PHOTO KIT REVIEW: This spring I was able to put the new INON telescopic arms into action.
Why would you want telescopic arms?
Versatility! With a more conventional arm system, you have to build up or reduce the length of your arms in sections. Each section adds weight (which you offset with floats), not to mention cost.
Traditional wide angle really demands 2 sections. The more particulate in the water, the higher the chances of back scatter. Lengthening the arms right out can be an effective way of minisiming back scatter. However, carrying really long strobe arms around underwater is quite literally drag! For low viz or dives where there is a lot of particulate in the water, the INON arms should come into their own.
For macro pictures you can get away with a single or shorter section, but for back lighting you often will need more than 1 strobe arm segment.
How do they work?
The INON telescopic arms consist of three sections, adjustable by loosening or tightening the correspondent dial. This system allows you to extend the arms to the desired length quickly and without the inconvenience of dealing with clamps.
The arms are available in 3 sizes:
S (280mm to 515mm)
M (370mm to 790mm)
L (460mm to 1055mm)
In water performance
Even if they seem heavy at first (211g for the small version), these arms are lighter than the combined weight of regular arms and clamps needed to achieve the length of the fully extended INON arm. This makes them a strong contender for travel.
I tested these on a trip to Palau, and on the harbour wreck dives, there was a lot of particulate in the water. The reduced backscatter achieved by lengthening the arms right out to their max was impressive. Yet, once the pic was taken I was able to bring them back in again, which made them much easier to handle in the water.
Cleaning the arms is easy, they come apart relatively easy and you can rinse all the parts of the tightening knobs. Putting them back together can be a bit fiddly.
Summary: These are not an cheap option as arms go (£136.99 to 159.99), but they look very well made (as we expect from INON products) and very durable. I’d happily add them into my bag.