Subal housing with dual z240 strobes

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Postby Fredrik » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:39 am

Hi, I have a Nikon d100 in a Subal D10 housing with standard Nikonos 5-pin connectors and I've been using a SB80DX strobe until now. I want to uppgrade to dual Inon Z-240 strobes and would like to know if they will work together with the Nikon d100 camera? Will I need to get a TTL converter and if so which one, Sea & Sea, Heinrichs Weikamp or other? Should I get two Sea&Sea single sync cord (#17100) or one Sea&Sea dual sync cord (#03470)?

I'm greatfull for any answers
Fredrik
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Postby Vizart » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:07 am

Hi Frednik, if you want TTL, then you will absolutely need to have a TTL converter, Sea & Sea makes one (#50117) that is compatible with the Inon Z-240 and given the nature of the converter I would go with two individual sync cord #17100 from Sea & Sea instead of a double one, this way if the cord fails, you are not out two strobes, but only one.

The Sea & Sea is an externally plugged TTL converter, The Heinrich is internal and will require soldering and installation, not every one feel comfortable cutting up their internal wiring and resoldering it, so this you have to answer yourself (or get it install by an experimented shop).

Glad to see a D100 still going, that was the first digital camera I brought for underwater use, what a shock it was to go beyond 37 frames :lol: :lol: :lol: I have fond memory (pictures) with this camera, sort of a first girlfriend/boyfriend kind of love. they somehow are always the best... until you start dating younger models (d200, D300s... :D )
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Postby Fredrik » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:42 am

Thanks for the quick reply Jean :D
So the DTTL setting in the Nikon D100 won't work with dual Z-240 strobes i.e. automatically set the exposure on both strobes? The DTTL setting works fine with the SB80DX strobe, is this because it's only one strobe or is this because the SB80DX is a Nikon strobe?

I got a killer deal for the D100 a year ago complete with Subal housing, macro lenses (60 and 105), strobe and ports so I decided to try it out before taking out a second mortgage and investing in one of the younger models :lol:
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Postby Vizart » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:21 am

Two reason for this:

Most if not all underwater strobes are still in the "Nikonos film era" type of TTL, and requires a TTL converter to translate (modernize) the languages so that today's cameras will understand it.

Secondly, even with Nikon's and Canon's flashes, there is an expiring factor, the Nikon SB-80dx, for instance, will not work with the D200 & D300s (and other more contemporary models) and it's a Nikon, same for the Canon users, I suspect that it is part of the reason why strobes manufacturers do not come out with dedicated strobes for Canon or Nikon, its much simpler to update a TTL converter and keep your strobes than changing two strobes when you upgrade to a new camera system.

Also with Nikon (at least) you can only wire a single flash and not two as we used to do with film type cameras, this is due to the wireless technology used by Nikon, every other flash added is meant to be triggered via the main flash optically, its all nice top side and you can add a slew of flash and all is peachy (I've used up to eight SB800/SB900/SB600 in a single architectural shot with amazing results) underwater it just does not work as the signal does not reach the housed flash in a efficient manner.
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Postby Fredrik » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:50 am

Vizart wrote:Most if not all underwater strobes are still in the "Nikonos film era" type of TTL, and requires a TTL converter to translate (modernize) the languages so that today's cameras will understand it.


I have never used a TTL converter before and have only read Scotts article on it http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/ttl-converters so I'm not sure I fully understand why I need it. If I understand it correctly DTTL will only work with Nikon strobes and it won't work with more then one, right? In order to be able to use TTL with other strobe brands I will need a TTL converter so that the strobe and camera can communicate. The D100 is rather old, will it be able to understand the output from Sea&Sea TTL converter (#50117)?
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Postby Vizart » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:03 am

If using a housed Nikon flash (SB-80dx for example) you can only connect one for TTL use

If using underwater strobes and if, and a big if, you want to expose in TTL then a TTL converter is mandatory to convert the signal of the strobe in a language that your D100 will undestand, if shooting manual flash exposure, then disregard the TTL converter.

The D100 is ols maybe, but this technology is downward compatible, meaning something design for the D200 will fit the D100 etc.
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Postby Fredrik » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:39 am

I'll be shooting mainly macro and if I understand it right TTL should work most of the time as long as I avoid highly reflective objects and compositions where I want to vary the strobe power between the two strobes. For these types of shoots I guess I can always switch to manual mode.

Thanks again for your answers they have been very helpful. Now I know that I'm best of buying two Sea&Sea sync cables (#17100) together with the Sea&Sea TTL converter (#50117) once I've confirmed that it is compatible with the D100.
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Postby Vizart » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:51 am

Pleas also take a minute and count the contacts on your hot shoe, it should have 5 contact pins, I know some folks removed the pins when shooting manual, to avoid conflict with th signal of the strobe, so yeah, make sure you are wired for receiving the converter first, if not I would say give a call to either Backscatter or Reef photo (both are Subal dealer) they should be able to fix this (if it needs fixing)
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Postby Fredrik » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:24 pm

I fixed the wireing in the Subal housing when I got it. I couldn't get the DTTL to work on the SB80DX strobe and after a bit of searching using a digital multimeter I found a cable break in one of the 5 wires (upper right when looking down on the camera body). The DTTL worked fine after the fix so all 5 pins should be connected.
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Postby Vizart » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:31 pm

There you go, off into the setting sun you go Kemosabe ;)
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