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Got mine! Two Retra Pros, two white diffusers, two neoprene jackets and one LSD. Total 1905 € + 1859 NIS (480 €) in taxes and fees. Going to take them underwater in the Philippines in three weeks - it's just too cold here to dive right now.

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Got mine! Two Retra Pros, two white diffusers, two neoprene jackets and one LSD. Total 1905 € + 1859 NIS (480 €) in taxes and fees. Going to take them underwater in the Philippines in three weeks - it's just too cold here to dive right now.
How much did it work out over unit?

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3 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

How much did it work out over unit?

The original order of two strobes (pro model) was 1478 €. If I split the taxes and fees proportionally, it works out to 925 € per strobe.

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The original order of two strobes (pro model) was 1478 €. If I split the taxes and fees proportionally, it works out to 925 € per strobe.
Ok so that is 225 more expensive than a sea and sea or inon

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For all sales to end users inside the EU we are required to add VAT (value added tax). With the PRO's this means the price of €899 (excluding tax) comes up to €1.096 or just shy of €200 of tax per flash which is a little more than 20%. All EU customers pay this tax.

When sending items outside the EU (exporting) we are not required and do not add any taxes as the destination country will place duties and local taxes on the imported goods based on the rules they have. In my experience these are much lower in the majority of countries around the world and many of them even come out without paying taxes. I think Canada might be the most expensive of the western ones but it still comes out at about 15% which is considerably less than the EU. In the US I think it's much less, as Herb pointed out he paid no more than 5% tax.

When you are purchasing products directly from the manufacturer there will be no middleman to take his part in the sale. In our case this means we can keep the product priced lower because we can count on at least some of the sales to come directly. Although the majority of users still prefer buying at a local shop instead of the internet and we always see a total drop of direct sales in an area where a reseller starts to operate.

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1 hour ago, Interceptor121 said:

Ok so that is 225 more expensive than a sea and sea or inon

Sent from my SM-A505FN using Tapatalk
 

A bit less - local price for a YS-D2 or Z-330 is about 770-780 € equivalent due to VAT and retailer markups, so it's about 150 € difference after accounting for early pre-order discount. Without the discount, getting new Retra Pros here (once retailers get them in stock) will be considerably more expensive, I expect. We pay 17% VAT here - less than EU, but more than most of the rest of the world.

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1 hour ago, Barmaglot said:

A bit less - local price for a YS-D2 or Z-330 is about 770-780 € equivalent due to VAT and retailer markups, so it's about 150 € difference after accounting for early pre-order discount. Without the discount, getting new Retra Pros here (once retailers get them in stock) will be considerably more expensive, I expect. We pay 17% VAT here - less than EU, but more than most of the rest of the world.

Actually here in Europe the difference is a bit more. You may find the YS-D2 at around 665€ (549.59€ excl. VAT), and Z-330 at 699€ (577.69€ excl. VAT).

However, for me there is no question the Retra are worth the difference ...

The difference in specs, build is huge between these strobes. And reliability/repairability of S&S strobes is so bad, that I will never buy an other one.

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2 hours ago, Algwyn said:

Actually here in Europe the difference is a bit more. You may find the YS-D2 at around 665€ (549.59€ excl. VAT), and Z-330 at 699€ (577.69€ excl. VAT).

However, for me there is no question the Retra are worth the difference ...

The difference in specs, build is huge between these strobes. And reliability/repairability of S&S strobes is so bad, that I will never buy an other one.

Inon reliability is fine. I was just trying to understand how those are priced and they are in the middle ground between more mainstream units and the more expensive seacam etc

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23 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

Inon reliability is fine. I was just trying to understand how those are priced and they are in the middle ground between more mainstream units and the more expensive seacam etc

They're priced in line with Ikelite DS-161s, which also have a circular tube with similar power output (160 W/s vs 150 W/s) and a strong center-mounted pilot LED (useful for aiming snoots). The advantages of Retra are wider angle, size, weight, standard battery cells as opposed to Ikelite's proprietary units, controls, and, theoretically, custom modes like HSS.  Both only have one mode of triggering (optical for Retra, electric for Ikelite) requiring an external adapter to accommodate the other. Arguably, the Ikelites have a larger selection of accessories (snoots, fluorescence excitation filters, etc).

