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Everything posted by serpentara

  1. Interesting thank you. I am a technical diver certified past 100 meters. How far have the Retras with the supercharger been pressure tested down to? I took my Sea & Sea YS-D2J down to 90 meters and they survived, but the plastic cover on the OPV of the battery cap caved in. It still works though. I think the "official" rating for the Retras is 100m, but the aluminum body and dual o-rings gives me hope.
  2. Thanks Oskar. So what then is the cycle time to full of the pro xs with the supercharger? 80% might be quick, but as you said in other posts it is that last 20% that is much slower, like charging lithium ion batteries. Also one thing that was odd re specifications. Without the supercharger the pro x could take 175 full power shots. With the supercharger the number is 420. I could understand 350, but 420 makes no sense since you are only doubling the capacity of the battery bank. Drew
  3. Hi Folks, I am headed to the Galapagos next month and thought it might be an excuse to upgrade my strobes. I am currently shooting YS-D2Js. They have been relatively reliable compared to the train wreck that were the D2s before them. That said, one seems to be acting up a bit, so I thought it might be time to look at alternatives. I have loved the Reta concept since the original Pros were released. I also have the LSD snoot that will work great with the Retras. I understand now that Retra has caught up with manufacturing delays, so shipping is immediate. Compound that with a weak Euro, the Retras are tempting. A few questions: The D2Js have a rated cycle speed of 1.5 seconds at full power. There are lies, damn lies, and that statistic. It seems much longer. How does the cycle speed of the Retras at equivalent power compare to the D2Js? Also, I seem to have a tendency to hit the thermal throttle of the D2J wherein once you take enough shots at maximum output, it needs to cool, and prevents you from taking further pictures for a while. With its all-aluminum housing, does the Retra last longer before you hit the thermal throttle and/or does it cool down faster than the D2J? Thanks! -Drew
  4. Thanks for your feedback. Very encouraging to learn about the Sea & Sea lens! Are you using the 77mm lens with a stepup/step down ring? The bigger lens? What made you pick the 50mm extension tube? My housing manufacturer (EasyDive) suggested using a 30mm tube on their port.
  5. Thanks for the tips with the TOSLINK cable. After breaking my second $95 Sea & Sea multistrand I sad screw it and gave TOSLINK a try. I 3d printed a jig for cutting the ends of the strain boots to be the length of the plugs on the standard multistrand, and to make sure the cut was orthoginal. Seems to work fine and easily triggers the YS-D2J on land. I will test them in water this weekend. I am using a LED trigger with my housing.
  6. 1/80, F8 ISO800-3200 depending on the shot.
  7. It sounds like I might be one of the first divers to have used it other than Phil. I CADed up and 3d printed a zoom gear for it with my Leo Wii housing from EasyDive. I shot it behind their 240mm dome and a 40mm extension tube. Was not thrilled with the corners, but I loved the internal zooming. Because the zoom ring is digital the jump from 16-35mm is quick. I guess that could be a good thing underwater. Less rotations of the zoom gear. Pictures: https://www.drewwilsonphotography.com/Wrecks-and-Artificial-Reefs/TBF-Avenger/ https://www.drewwilsonphotography.com/Wrecks-and-Artificial-Reefs/High-Seas/
  8. I have two domes, a 5" and a 9". I shoot the rectilinear lens with the 9". The whole "switching to usb mode to change the settings" issue differs from camera to camera. When I shot my GH5 it was not an issue. I don't recall if it still is.
  9. See post above. I also notice that the sides/corners of the frame are very blurry using the 16-35 F4 lens stopped down to F8 or F9, and the 9" dome but since this is my first housing I do not know if that is the normal amount of blur for underwater housings.
  10. So for the A7RIII there is a significant lag when switching between using the shutter/autofocus and changing the settings. Essentially if you want to change the F-Stop, ISO, Shutter speed, it requires the camera to switch over to USB mode. Once in USB mode the response is instantaneous. When you want to use the shutter again it must leave USB mode to allow the shutter to actuate. The switch back and fourth takes a few seconds. That can be super annoying. Once back in shutter mode the responsiveness is instantaneous. The other thing that I do not like is that some components are 3D printed that should not be. Primarily the sun shades. the way they are made with a FDM process puts the deposition plane in line with the shear plane which means that the shades break fairly easily if they get bumped. I have broken both the shade on my full frame port (9") and my smaller port (5")
  11. I have been diving a Leo 3 Wii for 3 years first with a Panasonic GH5 then a Sony A7RIII let me know if you have questions.
  12. The thing is the draw happens on land when the strobe is dry.
  13. Are these still on track for September/October shipping? I am looking to replace 2 YS-D2 (non j) On a related topic, if I have a Retra LSD fitted for YS-D2 what do I need to fit it for these? How much is the adapter?
