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Thread: What arms for the strobe?

  1. #1
    Grouper
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    What arms for the strobe?

    I've decided to get the YS-D1 strobe. Now the question is which arm to get. I'm looking at the following 2 packages:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...kage_with.html

    https://www.opticaloceansales.com/underwater-camera-housing-packages/lighting-packages/optical-ocean-single-modular-sea-and-sea-ys-d1-lighting-package.html

    The Sea Sea arm package is roughly $100 more than the Optical Ocean Sales set (after addition of the black mask for the flash). So the question is durability. Is there reason to believe that the Sea Sea arms are more durable than the ones sold on optical ocean?

    Does anyone have experience with the Sea Sea arm package? Is that larger arm suitable as a handle for stabilization?

    Thanks,
    db

  2. #2
    Dominus Diabolus Urinatoris ST-Forum Mod DevilDiver's Avatar
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    I would consider going up to this package/configuration. The additional handle/post would balance the rig for comfort and handling plus the i-das pro arms are soo much better. It would be a really good idea to consider the additional focus light also, I would at least move up to the Big Blue over the Nano light.

    System Packages :: Lighting Packages :: Optical Ocean I-DAS Tray & Sea & Sea YS-D1 Strobe Lighting Package -

    !!! You do know that Scuba Toys carries S&S and i-das products? ST can put this same package together for you plus you would get the 10% discount for being a forum member. ST does not have the i-das pro arms on the website but they have them, talk to Joey he can get you set up.
    DevilDiver

  3. #3
    Shark Founding Member
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    We had the Sea & Sea on our compact camera, but went with the OOS one for our DSLR set-up. Can't way there was enough of a difference between the two to justify the extra $100 for us. We'll be continuing to use the OOS one with our new Canon G15 rig, which includes YS-01 strobes.

    If you have a focus light, save your money and go with the YS-02 strobes. The only difference is that the YS-01 has a focus light, so if you already have one mounted to your camera, you'll likely find you never use the ones on your strobes.

    And to piggy back, I'd go with a Sola 500 focus light over the Big Blue!
    ScubaToys and Zeagle....it just doesn't get better than that!

  4. #4
    Grouper
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    It just occurred to me to ask.. How heavy are these setups? I take it they are not neutrally buoyant?

  5. #5
    Dominus Diabolus Urinatoris ST-Forum Mod DevilDiver's Avatar
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    Good question to ask. With the Olympus housing w/camera being buoyant and the tray/arms obviously being negative, I find my Olympus E-PL1 kit with the solid aluminum tray, 4 clamps + 4- 5" arms, 2 - YS-01 strobes w/batteries, Sola 600 focus light to be about 6-10 oz negative in salt water. This is fine for me....

    If you use heavier lenses or different ports this can effect this estimate.
    DevilDiver

  6. #6
    Grouper
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    There is another difference between the 01 and 02 the 02 does not have TTL at least it didn't when I bought it. That may be different with the new model. The TTL mode is worth the cash.

  7. #7
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clernix View Post
    There is another difference between the 01 and 02 the 02 does not have TTL at least it didn't when I bought it. That may be different with the new model. The TTL mode is worth the cash.
    Perhaps you guys can give me a quick rundown as to how the flash works underwater. From my understanding, there's a mask that covers up the camera's own flash. When the camera flashes, it transmits through a fiber-optic cable to the strobe, signaling it to fire. Am I correct?
    I'm considering getting this one just because it seems like a good deal right now.
    Sea & Sea YS-01 Universal Lighting Package SS-70043 B&H Photo

    Thanks,
    db
    Last edited by clavicl3; 04-27-2013 at 13:00.

  8. #8
    Dominus Diabolus Urinatoris ST-Forum Mod DevilDiver's Avatar
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    YS-01 = Modeling Light and DS- TTL
    YS-02 = Manual Control and no DS-TTL
    Other than that pretty much the same specs.

    The question you need to ask yourself is if the DS-TTL worth the extra cost or are you OK with using manual power controls. The modeling light is really a non-issue as it is really not very useful in most situations. Many act as if DS-TTL is a must have feature for them, I see it as an extra that is good to have sometimes.

