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9 hours ago, TimG said:

I've also just got the Retra Macro rings and have those on the right-hand strobe and the LSD on the left (it makes for good handling if you are right-handed) and am finding that combination terrific for all macro subjects.

Tim,

Two questions please:

1. What does the macro ring do?

2. How difficult is to remove the snoot in the water? I am asking this as I am typically setup for macro but occasionally I run into a larger beautiful subject (octopus etc) and I fumble to remove the snoot and put back the diffusion disk on the strobe to shoot with both strobes. I currently have Sea&Sea YS-D3 strobes and snoot/diffusion disk have bayonet mounting. Removing the snoot is not hard in the water, more of a problem of how to present it from floating in front of the strobe :).

Thanks!

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5 minutes ago, Silvana said:

Tim,

Two questions please:

1. What does the macro ring do?

2. How difficult is to remove the snoot in the water? I am asking this as I am typically setup for macro but occasionally I run into a larger beautiful subject (octopus etc) and I fumble to remove the snoot and put back the diffusion disk on the strobe to shoot with both strobes. I currently have Sea&Sea YS-D3 strobes and snoot/diffusion disk have bayonet mounting. Removing the snoot is not hard in the water, more of a problem of how to present it from floating in front of the strobe :).

Thanks!

The macro rings (there are two of them) narrow the beam of light down in two stages by creating a smaller opening on the front of the strobe. See the Retra photo which might help my explanation:

https://www.retra-uwt.com/collections/shop/products/macro-rings

The LSD, indeed all the Retra light shaping accessories, are very easy to remove or add underwater. The strobes have a bayonet fitting around the front and the accessories just bayonet on.

Most of the accessories have a sturdy rope loop on them. I rigged up a 6" piece of Paracord  with a carabiner at each end. One end is clipped to my BC and tucks into a pouch; the free end I just clip on whatever Retra accessory I'm either carrying for possible use or that I want to remove mid-dive.  

The reflector, the various domes, the LSD and the holder (the "Reduction Ring") for the macro rings all have the loop.

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4 hours ago, Silvana said:

Regarding #3, i heard that handling the strobes from the extra batteries compartment can cause leaks. This is from a person that was not actually using them, so I was taking it with a grain of salt.

https://www.retra-uwt.com/blogs/news/introducing-the-supercharger

Quote

Once mounted the Supercharger is very compact and the construction is robust. The photographer can hold onto the Supercharger when adjusting the flashgun underwater.

I'll take the word of the manufacturer over some random person ;)

1 hour ago, TimG said:

The reflector, the various domes, the LSD and the holder (the "Reduction Ring") for the macro rings all have the loop.

Small nitpick - the reflectors don't actually have those little loops; the reduction rings upon which they mount do.

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36 minutes ago, Barmaglot said:

Small nitpick - the reflectors don't actually have those little loops; the reduction rings upon which they mount do.

You're right of course. Sorry, the reflector fits on to a reduction ring which does have the loop and then bayonets on to the strobe.

 

 

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I solved the problem using a Think Tank whip. https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/cable-management/products/red-whips-v2-0

One could thread in a second whip or a ring (split ring or a solid one) to use it as Tim suggests. My use thus far has been in very shallow water so no need to clip on. One could, alternatively, glue the reflector to the reduction ring for a more permanent association.

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Edited by Tom_Kline
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Posted (edited)

Looking to get input on a flash trigger to operate HSS with Retra Pro x.

Camera is an Olympus EM1 Mk3 in a Nauticam housing.

As far as I can tell, UW technics and Turtle make flash triggers for my setup. I believe the turtle one can be used in manual. Not sure about the UW Technics?

Does anyone have any advice on these or any other product that I can use to HSS the strobes in manual mode with my set up?

Thanks

Edited by Mark Green

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Mark Green said:

Looking to get input on a flash trigger to operate HSS with Retra Pro x.

Camera is an Olympus EM1 Mk3 in a Nauticam housing.

As far as I can tell, UW technics and Turtle make flash triggers for my setup. I believe the turtle one can be used in manual. Not sure about the UW Technics?

