Help on setting up new strobes

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Postby shell » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:18 am

Hi all.

I currently have a Canon A720 IS in an Ikelite housing with a single Ikelite D51 strobe and slave sensor. Given I flooded my strobe, I now want to upgrade my strobe set up to 2 Inon Z240s but am not sure how I can do this on my current set up. I want to go for 2 flexible arms so assume I will need a new tray set up, arms and the strobe connector bits. What I am unsure of is how I can get the 2 strobes to fire given there is no hot shoe for an external flash on the camera and the housing doesn't have any attachments for a strobe cord.

So am I going to need a slave sensor for the Inon strobes and can I run both strobes off one sensor? Will the current Ikelite slave sensor I have for the D51 work or will I need an Inon one?

Or do I need to upgrade the camera and housing and maybe consider getting the G11?

Any personal experiences or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Postby cyberon » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:46 am

No, the slave sensor for the D51 wouldn't work on the Inon and is not needed. What you want is two fibre optic cables connected externally to sense your camera's built in flash. The sensor on the Inon will mimic the Canon built in flash for TTL or fires the Inon if the magnet is inserted for manual flash shots.
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Postby scottg » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:45 am

Like Ron said, your Inon strobes will work fine, you just need a fiber optic cable for each strobe.

Is there someone locally or an underwater camera store who can help you attach the fiber optic cable?

Scott

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Postby shell » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:16 am

Thanks for the info guys. Is there a specific fibre optic cable that I need to buy for the strobes. ie when I buy the strobes do I just ask for the cables to go with them? And what do I attach them to? Obviously to the strobes themselves, but then where does the cable go to? I don't think there is anyone locally that can help me if it requires specialised work, so I may have to figure it out myself.......which does not bode well. :roll:
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Postby cyberon » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:28 am

Since an Ikelite housing is clear, you can get yourself a 10bar fibre optics cable for Inon and save yourself some money over the Inon fibre optics cable. This has a slip on connector at the sensor end and a 3M velco like stick on at the housing end. Alternatively if you do not like the slip on connection,you can buy an Inon connector separately and change that over. The 'L' connector kit comes with both the Inon Type 2/3 and Type 4 screw on connectors.
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Postby James » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:49 am

To be clear, Inon strobes do not need or use a "slave sensor" as this function is built into the computerized function of the strobes.

I am not sure why you want to buy the Z240 strobes over the D2000. The Z240 is somewhat more powerful but also quite a bit more expenisve and while it does have the ability to hard wire sync in addition to optical sync vs the D/S2000 optical sync only, aside from that, the function of the D2000 is the same as the Z240.

Inon optical cables need to be able to see the camera flash, they need no sensor or trigger. To affix the cables to the housing in front of the camera strobe Inon makes a variety of mounts for many OEM housings or you can fabricate your own arrangement as I have done in the past.

Don't let Ikelite propaganda fool you, Inon optical sync including the sTTL functions are great and are rock solid and simple to use.

James
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Postby bvanant » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:58 pm

Or you could go the S2000 route. Almost exactly the same power as the D2000 and with the same or better STTL (depending on the age of the d2000) for less money and less size and faster recycle time. BUT you don't get the modeling light. Since I have spent way too much money on focus lights over the years the modeling light is not necessary but having a small strobe is very convenient.
Bill

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Postby shell » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:29 am

Yes, smaller strobes are a bonus. So far I have managed to keep my set up relatively small which is very handy for getting into and out of the boat by myself. I have 3 clip off points that I attach to various rings on my BC for when I decide not to take any more photos and just want to cruise for the sake of checking stuff out, or for getting into and out of the boat. It keeps my rig close to my body and out of the way....very handy at times.

So are you advising against the Z240s due to cost alone or are they also more bulky than the D2000 and S2000? Unfortunately I have not had the chance to see any of these strobes 'in the flesh' so can't compare them physically, and I am a visual kinda person. 8-)

The good thing is that I am about to inherit a fair bit of money so have the opportunity to buy a really good set up, but still want to keep it compact...hence not going to SLR just yet.

So if money was not a problem, what would be your ultimate UW compact camera set up?
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Postby James » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:48 am

The Z240 and D2000 are exactly the same size, the S2000 is a bit smaller and lighter. The Z240 has a surface GN of 24 at ISO100 and the D2000 has a surface GN of 20 at ISO100 and the S2000 which has a single flash tube, GN 20 at ISO100 (the D/Z models have dual flash tubes) and a slightly less even, more oval shaped strobe pattern IMO. Again, regardless of what Inon says, having used a D2000 with an S2000, the D2000 is considerably more powerful, throws a more even pattern and it a full round pattern, not oval.

The main difference, operationally between the D2000 and the Z240 is the lack of the hard wire capability that the Z brings to the table. If you intend to use optical sync then you are paying extra for a feature you may never use. Most modern housings including the dSLR types and compacts have provision for optical sync.

For macro and portrait use, with lenses out to about 90 degrees FOV, a pair of S2000 I bet would be the bomb, for fisheye and wide angle photography, S vs D, there is no comparison, the D2000 is the way to go. JMO.

The D/Z models both have the very useful External Auto mode and a LED modeling light and function exactly the same except for the D2000 being optical sync only. The GN20 vs GN24, that is about 4 to 6 inches range, a shot with a D2000 at say 3 feet would be the same exposure as with the Z240 at perhaps 3.3 feet. Do you know how to calculate exposure/shooting distance per GN? Since, you realize, most shots are not taken at full strobe dump, my bet is you would rarely need the slightly increased power level of the Z240.

This is just my opinion based on limited use of the Z and S strobes, if I were to bet, an average intensity across the strobe field, horizontal for 100 degrees, I think the S2000 would be a GN16, the D2000 GN20 and the Z240 at GN24. That is what it looks like to me when I got to shoot all three strobes together, there is decidedly more fall off with the S2000, especially in a vertical direction.

Just in case you do not know this, two strobes vs one, your range is not doubled with two strobes, it is essentially the same as with a single strobe, but the field of coverage is greater and the potential for even lighting or "effect" is increased with two strobes, exposure range is the same for all practical purposes.

If you have unlimited money then go ahead with the Z240 but you realize that the hard wire sync is not compatible with Ikelite systems, so, you might use it down the road with some dSLR, you might use it with a Patima housed G11 or Oly ELP-1 but it is of no value at all with something like a S90 which has no hot shoe or provision for hot shoe connection even if the camera has a hot shoe.

Inon product PDF downloads, you might also research the YS family of strobes as well:

http://www.inon.jp/customer/catalogue_download.html

James
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Canon S90 with FIX90 housing, 2X Inon D2000 strobes, DIY tray, Inon UFL165AD, Inon UCL165AD, Inon UWL100-67 with dome kit, ordered Fisheye UWL-04
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Postby bvanant » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:40 pm

Given James' comments I guess then that the z240 would be 40 inches, the D2000 36 inches and the s2000 would be 32 inches. I have not set up a rigorous test of the S2000 vs the D200 vs the Z240. Since I mostly shoot macro and try to use edge lighting only all I can say is that it is clear to me as well that the S2000 is not quite as powerful as the d2000 but for my money and my excess baggage fees and for my kind of shooting, small is better. Here in LA where the water is never quite clear enough, I use the z240s but for clear water I use 2 s2000. The whole modeling light thing to me is moot, I never use it since I have a room full of focus lights so that point doesn't sell me on the d2000. IN any case they are all good strobes.

Bill

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