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rlopes

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  1. Thanks All, I have in the past had personal articles policy through State Farm. I listed all of my camera gear at the time as well as my wife's wedding ring and I think a couple of other valuables. I am planning on calling them tomorrow and check on renewing that policy. It was like $100 to $150 per year for the premium...but that was a while ago. I am also planning a call to DAN to help with coverage for trip insurance and now I will also ask them about their camera coverage insurance. Lopes
  2. We are headed to Galapagos in November. My housing, strobes, ports, and arms I am planning on putting in my Pelican Storm Case. Camera and lenses I will carry on the airplane. We purchased airline insurance for the flight and I have DAN diving insurance. I have not yet purchased trip insurance but will (likely DAN...but open to suggestions). What gaps will I have missed in my coverage if my camera gear gets damaged, lost or stolen while in transit? Thanks, Lopes
  3. All, Thank you for the discussion and I am happy that it seems like the conversation is leading to value for more than just me (as I think all dialogue does). You all have given me more things to think about in the flexibility of my shooting. And I have a lot of learning to do. Starting UW photography in 2009 you would think I would know a bit more about this topic, and I find it humbling and refreshingly exciting to realize what I don't know. Keep the conversation going. I am cold water bound in that I teach scuba and do some shooting in cold water (Pacific Northwest US). But I have lived in and traveled to the tropical regions where I have some of my best images...so I have a disparate range of shooting conditions to consider (let alone wide angle to Macro). I am going to look into the adaptability in all strobes from snoot attachments for macro (have never shot macro that way before) to the ability to upgrade firmware just as we do on our cameras and to many other factors. I am leaning towards Retra and still thinking through the ancillary components that I might want in the future. That being said, I am going to explore the same considerations with the INON 330ii. Again thanks and I will post my purchase decision which will likely take place in April. Lopes
  4. Perfect...exactly what I was looking for. Elias - I have not ignored your guidance on the Inon 330ii. Chris, Tim, et al, - thanks for the extended thinking on the Retra's. I do a bit of it all re: macro/wide shooting...I love my macro's for clarity and repeatability of the shot. Wide angle always for the cool big stuff...whale sharks, whales, sharks, etc... Retra question - I was told that Retra support for strobes as they age has been limited. Further explanation being that they are a small company and bandwidth of support reflects that. I have had my DS160's for a while now and Ikelite still supports them. Comments on the longevity of support for a Retra stobe 5 years down the road? 10? Similar support experience question for Inon and Sea&Sea. How has support been from these companies? Thanks again in advance, Lopes
  5. I have to admit my rookieness (that's a word right?) on this or any forum for that matter. I very much appreciated the guidance and support for troubleshooting my use of my Ikelite DS160s on my new housing in this thread. I am going to buy a set of new strobes and I would love to read the various opinions of the combine expertise that you all possess. I own and will likely retain my DS160's from Ikelite (triggered by electrical sync cables) I am shooting a Nikon Z7ii in the Nauticam NA-Z7ii housing. The strobes must be able to be fired optically - but having an option to fire electrically is not out of the question. Cost might be an option...but if expensive, why are they better than a less expensive model. If this is completely redundant and there are already current threads out there I would appreciate any links to those threads (I did search and peruse a bit). Thanks in advance, Lopes
  6. Update - I found a friend with YS-D2 Sea&Sea optically fired strobes. With my Sea&Sea fiber optic cables, my housing and his strobes I was able to fire the strobes. To be complete I retested with his fiber optic cables and the strobes fired as well. Based on Jon's experience above and not wanting to go back to electrical sync cables to use my Ikelite strobes (I love that I can build my own fiber optic cables and replace quickly while on a dive trip as needed) I am going to pick up some optically fired strobes (Sea&Sea YS-D3's or Inon likely) and return the adapters as I now know they were they culprit in the system. I am strongly considering selling my Ikelite DS160's (3 strobes 2 brand new batteries) and my Ikelite electrical sync cables as I have tested all of them and they are working perfectly as designed. I also have an Ikelite housing for a Canon 50D that is in great shape but my 50D camera doesn't work and I can't get it repaired, so I would sell that housing if someone has a 50D and can use it. Otherwise it is nostalgically displayed on my book case next to the 50D body. Thanks for all of the advice, input, and deep knowledge...I have learned a ton about fiber optic's and associated strobes. Lopes
  7. Thanks Chris, I now see the adapter you are referring to. The vendor I bought my system through and had the parts dropped shipped to my home tells me that Ikelite typically doesn't take returns. I am not excited to fight a return policy if these other adapters don't work and spend another $300 I won't get back. If I can get my system to fire an optically fired strobe YS-D3 for example then I am going to start shopping...lot's of great examples (as you know as you provided most of them) already provided throughout this thread from Retra to Inon and all in between including the DS series from Ikelite. much appreciated as always... rlopes
  8. Thanks Jon, I tested your method. Camera on, flash on (fill flash mode on Z7II) strobes on and set to full power. I took 20 or more pictures and no success. Again the strobes and the cords work when I shine other light sources like an underwater flashlight. But not hooked up to my camera housing. I have to tell you that even I was able to repeat your experience it would be very frustrating to have to shoot several images just to get my strobes to work and repeat the process for every setting change or when my camera goes to sleep between shots (which could be corrected in the camera likely). One last test if I can find some optically fired strobes (borrow YS-D3's or similar) just to eliminate the housing (light source) and cords and narrow to the adapter as the issue as all other parts work. Rob
  9. According to Ikelite that is what I have. #4401.3 Do you know of another version of the adapter that is more sensitive? I will verify again with Ikelite that I in fact do or don't have the highest sensitivity adapter.