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Mine arrived so just starting. Fiber optics are totally new to me too. Was not able to find the "app" either via Google using Chrome on my computer nor the Apple app from the Apple App store. There needs to be a back up maybe a pdf at the Retra website?

Trying to figure out how 2 fiber optics are attached to the adapter. Is the part that inserts into the strobe a standard part?

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49 minutes ago, Tom_Kline said:

Mine arrived so just starting. Fiber optics are totally new to me too. Was not able to find the "app" either via Google using Chrome on my computer nor the Apple app from the Apple App store. There needs to be a back up maybe a pdf at the Retra website?

Trying to figure out how 2 fiber optics are attached to the adapter. Is the part that inserts into the strobe a standard part?

@Tom_Kline

From what I have heard from them, it's not possible to fire 2 strobes from one "E-Opto-converter"   (if that is what you are referring to) 

Edited by g3cko

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1 minute ago, g3cko said:

From what I have heard from them, it's not possible to fire 2 strobes from one "E-Opto-converter"   (if that is what you are referring to) 

Yes that is what I was referring. I seem to recall from when I ordered the strobes that two fiber optic cables could be used but that one would be included with each adapter.

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Not to speak for them, that may have changed through their development.... but what was communicated to me sounded like that was not possible due to the trigger not being bright enough. 

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We will have to hear from Oskar.  Meanwhile I was curious about the black cap over the optical sensor. I have never used these on my ori. Retras and have only used the similar part on my Inons when using them as slaves. The Inon part fits on the Retra Pro but the Retra part does nor fit on the Inons due to the larger diameter of the sensor - at least on the Z220 model. The hole in the Inon part has a larger diameter.

Edited by Tom_Kline

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22 hours ago, Oskar@RetraUWT said:

For all sales to end users inside the EU we are required to add VAT (value added tax). With the PRO's this means the price of €899 (excluding tax) comes up to €1.096 or just shy of €200 of tax per flash which is a little more than 20%. All EU customers pay this tax.

When sending items outside the EU (exporting) we are not required and do not add any taxes as the destination country will place duties and local taxes on the imported goods based on the rules they have. In my experience these are much lower in the majority of countries around the world and many of them even come out without paying taxes. I think Canada might be the most expensive of the western ones but it still comes out at about 15% which is considerably less than the EU. In the US I think it's much less, as Herb pointed out he paid no more than 5% tax.

When you are purchasing products directly from the manufacturer there will be no middleman to take his part in the sale. In our case this means we can keep the product priced lower because we can count on at least some of the sales to come directly. Although the majority of users still prefer buying at a local shop instead of the internet and we always see a total drop of direct sales in an area where a reseller starts to operate.

One of the concerns expressed is the exorbitant fees charged by the likes of DHL for customs clearance.  It can be quite significant - different countries have different rules but I know in Australia at least you can do your own paperwork if it arrives by regular parcel post.  Seems it would be nice to have options for how they were shipped.  If you buy through a dealer the brokerage fees would be "there" but probably less but would include a dealer profit margin.   Backscatter list the Pro at $1049 so that is the Retra price plus just over 5% which seems like a wash for US residents.

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7 hours ago, Tom_Kline said:

We will have to hear from Oskar.  Meanwhile I was curious about the black cap over the optical sensor. I have never used these on my ori. Retras and have only used the similar part on my Inons when using them as slaves. The Inon part fits on the Retra Pro but the Retra part does nor fit on the Inons due to the larger diameter of the sensor - at least on the Z220 model. The hole in the Inon part has a larger diameter.

