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e-pl2/pt-ep03 strobe, tray/arm and other options for a budget newbie?

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by thespoons, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. thespoons

    thespoons Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Minnesota, U.S.A.
    71
    14
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    I've been reading thread after thread here and am quite overwhelmed. I have an e-pl2 and a pt-ep03 housing on the way. I'm looking to get a tray/arm and a strobe. I'm just getting started in serious underwater photography (last trip was a disposable) but I can't afford to drain the bank account this year. I need to ease into it and start out with the basics. I'd love stuff like the Zen dome, the wet macro, the nice strobes and focus lights, etc. But that's going to have to be a multi-year project since it's OUR bank account and not MY bank account. :wink:

    So I'm hoping some of the nice folks here might want to give me some suggestions on what to start out with for a tray/arm and a strobe. We're vacation divers, as we live in Minnesota and my wife doesn't do cold water or wrecks. That means until we hit the jackpot we're likely to get at most one scuba trip a year. Last time we went to Bonaire and plan to go again many times in the future. This year it's going to be Key Largo, though.

    I cringe to say this, but I'm trying to get the tray/arm/strobe all for under $500. Hell, under $400 would make the marital sales pitch much more feasible. Is that even remotely possible? I want to get stuff that will work for now but may also be stepping stones in the future. It'd be best not to buy something that is a dead end. But, again, I don't know if that's even possible on a budget.

    What do you folks think?
     
  2. SEMO Scuba

    SEMO Scuba Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cape Girardeau MO
    256
    38
    28
  3. coralcruiser

    coralcruiser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chandler, Arizona
    874
    42
    28
    You should also check out the classifieds on wetpixels.com , your local craiglist and ebay.
     
  4. thespoons

    thespoons Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Minnesota, U.S.A.
    71
    14
    0
    Thanks, folks. I've been watching my local craiglist for a while and nothing has come up.

    Otherwise, the problem with ebay and even the classifieds here is that there's a staggering amount of stuff out there and I just don't know what to buy. So overwhelmed.

    That Sea & Sea YS-27DX Strobe and Fiber Optic Cable looks like it might be part of what I'd need. Do you think that'd be a good intro single strobe? Would the S&S YS-02 one be significantly better? Can you use these with most any tray/arm? Still struggling to find a good budget one for that. Not much luck at the classifieds here.

    Also, we're leaving at the beginning of August so I'm in a bit of a time crunch.
     
  5. chile7236

    chile7236 Instructor, Scuba

    1,329
    118
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    i think the YS-02 has a wider beam on it....i'd go for a single YS02 over a single YS27DX. however, the YS27DX is a pretty good strobe...especially when they can be had for a steal. FYI, i am selling a YS02, if interested :wink:
     
  6. thespoons

    thespoons Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Minnesota, U.S.A.
    71
    14
    0
    Thanks again. Okay, I'm pondering those two strobes since both seem to work with the e-pl2. And I'm looking at this tray:

    Inon Grip Base D4 w/2 arms - $125

    Looks like to me I can take one arm off and just use that right now, but have the second arm when I want to bump up and use a focus light or two strobes. It also seems to work with the pt-ep03 housing if you use the settings suggested here:
    http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/olympus-outlet/374873-what-tray-pt-ep03.html

    Hey, that one's by you again, chile! :D Can you take a look at that thread and see if what fins said make sense for what you're selling?

    So $125 for that, either $250+$15 shipping for the YS-27DX or $300+? shipping for the YS02, and maybe this flex arm for the strobe?
    Fantasea #3040 30CM 12" Flexible Arm
    for $25

    chile - would that arm fit on the grip you're selling? I'm so clueless about this stuff but trying to learn one step at a time.

    I know some people recommend against flex arms, but it seems like the non-flex ones are quite a bit more pricey. Feel free to point out some that aren't if I'm missing them.

    But it looks like maybe it's coming together and I might be able to get it all without breaking the bank.
     
  7. chile7236

    chile7236 Instructor, Scuba

    1,329
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    I wouldn't recommend the inon D4 base since you'd really have to crank the mount screw to keep the camera from shifting. I use the M1 base for my EPT01 housing and it is much better. Check with optical ocean sales, they have some nice tray options.
     
  8. coralcruiser

    coralcruiser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chandler, Arizona
    874
    42
    28
    I also recommend calling Jack's store (optical ocean sales) as well. He has good pricing on tray/arms setups and can help you make a good decision, especially since you want the system to grow with you.
     
  9. thespoons

    thespoons Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Minnesota, U.S.A.
    71
    14
    0
    Thanks again. And thanks chile for the honest answer even though it botched your sale. :D

    I checked out optical ocean and I like this package:
    Nano S-Tray Lighting Set - Lighting Packages - Optical Ocean Sales Underwater Photo - 800-359-1295!

    However, I looked around on SB and found a laluz 800 lumen video/focus light for $200. I think I might combine that with the aforementioned YS27DX for $219 and just get the basic tray/arms from OO for $207:
    S-Tray & Arm Set 1 - Trays, Arms, Handles & Clamps - Optical Ocean Sales Underwater Photo - 800-359-1295!

    So that would put me at probably a bit under $700 after tax and shipping. A bit more than I was looking to spend (isn't that always what you wind up with?) but the video-level focus light is a big part of that. I'd like to do occasional video with the e-pl2 so that would be very nice to have already this trip. And it sounds like I'd be getting some great starter kit for that price.

    (FYI, I PMed Jack to get his thoughts.)
     
  10. chile7236

    chile7236 Instructor, Scuba

    1,329
    118
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    no worries on the botched sale...hope you get it all pieced together soon.
     

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