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Wide Angle with Digital


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#1 scottyb

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 03:40 PM

I purchased my S2 specifically for macro with intentions of keeping my Nikonos setup for WA. I had originally intended to house a N90s to do macro but even then intended to keep the Nikonos. Some people still think the amphibious lenses produces better WA shots.

While that issue will continue to be debated for some time to come, I still haven't seen anything from digital cameras to make me change my mind and go all digital. I am incredibly pleased with my results while shooting macro but I'm hesitant to spend the dough for a WA setup. I haven't seen any proof of producing the incredible blues that you get with Provia 100F.

If anyone has or knows of such digital WA, please bring them forward.

#2 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 04:05 PM

Scotty you took the words right out of my mouth and hence the remarks in your wreck posting!

#3 craig

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 04:44 PM

I like digital for WA because it drastically shortens the learning curve. Besides, I decided a long time ago not to handle film again. My situation doesn't seem to suit you at all and I would never suggest digital competes well with film on quality.

Of course, in your example of rendering blue water, that's probably the easiest fix of all in Photoshop (right Bob?). That in no way diminishes your argument though.
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#4 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 05:00 PM

Your shots at Cocos were VERY good and proves that digital has come along way. However, both Scotty and I feel similar about the lack of good clean blue water shots; simply because we haven't seen any that can match the graduation levels of film. Most of those I have seen appear 'dirty'.

Similarly too I am anxious to see good results before I am willing to spend $3000+ on a housing and WA ports.


Not too sure what you meant about the PS fix for blue water... I've been writing all day and my brain is even number than usual - It's 05.00 here already!

#5 craig

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 05:20 PM

That was really just a little joke. I think it's funny that the film photographer here knows how to run PS arguably better that the digital guys. Not suprising actually, just funny.

With video I try to make sure my water lies within a certain range of blues. I then play with saturation and contrast to improve the subjective clarity. With stills and PS this is much easier.

I think it's remarkable how differently a camera sees its image underwater than your eye does (and how much better it is!). My video camera consistently makes water look clearer than it is. Although I haven't shot film I certainly understand what you're saying. There's nothing like the thrill of beautiful blue water.
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#6 marriard

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 07:42 PM

.... simply because we haven't seen any that can match the graduation levels of film. Most of those I have seen appear 'dirty'.

Ok, I haven't had time to go through all the images I took this weekend, so I will call this image maybe 'mid' best of a series (I need to go work on these on my color corrected monitor rather than this old burnt out laptop)

This has a very nice gradation of blues - not sure I could do much better with film. (Image resized, no other adjustments, shot with Fuji S2, 20mm lens, F4.8. 1/750, orginal looks much better ) :)

Thoughts?
M

Posted Image

#7 james

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 09:36 PM

Paul,

That is a beautiful beautiful shot.

Where you shooting in aperture priority at 4.8? It seems that you could have gone for a higher fstop and a lower shutter speed to get the same shot. Would it have made any difference?

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#8 Simon K.

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 02:35 AM

Have you used any stobes in it or is it just the natural light?
Is it the original image or how much PS-work did you on it

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#9 marriard

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 05:04 AM

Have you used any stobes in it or is it just the natural light?
Is it the original image or how much PS-work did you on it

Simon

This is all ambient light.

The only thing done digitally was a resize from the original and saved as a jpg (image was taken in RAW format)

M

#10 tshepherd

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 05:10 AM

Outstanding!! Hard to tell from a shot this size, but it looks like it handled the gradations of blue fairly well.

I think the one thing that *does* hinder digital when it comes to WA is the 1.X factor of most SLRs. I wonder what this same shot would have looked like at a true 20mm, rather than the 35mm it effectively is. I'm not sure in this case that it would have improved the photo though.

#11 scottyb

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 05:14 AM

Marriard, that's very nice. I'm still a little skeptical. With film the blues are almost always brilliant.


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#12 marriard

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 05:29 AM

Outstanding!!  Hard to tell from a shot this size, but it looks like it handled the gradations of blue fairly well.

I think the one thing that *does* hinder digital when it comes to WA is the 1.X factor of most SLRs.  I wonder what this same shot would have looked like at a true 20mm, rather than the 35mm it effectively is.  I'm not sure in this case that it would have improved the photo though.

Thanks,

The 1.x factor on a Fuji S2 makes a 20mm a 30mm (1.5 factor). It does mean you have to buy a wider lens for the same effect.

In this case it would have mainly meant I would have positioned myself differently for basically the same shot.

