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Newbie Must Read: What new system did you just buy?


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#21 unipoemguy

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 09:42 AM

HI all,

Made the move to digital UW photography after using a nikonos II. Got a Oly SP-350 and PT -30 housing. Inon closeup and a wideangle. Seems to be a great rig. now to start the learning curve. This forum is a great place to accelerate that curve.

Shil


yeah the nikonos II is still a great camera though.

#22 Irregulator

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:28 PM

Hi,

New to this forum. I have been taking lousy photos underwater for a few years but decided a while back to study the art a bit and upgrade my equipment. I started with an Oly 1030 in an Ikelite housing then added a strobe to it a year and a half ago. Viva la difference! Now I have taken that strobe and matched it up with a Canon T2i in a Watershot housing. I used a couple of weeks ago in Cozumel and had some decent results. This past week I paired up the strobe with a twin (Inon S2000) and will be taking it to Bonaire in a couple of weeks.

I just found this forum and am excited about all the information available. I look forward to contributing when I can.

In the interim my current work can be seen at www.brucep.smugmug.com.

#23 Jerry Bowden

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 09:52 PM

Hi All,
I am new to underwater photography. I did a last minute trip to Key Largo in April and rented a point/shoot with strobe from Stephen Frink (great people). I had never shot a camera in manual mode before so I had a nice learning curve over the week long trip. Stephen gave me some basic instructions which I supplemented with Internet research in the evenings. After getting experienced in making mistakes I managed to capture a few properly exposed images. Had a great time and got hooked on UWP.

I started camera/housing shopping as soon as I got back to Austin. There are a lot of great choices out there, I settled on a Nikon D7000 with a Nauticam housing. I have a 60mm lens and a Tokina 10-17, along with an INON Z-240. Have only had it in fresh water so far, should have some trip pictures soon. Martin Edge's book is a must read. I also picked up a composition book by Jim Church. Wetpixel is a fantastic reference! Thanks for sharing all of your experience. I really like the trip reports.

Jerry

#24 Tengumaster89

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:32 PM

Hi everyone!

My name is Justin and I have been diving for a few years and just started taking photos underwater. I am currently shooting with a SeaLife DC1200 but having some trouble getting the most out of it. I spent this summer as a biology research assistant in Wakitobi, and had a blast taking photos in the reefs when we had chances to do non-science dives. I also own a Nikon D90 which I use out of water, but don't yet have the money to buy a housing and strobes for it. Any recommendations as to what company's housing to buy, and what store to buy it from? I would now be able to survive my dSLR flooding!

-Justin

#25 derway

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 07:50 AM

Welcome Justin.

Ikelite housings and strobes would be the way to go, for budgetary reasons. They are great housings, that give you access to all the controls, and support many lenses with various ports.

They also include built in electronics to convert the camera TTL signals to the strobe, which works better than trying to use optical slaves, for most people. Otherwise you have to use the on camera flash, and wait for it to recharge, which slows things down.

I think there is an ike d90 listed used, in the classified section on this web site.
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#26 river_walker

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 09:21 AM

The most asked question by any newbie is one that many ask or do research on. So in the tradition of Mr Wetpixel himself, we will (try) to restart this quarterly thread to give newbies the most up to date new rigs from members who have made the plunge themselves.
So members who have recently bought new rigs, please feel free to add your opinions and feedback on your rigs so that others may benefit from your knowledge.
Thanks and happy shopping.


Hello. I'm new to underwater filming and to WetPixel. I just purchased a used Amphibico V101 camcorder housing. I also just found out that Amphibico has closed operations while awaiting new owners. Sigh! Such is my sense of timing! If anyone knows where I could obtain a photocopy or pdf of the V101 owners manual please advise. Thank you.

#27 johnjvv

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 09:47 AM

Hi everyone!

My name is Justin and I have been diving for a few years and just started taking photos underwater. I am currently shooting with a SeaLife DC1200 but having some trouble getting the most out of it. I spent this summer as a biology research assistant in Wakitobi, and had a blast taking photos in the reefs when we had chances to do non-science dives. I also own a Nikon D90 which I use out of water, but don't yet have the money to buy a housing and strobes for it. Any recommendations as to what company's housing to buy, and what store to buy it from? I would now be able to survive my dSLR flooding!