Does anyone have any advice on these or any other product that I can use to HSS the strobes in manual mode with my set up?

Thanks

I got the Turtle Mobie for a Panasonic GX9 in a Nauticam housing about a year ago.   I have not tried on the Olympus EM5 which I also own but it should work as well (happy with the compact GX9 now!).

My experience is positive because of the excellent support I got and the flexibility of the solution.   I can choose to configure it on the PC either in Turtle Manual mode (and Retra will work in HSS) or TTL mode (all other Retra options work but no HSS and only at maximum synch speed).  In the water I have used only in manual mode since HSS was the main reason I purchased it.  It works well all the way  up to 1/4000 and its internal battery charge lasts forever...  

I also checked UW technics but I was told the GX9 is missing a pin in the hotshoe socket (G9 also).  I believe that pin is needed to give power to the UW technics solution which does not have its own internal battery.  However the Olympus should have no problem whatsoever.

Only thing I really miss, as you may already know, the full power of the Retra is not available in HSS mode.  

Andrea

Edited by nudibranco

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1 hour ago, Mark Green said:

Does anyone have any advice on these or any other product that I can use to HSS the strobes in manual mode with my set up?

Hey Mark

Maybe worth dropping a message to Oskar at Retra and get their view?

I'm using the UW Technics HSS board for Nikon with Retra Pro X and Primes. Works like a charm. No problems at all. Easy to switch between Manual, HSS and even TTL. Very good support from Pavel who is a regular contributor here.

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2 hours ago, Mark Green said:

As far as I can tell, UW technics and Turtle make flash triggers for my setup. I believe the turtle one can be used in manual. Not sure about the UW Technics?

I have the UW-Technics trigger; it can be used in manual mode - in fact, that's how I use it nearly all the time. The HSS mode is manual-only.

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10 hours ago, nudibranco said:

Only thing I really miss, as you may already know, the full power of the Retra is not available in HSS mode.  

This is a characteristic of HSS in general. For HSS to work a much longer light pulse is emitted and if you are using slower speeds it will not be visible in the image. Here is a nice article explaining the operation and also how the UW Technics converters work: https://wetpixel.com/articles/uw-technics-offer-ttl-board-with-hss-support

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Thanks for your help everyone. I am thinking that the option below may be the best choice?

image.png.ddab467116381b65249cfb2d8917ec3f.png

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hi all,

On the topic of HSS, do we have a feel of how different the light output is vs normal shooting?

For example, I'd be keen to know if HSS max output is 1 stop less than regular full power output, or 2 stops less, 3 stops less, etc.

 

Reason I ask: so far I've only seen examples of HSS used for macro in shallow waters. I am rather interested by fast wide-angle action close to the surface, where I would keep my aperture at around f/8 or f/11 (on a Nikon D500) but I am envisioning that shooting at 1/1000th or 1/2000th shutter speed would let me:

1/ freeze those fast swimming subjects (1/250th doesn't cut it for excited fur seals)

2/ cut massively ambient light, to let my strobes paint colours

But that would work only if my Retra Pros (original version) can deliver enough light at 1 or 1.5 meters, in HSS mode :dunno:

 

cheers

Nicolas

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HSS guide number will vary with shutter speed.  You can get a sense of this by looking at the specs for Nikon speedlights.  On the SB-5000 speedlight it states that going from 1/500 to 1/1000 shutter speed you lose one stop.  I would expect similar performance changes for the Retra output as it would be pulsed in a similar manner to how the SB-5000 would be pulsed to achieve the same sort of illumination coverage.  (page H-29 of SB-5000 reference manual). 

The performance will start to drop from the max sync speed, assuming that is 1/250 then you would lose one stop of flash power at 1/500 and an additional stop for each stop you reduce shutter speed. Ultimately it will max out as the capacitor will empty and you then have to wait as if you had just let a full power blast go.  This is a ball park estimate but I don't expect it would be too far out.

