Jump to content

Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, Interceptor121 said:

If you look at the build the area where the lamp is located is clear. Around it there is an opaque ring acting as diffuser. I wonder what is the idea behind this

That white ring is not opaque glass, it's matte white plastic behind the glass acting as a reflector. If you look at the strobe from the side, you can see that the glass is completely clear - the only area that is just moderately frosted is the very center, in front of the LED. You can kind of see it here. I guess you could call it a diffusing reflector?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That white ring is not opaque glass, it's matte white plastic behind the glass acting as a reflector. If you look at the strobe from the side, you can see that the glass is completely clear - the only area that is just moderately frosted is the very center, in front of the LED. You can kind of see it here. I guess you could call it a diffusing reflector?

So the white bit is on the back not the front? I can’t see any benefit of this design. The reflectors need to reflect and as such be metallic resembling a mirror. The diffuser needs to be in contact with water in front of the bulb to work effectively


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A similar white ring is pretty ubiquitous in video lights that need to produce a wide beam with soft edges, as opposed to conical mirror-finished reflectors in narrow-beam general purpose lights. I'm guessing the engineers at Retra chose this design for much the same reason - take the light that the tube sends backwards and scatter it to soften the edges, without using a frontal diffuser that would absorb light and reduce overall strobe power. Of course snap-on additional diffusers are available.

If you come to Eilat, I could loan you my pair to play with ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A similar white ring is pretty ubiquitous in video lights that need to produce a wide beam with soft edges, as opposed to conical mirror-finished reflectors in narrow-beam general purpose lights. I'm guessing the engineers at Retra chose this design for much the same reason - take the light that the tube sends backwards and scatter it to soften the edges, without using a frontal diffuser that would absorb light and reduce overall strobe power. Of course snap-on additional diffusers are available.
If you come to Eilat, I could loan you my pair to play with

If you look at keldan design the light is behind the diffuser and then there is a dome (in my opinion useless)
Looking at my divepro they have something like the retra a panel surrounded by a white diffuser but at the end they make 90
Degrees and no smooth fall off
The simpler design single bulb in front or a reflector with a diffuser in contact with water is more effective than the rest as long as the diffuser is sufficiently opaque
Only a pool test reveals the effectiveness of the design but I can’t see benefits of either dome shaped geometry nor circular bulb at distance sufficiently larger than the bulb size


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/10/2020 at 8:51 AM, TimG said:

On the photosensors issue, I didn't notice any difference between shooting with the Inons or Retras on TTL or Manual using the same LED trigger in my Subal housing.

Hi Tim,

How did you change between TTL and Manual mode? On my current setup I have a TTL converter in the housing setup to TTL setting and I change to manual on the strobes themselves. I've read that on the retra this might be an issue, at least with a nauticam nikon setup, switching between manual and TTL on the strobe while having the ttl converter in the housing setup to TTL. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, deliamaria said:

Hi Tim,

How did you change between TTL and Manual mode? On my current setup I have a TTL converter in the housing setup to TTL setting and I change to manual on the strobes themselves. I've read that on the retra this might be an issue, at least with a nauticam nikon setup, switching between manual and TTL on the strobe while having the ttl converter in the housing setup to TTL. 

Hi Delia, Which TTL converter/trigger do you have is it the Nauticam TTL version?  Are you saying you set the trigger to TTL internally?  It looks like there are a number of options for manual shooting with this trigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, deliamaria said:

I've read that on the retra this might be an issue, at least with a nauticam nikon setup, switching between manual and TTL on the strobe while having the ttl converter in the housing setup to TTL. 

With Uwtechnics trigger / converter, you just have to set the dial to position 6 (Retra) and select the mode (Manual, TTL, HHS) on the Retra Strobe. It is super easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

Hi Delia, Which TTL converter/trigger do you have is it the Nauticam TTL version?  Are you saying you set the trigger to TTL internally?  It looks like there are a number of options for manual shooting with this trigger.

 

20 hours ago, Joss said:

With Uwtechnics trigger / converter, you just have to set the dial to position 6 (Retra) and select the mode (Manual, TTL, HHS) on the Retra Strobe. It is super easy.

I have the nauticam TTL converter, na-26308.

