In new ongoing series S.U.P.E.R. (Scubaverse’s Underwater Photography Equipment Reviews), Nick and Caroline Robertson Brown from Frogfish Photography will be reviewing new underwater photography equipment, general diving equipment, and some older favourites too.
For the first instalment of S.U.P.E.R., Nick and Caroline will be looking at an iconic strobe from INON; the Z-240.
Someone once told me, when I was first starting out in underwater photography, that the best strobe to buy is the one you will not want to – or have to – replace anytime soon. They are an important piece of underwater photography equipment that requires a significant financial commitment, and you want to get the best quality strobes that you can afford right from the start.
We each have two INON Z-240 strobes, a couple of which have been in our service for close to 8 years, and we have never regretted going for these excellent strobes. They are intuitive to use, with easy controls to adjust just the amount of light you want when in manual mode. The sensitive light sensor also means that they can be used off-camera as a remote slave strobe for some more experimental lighting techniques. A set of good AA batteries (we prefer high power Eneloops) will makes these strobes last for 3 dives without any trouble. But the best thing about them is that they are reliable. We have never had a fault occur, even though they are treated rather roughly and have now done hundreds of photography dives.
The INON Z-240 has a guide number of 24, making it a strobe that has a really good amount of burn time/power for its price. It offers a 100 degree circular beam without a diffuser and a 110 degree beam with the supplied -0.5 or -1.5 diffuser. You can also get colour temperature conversion filters that fit easily on the front. Other interesting accessories include snoots to pinpoint your light source and a neoprene cover to protect the strobe and make it more buoyant. We love the quick recycling time of this strobe. The website quotes a 1.6 second recycle time at full power, but the reality is much better than this, with the strobe firing much more quickly at lower powers. The strobe also has an LED focus light which turns off as the strobe fires, which can help focusing in darker conditions and also is useful when modelling for other photographers. Again, for the price and the power, this is a lightweight and compact strobe that makes it our choice when travelling overseas and trying to stay within a tight baggage allowance. It has also proved to be tough enough to cope with some of the UK’s most challenging conditions.
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