Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

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KneeDeep
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Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

Post by KneeDeep » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Ok... so I'm starting down the path of wanting to get into photography. There are sooooo many options and setups possible, it can be a little overwhelming.

So, I'm going to break it down in to manageable parts. Though I don't know what camera I would use (to start to after 'start'), one of the items I have no understanding is lighting. My personal line of thinking is, if I were to our grow a 'setup' what could I migrate to another system... strobes. (wrong way of thinking?)

Strobes:
What are some of the primary manufacturers? What are some functions one would look for AND what to stay away from.

Not looking for options of what one likes, but more types that are out there for my personal research.

Any help would be great.
The ocean is a lousy teacher. First you get a test, then the lesson.

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cardiver
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Re: Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

Post by cardiver » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:02 pm

Strobe choices are pretty simple. Inon or Sea & Sea are the two major players. The Inon S2000 and the S&S YS01 ( ttl) or YS02 ( manual only) are all good choices. The new, high end S&S is also supposed to be an excellent strobe.
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KneeDeep
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Re: Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

Post by KneeDeep » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:28 pm

cardiver wrote:The new, high end S&S is also supposed to be an excellent strobe.


You referring to the YS-D1?
The ocean is a lousy teacher. First you get a test, then the lesson.

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cardiver
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Re: Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

Post by cardiver » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:16 am

KneeDeep wrote:
cardiver wrote:The new, high end S&S is also supposed to be an excellent strobe.


You referring to the YS-D1?

Yes.....
-Ron T.
"When I'm 80 I'll take up real diving, which is done in a pub..." Ray Ives.
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Matt S.
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Re: Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

Post by Matt S. » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:24 am

You can take some decent pics without an external strobe but it's a real challenge. You get fewer keepers and you also just can't take certain kinds of pictures. So, if you're committed to the idea of having a nice rig sooner or later, investing in a strobe is a good idea.

I have only used Sea&Sea strobes so far, and have been happy with them. You can't go wrong with Inon either.

We are lucky to have the Optical Ocean showroom in town and there is a lot of used gear around... In fact, I am selling a Sea&Sea DX-2G system and I'll make ya a deal. Ignore the price in the post. :)

viewtopic.php?f=45&t=19771

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cardiver
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Re: Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

Post by cardiver » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:35 am

Matt S. wrote:You can take some decent pics without an external strobe but it's a real challenge. You get fewer keepers and you also just can't take certain kinds of pictures. So, if you're committed to the idea of having a nice rig sooner or later, investing in a strobe is a good idea.

I have only used Sea&Sea strobes so far, and have been happy with them. You can't go wrong with Inon either.

We are lucky to have the Optical Ocean showroom in town and there is a lot of used gear around... In fact, I am selling a Sea&Sea DX-2G system and I'll make ya a deal. Ignore the price in the post. :)

viewtopic.php?f=45&t=19771

The DX-2G was the best p&s I ever owned. The housing is fantastic and the macro capabilities are outstanding!
-Ron T.
"When I'm 80 I'll take up real diving, which is done in a pub..." Ray Ives.
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My Dive Pics...
https://www.facebook.com/RETOPPPHOTOGRAPHY

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inflex
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Re: Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

Post by inflex » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:58 pm

Depends on how serious you want to get. Strobe power primarily dictates how much of a wide-angle scene you can light up.

1 vs 2 strobes -
2 strobes are better than 1. More even coverage with wide angle, more dynamic and much prettier lighting with macro. The decision here whether to spend more on 1 strobe, eventually getting another, or get both strobes now. One is easier to manage and learn on, but you can't beat how pretty the pics look with two strobes. So, plan on two strobes. Whether you get two right away, or budget for two higher end strobes separately is up to you.

High end
$$$$ You can pair these up with a DSLR, a wide angle lens, and take stunning wide angle shots. The one draw back to absolute top of the line strobes is that when shooting macro, backscatter becomes harder to control given the massive amount and wide spread of light these things put out.

Low end:
Lower end to medium end strobes vary in price and output power. Any of these will more than suffice for macro. Wide angle coverage depends on the guide number and coverage angle. Larger of each, larger the coverage. Lower end strobes also tend to charge slower, requiring more time between firings. The practical difference is when you have that seal lion swirling around you, you can rapid-fire with a large strobe set at 1/4 power, where as you have to wait 2s between every shot with a lower-end strobe at full power. That, and I heard sharks are attracted to the electromagnetic waves charging strobes emit, so that's either a boon or a curse depending on the size of the shark.

Sync cord vs optical cord:
Optical cord are a little less hassle, but requires on-camera flash to activate. They may be slightly less reliable, and will consume more camera battery due to the use of flash. Sync cords are more hassle to maintain (gotta keep them dry and salt-free, and those pins are difficult to clean), but are otherwise arguably more reliable in operation and consume much less battery.

Arms:
The best advice about strobe arms is to get floats for them to balance your rig underwater. Next, arm length should be paired with strobe power. The most powerful strobes will require about 20" of extension each to avoid flaring on wide-angle shots. Smaller strobes probably require less, although I don't know how much. Long arms are a pain in the butt, especially if you carry a large camera setup for shore dives.

Diffusers:
Use for wide angle, take off for macro.

TTL:
Same thing as surface flash photography, except with some setups, you'll need to buy a $500 TTL converter... Personally, I recommend shooting in manual anyway and saving the $$$.

Baggage:
Strobes are a PITA to travel with. Gotta carry strobes, chargers, batteriess, extra batteries, diffusers, sync cords, sync cord covers, strobe connector covers, o-rings, extra o-rings, o-ring grease, strobe arms, and a kajillion other bits and pieces.

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dphershman
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Re: Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

Post by dphershman » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:16 pm

I have found my pair of Ikelite DS160 strobes to be reliable and easy to use. I especially like the fact that the batteries are internal, you just rotate and release a clamp on the back end of the strobe and the sealed battery unit detaches, ready to be recharged. It even as a built in LED focus light. My buddy Andy has the DS161 with the built in video light, this makes the strobe switchable on the fly to either a strobe or video light. I can testify that it puts out a nice smooth light suitable for decent video work.
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YellowEye
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Re: Lighting Options for Camera (non video)

Post by YellowEye » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:13 pm

Hi Kneedeep, happy to show you my camera closer on the next dive, as I'm sure many other ThThTh guys would.
My recommendation (if you haven't already done so) is to get a macro lens and a dslr and learn how to use it on the surface, then get the u/w stuff later.
Kind request: Always keep your reg in your mouth when entering/leaving the water! There's always a chance of a slip or a rogue wave, and several locals have perished from not having their regs at the ready over the years.

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