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njmpm

Asking for your views on strobes for Nikon D7000 in Nauticam Housing

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Hello everyone,

 

I previously owned a Nikon D70 in a Sea and Sea housing with Sea and Sea 110a stobes used on manual settings. I have sold this setup some time ago. I recently purchased a Nauticam NA-D7000V housing and plan on shooting mainly macro to start with using a Nikon 60mm lens. I have done quite a bit of research about the current strobes and still cant decide. I was wondering if any Nauticam macro and WA shooters would care to comment on their current strobe setup with pros and cons. I was leaning towards the Ikelite DS-161's as I panned on doing some macro video work and I liked the rechargeable aspect but read that some people have had problems with them. I see people also comment on the INON Z240s saying that the light is too white and needs warming etc etc...

 

Is anyone using the same camera and housing and love or hate their strobes? why?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Kindest Regards

Nick

Edited by njmpm

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I have over 1000 dives with my DS161's without a single problem.

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Thanks for the reply diverdoug1,

I realy like the idea of being able to recharge rather than changing batteries.

Did you shoot manual or TTL?

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I have the NA-D7000 (not the 'V') housing and a pair of Z240s. Use them for both macro and WA.

 

The Z240's are not suited for video very well. I just shoot stills, so my comments are limited to that.

 

Inon has different diffusers and think you could adjust the temperature in post processing. I like the fact the Inon's accept standard AA batteries which you can find just about anywhere relatively cheaply. I use/travel with 3 sets of rechargeable batteries (one set in the strobes, one in the charger, one ready to go).

 

If you travel, the Inon's a small & light. Same for the batteries, but need to bring a charger when doing multiple photo sessions. If you use fiber optic to trigger the strobe, those cables weigh next to nothing and are quite reliable.

 

Was in Bonaire earlier this year when someone had placed his Ike battery packs into his BC pockets for travel and forgot to remove before the first dive. Made for an expensive mistake and he was strobe-less for the week in a great location.

 

Hope someone else chimes in with video suggestions...

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I used a D70 with Inon Z220 strobes, then a D200 and D300, and now a D800 in a Nauticam housing with fibre-optic cables to twin Inon Z240s for wide angle and twin Inon D2000s for macro, with a Sola 600 for focussing and as a shooting light (at iso 800). Straw filters behind Inon's diffusors work nicely in warm water; in cold, green water the Inon strobe's colour temperature is an advantage. Ikelite D161s are big, the battery pack is cumbersome and I'm not sure that anything provides top-notch performance as a strobe and a video light...

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/timsdiving/sets/72157623909675034/

Edited by tdpriest
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Video lights built into strobes are a weak compromise. Also, trying to combine stills and video on a dive usually results in poor results for both. The mindset is totally different.

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I use 2-3 INON Z-240 strobes on my Hugyfot D7000 and D800 rig and trigger them optically.

They have a rather sensible sensor so they can be used to trigger from distance without cables

if the sensor will receive the light from the main strobe.

Usually i leave them in s-TTL and adjust output with the right dial if needed, but they have a lot

of options for automatic, semi-automatic and manual exposure control.

I would non change them with any other strobe as they:
are powerful - small - light but sturdy - adapt to almost any camera - simply work - well priced

 

I still have a Ikelite DS-125 strobe and it is a nice strobe but bulky and heavy and when i bought it new

the strobe tube was not working ans so i had to ship it on my expenses back to the USA and back to Roatan.

 

For doing nice video work under water you need power, and a lot of it. I have 2 Mangrove 4300 lumen lights

and the illuminate not more than 3 feet far under ambient light condition and we are testing now 2 9000 lumen lights

and they seem to have enough power for every situation use.
Be careful comparing lumen value, depending on the concentration of the beam the lumen value increase and decrease,

but as you probably want a at least 100° beam you will need a massive amount of lumen to illuminate a reef scene at 30 ft

at 11 in the morning.

 

Chris

Edited by ChrigelKarrer
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Thank you for taking the time to reply everyone it is really appreciated. A friend uses the Inon Z240's with an Olympus OM-D EM-5 in a Nauticam housing (optical connection) so I might ask to try his out. Looks like a lot of people favour the Inons for their small size.

 

I can see from your comment Chris that video (especially WA) will take a huge amount of dedicated video light. What I am wanting to do is video the behaviour of Pygmy Pipehorses using a 60mm macro lens. Due to their small size and a very close working distance, a couple of inches at most, I thought that twin Ikelite 161's delivering "super even 500 lumen video light" would supply more than enough light?

 

Thanks again everyone

Regards

nick

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Due to their small size and a very close working distance, a couple of inches at most, I thought that twin Ikelite 161's delivering "super even 500 lumen video light" would supply more than enough light?

Yes, they will provide enough light for illuminating pygmy sea horses and all other macro stuff from very near,

but sooner or later you will get real video lights as the power is simply far away from doing more than close focus macro.

The DS-161 has a video angle coverage of 45° similar to a torch and not like a video light and this lead you to need to position

your DS-161 micrometric to avoid ugly hotspots and/or shadows.

 

A L&M Sola 1200 for example (or any wide beam and dimmable dive torch) will be a much better and flexible option for macro video.

