Review of the Sea & Sea YS-110 Strobe

By Scott Gietler

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.



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


Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel, and the Underwater Photography Guide. Bluewater Photo, based in Culver City, CA is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious underwater camera stores, serving many thousands of customers each year, where nothing is more important than customer service. The Underwater Photography Guide is the world’s first website to feature free tutorials on underwater photography, and has become the most trafficked resource on underwater photography worldwide. Bluewater Travel is a full-service dive travel wholesaler sending groups and individuals on the world’s best dive vacations. 

Scott is also an avid diver, underwater photographer, and budding marine biologist, having created the online guide to the underwater flora and fauna of Southern California. He is the past vice-president of the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society, has volunteered extensively at the Santa Monica aquarium, and is the creator of the Ocean Art underwater photo competition, one of the largest underwater international photo competitions ever held in terms of value of prizes. He lives in California with his wife, newborn girl and scuba-diving, photo taking 4 year old son.

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