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Everything posted by ONerka

  1. I was in the Socorro Islands in April 2018. Great diving for lots of manta rays, dolphins, a variety of sharks, whale sharks, some large tuna, and some dense fish schools. Given all of the big stuff in the Socorro Islands, I would leave macro lens home and take wide angle lenses. The reef is very different from most regions in that it is mostly barren rock, so not very good for macro. Interesting rock formations, though. My favorite was Roca Partida, which attracts big animals. Amazing vertical walls into the abyss. I always carry with me my camera gear in pelican and soft case. 50% of time TSA inspects it---usually for batteries. So far I have only lost a 4 inch Allen wrench to security in Korea.
  2. As stated above in the quote from the D2J manual, Sea and Sea is misleading photographers into thinking they can safely take 20 rapid fire shots at full power with the D2J and the only consequence is that it will turn off until it cools down. They need to warn photographers that rapid firing at full power can lead to overheating and a blown flash tube. In my case, I did not think I was firing rapidly but I was taking 2 shots at full power while making slight manual f stop adjustments in between the 2 shots. I will now reduce the GN and switch to the 100 diffuser, assuming I can fix the D2J. FYI, I spent many years using the Nikonos SB105 strobe, which required patience while it reloaded, but it was very reliable.
  3. Thanks, I will reduce power to GN 22. I also use the Fantasea UWL-09 wide angle wet lens which reportedly has 130° view. That is why I was using the 120 diffuser, but maybe the 100 is sufficient with two strobes. I never tried the 100 diffuser.
  4. I have a Sony A6400 mirrorless camera, so not full frame. I have been setting the TWO D2J strobes at manual, full power, preflash to mainly shoot wide angle closeups (120° diffuser). I suspect you are correct about overheating after multiple shots. I thought the strobe would simply shut down for a while if it got too hot, not blow the flash tube. I did not have any problems when using Duracell rechargeable batteries on my previous month long trip to Maldives. I suspect the Eneloop Pro batteries may be too powerful and enable the strobes to recovery too quickly, thus facilitating overheating. I will switch to Eneloop white batteries, and will reduce the GN from 32 to 22, and maybe increase ISO a bit. I typically shoot near f8 and f11 at 100 or 200 ISO, and take ˜100 shots during a 50-60 min dive (I may need to take fewer). Why does full frame versus APS-C make a difference? FYI, below is text from the D2J manual, leading me to think the strobe would automatically shut down to protect itself if it got too hot. This never happened. The strobe that simply turned off never came on (even after 1 day) until I tapped the strobe case with knuckles. The other strobe blew the flash tube. Both strobes were rarely used prior to this trip. "If the product emits the FULL emission of light in more than 20 continuous bursts, an internal protective circuit will be activated to prevent the reflector in the strobe from overheating, and the strobe will be placed in standby mode (with the READY/TTL lamp lights out) for at least 20 seconds. If this occurs, allow this product to cool naturally for at least ten minutes." Thanks for your comments.
  5. I have two relatively new, pristine condition, Sea & Sea D2J strobes, and both failed during my trip to Fiji in Sept 2022. I purchased the strobes just prior to the Pandemic but did not use them much until January 2022 (Maldives). They worked fine when using Duracell rechargeable batteries. For the Fiji trip, I switched to new black Eneloop Pro batteries (stamp appears to indicate 2021 date). After about 4 dives (100 flashes per dive, full manual power with preflash), one strobe turned off without warning and would not turn back on, even a day later. Ultimately, I discovered that tapping the strobe with my knuckles (one time usually) turned strobe back on. Shaking the strobe did not cause it to turn off or on; battery cap terminals were tested to be fine. I do not think the power shut down was due to overheating from multiple flashes because it would not turn on after waiting many hours; only turned on after a tap. After 20 dives, the second D2J strobe blew its flash tube without warning. No moisture, no flooding, essentially pristine condition. The electronic lights still turned on. I contacted Backscatter and my retailer (Mozaik), who is helping me fix the blown tube. Even though blown flash tubes seem to be common in the D2J strobe, Sea and Sea refused to fix it because warranty time had expired. After the blown tube, I wondered about the powerful Eneloop Pro batteries, so I switched back to the Duracell rechargeable batteries. The "working" strobe seemed to shut down less frequently during a dive (once per dive) and I could quickly restart it with a tap underwater. Later, to my surprise, Backscatter mentioned to me that the black Eneloop Pro batteries are linked to blown flash tubes in the D2J strobe but not the newer D3 strobe that replaced the D2J. Backscatter recommends the white Eneloop batteries in the D2J strobe. Wish I had known this! I asked Sea and Sea about using the black Eneloop Pro batteries in the D2J strobe and they said I should continue to use the Eneloop Pro batteries. I just sent the intermittently working D2J strobe to Backscatter for diagnostics. Needless to say, I am very disappointed that two new Sea and Sea D2J strobes failed just beyond the warranty period. I am curious to learn more about the Eneloop Pro batteries and problems with the D2J strobe.
  6. Hi: I have been taking UW photos since 1974, using Nikonos II and V cameras and strobes until switching to a Sony A6400 in a Fantasea housing and two S&S D2J strobes in 2019. I primarily shoot wide angle closeups in tropical waters. I am a semi retired salmon scientist, so I have much more time now to travel the planet and take UW photos. Greg
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