Strobe comparison - Sea & Sea YS-110 vs Inon Z240

Strobe comparison test

Inon Z240 versus Sea & Sea Ys-110


There are many strobe qualities important to the underwater photographer, such as coverage, color temp, size, recycle time and strength - usually measured with a guide number.


I suspected my Inon strobe was stronger than my S&S Ys110, but I wanted to test it to see exactly what the difference was.




underwater strobes

This is what my test showed:

  • With diffusers on, the Z240 is 1.5 stops stronger than the YS-110
  • With diffusers off, the Z240 is 1 stop stronger than the YS-110
  • The Inon .5 white diffuser reduced the strobe strength by (big surprise here) .5 stops.
  • The Sea & Sea diffuser reduced the strobe strength by 1 stop.


It's important to define the size of the area the strobe is lighting up. Strobes can be strong in the center, with falloff on the edges. 


In this test, I lit up an area about 12 inches wide. I might do some more tests lighting up a much larger area, similar to what I would take with my fisheye lens. I'd also like to test color temp.


Other differences:

  • Although the Inon is smaller, the difference is not that significant.
  • Both take 4AA batteries and have a similar color temperature. They are both considered "cooler" strobes. Strobes like Ikelite  Ds160 substrobe and Subtronic strobes are warmer strobes.
  • The Inon Z240 recycles much faster, 1.5 seconds vs 3 seconds. When they are on the same power, the difference is even greater. The new Ys-110a strobe recycles much faster, almost as fast as the Inon. I'm pretty sure the Ys-110a is the same strength as the Ys-110, but I'll test them soon to make sure.
  • The Sea & Sea strobe is generally less expensive, and has an easier to understand user manual.

Important update regarding the YS-110A


I recently tested the YS-110, YS-110A and Inon Z240. The YS-110A recycled much faster than the YS-110 and was 1 stop brighter. The Ys-110A is a close competitor to the Z240 in power and recycle time. I'll be putting up a full article on these tests soon. - Scott, February 3rd 2010


Further Reading

Inon Z240 review

Sea & Sea YS-110 review

Underwater strobe guide