Review of the Sea & Sea YS-110 Strobe

By Scott Gietler

 

 
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sea & sea ys-110 strobe

 

Official YS-110 specifications:

 

Guide number in air:  22

Color temp: 5400K, 5100K with diffuser

Coverage: 105 degrees (with diffuser)

Recycle time: 3 seconds

Depth rating: 196ft (60 meters)

13 Manual settings

Fired by sync cable or fiber optic cable

Weight in water: slightly negative

 

The YS-110 is a solid, popular mid-range strobe used by high-end compact camera underwater photographers, and dSLR underwater photographers. I've used it extensively for macro and wide-angle and it works well and is reliable. It's fairly small, light, and slightly negative underwater which is very nice.

You should also consider reading our YS-D1 strobe review, which is a much more recent strobe.

 

YS-110 Pros

  • Reliable, readily available, good size and weight, good price point. Easily serviced or replaced around the world.
  • Good build quality, good angle of coverage
  • Uses 4 AA batteries. Batteries usually will last for 3 dives of heavy shooting.
  • Works great with my Sea & Sea TTL-converter III for nikon, for macro & close focus wide angle.
  • Good range of manual settings.
  • It has a high-intensity focus light

 

YS-110 Cons

  • The strobe could be a little stronger, and have a warmer color temp for wide-angle, but couldn't most strobes be stronger? 
  • Diffusers are a little too strong and easy to lose

YS-110 settings and configuration

 

Set the main dial to TTL when using a TTL converter

Manual 1 - used with fiber-optic cable and cameras with a pre-flash 

Manual 2  - used with fiber-optic cable and cameras without a pre-flash

Manual 1 or Manual 2 can be used when using a camera with a sync cord connection.

 

The slave button should be "off", unless you are using a fiber optic cable and slaving the strobe off a camera pre-flash.

 

The power setting dial should be fairly obvious how to use, "full" is full power and "min" is the minimum power setting.

 

Comparison between other strobes:

The Ikelite DS160 is more expensive, heavier, recycles faster, and is a warmer strobe.

Here I compare it with the Inon Z240 strobe.

 

Price

This strobe was replaced by the YS-110a, which recycles faster and has better support for compact cameras and optical TTL. Used YS-110's can go for $275-$430.

 

Further Reading

Underwater Strobe Guide