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Everything posted by Barmaglot

  1. AFAIK, the only strobes currently on the market that offer HSS capability are: SeaCam SeaFlash 60D and 160D - strobes can be triggered by sync cords or fiber optics, but HSS is available only when using sync cords, only with Canon and Nikon cameras, and Canon/Nikon support is strobe model-specific - i.e. there's an SKU that works with Canon, and another SKU that works with Nikon. On the upside, HSS is available in TTL and manual modes. Retra Prime and Retra Pro - fiber optic triggering only, HSS is available only in manual mode, requires an LED trigger board in the housing to supply the proper triggering signal. UWTechnics and TRT Electronics have triggers compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic and Olympus cameras (separate SKUs for each manufacturer as they have different flash communication protocls); UWTechnics triggers are shaped to fit a specific housing, whereas TRT triggers are generic boxes that fit most housings.
  2. A similar white ring is pretty ubiquitous in video lights that need to produce a wide beam with soft edges, as opposed to conical mirror-finished reflectors in narrow-beam general purpose lights. I'm guessing the engineers at Retra chose this design for much the same reason - take the light that the tube sends backwards and scatter it to soften the edges, without using a frontal diffuser that would absorb light and reduce overall strobe power. Of course snap-on additional diffusers are available. If you come to Eilat, I could loan you my pair to play with
  3. That white ring is not opaque glass, it's matte white plastic behind the glass acting as a reflector. If you look at the strobe from the side, you can see that the glass is completely clear - the only area that is just moderately frosted is the very center, in front of the LED. You can kind of see it here. I guess you could call it a diffusing reflector?
  4. If you're referring to Retras, their front element is most definitely not opaque.
  5. Not the same, but broadly similar - I've used 7Artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 fisheye with my Sony A6300 on a few dives. SeaFrogs housing with 4" dome, zoom gear from another lens adapted to use with the focusing ring. With the field of view so wide, framing and lighting is quite challenging. Focusing is actually fairly easy, assisted by focus peaking on the screen, but aperture has to be preset before you seal the housing.
  6. You can do that with many ILCs as well. Sony A6xxx series with kit 16-50mm zoom work well with wet lenses, both macro and wide, and give you a similar zoom range to a typical compact (24-75mm equivalent). Zeiss 16-70mm is another option. Micro Four Thirds cameras do similar things with 14-42mm and 12-50mm zooms - the latter even has a built-in macro mode, although it requires a very complex and expensive gear to engage while housed. The bodies are also quite small, although the lenses are unavoidably larger.
  7. I'm quite happy with my SeaFrogs Salted Line housing. I generally use it with 8" dome and Sony 10-18mm lens for wide-angle and long macro port with Sony 90mm FE lens for macro, adding Weefine WFL05S diopter for supermacro. Note, however, that in both of these cases manual focus is not available, and while 10-18mm focuses near-instantly and almost always accurately, 90mm tends to hunt, and you need to hold the camera absolutely still while it does its thing. The 90mm is also quite expensive. Less expensive alternatives for macro include the Sony 30mm f/3.5 Macro (fits the basic port) and the kit 16-50mm PZ in a short macro port with a diopter in front of it.
  8. Retra is now taking preorders for the extended battery compartment for Retra Prime/Pro: https://www.retra-uwt.com/blogs/news/introducing-the-supercharger 199 euros + VAT (239 euros after June 30th); shipping in October. Spec sheet says that Retra Pro recycle time to 40% power is brought down to 0.7s from 1.5s, and to 80% from 3.0s to 1.5s. With 350+ full-power flashes it should be good for a full day of diving. So tempting...
  9. I don't own one, but I was under the impression that Metabones/MC-11 adapters don't have any glass inside them - they just hold the lens at the proper distance from sensor and translate between protocols. Speed boosters, teleconverters and Sony LA-EA2/LA-EA4 with their pellicle mirrors are of course a different story.
  10. Indeed. I'm curious to see an actual comparison between YS-D3, Z-330, Retra Prime/Pro and that new Ikelite strobe that was shown at DEMA.
  11. Backscatter and Bluewater Photo both list YS-D3, but ouch - $850 is within spitting distance of Retra Prime, and thus far there are no statistics to demonstrate improved reliability over YS-D2(J). With diving being shut down (almost?) everywhere, it'll take a while for these statistics to build up too.