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On 1/25/2022 at 9:45 PM, ChrisRoss said:

HSS guide number will vary with shutter speed.  You can get a sense of this by looking at the specs for Nikon speedlights.  On the SB-5000 speedlight it states that going from 1/500 to 1/1000 shutter speed you lose one stop.  I would expect similar performance changes for the Retra output as it would be pulsed in a similar manner to how the SB-5000 would be pulsed to achieve the same sort of illumination coverage.  (page H-29 of SB-5000 reference manual). 

The performance will start to drop from the max sync speed, assuming that is 1/250 then you would lose one stop of flash power at 1/500 and an additional stop for each stop you reduce shutter speed. Ultimately it will max out as the capacitor will empty and you then have to wait as if you had just let a full power blast go.  This is a ball park estimate but I don't expect it would be too far out.

Cheers Chris, your reasoning makes sense to me.

If it's correct however, that invalidates HSS as a solution for wide-angle work where the ambient light is too strong.

 

Say I am shooting at 1/250s (my max speed) and I have satisfactory depth of field at f/11, I've minimized my ISO, but my strobe power isn't sufficient to overcome the ambient light on my subject.

If I use HSS to halve ambient light (going to 1/500), with your model I'm also halving strobe illumination.

If I use HSS to halve ambient light again (going to 1/1000), with your model I'm also halving strobe illumination...

Then I am not giving strobe light any advantage over artificial light.

Yet, I am having to open my aperture further (or increase ISOs) to compensate the reduced light.

 

I can very much see how this is valuable when you want to keep an open aperture despite bright ambient light, but looks like there is no underwater wide-angle benefit.

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32 minutes ago, Nicool said:

Cheers Chris, your reasoning makes sense to me.

If it's correct however, that invalidates HSS as a solution for wide-angle work where the ambient light is too strong.

 

Say I am shooting at 1/250s (my max speed) and I have satisfactory depth of field at f/11, I've minimized my ISO, but my strobe power isn't sufficient to overcome the ambient light on my subject.

If I use HSS to halve ambient light (going to 1/500), with your model I'm also halving strobe illumination.

If I use HSS to halve ambient light again (going to 1/1000), with your model I'm also halving strobe illumination...

Then I am not giving strobe light any advantage over artificial light.

Yet, I am having to open my aperture further (or increase ISOs) to compensate the reduced light.

 

I can very much see how this is valuable when you want to keep an open aperture despite bright ambient light, but looks like there is no underwater wide-angle benefit.

That's the nature of HSS - the strobe has a very short duration much less than the time the shutter is open.  HSS works by pulsing the flash constantly during the time the shutter widow crosses the the sensor.  It lowers the intensity by not being on all the time but still needs to put out more light.   You can make a reasonable judgement of the impact by the strobe power you use now - if you are on 1/4 power one stop takes you to half power for example.

Of course if you move shutter speed you have to compensate somewhere else if you want to avoid your ambient lit background heading rapidly towards black. Moving aperture open or ISO up both bring the background back up  and increase the flash exposure, so get you back to your starting point on both ambient/flash balance and background brightness.  So if you can balance ambient and flash with your current strobe using within the flash sync speed, the balance can remain the same in theory with HSS operation.  You could use any mix of f stop and ISO to adjust the exposure.

For your example of seal photography I also suspect you could open up a stop - if they are in open water generally corner detail is not so important.  What sort of shutter speed are you thinking you will need?

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Hello, wondering if anyone had similar issues - I have the first retras and occasionally they switch off. Thought it might be battery related but it happens with new batch completely new eneloop pros. Literally fully charged in the first 30 min of the dive. It happens with both my flashes at different times. It is really annoying as I often don’t realize and have half the shot lit and the other dark. They tend to Turn off occasionally when the pilot light is switched on on level 2, which according to retra is a known issue, unfortunately to fix it I have to send them in and on my expenses which means I better live when it. But if same things start to happen on regular use now it’s becoming a bigger problem…


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26 minutes ago, sbonev said:

Hello, wondering if anyone had similar issues - I have the first retras and occasionally they switch off. Thought it might be battery related but it happens with new batch completely new eneloop pros. Literally fully charged in the first 30 min of the dive. It happens with both my flashes at different times. It is really annoying as I often don’t realize and have half the shot lit and the other dark. They tend to Turn off occasionally when the pilot light is switched on on level 2, which according to retra is a known issue, unfortunately to fix it I have to send them in and on my expenses which means I better live when it. But if same things start to happen on regular use now it’s becoming a bigger problem…


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Not this type of problem (!) but I never use the pilot light as it would drain the battery which hardly makes 2 dives in cold waters.

