DEMA Show 2015 Day 3
Our first meeting of day 3 was with Shane Newman of Orcalight. First we took a look at the Seawolf 660 which has 12,000 lumen with capability of 60, 90 or 120 light angles, a maximum depth of 150 meters and a burn time of 50 minutes at maximum power. The battery can be swapped out or charged from the rear.
The next light we looked at was the Seawolf 860. The difference with this model is that it has a maximum output of 15,000 lumens and burn time of 70 minutes at maximum output.
The sequential model, the 2260, has both a standard style and carbon fiber neutral buoyancy option. The 2260 output is 22,000 lumens and burns for 75 minutes at maximum power. The Lithium battery is in a separate canister.
Moving up to the next model at a whopping 30,000 lumens is the Seawolf 2860. This model also has a standard edition and a carbon fiber neutral buoyancy one. 75 minute burn time at maximum power.
Orcalight also offer option of infrared, and UV blue (455 nm) capability at 12000 lumens.
We then moved on to Seacam’s stand. Harald Hordosch and Stephen Frink were keen to emphasise that Seacam tend to do incremental improvements to their products, and will often release upgraded components or products without much fanfare. A case in point is their mechanical solution to the problem of locking the focus with Canon cameras. The camera-based solution was to drill down through the menus to access this function, but this is not always practical or possible. Harald has discovered that if the rear focus button is depressed, this locks the focus, so has incorporated a lever that can be locked into the depressed position in order to use this.
Seacam’s housing for the Canon 5DS and 5DSr incorporates this change. For users that may want to use this housing with the 5D Mark III as well, Seacam can supply a gear that allows access to the mode dial.
Seacam has also released a 170mm compact wide-angle port. This is ideal for fisheyes with full frame lenses. The port is a section of a larger dome, minimises the curvature of the virtual image.
Staying with ports, Seacam has recently designed and made an 18” dome port for use in shooting splits. It has a built in carrying handle, as well as attachment points for the additional weight that is required to make it neutrally buoyant.
Harald mentioned Seacam’s response to the Canon 11-24 wide-angle lens. In testing, they found that the weight of the lens was pulling the lenS down, which meant that it was no longer centred in the port. Seacam’s version of the Superdome for this lens, has a larger throat to accommodate the the diameter of the lens, but also has a pillow to support it and prevent the end from moving. This version of the Superdome is compatible with other wide-angle lenses, but due to it effectively having a built-in extension, will not work with fisheye lenses.
The company’s close-up lens has had a arm-mounted caddy to enable it to be stowed for some time, but a new adaptor has been released that allows this to be bolted to the housing’s handles. This is useful in circumstances when the user is not using strobe arms, but wishes to have the option of using the lens.
Seacam currently offers Silver housings for the D4, 1D X, D810, 5DS/5DSr/5D Mark III. The Prelude range, that is designed to be more price sensitive is available for D7200, D750 and 7D Mark II.
Harald confirmed that these will shortly be joined by a housing for the Sony α7 II in the new Seacam Compact range. It will offer fiber optic or electric slave triggering, an integrated sunshield and the option of either 2 electric bulkheads or a fiber optic bulkhead. The EVF will not be viewable. It will be shipping in late January.
Another new product that is being worked on is a new compact strobe. It has the working title of Seaflash 60 as it offers 60 foot/pounds of energy on release. It is powered by AA batteries and can be triggered by either electric or fiber optic methods.
Shortly, there will be the option of adding fiber optic triggering of strobes. The design will incorporate a hot shoe, linking to a built in circuit in the housing, which will in turn be wired in to a bulkhead. The LED triggers will be incorporated into the bulkhead. This means that it can be located in any available connection port. Standard L type fiber optic cables can then be attached to the bulkhead in order to trigger strobes. This new product will be available in 2 to 3 weeks.
Lastly, Seacam are shipping a new slave strobe trigger. It is available in Nikonos or S6 fittings, but will work with Seacam strobes only. It is supplied with a removable sleeve in order to limit the angle of light that triggers it, helping to prevent false firing.
Sea & Sea
We returned briefly and met with Andy Sallmon and shot a few images of the new wide angle correction lenses.
Our next stop was with Acquapazza to meet with Toshiki Yamamoto and his translator Miki Bultman. The company is offering three new housings for this year.
A new housing for this year is the APSO-RX100M4. This offers support for the Sony RX100 Mark 4 and secures with a rugged aluminum catch that clicks home very securely.
It provides compatibility with Inon’s wet lenses, including both M67 and bayonet fittings (with Inon’s LD adaptor).
When used with the UWL-H100 Type 1 wide-angle lens, there is no vignetting. In addition, the housing can be supplied with a protruding diffuser, which directs the camera’s flash output onto a subject in front of the lens.
It is available now in black as standard or in an array of other colors as an option, priced at around $860.
Next up was the APSO-A72 for the Sony α7 II.
This housing features a control that allows the user to tilt the camera’s LCD screen as appropriate. Toshiki has been asked for a version that could go to 150m, so he designed the housing with this in mind. It has double O rings on all the controls. It offers very complete lens support, including Sony 28mm + 16mm converter, Sony 28-70mm, Sony 90mm macro, Sigma 150mm macro and Sigma 180mm macro.
With the longer lenses, there is a likelihood that that weight of the lens may make the camera drop slightly, moving the end of the lens away from the center of the port.
