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Ahmed Yahya

Seafrogs ST-100 Pro Underwater strobe - need your openion

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It is impossible to be refund by AliExpress. They closed the dispute without letting me give my evidence and Aliexpress continues to sell this strobe. Yes they are dishonest !
I'm going to try something with Meikon, but I do not believe it too much.

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Note that Aliexpress doesn't sell things; it's a platform for various Chinese sellers to sell to overseas customers. While Meikon have pulled the ST-100 from their websites, I wouldn't expect second-tier resellers (Meikon Digital Technology Limited, the company behind Meikon and SeaFrogs brands, does not sell through Aliexpress) to react as quickly, nor would I rely on them to be knowledgeable about the products they sell. It's possible that this information will now filter up and down the supply chain, but it will certainly take some time to do so.

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I understand. But the refund procedure comes from AliExpress and it protects its sellers. It's a lot more honest with Amazon.

 

 

 

It remains in the catalog of the Chinese site :

http://www.seafrogs.cc/photographic-light/digital-accessory-st-100-underwater-flashlight.html

Edited by fplanglois

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That's their B2B/wholesale site which does not sell directly to consumers, I'm guessing they don't update it as often. Note that it lists a bunch of other products that are not available from their consumer-facing websites either, like aluminium housings.

 

I noticed that you got your strobes from the same place I did. I sent a message to that supplier on September 12th, and yesterday, after waiting six days with no response, I contacted Aliexpress customer service, and left another message, linking your video. Overnight, I got two responses - one is that they can't view the video (I guess the Great Chinese Firewall blocks youtube?) and asking me to send it via email, the other requesting that I send the strobes in for repair, so the seller is not totally uncommunicative. I took the liberty of downloading a low-res version of your video and sending it to their @qq.com mailbox and further explained that this appears to be a design issue, which is unlikely to be repairable directly, so they should reach up the supply chain to figure out what can and should be done about it. Let's wait and see what shakes out.

 

While this situation is somewhat unpleasant, I see no reason to be hostile towards Meikon or their resellers - particularly in case of 2nd tier stores operating via Aliexpress, it isn't really reasonable to expect them to be experts on every single product that they sell; not at the margins that they charge anyway. It appears that they're willing to work towards a resolution, but considering the multiple parties involved, it will likely take a while.

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Meikon answer :

Hello Francois,

 

Thank you for contacting us and we want to explain a few things to avoid confusion in the future.

We are not sure if you aware of this or not, but we are not the factory. Our company is just a seller of Meikon products and we have no affiliation with any China Mainland sellers, we don’t sell anywhere besides our website. So, we have nothing to do with other sellers that sell the product at Aliexpress or eBay or other online platforms. For this very reason we have a policy that we are only responsible for products which are purchased from our website.

About the strobe:

We are aware of this issue and even before, the older version of a strobe had some issues too. Because the strobe is so unreliable – we don’t sell it at our websites (www.meikon.com.hk , www.seafrogs.com.hk ).

Clearly you can see that some Chinese seller at Aliexpress doesn’t care what they sell and if it’s a good quality or not. The unspoken rule that pretty much everyone knows - when buying something from Aliexpress in 99% of the time the product you purchased comes without any sort of warranty and sellers there simply don’t care what happens next as long as they received the money. That is the price for purchasing products from sellers that are not specializing in one particular area and sell a million other things in their shop.

We would really suggest to avoid purchases from Aliexpress and in general if it looks too good to be true, its probably a scam of some sort.

The only suggestion about your particular situation we have is to make a claim to Aliexpress directly.

If you would like to contact the factory, please visit the factory website.

www.seafrogs.cc

 

We hope this information helps!

 


I managed to chat with AliExpress customer support.
Indeed the firewall prohibit Youtube.
I posted the video on Google Photo and gave the link.
It has promised to reopen the appeal within 3 to 5 days.

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This is what I got from Cameraman's Store today:

 

 

Hello friend,
We have sent the video to the factory, and waiting for their response too. we will ask them to send feedback ASAP.
Thank you so much!

 

As I have no immediate plans to take them underwater again - my dive trips are not that frequent, current plans being for a month-long trip to SEA around oct'19, with a couple short trips to Eilat/Aqaba/Sharm to tide me over until then - I can afford to be patient.

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Heh, this is amusing - on meikon.com.hk and seafrogs.com.hk, the ST-100 has been replaced by Sea & Sea YS-03. If you think about it, they're remarkably similar - all those functions that don't work on ST-100 (in FO mode) are simply absent from YS-03, which only has a single on/off switch. YS-03 is somewhat smaller and lighter, but on the other hand, it lacks an aiming light and costs a bit more. With YS-03 being rated at GN=20, the actual light output is probably similar as well, although ST-100 probably cycles faster, as it doesn't come close to its full output in TTL mode - in my experience, it's always less than a second between pulses.

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Since I had not seen anything on this item for a while, I sent the following note to SeaFrogs on November 3:

I purchased the ST-100 Pro Underwater strobe below a few months ago. While the strobe fires most of the time, none of the controls appear to work as described. I noticed that this strobe is no longer shown on your website. Are you developing a fix for the strobe problems or developing a new strobe that actually works as described? Are you providing rebates or compensation or replacement strobes for this product?

