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new seacam flash for nikon and canon

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hope this was not already posted elsewhere but here goes:

i went to the seacam stand this afternoon, and waiting there was a really great surprise for me and a moment of terror for the wallet, the secam strobe, not only is there an ittl version that was on the stand, but there will also be a canon ettl2 version available in a month or so!!!!! also to note that this is not subtronic based, it is a seacam development.

 

 

the main characteristics of the strobe are:

- housed in the casing that currently is offered for system flashes

- GN 20 underwater

- 120 degress of coverage

- ittl or ettl2 compatible

- 123 manual settings avalaible as well

- 2 tube colours to choose from, normal or warmer light, the choice is made when you switch on the strobe

- led based focus lamp

- sos position

- battery charge should be good for 100 full dumps

 

thats about all i remember. the nikon is ready now i think, the canon one should be ready in a month or so.

 

the wet diopters were also on display, and the 5d housing is planned for march 06 timeframe.

 

did not have time to go look around yet and meet up with the other wetpixel members, though i did run into to jerome (jerome@gasava) on thesecam stand.

 

now, to go figure out how to save the money for this babies...

 

/paul

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Hi Paul, I moved your post to the Strobes forum, I think it will get more exposure here. Good info, thanks for posting!

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Hi Paul,

 

Thanks for the report! It sounds exciting.

 

Does it have a removable battery pack?

 

Cheers

James

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Hey monsieur

Drink less wine and let the kidneys and liver heal... then sell one kidney. LOL

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red wine is good for kidneys :D so maybe i can get more money for it :lol:

james, no it does not have a removable battery unfortunately. frederic, the french seacam person, was saying that the batterie's life was probably about 3 to 4 years.

/paul

 

edit: i did not specifically ask if the battery pack was removable, i'll try and check again tomorrow

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for the canon it will most likely be the s6 connection (both housing and strobe).

another question to ask tomorrow i guess :lol:

/paul

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So it sounds as if the strobe itself has the required Nikon or Canon conversion ciruitry. Will that mean that the strobe could be used with other housings as long as the housing has a S6 connection? In my case I would be interested to see if I could get ETTL2 with my 20D in a Subal housing. Could you add that to your question list please Paul

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Hey monsieur

Drink less wine and let the kidneys and liver heal... then sell one kidney. LOL

Nah, don't need to quit drinking for the kidney to recover. Alcohol generally does not bother the kidney much :lol:

Sell one kidney now and put the money in the bank for that 0.5% interest until the strobe comes out!

Hmmm..I was thinking of Ikelite DS200 but Seacam sounds interesting too!

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I have photos of this strobe (taken by Wetpixel member Steve Jones) for the Antibes report that I will get on to during the week.

 

Alex

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red wine is good for kidneys :D so maybe i can get more money for  it  :lol:

james, no it does not have a removable battery unfortunately. frederic, the french seacam person, was saying that the batterie's life was probably about 3 to 4 years.

/paul

 

edit: i did not specifically ask if the battery pack was removable, i'll try and check again tomorrow

 

I asked about a removable battery also - no it definately doesn't have one.

 

One thing I immediately noticed about this strobe was it takes 5 seconds to recycle from a full discharge. I queried Harald on this, and he explained that it was a conscious decision - faster recycle times stress the circuitry and battery so can lead to unreliablity. Of course on half power it recycled in about 2 secs and on quarter power, the ready light did not go off at all. Given it's a 250 watt gun there should be more than enough power and recycle speed for digital camera users. I liked this strobe very much, and I'll probably get one myself next year.

 

As for the pictures, I'll get them over to Alex tomorrow or so - 3 hours sleep and too much Pastis is taking it's toll!! :D

 

Steve

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Can one have two of these strobes set in ittl, one as master and one as a slave like in topside photography with 2 SB800 and if yes how do they manage this communication between the two strobes? that would be the real innovation... otherwise just another strobe gun...

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faster recycle times stress the circuitry and battery so can lead to unreliablity.  Of course on half power it recycled in about 2 secs and on quarter power, the ready light did not go off at all.  Given it's a 250 watt gun there should be more than enough power and recycle speed for digital camera users.  I liked this strobe very much, and I'll probably get one myself next year.

 

 

I am very curious about GN and wattage. I realize that there is no one standardized way of measuring it and different manufacturer's published GN is not always comparable but it seems a bit odd that at more than twice the wattage, underwater GN for the Seacam is significantly less than Ikelite DS 125 (20 vs 32).

 

With dSLR, DS-125 is a bit underpower sometimes with very small aparture. I don't like using full power very much as I prefer to not have to recharge the strobe after every single dive. With DS-125, I pretty much use only full power and occasionally 1/2 power most of the time. If I only need 1/2 power or 1/4 power most of the time with the Seacam when shooting say F18-F22 for macro, that would be very tempting.

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The Ike DS 125 is a powerful gun - it produces an output of 110 Watt Sec.

 

The new Seacam flash is seriously powerful - producing light at 250 Watt Sec.

 

(the quoted UW GN are not consistent with the light energy outputs - they many be in different units to each other - ft versus m?). Watt Secs are easier to understand as they have the same units and most manufacturers quote them. GN is really a photographers measurement for determining camera settings (in the days before LCD screens!).

