I have my digicam in a housing, what now? A guide to strobe selection

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Senior Member
May 6, 2003
A friend asked me this question and this is also one of the most popular question in this forum. Hence I hv decided to reproduce my email reply below:

For Olympus (Oly), there are 2 categories of strobes u can choose, E-TTL capable and Manual.

Under the E-TTL capable - Ikelite (Ike) digital strobes with Ikelite syn cords, Ikelite digital strobes with Ike wireless digital TTL slave sensor ( I have 1 to sell ;) ); and housed Oly flashes with Oly syn cords.

Under manual - Ikelite digital strobes with Ike manual controllers; Sea&Sea DX strobes, Inon, Epoque and Sunpak via fibre optic cables.

E-TTL Capable
Personally, I don't recommend housed Oly flashes and I will not talk about them. They are flashes for land use and has limited use underwater.

Ike has cracked the E-TTL and they are able to offer TTL capability with their digital strobes. However, this can only be achieved via their digital syn cord and housing. U cannot get TTL with Ike syn cord with an Oly housing. For that, u have to connect the strobes to the Ike digital wireless sensors. 1 strobe to 1 senor. The downside for this is that the sensor can pick up any flash in the vicinity and trigger the strobe as well. Also, u need the digicam to fire a full flash each time to activate the wireless TTL sensor, causing a drain on your batteries.

Manual Strobes
These strobes are triggered by means of a slave flash via the manual controller or fibre optic cable. Unlike TTL, they don't req a full flash to fire from the camera. Hence if your camera has a slave function, you should activate that. By setting it to minimum, it will save your batteries. Intensity of the strobe power is controlled via the Ike manual controller (for Ike digital strobes) or power setting knobs on the other brands. It is a simple knob for you to turn to set the power settings.. Hence it's like take a pic, review, increase (or decrease) power setting to desired and fire again.

Other brands of digicams can also be paired with the manual strobes.


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