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Jerry Diver

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  1. Are you using the one that was in the classifieds? Link: https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/65052-retra-lsd-snoot/ It seems that the snoot in the classifieds has a black tube attached to a silver mounting piece. Retra actually make a silver tube with a narrower part in the middle and a silver mounting piece. Link: https://www.retra-uwt.com/pages/light-shaping-device I've seen somewhere that those black tubes were made by Retra in 2013.
  2. Just got a message from Retra that they will delay shipping until mid-January 2020. Although I am disappointed because I will not have their new strobes for my December trip I am not surprised in the slightest. Recently I spoke with a friend who is working in development of a strobe product in the beauty industry (hair removal is basically strobes) and after inspecting the specifications of the upcoming strobe by Retra he was surprised they handled it on such short term. They must have a team of super focused engineers and super hard working ones too. Anyway I am glad to hear they are putting quality before delivery dates because I plan to use the strobes for many more diving trips.
  3. Why would a LED trigger limit your shutter speed? It's clear that this so called "E-Opto converter" is only an LED connected to a battery that is triggered by the electronics inside your housing/hotshoe. If you want HSS sync you need special electronics in your housing that mimic a speedlight on a hotshoe and fool the camera to synchronise correctly. Although HSS is an acronym for High Speed Sync the fact is that the system has no basis on speed or how fast the synchronisation is made! Basically it just needs to time the flash correctly and then the strobe does all the works by emitting a special long duration pulse. Here is a nice article explaining HSS: https://www.elinchrom.com/learn/hss-hs.html Furthermore they say it works only for manual mode, not even TTL. Go figure, since the price is peanuts compared to TTL converters for underwater housings...
  4. Sent them an email last week and they replied within a few hours: "First packages are expected to go out at the end of October / beginning of November." Based on this I am realistically expecting my order in end of November or early December...
  5. They just announced connectivity with smartphones:
  6. Their website currently says shipping in October. Realistically I am not expecting my order until November.
  7. In reality the exposure compensation in STTL mode on all Inon strobes is practically non-existent. I have tested multiple scenarios on Z-240's and Z-330's, also without any FO cables to get in the way of signal transmission, and the result is always the same: no real change in exposure. You can change flash exposure compensation in your camera settings. Although not all cameras have this option and it would be nice to actually have it working on the strobe. Btw, that's not the only feature that's not working as advertised on Inon strobes. But hey, they work most of the time so it's fine!
  8. I had the opportunity to measure the Ikelite 161 and Seacam 150 with a light meter in a studio to find out that the Ikelite produces about 0.5 F-stop less power in the center and a about 1 F-stop less at approx. 45º angle (90º spread). Their white reflector is eating away too much light compared to the metalled Seacam one. It's just that the reflective surface of a metalled part will be better than a white (biege) one.
  9. I haven't tested this on every strobe that I tested but I know that Retra will trigger before they actually indicate their ready light. They say this is a feature in case you are shooting an action scene and in a burst of shots you will get light on more of them although there will of course be less light. Nothing hypothetical here, just technical. We all believed that when manufacturers specified their recycle time it was for a full power discharge but it turns out it's for about 75% power and that with the Z-330 it's for much less than that, only about 25%. This much difference is not good if you want to make a choice as a buying customer.
  10. They write: Recycle Time (*5) (*7) -> Approx. 1.8 seconds minimum ["eneloop" batteries] -> (*5) Measured with FULL strobe output at 30-second intervals with both Focus Light and Advanced Cancel Circuit OFF, at 25ºC/77ºF with test batteries giving 5 minutes cooling period every 50 flashes. Source: http://www.inon.jp/products/strobe/z330/spec.html It's very misleading that they write "minimum" in there without specifying what it actually means. How the hell are we supposed to compare specifications with other strobes if they just write their own rules?! I learned that my Z-330 is giving much less power when it indicates the ready light when I was just testing something and my pictures were differently lit. Maybe in the real world I would not notice because my lag time would be longer. But since then I have made several tests comparing the Z-330 with other strobes and the result is that it indicates the ready light much earlier. By the way, I could trigger some strobes even before their ready light was turned on. I believe 99% of photographers (I am not one of them any more) believe that recycle time means: full power to full power recycle time. Now we have seen that this is not the case and I think that many people wold look at their purchase differently if Inon actually specified what they write in their "specs". It's not a total deal breaker for me but I know a lot of photographers who would spend the extra dollar to get a faster recycle time or maybe spend less if they knew what their recycle time actually is.
