Choosing Strobes for a Compact Fiber Optic System

The most popular basic set-up for connecting a strobe to a fiber optic system requires four components:

  • DS51 Strobe # 4044.1
  • Fiber Optic Converter # 4401.1
  • Fiber Optic Coiled Cord # 4501
  • Flex Arm # 4087.21

Ikelite DS Strobes

Upgrade your DS strobe

The DS51 strobe is the most popular choice for compact camera systems. It's very compact, lightweight, and accepts AA batteries. The brightness and angle of coverage are great for any compact system and perfect for macro photography with a professional grade interchangeable lens system.

If you're thinking about upgrading to a DSLR or full frame mirrorless camera in the future, you may consider investing in a DS160 or DS161 strobe. Thanks to their round flash tubes and special reflectors, these strobes represent the best light quality among underwater strobes. Powerful rechargeable NiMH batteries provide true rapid firing far faster than strobes powered by AA batteries. The DS161 is the same strobe as the DS160, except that the DS160's modeling light is replaced by a 500 lumen diffused light for spotting and macro video.

Each strobe needs its own Fiber Optic Converter and Fiber Optic Cord.

Ikelite Arm Systems

Upgrade your strobe arm

The Flex Arm is the lightest and most affordable option for connecting a strobe to your system. True to its name, the arm provides a good degree of flexibility and can be added to inexpensively. The Flex Arm supports the DS51 strobe only. A DS160 or DS161 strobe requires an aluminum ball joint arm.

There are several key advantages to upgrading to an aluminum ball joint arm. The most significant advantage is that aluminum arms provide lots of additional mounting point locations for the attachment of accessories including video lights and Lens Holders.

Ball joint arms like the Compact Ball Arm provide a greater degree of reticulation compared to flex components, so it's easier to make fine adjustments to your light positioning. Aluminum construction makes ball joint arms much stronger; necessary for adding accessories or when shooting professional grade strobes like the DS160 or DS161.

An extra long strobe arm is essential for reducing backscatter and providing even lighting when shooting wide angle. Aluminum ball arms can be extended farther from the housing than flex arms. Ball arms are available in extended configurations, like the Wide Angle Ball Arm, or can be added to later.

Already have a fiber optic cord?

The fiber optic ports found on our housings are consistent with those used by SEA&SEA housings and strobes, Olympus housings and strobes, and certain Nauticam housings. INON strobes use a different connection method which requires their proprietary connector. For the best signal transmission, we recommend a high quality multi-core fiber optic cord.

Ikelite fiber optic ports accept the following cables:

  • Ikelite Fiber Optic Coiled Cord # 4501
  • INON Optical D Cable "Non-wireless type" L-Connector
  • SEA&SEA Fiber Optic Cable (L-type) # 50107
  • SEA&SEA Fiber Optic Cable II # 50128
  • Olympus UW Fiber Optic Cable PTCB-E02
  • Nauticam Optical Fiber Cable # 26211 Nauticam to INON
  • Nauticam Optical Fiber Cable # 26212 Nauticam to SEA&SEA

Why Ikelite?

Our strobes are designed from inside to out specifically for underwater photography. We are the only underwater strobe which is 100% made in the USA by experienced divers. Our staff is easily accessible for any advice and support you need.