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Phaedrus

Olympus UFL-1 - Which Sea & Sea Strobe Is It A Copy or Re-brand Of?

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I thought I'd seen a reference in a thread some months back, but I've searched for the last hour and didn't find it.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

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Based on the guide number I'd have to say its the YS15. But about a year ago when I was trying to get the YS27DX to work with my new Olympus E410 camera, it wouldn't work. I couldn't get the YS27DX to ignore the preflash on the camera's external, housed, FL20 strobe. Since the FL20 has no manual output and I couldn't get the YS27DX to work, I called both Olympus and Sea&Sea. They both offered up the UFL-1 as a replacement solution for either the FL20 or YS27DX. When I inquired with both companies why the regular Sea&Sea strobes don't work wirelessly with the later Olympus DSLRs yet the UFL-1 does, they both said the UFL-1 was a joint venture, custom made for Olympus TTL strobe. So, while it might be a repackaged YS15 Auto, there are additional electronics built in that make it compatiable with the later Olympus Cameras. Just my 2 cents.

Edited by ce4jesus

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Hi,

 

Olympus don't seem to list the sort of details that Sea & Sea do, hence my question.

 

Olympus say UFL-1 is less than 300gm, YS-17 = 425gm, YS-15 Auto = 280gm.

 

Colour temperature of all 3 is 5600K.

 

Olympus say UFL-1 is okay for 40m, YS-17 & YS-15 Auto = 60m.

 

Olympus' UFL-1 webpage blurb says, "TTL underwater flash photography in slave mode without a sync cord".

 

In Sea & Sea's news article about the release of the YS-17 ( http://www.seaandsea.jp/products/accessory/mpk/index.html ) they show it connected via an "L-type" fibre optic cable.

 

And Sea & Sea's YS-15 Auto webpage blurb says, "Sync cord: Fiber-optic cable for the YS-25 with a compact digital camera"

 

To me, the UFL-1 looks more similar to the YS-17 than the YS-15 Auto.

 

Staying sort of still on-topic, what way should the UFL-1 be used with the E-410 & PT-EO3 - with no cable at all or with a fibre-optic cable?

 

Can it be done both with or without a cable?

 

If so, are there any advantages or downsides to using one method over the other?

 

Sorry for what may be dumb questions.

 

This is all well in advance of us buying any UW gear for our E-410, but I just like to know stuff.

 

Can anyone direct me to any good "UW Strobes for Dummies"-type sites, pages or aricles? Something that assumes I know nothing (I think I know a little, but I hate not knowing as much as my brain can understand). I'll search myself, but I may end up wasting time on an unhelpful or inaccurate site, whereas someone on here may know of some good, simple, thorough ones.

 

 

Thanks for your replies guys,

 

Mark

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It is commonplace for characteristics (specifications) of a strobe to change in the time period between first press release and actual availability (YS 250 most recently comes to mind). The Strobe Finder policy has been to wait until a strobe is actually available to the public prior to posting specifications.

 

A quote from the Sea & Sea web site:

 

There may be slight differences in specifications and appearance between the products listed here and the actual products.

 

hth,

b

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Olympus' UFL-1 webpage blurb says, "TTL underwater flash photography in slave mode without a sync cord".

 

The Olympus strobe is made to fire with the optical cable.

 

Ahh... So the term "sync cord" refers solely to a normal (non-fibre-optic) flash sync cord and the term "fibre-optic cable" refers to just, well... a fibre-optic cable... ahem ;)

 

And when Olympus says, "TTL underwater flash photography in slave mode without a sync cord", it actually means without a "sync cord", but with a fibre-optic cable.

 

But then why is there no mention of a fibre-optic cable anywhere in the UFL-1 manual?

 

http://support.olympus.co.jp/jp/support/dl...ve/man_ufl1.pdf

 

It jumps from "Inserting The Batteries" to "Mounting the Flash" without the term "fibre-optic" appearing anywhere. There's no "Connecting the Flash" section.

