S.U.P.E.R. Part 1: INON Z-240 Strobe Review


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.

Frogfish 2

Technical Spec

Frogfish 3Frogfish 4The 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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Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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