My worry is that I have to change the TTL converter internally to manual for the strobes to shoot manual. I like the flexibility to change between TTL and manual during the dive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the manual for the Nauticam converter it has several methods for going to manual , including controlled manual by changing settings on the camera and just switching to manual with pre-flash on the flashes.  You should check how the flashes will behave in response to doing this - you are relying on the flash to ignore the pre flash and only flash on the main flash.  The manual is here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/19Qry6uWdryAa3EVv1PCEDZLz7FaU2Qy6/view

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went through this debate myself, I talked to a friend and decided to go with the Z330s. The main thing was reliability, Inons are well tested while Retras, as amazing as they make it sound, are still fairly unproven on a heavily produced scale. Yes the Z330s have less even beam, with more brightness in the center and a faster dropoff. But I found some nice looking aftermarket dome diffusers I am going to try out which should hopefully make it much closer of a comparison. Inons are quite a bit cheaper, less battery consumption, and quickly available at a local distributor. One of my friend's other points was that sure, if you are Alex Mustard, get the very best quality of light you can. And of course that is better. But it does cost more and has more reliability risks (in my opinion). And there are many other areas I need to improve on before I should really be obsessing about the perfect beam quality. So now I have two Z330s and I am just waiting for the dome diffusers to see how they do!

Edited by bryandchu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I don't need good quality of light because I am not a good photographer" is not a good argument when choosing a light or strobe.

@Balage_diver wrote nicely that the Z-330 will give you better performance if you are primarily shooting TTL which probably means that you mainly shoot macro. The Retra however will give better results when shooting with manual power (especially wide angle) and besides this they offer a range of accessories to modify the light beam for macro and other types of shooting situations. 

The Retra Flash PRO costs almost twice(!) the Z-330. That's because it packs more power (that extra power is spread over a wider area making the Retra easier to position in wide angle) and offers a long list of unique and helpful features: leakage alarm, battery indication, HSS, smartphone connectivity, firmware updates, etc. Besides this the build quality and appearance are on a much higher level with the Retra. I don't know if you are into that kind of thing but handling each of these products is a very different experience.

Regarding reliability I have no doubts about the Retra because it is their second generation strobe and they offer 2 years of warranty instead of the standard 1 year. If you ever email them you will find they respond rapidly and are eager to solve any issue or question you might have about their products.

The Z-330 and the Retra Flash are very different beasts. I think you need to choose based on what your primary focus in underwater photography is and especially(!) your budget.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"I don't need good quality of light because I am not a good photographer" is not a good argument when choosing a light or strobe.
@Balage_diver wrote nicely that the Z-330 will give you better performance if you are primarily shooting TTL which probably means that you mainly shoot macro. The Retra however will give better results when shooting with manual power (especially wide angle) and besides this they offer a range of accessories to modify the light beam for macro and other types of shooting situations. 
The Retra Flash PRO costs almost twice(!) the Z-330. That's because it packs more power (that extra power is spread over a wider area making the Retra easier to position in wide angle) and offers a long list of unique and helpful features: leakage alarm, battery indication, HSS, smartphone connectivity, firmware updates, etc. Besides this the build quality and appearance are on a much higher level with the Retra. I don't know if you are into that kind of thing but handling each of these products is a very different experience.
Regarding reliability I have no doubts about the Retra because it is their second generation strobe and they offer 2 years of warranty instead of the standard 1 year. If you ever email them you will find they respond rapidly and are eager to solve any issue or question you might have about their products.
The Z-330 and the Retra Flash are very different beasts. I think you need to choose based on what your primary focus in underwater photography is and especially(!) your budget.

I think we don’t actually know about power and if those strobes are more powerful than Inon.
All there is available are some shots on a wall in air made by the people who make the strobe
It could well be that the Inon are more powerful
Inon are higher volume product made of plastic (if there is such a thing as high volume manufacturing for strobes) the other product is for sure more innovative is made of metal by a company that had not been around a long time

Lacking any tests in water it boils down to personal preference and if you believe or not the extra features are worth it. I agree that not being a hood photographer doesn’t mean you need a worse product actually the opposite

I have recently been on a trip where some more high end strobes were being used and not for one second looking at the images I have thought if only I had a wider better strobe to be frank and that was the same with my older strobe but many times I thought my placement was not ideal
Knowing how to use a product is by far more important than the product being used and I am under the impression that the gaps in performance amongst many strobes in water are really small


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never said that I am not a good photographer and so I didn't need the best quality of light. What I meant was that there are many other important things that will have a larger impact on your image quality than whether you use a top of the line strobe or a premium strobe. Because we are not talking about some little YS-01 or sealife strobe here, the Z330 is a very good product. 

The most important thing is knowing how to use your gear, of course it's better to have a higher quality of light, but how big of a difference is there really when using these two strobes underwater, compared to the cost?

I am still using my old 16 MP Oly OM-D E-M1 and a couple of YS-D1s and I regularly get much better results than people with much better/fancier camera setups. Knowing your gear and using it the best you can will take you much further than just  buying the latest greatest stuff. That will help too, but you don't need the latest and greatest to win awards.

