DS230 Strobes in the Red Sea with the Nikon Z7 II and D850

DS230 Strobes in the Red Sea with the Nikon Z7 II and D850

In between Truk Lagoon and the cenote diving in Mexico, Ambassador Brandi Mueller stopped by to dive with the All Star Liveaboards crew in the Red Sea. She put her new DS230 strobes through the paces shooting both macro and wide angle with her trusty Nikon D850 DSLR and new Nikon Z7 II full-frame mirrorless. 

There are a few things that make the DS230 strobes particularly well suited for full-frame shooting.

Quality of Light

Most underwater strobes feature straight-line flashtubes. A flashtube is what we call the "bulb" that emits the flash on a strobe- it's typically visible through the clear front lens. Straight bulbs predictably emit narrow, a rectangular field of light with a sharp fall-off. This type of light has to be diffused to eliminate the risk of dark bands across your image. A diffuser evens out the image but will cut your light output by one f/stop or more.

The round, circular flashtube of the DS230 and custom reflector is inherently wider with natural diffusion around the edges so that there will be no dark banding regardless of strobe placement within the frame. This eliminates the need for a diffuser even when shooting your widest lenses.

Rapid Firing Capabilities

Professional grade cameras like the D850 and Z7 II have great burst shooting rates and cameras are only getting faster and faster. The oscillator circuitry of the DS230 has been completely redesigned from the ground up to reduce the time it takes the flash capacitors to recharge and be ready for the next shot.

When combined with the low-impedance rechargeable battery pack used for the DS230 - the same as our DS160 series - the DS230 is capable of keeping up with high frame rates that are critical when shooting subjects like rays, turtles, sharks, dolphins, and anything that's moving quickly underwater. These are the situations where no strobe running on AA cells will be capable of keeping up.

Color Temperature

When shooting wide angle, flash color temperature affects colors in both the foreground and the background of your image. The DS230 color temperature has been refined for the deeply saturated blue backgrounds and bright, natural tones in both underwater and human subjects. 

The Results

The DS230's are up for any situation and any camera system and will be in Brandi's gear bag for many years to come. Keep scrolling to see some first picks from her early results.

Did you receive your DS230 strobes yet? Send us your photos!

All photos copyright © 2022 Brandi Mueller 

Brandi Mueller 2935

1/250 • f/8 • ISO 250 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller 2961

1/200 • f/16 • ISO 250 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller Crab

1/200 • f/16 • ISO 250 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller Coral and Fish

1/125 • f/7.1 • ISO 250 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller Macro

1/200 • f/20 • ISO 200 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller Z7 Fish

1/200 • f/6.3 • ISO 125 © Brandi Mueller  


Brandi Mueller Fish Profile

1/200 • f/13 • ISO 125 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller Z7 Blue

1/200 • f/10 • ISO 125 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller Reef Vertical

1/160 • f/11 • ISO 320 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller Spirals

1/200 • f/20 • ISO 125 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller Diver Reef

1/125 • f/10 • ISO 250 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


Brandi Mueller Pink Reef

1/125 • f/9 • ISO 250 © 2022 Brandi Mueller 

Copyright Brandi Mueller Ikelite DS230 Strobe Nikon Z7

1/200 • f/18 • ISO 200 © 2022 Brandi Mueller


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Brandi Mueller ProfileAmbassador Brandi Mueller has been nursing an addiction to WWII wrecks for years now. She fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a Marine Biologist, then set off to travel the world exploring and teaching underwater photography.  She published The Airplane Graveyard in 2018 documenting the history of wrecks photographed during her years in Kwajalein Atoll. She moved on to captain the MV Truk Odyssey in 2019 and we're never quite sure where she'll turn up next. Read more...





Additional Reading

The Next Generation of Professional Underwater Strobes

The Airplane Graveyard by Ambassador Brandi Mueller

Why You Need Strobes Underwater

Nikon Z7 Full Frame Mirrorless Underwater Photos

Macro Close-Up Underwater Camera Settings

Tropical Reef Underwater Camera Settings


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