 

Q8 in the FAQ section asks "What are the model numbers of the UFL-1 accessories?"

 

The answer doesn't list a fibre-optic cable.

 

It is commonplace for characteristics (specifications) of a strobe to change in the time period between first press release and actual availability (YS 250 most recently comes to mind). The Strobe Finder policy has been to wait until a strobe is actually available to the public prior to posting specifications.

 

A quote from the Sea & Sea web site:

 

hth,

b

 

Hmmm... the Strobe Finder lists the UFL-1 at 425gm, so it seems they know something Olympus don't ("... less than 300gm...")

 

What's a newbie supposed to do, eh? ;):D Getting to grips with understanding the terminology is tough without comprehensive guides regarding how all the UW components all relate to each other.

 

Thanks for that link to digitaldiver.net - I'll have a look around there.

 

What I'd really love to find is a connectivity diagram for an UW DSLR system, with all parts labelled and functions explained.

 

I have another question:

 

Would two UFL-1 units connect & operate successfully with an E-410/PT-EO3?

 

I've seen plenty of "rigs" (such a versatile word - it describes my band's PA, my old Toyota Surf and so much other stuff) with two strobes attached.

 

Or would a single, "better" (and probably more expensive), strobe be preferrable?

 

I take it that two strobes are typically used more to help balance a shot's lighting (to eliminate shadow on one side of the subject, for example) than to provide super-duper amounts of light?

 

I think I like the idea of using two strobes for light balance, specially if they operate TTL - that would be the simplest way for the subject to get the optimum anount of balanced, shadow-less light, wouldn't it?

 

You guys have responded to most of my posts since I joined, so by now I'm sure you understand that the cost of my "rig" (hah! :o ) will need to be as low as possible if I'm to get approval...

 

Thanks again for the replies.

 

Mark

Edited by Phaedrus

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...........

Hmmm... the Strobe Finder lists the UFL-1 at 425gm, so it seems they know something Olympus don't ("... less than 300gm...")

 

Phaedrus,

 

Can you direct me to where your information comes from?

 

I relied on this information:

 

https://emporium.olympus.com/innards/empPro...?sku=202116-410

 

which concurs with the specs found here:

 

http://olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_...1188&ct=all

 

A simple explanation may exist for the discrepancy, such as one weight is with batteries and the other without.......or it may be another example of press release information (derived from a prototype) differing from the actual product specs once a final design is chosen, goes into production, and finally ships..........

 

regards,

bobf

Edited by bobf

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If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck its probably a duck.

 

Olympus UFL-1/ Sea & Sea YS-17

 

G. N. 14 / same

2 AAs / same

Recycle 3 sec. / same

Man & TTL / same

2 power settings/ same

425 grams / same

90X110X140mm / same

5600/5100 color/ same

temp with without diffuser

 

40 meter rating / real rating 60 meters

just a number

because the Oly

housings are rated

40

 

$299.00 MSRP-$349.00

 

Phil Rudin

Edited by tropical1

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I was editing my last post while you were posting your question, Bob.

 

This is where I saw the 300gm comment:

 

http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/198_UFL-...water_Flash.htm

 

I'm in Dublin, Ireland so I tend to head for the UK or EU sites.

 

The UFL-1 description in both of those link actually state specifically, " Slave flash, no fiber optic cables required".

 

Also, I think they answer the question in my edit about using two UFL-1 units:

 

"this [uFL-1] underwater flash is one of only a few that allow TTL underwater flash photography in slave mode - ideal for multiple flash applications and single flash macro shots."

 

I must have a sift round those two sites - they seem to be offering more info than the EU site I've been visiting.

 

 

Mark

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Regarding slave & fiber optic cable they are much the same thing.

 

A hard wired strobe communicate with the camera and the camera talks back.