  12. I think that a lift bag flopping around above the camera would get in the way a lot, much more trouble than it's worth. If you want to fine-tune buoyancy while in the water, a number of companies sell adjustable-lift float arms that can be partially flooded to reduce their lift. https://www.hugyfot.com/hugyfloat-compact/hugyfloat-adjustable.html https://www.krakensports.ca/product/kr-fa01-float-arm/?v=e4b09f3f8402 https://www.weefine.com/product/wfa37-adjustable-float-arm-88mm-180mm/ You can also DIY a similar system, like this.
  13. Triple clamps on the handles and a float arm across the top? Can be a good place for a dive computer as well.
  14. The neoprene will compress at depth, so if you want to get your rig perfectly neutral, you'll probably need a little more than that.
  15. I don't have access to salt water right now, but for Retra Pro in fresh water, I get about 190g negative with 4x Eneloop Pro batteries inside, ~90-100g negative with neoprene jacket. Dry weight with batteries is ~900-910g.
  16. This depends on the specific Inon. Z-330 has been measured to fire for about 1/300s at full power.
  17. Yes, it's a moisture detector. The photo is a of a SeaFrogs A6xxx Salted Line housing, and the converter replaces the moisture detector that ships with that housing. If that gold strip gets wet, the converter starts beeping loudly, same as the Meikon/SeaFrogs leak detector. If you're not too deep when a leak starts, you might be able to surface in time to save your camera and/or lens. See here for an example.
  18. Aiming light seemed to match the strobe output. I didn't get any shots worth posting, but this was my first (and so far only) dive using a snoot, so that's to be expected. Unless something changed, the neoprene jackets are a separate item, costing €35 each, while bumpers cost €49 on top of that. Interesting idea; haven't thought about that. It might be counterproductive though - the purpose of jackets is to protect the cosmetic condition of the strobe, retaining more of its value in case it ever needs to be resold, while sticky tape strong enough to stand up to salt water will likely leave its own residue on the strobe.
  19. The extended battery compartment is not yet available. The same part for the original Retra flash (no longer available) sold for $177, so that's probably in the ballpark for the new version when it comes out. I haven't seen anything specific about release date yet. I did 5 dives with a pair of Retra Pros so far, haven't measured recycling speed, but I have 2-second automatic review enabled on my camera after taking a shot, and I've never had the strobes lag behind that. They do eat batteries voraciously, although part of that was due to me exploring their performance envelope and doing quite a lot of full dumps. With a single strobe, an LSD, and a 90mm lens on f/22, I found that I needed full power to get decent exposures, although this was my first time using an LSD - perhaps I simply wasn't placing it close enough to the subject. The neoprene jackets slide back over the controls and forward over the front glass in a very annoying fashion; I'm almost 100% set on getting a set of bumpers before my next trip to limit that.
  20. Seconding @Kraken de Mabini here - I have recently switched from TTL-only strobes (SeaFrogs ST-100) to Retra Pros, and within a couple dives, I found the manual mode to be quite easy to operate.
  21. It's actually pretty convenient; I was switching between TTL and manual mid-dive today without issues.
  22. Correction - I finally got them in the water today, triggering off the pop-up flash on my Sony A6300, and turns out I was wrong about how the Smart SL mode works. There is no need to turn back to manual mode - I set the strobes to U2 (Smart SL), they start flashing yellow, I take a random shot to make the camera flash fire and they turn solid yellow. From that point on, every time I take a shot, they ignore the pre-flash (which cannot be turned off on my camera) and the power is adjusted using the left knob. If I turn the right knob to a different mode (TTL, turn off, whatever) then a new engagement of U2 (Smart SL) requires a new calibration shot. The knobs themselves are a joy to operate by the way - today was the first time I shot manual strobes and I was able to get it going almost right away.
  23. What do you mean by slave mode? I'm currently at Apo Island, running a pair of Retra Pros off the pop up flash on my Sony A6300; it works both in TTL mode (follows pre-flash and main flash) and smart SL mode (ignores pre-flash, fires using set power on main flash). The optical sensor is located on the back of the flash, opposite the battery compartment door. The flash ships with it covered by a Sea & Sea adapter; if you unscrew that adapter, you can screw an Inon type FO cable in its place.
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