It's perfectly working with sea&sea connectors (I used ysd2J before my new retra and don't need to change my fiber 

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I received notification from Retra Tuesday (2/11/2020) that my first two Retra Primes have been shipped complete with the DHL tracking number. DHL notified me that there was a $58.25 import duty tax on them, which I was able to pay online. As of now, they are in Miami, FL, with an expected delivery around the end of the day Thursday.

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12 hours ago, Flo said:

It's perfectly working with sea&sea connectors (I used ysd2J before my new retra and don't need to change my fiber 

I have some S&S connectors as well but they are of the wired kind so do not work on the new strobe models. I had some trouble getting my new strobes to work. Optical adapter #1 would not trigger yet I could see the red flash at the end of the fiber. I tired both of my new pros as well as one of my originals. No dice. To make sure it was not the camera I was able to confirm the strobe worked by using the wired connector.

Then I unpacked adapter #2 and it worked on the new strobes! Was able to fire each pro but not able to fire the old Retra. So looking more carefully at adapter #1 I noticed red light coming out from around the fiber cable where it comes out of the adapter but did not see this with #2. So I decided to re-terminate #1. While looking for a matching Allen wrench size to loosen the set screw the cable broke off completely - see pic. Looks like a very bad design to me if the cable crimped where it comes out from the adapter. It might be better to have a bigger hole to match the one on the strobe fitting and have the same part on each end of the cable. This would make exchanging cables at each end much easier. I am not sure how to proceed now as there is not much to grab on to. The fiber optic did not just drop out after loosening the set screw. I tucked in the broken end of the fiber optic under the velcro strap for the pic.

 

_Z6X5324.jpg

Edited by Tom_Kline

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Hi Tom

It seems to me that this cable on the E-Opto converter was twisted a lot since it broke just on the edge. Can you confirm? *

Both of your converters should trigger the old and new flashes without any issue even if the connector is pulled out of the sensor cap for a few milimeters. Please note that the old flashes need to be positioned to "SL mode" for triggering with optical sensor. If this is not the case I would say that both fibres are already damaged and should be checked/refreshed. To refresh the fibres they should just be pulled out (not twisted) and cut with a sharp knife to remove the part which is damaged.

If you need any help exchanging this cable or further assistance on how to get the cable out please write to: develop@retra-uwt.com. Thank you. 

Edit 1 - *We tried to recreate this situation and the only way we could do it was to press the cable at a 90º angle at the edge of the housing and twist it about 15-20 times around it's axis. The cable broke and then it took some more twisting and pulling while the cable was still held by the screw to brake the jacket as well. Maybe with colder conditions it can happen sooner. We agree that this is a potential weak point and we will now be looking into it for improvement. For the time being please avoid twisting the cable unnecessarily and especially while it is at an angle. Mount the E-Opto converter first to your flash arm and then plug it into the flash. Movements of the flash while mounted like this should be no problem for the cable. 

Edit 2 - A little backstory: When we were testing the E-Opto converter and Alex was using the prototype on his trips we already encountered such issues but then sourced a much more robust optical cable which we are using now. Alex tested again to confirm and didn't get problems. We were then considering to make "do not twist" stickers for the cable but after testing the durability we decided to skip on the stickers since it seemed to us that so much twisting will not be possible as to completely brake away the cable. Anyway, I am amused to see that it can still happen and of course we need to look into this some more.

Edited by Oskar@RetraUWT

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Oskar, Thank you for your reply. I had success times two but before that let me address your question. The only twisting was incidental. Nothing at all like described in edit 1 which I did not see until after doing the repair this morning. The strobe was mounted on a ball at the top of the housing (ball normally used for pole cam or focusing lights). So the only movement came from plugging and unplugging the plastic end into the strobe and incidental movement to move the cabling out of the way - I used a standard curly Seacam S6 - S6 cable. After the initial failure I started swapping strobes so there was a little more movement of the cable. First the old model. When it failed I got a Seacam S6 - S&S cable which I attached to the opposite bulkhead to confirm functionality of strobe and camera which turned out OK. Then I went for the second adapter - at this point I had not yet opened the box containing the 2nd strobe plus accessories. Number 2 worked OK as I described yesterday.

