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First Look: Underwater Photos With Sea & Sea YS-D1 Strobes
By Matt J. Weiss, May 7, 2012 @ 04:33 PM (EST)

Keri Wilk and I recently took a trip to the cenotes and brought along some new gear, including two of the first Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes. I've been a long time users of Sea & Sea strobes and for obvious reasons was eager to get these in the water. 

While these images are perhaps not the best test shots to demonstrate the relative power of the strobe - a full review is coming in two weeks after we really put them through the paces in Fiji - we definitely got a sense how they perform, and the images demonstrate what they are capable of.

Some initial, "pre-review" thoughts below, but suffice it to say we were impressed with the small strobes power output.

  • D1 seems to be more diffuse than the YS250 without the diffuser, probably because the front of the strobe is "frosted".
  • Difference in coverage and power almost seems negligible
  • Smaller form factor and weight makes it nicer to travel with than most strobes of similar power
  • Diffuser didn't always cooperate, falling off sometimes, but the lanyard included with the strobe eliminated the fear of losing it.
  • Power switch was a little too easy to turn, so when adjusting strobe position, extra care had to be given to not make unwanted adjustments to the shooting mode (OFF, Single Flash Mode, Pre-Flash Mode, TTL).


F/10, 1/125, ISO400 - The D1's really make the turtle stand out!



Shooting into the sun requires maxing out the camera's sync speed, and significantly narrowing the aperture, so lots of strobe light is needed to achieve a balanced image. The D1s had enough juice to do exactly that, even with diffusers installed as with these shots

  F/14, 1/320, ISO200 -strong strobes were needed to light the plants that fade into the background

The YS-D1 strobes easily light smaller subjects, like this turtle which would be a black silhouette if they were off -F/22, 1/250, ISO 200



F/22, 1/250, ISO 200 - the strobes made the the beautiful pink lily's glow, even with the f-stop and shutter speed maxed out


Shooting at the surface for reflections with D1's

f/14, 1/250, ISO 200


1/125, F9, ISO 200


When purchasing underwater photography equipment like the product mentioned in this article, please support DPG by supporting our retail partner -- Backscatter.com.







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