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Medium format ergonomics


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#21 Scuba_SI

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 07:20 PM

I thought this thread was about medium format?

It's shot underwater.......

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#22 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 07:23 PM

Dan,

You're Awesome. :) ;) I think you should take a medium format, housed dSLR, and full HD rig on your first dives. I haven't ever taken 3 cameras on a dive with me, so i can't say it's a bad idea.

Si,

What you may not know is that there is a whole lot of underwater photography shot in pools in NYC, for ad agency work, where fickle art directors look over, and judge you by your gear.

Please see these excellent pool/model photos shot by James Wiseman, including the one I inserted above...

Also, please see these superb swimmer photos by Gennaro Ciavarella here...

Edited by Dan Schwartz, 20 November 2007 - 07:28 PM.

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#23 AndreSmith

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 07:24 PM

MDB and Giles:
Have either of you actually shot medium format underwater?

Have either of you even shot medium format?

[crickets chirping...]



Can someone PLEASE tell me how to block this Dan person's posts

#24 Scuba_SI

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 07:29 PM

Can someone PLEASE tell me how to block this Dan person's posts


Come on.... nowadays wetpixel without Dan would be like South Park without Eric Cartman.



Posted Image



All quiet and civilised...

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#25 loftus

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 07:37 PM

Can someone PLEASE tell me how to block this Dan person's posts

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=21238
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#26 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 07:45 PM

Note: For those of you who want to block my posts, here are the instructions. :)

Already own 3, 4 & 5; but more...

3) Get digital point and shoot for about 20-40 dives
4) Buy digital SLR
5) If sometime down the road you need a medium format for whatever random reason at least you will know how to dive without killing the ocean or yourself


While looking again at the Lens & Repro rental counter display of three Nikonos V rangefinder bodies occupying less space than the Nikonos RS sitting next to it... Then looking at the Fuji GA645 (6x45 rangefinder) sitting in my camera bag, something occured to me:

The problem with taking medium format underwater is not the size of the film or the larger CCD: It's the larger lenses caused by the longer lens-to-film distance to clear the mirror box in an SLR.

A good explanation is found written by Phil Askey on the Leica M8 on DPReview.com:

Solving the corner vignetting problem

Because a rangefinder camera doesn't have a mirror box [it] doesn't need to use retrofocus lenses, meaning they sit much closer to the film (or in this case the sensor). The problem with this comes with wide angle lenses (which are pretty much the main staple of the rangefinder camera). [Emphasis added: DLS] Towards the corner of the frame the angle of incidence of light coming from the rear of the lens is so severely off-perpendicular that they would not pass equally through the microlenses above the sensor leading to fairly strong vignetting. Even a modest wide angle lens at this kind of distance could produce a difference of a stop or two between the center of the frame and the edges using a standard CCD sensor.

Leica, obviously keen to solve this problem, took a three pronged approach with the M8:
(Cut: Balance in article)


OK, since a picture is worth a thousand words, which camera in this picture would you .NOT. want to build a housing for, or wrangle with in hostile conditions (such as underwater):

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


This shot of a next to a 6x6 SLR and 35mm SLR shows the issue with the mirror box depth and effect on lens retrofocus:
Posted Image


Incidentally, this Cambo with a 24mm lens is a camera that would be easy to build a housing for, using the same 39 MP back Troy has mounted to his Hassy H3D (16mm focal length with FX, 11mm with DX equivalents).
Posted Image

I'm going to bed now; but I'm sure the engineers at the housing manufacturers are watching this thread for ideas.

EDIT: The Cambo above becomes a 39 megapixel medium format point & shoot if the digiback has live focus available on the LCD...

Edited by Dan Schwartz, 20 November 2007 - 08:31 PM.

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#27 craig

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 08:20 PM

I'm going to bed now; but I'm sure the engineers at the housing manufacturers are watching this thread for ideas.


You are way too full of yourself, Dan. Housing manufacturers work closely with photo pros and many have experience that dates back to film and medium format days. There's nothing here that they don't already know. In fact, there's nothing here that everyone here but you doesn't already know, and that's because you don't know anything about underwater photography. You are simply asking remedial questions while imagining that you an expert.

Learn to dive, learn not to be a menace to the reefs, learn what equipment is used by experienced shooters and why, and then maybe you'll understand why your preconceived opinion that we are all doing it wrong is incorrect. The least you could do is gain enough experience so that you will stop asking idiotic questions about bouyancy changes with depth and whether using a hookah will make the handling of your housing better. Jeez.
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#28 james

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 08:26 PM

Dan,

If you don't calm down, I'm going to block you for another week. If you don't have anything to add THEN DON"T MAKE A POST.

I'll have a look tomorrow and see how things are going. If they continue like this then I'll put a block on you again.

And take my photos out of this thread - they have nothing to do with medium format ergonomics and I don't even want people to associate my work with your name.

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#29 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 08:29 PM

Craig, I don't appreciate you taking this thread off topic with your insults.