 

A slave senses another strobe and turns on and off in conjunction with that strobe in TTL or dumps its power load in manual. It is doing the same thing with a fiber optic cable however it is much more efficiently because the light source (main strobe) is directed into the slave strobes sensor not bounced all over the ocean.

 

Phil

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Mark,

 

I had time to go back into my notes for the Oly strobe and among other things found an online link for the Olympus UFL-1 users manual:

 

http://support.olympus.co.jp/jp/support/dl...ve/man_ufl1.pdf

 

might come in handy in answering some of your questions.......although I think Phil is doing an excellent job..........

 

btw, on page EN 35 it too lists the weight of the strobe without batteries at 425 grams.

 

 

b

Edited by bobf

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For any onlookers interested, I found this quite interesting:

 

http://jellieszone.com/strobe.htm

 

MODS, if you feel that the title of this thread needs to be edited to reflect that the subject is drifting into a "TTL/fibre-optic/general strobe info for newbies" kind of direction, feel free to do it - I don't seem to be able to edit the title.

 

Mark

Edited by Phaedrus

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As mentioned above, the UFL-1 is produced for Olympus and based on the YS-17.

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Here's the content of an e-mail I sent to Olympus last week:

 

"Hi,

 

I’d like to know about the correct connectivity between the UF-L underwater flash unit and the E-410 DSLR in a PT-EO3 underwater housing.

 

Can it be connected via a fibre-optic cable?

 

Or can it only be operated by wirelessly sensing the firing of the E-410’s internal flash (this is what seems to be suggested in most articles I read)?

 

If both methods are possible, which has any advantage over the other?

 

I’ve read the UFL-1 manual on-line, but that doesn’t give any information about connectivity."

 

 

Here's the reply:

 

"Dear Mark

 

Thank you for your e-mail,

 

it can not be connected via a fibre-optic cable, only wireless."

 

 

Just when I think I understand something, it all gets confusing again.

 

I finally came to understand how the Athena adapter is used (after viewing this page: http://www.athena-opt.com/camedia.html ), so in light of the above information directly from Olympus, can someone who has actually physically connected and operated a UFL-1 with the PT-E03 via a fibre-optic cable please show me where the connection happens on the UFL-1?

 

I think the green circle in this pic highlights the receiving end of the threaded clamp-knob, rather than a fibre-optiv connector?

 

Is the thing circled in red where a fibre-optic cable connects, if at all?

 

UFL-1Marked.jpg

 

All of these questions I'm asking are all academic till I'm actually in a position to buy anything, but I just like to have my homework done, so thanks again for all your replies.

 

 

Mark

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Here's the content of an e-mail I sent to Olympus last week:

 

"Hi,

 

I’d like to know about the correct connectivity between the UF-L underwater flash unit and the E-410 DSLR in a PT-EO3 underwater housing.

 

Can it be connected via a fibre-optic cable?

 

Or can it only be operated by wirelessly sensing the firing of the E-410’s internal flash (this is what seems to be suggested in most articles I read)?

 

If both methods are possible, which has any advantage over the other?

 

I’ve read the UFL-1 manual on-line, but that doesn’t give any information about connectivity."

Here's the reply:

 

"Dear Mark

 

Thank you for your e-mail,

 

it can not be connected via a fibre-optic cable, only wireless."

Just when I think I understand something, it all gets confusing again.

 

I finally came to understand how the Athena adapter is used (after viewing this page: http://www.athena-opt.com/camedia.html ), so in light of the above information directly from Olympus, can someone who has actually physically connected and operated a UFL-1 with the PT-E03 via a fibre-optic cable please show me where the connection happens on the UFL-1?

 

I think the green circle in this pic highlights the receiving end of the threaded clamp-knob, rather than a fibre-optiv connector?

 

Is the thing circled in red where a fibre-optic cable connects, if at all?

 

UFL-1Marked.jpg

 

All of these questions I'm asking are all academic till I'm actually in a position to buy anything, but I just like to have my homework done, so thanks again for all your replies.

