iii (and of course, A1), but would I need something specific to make TTL work?
  23. Yeah... I'm probably putting the A1 housing on hold for lighting, based on your recommendations. Selling the A7iii would net me 1-1.3k, and the cost of the housing would eat a chunk of that. My budget won't stretch to upgrading to a nauticam or similar high end system at the moment. Or rather, if it did, I'd probably invest in over water glass as I mostly shoot underwater on holidays. If I am using the A7iii + seafrogs 6", I know I'm limiting myself in terms of IQ. In that case, would a strobe like the YS-D3 be as useful as say, a solar flare pro 12000? The latter is a video light but has a strobe mode for stills. The YS-D3 is obviously far superior for stills, but given the low end housing and dome, would the solar flare suffice? A continuous light would probably be helpful for me in terms of WYSIWYG, as I've never used a strobe underwater before. Cost wise, both are fairly close, and I imagine the solar flare would come in handy for shooting video, go pro footage, etc.
  24. Agree with all of the above except for the bit about cropping. If the Sony full frames are put into crop (APS-C) mode, they don't actually use all of the pixels of the sensor to build a better APS-C image.... it's merely taking the information from the full frame verbatim and storing the centre part. e.g. for the A1, it'll take the information from the full 51MP, and store only the centre 21mp discarding the rest. It's not different to cropping in post (other than the file sizes are reduced) - which for me is pointless, so I shoot everything full frame and crop in post. The A1 pixel size is 4.14 microns, whereas the Rx-100 pixel size is 2.41 microns. So the A1 results will be superior to the RX-100 for the same number of pixels all else being equal. Of course, the domes, etc. for the Rx-100 will be far cheaper and easier to handle given the small size. There is a catch though - I already own the A1, and don't own an Rx100 The Rx100 (vii) does have the 24-200mm equivalent zoom on it. But with that range, would a flat or a dome work better? From @Barmaglot's excellent examples, I'm sort of getting an idea when it comes to wide lenses - wide + flat = no! For an Rx-100, would that mean keeping it at the wide end? @Barmaglot also mentioned a Nauticam WWL-1B. Form a bit of searching, that appears to be a "wet" lens. Do wet lenses perform much better than flat ports and domes? That particular Nauticum is over £1K - so I would expect it to blow any domes out of the water.
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