Hey divers! We are super excited about some of the new photography gear that just came into the shop, and we wanted to share some of that excitement with all of you!
The new Mini Flash 2 from Backscatter is on the top of our list of cool new toys. This strobe is a macro photographer's dream light for getting those shots of nudis and other small critters. To go along with the strobe, Backscatter has two accessories that are really exciting as well:
- The Muck stick has some neat applications with a GoPro to get long time lapses and can pair with the strobe to give you new ways to light up a subject.
- While the Optical Snoot OS-1 takes the strobe up another level, giving you amazing control over how you light your macro subjects.
All three products come together to give you amazing control over light and allow you to take your creativity to another level. Let's do a deep dive with each of these products to see what all the fuss is about.
Backscatter Mini Flash 2
As you know, light is one of the most important aspects of underwater photography. Getting the lighting just right can make or break your photo. If you're looking to elevate your photos to the next level, you need a strobe; but when you are taking macro photos, it can be difficult to light the subject up without lighting up the whole area when using a traditional strobe. This is where Backscatter's new strobe comes in.
The Mini Flash 2 has made taking amazing macro photos and lighting up subjects easier than ever. A huge upgrade from the original Mini Flash, the Mini Flash 2 is changing the game for macro photography. With tons of new features and performance upgrades, including:
- Olympus TTL
- remote strobe control
- high-speed sync
- test mode
- emergency signaling capability
- a faster recycle time
- LED lights that are twice as bright as the previous model
This travel friendly, lightweight macro lighting system is the easiest to use and highest performing strobe and snoot combination we have seen on the market. This makes it perfect for your up-and-coming underwater photographer or your old salts in the field of photography. The 2 features we are going to look at closely are the built-in focus light and the new Optical Snoot OS-1. These 2 features make taking macro photos beginner friendly than it has ever been before.
In the past, finding out where your macro flashes were pointed would require separate focus lights, which meant more batteries, more gear and more hassle. The Mini Flash 2 takes care of this with a built-in focus light. The 1000 Lumen focus light allows you to easily see the location and shape of the flash when it fires. Even with a snoot on and in shallow bright conditions, you can easily see the focus light and tell where the flash will be firing. Reducing your guess work and knowing how your image will come out makes photography so much easier.
Optical Snoot OS-1
Speaking of the snoot, aiming a light with a snoot used to be an art that took lots of practice to master. You can get amazing photos using a snoot, and that is likely how many of the macro photos you love on instagram are taken, but the difficulty of use is often a barrier of entry.
The new Optical Snoot OS-1 that you can pair with the Mini Flash 2 solves that issue and makes aiming simple. Small in size and easy to snap on and off, the OS-1 allows you to change it up on the fly and easily carry it in your BCD pocket or clip it off.
There are multiple adjustments for size and shape of the aperture, so you can easily find the combination that works for your subject. The built in focus light of the Mini Flash 2 works through the OS-1, making aiming it and knowing how the subject will be lit up simple and intuitive.
The combination of the snoot and miniflash 2 is compact and lightweight. This makes it perfect for folks with compact cameras looking to keep things small and manageable or with SLR and advanced mirrorless folks looking to simplify the size of their rig. No matter what setup you are shooting, I am sure you will love this combination.
One of the features that we find amazing about the Mini Flash 2 is the wireless firing capabilities, and this is where the Muck Stick shines. Combining two Mini Flash 2s and the muck stick allows you to position a strobe where you would like and whatever angle you want, then remotely trigger that flash or change the power of the remote strobe. Positioning the strobe on a muck stick and then moving away to take the photos leads to less silt in your shot and less chance of scaring away shy subjects, allowing you to get the perfect photo. The possibilities are endless.
The muck stick itself has a whole bunch of other cool things you could do with it as well. I am excited to put a GoPro on a muck stick and leave it watching a piece of reef we will come back to. You can capture shy critters or interactions between animals that might not happen when you are around. There are a ton of creative options for the muck stick, far more than we can come up with.
As you can see there are a lot of things to be excited about with this new gear. The Mini Flash 2, Optical Snoot OS-1 and the Muck Stick combine to give you the ultimate flexibility and capability to express yourself creatively in photography, but each piece individually has great uses. If you want to snag any of these pieces of equipment, visit our online store here or stop by the shop anytime.
If you want to read more about the technical capabilities of this strobe, check out the article from Backscatter themselves here.
Have fun shooting out there, photographers! When you get those great shots, send them on over to us or tag us @blueplanetdc. We would love to see them and even feature them as the Photo of the Week in our email newsletter! We want to highlight the great photographers in our local community.