Travels with Inon’s Takuya Torii

It seems like whenever and wherever there is an event to do with underwater imaging, Inon’s Takuya Torii is in attendance. He perpetually circles the globe, supporting Inon dealers and attending workshops, shootouts, and shows.

Takuya recently visited the UK, sandwiching the trip in between attending the BOOT Show is Dusseldorf and a dealer event in Italy.

Steve Warren and Lisa Collins of Inon UK hosted a workshop at the London School of Diving on 20 January.

Takuya had arrived in the UK late on 19, having been in Germany up until then.

The event attracted 25 photographers from around the UK, and consisted of a presentation and questions and answer session with Takuya, followed by a session in the center’s swimming pool.

Inon has recently released an aluminum housing for the Panasonic GX9 mirrorless camera. It is designed to make loading the camera easy, to offer easy access to essential controls and to be compact and lightweight.

Lens support is available for most wide and macro lens options, with a specific dome port offering.

Another new product is the D200 strobe. Essentially a budget version of the Z330, it has a guide number of 20 and can only be used with fiber optic triggering. It utilizes the same form factor as its more powerful sibling and can be used with the same diffusers and accessories. Given the widespread availability of fiber optic triggering, if power is not an issue, the D200 seems like a good alternative.

Takuya talked through many of the other products, both past, and current that Inon has offered, including their ring flash, bugeye lens, and the X series housings. The latter is still available for Canon EOS 80D and 6D and are made from an aluminum casting, rather than machined from a solid block. This results in weight and size advantages.

After a question and answer session, the participants adjourned to the school’s in-house swimming pool.

Steve and Lisa provided a plethora of aquarium toys as subjects, and these were soon being photographed using a wide variety of Inon equipment.

Torii san then traveled up to the far North of England, and we were able to go diving in the cold fresh water at Capernwray Diving, near Lancaster.

We took a bunch of Z330, and S2000 strobes mounted on the Inon tripod system and triggered with an Anglerfish optical trigger. Cameras were the Panasonic GX9 in the Inon housing and a Sony RX0 with Inon lights.

The water was a balmy 5°C (41°F) water, and we were both diving in drysuits with gloves and hoods.

Image ©Takuya Torii

In my case, I was using very thick dry gloves and was impressed with how easy it was to adjust aperture, shutter speed and ISO using the housing’s controls.

Torii san found the water bracing!

Takuya also showed me two new prototype Inon products. First, Inon has designed a vacuum system that can be added to existing or new housings.

It monitors the vacuum integrity continuously.

Second, is a TTL opto-electrical converter for Canon. This allows TTL exposure with cameras that do not have a pop-up flash or faster recycle times for those that do.

We planned to head over to the Lake District and dive in the very beautiful Wastwater the next day, but a combination of snow and a flat tire sadly put paid to the plan.

After a tour through some of the beautiful but wintery scenery, we adjourned to a pub!

Image ©Takuya Torii

Takuya carried on to London Heathrow for a flight to Italy for another dealer event, while I flew out to Dusseldorf for the BOOT show. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Takuya arrived at the show, having missed flights and his bags having been misplaced!

Takuya finally returned home to Japan this week. Heartfelt thanks to him for his company, to Inon for the products that we tested and to Lisa and Steve of Inon UK for hosting the event.