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View Full Version : Anyone used the new Sea & Sea YS-110 alpha strobe



peterdev
11-05-2008, 09:03
I am considering buying this new version of the YS-110 - and I am very interested to learn how well the DS-TTL works. See

YS-110a | Strobe | SEA&SEA | (http://www.seaandsea.jp/products/strobe/ys110a/index.html)

VRod RS
11-05-2008, 10:41
Yes. I have two of them. I don't use them with the DS-TTL though, I use them with wired sync cords and TTL with my camera.

I hear that their new TTL changes are good, but the biggest thing I noticed is the recycle rate is VERY fast compared to the older YS-110s. Also the spotting light is brighter.

peterdev
11-05-2008, 16:46
Rich

Thanks for the quick reply - glad to hear that they are working well for you.

One day I may upgrade to a big DSLR set-up - but right now I want to just use it in optical slave mode linked to a Digicam in a housing with full DS TTL.

Peter

RoyN
11-07-2008, 14:46
Whats wrong with the orange version?

VRod RS
11-07-2008, 18:05
Whats wrong with the orange version?

Nothing if it works for you. The 110a is just faster on the recycle, brighter spotting light, and DS-TTL enhancements if you need that feature.

peterdev
11-07-2008, 22:19
Roy - my understanding is that the orange version works perfectly when hard wired to the camera, but has been inconsistent when used in TTL optical slave mode.........

jimorus
11-09-2008, 18:48
I have used one of the originals since they were released to the market in the slave mode. It is kind of like Windows. Every now and again it seems to like to be rebooted.

After it hung on dives a couple of times I started cycling all of the adjustments and switches and firing the strobe in the different settings before changing the batteries. since I started that goofy mritual it hasn't quit working in a dive yet.

I know there isn't a logical e=reason but its like lucky socks. if they work keep wearing them

Deeplens
11-11-2008, 05:45
Yes. I have two of them. I don't use them with the DS-TTL though, I use them with wired sync cords and TTL with my camera.

Are you saying that you can get full TTL function with two YS-110a wired to a D200 in a Subal ND20? I didn't realise that was possible. Does the YS110a support Nikon's i-TTL or are you using the Sea & Sea TTL converter?

Richard

VRod RS
11-11-2008, 07:24
Yes. I have two of them. I don't use them with the DS-TTL though, I use them with wired sync cords and TTL with my camera.

Are you saying that you can get full TTL function with two YS-110a wired to a D200 in a Subal ND20? I didn't realise that was possible. Does the YS110a support Nikon's i-TTL or are you using the Sea & Sea TTL converter?

Richard

it is NOT i-TTL, it is TTL with the Sea & Sea converter. You could also use other converter options on the market, but it does TTL correctly. You can take the same subject and shoot it at different exposure settings and get very good results. I have used it with both YS-90, YS-110, YS-110a, and Inon Z-240 strobes..

Deeplens
11-11-2008, 18:00
Rich,

Thanks for the quick reply.

I have used YS90s with the Sea & Sea converter and Subal ND20. I didn't find them totally reliable. Sometimes they didn't sync with the shutter. The Sea & Sea converter is a repackaged Heinrichs Weikamp OEM converter. Heinrichs does not list the YS90 as supported by his converter because the electronics is too slow to recover from the quench (30 milliseconds, it needs to be 2ms like Z-240). If this is too slow the strobe may not be ready to fire the main flash after quenching the preflash. I found YS90s worked most of the time so I don't know what Sea & Sea have done to the converter to achieve this. For macro work the YS90s with converter were too unreliable for me. You haven't had this problem?

It would be good to know if the recovery time (not recycle time) is faster in the alpha version of the YS110. Sea & Sea make a point of stating that the electronics is new.

Some Japanese DSLR housings like Nexus allow the pop-up flash to be used to trigger strobes via fibre connections. Has anyone tried the YS110 this way?

Richard

VRod RS
11-11-2008, 20:36
Rich,

Thanks for the quick reply.

I have used YS90s with the Sea & Sea converter and Subal ND20. I didn't find them totally reliable. Sometimes they didn't sync with the shutter. The Sea & Sea converter is a repackaged Heinrichs Weikamp OEM converter. Heinrichs does not list the YS90 as supported by his converter because the electronics is too slow to recover from the quench (30 milliseconds, it needs to be 2ms like Z-240). If this is too slow the strobe may not be ready to fire the main flash after quenching the preflash. I found YS90s worked most of the time so I don't know what Sea & Sea have done to the converter to achieve this. For macro work the YS90s with converter were too unreliable for me. You haven't had this problem?

It would be good to know if the recovery time (not recycle time) is faster in the alpha version of the YS110. Sea & Sea make a point of stating that the electronics is new.

Some Japanese DSLR housings like Nexus allow the pop-up flash to be used to trigger strobes via fibre connections. Has anyone tried the YS110 this way?

Richard

I never had a problem with the YS-90's with the same housing and camera. Unless you are setting your shutter speed faster than 1/250, they always would sync. If you are shooting continuous mode or rapid fire, then you would run into potential issues of it not being able to keep up, but that was the strobe, not the converter. The converter is based on the HW converter, but it is different in many ways also. I have both and used both with the same strobes. The Sea & Sea was more reliable IMHO.