Today. I first fixed the problematic adapter. It was challenging to remove the broken bit. I found success by using a micro screw driver to wedge it out about 0.5mm. I was then able to grab hold of it with a small needle-nose pliers - the one I had in my UWP tool kit. The transparent part came out first. Following a little more digging with the screwdriver I got enough of the black part out to grab with the pliers. The screwdriver I used as well as the two parts of the cable that I removed are in the attached pic. One can see the wear on the ends resulting from my extraction technique.

I then attached it to my housing after mounting the old strobe. Made sure it was on SL and it worked! I think I had it on to just "on" yesterday. So success on both the cord as well as the old strobe working via fiber optics.

My suggestion is to have the hole at metal end of the adapter part be of dimensions compatible with the plug that is on the strobe end of fiber optic and use the same plastic part on each end. Think double-ender like a Viking ship. One could unplug the fiber optic part from the adapter part for traveling making them easier to pack. Fiber optic cords could be packed separately into a more or less flat compartment. This would reduce stress on the fiber optic part since it would not have a heavy object attached to the end (the adapter part). People like me would be happy if you sold the plastic plugs by the boxload (2 dozen or even 50!). I like having backups plus the cords could be made for different lengths. The set screws could even go in a small ziplock bag saving the labor of installing them.

Thanks, Tom

_Z6X5327.jpg

Edited by Tom_Kline
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I have a further suggestion for the adapter. That is to make it possible to bolt it in place. For example, have the diameter be thicker where the set screw is located so the side opposite to the set screw could be flattened a bit, then drilled and tapped for either M6 or 1/4-20. One could either bolt something on directly on or use a ball fitting similar to the one on the strobe. M8 would be overkill. For example: https://www.unterwasserkamera.at/shop/catalog/en/product_info.php?info=p1630_u-l-c-s--ad-6-ball-adapter.html

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Has anyone had a chance to use the new Retra Pro in TTL with existing UW Technic or Nauticam TTL triggers?
 

I know it’s early days, but wondering what to do regarding a TTL trigger for upcoming trip in April

 

ian

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3 hours ago, ianmarsh said:

Has anyone had a chance to use the new Retra Pro in TTL with existing UW Technic or Nauticam TTL triggers?

Only on dry land so far; I will have it in the water in two weeks. With the UW-Technics converter, manual mode works fine, but TTL categorically does not work - it always fires with the same fairly low power, both in mode 1 (Inon Z-240) and in mode 6 (Ikelite DS-160); I'm not sure why, maybe I'm doing something wrong? Oddly, with the pop-up flash on my Sony A6300, the TTL mode appears to work fairly well - I was getting the same exposure at f/11 and f/22 (ISO set to 100, shutter speed to 1/160), although wider apertures were getting overexposed. Can't test HSS because my camera won't let me select a shorter exposure than 1/160 - need a new firmware revision for the converter to enable it. Pavel wrote a week ago on tetis.ru forus that he's expecting a sample in two weeks, and then he will try making a TTL profile for it.

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Thanks so much

That is EXACTLY what I need to know:)

(I am assuming you are on Nikon?)

ian

Edited by ianmarsh

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I plan to build TTL profiles for Retra strobe in a week. First turn is for Sony, some later for Nikon / Canon / Olympus / Panasonic. 

By the way, i also have some additional information for today, - few days ago Retra team tested new strobe with TTL-Converter UWTechnics #11031-II (Nikon TTL), it worked good enough using existing profile YS-D2 or YS-D1, only required some correction at the end of working range.

Edited by Pavel Kolpakov
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