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That’s correct, from focus distance and farther away is the useful range that produces a uniform light spread. The working distance can produce a dark spot in the center and reduce the light output, especially with masks with smaller diameters.

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7 hours ago, Oskar@RetraUWT said:

That’s correct, from focus distance and farther away is the useful range that produces a uniform light spread. The working distance can produce a dark spot in the center and reduce the light output, especially with masks with smaller diameters.

Thanks a lot for the quick reply, Oskar.

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On 6/17/2022 at 9:45 AM, TimG said:

Hi Redwing

I've just done a 7-day  liveaboard in the Caribbean with 2x Retra Pro-Xs both fitted with Superchargers.

We did 4 dives a day evenly spaced during daylight hours. I tended to use a wide-angle lens and Retras with diffusers for the 2x morning dives; then 2x macro dives in the afternoon usually with one Retra with a snoot and one with Retra macro rings. Probably around 250-300 images each day. Superchargers were always fitted.

In general the 8-batteries needed for each Retra/Supercharger were enough for one day. There were one or two days when, if I expected I would use a snoot heavily, I would change one strobe battery set for, say the 4th dive. I find using the snoot makes quite a difference on battery life as I often have that strobe on maximum power especially if using the smaller mask openings. 

I had 2x4 AA chargers (EBL type) plugged into a USB charger with me and 32 batteries. In practice I never had a problem running out of charged batteries. I had thought about getting an extra x8 charger but really didn't need it.

Just returned from a Red Sea live aboard.  Using two 2x4AA LaCrosse battery chargers set to a charging current of 500mA was plenty for 3-4 divers per day shooting WA exclusively.  I had a fresh set of 16 batteries by mid day.  

It took me several dives to lock in the correct strobe position for my fisheye lens.  Overall I'm really pleased with this upgrade.  I did find that using the supercharger as a handle to reposition the strobes had a tendency to loosen the ball mount.  Have since added a lock washer which I think should remedy this issue.

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29 minutes ago, Redwing said:

Using two 2x4AA LaCrosse battery chargers set to a charging current of 500mA was plenty for 3-4 divers per day shooting WA exclusively.

I found the pretty much same thing during a liveboard trip back in May. With a bit of juggling, 2x 4-battery chargers was enough and helped a bit with weight/volume reduction for the flight baggage allowance.

 

30 minutes ago, Redwing said:

I did find that using the supercharger as a handle to reposition the strobes had a tendency to loosen the ball mount.

I've not had that problem. Oskar told me some time back that the ball mounts can be really tightened using the provided Allen key and it won't damage the mounting. I do find the Supercharger really useful as a handle especially with the LSD snoot.

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Diffuser question and battery charger update.

 

1. First, I will be taking a dive trip in January to a location where the water can be a bit greenish.  This is a first for me.  Wondering if there is a benefit to using the Retra diffusers in such a situation, or if it is better to leave the green or deal with it in post?  If taking a diffuser, is it worth adding the new  soft diffuser (if anyone knows yet) in place of the wide angle diffuser I already own?

2. I see there have been some discussions of chargers.  A few months back I added superchargers and thus had to ramp up my charger abilities.  I purchased and took an XTAR BC8 charger, available from Amazon and it worked well.  This is a small-sized charger only marginally larger and no heavier than the 4-cell chargers I already had.  It charges fairly fast and never seemed to get overly warm (which is bad for batteries).  They are not expensive chargers but seem to have a good "intelligent" charging program.

I have  added another for an upcoming trip.  That will allow me to charge all 16 cells daily, and I also like having more than one charger in case of a failure.  These things never seem particularly robust to me, so the idea of a backup is appealing.  Hope this helps someone.

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17 hours ago, Draq said:

Diffuser question and battery charger update.

 

1. First, I will be taking a dive trip in January to a location where the water can be a bit greenish.  This is a first for me.  Wondering if there is a benefit to using the Retra diffusers in such a situation, or if it is better to leave the green or deal with it in post?  If taking a diffuser, is it worth adding the new  soft diffuser (if anyone knows yet) in place of the wide angle diffuser I already own?

