Strobe for Sale…it’s TRUE!

That’s right folks, now is your chance to own a piece of history… Kelli’s strobe! Ha, as if I were that popular. But seriously, I am in fact selling my gently used Inon Z240 Type 4 strobe. This strobe was great, awesome, powerful and easy to use, the only reason I’m upgrading is I’m using the new Sea & Sea strobe with my job at Bluewater, and I hate to see my poor little Inon Strobe wasting away in storage. This baby wants to go diving!

Here’s the details:

Gently used Inon.. if you love reading my blog (and c’mon who doesn’t?!) you’d know I purchased it Feb 2011, so its practically still new! I was mostly teaching last year, so its only been used on a handful of trips and still looks great. It has a few cosmetic tiny scratches on the outside casing from use.

Brand new the strobe is $800.

To make things even better I’m including all the accessories, spare o-rings, grease AND the Inon fiber optic cable ($80), Ultralight Control Systems Inon adapter ($25) and a fantastic large red knob ($25) that makes it easy to adjust the strobe underwater.

Total for the package would be: $930

I’m asking a measly $700. That’s basically like getting $100 off and all the accessories for FREE!

If you’re interested please just leave a comment, or shoot me an email: kelnkelp@gmail.com

Now for Pictures:

Pea Soup.

Saturday morning, I excitedly drove down to Long Beach to board the Sundiver Express bound for the oil rigs, one of my favorite places to dive in Southern California. As I’ve mentioned previously (here) the rigs are unique because of their three dimensionality. There’s no bottom, and the entire structure is covered with life, so you can dive along, across, up, down and around each beam and support. I’ve been on two trips previously, both of which were fantastic with great visibility, and calm seas. As we motored out to the rigs, the day appeared to be just like before, the sun was shining and the sea was flat as a pancake. Unfortunately, once we’d plunged off the boat and into the water, we discovered that the ocean was not going to be as clear as the cloudless sky. There was a ton of crap floating along, mucking up the visibility and choking out all the light at depth. Unfortunate, but not the end of the world.

This was my first real chance to use my new strobe that I had recently purchased, so regardless of the viz, I was eager to test it out. Overall the strobe worked beautifully…it fired properly, and I found that by loosening my clamps a bit I could easily move and reposition the strobe as needed. The auto focus on the camera can still be finicky, especially in the low light we had at depth, and when using the close up lens I discovered that there is a pretty small window of focus available which can make it trickier to get the focus locked. However I feel that with time, I’ll get better at it. Despite having some focus trouble in the beginning I really do love the new close up lens, the shorter depth of field really helps your subject pop out in the picture, and the ability to get a more true macro is fantastic.

The upper 50′ of the Eureka rig had been stripped last August when I last dove the oil rigs, but slowly life is starting to come back. One little critter than has come back and is thriving are the Hermissenda crassicornis, a beautiful and easily identifiable opalescent nudibranch with brown and orange cerata covering its back. Its got two oral tentacles that extend like probes off the front, and of course the two rhinophores that stick up like rabbit ears on the top of its head. Between the two rhinophores is a bright orange stripe that runs the length of its body bordered by an electric blue stripe on either side. These guys were everywhere, which made exploring the stripped section of the oil rig rather exciting. I also came across two other nudi’s; a San Diego Dorid (who had his head stuck into some coral making him impossible to photograph well, and a couple¬†Triopha maculate, though none of my shots came out in focus.

The second dive, while still fairly poor visibility, was really a trip. There were a group of sea lions lounging on the rig near where the boat dropped us off, and apparently our group was very exciting. Throughout the entire dive we had several sea lions diving down and around us before darting back up to the surface. It was fantastic and aggravating at the same time. They were great to see, and fun to watch, but trying to get a picture of one is darn near impossible because of the speed. Half the time they were gone before I even had a chance to move the camera, and more often my camera would not focus in time. I did manage (mostly luck I’m sure) to snap one shot in focus as a sea lion zoomed towards me.

