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Sea and Sea YS-D3 experiences


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I am in the market for a new set of strobes before end of this year (no urgency) as finally one of my YS-D2J has started misbehaving

 

I am looking for medium size high output strobes which currently narrows down to Retra, Sea and Sea and Backscatter own strobe.

The backscatter strobe is the heaviest of all and less portable so I am more interested in the Retra and Sea and Sea. While on paper the retra is heavier the weight reported are with batteries.

Looking at full weight the sea and sea and the retra are very near 100 grams apart. I was going to settle on the retra pro max however after @DreiFish post I have watched the backscatter reviews which are at the level of rigour I trust

 

While the retra have a very wide beam without diffusers the power is only GN22, the recycle times are close to 6 seconds without the booster which makes the booster really necessary and this brings the unit to 1kg. The retra are a bit like keldan lights they work out of the box but the design of the even beam makes the strobe very inefficient so out of the 140 ws you get only GN22

 

the sea and sea Ys-d3 has GN=32 tested so with the supplied diffuser will in fact be more powerful than the retra. It is a cooler strobe but with the diffuser is the same.

Recycle time is 3.7 

Backscatter uses regular eneloop so there is a chance recharge will be faster with pro for both

My take is that unless you are interested in the HSS and the ergonomics of the retra and happy to use the booster the Sea and Sea YS-D3 are better value for money and I can get 4 units with the price of 2 retra

 

Long time ago I did some comparisons between retra pro and ys-d2 and the conclusion was the same. Now after 5 years with the YS-D2J one is passing away and while I am still sourcing a back up unit (I could not be happier with the functionality) I believe I may get the YS-D3 

 

I have read many reviews Mike Bartick and others and unless there is again an issue in reliability the YS-D3 appears very interesting

 

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Been using a D3 for several years now in both tropical and cold water, and generally, it's been a solid strobe. I just had a minor flood in HI a month ago, but a bit of white vinegar to clean out the battery compartment, and a new cap and I'm back in business. Still don't know why it flooded but seems to have only been a partial as the strobe kept firing through the dive.  

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Posted (edited)

I've been a S&S shooter for a long time. 

 

I now shoot a pair of D3 mk2's. I upgraded from Ys-110a's, and love the D3's. 

 

I use the dome diffusers for shooting WA, and there's more than enough light for me, and the snoot or flat diffusers for macro. The snoot works great.

 

Retra's, the new Backscatter hybrid, or the Maralux Apollo 3 all look great, but are significantly more expensive.

Edited by Lewis88
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According to the specs, the YS-D3 dome diffuser loses you 1.5 stops of light. Not sure about the flat diffuser.

 

But effectively, with the dome diffuser it's a GN19 strobe. Half a stop less powerful than the Retras (or about the same as the Retra with the wide diffuser, which drops power by .6 stops and lowers color temperature 500k according to Retra). 

 

That said, the weight is 610g without batteries or 730g with batteries, so they're very light. I wouldn't put them in the same weight class as the Retras, Backscatter HF-1 or Ikelite DS230s. 

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3 hours ago, DreiFish said:

According to the specs, the YS-D3 dome diffuser loses you 1.5 stops of light. Not sure about the flat diffuser.

 

But effectively, with the dome diffuser it's a GN19 strobe. Half a stop less powerful than the Retras (or about the same as the Retra with the wide diffuser, which drops power by .6 stops and lowers color temperature 500k according to Retra). 

 

That said, the weight is 610g without batteries or 730g with batteries, so they're very light. I wouldn't put them in the same weight class as the Retras, Backscatter HF-1 or Ikelite DS230s. 

I compared the backscatter test shots. The dome diffuser is wider than the retra without diffuser while the flat diffuser is comparable. The flat diffuser is 0.5 stops 

In conclusion at similar width the sea and sea are half stop more powerful than the retra pro max this was the same before with the YS-D2J

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53 minutes ago, DreiFish said:

Same coverage and power, but cooler color temperature. I suppose if you filter it warmer, it will match in power output. 

yes 1/8 CTO takes 0.23 stops off still an edge

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16 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

yes 1/8 CTO takes 0.23 stops off still an edge

It starts off at 6600k according to Backscatter tests. Same as the Marelux Apollo 3 I have and measured. So I suspect just like the Marelux, you need the diffuser + 1/4 CTO to get to 4800k, with is 0.5 stops.

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I've now received my YS-D3 and did some initial testing.

 

Guide Number: Measured at ~32 in air. Very similar to Backscatter's underwater test.

Color Temperature: 6100k with no diffuser, 6050k with flat diffuser, and 6000k with dome diffuser. More or less same as Marelux Apollo 3s.

Flash Sync Time: I estimate around 1/500s at full power, (GN32),  1/600s at GN 22; 1/800s at GN16; 1/1500 at GN11

Recycle Times: Can do 12 fps and 6 fps at GN 4 and 3 fps at GN 5.6 (according to strobe setting -- didn't measure actual exposure)

Diffusers: Flat diffuser consumes .5 stops of light; dome diffuser consumes 1.4 stops of light.

 

Edited by DreiFish
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