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Phil Rudin

Member Since 25 Jan 2005
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 11:31 PM

#406719 MACRO setup for Sony a-6500

Posted by Phil Rudin on 02 June 2019 - 09:32 AM

As Taxi has said the Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 is outstanding for any Sony E mount camera and on the APS-C is equal to 135mm on 35mm size sensor. I would also consider the excellent E-mount Zeiss 50mm F/2.8 macro which is made for APS-C sensor Sony cameras. I just used this lens for a review in the current issue of Underwater Photography magazine uwpmag.com with the new Sony A6400 and Ikelite housing. The Zeiss 50 macro gives a 75mm 31 degree AOV v. an 18 degree AOV with the 90mm. Bot angles of view are very useful for macro with the 90mm being better for super macro with add-on closeup lenses. 


The auto focus on the A6400 is way ahead of A6300/A6500 in speed and accuracy for both lenses.

#406213 Strobes

Posted by Phil Rudin on 12 May 2019 - 09:22 AM

Well done Bill, your brightness values seem to mimic the guide number values published by the manufactures, with Inon rating the Z-330 at GN33 and Sea & Sea rating the D2J at GN-32. 


At the same time the brightness values are hardly apples to apples. The over 400 value for the S&S is for the strobe which has a beam angle of 80 X 80 degrees while the Z330 has a 110 X 110 beam angle. When the 110 degree diffuser is added to the S&S the brightness value drops to under 150. Using this logic it would stand to reason that if you reduced the beam angle of the Z330 strobes to 80 degrees the brightness value would jumpy 250 or close to 700.


Regarding diffusers the S&S 100 and 110 diffusers are designed to widen the beam angle. The Inon strobe dome filters are not designed to widen the beam they are designed for two reasons, to reduce the out put of light by up to four stops and too change the color temperature of the light output.


So again if you compare the S&S with the 110 diffuser for 110 beam angle and the Inon -0.3 dome filter with the same 110 beam angle the brightness value for the Inon Z330 is 100 points higher. 


I am pointing these issues out not because I have an issue with the work Bill has put in I am very well aware of how time consuming doing these tests can be. I just think it needs to be pointed out because these two strobes are in the same price ranged but not comparable apples to apples. 

#405883 Wider option for A7RII

Posted by Phil Rudin on 30 April 2019 - 07:49 AM

More photos


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#405882 Wider option for A7RII

Posted by Phil Rudin on 30 April 2019 - 07:42 AM

I have been following this thread with interest. One of the most ask questions ask by people who follow my uwpmag.com reviews and attend workshops is what W/A lens is best for Sony full frame cameras. As others have pointed out what you will be shooting and how much you are willing to spend has a lot to do with the answer.


First regarding the Nauticam Water Contact Optics. I have attached a photo of a prototype WWL-1 on the Nauticam NA-EM1 housing for Olympus E-M1 which I shot with the Lumix G 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 power zoom lens for the B&W hammerhead photo. These photos were taken in March of 2013 to help Nauticam evaluate the lens.

At DEMA in Nov.2014 another prototype WWL-1 appeared with little with little attention. By DEMA 2015 WWL-1 was ready to debut and coverage was intense. I touch on this information because I don't think many appreciate the amount of time, energy and resources Nauticam puts into developing such fine water contact optics. I would also point out that the Sony FE 28mm F/2 lens was the benchmark lens for this system because it was and still is the only Full Frame lens that works with the WWL-1. So be assured that image quality wise Beingnor has the sharpest lens combination available for Sony full frame outside the WACP.


The tradeoff for the image quality of the WWL-1 and WACP is weigh & cost in the case of the WACP. For both lenses shooting split images is an issue and they are not rectilinear if that is an issue.


I have also included two images with the Canon 8-15mm showing the 8mm end to create Snell's Window and the 15mm end for the turtle. With the turtle you can see how fisheye bends the water line when it above or below the horizon. I also included images with the 12-24 with 230mm dome at 12mm for the star and model and 24mm for the CFWA of the father duster worm. Any of these lens combinations works very well for most W/A needs.  


Regarding the comments on the Metabones adapter for the Canon 8-15mm, version IV/V have had firmware updates as recently as last month and most if not all reviews posted to the internet were done with lenses much longer that the 8-15. I have tested the 8-15 on the Canon EOS R full frame mirrorless and the Sony with the Metabones and I can assure all that AF is fast and accurate on the Sony.

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#404557 Smaller alternative to Nikon FX (m4/3)

Posted by Phil Rudin on 21 March 2019 - 09:45 AM

Hi Wolfgang, First, you can find plenty of comparisons of image quality on sites like DPReview and image sensor quality at DXOMark so no reason to reinvent the wheel. I agree that the EM1 II has excellent image quality, that being said quality for cameras like Nikon-850, Z-7 and Sony A7R III would then be superb, stupendous, orgasmic, etc. 


