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New Gallery: Raja Ampat-Lembeh via Halmahera


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#1 bmyates

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 04:34 PM

I just finished putting up a gallery from my recent Indonesia trip: Raja Ampat to Lembeh via Halmahera

This trip involved several "firsts" for me, some of which I'll try to discuss in more detail later when I have time:
1. First trip with 1Ds Mark III - very nice camera, much like Mark II but with more "computer-like" personality
2. First trip with Canon 14mm "II" rectilinear lens, which I had ample opportunities to use, and like very much
3. First voyage from Sorong to Lembeh via Halmahera - lots of new dives in remote places
4. First time spending time with squid, in this case a 1-foot long female laying eggs on a mooring rope
5. First stay at Divers Lodge Lembeh, with which I was very impressed (esp. the dive operation and guides)
6. First time I felt like I finally "settled" on a mainstay macro lens setup that I'll use 80-90% of the time from now on (Canon 100mm with Seacam wet diopter)

Anyway, hope some of you enjoy the gallery; comments, questions and suggestions welcome!

Bruce Yates
www.UnderwaterReflections.com
Canon 5DMkII in Aquatica, 1DsMkII in Seacam, G15 in RecSea...Inon Z240's...too many lenses
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields


#2 NWDiver

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:08 PM

Great stuff, what color! We just booked a trip w/Peter Hughes to this area for 09, so far away.

#3 loftus

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:09 PM

Very impressive gallery Bruce. Looks like you have that new rig totally under control.
What a great trip.
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#4 MikeO

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:09 PM

Nice shots, Bruce. I'm convinced that the best way for you to see BROs is to have me on the trip but somewhere else at the time. That's what I get for sitting out yet another boring mandarin fish dive. I now also see why you requested "no more frogfish". Hopefully I'll get some time next week to go through my own photos.

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#5 edpdiver

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 11:02 AM

(only 3,751 photos. It doesn't sound like you were trying hard enough...)

But seriously, what a great collection of photos. They are fantastic!
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#6 james

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 12:11 PM

Hi Bruce,

Very nice shots!

Apparently you like the Seacam wet diopter. I too used the diopter (Wet 2) in the Philippines last month. Which one did you use? Which one did you use for the Pygmy seahorse shot you posted? I notice a lot of CA at the lower right and I had similar unexpected results.

Cheers
James
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#7 bmyates

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 09:36 PM

Hi Bruce,

Very nice shots!

Apparently you like the Seacam wet diopter. I too used the diopter (Wet 2) in the Philippines last month. Which one did you use? Which one did you use for the Pygmy seahorse shot you posted? I notice a lot of CA at the lower right and I had similar unexpected results.

Cheers
James


James,

Yes, I really liked the diopter! I was able to shoot anything down to the size of an anemonefish with the 100mm by itself, and for tinier things (shrimp, etc.) put on the diopter to get "closer" (fill more of the frame). I think I also have the "Wet 2" diopter, but will have to check when I get home. I actually thought I was ordering the more powerful of the two diopters (was assuming they were numbered #1 and #2, whereas they apparently were actually numbered #2 and #4!), but I think the Wet 2 is what I actually got.

I assume the pygmy seahorse you're referring to is this one, right?
Posted Image

I was surprised at the CA, too, but didn't seem to get it on most shots with the diopter and lens, so I'm not sure how to explain it! :glare: All of the pygmy shots against black background had it. Could the fact that I was shooting him at 1/250th and f/32 (max sync speed and minimum aperture) have had anything to do with it? ;)

Bruce Yates
www.UnderwaterReflections.com
Canon 5DMkII in Aquatica, 1DsMkII in Seacam, G15 in RecSea...Inon Z240's...too many lenses
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields


#8 rustyworld

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 09:10 AM

146 image of pure joy. You have really captured the fantastical u/w universe. Way to go, good shooting!
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#9 philsokol

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 10:04 AM

Awesome Bruce! Looking forward to meeting you at the show this weekend!

Phil

P.S. Congratulations on your Shootout prize, Rusty!

