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WetRussell

TTL strobe compability for Ikelite / Nikon

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I have a Nikon z6ii with the Ikelite housing.  Now it's time to start looking at strobes and I want to understand my options.

I will be shooting mostly macro, and want to use TTL and quite frankly this is starting to confuse me :(  (In the past I have used compact cameras with onboard flashes that triggered a strobe)

I understand that the housing has the Ikelite bulkhead for TTL but I'm not seeing any Ikelite bulkhead to any other non optical ttl cable / conversion options.  Am I missing something, or has my housing choice limited me to Ikelite strobes?

Thank you

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Assuming it's a new style ikelite housing then optical triggering is difficult as they are not designed for it and you can't trigger through the housing.  What you have is that you are restricted to electrically triggered strobes with ikelite and many strobes don't provide TTL with electric triggering.  BTW the ikelite housings now have the TTL as a separate module it's not in the housing anymore as I understand it.

So you could use ikelte strobes, OneUW strobes, probably seacam strobes - any strobe where the Nikon TTL protocol is built into the strobe itself - with those you use a direct wired connection with no trigger in the housing - again as I understand it.  With ikelite strobes you need to add the external TTL module and electric sync connections. 

If you want to use Retra, INON etc with TTL you need a flash trigger and you need to come up with a method to add optical connectivity to the ikelite housing as they are not designed for this.  I'm sure it could be done but it would be a home grown solution.  It's either that or learn how to shoot manual strobes - it's not that difficult.

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately, Ikelite is fairly proprietary with TTL sync. Your Z6II/Z7II Ikelite housing should have an electronic sync port which you would connect an Ikelite TTL Converter / hot shoe and a TTL Sync Cable (single or double) using Ikelite strobes (DS160, DS161, or the new DS162/DS230 are all excellent strobes). Ikelite support can be very helpful with this setup. I would not try and use the optical converters for TTL strobe triggering with 3rd party optical strobes (manual trigger yes, TTL trigger no).

Be sure to carefully attach the TTL Converter and Sync cables with clean and lubed o-rings. Unlike optical sync, electronic sync is very unforgiving in case of a TTL or sync cord flood.

Edited by UWPics

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8 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

I'm sure it could be done but it would be a home grown solution.

UW-Technics sells an optical bulkhead for Ikelite housings, but it costs $150 by itself, and the board to use it with would be another $460.

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3 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

UW-Technics sells an optical bulkhead for Ikelite housings, but it costs $150 by itself, and the board to use it with would be another $460.

That would allow the use of just about any strobe you choose in TTL.    Do you know if it will work with a twin fibre cable?  The concern would be if the LED will align with the two fibre optic cables in a twin cable plug - or do you need two of them?

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2 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

Do you know if it will work with a twin fibre cable?  The concern would be if the LED will align with the two fibre optic cables in a twin cable plug - or do you need two of them?

I don't own that specific setup, but I do have a UWT converter in my SeaFrogs housing, and I have two fiber optics in an Inon bushing going to my Retra strobes (I was trying to use the second port to activate the shut-off on my focus light) and this hasn't given me any issues with triggering.

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UWTechnics produces TTL Converter and different type bulkheads for Ikelite housings, including Optical bulkhead, Nikonos and Ikelite style bulkheads. Dual cable is supported on both optical and electric bulkheads. So, it allows to connect a pair of strobes by fiber optics, or by electric sync cord very easy. For the details, you can contact manufacturer by e-mail: uwtechnics@gmail.com.

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Thank you everyone for the information and suggestions.  I'm still processing it all  but feel I have a better grasp of my options.

 

Thank you again for your time.

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