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#1 zebulen

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 05:56 PM

Hello Anyone,

I am headed for my first dslr dive in Honolulu next week. I am shooting Canon full frame and looking for suggestions on a starting lens choice for a max 40ft dive. This is the beginning of my learning curve. Just doing some practicing. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have purchased a 100mm 2.8, 20mm 2.8 wide, 15mm Fish-eye, 50mm 1.2, and a Tokina 10-17mm fish-eye. My zoom gear for the tokina is back-ordered. So I cannot yet zoom that lens.

Edited by zebulen, 05 April 2008 - 12:15 PM.


#2 MikeVeitch

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 02:19 AM

macro or wide angle?

I would suggest something around a 50 or 60mm macro lens as a good starting lens

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#3 Gus_Smedstad

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 02:23 AM

Hello Anyone,

I am headed for my first dslr dive in Honolulu next week. I am shooting Canon full frame and looking for suggestions on a starting lens choice for a max 40ft dive. This is the beginning of my learning curve. Just doing some practicing. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I did my first dive trip with a camera on the Kona Aggressor, and by far the most useful lens I used was a EF-S 60mm Macro. For a full-frame camera, the EF 100mm f/2.8 macro is roughly the same field of view.

The Hawaiian islands have a lot of macro subjects, and very few subjects that are too large for effective photography with a 100mm lens on a full-frame camera. You'll have trouble with mantas and sea turtles, and that's about it.

It'd be nice if you could get some pool time with the housing before diving, but with only 1 week notice, you might not get it.

- Gus
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#4 zebulen

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 12:21 PM

macro or wide angle?

I would suggest something around a 50 or 60mm macro lens as a good starting lens


Probably both macro and wide. Not to knowledgeable on the critters yet.

I did my first dive trip with a camera on the Kona Aggressor, and by far the most useful lens I used was a EF-S 60mm Macro. For a full-frame camera, the EF 100mm f/2.8 macro is roughly the same field of view.

The Hawaiian islands have a lot of macro subjects, and very few subjects that are too large for effective photography with a 100mm lens on a full-frame camera. You'll have trouble with mantas and sea turtles, and that's about it.

It'd be nice if you could get some pool time with the housing before diving, but with only 1 week notice, you might not get it.

- Gus

I have that lens Canon 100mm Macro. Would I use the Fish-eye for seascapes?

I did my first dive trip with a camera on the Kona Aggressor, and by far the most useful lens I used was a EF-S 60mm Macro. For a full-frame camera, the EF 100mm f/2.8 macro is roughly the same field of view.

The Hawaiian islands have a lot of macro subjects, and very few subjects that are too large for effective photography with a 100mm lens on a full-frame camera. You'll have trouble with mantas and sea turtles, and that's about it.

It'd be nice if you could get some pool time with the housing before diving, but with only 1 week notice, you might not get it.

- Gus

I have that lens Canon 100mm Macro. Would I use the Fish-eye for seascapes?

#5 sgietler

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 12:49 PM

yes, use the 100mm macro lens on some of your dives, and the 15mm fisheye or 10-17mm fisheye on the rest of the dives for turtles, schools of fish and seascapes.

have fun!

scott

#6 loftus

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 02:01 PM

Hello Anyone,

I am headed for my first dslr dive in Honolulu next week. I am shooting Canon full frame and looking for suggestions on a starting lens choice for a max 40ft dive. This is the beginning of my learning curve. Just doing some practicing. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have purchased a 100mm 2.8, 20mm 2.8 wide, 15mm Fish-eye, 50mm 1.2, and a Tokina 10-17mm fish-eye. My zoom gear for the tokina is back-ordered. So I cannot yet zoom that lens.

You say you are using full frame; which camera? The Tokina 10-17 is not a full frame lens, so I'm not sure why you would purchase it? This would be my first choice on a first dive with a cropped sensor DSLR.
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#7 sgietler

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 02:14 PM

yes, my mistake, as loftus said, the 10-17mm is a cropped sensor lens, you'll probably want to use the 15mm fisheye on your camera...although it might have a cropped-sensor mode you can try out.

Edited by sgietler, 05 April 2008 - 02:24 PM.


