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Everything posted by Oskar@RetraUWT

  1. Testing the TTL output will be easier on a grey subject with some contrast in the middle for easier focusing. Our box is quite good for this. Below please see screenshot of 5 exposures done with the UW Technics 11031-II board for Nikon set to YS-D1 setting (#3 on the dial of this converter). The images were made with spot metering at ISO100, approximately 0,6 meters distance from flash to subject and the Retra Flash was set to +3 for all exposures. Pavel is currently working with the new Retra Flash and will release more accurate profiles in due course. For the time being we encourage you to try YS-D1 profiles and setting +2 or +3 on the flash.
  2. Hi Tom It seems to me that this cable on the E-Opto converter was twisted a lot since it broke just on the edge. Can you confirm? * Both of your converters should trigger the old and new flashes without any issue even if the connector is pulled out of the sensor cap for a few milimeters. Please note that the old flashes need to be positioned to "SL mode" for triggering with optical sensor. If this is not the case I would say that both fibres are already damaged and should be checked/refreshed. To refresh the fibres they should just be pulled out (not twisted) and cut with a sharp knife to remove the part which is damaged. If you need any help exchanging this cable or further assistance on how to get the cable out please write to: develop@retra-uwt.com. Thank you. Edit 1 - *We tried to recreate this situation and the only way we could do it was to press the cable at a 90º angle at the edge of the housing and twist it about 15-20 times around it's axis. The cable broke and then it took some more twisting and pulling while the cable was still held by the screw to brake the jacket as well. Maybe with colder conditions it can happen sooner. We agree that this is a potential weak point and we will now be looking into it for improvement. For the time being please avoid twisting the cable unnecessarily and especially while it is at an angle. Mount the E-Opto converter first to your flash arm and then plug it into the flash. Movements of the flash while mounted like this should be no problem for the cable. Edit 2 - A little backstory: When we were testing the E-Opto converter and Alex was using the prototype on his trips we already encountered such issues but then sourced a much more robust optical cable which we are using now. Alex tested again to confirm and didn't get problems. We were then considering to make "do not twist" stickers for the cable but after testing the durability we decided to skip on the stickers since it seemed to us that so much twisting will not be possible as to completely brake away the cable. Anyway, I am amused to see that it can still happen and of course we need to look into this some more.
  3. For all sales to end users inside the EU we are required to add VAT (value added tax). With the PRO's this means the price of €899 (excluding tax) comes up to €1.096 or just shy of €200 of tax per flash which is a little more than 20%. All EU customers pay this tax. When sending items outside the EU (exporting) we are not required and do not add any taxes as the destination country will place duties and local taxes on the imported goods based on the rules they have. In my experience these are much lower in the majority of countries around the world and many of them even come out without paying taxes. I think Canada might be the most expensive of the western ones but it still comes out at about 15% which is considerably less than the EU. In the US I think it's much less, as Herb pointed out he paid no more than 5% tax. When you are purchasing products directly from the manufacturer there will be no middleman to take his part in the sale. In our case this means we can keep the product priced lower because we can count on at least some of the sales to come directly. Although the majority of users still prefer buying at a local shop instead of the internet and we always see a total drop of direct sales in an area where a reseller starts to operate.
  4. The front glass is thick and robust, it's one of the heaviest parts of the whole assembly! A few scratches here and there have absolutely no effect on lighting quality, especially under water. If somewhere down the line you decide to polish it you can use any kind of polish for acrylic glass. Or you could send it to us for a replacement. We have to add this to the Maintenance section of the user manual inside the App...
  5. First shipments have gone out. It will take 3-4 weeks before all pre-orders are sent so everyone will be getting shipping emails in the next weeks.