  14. STROBE IS SOLD. Will ship out Tuesday. Thank you for the quick and seamless transaction.
  15. Hi Folks. I was fortunate enough to place third in Intermediate Traditional Macro in this year's Monterey Shootout, and my prize was a brand new in box Ikelite DS161 strobe + battery. Unfortunately, I am not an Ikelite shooter. However, I do want to parlay my winnings into replacing my very very temperamental Sea & Sea YS-D2s (non J). To be clear this is the strobe head + 1 battery together in the box. I will happily part with the strobe+battery for $900 USD shipped to the continental US. I can do PayPal or Venmo. I know I don't have a ton of posts (mostly a lurker) so for vetting purposes my info: My ebay user ID is automaton3. My website is www.drewwilsonphotography.com My Facebook account is http://www.facebook.com/drew.wilson.7798 Please let me know if you have any questions!
  16. Still on track for September/October shipping? If I have a Retra LSD fitted for YS-D2 what do I need to fit it for these?
  17. I am half way ready to tell Sea & Sea exactly where they can shove my YS-D2 (non J) strobes. One had to replace a bulb after about a year. The second I had to replace a charred front housing. Both repairs were $200+ Now one of the strobes has a parasitic draw when the batteries are in it. If I prep my camera the night before and try to shoot it the next day, the batteries in one of the strobes will pretty much be dead. More than 24 hours, guaranteed completely dead. This is with the power switch set to "off." Has anyone had a similar problem? I am seriously considering replacing them with Inon Z330s or the new Retra strobes if they EVER actually ship. I really don't want to pay Sea & Sea a second time for YS-D2J which is what the original YS-D2 should have been...
  18. Stupid question I am sure but where do I buy the 5 mini? I have a version 3 that I have already replaced the PCB once and probably need to do so again (the light is stuck on always on red). Having the electronics (at least the battery) inside the housing makes sense to me. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  19. I just got back from a trip over labor day. It was fantastic. You can see pics here: https://www.drewwilson.photography/Sharks-And-Eels/Great-White-Sharks/ As for tips I posted the following on facebook https://www.facebook.com/drew.wilson.7798/posts/10161018491485284: With friends about to head out to shoot the great whites, I thought I would post some tips that I found during my own trip, some of which might be a little unintuitive. I was shooting with a Panasonic GH5. I invite others to chime in: 1. GET LOW. Nobody cares about the top of the shark. The money is in the mouth and the eyes. Most of the diving is from surface cages, meaning the deepest you can get is 8-10 feet. I found kneeling in the cages worked the best for maximum stability and best angle. 2. Shoot on burst with continuous autofocus. It is all about the action with these sharks. A great shot is them going after the bait with their mouth open and if you wait to try to take a shot just at the perfect moment you will miss it. 3. Use single point AF (or small zone). There are a ton of smaller schooling fish that rush the bait when it is thrown. The sharks make them scatter and are often much closer to your camera than the shark is. You need to be able to punch through these fish, who act like backscatter to get to the shark. 4. Shoot with a high shutter speed. I shot at my maximum strobe sync speed. 1/250. I would have shot even faster if I could. Sometimes the shark moves slowly, but often they are rushing the bait and thrashing about. Sometimes YOU are the one moving when the cage bounces around from the swell. Freeze that action! 5. Shoot with a relatively high F Stop. I shot most of my pics at F6.3. You want corner to corner sharpness in your dome since your goal is to fill the frame with the shark. That means the most interesting part with the finest detail (the teeth) will often be at the side of your frame. 6. Shoot with a medium zoom lens. Most of my shots, including head on shot everyone loves (https://www.drewwilson.photography/…/Great-White-…/i-QP8jWXf ) were shot with a 24-70mm equivalent lens. In fact the head on shot was a 70mm! The bait is thrown a good 10-15 feet in front of the cages. They pull the bait in, but most of the action occurs 10-15 feet away. Even a big great white will look quite small on a 16mm lens when they are 15 feet away. It is really nice to be able to change the zoom to track the shark as it moves about. I had started with a 14-28mm equivalent but was shooting everything at 28mm. The sharks don't always swim RIGHT in front of your cage. A little reach can be helpful. 7. Shoot at a relatively high ISO in order to target proper exposure. I had my ISO at 400-800 the whole time to make the exposure reading within a decent range of center. 8. Set your strobes to medium power so they cycle fast and can add fill lighting. The strobes are only really useful when your subject is within 5-10 feet. At 10 they will lose color, but help to get rid of some of the shadows and show the contrast between the top and bottom of the shark.
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