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serpentara

Retra Pro X Strobes Cooldown and Cycle Speed With Supercharger vs YS-D2J

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Posted (edited)

Hi Folks,

I am headed to the Galapagos next month and thought it might be an excuse to upgrade my strobes. 

I am currently shooting YS-D2Js. They have been relatively reliable compared to the train wreck that were the D2s before them.

That said, one seems to be acting up a bit, so I thought it might be time to look at alternatives. I have loved the Reta concept since the original Pros were released. I also have the LSD snoot that will work great with the Retras. I understand now that Retra has caught up with manufacturing delays, so shipping is immediate. Compound that with a weak Euro, the Retras are tempting. 

A few questions:

The D2Js have a rated cycle speed of 1.5 seconds at full power. There are lies, damn lies, and that statistic. It seems much longer. How does the cycle speed of the Retras at equivalent power compare to the D2Js?

Also, I seem to have a tendency to hit the thermal throttle of the D2J wherein once you take enough shots at maximum output, it needs to cool, and prevents you from taking further pictures for a while. With its all-aluminum housing, does the Retra last longer before you hit the thermal throttle and/or does it cool down faster than the D2J?

Thanks!

-Drew

Edited by serpentara
Adding name

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Hi serpentera 

Sorry, I can’t compare the two, but I have been using Retras for over 2 years with around 400 dives on them and the majority using Superchargers. 

I’ve never hit any kind of thermal throttling during that time although maybe I only shoot 4-5 pics before a slight pause. 

With the Superchargers recycle times too never seem much of an issue. I often have the strobe set on full power when using the LSD snoot with a very small slide opening. On occasion after 3-4 quick shots, full power may take a moment or two to recover but I can’t really say it’s an issue. 

I must admit this is all based on feel and field use rather than any kind of scientific testing. I just get out there and use them!

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13 hours ago, serpentara said:

Hi Folks,

I am headed to the Galapagos next month and thought it might be an excuse to upgrade my strobes. 

I am currently shooting YS-D2Js. They have been relatively reliable compared to the train wreck that were the D2s before them.

That said, one seems to be acting up a bit, so I thought it might be time to look at alternatives. I have loved the Reta concept since the original Pros were released. I also have the LSD snoot that will work great with the Retras. I understand now that Retra has caught up with manufacturing delays, so shipping is immediate. Compound that with a weak Euro, the Retras are tempting. 

A few questions:

The D2Js have a rated cycle speed of 1.5 seconds at full power. There are lies, damn lies, and that statistic. It seems much longer. How does the cycle speed of the Retras at equivalent power compare to the D2Js?

Also, I seem to have a tendency to hit the thermal throttle of the D2J wherein once you take enough shots at maximum output, it needs to cool, and prevents you from taking further pictures for a while. With its all-aluminum housing, does the Retra last longer before you hit the thermal throttle and/or does it cool down faster than the D2J?

Thanks!

I recently tried this using the timelapse function of my camera

The strobes when fired at full power with a set of eneloop pro that are a few years old take 2.2 second to give ready signal once they are fully discharged. I do not have a new set of batteries so I cannot tell you if that would improve or not today 

According to the manual after 20 consecutive shots at full power the strobe will go in protection mode, this has never happened to me yet mostly because I rarely fire the strobes at full power

Having been to Galapagos from memory I don't think you will need to shoot the strobes at full power either unless you are shooting at f/16 I have an MFT camera so my smallest aperture for CFWA is f/10 and rarely have an issue with strobe power

When I look at the specs of the Retra they indicate 1.5 seconds for the Prime X and 2.5 for the Prime to 80% of power I do not have those strobes so I cannot tell you if those numbers are true or not but if they were true you would really only have a benefit with the Prime X

 

 

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1 hour ago, Interceptor121 said:

When I look at the specs of the Retra they indicate 1.5 seconds for the Prime X and 2.5 for the Prime to 80% of power I do not have those strobes so I cannot tell you if those numbers are true or not but if they were true you would really only have a benefit with the Prime X

Please note that Pro X and Prime X both recycle with the same speed. The difference is that the Pro X has 50Ws more power and will therefore emit more light at full power and subsequently the total recycle time will be longer. If you use the Pro X at approximately 50% power it will emit about the same light as the Prime X at 100% power and also recycle in about the same time. The benefit of added capacitance of the Pro X is 1. more light when shooting at full power and 2. more flashes in a row when shooting action scenes at lower power.

There have been no complaints regarding lamp overheating with any of the Retra Flash models.

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18 minutes ago, Oskar@RetraUWT said:

Please note that Pro X and Prime X both recycle with the same speed. The difference is that the Pro X has 50Ws more power and will therefore emit more light at full power and subsequently the total recycle time will be longer. If you use the Pro X at approximately 50% power it will emit about the same light as the Prime X at 100% power and also recycle in about the same time. The benefit of added capacitance of the Pro X is 1. more light when shooting at full power and 2. more flashes in a row when shooting action scenes at lower power.

There have been no complaints regarding lamp overheating with any of the Retra Flash models.

That's right however we do not know how any of those compares to the sea and sea unit of the op

The time constant of the circuit is more or less t=RC obviously if the circuit is similar and so is the battery pack larger capacitance means more time even if the speed is the same

If one strobe is 150 W and the other is 100 W and the recycle time ratio is 2.5/1.5=1.66 this would indicate the larger strobe charges at slightly lower speed actually

 

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6 hours ago, Oskar@RetraUWT said:

Please note that Pro X and Prime X both recycle with the same speed. The difference is that the Pro X has 50Ws more power and will therefore emit more light at full power and subsequently the total recycle time will be longer. If you use the Pro X at approximately 50% power it will emit about the same light as the Prime X at 100% power and also recycle in about the same time. The benefit of added capacitance of the Pro X is 1. more light when shooting at full power and 2. more flashes in a row when shooting action scenes at lower power.

There have been no complaints regarding lamp overheating with any of the Retra Flash models.

Thanks Oskar.

So what then is the cycle time to full of the pro xs with the supercharger? 80% might be quick, but as you said in other posts it is that last 20% that is much slower, like charging lithium ion batteries. 

Also one thing that was odd re specifications. Without the supercharger the pro x could take 175 full power shots. With the supercharger the number is 420. I could understand 350, but 420 makes no sense since you are only doubling the capacity of the battery bank. 

Drew
 

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Posted (edited)

The last 20% can take anywhere from 0,1 to about 2 seconds depending on the battery condition (new or old, full or flat) and configuration (4 or 8 cells).

With the Supercharger the efficiency increases, hence more than double flashes per battery pack.

Edited by Oskar@RetraUWT

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Posted (edited)
On 8/10/2022 at 8:58 PM, Oskar@RetraUWT said:

The last 20% can take anywhere from 0,1 to about 2 seconds depending on the battery condition (new or old, full or flat) and configuration (4 or 8 cells).

With the Supercharger the efficiency increases, hence more than double flashes per battery pack.

Interesting thank you.

I am a technical diver certified past 100 meters. How far have the Retras with the supercharger been pressure tested down to? I took my Sea & Sea YS-D2J down to 90 meters and they survived, but the plastic cover on the OPV of the battery cap caved in. It still works though.

I think the "official" rating for the Retras is 100m, but the aluminum body and dual o-rings gives me hope. 

Edited by serpentara

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