Do me, and all of us, a favor, please: Change your personal settings to ignore my posts.
I love the smell of fixer in the morning!

#30 craig

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 09:04 PM

Dan, I didn't take this offtopic. I responded to a specific comment of yours that I correctly quoted. You took the thread offtopic as you always do.

It would be inappropriate for me to ignore your posts or anyone else's and it is inappropriate for you to tell me how I should participate in these forums. As a moderator, I should be reading everyone's contributions.

If you wish not to receive such replies, perhaps you should consider learning some humility instead of bragging that your thread is a gift to the industry. Perhaps you should not also suggest who is and who isn't qualified to participate in a topic with you. If Giles and MDB aren't qualified to reply, then you sure as hell aren't. You aren't even scuba certified and haven't taken a camera of any form underwater. Frankly, you should be thankful that they've offered you sound advice and there's not a soul here who'd disagree with them.
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#31 echeng

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 02:04 AM

Craig, I don't appreciate you taking this thread off topic with your insults.

Do me, and all of us, a favor, please: Change your personal settings to ignore my posts.


I've taken the liberty of changing YOUR personal settings to prevent you from posting for 2 weeks. We don't need your attitude. Each time we suspend you, your warn level goes up by one. You are currently at warn level 2, and if you hit 3, I'm banning you and your ip address(es).
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#32 rtrski

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 04:14 PM

1) Learn how to dive
2) Do 20 plus dives
3) Get digital point and shoot for about 20-40 dives
4) Buy digital SLR
5) If sometime down the road you need a medium format for whatever random reason at least you will know how to dive without killing the ocean or yourself


Regardless of the mental agony that lead to MDB posting this simplified to-do list, and the fact that its intended recipient either cannot or will not take it to heart, I was kind of glad to see the above, as it's almost exactly the schedule I'm on (currently at #4, sans housing for it yet, about 65 dives, and have taken down my old Canon for the last 30 or so).

Makes me feel less like I'm riding the short bus compared to all the other photogs I see with their Alpha Photo Male rigs on the Flower Gardens dives (that's jealousy, not mockery) ...and worse yet, the quality of pics they actually take with them compared to mine! I'm not stupid (I know, open for debate)...just 'behind'. I guess if I complete #4 and never make it to #5, I'll be satisfied. :)

Edited by rtrski, 23 November 2007 - 04:15 PM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#33 TheRealDrew

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 05:39 PM

Regardless of the mental agony that lead to MDB posting this simplified to-do list, and the fact that its intended recipient either cannot or will not take it to heart, I was kind of glad to see the above, as it's almost exactly the schedule I'm on (currently at #4, sans housing for it yet, about 65 dives, and have taken down my old Canon for the last 30 or so).

Makes me feel less like I'm riding the short bus compared to all the other photogs I see with their Alpha Photo Male rigs on the Flower Gardens dives (that's jealousy, not mockery) ...and worse yet, the quality of pics they actually take with them compared to mine! I'm not stupid (I know, open for debate)...just 'behind'. I guess if I complete #4 and never make it to #5, I'll be satisfied. :P



Sounds like you are on the right track to me. Do not let the big cameras fool you, some of those guys might have started with smaller rigs and learned how to dive and gained underwater experience before moving up, as weird as that may sound :rolleyes:

#34 rtrski

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 06:34 AM

I hear ya.

Occasionally I meet a gung ho newer diver with a big dSLR rig, or at least a good higher-end point-n-shoot (Oly 8080 comes to mind) and a pair of big strobes, external WA lens, etc. who gleefully says "this is my first dive at the Flower Gardens...I just finished my Advanced Open Water last week!" Usually makes me cringe and stay far, far away from him. They take dinghy rides...me no trusty. :rolleyes: And then I'm jealous of the quality of their shots, regardless of the fact they rode the dinghy, sat out a dive for violating depth rules, bragged about chasing the ray to get the shot and surfaced with less than 100 psi showing on their gauge, etc.

There's a chance some of them were new to diving but not photography, so it's less of a leap for them than being newer to both. Still, seeing their captures it's tough pretending to be responsible. But we're way off topic now, and this thread should probably be allowed to expire quietly anyway. Thanks for the kind words, Drew.

Edited by rtrski, 24 November 2007 - 06:35 AM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#35 alvinjamur

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 04:33 PM

This whole medium format under-water thingmajig is certainly interesting. I've owned
the earlier cfh39 hassy back alongwith the h2d camera and I've now upgraded to
and still testing out the Hasselblad H3d2 (on land) and here's my 2c worth of
personal experience/opinions with the hassy setup i have :

- back currently goes up to iso 400 (after release of phocus, which i hope to get before its
released to the public, back will goto iso 800). in the polar regions (last week) i was not
able to get to my preferred fstop between f8-f11 with a 300mm lens as i needed to have
a shutter speed of 1/600.

