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Nicool

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About Nicool

  • Rank
    Eagle Ray
  • Birthday 02/10/1984

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  • Website URL
    https://www.instagram.com/nicolaslenaremy/

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Sydney, Australia

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    Australia
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D500
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam NA-D500
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Dual Inon Z240 Type IV

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  1. Thanks Chris for your replies. I didn't think about the differences in brightness between the center and outside of the strobe beam. However, probably like you, i am indeed aiming the outside of the beam to the subject, to minimize backscatter. To your first question, i only need to take 5-6 photos in a burst (for macro quick action), so it seems like most strobes will cope reasonably well with that. For wide-angle - inquisitive sealions, maybe a full second at lower frequency, so a gain 5-6 shots in total, but with more power, so hopefully the Retra Pro would be able to cope. At least my understanding is i won't have to worry about "melt down" (i would never try repetitive high power shooting with my Inons Z240, too concerned about damaging them). Any further "field" feedback on the Retra pros would be greatly appreciated
  2. Wow i didn't think you could get a nice A2 on 3200 ISO with an APS-C sensor. One day i need to see your large prints physically, bring them down in Oz (so no, i thought 1000 ISOs would be a limit not to overcome to keep decent IQ, as i've also got diffraction happening at these macro apertures) Hi Algwyn, Thanks for your message. Since you're sharing your personal opinion, without factual evidence, can i suggest that you be a little more humble and less prescriptive? First of all, you might have missed this recent scientific study on the effect of flash photography over seahorses. Full details of the research paper are available here. In short, it demonstrates underwater strobes don't have an effect on seahorses, be it on their ability to feed (incl. fast hunting) and no retina damage was found. Secondly, when i shoot 10 fps, it is for a very short burst, i would say half a second, meaning 5-6 photos, set at around 1/16th of my Inon Z240 strobe power (sometimes less). Meaning in that burst, i will deliver less light than by flashing once at half power... Lastly, this species isn't the pygmy seahorse that you find in south east asia, but a Sydney's pygmy pipehorse (Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri). Endemic species to +/-200km around Sydney (Australia). There is a dive site here where local divers have been observing and photographing these animals for many years. Given they are rather sedentary, week after weeks the same divers often see the same individual on the same rock. While being photographed, they have been observed feeding (i.e catching tiny crustaceans) and even courting. These empirical observations are consistent with the findings of the above-mentioned scientific study. Hope we can go back to the original topic - which is about the performances of the new Retra Pro strobes.
  3. Try super macro, with a depth of field probably 1-2mm, and a subject head of around 1cm... and the said subject has a tendency to bounce back and forth in the surge (its tail attached to an algae, the rest of the body swinging around)... while you're struggling against a tidal current... Let's say it brings its set of challenges, and 10fps helps you get one of two sharp shots. EXIFs for the attached example: -Nikon 105mm AF-S VR lens (with Subsee +10 diopter), on a Nikon D500 -Speed: 1/125th -1000 ISOs -f/16 Note the photo is sharp on the eyes, but due to the upload resolution/weight limit it doesn't render well.
  4. Hi Chris, Thanks a lot for this very informative reply! I just quoted these 2 sentences as that's where i am seeking more clarity (on the second one essentially): 1/ Do we know whether the Inon Z240 and Retra Pro strobes (just comparing the one i own vs the one i might buy) are offering an "exposure guarantee", meaning by either delivering the expected exposure (as per the user's setting on the power dial: full power, 1/2th power, 1/4th power...) or by just not firing if they aren't ready? As a user, this is my expected behaviour: once i have setup my strobe powers correctly, i will approach the subject and take a few shots (focusing on composition), then back-off to check results. When i do, if i see few photos turn black/not lit, i'll know my strobe power was too high and will decrease + bump ISOs. If the strobe kept firing inconsistently (due to not reaching the needed charge level in time), it will be more difficult to tell & decide Thanks for pointing the other thread Oskar, which i've read, good learnings. As a prospective customer, i am still left to read at manufacturer specifications and compare. In the above thread, i see the Inon Z330 specs are to be taken with a pinch of salt, but the Inon Z240 (my current strobes) and the original Retra seem more "consistent" in behaviour. My question is on the Retra Pro specs: i read i would get my ready for a complete exposure at 80%/40% power respectively in 3s/1.5s (no indication of how long it would take to be ready for a full power dump, but i understand now that other strobe manufacturers won't indicate that neither, and i understand why, so ok). 2/ So is this understanding correct: -if i set a Retra pro to the 75% mark (so below 80%), i'll get a predictable, stable exposure provided i wait at least 3 seconds. -if i set a Retra pro to the ~37.5% mark (the one between 50 and 25%), i'll get a predictable, stable exposure at that power, provided i wait at least 1.5 seconds. 