-Justin



Hi Justin,

I used to use a G11 with the OEM housing. I got a Fantasea BigEye Lense which I was horribly disappointed with due to the flaring and clarity (pay peanuts get monkeys...). On top of this the G11 Macro function only works when you are zoomed all the way in. So I was basically stuck unable to go either wide or do close enough with the OEM housing. I started shopping around for other G11 housings that could fit other lenses such as FIX, Recsea, Patima etc.. and found that I was going to pay in the vicinity of $2,000 for the new housing and addons.

As yourself I was also using a D90 for topside and I decided that for a $2,000 budget I could get a housing and macro port for an slr housing. I added a bit to my budget and to get a 60mm macro lens as well. After shopping around I ended up getting an Aquatica AD90 from Backscatter plus the 60mm marcro lens. I will have to invest again to get the wide angle going but I have my hands full with the new system and very happy with the results, the quality of images and no shutter lag with an SLR. Just a note on Backscatter since you are asking for recommendations; I am very pleased with their response time, advice and service.

Even though it was a pricey to get the system, I have no regrets with the decision and would encourage you to take your D90 underwater...I am actually only really getting use out of mine since taking it underwater. I trust that when taking time in setting up the gear, o-rings + dunking it to check for leaks before diving that you should be alright.

Hope this helps in your decision!!

#28 bigwake

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 08:25 PM

I recently bought a GoPro HD camera and have modified it so the underwater pictures turn out clearer than with the curved lens housing. I'm looking into the red filters to help with the color instead of using a photo editing program on the computer. I'll post in the beginner section if anyone wants to help because I probably won't check on this thread.

#29 KatheK

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:34 AM

My name is Kathe and I have had an Olympus camera for snorkeling for a few years. I just recently became a certified diver with PADI and then bought a SeaLife DC1200 Elite package. It will be fun to get good at diving and photography at the same time. Since I live on the Costa Maya in Mexico I have lots of opportunities to go diving all year round.
Kathe
Quintana Roo, Mexico

#30 Sid the Sloth

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 03:33 PM

Hi everybody!
I'm a seasoned scuba diver and occasional UW-snap-shooter. I've been toying around with a Nikonos II and a Panasonic FT-1 (called that way in Europe, name may differ elsewhere) for some years now, but I'm just about to get serious. The FT-1 shoots some impressive video, too. Unfortunately it lacks manual controls for video and the stills are outrageously bad.
Finally I got bitten by the dreaded underwater shutterbug and got myself some quite decent, yet affordable gear:

Canon 550D
Nimar housing
Magic Lantern firmware hack
:laugh: :) :fishblue: :fishblue: :fishblue: :fishblue:
Somewhat OT:
The Magic Lantern really adds some useful features to an otherwise basic setup. It adds manual focus control even though the housing allows for no such feature. Anyone shooting on a Canon 550D, 60D, 600D, 50D should consider installing it.

I'm quite happy with my gear so far and still shopping around for a pair of lights to complete my setup.

Greets,
Sid
:surfing:

#31 madtom

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 08:46 AM

Hi, I'm a newbie who dabbles in U/W video to document freshwater fish behavior. I'm using a sony cx550 w/ sony spk housing and only film at snorkeling depths.

#32 ragebot

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 08:23 AM

Hi All,

My name is Tom. I started SCUBA diving in Miami in 1959. I have used both the Nikonos II and the Nikonos IVA in years past. About six months ago I bought a Canon D10, which is OK for snapshots and compact in size did not provide the image quality I was looking for.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a Nauticam housing for my 7d along with a Zen 8in dome. So far I have only used it in a local fresh water spring and got some images of manatees, one that swam up so close to me I was not able to get its whole body in the FOV using my Tokina 10-17. When I showed the images to some other visitors to the park the most common reply was "wow an underwater camera that does not suck".

I still need to improve my skills as shooting underwater is much different than shooting on the surface. Here is a link to some of my pix on facebook, not all underwater http://www.facebook....1...2145&type=1

#33 jwood1

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 05:30 PM

It appears that the more experienced members don't read this thread. Thirty-two questions and maybe 3 or 4 "answers".