  10. Thanks Kraken...am working on that solution now. Working with my vendor on returning the Ikelite adapters and picking up some YS-D3's but still have not given up on the DS160's yet. Regardless, the cable build solutions suits my desire to field repair if I need to (will just need to travel with extra cable built or materials to build them. Again, thanks for the detail on building my fiber optics...will let you know progress.
  11. Kraken...nice link about building my own cables....I want to do that. Do you have any further guidance or details for build instructions? what materials are you using to interface with the housing and the strobe? In the meantime Ikelite responded with these troubleshooting tips. "You can try passing a flashlight across the end of the fiber optic cord and see if it triggers the strobe. If might take a couple passes to get the strobe to fire. This has to do with the learning capabilities of the converter. It will learn if the triggering strobe has a preflash or not. Please let us know if the flashlight triggers the strobe." I created a testing matrix with several lights and varying brightness, lower light flashlights would not trigger the strobe (no surprise) and some lower light settings didn't trigger the strobe through the sync cord. So...back to researching how to build my own sync cable and see if I can get results. Lopes
  12. If I am following you, I think I have already performed the test of each link. My second post with video's attached is where I triggered strobes by manually firing a strobe then a flash unit. The mirrorless Z7II doesn't have a built in flash so it is all through the housing to the strobes. I did test that the camera fired the Nikon SB5000 flash outside of the housing ensuring it was sending a signal (which I also validated when I see the infrared flash being triggered inside the housing while connected through the hot shoe. Let me know if I am missing anything or misinterpreting your guidance. Lopes
  13. Thanks Again Kraken...great thoughts. Brand new batteries firing the infrared flash in the housing (CR2032)...measured the voltage with a multimeter that showed fully charged. The strobe batteries are brand new as well as I purchased new ones when I sent strobes in for maintenance. I performed a deep charge initially after receiving them but I am still currently charging again to double check. Still waiting for response from Ikelite and Nauticam (don't expect anything until after the weekend). Any other insights are more than welcome. Thanks, Lopes
  14. Thanks Chris and Kraken, I am new to F/O (have always used Ikelite sync cables) and new to my new Nauticam housing. Your troubleshooting tips have been very helpful as I come up the learning curve on fiber optics. I still can't get the strobes to fire when attached to the housing via the F/O cables. Here is the status: I was able to get the strobe to fire by holding the open end of the adapter directly on the face of another strobe that I fired manually (i.e. shorting the ground to trigger per Ikelite troubleshooting methods). I was able to get the strobe to fire when I connected the F/O cable to the adaptor that was connected to one of my strobes and held the open end on another strobe that I fired manually. I repeated the same procedure as in the 2nd bullet above but this time manually fired my Nikon SB5000 flash unit and the "slave" strobe fired. Camera/strobe settings all seem correct: Flash Mode: Fill Flash or rear synch Shutter speed: under 250 (using 100 for my test shots) Manual power on strobes...i.e. no TTL The trigger from the housing seems to be a red flash emanating from a circuit board attached to the hot shoe connector. There are two batteries on the circuit board that I assume power the "flash" in the housing that is transmitted to the F/O cable and eventually to the converter and strobe. I think it is the power of the housing "flash" (that red flash) isn't enough to fire the strobe. One last confounding (pronounced frustrating) fact is that while testing my strobes through my old Ikelite housing using Ikelite sync cables and my Nikon D800 I can't get the strobes to fire at all where they used to prior to sending strobes in for service. I don't think these issues are connected though. Sending a note to Nauticam and Ikelite to see what their service tech teams think. Thanks again for all the insight...super helpful. Lopes 20220220_104013.mp4 20220220_104354.mp4
  15. Setting up new camera and housing. Can't get my strobes to fire. Setup details below. I just bought the Nikon Z7II Mirrorless camera and housed it in my first ever Nauticam housing (have been shooting Ikelite with previous DSLR cameras). Strobes are Ikelite DS160s (freshly back from servicing at Ikelite). I am using Sea&Sea SS-50128 F/O Sync Cord II M/2 fiber optic cables. Interfacing with the strobes using ikelite 4401.3 fiber optic adaptor. I can see the flash firing inside the housing by viewing with the fiber optic cables disconnected. Fiber optic cables seem to be fine as I see the fire at the non housing end of the cable when not connected to the strobes. I tested the strobes using Ikelites "shorting" method to verify the strobes are working (brand new batteries and fully charged). That leaves the fiber optic adapter as the culprit. Any insight/suggestions for troubleshooting or testing these adaptors? I am sending an email to Ikelite to see what insight they might have. Thanks, in advance, Lopes I can't get the strobes to fire. I have verified I am getting firing from the camera to housing as I am seeing the red flash through the fiber optic ports.
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