Sometimes I feel people get too caught up in comparing every minute spec and every little nuance of image quality when that isn't what matters the most. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree in full sorry I was repeating someone else comment
I find that people spend a lot of energy complaining and fighting their gear instead of learning how to use it
With regards to Inon my recommendation would be to adopt a thicker diffuser than their 0.3 because in my pool tests with their stock diffuser on the two bulbs are still visible


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interceptor121 sorry I was also replying to that person, not to you, it sounds like we are are both on the same page. I'm new to the forum so just figuring out how to use it. I agree with you on the diffusers,the ones that come with the Z330s could be stronger. I ordered some from GlowDive, they look better, hopefully they perform well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/9/2020 at 12:41 PM, deliamaria said:

Does anyone have insights into the reliability of the inon z330 or the retra pro strobes?

I'm interested in all good, bad, and dispelling information about these two strobes or any other strobes I should consider.

Delia

I was considering buying the retra strobes when they first came out, and then they stopped producing and I and many others had a lot of uncertainty.   During that time I went ahead and got a couple of Z330s.  Retra began producing the new strobes and by all accounts, people are liking them and they seem reliable, although I just read something on another thread about some possible defect in a strobe.

If I were buying today I would still have some concerns about future repairs/upgrades/parts with any new or semi-new company, but not sure that would stop me. 

If you have not done so, you might want to read this:

https://wetpixel.com/articles/strobe-tests-inon-z330-retra-flash-and-symbiosis-ss2/P1

I like the Z330. Iit is more powerful than the 240 was and the rounded lens/diffuser does a nice job of giving a wide beam without the need to use an additional diffuser and thus reduce light.  I believe that the power of the Z330 and the retra is similar.

I have used Inons of one model or another for several years and never had a problem with them and with just modest o-ring caution they seem pretty safe from flooding.  The current 330 is the same case design as they have used successfully for years, so there is no reason to think there would be a problem.  I am not sure, but I may have read somewhere that Inon has done something to further isolate the electronics from the battery box in the event of a flood.

Battery life is good.

I think either is a solid choice and the light color can be easily modified on the Inon with no loss of power, so I would not worry much about color temp. 

Either brand should work for you; with the Retra is offering some new tech and features and build while Inon has improved on a flash that has proven itself over many years. 

Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/31/2020 at 5:42 PM, Draq said:

although I just read something on another thread about some possible defect in a strobe.

Hi, where have you read this?

--

In 2021 it will be 10 years since the Retra UWT company was founded and throughout this time we have always serviced and repaired all of our products regardless of age. If you have our product and write us an email to have it repaired or serviced we always do it, promptly, without exception.

There were some indications about potential reliability issues in this thread and from knowing exactly how our flashguns perform in the field and the defects, I can say that any doubts regarding the reliability of the new Retra Flash Prime/PRO are largely unfounded. The new flashguns are a continuation of the Original model and naturally we have taken all the experience into improving the new models and advancing the technology. I think that we are currently producing some of the most reliable flashguns on the market.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Oskar@RetraUWT said:

Hi, where have you read this?

--

In 2021 it will be 10 years since the Retra UWT company was founded and throughout this time we have always serviced and repaired all of our products regardless of age. If you have our product and write us an email to have it repaired or serviced we always do it, promptly, without exception.

There were some indications about potential reliability issues in this thread and from knowing exactly how our flashguns perform in the field and the defects, I can say that any doubts regarding the reliability of the new Retra Flash Prime/PRO are largely unfounded. The new flashguns are a continuation of the Original model and naturally we have taken all the experience into improving the new models and advancing the technology. I think that we are currently producing some of the most reliable flashguns on the market.

 

It was this thread:

But apparently this is some sort of post-sale damage or problem and not a manufacturing defect.  Please note that I did not speak poorly of your company or product and mentioned that I would consider purchasing your strobes if I was buying.    I do enjoy TTL on macro and close focus shots though and I understand TTL is not quite "there" yet.  Hopefully that will get sorted soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This post was about marks on a Retra LSD - not a strobe. The marks were nothing to do with manufacturing but looked like they may have been caused by grains of sand.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see that now.  Sorry if I confused or alarmed anyone.  I had paid little attention to it but I was left with some fragment of memory about about fungus or scratches on a Retra product and then mentioned it when trying to provide some information in this thread.  When when Oskar asked, I linked to the thread without reading it, so really mucked it up. I would edit my original post if I could, to remove the confusing misinformation.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had a little time with the Retra Pros.  I was used mainly  to the inon z240s and S2000.