    As far as how the strobe is triggered you have the concept down, the mask would only be needed if the chosen housing did not have the fiber optic connections or if it was made from a clear Polly material where you needed to mask the cameras flash from lighting the water between the housing and the subject. The Oly housings come with F/O sockets so no mask is needed....
    Last edited by DevilDiver; 04-27-2013 at 14:20.
    DevilDiver

  9. #9
    Grouper
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    so TTL is the adjustment of the flash power according to need, and that's calculated by the camera, right? Does it even work in underwater setups going through a fiber optic cable?

  10. #10
    Dominus Diabolus Urinatoris ST-Forum Mod DevilDiver's Avatar
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    Pretty much... TTL (Through The Lens) the camera meters the light taken in for a given scene or area based on the chosen metering mode settings and then decides the proper amount of flash needed to expose the scene or subject chosen. There are many factors that influence what the camera decides is the proper amount of flash exposure needed including the shooting mode chosen, the chosen metering area (spot, center weighted or area , scene or ESP), distance to subject and lens focal length of lens plus all of your chosen exposure settings (ISO, F/stop, Shutter, Exp Comp, strobe position). Believe it or not this actually works pretty well in most cases.........

    The most accurate way for the camera to communicate the determined amount (duration) of flash power is the a direct electronic connection like a sync cable (or wireless transmitter for topside) to the strobe/flash, an electronic sync cable is also expensive and has a higher risk of being a failure point or leaking. Now the more popular fiber optic connection takes away the concern of a failure point or leaking risk as there are no sockets or holes in the housing/strobe for this but you need a camera with an flash that fires so the light can be transmitted to the strobe/sensor to trigger the strobe to fire and hopefully mimic the correct exposure. This actually works pretty good and is always being improved as tech develops. So the mechanics of TTL underwater are actually pretty reliable in most conditions.

    The questions of how accurate and dependable this is can be debated, I find that there situations where the flash exposure might be close but not what expected. The camera is making decisions based on it's programing and operator settings and trying to apply them to the specific photo. For macro this usually works out pretty well but for portrait or wide angle I believe it can be more hit or miss depending on the selected settings chosen by you and the cameras capability to actually determine the best exposure for a scene that can have limited natural light and such a wide range of tones and brightness levels. Remember, if you have selected you metering mode for spot and you are capturing a sea fan with a nice blue water background around 3ft away from your lens the camera is only metering the light for that specific area you are focusing on not the rest of the photo, while the sea fan may be exposed correct what about the rest of the photo? Under exposed? Could be considering the camera only need to expose for the exact spot that it was told to. Same for a wide angle reef shot with with fish swimming around, you may have the metering set for center to get a balanced exposure for the larger scene but what about the reflective fish swimming closer to the lens? Over exposed? Most likley.....

    Now, as posted at the beginning, TTL underwater actually works pretty good and is a great tool. If you consider that you do not always have time or the luxury to stop and meter the light for a scene, make a lot of changes, move things (never do this) for better composition or changes positions. This is where TTL is a benefit, it takes some of the guess work out and allows you to concentrate on basic exposure settings and composition.

    The thing that gets me is it is very common on the forums for people to say things like "You have to shoot RAW", "You have to use full manual settings", "You have to use custom white balance", "You have to have TTL". None of these statements are true, some may be a really good suggestions but this also depends on your comfort level and skills over any kind of requirement or rule. If you depend on TTL only for your exposures how is it any different than just setting the camera to Auto and letting it choose your aperture and/or shutter speed or white balance settings? So why insist on full control over all of these other settings and then let the camera pick your flash exposure? I believe it is a key skill in U/W photography to understand and be able to control the power and position of your lighting, if you just depend on TTL for this you will never progress in your craft or produce work that is outside of the norm.

    It is actually not that hard to learn and use manual power controls for your strobes and for new u/w photographers I believe it makes them consider more of the overall exposure and how different elements are effected by the choices of light power and placement. Having the ability to choose to use TTL or manual settings is a great benefit at times but I would not go so far as to say it is needed or that it is a "cure all" for lighting and there are many who prefer to shoot using manual strobe settings allowing them to be more creative and have more control.
    Last edited by DevilDiver; 04-28-2013 at 12:26.
    DevilDiver

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