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Member Since 23 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 01:24 PM

#397226 Pygmy sea horse in Okinawa

Posted by troporobo on 09 July 2018 - 11:12 PM

Good catch! You would have been very very close with that lens. Those can be tricky little buggers to capture. In my experience sometimes they’ll let you get a profile like this, sometimes they’ll turn their backs occasionally, and very rarely will they look in your direction for more than an instant. And then the coral will shade your strobe and bugger the shot! I obsessed over them for several years before I finally got a straight on portrait. You should be happy with this shot.

#396823 Need destination recommendation

Posted by troporobo on 27 June 2018 - 06:06 AM

Search is your friend! Heres the most recent thread, there are many others:


#396754 Oly OM system starting from scratch

Posted by troporobo on 25 June 2018 - 06:08 AM

I have a Flickr album of images taken with the 12-50 lens, if you would like to see examples of its range:


#396735 Oly OM system starting from scratch

Posted by troporobo on 24 June 2018 - 03:26 PM

If you want maximum versatility from one lens and one port, the obvious answer is the 12-50 lens setup as it will shoot wide, portrait, and macro. Its not a cheap solution due to the complicated zoom gear and port but they turn up in the classifieds from time to time. Add a diopter later and you get supermacro, and if you want to go out for true wide angle at the cost of some magnification it will also work in one of the small domes.

Otherwise you can use the 14-42 mark II (not the EZ) and also add a diopter for macro if you want, but its not a great lens to be honest. The 12-40 is a great lens, but it wont do macro.

If youre up to a dual setup, consider a macro plus WA zoom. (I believe a fisheye is too specialized, though great at what they do). I use a 60 macro lens in a flat port most of the time, and a 7-14 in a dome the rest of the time. That covers pretty much everything I need.

#395507 Took the GH5 to Anilao

Posted by troporobo on 17 May 2018 - 01:26 PM

Wow, fantastic work!  I love everything about your video.  When people want to know what diving in Anilao is like, this is where they should look.  A few questions if I may: 


What wide angle lens and port were you using?  That shot at 0:55 with the nembrotha in the foreground and diver in the distance is brilliant. 


Were your macro sequences all hand held or did you have any sort of tripod?  I'm amazed at how stable they are at such high magnification (e.g. the pygmy at 1:20)


What is your lighting setup?  You got a great quality of light in most shots especially the macro.  I don't do video but the color grading also looks very good to me, with the wide shots looking very natural and correctly white balanced (unlike some videos we see where the blue is dialed up to almost neon). 


Did you keep the name and contact info of your spotter?  Whoever it was, they are a lot better than the guy I dive with.  I'd hire them if I could


Now a minor quibble - you missed getting my weekend house in the frame of the opening sequence by about 100m!  ;-)

#394543 Macro Dive in Tulamben-Bali : where Dive Guide can make the difference .

Posted by troporobo on 18 April 2018 - 02:01 PM

Thanks too for the links to the setup.  Really interesting stuff.  I might have a new project . . . .

#394496 Macro Dive in Tulamben-Bali : where Dive Guide can make the difference .

Posted by troporobo on 17 April 2018 - 02:14 PM

Wow, this is spectacular work!  Not only technically amazing but also aesthetically very nice as well.  Thanks a lot for sharing your images!


I really like the pair of leafy pipefish, and would love to know more about the your setup to produce such an image.  I'm not able to imagine how it works with a snoot.  Do you happen to have a photo of your assembled rig?


The suupermacro shots are really something too.  I doubt most of us have seen anemonefish eggs at that level of detail. 

#394083 Eneloop Pro venting gas

Posted by troporobo on 04 April 2018 - 01:51 PM

Yep, what Diggy says, use a smart charger!  They may seem expensive, but pay for themselves in the long run.  I really like the Maha / Powerex version that does "soft"charging and has a "recondition" cycle that I use on all batteries about twice a year.  My experience is anecdotal, but those two factors seem to extend the life of the batteries.  I have some Eneloops that are 6 years old and still performing like new.



#393998 Eneloop Pro venting gas

Posted by troporobo on 02 April 2018 - 06:05 AM

Interesting. I had never heard of this before and never seen the warning about UW lights.  I've been using these batteries since they became available and never had a problem.  I suppose the key question is what constitutes "misuse"? Rapid multiple discharges would seem to be within spec.

#393599 Downsizing for travel - Opinions Needed

Posted by troporobo on 20 March 2018 - 01:43 PM

I'm sure that you're about to get a wide variety of advice about everyone's camera, and equally sure that it is all valid in one way or another.  A system has to fit your needs and preferences, and all have different advantages.  Whatever sensor format, you won't save much money downsizing, but you won't lose much capability either. 


With that caveat out of the way, I will only say that I am completely sold on the m4/3 format for my uses (UW macro and travel, no video).  I really like the Olympus cameras and their new line of PRO lenses is nothing short of fantastic.      

#392460 How do you shoot a black hole?

Posted by troporobo on 18 February 2018 - 12:14 AM

I found a very small black hairy frogfish recently but, despite working on it for a while, struggled to get a decent image.  How the heck do you shoot something that absorbs all light while it is sitting on a bright reflective sandy bottom?!


As shown, I eventually settled on using one strobe high and to the left to try to get a little relief from the lighting, but it was only partly successful.  Standard macro front lighting produced an unrecognizable blob as it just washed out all the texture. I wanted to also try backlighting, but was in less than 2 m of water, fighting the surge with nothing to brace against, and just couldn't get a good stable position. 


I'd love some tips for the next time I get this opportunity.




#390396 Professional on dry land - Strobe insights

Posted by troporobo on 18 December 2017 - 11:35 PM

I use Inon strobes with an Olympus camera and fiber optic cables. I use TTL almost exclusively when shooting macro and it rarely fails to do exactly as expected.  When shooting wide angle results with TTL are less consistent and I'll switch to manual. The difference for me is due to the fact that macro images are 100% illuminated by the strobe whereas with wide angle I'm working to balance ambient light. 

#387420 SATURATION - Colorful Marine Creatures from Indonesia & The Philippines

Posted by troporobo on 08 September 2017 - 11:34 PM

Hey Nick - Next time you're in Anilao (optimistically) think about giving me a shout. I'm starved for inspiration lately and would love to dive with someone who's so accomplished. Cold drinks and BBQ on me! Robert

#387396 SATURATION - Colorful Marine Creatures from Indonesia & The Philippines

Posted by troporobo on 07 September 2017 - 12:46 PM

Wow, beautiful work!  Great colours and dynamic range and impressively steady.  This is one of the best examples of super macro videography I have seen.  Lots of familiar subjects here for me.  This is what I will show people when they ask what I see when I go out looking for macro subjects.

#386804 Mirrorless suggestions - I welcome your advice

Posted by troporobo on 17 August 2017 - 08:49 PM

I'll add three more thoughts.  First, I don't have the experience with the EVF turning off, mine stays on full time unless I switch it.  Second, when I am shooting with the 60mm macro lens, I switch the focus limiter to the shortest range and this eliminates most of the hunting problem, even without the focus light.  I agree with the other guys that this lens does hunt a lot if you set the focus limiter to full range, though a focus light helps a lot of course. Third, having had first an Olympus housing then a Nauticam housing, I would not even consider going back, they are in completely different leagues!