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davec13o2

Retra LSD on Z330 user comments

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I've checked Google, Youtube, and the WP search.  Lots of product announcements, but very little user comments.  I'm hoping some users can reply here.  Or if I've missed something already published, please send a link.

1. The snoot barrel is offset from the center of the strobe to better use the modeling light, so I assume transmission from the strobe lamps is reduced.  What is the reduction?  I believe someone on WP said 1 stop. 

2. I assume the LSD screws onto the front of the Z330 like its rotating hood.  I find it very difficult to unscrew the hood, even on land.  How difficult is it to screw on/off the LSD, or practically speaking, should it just be left on during a dive?

3. Since the modeling light isn't coaxial with the strobe lamps, how accurate is it in pointing the main beam?

4. How much is the modeling light intensity reduced, and would it useable in shallow water under a bright tropical sun?

5. There was a discussion on WP about tradeoffs using a Backscatter Mini Flash/Snoot.  It could be attached on a third arm, leaving the Z330s for WA.  Is this the best alternative?

Thanks for any comments.  I would really appreciate it.

Dave

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Hey Dave

I've been using the LSD for a good 2 years on both an Inon Z240 and a Retra Prime.

First, quality: it's superbly made as all of Retra's products seem to be. To try to answer your questions:

1. It's really hard to quantify  the light loss down the LSD barrel. I'm diving in fairly light, bright water and relatively shallow depths - usually 15m/45' and the aiming light can usually be seen if on its maximum setting. Sometimes if its especially bright or over white sand, you have to move the light a little to be able to spot it. In deeper, darker water, no problem at all.

2. No it doesn't screw on, it clamps on to the Inon Z series with a sort of skirt that wraps around the barrel of the Inon and then clamps. It is very effective. Easy to install, easy to remove and a firm, safe fit. On the Retra strobes the LSD bayonets on to the strobe in a very slick, secure way. The "skirts" are strobe specific and as far as I know, the Z330 one is the same as the Z240. But it is illustrated on the Retra website.

3. Accuracy. Got to say, if you have read any of my previous posts on the LSD, I found the accuracy of the modelling/focussing beam patchy with the Inon Z240. Frustrating even. With the circular, centred light of the Retra Prime or Pro strobe it is very good indeed. With the offset Inon light, frankly, not so much. I would guess if you had more patience and a more scientific approach than me you would probably get there in the end. I switched to Retra strobes and have never looked back. I think the LSD/Retra strobe combination is brilliant if you want to do serious snooting.

4. See my comments at 1.

5. I'd just say why bother? The LSD can be detached from the Inon strobe in seconds and provided you attach the LSD to you (it has a loop for that purpose) why carry a third strobe - not to mention the expense of the third one.

Hope this helps

 

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Thanks, Tim

for the very informative remarks, as well as your comments I found in other posts.

I have since found out from Oskar at Retra that the Z330 modeling light is angled inward (compared to the Z240), which he says helps with pointing accuracy. 

All things considered, I think I'll go with your suggestion of the LSD.  Besides, I was a little dismayed that the single battery and charger for the MiniFlash have to be ordered separately.  

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4 hours ago, davec13o2 said:

I've checked Google, Youtube, and the WP search.  Lots of product announcements, but very little user comments.  I'm hoping some users can reply here.  Or if I've missed something already published, please send a link.

1. The snoot barrel is offset from the center of the strobe to better use the modeling light, so I assume transmission from the strobe lamps is reduced.  What is the reduction?  I believe someone on WP said 1 stop. 

 

There were posts on here before about the strobe transmission from the Retra being quite low - this is due to the wide beam angle of the Retra - this means much of the beam does not go down the tube.  The INON on the other hand has two small linear tubes and part of each tube is going to be directly below the tube of the snoot - so from this aspect the INON is better at getting light down the snoot.

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4 hours ago, davec13o2 said:

Thanks, Tim

for the very informative remarks, as well as your comments I found in other posts.