Mark

Hi Mark-

The fiber optic cable attaches into the black ring on the underside of the strobe head - just in front of the fixing bolt mount. That is where the slave sensor is located on this strobe.

A fiber optic cable connection is a slave mode and is considered "wireless". You should check out the YS-17 before you purchase a UFL-1, but that's just our opinion! :)

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Mark,

 

That round thing circled in red on the battery cap is a pressure relief valve.

 

As Olympus told you it is true the strobe can be set off as a slave by another strobe flash in the area.

 

It can also be used with a fiber optic cable just like the Sea & Sea model.

 

Attached you will see the slave with no cord, using fiber optic cable for one or more strobes and one of the many ways the F.O. cables are attached to different housings, the Athena device is another.

 

Fiber optics will be the more reliable way of firing one or more strobes, Olympus or Sea & Sea.

 

Phil Rudin

post-2618-1206644588_thumb.jpg

post-2618-1206644610_thumb.jpg

post-2618-1206644625_thumb.jpg

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Hello Phil,

 

I've been trying to solve a very similar problem, and just found this thread, so please excuse me for jumping in.

 

I have already purchased a UFL-1 and the PT-035 housing for the Stylus 770SW camera. I did not buy the Olympus PTSA-01 or PTSA-02 strobe arms (your first picture) because they hold the flash in perfect position for backscatter. Instead, I went with a Fantasea tray and arm assembly. But unfortunately, now I need a fiber-optic sync cable, which Olympus does not provide.

 

Your second and third pictures look exactly like what I want, but they're too small for me to see what they are. I've looked all over the Olumpus, Sea & Sea, and Athena websties and can't find anything that looks like them. So, can you please tell me the manufacturer and model of the cable you're using, as well as the manufacturer and model of the wedge-shaped adaptor shown in picture 3? Do you know whether or not it will fit the PT-035?

 

Thanks so much for you assistance - and thanks to anyone else who helps out as well.

 

Chuck

 

Mark,

 

That round thing circled in red on the battery cap is a pressure relief valve.

 

As Olympus told you it is true the strobe can be set off as a slave by another strobe flash in the area.

 

It can also be used with a fiber optic cable just like the Sea & Sea model.

 

Attached you will see the slave with no cord, using fiber optic cable for one or more strobes and one of the many ways the F.O. cables are attached to different housings, the Athena device is another.

 

Fiber optics will be the more reliable way of firing one or more strobes, Olympus or Sea & Sea.

 

Phil Rudin

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Hi Chuck,

 

This is the fiber cord which is used to fire the strobe, (Olympus or Sea & Sea) if you talk to Ryan at ReefPhoto.com he will have some ideas about how to attach it to the cameras flash diffuser. One idea is shown at the bottom.

 

Phil

 

http://reefphoto.com/index.php?main_page=p...f66cb5e65f98779

 

http://www.uwdigitalcamera.com/goods_detail.php?goodsIdx=147

Edited by tropical1

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Hi guys, has this topic gone extinct? If not,,,

 

I also own an UFL-1. The UFL-1 was originally an only-for-Olympus OEM by Sea & Sea, and not a copy/rebrand.

 

From what I see and read from the Sea & Sea website (http://www.seaandsea.co.jp/press/1211334981.html) and the

news on this site(http://wetpixel.com/i.php/full/sea-sea-announces-ys-17-ttl-strobe-accessories-for-compact-cameras/),

all the features seem identical to UFL-1, including the small hump under the nose containing the optic sensor.

My guess is that some sort of contract barring Sea&Sea from selling this item expired or something, and Sea&Sea

began selling the thing in their own brand.

 

In the Japan domestic market, YS-17 is priced around 27,000yen (approx US$270) at discount dive shops.

Being some 10% cheaper than the UFL-1, this might appear to be a bargain, but considering the fact that

you can find the YS-110 as cheap as 40,000yen on occasions, you might want to wait a few months 'til the price settles.

Edited by super7

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