Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Manual Focus


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 radioactive

radioactive

    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Location:Alberta, Canada

Posted 10 March 2003 - 11:04 AM

I was hoping someone out there has any information or tips that could help me out. :P

I currently shoot using a D60 housed in a UK-Germany housing. I dive mostly on the Canadian West Coast (Nanimo through Port Hardy) and like to do deep wrecks and walls (150 - 300 ft range). The problem is that the combination of these waters and these depths lead to very low-light situations. The low light combined with the D60's poor low light auto focus makes it very hard to take any pictures, since the camera won't fire until focused.

My primary lens for these dives is the 16-35mm Zoom lens. The problem with this lens is that the lever on the housing lines up with the zoom ring on the lens, not the focus ring.

I believe I have a couple of options to solve this, but would like any input on the idea:

1) Could use a fixed wide angle lens. Does anyone know if this would allow me to use the lever on the housing to manipulate the manual focus ring?

2) Willing to switch my housing (ie to the Sea and Sea D60 model) if another model could accomplish this task.

3) If nothing else works, may attempt to attatch 2 high powered HID lights (ie Halcyon 2x50W HID video lights) to my strobe arms in an attempt to help the auto-focus. This would be expensive, may not work that great, might have to be closer to the subject then I would like, and would then need a solution to hide the lights during the exposure (while still holding the shutter release half way and staying still *l*)

I guess if all else fails, I may have to see how the low-light focus is on the 1D, 10D or the 1Ds and wait for a housing for either of those.

Any suggestions/discussion is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark

#2 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9969 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 10 March 2003 - 11:38 AM

Hi Mark,

Have a look at this page:

http://www.ulcs.com/access.htm

There are a number of accessories that should let you mount SOME kind of focus assist light onto your rig. It's best to mount your focusing light on the housing or port above the lens.

If you mount it on your strobe arm, it will move around when you adjust your strobe placement.

Can't help you on the MF, but I bet Eric can...

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#3 chrisg

chrisg

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 92 posts

Posted 12 March 2003 - 05:33 PM

1) Could use a fixed wide angle lens. Does anyone know if this would allow me to use the lever on the housing to manipulate the manual focus ring?

I've got the focus ring for the canon 20mm wa and it works in the s+s d60 housing. I generally auto focus with this lens,
bu thave used manual focus in cave-type situations

#4 davephdv

davephdv

    Doc Eyeballs

  • Senior Moderator
  • 2288 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Goleta CA

Posted 12 March 2003 - 08:45 PM

Not familiar with the cannon or Uk housing. But Subal housings have 2 nobs on them. One for the zoom gear and one for focusing. I have jury rigged gears for non standard lenses with a gear than I sanded down, then broke and rejoined with duct tape. The tape allows you to adjust the diameter of the gear to the diameter of the lens in use. Could such techinques work with your housing/camera? As a last resort Subal claims that they are going to make a housing for the D60. Announcement came out about the same day that Cannon DCed the D60.

Maybe above could give you some thoughts.
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

Life is a beach and then you dive.

My Website


#5 markh

markh

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 513 posts
  • Location:Leics, UK

Posted 13 March 2003 - 01:42 AM

I dive mostly on the Canadian West Coast (Nanimo through Port Hardy) and like to do deep wrecks and walls (150 - 300 ft range).  The problem is that the combination of these waters and these depths lead to very low-light situations.  The low light combined with the D60's poor low light auto focus makes it very hard to take any pictures, since the camera won't fire until focused.

Mark,

From the UK I experience the same problem. Diving in low viz is a pig for auto focusing. Manual focusing is the way forward here. I have a very neat system on my E10 Titan setup. Using the monitor I can overlay different information. One setting shows the Aperture & Shutter speed settings and another shows a manual focusing guage. This is very useful and allows complete focusing control through the monitor rather than looking through the viewfinder. The focusing guage shows distance settings from 0m to infinity and is calibrated between these two ends of the scale. All you have to concentrate on when taking a picture is the distance between yourself and the subject or the depth of field you want to achieve. Once you have estimated this, by rotating the focus ring the a sliding bar on the monitor moves accordingly. So for example if the subject is 0.5m away I would rotate the focus ring until the sliding bar on the monitor shows 0.5m. It is very simple and effective.

Is this a facility enjoyed on other digital SLR's?

Mark
Dirk Pitt taught me everything!!!!
E10/Titan housing/1 x Sea & Sea 90 Duo

#6 radioactive

radioactive

    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Location:Alberta, Canada

Posted 13 March 2003 - 10:34 PM

Using the monitor I can overlay different information. One setting shows the Aperture & Shutter speed settings and another shows a manual focusing guage. This is very useful and allows complete focusing control through the monitor rather than looking through the viewfinder. The focusing guage shows distance settings from 0m to infinity and is calibrated between these two ends of the scale.


Unfortunately my camea doesn't have the ability to manually focus digitally, I have to do it by rotating the manual focus ring on the barrel of the lens.

Not familiar with the cannon or Uk housing. But Subal housings have 2 nobs on them. One for the zoom gear and one for focusing. I have jury rigged gears for non standard lenses with a gear than I sanded down, then broke and rejoined with duct tape.


The UK housing only has one lever. I think that I will also rig my own gears for various lenses so that I can setup to use the lever for either manual focus or zoom. On my zoom lens that I want to manually focus I will have to create a ring that extends 3-4 inches into the port to reach the manual focus ring. If that can't be done I am pretty sure that the hosuing will allow fixed lenses like the canon 15mm fisheye or sigma 14mm to be manually focused (since the manual focus ring will be closer to the lever), although I am hoping someone can confirm this?

Thanks for the input ... I think I am closer to a possible solution.

Mark