 

For comparison I use a pair of Subtronic Alphas (each of which is 160 WS) and I routinely use these on 1/4 power - that is a combined 80 WS of light per shot. Which I think gives some perspective on these numbers. Subtronics biggest strobe is the Mega Colour, which produces 350 WS of light. I think Hartenberger make some that are even more powerful.

 

Alex

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Alex, thanks for the clarification, I keep forgetting about ft vs m and al those units. I guess that would explain the discrepancy.

Now I am just waiting to see what I can afford, DS200, Seacam strobe, D200 for land use, a backup D2X body... hmmm shopping list seems endless and wallet has not quite recovered from the D2X shopping spree yet :lol:

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I know about Ikelite's new DS-80, but is there a DS-200? Or do you mean the regular (non-digital) SS-200?

 

Luiz

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Ike has indicated that they are moving fwd with a DS200.

 

Cheers

James

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OK, let me make sure I understand this thread correctly. Seacam now has an i-TTL strobe. This is not a Nikon strobe housinge (e.g. SB800dx)?

 

Hmmm, a DS200. I can see the ad now:

 

Dirty Harry, "I know what you're thinking. Did he fire 100 shots or 150? Seein' as this is the worlds most powerful digital strobe, and can burn a hole right through you, you've got to ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, fish?"

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hi guys

just back from antibes where i met the boss .......

 

Alex it was really great to meet you :D

 

Harald the boss from Seacam showed me it was NOT a kind of Ittl converter but a real complete system built by seacam (contrary to subtronic's new ones with heinrich's converter).

So it will also be possible to shoot one in ttl and the other one in manual mode .... the strobe everyone seeemed to wait ...... just a precision : 1600 euros for a piece :lol:

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Sounds like a sweet strobe. Fantstic to hear that the manufactuers are starting to cross the TTL devide. Also nice to see some higher powered digital strobes are in the offing.

 

Alex, love to see some photos if you have them.

 

Interesting the different tact that manufactuers are taking to deal with iTTL/eTTL.

 

With seacam it looks like they are building specific models for each system to be compatable with all housings (with the right connector)

 

With Ikelite they are building strobes to be compatable with all cameras and only compatable with their housings that control the TTL conversion.

 

Any bets what Sea and Sea will do?

 

But at 1600 eu each! Wow, I think I'll wait to see Ikelite's DS200. I can't see how that would be more than $1000, probably $900. And the recycle time seems like a bummer. I wonder what Ikelite will do?

 

With DS-125, I pretty much use only full power and occasionally 1/2 power most of the time. If I only need 1/2 power or 1/4 power most of the time with the Seacam when shooting say F18-F22 for macro, that would be very tempting.

 

I would love to see how this could improve my wide angle. I don't however see how you could say that the DS-125 is underpowered for macro if the strobes are aimed properly. Even at small apertures the thing dumps out more light than you need, and two is overkill. But of course every man wants more power. A DS-500 would be just about right for me. :lol:

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For macro, a strobe needs to dump a lot of light into a small area, thus making a small bright area... (no duh, eh?)

 

The DS125 and SS200 dump a lot of light into a BIG area, because they have round flashtubes and a wide reflector behind. So the area that you are photographing with your macro lens may actually be dimmer when using a SS200 than when using a DS50.

 

Seems weird eh? But it makes sense. It took me a while to understand this one too - but I've tried it, and it's true.

 

Cheers

James

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So it will also be possible to shoot one in ttl and the other one in manual mode .... the strobe everyone seeemed to wait ...... just a precision : 1600 euros for a piece  :lol:

 

Hmmm... I wonder if that will work. From my experience, SB 800 with iTTL does not play well at all with another manual strobe. I am not sure if it is iTTL fault or Nikon creative lighting system or what but I have a feeling that unless both strobes are iTTL and can communicate with each other, it might not work well together. At 1600 euros, that would cost as much as 2 Ike DS200 (assume that it is the same price as SS200). Hmm....

 

 

I would love to see how this could improve my wide angle. I don't however see how you could say that the DS-125 is underpowered for macro if the strobes are aimed properly. Even at small apertures the thing dumps out more light than you need, and two is overkill.

Initially I never thought it was a big deal. With Oly C5050 at F8, I could do 3 dives easily and not have to worry about strobe batteries as I was shooting 1/8 and 1/4 power pretty much all the time with macro.

With dSLR, the main strobe pretty much need to be on full or at least 1/2 power all the time and pretty much full power if I use 2x teleconverter.

Not a big deal when I am on a liveaboard where I can charge the strobe after every dive ( a bit of a pain but doable) but if I am out on a small boat for half or full day, that's when it start to get a bit tricky.

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Any specs on the wet diopters? Are they achromats, etc. ? :D

 

To the strobe:

123 manual settings!!! Can someone elaborate?

120 degrees is pretty wide-angle and accounts for the low GN for the w-s of output. I would assume a meter-based GN. It would be way cool if the flashtube could be focused into a narrower beam ala Subsea MK150. This could make the GN go way up.

How much does this puppy weigh! :lol: On land as well as in the sea! <_<

 

Tom

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Steve Jones sent me the pictures last night. So here it is:

 

seacam.jpg

 

The digital display tells you how much light the strobe has just fired. Obviously this is not much use when on manual, but a big help on TTL as you will know how close to full power you are.

 

Otherwise on the surface it looks very similar to the Subtronics. Flash tubes and switches look the same. But obviously it is very different underneath.

 

Alex

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