I have since found out from Oskar at Retra that the Z330 modeling light is angled inward (compared to the Z240), which he says helps with pointing accuracy. 

All things considered, I think I'll go with your suggestion of the LSD.  Besides, I was a little dismayed that the single battery and charger for the MiniFlash have to be ordered separately.  

The Backscatter Miniflash uses standard 18650 batteries. A great many dive lights and other devices use this battery so it's actually pretty convenient. If you need a charger I have at least 3 for these cells I don't need.

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48 minutes ago, davehicks said:

The Backscatter Miniflash uses standard 18650 batteries. A great many dive lights and other devices use this battery so it's actually pretty convenient. If you need a charger I have at least 3 for these cells I don't need.

Hahahaha, what a stroke of luck.  You mentioned the 18650, so I rushed to the garage and found I have a small light with that very battery (and a charger).  Thank youuu.

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4 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

 

There were posts on here before about the strobe transmission from the Retra being quite low - this is due to the wide beam angle of the Retra - this means much of the beam does not go down the tube.  The INON on the other hand has two small linear tubes and part of each tube is going to be directly below the tube of the snoot - so from this aspect the INON is better at getting light down the snoot.

Interesting.  Thanks for that.  Oskar also mentioned that the LSD doesn't attenuate either the modeling light or the strobe very much from the 330.

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Question: It sounds like the Retra designed the snoot to help correct for the focus light being off-center on the Z330. Stupid question because I'm thinking of getting the Z330 (currently have a YS-01), can you see the focus light well using a snoot with the Z330?   The YS-01 has a "focus light", but when using any snoot on it dulls the light you are essentially shooting blind.  Thanks!

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I’ve used the LSD on the Z240 and you can certainly see the aiming light as long as you’re not in water that’s shallow and bright. I’m sure the Z330 will be the same. 

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Thanks TimG. I'm struggling what to do.  So many individuals are suggesting I keep the YS-01 (GN 20, 100°) and pair it with the backscatter (GN 18, 90°).  My thought is to invest in a better quality strobe that I can fit (even make) a snoot for.  Hum....

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I don't own the Backscatter MF-1 myself, but I have recently spent a while diving off the same boat with a pro photographer who owns a pair of Retra Pros with all the accessories, and when we were muck diving, his camera had a pair of MF-1s on it almost every time, with a matching snoot hanging off his BCD. I haven't had any problems shooting macro with my own pair of Retra Pros, but MF-1s are much more compact and easier to maneuver into tight spaces.

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3 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

I don't own the Backscatter MF-1 myself, but I have recently spent a while diving off the same boat with a pro photographer who owns a pair of Retra Pros with all the accessories, and when we were muck diving, his camera had a pair of MF-1s on it almost every time, with a matching snoot hanging off his BCD. I haven't had any problems shooting macro with my own pair of Retra Pros, but MF-1s are much more compact and easier to maneuver into tight spaces.

Great thoughts especially about the maneuverability.  

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Posted (edited)

I read here with interest (I own Inon Z330 and Sea&Sea YS-D2), since I consider adding a snoot to Z330.

Weight: The Backscatter Miniflash with snoot is 750g. The Retra LSD for Inon Z330 is 600g. In addition, the Miniflash requires a special batterie plus charger and I hate the idea of carrying around multiple pieces of extra-equipment. Clear plus for Retra LSD, when airtravel is considered (The Inon Z330s go to the lugagge anyhow and are not considered as extra weight). However, when under the water, the Miniflash with snoot may be more handsome compared to Z330 with LSD...

The build quality of LSD is probably way better than Backscatter. The missing accuracy of the pointing/targeting light (pilot light of Z330 via LSD), however, does not sound good and is a dealbreaker, when real. May this be an operating error? :unsure:...

