I have been using the Seaflash 250TTL strobes for over two years now. In fact, all my D2X underwater images have been made with these strobes. But still I wanted to write a review. I am maybe a bit biased, because I am a big fan of the Seacams and it’s not a no laboratory test. But I think the result of the test will show how good they are for wide angle and how well the TTL performs.
The main reason for the test is because I wanted to check if the TTL of the strobes is working as well as Nikons SB800 system strobe. I do some exposure compensation while using the strobes in TTL, mostly +1/3 of +2/3. I do this just to get the histogram as far to the right as possible. I noticed that I needed to do this compensation many times, which made me wonder if the TTL is working as good as it is supposed to be. I would think that little exposure compensation would be needed. That is why I tested the Seaflash 250TTL strobes against Nikons SB800.
The Seaflash 250TTL is built from the ground up. The internals are completely digital. Bugs in the strobe can and have been solved by software upgrades. This makes, in my eyes, the Seaflash unique. Probably almost all other vendors are using adapters to modify their electronics in order to make it work with modern digital cameras. The Seaflash is digitally programmed to work with Nikon and Canon digital cameras. The Seaflash supports most of the functions a “normal” topside strobe has. The pilot light of the strobe for example is lit in dark conditions in order to make the autofocus work better. It is worth a test to see if this new approach from Seacam is working well in the lab and in the field (or under water).
The Seacam strobe has two bulbs. The big one is used for wide angel photography. The small bulb has a higher color temperature (almost alike the SB800 from Nikon) and will mostly be used for closeup photography. The back of the strobe holds a display that displays the output after a flash in percentages relative to the maximum output of the strobe.
Two strobes can be used together in TTL when they are connected through a piece of electronics that is placed inside the underwater housing. In that case you have one master and one slave strobe. The master strobe determines the output of the slave when used in TTL. But this is also the case when the strobes are used in manual mode. I mostly set the slave strobe in TTL (which will display A on the display). I then set the manual output that I need on the master strobe. That will automatically set the manual output of the slave unit. I love this when I am taking wide angle images with the strobes, because I need both strobes to have the same output when I am using a fisheye lens; at least most of the times.
The bigger bulb can be used without the protection ring on front of the strobe. That way you get a 114 degrees output.
I mostly use the smaller bulb in combination with the protection ring. This way you get a much smaller output angle, which is great for macro.
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