- i use the back with an alpa 12swa and alpa 12tc but asked around to see if i could
potentially weather proof at last the h3d body etc., answer was in negative

- i won't even think of taking this rig worth about $30,000 (list) under the water as i've
much to learn about underwater photography and "real" diving. even if i knew "how to
dive really well", its going to be a pain in the a** to rig up a housing for the system. there's
so many calculations etc to be done for dome port curvature etc., i'd rather stick to
further developing my own diving skills and underwater photo technique rather than
mess with the whole medium format thing.

- i had a private meeting with the tech director and president of hasselblad in ny. the
techies basically showed me mtf charts and related them to the extreme tolerances
between the sensor and the first plane of lens glass. microns make the differences
in focus points! given the exactness of this i would think it would be prohibitively
expensive to rig up dome ports and the like.

- unless i was a top-of-the-world underwater photographer earning several hundreds
of thousands of dollars i would think trying to take a medium format system into the
water would be a complete waste

of course, people can do whatever "stokes" them. que..sera...sera.

- aLV

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Edited by alvinjamur, 25 November 2007 - 04:35 PM.


#36 echeng

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 11:44 PM

Al is doing the right thing to become a better underwater photographer. He just spent 2 weeks with Jim Abernethy in Palm Beach and the Bahamas learning diving skills. Jimmy and I hatched up a plan to force Al to carry a 3 lb. weight during dives until he mastered his buoyancy before he would be allowed to carry a camera in. I hear he passed with honors. :rolleyes:
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#37 james

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 07:25 AM

Way to go Al! It sounds like you've come a long way since we dove together in 2005. Thank for posting some great information about your experience w/ the H3d2

Cheers
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#38 alvinjamur

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 06:59 PM

Thanx for the inspiration, guys!

I must point out that many people here that claim that you can only make good
"HUGE" prints with a 39 megapixel camera are TOTALLY WRONG. They need to
go back and re-learn and re-hash the basics of resolution, PPI, uprezzing, smoothing,
human visual acuity, line pairs theory and interpolation.

How the hell did the human race manage to have billboards at Times Square
before digital!? And all this before the advent of the very egotistical
39 Megapixel backs?? Inherent in this whole "blowing up images" is the concept of
viewing distance that most people miss. Better gear will NEVER make anyone
a better photographer - I've seen enough wannabe phototypes that have
long (400 - 600mm) lenses trying to shoot them at 1/125th of a second!

Really, let's think before we make "big images" - why does the blue channel and
noise have such a strong tryst?? why might it make more sense (from a signal
processing purist point) to de-noise before using a multi-pass sharpening
workflow?? I don't consider myself an "underwater photographer", however I am
confident enough to talk pure tech photo stuff, be it underwater or over land. Fact
is that light ultimately behaves as defined by Maxwell's equations, be it on land or
under water.

Bottom line : no amount of gear will ever replace the "photographic eye" or talent.
What make this whole underwater stuff challenging is the absence of the want to
develop grass roots skills and a predominant propensity (I've been guilty of it, too!!)
to worry about gear, megapixels and the like.

But...I guess it all fits in here because this place is called "Gear Lust"....

- aLV

#39 Cerianthus

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 10:59 PM

I don't think the time square posters relied on 35mm. The human race had medium format and larger formats in film too.

But i hear you: it's all about getting into the water and taking images.
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#40 Paul Kay

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 12:51 AM

Bottom line : no amount of gear will ever replace the "photographic eye" or talent.
What make this whole underwater stuff challenging is the absence of the want to
develop grass roots skills and a predominant propensity (I've been guilty of it, too!!)
to worry about gear, megapixels and the like.

But...I guess it all fits in here because this place is called "Gear Lust"....

- aLV


You are so right! Although certainly not a camera viable for underwater use, I've just bought myself a Leica M8 despite its idiosyncrasies (and it has a lot). Within a few days of using it I'm already seeing a change in the way I approach subjects with it and its already yielding sales (amazingly!). Why? Well I think that the answer is that it forces me to think far harder about the image I'm trying to achieve - essentially forcing me back to use those grass root skills that you mention - which is no bad thing. (The only real other comment that I have about it is that having used a Leica M6 in Yosemite recently and having now got the M8, I could NOT go back to film - absolutely no way!!!).

However to move back more onto topic, the other aspect of using the Leica which I find so refreshing is that it is small, light, discreet and very easy to preset and get shots with that my dSLR would not be suitable for. And perhaps this is an aspect of photography which needs stressing. Changing format/equipment type has an effect on how equipment is used and indeed how usable it is in given situations. When I used a Contax 645 above water I shot the vast majority of images with it on a tripod - and this allowed full use to be made of the superb Zeiss lenses. Although there are different parameters involved when shooting underwater, I'd suggest that moving up to a larger format than Full Frame 35mm would often require some shift in technique to realise the potential of such a system, and is not necessarily just as simple as being able to afford to do so.
Paul Kay, Canon EOS5D/5DII, SEACAM/S45, 15, 24L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales underseacameras & marinewildlife & paulkayphotography & welshmarinefish