However, if I had wanted some strobe lights in this image to light up a 'cuda or two, it would have been different as I would have had strobe-to-subject to consider. Even then, these were big 'cudas (4'+), so you could get close enough to make them the appropriate size for the composition I wanted.

I have started considering a 14mm lens to give me around 20mm, but honestly you work with tools you have an try not to think about something you don't have. Actually this is why one of the reasons I prefer shooting non-zoom lenses - I find I concentrate better on shooting one method for a whole dive, rather than switching back and forward.

M

#13 tshepherd

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 05:35 AM

The 1.x factor on a Fuji S2 makes a 20mm a 30mm


Umm, yeah, I was doing that NEW math, right. Sorry, not enough coffee yet...

I find I concentrate better on shooting one method for a whole dive, rather than switching back and forward


There's something to be said for this.

#14 james

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 06:04 AM

Hi Scottyb,

While your shot is a nice one, I actually think the blues in Paul's shot are much smoother and more pleasing to the eye. I think that is because there is a lot of JPEG compression in your scan.

That's the thing about JPEG - it can ruin a wideangle shot. The way the compression works is that it looks for pixels that are similar, and then essentially makes them the same color. That's why you can see those blue blocks and lines in the open water.

Obviously this won't be there in a large TIFF and when printed out. So we need to realize that "web published" underwater WA shots are not a good way to judge a camera's capability.

FWIW, I know that photo pros have marvelled at Eric Cheng's beautiful WA shots from the Bahamas.

Paul, I have a 14mm Sigma lens. If you come out here to dive the Flowergardens, you can try it...:)

Here's one of my "mo-better blues" shots:

Posted Image

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#15 scottyb

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 09:44 AM

James, I agree that the blues in his shot as well as yours are quite pleasing. I know that we are disadvantaged due to the constraints of showing our photos over the web. You are right that this file was reduced from a 18mb scan of a slide.

If I thought I could get shots consistently with colors like yours and Paul's, I will be all over it. I just haven't seen that many and have seen a lot of the dirty blues that Bob refers to. I know that every time I get slides developed, the blues jump out at you on the light table even if the rest of the shot is crappy.

#16 dhaas

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 10:52 AM

Guys,

Too many constantly changing variables in light underwater have led me to determine deep blue backgrounds have more to do with:

depth
angle shooting up to surface or level
water clarity
direction of sun

For years I couldn't figure out how some shots had a deep blue background noting most of the ones I liked were taken deeper than 30', sun behind me and likely level camera angle.

I think the new digital SLRs have every bit of capability to reproduce publishable images versus film, especially for editorial use and inkjet output. See my link for some examples, the PNG ones being taken with an "ancient" CoolPix 990. Other Caribbean ones with Nikon D100 and single Ikelite DS125 strobe. (See my post on 1 versus 2 strobes also.)

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#17 scottyb

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 11:39 AM

David, you guys may make a believer out of me yet. There are some very nice shots including great blue water. What lens did you use and are you shooting TTL or manual with your D100? ? I really liked the trumpet fish and the B&W's.

#18 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 11:41 AM

DSLR's do produce images comparable to film for publication, in some cases even better. - Hence my new D1s digital cameras.

However, the arguement here is about a consistently good graduation of blues underwater across the board, and I know for a fact they are still frowned upon by picture editors because of the cloudy or dirty blues, the current chips produce.

Where the sun is or where your camera is pointing has no relevence... but thanks for jogging our memories.

I can produce images straight from my Nikonos, untouched onto a slide projector (and have lots of times) on a liveaboard and no-one on the dive would believe it was the same place. I am sure Scotty has produced equally clear shots in far from optimum viz.

The main point is neither of us want to spend thousands if it cannot do the job!

This is where I hope the foveon chip will come into its own.

#19 scottyb

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 12:16 PM

I have often thought that the blues produced by film are a little surreal. Some films are better at this than others like Fuji Provia 100F. As Bob said, whether the vis is 60 feet or 200 feet, you can go straight to the slide projector and the results are very pleasing. I have been on many dives where the vis is lower than you would like, yet the water looked beautiful on film.

The one thing I noticed with my S2, even shooting macro, is that what you see is what you get. This may be the case when shooting WA and it may require the visibility to be better. I don't know the technical reason but it seems that the sensor interprets closer to the same as the human eye. But then there is always PS.

#20 james

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 12:23 PM

I think this is a very interesting thread.

I love wideangle and for both of my last tirps, it's all that I shot. I used either the Sigma 14mm or the Nikkor 18-35. Both of these lenses can be used with Ike's housing and the extended dome port.

I think you should give it a try Scott. You can borrow my lens if you leave a deposit...:-)

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