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I thought that I had decided on the S2000 to go with my Canon S90 and Canon case. I am a newbie and based upon many recommendations I called two shops that are recommended on this site. As you can guess one recommended the S2000 and the other the YS-01.
I used the camera and case for a recent trip to Tahiti and got decent but not great results. I am off to Fiji next month and want to try and get at least few shots that are worthy of enlargement for my office. I only go on one or two trips a year and I am still challenged with all of the camera settings.
Would love to hear some suggestions as to which strobe to go with, both are similar in price. Also, does the length of the arms matter dramatically and should I look for one brand of arm vs. another, thanks.
Your question is similar one I posted right after yours, so I look forward to the responses from knowledgeable UW photographers.
Most people here seem to put the two strobes at the same level. I feel that there is one benefit to the Inon strobes that hasn't really been discussed too much. The diffusers on both of these change the color temperature some, but the CT changes less with the Inon strobes (100 degrees shift for the Inon , vs. 350 degrees shift for the S&S).
So, that means you have to do more color correction for consistent color with the S&S product when comparing with and without diffuser shots. If you use two strobes, you'll probably want to use both on or both off, not one of each.
As a photographer, I would choose the Inon for that reason, everything else created equal. However, they may not really be equal systems, and there may be another factor that will tip the choice in another direction.
Since I don't have experience with these yet, I will defer to the experienced photographers on whether this is a real concern. For casual shooting, I doubt it is a concern at all. If you are pretty serious, it may be.
Both are good strobes, and will work well with your system. The S2000 is quite a bit smaller but the YS01 has an aiming light (which I think is mostly useless since you don't normally point your strobe at your subject). As for arms, get ULCS, they will be working fine for your kids in 30 years.
Arm length will depend on distance to your subject. You want to put your strobes about half the distance from the camera that your subject is. If the strobes won't reach on two reasonable length arms, the subject is too far-especially for a lower powered strobe.
Many shooters use one strobe, above the camera. I like two. I don't think you'll notice a real difference in color between the strobes on most shots.
It is important to keep in mind that White balace is effected by the water you are in, the distance from the object, the type of ambient light and how much ambient light and what the camera is using. Even using a white card to manually set the white balance is not a perfect science...the white card would reduce the flash output, which would increase the ration of natural to flash light, and you most likely will not be shooting from exactly the same distance or lighting angle.
Either strobe is nice and should work.
Regarding arms....two schools of thought... the really clear water people and the mud divers. I dive more towards the mud most of the time.
In "chunky" water, you need every help you can get to reduce back scatter. You don't need a diffuser (the water will do it for you)... you do need to get the strobes as far out as you can stand, and point them behind the subject.
Sometimes, in really bad conditions, I have the strobes out and forward..
This was shot last weekend in something around 10 ft or less of vis.. if you look closely, the shadows are almost at the same plane as the image is... but no backscatter:
Note: Ok, not the prettiest of images, but it was all I could find.
As the water gets clearer, the strobes don't need to be as far out...and you just need them off angle, pointed so the strobe's light is just lighting the object.
I use a 5 x 9 set of arms here... and in clear water use a 5 x 5 set of arms (with the tray, that still allows the arms to be more than 2 ft apart.
For arms, I have not found any that are better than these:
The Inon has S-TTL and Sea & Sea has DS-TTL. Does these both work the same way? e.g. relay the pre-flash's pulse length, the camera meters that, then when the onboard flash triggers off, the strobe sends a flash of the same duration?
Are they the only 2 that does this? Everybody uses the word TTL in their strobe.
Optical TTL is always called something different than just TTL (which is electronic). S-ttl and DS-ttl are the same sort of system and work the same way. Have not had the chance to test which works better, but I would expect some slight different in their performance. Both strobe makers have several strobes that have optical TTL (but not all of their stobes).
Typically, there are low cost, manual strobes, Optical TTL strobes and really big TTL strobes. DSLR's tend to need much larger strobes than P & S Camera's due to having a wide range of F stops, while P&S camera tend to have a very small range and usually fairly fast lens....so while one can use an optical TTL with an DSLR, optical TTL is typically the land of P & S cameras. With S&S, for example, the YS110a sort of bridges the gap between the two systems and also has optical TTL (or as they call it DS-TTL) Inon has several different size S-TTL. The olympus strobes are both optical TTL strobe (which only work on Olympus or Panasonic cameras). I am sure there are others.