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Member Since 09 Jul 2009
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Advice for Aquatica 3 and Nikon F3 underwater

01 February 2016 - 06:52 AM

I just picked up a bargain on ebay - Aquatica 3 housings (2), and full set of ports (macro and fisheye domes), extensions and gears.  I love my D800 but I also like shooting film sometimes so I thought 


I love shooting film and thought this might be an interesting way to try film underwater.  I already have Nikon lenses so hoping I can at least use my 35mm and 50mm lenses which have all manual rings, as well as maybe the Tokina fisheye.


Does anyone still shoot film underwater?  


I cannot find much info online about shooting film underwater.  Would appreciate any advice on the following topics:


1) Any way to use modern (digital) strobes (Subtronic and Ikelite) with the Aquatica/F3?


2) Pros and cons of various film options underwater?  


Or any tips that are unique to shooting film underwater would be greatly appreciated.

Using a UV fill light added to strobes for stills (i-Torch Pro6+) (?)

14 September 2015 - 08:17 PM

I just received my new iTorch Pro6+ and may have a chance to try it out next month (macro shoots).  I am interested in how will it will work as a fill/add in light in UV mode (it is 2800 lumens, 120 degree beam angle, and UV is at the 420nm sweet spot for bio-luminescence).   Any tips on the best way to make use of this?


Will this be enough UV power to bring out luminescence in stills?  I assume I will still need my strobes, but I was thinking to reduce power by at least full stop so the strobes don't overpower the UV.  Or do I need a second UV lamp and just shoot without strobe when I want shoot creatures and corals glowing?

S6 subtronic bulkhead on Nauticam D7000 housing - advice needed

03 September 2015 - 08:48 AM

I would like to change out my existing Nikonos 5 pin bulkhead on my Nauticam D7000 for an S6 bulkhead to use with Subtronic strobes that have an S6 connection (one digital, and a slave in analog mode).


I have several problems would appreciate any thoughts/information on:


1) I cannot find an M16 S6 bulkhead threaded for the Nauticam port.  Does one exist? 


2) There are at least 2 M14 S6 bulkheads available.  In that case, it appears I can use the Nauticam M16 to M14 stepdown bulkhead adapter.  Any problems with that approach?


3) I plan to use my existing Nikonos 5 pin hotshoe connection, and cut off the Nikonos connector from the ribbon cable.  Then, I can solder the ribbon cable from my existing hotshoe (N5) to the ribbon cable from the S6 for the Subtronics.  I have decent soldering skills, so that seems pretty easy.  However, I cannot seem to locate a wiring diagram that shows how to wire from Nikon N5 to Subtronic S6.  Can anyone point me in the right direction?  


4) Is there an easier way to do this that I haven't considered?  I know 10bar used to make a short N5 to S6 cable, but it seems that is no longer manufactured.  I also thought about buying the Subal S6 to Nikonos bulkhead that would be pre-wired, but not sure if I can get that bulkhead on my Nauticam.  Any ideas would be appreciated.

Angry grouper - doesn't "pop" like I wanted

31 August 2015 - 10:55 AM

I was using a rental Dc1400 which unfortunately only shoots JPG so my post-processing is limited.


Location: Nassau, Bahamas

Equipment: Sealife DC1400 with Sealife Pro single strobe setup (rental, not sure of model)

Subject: Grouper.  I approached him the side and was slowly lowering myself to try to get a shut from underneath the Grouper; as I dropped down he started "warning" behaviors so I took a couple of pictures in sequence and then left him alone.  I was about 2 feet away I think when he started "warning" me away.   


Exposure: ISO 400, F/2.8, 5mm focal length, 1/60th shutter


Edits so far: 


- Adjusted color temp -21, and tint +21 (I focused on getting the purple gorgonian to the right shade as my tone/tint ruler)

- Adjusted shadow lighting +52 because it seemed to improve the background which seemed a little shadowy and actually helped a little in contrast with the grouper even though I expected the reverse (initially tried decreasing shadows but it didn't work well); and white lighting -52 because the grouper's white stripes were slightly overexposed


Problems (that I can see):


1) Main issue is the image does not pop the way I really thought it would.  I wish I would have had a fisheye; as I was stuck with the DC1400 I opened it up to about 5mm which was the best I could do on spur of the moment trying to capture this warning.


2) I am having a lot of trouble in lightroom trying to increase the contrast between the grouper and the background.  Both are similar enough in color that adjustments to color tone and white balance do not seem to make much different.  I am used to RAW so the limited nature of JPG editing is frustrating me.


3) Angle of the shot is not ideal.  I would have liked to get head on with him and/or slightly under him .. but since I clearly pissed him off, I stopped here. 


4) Would have been better to have his eye in the upper part of the rule of thirds intersection point?  I tried cropping to move him up and to the left a bit, but then I lost too much of his tail section.  Maybe an example where being a little further away would have been better.


Other thoughts and suggestions appreciated.