#8 zebulen

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 03:06 PM

yes, use the 100mm macro lens on some of your dives, and the 15mm fisheye or 10-17mm fisheye on the rest of the dives for turtles, schools of fish and seascapes.

have fun!

scott

Thanks appreciate the info..

#9 zebulen

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 03:18 PM

You say you are using full frame; which camera? The Tokina 10-17 is not a full frame lens, so I'm not sure why you would purchase it? This would be my first choice on a first dive with a cropped sensor DSLR.

Tusa recommended the lens to me. However when I zoom out there is a black frame with curved sides. Is that the problem with using that lens on a full frame camera?

Tusa recommended the lens to me. However when I zoom out there is a black frame with curved sides. Is that the problem with using that lens on a full frame camera?

The camera is a 1Ds MkIII.

I am new to photography above or beneath water.

#10 loftus

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 05:52 PM

Yes, the 10-17 is not designed for a full frame, so someone gave you some bad advice on that one. But you sure have a top of the line camera and there are definitely folks on this forum who can give you good advice.
In general using a full frame you would use lenses that are 1.5 times the length of the cropped sensor. There are a few full frame Canon folks on this forum who should be able to give you good advice like Eric Cheng, james, bmyates.
Of the lenses you have, I would start with the 20mm, taking some general wide angle shots till you get a feel for the camera

Edited by loftus, 05 April 2008 - 06:03 PM.

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#11 segal3

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:17 PM

Hey Zebulen - this "max 40ft dive" wouldn't be a certification dive, would it?
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#12 Gus_Smedstad

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 04:42 AM

The camera is a 1Ds MkIII.

I am new to photography above or beneath water.

Woah, you sure are jumping in with both feet. That's Canon's top of the line body - I'd love to have one of those myself. I think, though, you may be setting yourself up for failure by starting into underwater photography without a thorough understanding of photography in general. Unlike land photography, you pretty much have to go to manual exposure to get good results, so if you're still fuzzy about shutter speed, f//stops, how exposure works, and particularly how distance affects flash photography, you may find yourself underwater with no real idea how to correct the problems you're having.

Of course, you really have to photograph what interests you. And if UW photos are the only thing that motivate you to use the camera, I guess that's where you have to start. I just don't want you to get frustrated before you find out how fascinating UW photography really is.

Personally, for a full-frame camera like the 1Ds III, I'd equip a EF 17-40 f/4L lens for wide angle shots. I don't like the distortion of a fisheye, and 17mm full-frame is very wide indeed. I dove with a lens that has a 16-35mm equivalent field of view, and I ended up using 35mm almost all the time in Hawaii. Of course, if you like the distortion, by all means use a fisheye.

However, as I said before, I found the macro lens far, far more useful in Hawaii, and the Canon 100mm macro that you own is an excellent lens.

Just in case you haven't heard this before, you really should have a flat port (underwater lens housing) for the macro lens, and a 8" dome for the wide angle. Since you're completely new to this, you might want to consider diving with just one of the lenses, and leave off changing lenses between dives until you're more comfortable with the equipment. Not that changing lenses is at all difficult, but you need to be particularly careful not to say, drip seawater into your body, and it's one more complication while you're still learning the basics.

Yes, the 10-17 is not designed for a full frame, so someone gave you some bad advice on that one.

My immediate thought was "how did he manage to mount a crop sensor lens on a full frame body?", but sure enough, reading the Fred Miranda forums indicated this lens has a EF instead of an EF-S mount, even though it's a crop sensor lens. Maybe they intended it for use with the 1D, which has a 1.3x crop? The very first review says the vignetting isn't a problem at 14mm or longer.

So in effect he has a 14-17mm fisheye... which isn't terrible, though some of the reviews mentioned strong chromatic abberation.

- Gus
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#13 zebulen

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 08:54 AM

Hey Zebulen - this "max 40ft dive" wouldn't be a certification dive, would it?

No,just for fun.

