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Everything posted by Barmaglot

  1. Triple clamps on the handles and a float arm across the top? Can be a good place for a dive computer as well.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. This depends on the specific Inon. Z-330 has been measured to fire for about 1/300s at full power.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. It's actually pretty convenient; I was switching between TTL and manual mid-dive today without issues.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. It can shoot manual or TTL when you have a TTL-capable triggering flash, like a pop-up flash on many compacts and mid-size cameras. The Smart SL mode allows the strobe to 'learn' the TTL pre-flash sequence of the controlling camera; you don't use it to actually shoot. Engage Smart SL - the strobe indicator light will start flashing. Fire a shot, wait for 2 seconds, it should stop flashing - this indicates that the strobe is calibrated. Turn to manual mode and start shooting - it will ignore the TTL pre-flash pulses. This is for cameras where you can't turn off the pre-flash, like all Sony RX100 and A6xxx series cameras.
  13. I use the A6xxx Salted Line housing with an A6300 and I'm happy with the ergonomics. All the controls are accessible. The RX100 Salted Line, judging by the photos, also exposes all the controls, including the rear dial (unlike their earlier RX100 housings). For wide-angle, you have a choice of bundled flat port (allows full range of 24 to 200mm, but does not allow wet lens attachment and does the normal flat port shrinking, so not really that wide), short macro port (allows wet lenses but limits lens extension), and a choice of domes (same mount as the A6xxx housing, so you get 4", 6" and 8" options).
  14. You need a macro lens (or rather a diopter) with either camera, as neither of them can focus closely at longer zoom extension. However, RX100 VII will give you more magnification with the appropriate diopter. Also, Nauticam is not the only option for RX100 VII - SeaFrogs Salted Line ($247) with macro port ($99) will let you use it at full zoom.
  15. I don't - I shoot a Sony A6300 in a SeaFrogs housing - but Nauticam lists this on their port charts, so they must've tested it. Keep in mind that older Alpha series cameras (A6000, A7, A7 II) had significant issues with autofocus on adapted lenses, but newer bodies (A6300 and up on APS-C, A7 III and up on full frame) have near-native to native performance with them. Backscatter review of A7R IV was done with Canon 8-15mm fisheye and 100mm macro, and they found the Canon 100mm lens mounted via Sigma MC-11 to focus much faster than Sony's own 90mm, and as fast or even faster as the same lens on a Canon body. Regarding white balance, I know that the older bodies were limited to 9900K in manual white balance, but newer bodies have removed that limitation, but I only shoot stills in RAW, never video, so it's not really a factor for me.
  16. Look at the end of Nauticam N100 port chart for Sony - if you put on a #37305 N100 to N120 port adapter, you use the Canon N120 port chart with all of its lenses.
  17. You're using Nauticam, right? According to port chart, #36172 is the focus gear for SELP1650. You can also get #36201 Nikonos to NEX adapter and Ebay is full of Nikonos lenses.
  18. If autofocus annoys you so much, why not just use manual focus? With a Nauticam housing, you can even use the old Nikonos water-contact lenses.
  19. If everything goes right, you'll have an opportunity to test it yourself in August - I'm coming to your liveaboard with a pair of Retra Pros and a UWT converter. As far as operation goes, from what I understand (based on Pavel's post in Russian on another forum), the Retra strobe generates the HSS pulses, but it depends on the converter to supply a triggering signal in a very specific format. HSS power can be adjusted using the power knob on the strobe. Now, this is my own unsubstantiated guess, but I suppose that at different shutter speeds, the shutter blades move at a different rate, necessitating a different pulse duration and repetition frequency in order to avoid the shutter blades showing up in the photo - the converter gets the shutter speed setting from the camera and generates the appropriately timed pulse sequence, which is repeated by the strobe. Therefore, you can't just take any random light, flash it at the strobe's sensor and have the HSS mode expose properly.
  20. Keep in mind that many macro lenses lose focal length as they focus close in. The general rule is that 1:1 magnification is achieved at a distance (from sensor plane) exactly four times that of the focal length, so the minimum focus distance of 200mm specified for Canon 60mm macro lens means that it drops to 50mm focal length when focused to 1:1.
  21. I just tested dial positions 2 and 3 and... it's weird. I'm using A6300 with 90mm macro lens, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/160, rear curtain sync, 0 flash compensation in camera or strobe, shooting a piece of black plastic (the sync connector cover from the strobe) on a white backdrop, and it's exposing reasonably well as long as I keep the aperture in f/14...f/22 range. As soon as I drop to f/13 or larger aperture, the resulting picture turns totally black. The only reasonable explanation that I can come up with is that I'm having light transmission or LED alignment problems, and the weaker pulse generated for larger apertures does not come through to the flash. I can see it actually flash, but that it probably just the pre-flash, not the main exposure, which gets missed. I'll try to investigate deeper over weekend.
  22. No, I'm on Sony A6300. Very interesting - I'll try the YS-D1/YS-D2 settings today after work. Positions 2 and 3 on the selector dial, right?
  23. Only on dry land so far; I will have it in the water in two weeks. With the UW-Technics converter, manual mode works fine, but TTL categorically does not work - it always fires with the same fairly low power, both in mode 1 (Inon Z-240) and in mode 6 (Ikelite DS-160); I'm not sure why, maybe I'm doing something wrong? Oddly, with the pop-up flash on my Sony A6300, the TTL mode appears to work fairly well - I was getting the same exposure at f/11 and f/22 (ISO set to 100, shutter speed to 1/160), although wider apertures were getting overexposed. Can't test HSS because my camera won't let me select a shorter exposure than 1/160 - need a new firmware revision for the converter to enable it. Pavel wrote a week ago on tetis.ru forus that he's expecting a sample in two weeks, and then he will try making a TTL profile for it.
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