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Slamnationalley

Help needed - Underwater Strobes

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It's time to move out of the GoPro life and move up to a higher quality of video and photo images.  I'm building my underwater setup.  I have very little knowledge about proper photo strobes.  I don't want to jump off into spending $400-$800 per strobe.  I'll be looking at used units to start off with then progress into better units in time.  My primary focus is Macro with general short distance wide angle reef photography.  My set consists of the following:

 

  • Nikon Z-7
  • Nauticam Housing
  • Sigma 14mm wide angle with 8" dome port
  • Sigma 105mm macro lens with macro port
  • Kraken Mini Solar Flare 12000 video strobes (x2)

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

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Why not take a look at second hand Inon Z-240s? They'd be ideal for both the macro and short distance wide-angle that you mention.

Until the Z330 came along, for many of us the Z240 was the GoTo strobe. Relatively inexpensive, highly reliable and good light output. You'd be hard to beat them second hand if you're looking to get below $400. Second hand ones appear on the Classifieds page from time-to-time.

Do bear in mind though that strobes are one of the few items that tend to stay when you move on with your system. We all go through camera bodies and housings, but choose strobes well and you have them for many years. My Z240s went for more than 15 years.

You've spent a lot of money on the camera and housing. Going cheap on strobes would not, in my view, be a great way to go. You'll end up buying replacements.....

Choose well, buy once.

 

 

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You could buy new ones one at a time, macro with a single strobe is very do-able and some wide angle work at a pinch, though the 14mm in an 8"dome you'll be stopping down to f11-16 for decent corners and will want plenty of strobe power.   A Z-240 would do the macro work no problem, but might be a tad under powered for wide angle.

You've got a top level setup there and cheap-ing out on the strobes would be a pity - you can have the best gear in the world but if your lighting is not up to scratch it's the missing link to getting the best from from your equipment.

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I'm with others with strobes - better one good one for now then a pair of underpowered ones.  I started with a pair of YS-D1 strobes in 2015 with a Sony RX100 rig.   Those arms and strobes moved to a D810 the following year and spent four years there before moving on to a D850 rig.   (Last dive for me 2019).   In 2019 one of the strobes failed, and I learned a bit how to shoot with only one strobe.  Afterwards I bought two used replacements (as yet unfired) for several hundred $,   So now I have three strobes, meaning a spare.

I only shoot two lenses - 16-35 and 105vr.    The strobe power is useful with macro up to 2-3 feet away at base ISO.   For wide angle, it's tricky.  No strobe is powerful enough to light everything in wide angle, and I get mixed colors a lot when I try.  But no substitute for more power.

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Well its looks like the consensus is that I might as well start a second job in order to afford a couple of Sea and Sea strobes or the INON z-330's.  I'm already into this new upgrade the cost of a small new car, why stop now.  Thanks for all the replies, I'm sure in the end, I'll be very pleased with the results.

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1 hour ago, Slamnationalley said:

I'm sure in the end, I'll be very pleased with the results.

Maybe not at the start! It times time and lot of practice.... but you'll get there.

If it's any consolation, my setup cost a lot more than my car :crazy:

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