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According to specs the SB 800 has GN=38 and with diffuser it can covered 114°, real I-TTL, sound like a perfect strobe to me...

But in all the mentions of using it and other land base flasher it written that there are good for macro and fish portrait but not so with WA.

So whet the specs here not telling us?

And another question can this strobe can be used with Ikelite housing, not the new ones with build-in TTL but the old version without it?

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As I understand it Arnon - the specs only apply on land.

 

Once you get in the water the guide number and the angle (if not behind a dome) are significantly reduced.

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SB-800 has built-in 'wide panel' to use with 14/17mm lens & it is not the best WA strobe but, work as pretty good UW WA strobe (full manual dump with long extension arm). I am happy with it.

 

Ike housing I had(early D-70) had sync socket w/ only 2 wire connected. You need all 5 pins connected to camera to use i-ttl.

 

Sam

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I've been using the Nikon SB800 in the Subal housing (which has a dome port) for two years now. I got it because I wanted iTTL with the D70 rather than because it was ideal. I've been really surprised at how good it is. The iTTL exposures are always extremely consistent and accurate. Mostly I shoot macro, using the 60mm Nikon micro. I have tried it with the 12-24mm zoom though and didn't expect it to cover the angle. I've attached here a shot taken with just the one flash, at 12mm (=18mm 35mm equivalent) in dark conditions in Strangford Lough Narrows, Northern Ireland. You can see that there is some fall-off at the corners (I didn't have the w/a diffuser in place), but there is no tendency to burn out the centre and the shot could probably be easily balanced out in Photoshop. At the 24mm setting it is evenly lit. Given the cost of underwater flashguns and the fact that the SB800 is useful on land too I think it's a bargain. What I miss most is the spotting light from my old flashguns.

 

I've reduced the NEF file in size and increased the contrast a bit using Capture 4 but not cropped it. If you save it you should be able to read the EXIF data. 1/250 f22

 

Bernard

post-7942-1164102586_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the responses, very informative.

Anthony, getting your point regardine the reduced angle, the GN however for all u/w strobes iin the specs are on land so can't see how this property is changing.

Sam, since you have both SB800 and Inon's strobes it will br very interesting if you can compare them. Did you successed to connect the sb800 with TTL (I have the same housing), if not where is Ike when he needed ? :)

Bernard, Thanks for the sample image, it seems that the strobe in this configuration (without the difuser) is really not wide enougth.

 

As I wrote I'm thinking of switching my dual SB-105 strobes, this option looks like a good options since it's not so expensive, 1000-1100$ for 2 X SB800 + 2 X Fantasea housing and it will save me buying another land flash that I need.

Of course it's depend if it's can be used for WA since it’s my favorite mode.

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Thanks for the responses, very informative.

Anthony, getting your point regardine the reduced angle, the GN however for all u/w strobes iin the specs are on land so can't see how this property is changing.

Sam, since you have both SB800 and Inon's strobes it will br very interesting if you can compare them. Did you successed to connect the sb800 with TTL (I have the same housing), if not where is Ike when he needed ? :)

Bernard, Thanks for the sample image, it seems that the strobe in this configuration (without the difuser) is really not wide enougth.

 

As I wrote I'm thinking of switching my dual SB-105 strobes, this option looks like a good options since it's not so expensive, 1000-1100$ for 2 X SB800 + 2 X Fantasea housing and it will save me buying another land flash that I need.

Of course it's depend if it's can be used for WA since it’s my favorite mode.

 

I started using SB-800 because I wanted TTL strobe for my Macro work & I will recommand you Z-240 (Z-220 is no longer available)to consider for WA. You can check with Ikelite about 5 pin connection again & it was not available to me when I was checking with them. Even after you get 5pin connection, Ike housing has only one sync connector & you can connect 1 Z-240 with connector & use other Z240 in slave mode, without optical cable. For Fantasea housing, you have to buy extra optical sync cable to use one as main & the other one as slave and you still have to have 5 pin connection for TTL.

 

Sam

Edited by shchae

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Thanks for the responses, very informative.

Anthony, getting your point regardine the reduced angle, the GN however for all u/w strobes iin the specs are on land so can't see how this property is changing.

Sam, since you have both SB800 and Inon's strobes it will br very interesting if you can compare them. Did you successed to connect the sb800 with TTL (I have the same housing), if not where is Ike when he needed ? :)

Bernard, Thanks for the sample image, it seems that the strobe in this configuration (without the difuser) is really not wide enougth.

 

As I wrote I'm thinking of switching my dual SB-105 strobes, this option looks like a good options since it's not so expensive, 1000-1100$ for 2 X SB800 + 2 X Fantasea housing and it will save me buying another land flash that I need.

Of course it's depend if it's can be used for WA since it’s my favorite mode.

i think there are issues with trying to use 2 housed sb800 together in ittl mode. i can't remember who but there were a few wetpixel members who had issues. (and so did seacam when they developed their 250 ittl digital flash. they solved their problem now with specific electronics i think, but the sb 800 issue remains.)

 

your other option is to have one housed sb800 and a z240 optically slaved from it in s-ttl mode. this way the z240 will mimic the preflashes and the ittl system should be "tricked" abd measure the right light.

 

it works for canon's ettl (proof is the inon x2 housing for the 30d where the s-ttl follows the internal flash for pre-flashes). i don't see why it should not work for ittl unless there are fundamental issues between the s-ttl and ittl

 

hth

/paul

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As a rule of thumb you should divide the guide number by 3 to have the underwater guide number. So 38 / 3 is 12.6. And that's not too much, but should still be enough. I still love my SB800 for close-up shots.

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Andre,

Are you using jsut the single SB800 or two of them at the same time?

 

I used two in te past. But you have to have one strobe on manual when you do that. I have sold one now since I normally use the new Seacam 250TTL. But for close-up's it's nice to have a lighter SB800.

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If you have an Ikelite housing you are much better off going with dedicated underwater strobes. Ikelite offers very reliable TTL with their housings. They will update your non-TTL housing (for $200 I think) if you send it to them. My housing was upgraded this way.

 

Ikelitye can upgrade your housing for a 5 pin connector for a small fee as well for you to use the SB800. The problem with the SB800 is that its not as powerful as typical UW strobes. Housings for these typically cost as much as dedicated strobes so there is no real cost advantage either. Subal makes a housing that costs the same as a DS-125. Fantasea now will make a housing but it costs as much as a DS51 which is still slightly more powerful than the SB800.

 

The Ikelite TTL is easier to use since its right on the housing (just like the L&M ROC) and it works with two strobes. I haven't tried it but lots of people on here report that its not possible to use 2 SB800s. I think it should be possible to work one in slave mode but wired is more reliable.

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