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crapwheresmyreg

Have everything but the Strobes!

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Hey everyone, 

So I have been shooting with a gopro for a while and decided it was time to move on. I have been shooting topside with nikons for a long time and decided the cheapest bet was an A6000 with the salted line. So I picked up that, some arms, a tray, etc. Now, I am having a tough time figuring out the strobe situation. I have a 16mm f2.8 with a fisheye adapter. I want to start out shooting mostly wide angle. Backscatter recommended a pair of YS-01's, but thats out of the budget at the moment. I wouldn't mind purchasing a pair of used strobes, and I just saw someone on here with a pair of DS125's for $200, but I have no idea what I would be looking for used. Can any of you recommend some stuff to take a look at? I know the TTL only strobes are a bit cheaper, but how much of a limiting factor will they be as I get more into this? I am boat diving multiple times a month so I see this as something I will be doing for a while. Thanks in advance for all the help, and happy diving!. 

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Hi!

It's worth giving this some thought, for sure. Strobes and the supporting hardware are some of the few items, I reckon, that with forethought you can keep as you perhaps change systems. 

I would suggest you do some searches on WP for views on the YS-01s. There has been some pretty mixed experiences. Have a look too at Inons - they are usually well-rated and you might be able to get Z240s second-hand at a reasonable price as they have been superseded by the Z330. They won't light up the whole scene in WA shots but that's not a show stopper - better,, in my view, to light just an element of a WA shot.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the Reply Tim, I will have a look at the Inon's as well. At this point im hoping to find something used that can break me into all of this without breaking the bank. Looks like there was a pair of Z240's on here a couple months back that are sold now. Might just have to check daily and see what pops up. 

 

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Yeah, or worth asking. I'm sure there a few people with Z240s who wouldn't mind selling them so they can move to the Z330 (I'd be tempted myself!). But they do pop-up from time to time.

I reckon you'd be looking at around $350 - $400 a piece? 

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Yes, if any of you have a set that you are looking to get rid of let me know. Will I need a focus light as well or is this something I can do without for the time being? 

 

 

 

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For wide angle you can probably forego the focus light for a while. I find it essential for macro, but that is probably camera dependent. Don't know how good the AF is on the A6000 in macro scenarios.

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@hyp Thanks for the info. That helps save a bit for now. Eventually I want to get into macro, my local dive sites have some killer macro potential, but I feel like I need to focus on one or the other for now (or at least thats what the wallet says). 

 

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with the sea frogs housing it's only really setup for fibre optic triggering, so the Ikelite strobes you mention would need fibre optic to sync cable adapters to use them and it would be manual triggering only.

A couple of Z-240 would be a good option, I think the smaller strobes like the YS-01 and S-2000 would struggle for wide angle and the APS-C sensor, You'll probably be shooting f8-11 and need lots of light.  Getting a strobe with manual capability is important particularly for wide angle work.

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Posted (edited)

Hi!

The ikelite DS125 or DS160/DS161 are also good strobes for WA. Several people like those more thanks the Inons. 

I had a pair of DS125. Never failed me. I sold them and bought a pair of Inon Z240 type IV. The reason for the change was that in a trip to Bunaken, I went a day to Lambeh, we done 4 dives and on the dusk dive, for the mandarins I had no more battery and my colleagues with Inons or YS kept firing because they had spare batteries “AA”. I did not had spare batteries.... At that precise moment, underwater, I divided to sell my Ikelites and buy Inons. 

The reasons were:

- smaller (easier for traveling)

- possibility to use AA batteries (easy and not expensive to have spare batteries and chargers)

- I wanted to change to optical trigger

- I was able to get a good value for mine DS125 at that time (almost enough to buy the Inons new)

- everybody had Inons at that time and I did not wanted to fell outdated

 

the Ikelites had some things that were better than the Inons although:

- color temperature warmer (better for WA)  4800 vê 5200 K (I solved with a a gel on front of the Inons)

- more or less the same weight, but in a bigger volume (bulkier for transporting, but less negative underwater than the Inons)

- easier button commands (to operate and to “understand”)

as negatives on the DS, the TTL is “proprietary”, only works with Iklite housings, and do not have optical activation

If you want to start with macro, you can start with 1 strobe and 1 focus light. You can find cheap focus lights on eBay. That allows you to buy new the strobe you really want, instead of buying what shows up at the moment on second hand. 

Never-the-less, a pair of DS125, if working properly and with battery life “normal”, seams a good deal.

Edited by pbalves
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Keep in mind that with DS125, even heavily discounted, you will still need to invest in optical-to-wired converters in order to actually use them - otherwise they're dead weight, and these cost $125 apiece new (and not easy to find used). Older strobes are also likely to have worn-out batteries, and swapping or rebuilding them with new cells is an additional investment - $200 per new battery pack from Ikelite. You might get the pair of strobes for $200, but between converters, batteries and cables, getting them to work may end up costing you up to ~$700 extra.

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9 hours ago, crapwheresmyreg said:

Yes, if any of you have a set that you are looking to get rid of let me know. Will I need a focus light as well or is this something I can do without for the time being? 

 

 

 

Focus lights are built into the Inons. That's not to say you will never need a focussing light - I find I do sometimes with macro - but there is one to start out with.

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Posted (edited)

I have found this test by backscatter really informative. It shows that the Z240 and the YS-01 are actually very close in performance. Nearly identical when used with diffusers. I think you will be happy with either. If you want a step up for better wide angle performance, you probably need to go to either Retra, YS-D2J or Z330.

Edited by hyp

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Check soon!  :)   I used to come to wetpixel often when I first started and I found all sorts of used gear.  However, when it came to strobes, I had to buy new.  With that said - I'm moving away from DSLR and will be selling my oder Inon Z240 and accessories.  Just need to post more to meet the classified minimum.  Hang tight!

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