3/ Then if i understand well Chris' earlier explanations, these above recycle time are from the a totally empty capacitor, meaning if i hadn't been shooting for a minute, my Retra pro will be recycled at 100%, so i would shoot twice at the ~37.5% mark and get full, consistent output without waiting the 1.5 seconds (but i will have to wait before shooting a 3rd time at that power)? 4/ Can i expect these recycling numbers to remain valid whatever the charge level of my Eneloop Pro batteries (e.g. at the beginning or end of the dive)? 5/ Any indication at which power i can get a recycling time below 0.1 seconds? Assuming the recycling time vs power setting ratio is linear, I would think a 2-3% setting (1/30th of 80% full power) would get me that consistent output at that power, if i trigger every 0.1 second (10 fps burst mode)? 6/ keen to hear how "linear" is the autonomy/power setting curve. E.g. if i set the Retra Pros at 25% power, can i expect 4x150=600 flashs roughly? I find my inons Z240 pretty predictable on that aspect, which i like. Interested in both Oskar feedbacks and user field observations to get clarity on my 1-6 questions Now before you all tell me no one shoots at full power nor needs a 0.1sec recycle time, let me explain where i am coming from/share more on my specific needs/shooting techniques: -I lack power when shooting wide angle with my Inons Z240, although i never shoot them more than 50% power (i'll be at 25% when i now there will be some repetitive shooting). Why? These strobes are known to "melt down" if you shoot too often at high power. But honestly even at full power (admittedly i tried a few times very carefully), i am still not covering specific needs, such as lighting a big scene with several grey nurses and sealions cruising. Yes, i do bump the ISOs (up to 400-500 on my D500), but in bright scene i'll be limited by my max shutter speed (1/250th). Bottom line, i do need more power. -i need ability to shoot short bursts at 10 frames per seconds, and i need doing so with higher power output than my Z240 inons (i would question upgrading otherwise). Use case: i shoot tiny (1-2cm) sygnathidae in the surge, super macro setup (tiny depth of field), and the 10fps burst will grant me 1-2 sharp shots once the animal turns towards me. Today with the Inons i have to step down significantly the strobes to allow this, meaning i might be at 640-800 ISOs on my APS-C Nikon D500 (IQ trade-off). -Assuming the Retra Pros don't have a "melt-down" issue, i intent do shoot also large animal action (the cheeky sealion passing by briefly) in burst mode, but then at higher power setting (and maybe i don't need 10fps, 3-4fps so recycling at 0.2-0.3 secs would do). Again that requires a predictable recycling time, and clarity on how the Retra Pro will behave (my question #1 above). Cheers Nicolas
  5. Hi Pavel, that gets me confused. From a user perspective, what matters is: « how quickly do i have sufficient charge so that the next photo is exposed like the previous one (assuming no setting changes) » If what you’re saying is true with my Inons, i would get varying levels of exposure between shots, whereas i do get good consistency (noting i never shoot them at more than half power, too concerned about overheating). Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  6. No problem with mine after 4 dives. Here is a pygmy shot with it... but a Sydney pygmy pipehorse Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  7. I might have to go this path too... but that means buying a dual quality fiber optic cord, plus likely another arm section + 2 clamps :-/ Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  8. Hi there! Although we don’t have Phil’s experience, my wife and myself tried our fresh new MF-1 snoot in Sydney’s local muck dive on saturday. We had a total blast: both of us having a few shots we were happy with. For context, our only other snoot experience was 1 dive with Retra’s LSD on an Inon z240, same dive site. The results obtained with the Backscatter combo were much better, given that aiming is much easier (focus light has same beam size as the flash, so what you see is what you get). What we haven’t figured out yet is how to precisely orientate the spotlight when using the reduction masks, as they make the shape of the spotlight quite blurry. Phil would you know? Nicolas Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  9. Anyone heard back from Retra on the strobes readiness? Yes, have got a dive trip planned soon (early Feb), and the subject matter would certainly benefit larger strobes Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  10. Probably right, so there might be more photographers than we thought making money, but they kept it secret ;-) Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  11. Hi guys, 8 years later i would love to hear fresh views on the topic not that i expect UW photography to easily pay bills now but curious to know how the over-presence of social media (for instance) may have transformed underwater photographers’ bottom line 8 years ago we said the main income source was leading trip, workshops, doing trainings... what about social media? what about being a brand ambassador (not sure if that grants you more than free loan gear) :) Nicolas
  12. Would love to hear an update as Retra were supposed to ship second half of October Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  13. Thanks for that! I know it’s not so straightforward to compare non-rectilinear lenses, so just wondering how differents are the angles of view between 8-15mm + kenko 1.4 and the 10-17 without kenko. I really like my 10-17, unsure what sort of improvements a 8-15mm could bring besides lifting my purse Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  14. Great stuff, enjoy the red sea Alex! Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  15. Great to read about the flexibility introduced with the smartphone connectivity, the Retra guys literally thought outside the box. One thing not mentioned in Alex’s video is the leak monitor / water tightness test. Hope this is still part of the specs of the production flash. Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
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