The YS-110a strobes are MUCH faster than the 110s. The recovery from a full dump and recycle time from a full dump to me means the same thing. Its the time when the strobe is ready to fire again. If you are shooting less than full dumps, you can rapid fire with the YS-110a and it will keep up for about 8 shots with the D300. If you are doing full dumps on the strobes, they are going to take less than 2 seconds before they are ready again, but unelss you are doing a lot of wide angle full dumps, this is probably not the majority of your shots.

The "Pre-flash" you speak of doesn't happen with any of my nikon set ups. It does happen with the SP-350 HW TTL converter and the YS-90s, 110s and 110a's all keep up with the SP-350's meter flash. The Nikon uses another method to control the flash output so the pre-flash recovery time doesn't enter into the equation.

Deeplens
11-13-2008, 19:30
Rich,

I am intrigued that you get better success than I had. Sea & Sea have definitely tinkered with the converter. Mine is a mark III. Do you shoot mostly wideangle? My problems were most noticeable shooting macro when every second or third shot the strobe would not fire in sync with the shutter even though it had fully recycled. To be honest I couldn't understand why it worked one shot but then failed on the next even when repeating exactly the same shot.

The Nikon i-TTL does use monitor preflashes (sometimes more than one) but these are very short and very close to the main flash. The time between pressing the shutter release and the shutter opening is around 40 ms and the monitor preflashes are fired during this period. This is very much faster than on a compact digital and you are very unlikely to be able to detect the preflash because it is so close to the main flash.

HW reckons that the YS90 needs 30ms to recover from firing the preflashes but to work reliably with their converter and a Nikon DSLR this needs to be no more than 2ms. They don't list the YS90 as compatible only the YS250 which does have 2ms recovery.

For the YS90 to work I think that under most exposure conditions (aperture, iso) the preflashes must be finished early enough during the 40 ms window that there is just enough time for the YS90 to recover. My problem is particularly noticeable when shooting macro at very small apertures and low ISO. I have since repackaged some conventional strobes into u/w housings. These strobes use fast IGBT switching circuitry and are designed to support Nikon's rapid monitor preflashes. They work 100% reliably with the Sea & Sea converter giving consistent exposures.

When I dismantled a YS90, I found that Sea & Sea were using an early generation IGBT device which has slow recovery hence accounting for the 30ms figure. I did contemplate modifying the circuitry. I know this has been done with older YS60s to make them work with the HW converter. Perhaps Sea & Sea have used the later generation IGBT in the YS110 alpha version.

I did think I might switch to Nexus housings and use their optical connections but Subal has a D700 housing in production whereas Nexus seem unlikely to have one any time soon!

Richard

VRod RS
11-14-2008, 07:03
Rich,

I am intrigued that you get better success than I had. Sea & Sea have definitely tinkered with the converter. Mine is a mark III. Do you shoot mostly wideangle? My problems were most noticeable shooting macro when every second or third shot the strobe would not fire in sync with the shutter even though it had fully recycled. To be honest I couldn't understand why it worked one shot but then failed on the next even when repeating exactly the same shot.

The Nikon i-TTL does use monitor preflashes (sometimes more than one) but these are very short and very close to the main flash. The time between pressing the shutter release and the shutter opening is around 40 ms and the monitor preflashes are fired during this period. This is very much faster than on a compact digital and you are very unlikely to be able to detect the preflash because it is so close to the main flash.

Richard

Since there are a couple of models for the YS-90, we need to make sure we are talking the same thing. I had the YS-90 Duo Auto strobes (don't anymore) but they had the TTL capability and worked perfect with the Sea & Sea TTL Adapter I. I sold the strobes before I got the Type III so I haven't been able to test them with that controller.

As far as iTTL, no controllers work with the true i-TTL. The controllers fool the camera, but it is not the same as using a strobe like the SB-800 or SB-900 on the camera. So if you want true i-TTL, you would have to use one of those in a housing or something similar. The TTL given by the HW converters is pretty good, but it is in no way as good as the real i-TTL.

I shoot a combination about 50/50 macro and wide angle with the 60mm and the 10.5mm. The only strobes I ever had problems with was the Z-240 strobes with the Sea & Sea TTL controller. It was not a sync problem though because in those cases, the strobes just wouldn't fire.

Deeplens
11-14-2008, 17:00
Rich,

Your comment that the TTL given by the converter is no way as good as the real i-TTL is interesting. I had come to that conclusion too and it is one of the reasons I was considering using strobes linked by fibre to the camera's pop-up flash. I have even thought about housing Nikon guns and connecting these optically by fibre to the pop-up gun used in its commander mode, thereby getting true multistrobe i-TTL.

I only wish Subal would support the use of the pop-up flash as a controller like Japanese housing manufacturers are doing. My ND20 is with Subal at the moment. Maybe I should talk to them. If they have allowed some extra height for the D700 viewfinder then it could be a possibility.

Was the reason that your Z-240s wouldn't fire related to the non-standard way Sea & Sea use the Nikonos connections on thier duo strobes in order to distinguish between Nikon and Sea & Sea cameras? I assume you have them working OK with your current Sea & Sea converter - I am considering using Z-240s so it would be helpful to know if there are any issues.

Richard