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ETTL with Canon, Aquatica, Inon and Heinrichs

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In case anyone is trying to get their gear setup like this, here's some info:

 

My setup: Canon 20D, Aquatica housing with 2 Nikon bulkheads and 2 Inon Z-240 strobes.

 

Parts of this saga which I'll omit involve a faulty chip (replaced by Matthias at no charge), a flooded housing and lots of soldering to install the replacement board after the housing was returned to me. I'll also ignore Inon's despicable customer service (selling me $1500 worth of strobes and basically telling me to get f**ked when I contacted them for manuals in English. You can be sure I recommend Inon to all the photographers we get at our dive center.)

 

Here's what works:

 

- E-TTL2: Camera's CF for flash set to Average, Pre-flash button on Z-240 strobes pushed down and the right hand dial set to either 9 o'clock or 12 o'clock. In this setting, ETTL works flawlessly, including with wide angles. I've been using it for the last 3-4 days with both my 100mm macro and my Tokina 10-17 FE and it has nailed exposures spot on each time. The one thing Ive had to do is set FEC to +1 on my camera - I think it may be possible to rectify this by adjusting the pot in the Heinrichs circuit board, but I couldnt be ar$ed right now.

 

- Manual: Simply raise the Pre-Flash button on the Z-240 strobes to "up" position and move the main dial to M, and you get full manual control over the strobes. Easy switch.

 

What doesn't work:

 

- You cannot really do FEC on the strobe in TTL mode. You have to use the camera's FEC settings to do so. Changing the position of the EV controller doesnt seem to have any significant effect on the flash output in TTL mode

 

- If, like me, you use CF4-1 and use your thumb to control focus and the shutter to shoot, prepare to change. The thumb-controlled focus was responsible for all sorts of wonkiness with the flash exposure. So you will have either shoot in One Shot mode and do the lock-focus/recompose dance, or shoot in Servo and keep your center focus point on the subject. This is a bit of a bummer.

 

- If you press the shutter fully right away, the flash doesnt go off. On the other hand, if you press the shutter halfway, pause for a bit and then press all the way, it works perfectly. I am puzzled why this would happen. If anyone has ideas, I'm all ears

 

- Inon's customer service (ok, I had to get that jab in again. I am really annoyed by their attitude).

 

Cheers,

Vandit

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Vandit - Thanks for the comprehensive evaluation of the e-ttl. I realize it is a bit late now, but in our experience Steve and the gang at Inon America have always been helpful, and there is quite a bit of information about the Z-240 (in English) on their website at http://www.inonamerica.com/products.php?pr...=1&subcat=1, including a PDF for a quick-start guide with D-SLR housings. Z_240_strobe_settings___Quick_StartLT60812.pdf

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Stephen, thanks for the link - that's good to know.

 

Wish both Inon & Inon America had done that when I was looking for them, as opposed to passing the buck. Even Steve's response was less than helpful.

 

Cheers,

Vandit

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