However sometimes after fresh recharge it does not like the batteries and it will not turn on.  I have to take them off and put them on again ...  not sure why either.

Andrea

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Not this type of problem (!) but I never use the pilot light as it would drain the battery which hardly makes 2 dives in cold waters.
However sometimes after fresh recharge it does not like the batteries and it will not turn on.  I have to take them off and put them on again ...  not sure why either.
Andrea

I also rarely use them, but they are quite useful on night dives. And it’s a real pity I can only use them on level 1. And the not turning after fresh recharge I have never experienced it. Could it be some of the batteries’ contacts?


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13 minutes ago, nudibranco said:

Not this type of problem (!) but I never use the pilot light as it would drain the battery which hardly makes 2 dives in cold waters.

That's where superchargers help! (Not on OG Retras though, I'm afraid)

6 minutes ago, sbonev said:

I also rarely use them, but they are quite useful on night dives.

They're especially useful on blackwater dives, when you get a subject that is attracted to light, and keeps going for your focus torch - turning it off and engaging the modeling light on one of the strobes makes it go across the frame, which is easy to follow by panning, rather than towards you, which makes you backpedal furiously to keep it in the lens.

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13 minutes ago, sbonev said:


I also rarely use them, but they are quite useful on night dives. And it’s a real pity I can only use them on level 1. And the not turning after fresh recharge I have never experienced it. Could it be some of the batteries’ contacts?


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I always check for contacts problems, I tend to think it might be that after the fresh recharge the firmware does not like a voltage over 5.6 or 5.7V.  

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Worth asking Oskar? Who might well chip-in.......

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Hello

Some errors on the Original Retra Flash (produced until early 2018) were programmed to shut down the flashgun. The temperature management program on the pilot light was later changed but requires a firmware update which is not possible remotely.

Shortly we will release a firmware update (3.13) for the PRO and Prime models (produced until early 2021) which will probably solve the rare shut down issue on startup. It happens only with the 4 battery pack.

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On 1/28/2022 at 10:46 PM, nudibranco said:

However sometimes after fresh recharge it does not like the batteries and it will not turn on.  I have to take them off and put them on again ...  not sure why either.

Yes, I have this problem with my original pair. It only started in late 2020 after they were not used for nine months due to lockdown. Changing the batteries sometimes works, fresh off the charger eneloops seem to be best but even those sometimes fail. No response from the strobes at all. 
 

it’s annoying and honestly I have stopped using them. Not worth the stress of both failing right before the dive even if they turned on at home. 
 

My contacts are fine and I don’t use the pilot light. 

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Hello
Some errors on the Original Retra Flash (produced until early 2018) were programmed to shut down the flashgun. The temperature management program on the pilot light was later changed but requires a firmware update which is not possible remotely.
Shortly we will release a firmware update (3.13) for the PRO and Prime models (produced until early 2021) which will probably solve the rare shut down issue on startup. It happens only with the 4 battery pack.

Mine turn off without the pilot light working, that is the issue. With the pilot light I get it, but they started without and on new batteries. So not sure what kind of errors can cause it but it seems there is no strict pattern. And this makes for very unreliable solution that renders half dark pictures.


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I also had a similar problem with my original Retras and most occasions the pilot light was actually off. Turning the problem strobe OFF and then to M again solved the problem underwater but it was annoying that the problem could spoil some shots.  Anyway I don't use them anymore as I've upgraded to the Pro Xs. I would like to sell my originals but of course, I don't wish to pass on this issue onto someone else.

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