 

On November 6 I received the following response:

Please send the strobe back to us and we will replace it with a new one.

 

Like Wolf Ell, I didn't see any reason to spend the money to send the strobe back if the issues have not been addressed. Anyone else have any updates on this strobe?

Rick

Edited by rwe

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I bought 2 of the strobes from Cameramans store on Aliexpress. One is still working but one failed after a short period. After lots of messages they sent me a replacement strobe after I mailed back the defective one at my expense ($60). The new worked for about 1 month and now does not fire. The LED focus works and the red/green charge light works but no strobe fire. i sent about a dozen messages to Cameramans store but none have been answered. Definitely a waste of money and time

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My ST-100-Pro has about 15 dives (maybe 600-800 shots) on it. I purchased it directly from the SeaFrogs website (https://seafrogs.com.hk) November 2018. When I put batteries in it last week for a trip to Cozumel it appeared to be working (red light turned green, strobe fired). I packed it in my carry on luggage and flew to Cozumel (I loosened the battery cap slightly but not fully unscrewed). When I got to Cozumel, tightened the battery cap, and turned the strobe on the red light flashed on and off rather than being constant and the light would never turn green. The flash would not fire with the red light flashing. I tried turning it on/off many times, let it continue flashing for > 5 minutes, and replaced batteries several times. The focus light came on as usual without any problem. I took it on 2 dives (max. depth ~ 80') hoping the pressure might make a difference. No joy; the red light kept flashing and the flash would not fire (I tried turning it on/off multiple times while under water). So I put it back in my carry on luggage and brought back to US. I couldn't find anything in the manual mentioning the light flashing. Any similar experience and/or thoughts on possible problems/fixes before I throw it in the trash and make sure I never again purchase any SeaFrogs component?

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Since you purchased it directly from SeaFrogs, I would suggest you contact their support. They're generally quite responsive about such issues. The strobe sounds dead, but chances are good you'll get a replacement.

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I will send them an email but based on the experience of people on this and other sites it seems that it would likely be a waste of another $60 to mail back to them. Especially since the strobe no longer appears on either the SeaFrogs or Meikon websites which suggests they know it has problems since they removed it from their product list so quickly. However, it is still available on other trading sites some of which still imply it does TTL for cameras other than Nikon via electrical cables Have they done anything to make TTL via fiber optics work?

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Both my ST-100s died shortly after arriving and got replaced. Other people had their Meikon/SeaFrogs items that had problems replaced with a minimum of fuss.

 

TTL via fiber optics works - it's the only thing that does, actually. It's basic slave TTL with no adjustment or compensation, equivalent to YS-03. Manual mode works, but only with wired triggering, not fiber optics.

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Posted (edited)

A hands on evaluation of new products by experienced UW hands, such as Barmaglot's evaluation here above, is of great value to all of us.

 

SeaNettle's careful and well documented YouTube video of the Seafrogs strobe performance is well worth watching; I have added it to the Google Sheets spread sheet of Available Strobes, here is the link.

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1otS2RTR47KhaFdBkO6Gd7DDju3CQLEnTT2Wwetay4vE/edit#gid=0

 

Please let me know of any problems with this spreadsheet.

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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Posted (edited)

I added to the Available Underwater Strobes spreadsheet a reference and web link to these most useful Sea Frogs ST-100 evaluations.

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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You're right, I'm not sure what it was, but one of my strobes was always firing in TTL, regardless of anything, while the other was sometimes doing a single flash instead of double, resulting in a lopsided exposure, and the right magnetic switch sometimes had an effect on it, and sometimes not - and it seemed different between on land and at depth, and sometimes turning it off and back on fixed it.

 

For what it's worth, I was able to figure out this issue, eventually. The fiber optic sockets in my housing are offset to the left from the flash head, and there is a little reflector guiding the light to the left socket, which ends up not aligned with the flash (the right one is fine). The resulting weakened pulse is sufficient to trigger the attached strobe on the stronger main flash, but not on the weaker pre-flash. Fortunately, the fiber optic cables that shipped with the strobes had a double FO plug in each box - I disassembled the Sea & Sea type L-shaped plugs on the cables, put the cables into that plug, and now both cables go into the properly aligned socket.

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I sent an email to SeaFrogs discussing my strobe flashing and not firing. They replied that I would need to send strobe to their office for inspection and repair and provided an address to send to. I wrapped strobe in bubble wrap, built a small box from an old camera lens box, and packaged as small as possible and mailed First Class International (no insurance or other options). The cost to mail this way was $24 which is less than what I had seen on various sites like this one but others may have included more mailing options or larger boxes. I will let you know what they decide after they inspect the strobe and respond.

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I mailed my strobe to SeaFrogs on June 17.  Postal tracking indicates it was delivered to their Hong Cong address the morning of June 25.  After not hearing anything from SeaFrogs for a month I sent them an email on July 25 requesting status of their inspection and repair.  On July 27 I sent a followup email with the postal tracking info attached and asking when I could expect their evaluation of the strobe.  After a week, they have not responded to either email.  Definitely disappointed with SeaFrogs lack of customer service and lack of even responding to my emails on status.  At the least they could let me know if they if they plan on doing nothing so that I could make plans on obtaining another strobe.

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