Struggling knowing what strobes are compatible with my housing

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# of dives
25 - 49
Okay, I'm relatively new to underwater photography (and photography in general, to be honest) and am hitting the ignorance parabola. I know what I want to achieve, but I don't know enough about the underwater gear to know what I need. I'm going to try and break it down into what I have, what I'm trying to do, and what I don't know/need to know without sounding too ignorant or over my head.

I currently have a FujiFilm X-T3 camera with an 18-55mm lens and a Seafrogs FP.1 housing. Fujifilm X-T3 40M/130FT Underwater camera housing kit FP.1 My camera has a hotshoe for flash and I have an EF-X8 that I've never used. I know Seafrogs has fiber optic cables, but some of them say they're not compatible with my housing, even though the housing itself has fiber optic ports.

What I do, and what's worked fine for me up until now, is photogrpahy for mermaids. I use the same camera on land as I do underwater (like I said I'm pretty new to it all), so I'm familiar with the camera itself. Here's some underwater and here's a land
I need to be fairly far away from my model to get her in frame, and even with white balance correction in camera and in post I really struggle to capture color. Part of the trouble I think is the depth these photos were taken at, and then my distance from the model. I was freediving for these, not on scuba, if that makes any difference.

My model and I are happy with the photos overall (I definitely see where I need some improvement), but I'm being asked to do more photography like this in a pool, and the only pool I have access to with the depth I need is indoor with poor lighting. I've always used ambient natural light and don't have experience with strobes or other kinds of artificial light. The pool is usually pretty clear water quality-wise, but there's only light through some of the windows in small spots at certain times of day, and it's just not enough or what I need.

What I need to figure out is what strobes are going to be powerful enough for the distance I need to be from my model (10-15ft I think), if they're compatible with my Seafrogs housing, or if I need to look into some kind of underwater studio strobe/off camera strobe (if that's even a thing?) and how to figure out if THOSE are compatible with my housing.

I've been trying to research this for weeks, but almost all of the advice and products I'm finding are for underwater wildlife photography where you're pretty close. Which is great and I'd love to get into it someday, but it's not what I'm being asked to do right now.

I don't want to sound like I'm too big for my britches or anything, I'm really just at the point in photography where I don't know what I don't know. Any help or recommendations are appreciated, and if what I'm asking for isn't achievable that's also really valuable to know. If I need to think about this in a completely different way I can work with that, too!


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Ohio, USA
# of dives
500 - 999
Fiber optic cables are somewhat generic (although there is a range of qualities), and shouldn‘t be too much of a factor since your housing as pictured has Sea&Sea fiber optic connectors (and thus, any strobe which can be triggered with fiber will work). Your mini-flash should work fine as a trigger, assuming it nestles into the housing. Given the clarity of pool water, I’d think about any strobes would be fine at full power at 15’; you could also add a remote strobe closer to the model—many have “slave” modes. You can spend extra-large for, eg, oneUW strobes, but it would be a lot cheaper to get a wider lens and thus a shorter working distance. and, you might try constant lighting instead; it need not be connected to the camera (for example, you could wear a hand mount), and for much less than two strobes and all the accoutrements (tray, arms, clamps, wires) you could get one, or maybe two, really powerful (say, 12-15k lumen) video lights. If you haven’t already checked out websites for the photography houses (Backscatter, Optical Ocean Sales, and a few others), do—you’ll find a bunch of information.


Reaction score
Isle of man
# of dives
100 - 199
I know a couple of guys who I dive with set the white balance at depth by using there dive slate which save a load of time in post editing and as for strobes a lot of them just use video lights for both that way you have a constant not to sure if that will help you at all


Oscar Meyer Weiner
Reaction score
Rocks and Trees and Rocks
A few things to consider:
Where are you shooting most? You will likely find that different gear is best for different situations. A traditional scuba setup of 2 strobes on arms on your rig may be the poorest choice? Shooting in a pool is like shooting in a studio. You can place, arrange and control offboard lighting as required. This could be strobe, video or maybe even surface supplied lighting on the pool deck? Your are not limited to the normal "I have to carry everything attached to my rig since I am scuba divimg around underwater at a dive site looking for fish" gear setup. So keep your mind open to non-traditional underwater lighting setups.

This heavily leads to considering offboard lighting. Water absorbs light. You will most likely be surprised at the amount of light needed if your swimming pool building interior is dark.

One potential offboard light strategy is to use multiple remote optically triggered strobes arranged as required to light your subject. A cheap and simple way to do this is to purchase used Nikon SB 105 or Sea and Sea YS-120 strobes from eBay. They both can be optically triggered in manual mode (not TTL) and generally can be found for about $100 a unit.

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