#34 aainslie

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 06:51 PM

Hi all,

I know a few members. After years of struggling with cheaper gear, I went nuts:


- Nikon D 7000
- Aquatica housing wtih 6" dome
- Tokina 10-17 (new purchase)
- Sigma 10-20 (already lying around)
- Nikon 18-55 VR (ditto)
- Inon Z240 strobes
- Salvo 20W HID's (lying around for ages) for video

Everyone's posts really helped - led to getting extension ring and gear for the 18-55, and to buying the 10-17 Tokina (Ken and Scott, your comments helped there).

Now for some pics...

#35 ktmadventurer

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:47 PM

Hi there!
New to WP....
I'm a South African in Australia and have a photography addiction which has made my diving interesting to say the least!
My first u/w set-up is a Canon S90 with housing and I've had it about a year now. Learning heaps every single day.
I also recently got a prescription mask which was amazing! The quality of my shots improved within the first dive!
Whilst I know I am a long way off buying an SLR, I can see the advantages of those lenses ^_^ but I do believe getting the technique right is probably more important than the gear you use.
Have only recently started shooting in RAW as well as JPG, and now my next learning curve is the software side of things.
Two frustrations I have with the S90; slow shutter speed when you don't need it, limitations with macro settings and the fact the controls on the housing are so different to the actual camera - wish the little books were waterproof so I could check up on things underwater!

Looking forward to learning from the experts here...
Cheers!
Scuba diver with photography problem...
or is it photographer with scuba diving problem?

#36 Matt D

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 02:11 AM

Hi
I live on the (Australian, New South Wales) Central Coast and been diving for over 20 years
I started with a Olympus C750 with a Olympus housing almost 8 years ago. I upgraded to Canon SX1 in late 2008 in a Ikelite housing and added 2 x DS-161 strobes as I could afford it.
My Wife got me a Canon 7D for Xmas 2010 and I just had to get a housing for it, which I got one a few months ago.The lens I have is a 100mm L series macro and a 17-70mm sigma.
So now I am learning how to use a DSLR underwater.
Regards
Matt D

Edited by Matt D, 11 November 2011 - 02:16 AM.


#37 sskyrm

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 07:53 PM

Hi All,

I am new to the forum and Wetpixel, have only been diving about 3 years and doing UW photography for about the same length of time. I have a Canon T1i camera in a Watershot housing, so was interested to see that someone else had Watershot as well. I like it, but have nothing to compare it to, since this is my first rig. Seems to work pretty well. Look forward to learning more from all the posts here and the website in general!

SSkyrm

#38 JorisMo

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:58 AM

hey all,

i'm new to this form and interested in Underwater Videography. i'm diving for about 4 years.

#39 pehrson

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 06:28 AM

Hi
Thought I'd refresh this topic for 2011.

The most asked question by any newbie is one that many ask or do research on. So in the tradition of Mr Wetpixel himself, we will (try) to restart this thread to give newbies the most up to date new rigs from members who have made the plunge themselves and why.
So members who have recently bought new rigs, please feel free to add your opinions and feedback on your rigs so that others may benefit from your knowledge. The more details the better.

For ease of reading and research for members, please refrain from off topic discussions
Thanks and happy shopping.

The older thread is here:

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=24887



I am new to the forum, purchased equipment and accessories (Oly E-520 and PT-E05 housing) I have yet to get the set-up in the water and do not think I will, I will be posting my setup in the classifieds.

#40 fijabee

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 12:46 PM

[quote name='horsediver' date='Jul 19 2011, 12:06 AM' post='287146']
For my first underwater rig, I purchased a Canon S95,

Hi
I also just joined although been taking pics since the nikonos III. Just thinking of giving up with my oly SP350 since the second camera is looking a bit damp and was never as good as the first one somehow (which drowned in Socorro). The Canon s95 seems to be a recommended choice since i know that I will end up not carrying a bigger set up. Any suggestions on the best wide angle lens set up for that- if I get the ikelite housing will any of the 67mm wide angle or fisheye lenses work ok or are there limitations?

i will be selling my old epoque wet lenses now (being 46mm) if anyone needs them!