2. I see there have been some discussions of chargers.  A few months back I added superchargers and thus had to ramp up my charger abilities.  I purchased and took an XTAR BC8 charger, available from Amazon and it worked well.  This is a small-sized charger only marginally larger and no heavier than the 4-cell chargers I already had.  It charges fairly fast and never seemed to get overly warm (which is bad for batteries).  They are not expensive chargers but seem to have a good "intelligent" charging program.

I have  added another for an upcoming trip.  That will allow me to charge all 16 cells daily, and I also like having more than one charger in case of a failure.  These things never seem particularly robust to me, so the idea of a backup is appealing.  Hope this helps someone.

I was out diving the Yukon in San Diego yesterday playing with my Retra ProX and had the wide angle diffuser. The water was very green (normal for the area) and had a TON of particulate matter in the water. Quite frankly, I'm a bit surprised at how the photos turned out given the conditions. Visibility was probably 6m / 20 feet.

The photos below have had a few adjustments in LR but nothing major and I haven't cleaned up any backscatter. I'm not planning to use them for anything other than I was just testing the strobes in those conditions.

Regards,

- brett

yukon1.jpg

yukon2.jpg

yukon3.jpg

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PS - Yes, I know it is an American flag on a Canadian destroyer. Don't ask me... :)

 

- brett

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Thanks, looks good.  Would be interesting to compare to a shot without the diffuser...

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3 hours ago, Draq said:

Thanks, looks good.  Would be interesting to compare to a shot without the diffuser...

Thanks. I have to make a small correction. I was getting my kit ready for a dive tomorrow and checked the diffuser and it is the "White Diffuser" and NOT the "Wide Angle Diffuser."

- brett

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Question about HSS

I am shooting with Sony A7R4 and using Retro Pro X. I can't make the HSS work. I just updated the flashes using the app, but it still doesn't work.

I am using the Nauticam flash trigger. 

Do I need a different flash  trigger, or am I missing something in settings.

Anyone knows?

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8 minutes ago, Steen Nissen said:

I am using the Nauticam flash trigger. 

Do I need a different flash  trigger, or am I missing something in settings. 

The Nauticam trigger does not support HSS. You need a UW-Technics trigger or TRT Electronics s-TURTLE.

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I use the UW-Technics trigger with Retra Pros for HSS. It works a treat.

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Retra Original strobes owner here.

The TTL worked quite appropriately with my 70D popup flash, problem (anyway, a good problem) is that I am now switching to Canon R7 (NA housing) hence I need a trigger/converter. 

I need your advice ; do you know of any converter that supports Canon R(3,5,7..) and Retra ORIGINAL strobes in TTL mode? I asked Pavel from UW Technics he replied to me he didn't test the Original Retras. 

Have you users been confronted to TTL conversion issues with the Retra original strobes and a tier party converter?

 

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I’m really pleased with my decision to upgrade to Retra Pro-X flashes.  After 40 dives shooting wide angle with my 15mm Fisheye and 16-35mm WA lens, I feel like I can consistently get great quality of light in my images.

I’m trying to master these flashes for macro photography and could use some guidance.  I currently have the LSD (Snoot) with two mask inserts with 6 holes with diameters of 30mm to 5mm.  I do not own any of the macro reduction rings or reflectors.

My two primary macro lenses are 60mm and 105mm.  I also own an SMC-1 Nauticam Super Macro 67mm Converter.

  • Which reduction rings (Macro or Super Macro) would be appropriate for macro images using a 60mm or 105mm lens? With the SMC-1 and the 105 lens? 
  • Can the reflector be used for both a 60mm and 105 lens?  
  • When using the LSD, what is the role, if any, of the second strobe?
  • What is the range of optimum distances between the front port of the LSD and subject?
  • How practical is it to have a dive buddy/model use the Snoot as an off-camera strobe while maintaining neutral buoyancy with no tripod or muck stick?
  • How do you attach the various accessories to your BCD whilst diving?