The difference is a result of the sensor size, the $2000.00 EM1 II has a 20.4MP sensor with a max resolution of 5184 X 3888 with a bit depth of 12. By comparison the $2000.00 Sony A7 III full frame camera has a 24.2MP sensor max res. of 6000 x 4000 and a bit depth of 14. Bit depth is a measure of the amount of information that can be registered by a computer, binary code 1's and 0's. A bit depth of 12 is more than 68 billion while 14 bit is over 4 trillion. This is simple physics, the more space you have on the sensor the larger the photo sites and the greater the bit depth.


Nikon Z7 at $3400.00 has a 45.7MP full frame sensor with max res of 8256 X 5504 while the $3200.00 Sony A7R III has a 42.4MP sensor with a max res of 7952 X 5304 both are 14 bit sensors. The reason this makes a difference too photographers is that larger max res. allows for larger prints and a greater amount of cropping along with better overall image quality. Viewed on the internet large numbers of MP's are just overkill.


One of the first things I tell students in my workshops regarding equipment is that you should be making equipment choices based on a complete system approach, not based on the latest camera body or numbers of MP's. The other is that the system should fit each persons needs and budget. Someone who makes twenty dives a year on a vacationing posts the images to Facebook won't need the level of equipment someone doing over 100 dives a year and making large prints  would need.


Everything in U/w photography is a tradeoff, small body, lens and housing size V. better image quality, larger lenses, DOF, expense and more.


The argument that full frame equipment is so much bigger that it can't be contained in carryon luggage is a bit of a myth. I carry all of my Sony A7R III equipment onto the plane with little trouble or over weight issues. The photo compares the size differences between N85 EM1 II housing, Sony N100 housing and N120 DSLR housing, in the background is a Hasselblad medium formate housing which present issues.




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#404136 A7SIII, Lens/port recommendations

Posted by Phil Rudin on 10 March 2019 - 10:29 AM

I agree with Adam when he points out that fast lenses like the Sony FE 16-35 F/2.8 are of little use in underwater photography and that the FE 16-35 F/4 would be the more logical choice. I also believe that with full frame cameras like the Sony A7 line, Canon EOS R line and Nikon Z-line that F/11 and for me F/13 is a good starting point for the 16-35 lenses on the wide end. For best results, 230mm ports will deliver best results regarding corner sharpness. 


While I agree with Adam that Sony has no native FE Fisheye lens I get by quite nicely with a Canon 8-15mm FF circular fisheye lens which I have used for both A7 II and A7 III cameras. EOS R and Nikon Z also lack a native fisheye but I have used both those cameras with the Canon and Nikon 8-15 DSLR fisheyes with great results. 


Depending on which housing you chose, it is likely that they will recommend a 140mm diameter port for best results. I have also used a 100mm port with the Canon lens. To use any of these Fisheye lenses as an over/under lens a much larger port like the 230mm would in most cases be the better choice. I also like rectilinear lenses for O/U and I am now using the Sony FE 12-24mm F/4 and the Zen 230mm port. Also working out an extension length for the brilliant Sony FE 24mm F/1.4. 


I agree with Adam that getting an opinion from someone that has actually used the equipment is always helpful. I write for UwP magazines and have written reviews of some of the gear you have listed for UwP magazine.


Most of my reviews are related to mirrorless camera equipment while other reviewers cover the DSLR and video stuff. 


(Post edited: Admin)

#400573 Nikon Mirrorless cameras - Z6 and Z7

Posted by Phil Rudin on 06 November 2018 - 09:27 AM

I would agree with Todd in regard to the Nikon Z7. The biggest issues being thrown out are the lack of two card slots something that would not have even been noticed there or four years ago. Others issues include the 1/200th sec. top flash sync and the AF-C. Image quality is in a word superb and on the same level as the D850. I had no issues with AF-S during you short one day use of the system. 


Regarding growing pains like Sony, Olympus and Panasonic when they went to mirrorless a full set of native lenses will take a while to roll out. That is what makes the MWL-1 and SCM-1 & 2 lenses so ideal for this system. With the FTZ DSLR lens adapter and the current Nikon 60mm F/2.8G macro this one kit can cover a very wide range of view all on the same dive.


Looking forward to seeing offerings for the New Canon EOS R system at next weeks DEMA show. 

#400547 Nikon Mirrorless cameras - Z6 and Z7

Posted by Phil Rudin on 05 November 2018 - 07:56 AM

Some additional information on the Nauticam NA-Z7 housing with MWL-1 and SMC-2 can be found in the current issue of Underwater Photography Magazine. Go to uwpmag.com for your FREE PDF download.