There exists also a snoot by Inon, designed for the Z330. http://www.inon.jp/products/strobe/snoot/z330.html. What is the problem with this snoot?

Finally, how many snoots? Is one (plus a regular strobe without snoot) sufficient, or is it better to have two?

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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1 hour ago, Architeuthis said:

 

Finally, how many snoots? Is one (plus a regular strobe without snoot) sufficient, or is it better to have two?

 

Wolfgang

Hey Wolfgang

I want to meet the mortal who can handle two snoots. Frankly I think that is practically impossible unless one of them is tripod mounted, off-housing.

One snoot is, for 99.9% of the time, the way to go. I've not yet experienced the 0.1%.

I use my right hand for the shutter release and the left hand adjusts the snoot. If I had a third hand..... 

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I concur with @TimG here. Managing a single snoot is difficult enough; I can't imagine working with two unless shooting a static subject from a tripod. 

 

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I'm not sure where the LSD/Z330 misaligned pilot light idea has come from?

I've used this combination a lot and have no issue with it. In very shallow and bright conditions, it can be hard to see, but this is not an issue with accuracy!

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13 hours ago, adamhanlon said:

I'm not sure where the LSD/Z330 misaligned pilot light idea has come from?

I think it's leftover from the Z-240 days where the pilot light was a true eccentric pilot light that was not ideal for snooting. With the Z-330 they have tilted the pilot light inward which now lights up in the center of the LSD optical tube. 

Attached is an image from Inon's website explaining the improvement.

 

Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 11.36.25.png

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14 hours ago, adamhanlon said:

I'm not sure where the LSD/Z330 misaligned pilot light idea has come from?

I've used this combination a lot and have no issue with it. In very shallow and bright conditions, it can be hard to see, but this is not an issue with accuracy!

Which LSD do you use with Z330? The misalignment is what has stopped me from buying the Z330s. 

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There is a specific version of the LSD Ultimate (the standard LSD) for the Z330. It is listed on Retra's website.

The Z240 version simply does not fit on the curved window of the Z330. I have no idea where this idea that the LSD will not work with the Z330 comes from, but it is entirely incorrect. It works really well. 

I have been using one for at least 2 years.

May I ask who told you that there is an issue with misalignment? It seems we need to address the source of the misinformation?

Adam

 

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8 minutes ago, adamhanlon said:

The Z240 version simply does not fit on the curved window of the Z330. I have no idea where this idea that the LSD will not work with the Z330 comes from, but it is entirely incorrect. It works really well. 

I have been using one for at least 2 years.

May I ask who told you that there is an issue with misalignment? It seems we need to address the source of the misinformation?

Adam

 

I've posted that I had problems with alignment on the Z240. Oskar's image rather shows why that problem might show up.

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The issue reported was that the modelling light didn't match the actual flash light hitting the subject, therefore becoming very difficult to get the offset right. 

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10 hours ago, newdiver said:

The issue reported was that the modelling light didn't match the actual flash light hitting the subject, therefore becoming very difficult to get the offset right. 

Where was it reported? I can't find any mention of it and it is incorrect! 

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53 minutes ago, adamhanlon said:

Where was it reported? I can't find any mention of it and it is incorrect! 

Hi Adam, as mentioned by Tim G above with Z240 and I have seen it mentioned elsewhere on WP.

Example, @Barmaglot mentioned in one of my posts that

Quote

strobes with an offset modeling light are notoriously difficult to use with a snoot, as the spot of light from the modeling light is not cast into the same spot where the actual strobe light will land

If that is not the case then it is much easier to make the decision and get the z330 with the snoot from Retra.

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I'm not sure he was referring to the Z330? 

As Oskar points out:

Quote

I think it's leftover from the Z-240 days where the pilot light was a true eccentric pilot light that was not ideal for snooting. With the Z-330 they have tilted the pilot light inward which now lights up in the center of the LSD optical tube. 

I have been using the Z330 with an LSD for some time and it works fine :)

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