 

Chris

 

P.S. Have also a look here: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/ikelite/330741-any-reviews-ikelite-ds161-movie.html

Edited by ChrigelKarrer
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Thanks Chris,

 

The more research I do the more I like the Inons + a dedicated video light or two!

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Hi Nick,

 

I have been using Ikelite DS161"Movie" strobes with my Aquatica AD7000 housing for sometime now. I mainly shoot wide angle and prefer the hard wired Ikelites as they are powerful, have a warmer light output, and I think they are slightly quicker between shots than opitcal fibre connected Inon's Z240's which my friends use. My Ds161's have now had the new Li-Ion battery packs which make the setup slightly lighter but has also increased the amount of shots you can take with a battery pack (often didnt have to change the battery pack for the day). The "Movie" LED light in the Ds161 is a joke and isnt worth using and I use 2x I-torch video pro 6 as my video lights as these little lights pump out 2400 lumens each. I like my DS161 as they are hard wired in and can shoot at 1/320th which you cant with opitcal fibre connected strobes like Inons.

 

The downside to Ikelite DS161 are:

  • Cost......they are more expensive to buy new than Inon Z240
  • Batteries require dedicated battery packs from ikelite and not normal AA batteries for the Inon Z240's
  • Size and weight of the Ds161 are alot more than the smaller and lighter Z240's which will be an isue if your travelling alot.
  • cost more to get them optically connected than the Inon Z240's as you have to buy the new opitcal connection for iIkelite strobes.

So Honestly if your doing mainly macro I would suggest the Inon Z240's and a good video light over the Ikelite DS161.

 

Regards Mark

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To answer your previous question, I currently shoot only manual, but iTTL worked fine for macro when I had an Ikelite housing.

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Thanks for the info Mark, I think the money I save with the Z-240's can go towards the video lights.

Great photos as well mate. Where are you at, Byron? Looks like some great diving up that way.

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Hi Nick,

 

I use Z-240's with my D90 and cant fault them. Perfect for macro with very reliable STTL. The Ikes have a slight advantage

for Wide Angle but its not great enough for me to pay that much more and then have to lug them about on shore dives.

 

If you want to have a dedicated Macro rig then its worth looking at the Inon S2000 strobes mentioned by Tim.

 

There is also the Sea & Sea YS-D1, another compact and powerful strobe that might be worth considering.

 

Cheers,

Jim.

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Hi,

 

I am also using a couple of INON Z240's together with my D800 ( and previously with a D80).

I find them strong enough, due to the improved Noise Performance of the Cameras.

The size is an Advantage when traveling.

The warming Diffusors are a really nice Addition for WA.

 

/Erik

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Thanks Jim and Erik,

 

Most of my diving is shore diving so the smaller strobes will definitely be an advantage when carrying the rigs over the rocks and up the hill on the way back haha

 

:)

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I shot with the D7000 with Nauticam 7000-V and I have a pair of Z240 and one Inon S2000 (no aiming light). I use the S2000 as slave for WA Photography.

 

In my experience , shooting macro with one or 2 strobes Z240 is fine. If your subject fill 70% of the frame , TTL might give you good exposure. I shoot only manual. I use the creative filters of Inon, which improve the temperature of the strobes originally pretty cold. But you can post process the temperature with any software.

They use common AA batteries and that is of advantage for me. But :

-if you dive in cold water, buttons of the strobes are not easy to grasp and turn with gloves. Sometimes I ask myself underwater, who design such tiny buttons and tiny script on the strobes.

-if you shoot manual, the pre flash button need to be pushed down. The grip is very poor. And it might pop out accidentally during the dive.

I figure out that you do not care much of the angle of the strobe if you shoot macro. But maybe in the long run you will tackle the WA lens and it is better to have a wide beam (I mean strobes). If I could change my strobes , I would go for subtronic or Seacam.

 

If you like to shoot movies, I would suggest to have one good video torch, like a Keldan LUNA 4V or 8V. But the rigs is getting bulky UW if you shoot still and movie.

 

Happy pictures :)

 

Claire.

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Thanks for the information Claire it's much appreciated.

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I think the Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes pair very nicely with the D7000.I've shot them on a couple of trips and this setup works well for both macro and w/a. They are small, very powerful and the D-TTL works great. They are lighter and less expensive than the z240s I used to shoot. I now shoot the YS-D1s with my Nauticam D800.

 

Here's a few shots:

 

7814936778_afecc9c703.jpg
Porcelain Crab by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

 

7927338092_def7215319.jpg
Crinnod Shrimp by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

 

7844521518_2bc19ccc49.jpg
Tomato Anemonefish w/a by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

 

8331539799_a64e807e92.jpg
School of Jacks by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

 

Jack

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Beautiful images Jack thanks for sharing.

My Z-240 actually arrived today!

Now I'm trying to work out how to change the plug on the fibre optic cable? Why do they supply a cable stated "nauticam to inon" and it comes with the wrong connector? I have seen the D1 (upgraded 110a isn't it) and looks like a very nice and compact unit. Oh well I have the Inon now so have to start practicing how to use it haha

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