His large, comical eyes are nicely in focus and he’s staring right at the camera. Add in a bit of a current wanting to pull us all off the rig structure and out into the sea made for a bit of a struggle when trying to keep the camera steady and pull of some macro shots.

Despite the poor viz, as always diving the oil rigs was a blast, and I thoroughly enjoyed practicing with my new set up. I’m really looking forward to more chances to hone my skills and start to really improve my photography skills now that I have the gear that will allow me to do so! Here’s to many more posts with better and better photography as the year progresses!

Exciting Times Ahead.

Around Christmas time I took some of my hard earned scuba instruction cash and bought myself a nice new fancy camera. Finally taking the leap away from basic point and shoot, but not quite ready to plunge into the depths of dSLR, primarily due to costs… I picked up the Olympus EPL-1, the latest (at the time…) of their PEN series camera and the associated Olympus OEM housing. I played around with the camera a bit over the holidays while home, and dry in Phoenix and was quite happy with the results. The results were definitely a step up from my good old point and shoot, noticeably better in resolution and the color settings. The camera handled lower light better than a point and shoot, and all in all it was easy to use, easy to get comfortable with.

I plunged into the ocean for the first time with camera and housing for the January Wreck Weekend with Eco Dive Center. We traveled down to dive off the wreck of the Yukon, and I took the new PEN down with me. I had no strobes yet, and new that headed deep into the California water meant that I was going to run into some problems…low light means difficulty focusing and having to push to a very high ISO resulting in lots of grain in the images. I could not get it to whitebalance at depth because of the lack of light down there, but it worked well around 50 feet. The video I shot in the previous post was with the PEN, and overall I’m happy with it, no video lights or nothing it worked pretty well. I was able to get off several decent shots, especially happy that even with the lack of light, I could shoot wide open and get a high enough f/stop to actually get photos in focus! (Not to mention how excited I am to be able to pick and choose aperture and shutter speed…its been a long time my friends).

Now that some time has passed, I’ve taught a little more, got a small bonus at work and helped out with writing some blurbs for the dive shop’s website I suddenly found myself rolling in the dough. With that burning a hole in my pocket I sprang into action, and after some research at a couple places, and trying to decide if it would be worth it to wait a couple weeks and order overseas to save about $50 (and deciding it would not be) I placed an order with BackScatter.com for the next step to my set up! Hopefully within the next week I’ll find a lovely box in the mail complete with an Ultralight tray and arm set up to attach my new Inon Z240 strobe and the Olympus macro adaptor and a nice new Inon close up lens. The great thing with the design of the Olympus housing, is that this lens will thread onto the adaptor, then I can easily pop the adaptor on and off the housing while diving, creating a very versatile system offering a near wide angle ability (lens starts at 14mm…which is not really that wide, but its still better than my point and shoot!) with a quick switch to macro capabilities.

I’m very excited for this new system, and was impressed with BackScatter’s level of service, Craig my salesperson was very knowledgeable, and helped me make a couple decisions that will allow the extra flexibility and save money (like picking up the macro adapter, vs waiting to buy a newer and more expensive macro lens that Olympus will be releasing later). Of course, he also talked me into getting the next strobe up from what I was originally looking at, going with the Z240 over the D-2000…because purely, it has more power, and I will be happier with it in the long run. Also important, the strobe will allow me to grow, and if I do ever decide to pick up an SLR, that strobe will work well and provide the power I will want with a higher end camera. Craig also included an underwater photography book, valued at $40 for free, because he said it was a good book and that I would probably find it useful. Here’s hoping, and thanks!

I should hopefully receive my gear sometime next week, which will be right in time to be real smart and test it out on a nice advanced, deep dive! I’m off to the oil rigs again on Saturday February 12th and can’t wait to see if I can finally get a few decent pics of some of the rig structure and macro of the amazing abundance of corals and anemones, brittle stars and countless fish that reside on the rigs. Wish me luck, and check back for my results in a few weeks!!