  6. Thank you for the feedback. With the Original Retra Flash we had 4 lights: 1 red and 3 green. Green lights started to turn off once the battery voltage was decreased. Once the battery was drained only the red light remained. With the new Retra Flash PRO/Prime we have a multi-color indicator with 4 colors for battery indication: green, yellow, red and a blinking red. These are divided into approximately! 25% steps - we can not determine a super precise percentage because it depends greatly on battery age, temperature, etc. This means that red light is 25%-50% battery and yellow is 50%-75% approximately(!). With a yellow light your will therefore usually have more than half the battery remaining. This may not be enough if you are expecting a longer dive but if you have a shorter dive coming up it could suffice. In general the battery consumption is greater with the new Retra Flash PRO because of increased power on the pilot light and the flash output. This means you might need to recharge the standard pack of 4xAA batteries after a photo intensive dive. We recommend black eneloop pro batteries as they offer increased capacity compared with the standard white eneloops. We were getting about 25% more shots in our tests with the black eneloops. An extended battery compartment is in the works and will be introduced in the coming weeks once the majority of pre-orders are sent. This new product will increase the number of flashes by approximately 2x and decrease the recycle time by approximately 0.5x. More details once it will be announced. Also keep in mind that if you are using the flash and switch immediately to BATT/TEST mode the battery indication may not be correct as the battery voltage hasn't settled. In most cases to get the best measurement the batteries should have about 30 seconds off time before making the measurement.
  7. Because neoprene is easily compressed it will not protect the edges of the flash in case they slam into rocks or a hard floor during rough seas. Bumpers were designed specifically to protect the edges of the Retra Flash in case there is a harder knock or blow on the edge of the flash. We have made our stress tests with and without the Neoprene protector and found no difference with heating/cooling. This might be an issue with plastic flashguns but with our single block aluminium design there is no such problem.
  8. Diffusers spread the beam by reducing hotspots and thus ensuring a more even distribution of light. This is done at a loss in the overall light intensity but for the advantage of a more evenly spread light beam. The important part to consider when adding a diffuser is the change in color temperature and the softer transition of shadows. Below are two images where the difference in color temperature and shadow gradient can be observed. It was made with the new Retra Flash with and without the WA diffuser.
  9. Thank you all for the support. I think that many manufacturers are following this forum and over at the housings section I have seen many of them also engaging on the different threads. Although there aren't as many interactions on flashgun topics. Today we have posted our final update on the new Retra Flash: https://www.retra-uwt.com/blogs/news Please excuse me if I do not respond to all the questions or requests, right now we are completely immersed in the production process, but I will follow the thread and respond as much as possible.
  10. Hi We post updates in the news section on our homepage. Here is an excerpt from the latest update: We expect the first packages will depart at the end of July / beginning of August. The currently pre-ordered flashguns can be expected for delivery throughout August and September. Please note that our warning regarding the shipping date for pre-orders still stands: "Delivery times may change due to production delays or product improvements. If you are planning a diving trip with the new Retra Flash at the time of the estimated delivery date we strongly advise against pre-ordering! There is no guarantee you will receive the product on time. Your pre-order may be fully refunded at any time. Currency conversion changes will not be compensated in the event of a refund." More updates will follow in the coming months as we edge ever closer to sending out the new products. Right now we are super busy with the pre-production runs.
  11. Thank you Tom and Chris for quickly responding to Tim's issue and helping out. Since this topic was started at the same time as Tim sent us his email I said that I will reply here. If you can see the pilot light clearly and more or less in the center of the beam this means the LSD is mounted correctly which is the most important thing. Since Tim already has experience with the LSD on his Z-240 I will skip the basics but if someone is interested here is the topic where most of the beginner stuff was covered: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=62595 What I would like to add is that masks act as apertures. The smaller the hole the darker the light output and with our masks it goes down about 0.5-1 F-stop per step. With smaller holes and the Z-240 it is normal to use full power. The new Z-330 is more suited for this because of higher power and the pilot light is slightly tilted making it more central in the LSD which helps with aiming. But still the ideal scenario for snooting is a pilot light and flash tube shining from the same spot or what is more common: a round flash tube with a pilot light in the center.
  12. Yes, with Prime and PRO. The battery pack will improve recycle time and number of flash, exact figures will be announced when the battery pack is ready for pre-order.
  13. We haven’t tested this yet on the new Retra Flash but Adam tested more than 400 flashes on the original Retra Flash which has 100Ws: http://wetpixel.com/articles/strobe-tests-inon-z330-retra-flash-and-symbiosis-ss2/P3 This is quite ideal test situation with new batteries, almost constant room temperature and consecutive firings. In real life there are things that can reduce the number of flash, mainly the temperature and battery age/condition. But we can expect something roughly around 200-300. Anyway we are working on a proprietary battery pack design which will improve the new flashgun performance (not compatible with original Retra Flash). The new battery pack design will require more intensive work and we aim to confirm it’s design after the new Retra Flash Prime/PRO are already shipping. Specifications will be announced in due course. News on this here: https://www.retra-uwt.com/blogs/news/new-retra-flash-update
  14. First of all thank you for your extensive opinion, we appreciate the extra input. Just to clarify, we use studio testing on land because it is consistent and can be repeated relatively quickly without major deviations. But this data is not the sole measure of the quality or the power of light the flashgun produces. We rely on field testing to confirm that something really works as intended and sometimes it doesn't.