#14 zebulen

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 09:07 AM

Woah, you sure are jumping in with both feet. That's Canon's top of the line body - I'd love to have one of those myself. I think, though, you may be setting yourself up for failure by starting into underwater photography without a thorough understanding of photography in general. Unlike land photography, you pretty much have to go to manual exposure to get good results, so if you're still fuzzy about shutter speed, f//stops, how exposure works, and particularly how distance affects flash photography, you may find yourself underwater with no real idea how to correct the problems you're having.

Of course, you really have to photograph what interests you. And if UW photos are the only thing that motivate you to use the camera, I guess that's where you have to start. I just don't want you to get frustrated before you find out how fascinating UW photography really is.

Personally, for a full-frame camera like the 1Ds III, I'd equip a EF 17-40 f/4L lens for wide angle shots. I don't like the distortion of a fisheye, and 17mm full-frame is very wide indeed. I dove with a lens that has a 16-35mm equivalent field of view, and I ended up using 35mm almost all the time in Hawaii. Of course, if you like the distortion, by all means use a fisheye.

However, as I said before, I found the macro lens far, far more useful in Hawaii, and the Canon 100mm macro that you own is an excellent lens.

Just in case you haven't heard this before, you really should have a flat port (underwater lens housing) for the macro lens, and a 8" dome for the wide angle. Since you're completely new to this, you might want to consider diving with just one of the lenses, and leave off changing lenses between dives until you're more comfortable with the equipment. Not that changing lenses is at all difficult, but you need to be particularly careful not to say, drip seawater into your body, and it's one more complication while you're still learning the basics.
My immediate thought was "how did he manage to mount a crop sensor lens on a full frame body?", but sure enough, reading the Fred Miranda forums indicated this lens has a EF instead of an EF-S mount, even though it's a crop sensor lens. Maybe they intended it for use with the 1D, which has a 1.3x crop? The very first review says the vignetting isn't a problem at 14mm or longer.

So in effect he has a 14-17mm fisheye... which isn't terrible, though some of the reviews mentioned strong chromatic abberation.

- Gus

Tusa recommended a large dome port and standard flat port for the MDX. These are what I purchased. However, the 100mm Macro will not fit with either. I ordered the NX Zoom port but it is unlikely that I will have it in time. No one has mentioned the 20mm WA. Any particular reason why. And what about the 50mm 1.2. I think I might be a little on the wobbly side for Macro work.

#15 zebulen

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 09:19 AM

If anyone knows Christian from Tusa give him a bad time for throwing me under a bus. Just kidding, he actually helped me a lot. However, I do have two strobes I can't use because the TTL converter is not available. And a shutter activated focus light that I can't use because I have to wait for a special part to come in, then I have to send the housing to subquatic and pay $250.00 to have it installed. Okay, maybe give him a little razzing. My Evolution trainer told me I won't need a focus light in Hawaii or the Caribbean. Hopefully, this is true. Guess I'll no sooner than later. Is there a way around the missing TTL converter?
Thanks,

Zeb

#16 loftus

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 10:07 AM

No one has mentioned the 20mm WA. Any particular reason why.

I think this may be a good simple fixed lens for you to take your first pics
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#17 Gus_Smedstad

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 12:05 PM

Tusa recommended a large dome port and standard flat port for the MDX. These are what I purchased.

I don't know which housing you have, but with the Ikelite housings, there isn't really a "standard" flat port. The flat ports come in different lengths to accomodate different lenses, because you don't want too much air between the end of your lens and the end of a flat port. Domes are less finicky that way because they don't have the refraction issue.

Ikelite makes a port that's specifically designed for the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro, but that's irrelevant if you're using a different housing.

No one has mentioned the 20mm WA.

Probably because the 17-40 f/4L is a better lens overall, and not much more expensive. But I'm sure it'd be fine if that's what you want to use.

And what about the 50mm 1.2.

That is a very large diameter lens, 3.4". It's likely you won't find a port for it. Ikelite, for example, doesn't support anything larger than 3.3" in diameter. Even some lenses (like the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, which I own) are 3.3" in diameter according to spec, but not supported.

I think I might be a little on the wobbly side for Macro work.

Don't knock it until you've tried it. :unsure: I didn't know how much I'd like UW macro until I did it.

