Choice Of Underwater Strobe
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Skip Navigation Linksunderwater Photo Course :: (2) Equipment Guide :: Underwater Camera Housings :: Underwater Strobes :: Choice of underwater Strobe

Choice Of Underwater Strobe

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Choice of strobe should not be made in isolation from the camera it is to be used with, or subject matter it is to be used for, nor size of pocket that has to pay for it! For example, there is no point in paying extra for a TTLThrough The Lens. A term applied to viewfinders and metering systems that operate behind the lens. As such TTL is accurate because it sees what the lens sees. flash if you only have a manual camera, nor is there any point in buying a huge power flash if you only shoot macroPhotography of smaller subjects shot (between 1:1 and 1:3) on macro settings or with macro equipment.

Problems to avoid You cannot use a compactType of camera that does not employ a SLR viewfinder. camera's internal strobe for underwater photography (for reasons we will explore later)

Some people go for power strobes but, if you only ever dive in temperate watersSeas with green water well north or south of tropical zones typically cold enough for drysuits!, a power strobe can be counter productive. All you may succeed in doing with a power strobe is lighting up more suspended particles in the water, and thus get more backscatterBackscatter is light reflected from suspended particles in the water a problem in underwater flash photography caused by having the flash too close to the camera lens.. Lesser-powered strobe units are therefore to be favored in lower visibility, and so there is some case for buying a smaller strobe if you only dive in temperate waters.

Conversely, there is justification for buying a larger powered strobe than you need if the coverage is not sufficient for your widest lens (because you will lose output when you put a diffuserA device that increases the effective area of a lightsource i.e. makes it less pointlike. This is usually a piece of opal or translucent plastic that can be fitted to the front of a light source. on). Also, because shooting on less than full power shortens recycle times, it could be a good strategy to buy a more powerful strobe than you actually need to improve recycling. The number of flashes per set of batteries is also correspondingly increased.

There is also a lot to be said for spreading your budget over two strobes rather than one. That way you always have a backup, or can simply use the second one to augment the power of the first. With a second strobe you can 'fill in' the shadows and this is a particularly popular set-up with the professional.

There are one or two other integral features to look for on a strobe. These include modeling lamps (built in torches that usually utilize the same batteries). They are useful to preview coverage but not very effective in daylight conditions. Audible status warning signals can be useful (if you can hear them through your hood!).

All the strobes on the market will do the job, but some will be more suited to your application, and pocket, than others!


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