Sea & Sea YS-D3 Underwater Strobe: Initial Thoughts & Review

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Underwater Strobe: Initial Thoughts & Review

Sea & Sea YS-D3 strobe review

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Underwater Strobe

 

The Sea & Sea YS-D3 strobe is one of the most exciting developments we've had to underwater photographic lighting in years! It is a direct upgrade to the world's most popular underwater strobe - the Sea & Sea YS-D2 J. The YS-D3 will likely fill the same niche the YS-D2J did in its time - it will be a strobe of choice for professional underwater photographers looking for a powerful, reliable strobe with quick recycle times in a compact package. The Sea & Sea YS-D3 is a versatile piece of equipment capable of handling both macro and wide angle scenes, even with the brightest sunballs and most awkward macro angles. 

 

Almost everything about the YS-D3 has been upgraded, from the optical condeser, to the circuitry, to the recycling time. Most notably, there will be a wide range of accessories available for the YS-D3 that will appeal to a wide range of underwater photographers.  

 

Availability: Preorder Now!

U.S. MSRP: $849.95

 

 

 


 

Purchase the Sea & Sea YS-D3 Strobe at Bluewater Photo: 

 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Underwater Strobe

 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Accessories: 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Snoot

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Dome Diffuser

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Slave Prism

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Strobe Diagonal Ball Mount


 

 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Strobe Specifications

 

  • Guide Number (land): 33 (28 with diffuser)
  • Beam Angle: 105 X 80 degrees (without diffuser), 100 and 120 degree diffusers included. Optional 150 degree diffuser available
  • Flash rating: 220 flashes with Ni-MH 4X AA batteries
  • Recycle Time: 1.7 seconds at full power, 0.6 seconds at half power, no recycle time at quarter power
  • Color temp: 5800K, 5500K with diffuser
  • Depth rating: 100m/330 ft
  • Dimensions: 3.6 X 4.4 X 5.8 inches
  • Weight: 610g/21.5 oz (above water), -20g/-0.7oz (underwater)
  • New aspherical troidal lens in flash tube
  • New circuitry
  • Two stage signal - visual audible notification when strobe is ready to fire
  • Pre flash cancel mode
  • More powerful target light
  • Auto power off
  • Over pressure relief valve
  • DS-TTL II, Slave TTL, and Manual modes
  • Compatible with 5-pin sync cord/N and fiber optic cables

 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 vs Sea & Sea YS-D2J

 

In recent years, large improvements to underwater photographic lighting have been far and few between. But DEMA 2019 seemed to bring a flood of cool new underwater lighting systems with substantial benefits. The YS-D3 was no exception. In fact, we can say with confidence than we think the Sea & Sea YS-D3 is a worthy upgrade to the YS-D2J. So what are the main differences?

 

Recylce times at lower powers is the main upgrade that the YS-D3 offers. At half power, the YS-D3 has a recycle time of 0.6 seconds, and there isn't a recycle time at quarter power and below! This can be a huge deal for photographing quick subjects in burst modes. 

 

The YS-D3 also offers improved circuitry and a better beam due to a new aspherical troidal lens in the flash tube that eliminates any hotspots in the beam. The target light's power has been upgraded enough to be a dive light in a time of need. In fact, the target light is 4X as powerful as the target light on the YS-D2. The control knobs have been redesigned and enlarged for better ergonomics, and there is now an audio and visual notification when the strobe is ready to fire. 

 

 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Underwater Strobe Features

 

Solid Construction

 

As with the YS-D2J, the YS-D3 is a solid strobe. It is similar in size to the YS-D2J and is therefor quite compact for it's significant power output. Underwater, it is almost neutral in weight which makes it very compelling to travel and dive with. 

 

The strobe takes 4 AA batteries as its predecessor did. Changing batteries is easy and simple between dives. AA batteries are universal and that can be a huge benefit when you're in a pinch to find a power source. 

 

The knobs on the back panel have been redesigned and enlarged. This will make it easier for divers with big fingers or thick gloves to control the strobe.

 

 

Beam Quality

 

The beam quality of the YS-D3 strobe has seen large improvements. The aspherical optical troidal lens that has been added to the flash tube creates a more even dispersion area. You can expect a smooth, even beam with no hotspots. 

 

 

Recycle Time

 

The recycle time of the YS-D3 at full power is similar to the YS-D2J. However, at lower powers, the strobe really shines due to larger capacity condensers. At a guide number of 22, the recycle time is 0.8 seconds and at a guide number of 16, the strobe will fire continuously! In low light situations this could be revolutionary when shooting fast subjects. Continuous fire power below guide number 16 means you can shoot in burst modes without worrying about your strobes keeping up!

 

Targeting Light

 

The targeting light on the YS-D3 has seen a 4 times increase in power from the YS-D2J. This has been a much needed upgrade as the targeting light has traditionally been rather dim. Now you can even use the D3's targeting light as a dive light! It seems when redesigning the targeting light, Sea & Sea had a purpose in mind... a new snoot! In normal underwater photography, targeting lights aren't that important. But Sea & Sea's new snoot will utilize the targeting light on the YS-D3 to point at subjects and make snooting so much easier.

 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Accessories

 

It's pretty clear to us that when Sea & Sea was designing the YS-D3, they were addressing every concern they've ever heard about their strobes. Many of these concerns were answered in the form of strobe accessories that make our mouths water! We might just be seeing a golden age of innovation for Sea & Sea. Check out some of our favorite accessories for the YS-D3:

 

1. Sea & Sea YS-D3 Snoot - the YS-D3 snoot will allow you to produce dramatic lighting and capture beautiful black backgrounds easily with your YS-D3. It has a prism built in so that the target light of the strobe will easily illuminate the subject. 

 

 

2. Sea & Sea YS-D3 Dome Diffuser - the dome diffuser for the YS-D3 produces a nice, even, 150 degree beam. This is great for wide angle photography, especially with a fisheye lens. 

 

ys-d3 dome diffuser

 

3. Sea & Sea YS-D3 Slave Prism - The slave prism allows the strobe to be triggered remotely without any cords or cables. This is great for backlighting wrecks, caves, and reefscapes.

 

 

4. Sea & Sea YS-D3 Strobe Diagonal Ball Mount - The diagonal ball mount has a 35 degree inclination which minimizes interference between the sync cord and ball mount. 

 

 

Conslusions

The Sea & Sea YS-D3 truly has the potential to change underwater photographic lighting - especially for Sea & Sea users. There's no doubt that it will replace the YS-D2J as the world's most popular strobe. Especially with all the amazing accessories that come with it - like a snoot, dome diffuser, slave prism, and diagonal ball mount. The ultra quick recycle time at lower power will be a huge benefit for photographers that rely on burst shooting. The beam is nice and even with a redesigned flash tube. What more could you ask from a strobe?

 

 


 

Purchase the Sea & Sea YS-D3 Strobe at Bluewater Photo: 

 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Underwater Strobe

 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Accessories: 

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Snoot

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Dome Diffuser

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Slave Prism

Sea & Sea YS-D3 Strobe Diagonal Ball Mount

 


 

 

Learn more here:

https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/

Contact our sales department:

Phone: 310-633-5052

Email: sales@bluewaterphotostore.com