- Gus

Edited by Gus_Smedstad, 06 April 2008 - 12:07 PM.

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#18 Steve Williams

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 09:06 PM

If anyone knows Christian from Tusa give him a bad time for throwing me under a bus. Zeb

Hey Zeb, I think your buddy Christian should be thrown under something. Your situation is a little like you told Chris you wanted to learn to fly and he put you in the cockpit of an F-16 for your first solo.

First don't worry about the TTL. I'd guess over 90% of the folks shooting DSLR's shoot manual because they want to. To over simplify a little, it's easy with your 250's to adjust the strobes for the light you need. Your first priority is to keep your camera dry. I would warn you that it is very easy to make a simple mistake and ruin a lot of great equipment. We have all done it, or will. You need someone flying with you on that first attempt. I would highly suggest you call ahead to the shop you’re going to dive with and have them recommend a local pro that can help you. Heck might even post a request here and see if one of the guys or gals knows someone you could hire out for a couple of days to get you started. Underwater photography isn't inherently difficult, you'll do fine. But there is a reasonable amount to learn. Take me for example, I decided last year to go digital, I have been diving since 1968 and stopped counting my dives at 5000 years ago. I've shot film underwater since 78. Even with that experience, I have read 6 books and every post on Wetpixel for the last six months to get to the place where I am comfortable taking my new S&S housing and a Canon camera that costs a quarter of yours into the ocean. I will still have a checklist and my son, who’s a better photographer and diver than I am, to back me up. Okay, so I’m an engineer and tend to over analyze everything, but you get the idea. I’m not trying to scare you Zeb, well maybe just a little. I really want you to be successful and have a great time with your new system. I want to see you post some great images here when you get back! I just think the best way for you to do that is to get some help. Post a request for help, and call one of the reputable company's listed on this site (Backscatter, Reef photo, UW Photo tech, Marine camera, etc.). Tell them what you have and your situation and they will fix you up. Good Luck :unsure:

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#19 tdpriest

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 12:52 AM

First time out: pick one lens, and stick with it for several dives. Keep it simple (it isn't simple , anyway: look at all the stuff written on Wetpixel...). That's why "wide or macro" is the crucial question. A mid-range wide-angle (20mm) is easier than a fisheye, but a fisheye can create more exciting images, after a fair amount of practice. A short-ish macro generates better images after less practice, but no "sea-scapes" or FCM shots.

Another question is illumination: macro needs a strobe, wide-angle may work with ambient light and a filter (another digital skill).

Tim

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#20 Gus_Smedstad

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 05:30 AM

First don't worry about the TTL. I'd guess over 90% of the folks shooting DSLR's shoot manual because they want to. To over simplify a little, it's easy with your 250's to adjust the strobes for the light you need.

I have to object to that part. I'm a relative newbie - just one trip and 26 dives with a camera - and I didn't particularly want to shoot manual. But I ended up shooting manual because the strobes wouldn't fire in program mode. There was plenty of ambient light for an adequate exposure, the problem was it was all blue. The conclusion I came to was that manual exposure was required for good UW photos.

Though from your wording, perhaps you meant "manual flash," not "manual exposure." I ended up with manual flash as well, though I really wanted TTL. I made some dumb mistakes that screwed up my TTL flash photos, and since I didn't have anyone diving alongside me who could tell me what I was doing wrong, I ended up using manual flash and trial and error.

My point being that it's actually easy to screw up underwater even if you're an experienced surface photographer, because the conditions are very unusual. If you're a complete novice to photography, you're likely to just live with bad photos - blue, overexposed, or underexposed - rather than fix 'em manually on the fly, because you don't know what you're doing wrong.

I love TTL on land. I hope I'll get it right the next time underwater. But it's hardly foolproof, even with powerful strobes. Certainly my personal idiocy was enough to overcome the idiotproofing.

You need someone flying with you on that first attempt.

I wish I'd had that. We had a photographer on the boat, but he was off doing his own thing, not swimming beside me to point out what I needed to fix. Though what's the hand signal for "stop down to f/16 if you're that close?"

- Gus
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Canon 40D, Ikelite housing, 10-22, 60mm, 100mm, Ikelite strobes