I cannot comment on the Z330s but here are some initial comments on the Retras:

1) beautiful even light with excellent color grade.

2) works well in TTL so far.

3) cannot work in manual with my OMD EM5 and Pana GX9.  It does not synch over 37.5%.  But it works in the advanced SMART SL mode after easy calibration.   This is very strange and do not understand why it cannot work well in manual mode.  I had no problems on this with Inons or Sea&Sea and other strobes.

4) batteries get drained super fast (!!!) and you can only use Eneloop Pros if you need to take them for 2 dives.  Even old eneloops that work well with the Z240s cannot charge well the Retras.

5) a bit bigger than the Inon Z330s.  Knobs ok but could be better shaped.  I like the ones on the Z330s better.

6) There is VERY little official documentation and support is prompt but cryptic...

Waiting to understand them a little better and thinking to buy the Turtle or other TTL capable synch to use the unique and very interesting HSS mode.

 

Andrea

Edited by nudibranco
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems very odd that it won't work in manual.  What does it does not synch over 37.5% mean?  How are you triggering in manual?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It means the camera is emitting a TTL signal with pre-flashes instead of a single flash pulse - thats' why it works in Smart SL mode. In Smart SL mode the Retra Flash will automatically detect the pre-flashes and ignore them, so the photographers will be able to adjust with manual power settings.

The reason that it does not work above 37,5% power in ON mode is because the camera is emitting two flashes for a single exposure. After you get above a certain power level it will not be able to give any more power for two consecutive flashes. It's a very clear symptom that you should switch to Smart SL or change the camera settings if they allow setting for manual exposure.

The complete user manual for our flashguns is available from our App called "Retra UWT", ready to download for free on Google Play and the App store. In the app you will find the google translate option to read the user manual in your native language.

From the app you will also be able to access advanced user settings and other important information regarding your flashguns as well as making mandatory firmware updates when they become available.

Please note that the user manuals and advanced user setting of the flashgun are always available inside our app without any internet connection. Even if you are somewhere far away on a boat you can still get all the information without having to access the internet. The connection with the flashgun is made via bluetooth which also does not require any internet connection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/9/2020 at 11:02 AM, Oskar@RetraUWT said:

It means the camera is emitting a TTL signal with pre-flashes instead of a single flash pulse - thats' why it works in Smart SL mode. In Smart SL mode the Retra Flash will automatically detect the pre-flashes and ignore them, so the photographers will be able to adjust with manual power settings.

The reason that it does not work above 37,5% power in ON mode is because the camera is emitting two flashes for a single exposure. After you get above a certain power level it will not be able to give any more power for two consecutive flashes. It's a very clear symptom that you should switch to Smart SL or change the camera settings if they allow setting for manual exposure.

The complete user manual for our flashguns is available from our App called "Retra UWT", ready to download for free on Google Play and the App store. In the app you will find the google translate option to read the user manual in your native language.

From the app you will also be able to access advanced user settings and other important information regarding your flashguns as well as making mandatory firmware updates when they become available.

Please note that the user manuals and advanced user setting of the flashgun are always available inside our app without any internet connection. Even if you are somewhere far away on a boat you can still get all the information without having to access the internet. The connection with the flashgun is made via bluetooth which also does not require any internet connection.

Thank you Oskar!  Useful information since I was really trying to understand what was going on since my other strobes worked ok in manual.

This is the type of info that could be also made available on the technical manual.  I learnt about the app as I bought the strobos but in my humble opinion (!) more in depth explanations and technical data would be useful.  For example the fact that the U1 and U2 both cannot be stored with separate modes (for now) should be written in a separate note section in the app manual itself.  Other useful info could be weight in water and out of the water,  number of shots available with eneloop pro at 50% strobe power,  ...

Anyway just some thoughts...  sorry for being a pest.    

One question:  would a Turtle smart trigger synch would work in manual with Retra HSS? Does the camera have to support an HSS flash mode or manual mode is enough?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, thank you for the feedback.

We update the user manual as we get more feedback from photographers reading it or as we add new features. The weight of the flashguns (in water) is already indicated in the "basic information" section of the user manual. We will consider adding more practical tech-spec in there for easier access. Currently the long tech-spec are listed on our website.

U1 and U2 can be set independently of one another and all advanced features can be set to each position individually. There is currently a bug in the firmware that resets the U2 position when the flashgun is turned off - it defaults U2 position to "Smart SL" mode.  U1 position works normally and saves the setting that was assigned in the app. We will release a firmware update to amend this bug and improve on other things in the coming weeks.

I know that TRT have support for HSS and that it works with our flashguns but I don't know the details and which cameras are compatible. Better ask TRT directly about compatibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...