Inon D-180 Strobe
Inon D180 Strobe is a purpose designed medium power strobe (GN
18)for digital cameras. It features a "focus" light and dual flash
heads built in to the face to give a more even coverage. The focus
light automatically shuts off when the shutter is fired.
basic design philosophy is to slave from the cameras internal flash
taking into account the "pre-flash" techniques used by many digital
cameras to calculate exposure. This allows it to synchronize
properly with the camera shutter. The strobe head has its own built
in light/flash meter and quenches the flash after it has calculated
the appropriate exposure. The photographer does have to dial in the
aperture setting from the camera.
Alternatively, you can set the camera on manual output ( full, half,
quarter) whilst still getting the synchronization correct. I tend to
use this and set the power of the internal flash to minimum - it
still triggers the strobe and has no effect on the exposure anyway
Lastly, you can deactivate the pre-flash recognition circuitry if
your camera doesn't use it in the mode you are shooting.
The unit takes normal AA batteries (4) and I have found that good
rechargeables are more than adequate for a double boat dive and my
trigger happy fingers.
slave sensor is on the base of the strobe. I have found that it is
quite sensitive as is, but needs the fibre-optic connector to
ensure firing in all conditions. I have had one problem with this
set-up. After the first 20 dives, a screw came loose from the base
of the fibre-optic connector. Luckily, it comes with a spare and now
I check all screws before each trip. I don't know if this is a
common problem or not.
I have also added the Inon diffuser to my strobe for close up work.
I found that there was quite a bit of "flare" when shooting bright
subjects - like white nudibranchs. The diffuser has changed this for
In association with the connector, Inon recommend and supply their
"clear photo system". Essentially it is a recognition that
back-scatter is a major problem with compact digital cameras
internal flashes. However, you need the internal flash to fire to
trigger the strobe. The solution is to cover the internal flash with
a filter that removes visible light but still fires the strobe via
non-visible wavelengths. Back scatter solved. NOW I am not sure that
Inon can take the credit for this! It was mentioned in several
forums on the web long before I saw Inon's system. It turns out that
developed/unexposed transparency film has the same filtration
characteristics and I have also used this with great success.
I would like to acknowledge MARK RUPERT of
who has supplied English translations of all the Inon manuals. His
help to the underwater digital community is greatly appreciated.
Full manuals are available at the
- Purpose designed strobe for digital cameras.
- Works without a hot shoe.
- Even coverage thanks to "T" shaped design
- Compact yet powerful enough.
- Multiple function modes make the transition to
- Focus or "modelling" light a great value.
- Limited manual settings if you don't use the inbuilt
- Not a lot else