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tamas970

Color temperature of strobes?

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I would like to upgrade my 2xS2000 strobes to something stronger, and browsing the datasheets, I started wondering about color temerature.

On land, we'd need 5500K.

1m optical path (0.5m distance) takes away ~1/2 stop red, which speaks for a ~2000K correction. I know, 14bit raw has a great tolerance, still,

isn't the case favoring the warmer (4700K) strobes, compared to the typical 5500-5800K ones from Inon and Sea&Sea?

 

In other words: may we expect better red noise using warmer strobes, especially for WA work/larger object distance?

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I don't know about red noise but warmer strobe temperatures do make for nicer blue water:

 

http://www.amustard.com/?page=pro&ext=strobecolour&subpage=news&size=s

 

Since this was published Inon have now made warming filters available for their strobes:

 

http://www.inon.jp/products/strobe/diffuser/top.html

Edited by Gudge

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Thanks for the article, it expresses my feelings too:) The suggested filter absorbs ~20% of light, this sounds counterproductive. I'd better start with a warmer strobe, which I have difficulty to find.

 

#1: I am flying to most dive destinantion -> 1000+g models are definitely ruled out.

#2: good TTL via optical cable would come handy.

#3: AA batteries please...

 

Looking at the sizes/weights of Ikelite and Subtronic units, the Subtronic Pro160 is the only viable warm option, it is still a bit on the bulky/heavy side. Probably I'd be better off with a pair of z240's + filter...

Edited by tamas970

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Maybe a better approach would be to use Mired Filters on a daylight strobe, then you can vary the mired value according to the water conditions and the anticipated subject distance. A 4200k strobe kind of locks you in. The other way could be to adjust the WB in the camera, adjust to 7000K in camera would potentially have a similar effect as a 4200k strobe on 5600k in camera.

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True, in green water doesn't need so warm lighting. The hurdles with non-optical cables can also be omitted by getting a "modern" inon/S&S strobe.

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Thanks for the article, it expresses my feelings too:) The suggested filter absorbs ~20% of light, this sounds counterproductive. I'd better start with a warmer strobe, which I have difficulty to find.

 

#1: I am flying to most dive destinantion -> 1000+g models are definitely ruled out.

#2: good TTL via optical cable would come handy.

#3: AA batteries please...

 

Looking at the sizes/weights of Ikelite and Subtronic units, the Subtronic Pro160 is the only viable warm option, it is still a bit on the bulky/heavy side. Probably I'd be better off with a pair of z240's + filter...

 

 

Seacam is developing a new strobe to run off AA batteries. This was reported at DEMA here on WP. This could be what you are looking for. No idea yet on the features (such as color temp and output angle) but Seacam does have some very useful ones, in particular, the battery state. While the digital read-out is only to the nearest 20% (in the 150D) this is enough info to help one decide whether to swap out batteries before a dive or not. The weak link (in the 150D) IMHO is the lack of choice of battery type since one is stuck with the Seacam battery pack with its "die easy" batteries. With the prospective new one one will be able to use Eneloops which IMHO are the ones to use.

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The suggested filter absorbs ~20% of light, this sounds counterproductive

Inon do two versions of their warming filter, a clear version which does not affect strobe output (and has a 100° beam angle) and a diffuser version which reduces output by 0.5 EV (and has a beam angle of 110°. If you go this way you want the 4600K version, specifications of both versions for the Z240 are at the bottom of this page:

 

http://www.inon.jp/products/strobe/diffuser/z240d2000.html

 

This is the clear version:

4600k_z240.jpg

Edited by Gudge

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Seacam is developing a new strobe to run off AA batteries. This was reported at DEMA here on WP. This could be what you are looking for. No idea yet on the features (such as color temp and output angle) but Seacam does have some very useful ones, in particular, the battery state. While the digital read-out is only to the nearest 20% (in the 150D) this is enough info to help one decide whether to swap out batteries before a dive or not. The weak link (in the 150D) IMHO is the lack of choice of battery type since one is stuck with the Seacam battery pack with its "die easy" batteries. With the prospective new one one will be able to use Eneloops which IMHO are the ones to use.

Thanks, I'll keep an eye on them. However, considering their prices, I'd only pick up a seacam strobe second hand...

 

Inon do two versions of their warming filter, a clear version which does not affect strobe output (and has a 100° beam angle) and a diffuser version which reduces output by 0.5 EV (and has a beam angle of 110°. If you go this way you want the 4600K version, specifications of both versions for the Z240 are at the bottom of this page:

 

http://www.inon.jp/products/strobe/diffuser/z240d2000.html

If it does what it should do, it will definitely affect the output. Changing CT means absorbing a fair share of the blue part-> decreasing overall output. Question is how much...

Edited by tamas970

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The issue of color temperature is directly related to strobe output power. As you said above,

 

 

 

Changing CT means absorbing a fair share of the blue part-> decreasing overall output.

 

So it is not possible to make a small light strobe with a warm color temp. If for no other reason than the battery packs required to get sufficient output need to be rechargeable.

 

Hence you either go for bigger heavier strobes that are less portable, or use warming filters with small ones (and accept the loss in power).

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You definitely need a more powerful flash tube to get the same output at a warmer color temperature than a colder one. Adding warming filters to sea & sea / inon strobes works -- I've used both the inon proprietary warming filters and simple straw gels taped onto the front of my sea & sea ys-d1s/ys-d2s. However, this will reduce the light intensity output, so you'll have to crank up the power. Not really a problem if you're shooting F5.6-F8 at ISO100 (or better yet, 200), but more of a problem if you want to shoot F11-F22 at ISO 100. That's when you really start to feel the power limitations of the smaller travel strobes like the Sea & Sea YS-D2 and Inon z240.

 

My understanding is that the Ikelite 160/161s aren't any brighter than the two strobes mentioned above, but they are a bit warmer at 4800k and have horseshoe diffusers instead of straight tubes, so you get a more even illumination. But then again, they're also heavier and bigger. Same thing for the YS-250 PROs -- not significantly more powerful then the YS-D2/Inon z240.

 

At the moment, if you want more power and a warmer strobe, I think the Seacam Seaflash 150s are your best option. But that comes with a tradeoff of size and weight and need for electronic sync cords. Not to mention 1 Seacam Seaflash 150 costs as much as 4 YS-D2s!

 

One way we might see stronger, warmer strobes in a travel-friendly size is if manufacturers started using lithium ion battery packs instead of NIMH. LIION allows roughly 3 times the energy density of NIMH, so you could have smaller, equally powerful designs. As far as I know, only Ikelite used LIION battery packs currently. But in their case, it hasn't lead to any size reduction. Just more capacity.

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At the moment, if you want more power and a warmer strobe, I think the Seacam Seaflash 150s are your best option. But that comes with a tradeoff of size and weight and need for electronic sync cords. Not to mention 1 Seacam Seaflash 150 costs as much as 4 YS-D2s!

 

There is also Subtronic, however you have to be ready to repair it in case it has an issue...

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