  11. On the contrary, it is very clear what the connection between strobe power and F-stop number is: 100% = full 50% = -1 F-stop 25% = -2F-stop 12% = -3F-stop etc. It is also clear that the Inon will fire when the capacitors are at about 20% (before the ready light is turned on). Read the first two posts where the measurements are presented. After this I have confirmed on four different Z-330 the same result. Now let me ask you: If you knew the Z-330 indicates the ready light (full charge) when it is charged to about 30-40% (-1.4 F-stop less power), would you buy it? I know a lot of photographers who would think about it twice if they knew the actual recycle time was about 4-5 seconds. My Z-330's aren't going away for this reason but I want to point out that it is very unfair to photographers who are making choices on their purchase based on completely false and misleading specifications.
  12. The test you mention was made by firing the strobe when the indicator light is on. This means the result is completely false! Basically the strobe indicated it was "ready" when capacitors were charged to about 30-40% which means that half the energy was used from the batteries. Yes, on the Z-330 the specifications of recycle time is false and misleading. Tested on several units and result is always the same. See above posts for more precise explanation. Unfortunately your calculation is wrong. Energy of capacitors is calculated like this: E= 0.5 * capacitance * voltage ^2 This means that if capacitors are rated for 360V when they will be charged to 280V the strobe will have about 60% charge which is almost 1 F-stop less power. The voltage numbers are of course fictitious. Also your assumption that strobes do not fire below a certain voltage is not true in the case of Inon Z-330. The Z-330 will fire almost immediately after they start recycling and therefore their trigger voltage is very low. After speaking with one of my dive buddies who is engineer for a hair removal product (they use strobe design) he noted that power of the strobe is directly connected with the voltage with the formula above and the higher the voltage the longer it takes the batteries to charge the capacitor. I will contact Inon in hopes of getting some clarification... Probably not but anyhow...
  13. Having started my underwater photography on Z-240's and recently upgraded to Z-330's I can testify to their reliability and power in the field. But on a recent dive trip I was "lucky" that my dive buddy got sick on the last few days and I could borrow his rig with Seacam 150's for 6 dives using them for wide angle and macro. Short story, I was sold! On paper the Z-330's have a higher GN but in reality the Seacam's are a completely different league, here's why: Because they produce a wider beam it's much easier to position them for wide angle and I could get better results with fewer adjustments. Even with diffusers on the Z-330 I could immediately notice the difference when switching to the Seacam. For macro photography I appreciated their slightly narrower design so I could position them more freely around the port. Also for macro it's not so important to have a high GN because everything is more or less at 1-2 feet and every strobe can handle f22@iso100 from that distance. If Retra can deliver what they show in their test it can be an interesting choice in the future.
  14. After discussing this issue among tech savvy friends on a recent dive trip it has become clear why all Z-330 indicate their ready light much before the strobe is actually recycled. The reason is that the Z-330 uses the same old electronics from the Z-240 but is fitted with higher voltage capacitors. Inon haven't bothered setting a new ready light indicator and they just used exactly the same voltage settings as for the Z-240. This means that the ready light on the Z-240 and Z-330 comes on at exactly the same time but the latter needs at least twice as long to be actually recycled! The specifications are totally misleading.
  15. The difference being that car and phone manufacturers were transparent with their actual recharge time and power. From what I've read until now there is no indication that any UW strobe manufacturer specified their recycle time to be at 80% power let alone around 30% power as it seems to be with the Z-330. This is just fraud!
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