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Thread: Underwater Strobes advice

  1. #1

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    Dona Nazareth

    Underwater Strobes advice

    Hi All

    Back after ages! & glad to be back :-)

    May I please request some advice on a GOOD STROBE/STROBES for the underwater housing Canon WP-DC34 Case for Canon PowerShot G12. Thanks in advance...
    I would like to capture both close ups as well as maybe other sea creatures around 10mtrs away.

  2. #2
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Bill S

    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    Dona,

    I have an Ikelite housing and strobes for my 7D that I am quite happy with.

    - Bill

  3. #3
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    I'd suggest you'd need something pretty powerful if you're going to have a subject 10 meters away. My strobe has a GN of 20 for wide angle shots and I think it works okay for subjects that about 5m away - but where I dive I usually have more of an issue with backscatter from that distance anyway.

  4. #4

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    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    Backscatter is just the first name. If you need to take at far distances, the strobe itself must also be located far from the camera, unless you want an image of the closest particles in the water. That's why separate flashes are always mounted on an arm and built-in ones are useless. If you want to take photos of what's several metres away with strobe, you might need a longer arm than the one usually supplied.

    One solution is using a slave flash remotely and setting the arm mounted one at low power.

  5. #5
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    I find the thought of having 10m of visibility refreshing. That doesn't happen very often where I dive where 3 or 4 meters is considered to be great visibility and underwater photography doesn't happen because of suspended matter in the water.

  6. #6
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    Here's my $0.02. I am under the water qutie a bit. I have NEVER taken a photo under the water - so take this for what it's worth. I am however an Ikelite dealer, and am quite familiar with their products. They make some decent strobes, and arms, and have just recently changed their pricing structure to reflect a more 'a al carte' type approach, meaning you choose the strobe you want, and build onto that with arms, sync cable etc.

    I do know at least 3 underwater photographers who earn $$ from taking photos, and all 3 of them use Aquatica products. Aquatica make fantastic products, with only one major downside, the price - if money is no object, and you want professional equipment, go Aquatica.

    Ikelite is much, much more affordable, and wallet friendly. However, with one caveat, don't go as cheap as possible. Their DS51 would be the lightest-weight (in actual weight, and performance), that I'd go. You may find some deals on the older model DS160, now that the DS161's are available, and although you may think those are overkill, they're quite nice lights, and when you need the power, it will be there for you.

    Also, my caveat applies for the arms as well - the Ikelite Flex Arm (although 1/2 the price), is NOT strong enough to manage the weight of most of their higher end strobes. So please, don't skimp out! Go with the SA-100 arms. Not as user friendly in-water, but once you get used to them, they're much sturdier, and reliable - believe me, much like almost everything else in photography if you curse once when you have to open your wallet, you'll be swearing less every time afterwards that you're actually using it.

    There, how's that for a guy who has actually NEVER taken an underwater photo!?

  7. #7
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    Wow - I missed that bit about the 10m away. Basically, if you have something 10m away, turn the strobe off and see what you can get. Even with dual strobes at full power, I found that even 3-5m away was too much. And this was in fairly high visibility Caribbean waters.

    - Bill

  8. #8

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    Dona Nazareth

    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    Thanks for your replies...
    I dive ONLY in the Maldives (an annual treat to myself)
    Visibility is normally gr8!
    WHat I understand here is strobe off for longer distances...I am happy to start with closer fish, for which opportunity is in abundance.
    I do a lot of on land photography with a 7D & have been diving around so far with a sony (an oooold model for which I had a housing) now that I have the G12 +housing & am ready to invest in a strobe which will also serve me when I make the big jump to buying a pricy housing for my 7D...

    Am I correct in assuming that I have to buy the arm seperately & the strobe of choice....
    Please can someone with the experience, give me a model nr & approx price range of what to buy? Where I live there are no dive shops, so I do have to order it online..

    Thanks again for your replies
    Dona

  9. #9
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    Dona,

    I shoot with dual Ikelite DS161 strobes (with a 7D in an Ikelite housing). They also function as video lights as well. I do not know whether they would connect to the housing for your G12 (Ikelite makes their own housing for the G12). Price on them runs roughly $1250 USD for the strobe, arms, and sync cord.

    What brand is your housing?

    - Bill

  10. #10
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    Bill's got a pretty good set up, I think you'd be happy with that.

    It WILL work with your OEM Canon housing, but you'd have to buy an Ikelite tray - either single or double depending on one or two strobes. The Ikelite trays bolt into your Canon housing via a standard 1/4" bolt. Once you have that connection it's all Ikelite to Ikelite connections, so everything will work.

    Here are some part numbers for you...

    D161 Sub Strobe (as Bill suggests) = 4061.1 MSRP = $1,100 USD

    Then, you have a choice - are you going single, or double? If single;

    SA-100 Single Strobe Kit = 4070.01 (comes with single sa-100 arm(4086.61), and single TTL sync cable(4103.51)) MSRP = $225 USD

    If you're going double;

    SA-100 Dual Strobe Kit = 4070.02 (comes with two sa100 arms(4086.61), and a dual TTL sync cable(4103.52)) MSRP = $400 USD.

    THEN, last, but not least, you still need a tray to glue everything together. Again different depending on whether single, or dual. Single is;

    9523.61 MSRP = $70

    or Dual;

    9523.62 MSRP = $100

    Let me know if you have any questions please. I'd be happy to help you out.

  11. #11

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    Dona Nazareth

    Re: Underwater Strobes advice

    @Bill Canon WP-DC34 Case is the underwater casing

    @Andrew, I require a little time to process this information & will get back to you shortly.

    Thank you for all of the valuable feedback. This site is unbeatable . Have a nice week everyone! :-)

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