  15. The below graph compares two flashguns with similar specifications when set to full power. Their maximum power in the center and light fall off is similar.
  16. Regarding the reason we don't plot the graph in absolute intensity: "The absolute power is also not so important because with most good flashguns we don’t use them on full power much. However, the quality of light, determined by pattern of the beam, always affects our photos on all powers. All good underwater flashguns give a wide coverage, but still differ in how much of their light they get out to the wider parts of the beam. A wide, even beam gives a better quality of light, without unsightly hotspots and produces a more even illumination on the subject in wide angle photography. These flashguns are also easier to use, being more forgiving of slight errors in how you position them.” Alex Mustard Some specifications are yet to be confirmed and will be published in due course.
  17. Light output is not about power in the center of the beam: “All you need to remember about Guide Number is not to use it as a guide for buying a strobe. The Guide Number is determined both by the light output and the spread of the beam. A focused beam produces a much higher Guide Number than a widely spread beam, yet the latter is more desirable underwater.” Alex Mustard in Underwater Photography Masterclass (2016) Although we have measured maximum power output of all flashguns it is not relevant for this test. I can say though that the power output in the center does not vary as much as power output on the edges. We are aware that a curved surface will change the light spread once in contact with water. The truth is that all tested flashguns have a curved front port and therefore we can not rule out any of them. We are also curious about the comparison in water and plan to reproduce the test in a pool.
  18. Hi Stefan We are currently testing additional firmware features, that were designed for the new Retra Flash, on the original Retra Flash. We want to give the latest possible update because the update is quite difficult to make and requires sending the flashes to us. It’s going to be a longer wait but taking into account the lifetime of the flashgun it makes sense to take a few more months before starting the program.
  19. The problem is not with indicator lights but the lack of a testing standard that would clearly define the flashgun specifications AND that the manufacturers would follow.
  20. Hi Everyone It's true that UW flashguns signal the ready light at about 80% power because the capacitors take almost twice as long to charge the last 20%. It is similar to batteries in electric cars and mobile phone which advertise a fast charging time to 80% capacity because it takes so much longer to recharge the last bit. When we started making our own flash we were surprised to find this out - as Pavel said it's not possible to recharge at such a fast rate because the charging curve is always more horizontal and not vertical! But we had to take into account everyone will compare the provided specifications and with no UW flashgun does it say the recycle time is measured to about 80% power - although in reality it is and with some flashguns it's even much lower like Jerry pointed out. A similar problem is also with GN which we don't publish any more because there is no sense trying to compete with inflated specifications provided by some manufactures.
  21. We have recently made a light output comparison with different flashguns: https://www.retra-uwt.com/blogs/news
  22. As soon as the update will be ready we will publish details in the news section on our website: https://www.retra-uwt.com/
  23. The TTL output with existing profiles (Inon, Sea&Sea, etc.) will be much more consistent with the new firmware on the original and new Retra Flash. Of course a profile made for a specific strobe is the best solution but our new firmware for TTL (or more precisely slave TTL) will be generally more consistent in every situation. Thank you Pavel!
  24. There are currently no mainstream underwater strobes offering HSS and that's why no manufacturer of underwater housing or electronics has offered this option yet. On the strobe side the challenge of offering HSS capability is mainly with hardware, a special lamp and electronic is needed. The new Retra Flash has the necessary hardware and firmware to emit HSS flashes, it is HSS ready. We are currently working with one manufacturer who is able to offer HSS compatibility on his triggers. More on this will be known in the coming 6-7 months. The E-Opto converter is connected to the end of the electrical cable which means you need HSS compatible electronics inside the housing for it to synchronise for HSS mode. If the internal housing electronics are able to transmit the correctly timed signal for HSS mode it will work.
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