Acquapazza has incorporated a “pillow” into the ends of their ports to support the weight. Hence, there are complete lens ports for each option. The new housing will be shipping by the end of 2015 at an approximate retail price of $2,500.
The last new housing we were shown was the APSO-dpq3. Uniquely, this housing is designed for the Sigma dp3 Quattro camera. This camera has a Foveon sensor giving high resolution, together with a fixed 50mm lens.
Acquapazza have sourced an electo-optical converter that allows the camera to trigger strobes via fiber optic. With this combination, the camera offer high speed sync up to 1/1000s. The housing features an M14 accessory port, as well as a mount for AOI’s LCD magnifying attachment. The camera’s controls are quite basic, and the housing faithfully mirrors them with them being grouped on the right hand.
Toshiki then showed us an M67 flip adaptor that locks in the open (up) position and also has play in its joint to reduce the possibility of it getting caught inadvertently.
The last new product was a camera tray, which is adjustable to cope with different cameras, has handles that can be gripped at any point and has curved rather than square corners. The handles have threaded connections for balls etc, with M10,M5 and M6 sized threaded holes.
Light and Motion.
We then visited with Jacob Thompson on the Light and Motion stand. He talked us through some of the company’s new products. The Solar Video Pro 8000 FC was on the stand.
It features an LCD readout giving power output, battery life and burn time.
New for this year are surface kits for the light providing cooling fins so that the lights can be used for topside shooting, In addition, they can be fitted with barn doors, focus optics, fresnel light modifiers and other light shaping devices used in lighting topside.
In common with the above, Light and Motion are also offering a lights specifically aimed at surface productions including the Stella Pro 5000.
Sticking with topside for a moment, Jacob showed us a nifty recharging pack that allows the user to recharge their SOLA light. This comes in 28Wh and 49Wh versions and is also supplied with a car charger, increasing available power options. They are priced at $269.99 and $199.99 respectively.
For underwater use, Light and Motion successfully funded their Sidekick GoPro light via Kickstarter last year. They are now selling these in packages with Backscatter’s Flip 4 filters, primarily aimed at snorkelling depths and environments.
The SOLA 3000 light is an amazingly compact package, offering 3000 lumen output with a run time of 40 minutes at full power. The beam angle (measured underwater) is 90°. It retails at $599.
Lastly, he showed us Light & Motion’s new tray.
Jacob chatted about some of the issues within the lighting industry as there are no commonly accepted universal methods of testing conformity of output and other specifications among different manufacturers. Light and Motion get their testing done by a certified external test center, but this is voluntary and their testing leads them to believe that some other manufacturers may not be as rigorous as theirs.
We met with Takuya Torii to check out the new things that Inon has in store.
Not strictly speaking new, but new to us was their X2 housing for the Canon EOS 6D full frame SLR. It was being displayed with Inon’s bugeye lens.
In common with the other housings in the X2 range, it is cast from aluminum, rather than machined as is more common, and this allows the distribution of metal to be precise.
Coming in January is an expandable carbon fiber arm system. There are three sizes, small, medium, and large and each collapses and expands to suit the needs of the photographer. A rubber grip makes the arms more comfortable to hold and twist. Additionally, Inon has designed floats to support the arms in the water. They fit on either end for buoyancy.
Inon also has a front mask system for the GoPro camera for attaching accessory lenses such as the UFL-G140 140 degree wide angle lens. This will be available next month.
Additionally, Inon has two weight plates used for stability in the water. The plates are screw mounted or Velcro strap and attach to a standard dive weight that can then rest on the bottom for stationary filming.
The last new product we looked at was the Z Adapter II. This adapter features a 1/4-20 screw that will fit into the base of a compact camera housing and tightens with a wing nut screw handle. It has an O-ring 1” ball for attaching in a variety of ways to larger housings or arms. For those that like to shoot vertical images, it could also be used to attach arms to the base of a housing.
Howard Rosenstein talked us through the company’s new models. Released earlier in the year, the FRX100IV housing is the company’s polycarbonate offering for the Sony RX100 Mark 4. Howard showed us some video of him diving with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, shot in 4K on an RX100 and then supplied to the BBC.
The housing provides access to all the camera controls, and is supplied with a full range of accessories including hand straps and port covers as standard. Howard noted that this housing can retrofit to the Sony MK III.
Fantasea also provide lighting, currently with two models. The Radiant 2500 provides 2500 lumen of output adjustable in three steps with a battery power indicator light around the power switch enables monitoring of remaining battery life. The beam is 120° and the color temperature is 5,300 to 5,600°K. Burn time is 55 minutes at full power.
The Radiant Pro mirrors the above specifications, but also adds a spot beam, red beam and UV (blue) beam.
In both cases, the lights are supplied with a 4 rechargeable Li-ion batteries, which allows for a spare set to be on charge while diving the other set.
Howard showed us some prototype new light models with outputs of 1500 and 2500 lumen, which will incorporate similar features as the Radian lights, but in a slightly more compact design. These will be available from January.
Day 1: Booth visits - ULCS, XIT404, Aquatica, i-Torch, GoPro, New World Publications, Subal and Nauticam.
Day 1: Wetpixel/DivePhotoGuide Imaging party.
Day 2: Booth visits - Fisheye, Ikelite, Sea&Sea, Backscatter, Olympus and Keldan.
Day 3: Booth visits - Orcalight, Seacam, Acquapazza, Light and Motion, Inon, Fantasea.
Day 4: Booth visits - BS Kinetics, H20 Photo Tools, Saga, Gates, 10 Bar.