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#400503 Nauticam Macro to Wideangle Lens 1 (MWL-1) for Full Frame

Posted by Phil Rudin on 02 November 2018 - 07:10 AM

I had an opportunity to use the MWL-1 with the new Nauticam NA-Z7 housing and Nikon Z7 camera two weeks ago. The system was outfitted with the Nikon 60mm macro for DSLR's and the Nauticam SMC-2. The lens ships with a neoprene dome cover and my test unit had the Nauticam dual flip adapter. My test unit did not have a buoyancy collar and I used float arms which seemed to offset any imbalance. The Nauticam housing for this camera is excellent. The Nikon Z7 has the same growing pains found with the first generations of the Sony A7 cameras and other mirrorless offerings. Build quality of this camera is superb the best of any mirrorless I have used so far, excellent weather resistance. I only had the system in the water for about two hours so hardly enough time for a full review. I did like the idea of being able to cover from 150 degrees AOV down to 4X in macro. Attached are MWL-1, 60 macro and 60 macro with SMC-2 photos.
If you would like more information go to UWPMAG.com and download the latest free issue for my thoughts on this system.

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#400443 Nauticam Macro to Wideangle Lens 1 (MWL-1) for Full Frame

Posted by Phil Rudin on 30 October 2018 - 08:58 AM

Simon, On full frame the Nikon 60 macro has an AOV of 40 degrees, on M43 Olympus and Panasonic 30 macros have an AOV of 40 degrees with the 2X crop factor and all three go to life size (1:1). All three also have a 150 degree AOV using the MWL-1.


Zeiss 50 macro on APS-C has an AOV of 31 degrees with the 1.5X  crop factor and focuses to 1:1. On Sony and Fujifilm the AOV is 115 degrees with the MWL-1


Canon does not currently offer a AF 60 macro for full frame.  The Canon 60 macro for APS-C with the 1.6X crop factor has an over 24 degree AOV which appears to be too wide for the MWL-1 lens. 


SMC-1 & 2 were designed more for full frame and APS-C while CMC-1 & 2 are more suited to M43 and compacts. The problem with the 30 macro on M43 V. the 60 macro on full frame is the difference in minimum focus distance. The 60 macro gives you around 18+cm while O&P 30 macros give around 10cm making the distance to subject very shallow even without the addition of a C/U lens.


The upside to the MWL-1 which is being overlooked by some is the superb image quality and corner to corner sharpness. In the case of M43 the closest lens with this image quality would be the Olympus 7-14mm F/2.8 zoom combined with a port of at least 180mm (200mm is better) and proper extension. I know many M43 shooters that have just that configuration and the cost is around 2870.00 while the cost of the MWL-1 with 30 macro and port is around $2450.00 with the more expensive Panasonic 30mm F/2.8 macro.

#400410 Nauticam Macro to Wideangle Lens 1 (MWL-1) for Full Frame

Posted by Phil Rudin on 29 October 2018 - 11:42 AM

I can answer a few of your equations, first it is 110mm in diameter including the hood so smaller than the 130mm of the WWL-1. The MWL-1 is only a few grams lighter than WWL-1. The MWL-1 can be used on Nauticam single or dual flip adapters  with a macro lens like SMC-1 & 2 on the dual. MWL-1 is designed to be used with dedicated macro lenses that are 60mm and focus to 1:1. So full frame Nikon 60mm, Olympus and Panasonic 30mm macros. With these three lenses you can focus from the port glass and the AOV is 150 degrees.  The lens works across platforms from for full frame, APS-C, M43 and some compacts with variations in the AOV from each. The Nauticam.com port charts list the cameras and lenses tested so far. Other lenses may not have been tested at this time or they just don't work. 

#392475 Flotation for E-M1 mk ii

Posted by Phil Rudin on 18 February 2018 - 09:53 AM

I have owned the Athena 200mm port as well with the threaded Olympus style mount for the 4/3 housings like the Athena housing in the attached photo. This was during an advert shoot in Las Vegas for Turnberry Co. using an Olympus E-3 and Olympus Zuiko  8mm F/3.5 lens. It also worked very well with the Zuiko 7-14 DSLR lens.

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#390754 INON Z-330 review/OlympusTG-5 with Ikelite housing review

Posted by Phil Rudin on 02 January 2018 - 07:31 AM

My reviews of these new products are now released in issue #100 of UWPMAG.com. This is a free PDF download until issue #101 is released.



#390693 New Inon Z330

Posted by Phil Rudin on 31 December 2017 - 01:21 PM

Hi Berry, Yes the Z-330's performed well. My review should post in the next two or three days at UWPMAG.com

#390690 New Inon Z330

Posted by Phil Rudin on 31 December 2017 - 09:27 AM

Last nights black water dive (12/30/17) north of the Palm Beach Inlet, Florida USA in 500 feet of water. Very slow north current, only covered about a mile. Olympus EM1 II, 30mm macro lens, Nauticam NA-EM1 II housing, two INON Z-330 strobes.



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