I apologize if these questions have been addressed previously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Redwing said:

Can the reflector be used for both a 60mm and 105 lens?  

The reflector narrows the beam angle and boosts intensity, but the beam it produces is not that narrow, it's not a snoot - in general, I have found reflector-adjusted beams to be wide enough when shooting my 16-50mm in a dome (APS-C), but not wide enough when shooting 10-18mm. In general, my primary use-case for the reflectors is taking distant shots of skittish subjects.

4 hours ago, Redwing said:

When using the LSD, what is the role, if any, of the second strobe?

Usually I just turn it off. I have tried a couple times to compose a shot where one strobe would light the general area at low power, and the other strobe would create a highlight on a subject using the LSD, but have not been successful yet.

4 hours ago, Redwing said:

What is the range of optimum distances between the front port of the LSD and subject?

The focus point of the LSD is 175mm from its front glass (in water! the behavior in air is different), this is where the spotlight is smallest, brightest, and has the sharpest edges. Further or closer than that, it gets bigger, with more diffused edges.

4 hours ago, Redwing said:

How practical is it to have a dive buddy/model use the Snoot as an off-camera strobe while maintaining neutral buoyancy with no tripod or muck stick?

I've seen some people do it, but haven't had the opportunity to try it myself.

4 hours ago, Redwing said:

How do you attach the various accessories to your BCD whilst diving?

Double-ender bolt snaps on shoulder D-rings. The diffusers, LSD, masks and the reduction rings used to mount reflectors all come with handy paracord loops that can hook up to those. Diffusers or reflectors on their rings can also go into BCD or thigh pockets, but the LSD is too big for that.

Edited by Barmaglot

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9 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

The reflector narrows the beam angle and boosts intensity, but the beam it produces is not that narrow, it's not a snoot - in general, I have found reflector-adjusted beams to be wide enough when shooting my 16-50mm in a dome (APS-C), but not wide enough when shooting 10-18mm. In general, my primary use-case for the reflectors is taking distant shots of skittish subjects.

Thanks.  Under what circumstances would you use the macro versus super macro rings?  And do you normally have these for each flash gun when not shooting with the LSD?

Does the reflector attach to the reduction ring or the flash gun itself?

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12 hours ago, Redwing said:
  • Which reduction rings (Macro or Super Macro) would be appropriate for macro images using a 60mm or 105mm lens? With the SMC-1 and the 105 lens? 
  • Can the reflector be used for both a 60mm and 105 lens?  
  • When using the LSD, what is the role, if any, of the second strobe?
  • What is the range of optimum distances between the front port of the LSD and subject?
  • How practical is it to have a dive buddy/model use the Snoot as an off-camera strobe while maintaining neutral buoyancy with no tripod or muck stick?
  • How do you attach the various accessories to your BCD whilst diving?

As for me :

1- I always use the super macro reduction rings on both strobes, except when I fit the LSD Snoot on.

2- no experience with the reflectors although I don't see in which case it could be useful combined with macro lenses, honestly.

3- None most of the time, however I do use continuous light sometimes to light up a specific or colorful part of the background.

4- Never thought about the answer, depends on whether you like a definite circle of light around your subject or a more subtle light effect.

5- VERY practical. I take a private guide 99% of my dives to help me shoot seriously. I have a longer optical fiber set on the strobe that is usuaIly dedicated to the snooting, as well as a clip arm so I can detach a part of the setup easily and give the strobe to my guide. I also use a muckstick.

6- I m using a carabiner clipping the snoot to a D ring of my wing, I also have large OMS pockets on my belt where I can put a WeeFine divelight and various accessories.

Edited by Luko
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2 hours ago, Redwing said:

Thanks.  Under what circumstances would you use the macro versus super macro rings?  And do you normally have these for each flash gun when not shooting with the LSD?

I don't own the macro rings, and I only use the reduction rings to mount the reflectors.

2 hours ago, Redwing said:

Does the reflector attach to the reduction ring or the flash gun itself?

The reflectors attach to reduction rings via o-ring friction. They do not have the three-lug bayonet required to attach to the strobe itself.

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