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#10 Rob Kille

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:39 PM

I was surprised at the CA, too, but didn't seem to get it on most shots with the diopter and lens, so I'm not sure how to explain it! :glare: All of the pygmy shots against black background had it. Could the fact that I was shooting him at 1/250th and f/32 (max sync speed and minimum aperture) have had anything to do with it?

Hi Bruce, I don't shoot Canon but the Wet 2 and similar focal length, in my case D2x with 60mm, has been my go-to macro set up for about two years now. I like it for subjects as small as pygmies or as big as anemonefish (hey, we all shoot them....why not admit it ;) ) but not anything big enough to make me step back a foot or more, like a medium sized frogfish.

In my experience CA has not been an issue because I suffered CA as bad as that in your seahorse image when shooting a couple pipefish sticking their heads out of some white coral (open background, not black,SS @ 1/80, and aperture at f25) in PNG in 2006. So I did a little layman's experimentation to see if it was something as simple as the physical setup of my camera/housing rig or something inherent in the diopter's performance.

What I found is that the alignment of the lens to the flat port, and the Wet 2 being pushed all they down against the flatport glass, is critical to the avoidance of CA. It took me a while to figure this out because without the wet diopter it never really mattered if the flat port was not effectively perpendicular to the lens axis, but I can both create CA and eliminate/mitigate it by dictating whether or not the Wet 2 is effectively perpendicular to the lens axis. This probably doesn't matter to other wet type diopters because they are not achromats, but I suspect the fact that both the Wet 2, and the 60mm, or in your case 100mm, lens are achromats, it does matter when using the Seacam diopters.

Now, not a bit of that is based on science but it is what I found when figuring out how to make the combo as productive as possible. Perhaps someone with an optical background could weigh in.

#11 bmyates

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:50 PM

...What I found is that the alignment of the lens to the flat port, and the Wet 2 being pushed all they down against the flatport glass, is critical to the avoidance of CA...


That could be precisely the problem, Rob! I was constantly slapping the Wet 2 onto and taking it off of the port during dives, and more than once noticed when I took it off that it hadn't been completely on tight. That would certainly explain why the CA occured on some series' of shots and not others! As usual, it's not the equipment's fault...it's USER ERROR! :) ;)

Bruce Yates
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"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields


#12 mrbubbles

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 06:15 AM

wow bruce , you have a great eye, and wonderful set of shots. Did you go with deb?

#13 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 06:46 AM

Nice stuff, Bruce.

Really like the presentation style with the sections. Makes the whole gallery much more watchable - just like a slideshow.

Alex

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#14 bmyates

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 07:22 AM

Nice stuff, Bruce.

Really like the presentation style with the sections. Makes the whole gallery much more watchable - just like a slideshow.

Alex


Thanks, Alex! I did the title pages in part to make presentations (e.g., to my employees, who are a captive audience :) - and occasionally for other people...that I'm NOT paying to watch ;) ) more interesting and cohesive, and I decided I'd just put those "title" slides on the website as well.

As I'm sure you would agree, people generally enjoy seeing photos in groups with some common theme or relationship, rather than just throwing up (the double meaning of that term often seems accurate! :P ) slide after slide of random subjects...

Edited by bmyates, 22 June 2008 - 07:23 AM.

Bruce Yates
www.UnderwaterReflections.com
Canon 5DMkII in Aquatica, 1DsMkII in Seacam, G15 in RecSea...Inon Z240's...too many lenses
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields


#15 bmyates

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 07:29 AM

Did you go with deb?


Yes, this was another trip organized by Deb Fugitt (aka City Searhorse). I've been on several trips with Deb, and she really goes the extra mile to make sure her group gets optimal photo opportunities. It's not unusual for her to instruct the boat to change dive sites at the last minute because the crew member who went in the water to check currents, etc. found less-than-optimal conditions. And she's an expert on Indonesia diving, having been taking groups there for MANY years...

I certainly won't hesitate to go with Deb on future trips!

Bruce Yates
www.UnderwaterReflections.com
Canon 5DMkII in Aquatica, 1DsMkII in Seacam, G15 in RecSea...Inon Z240's...too many lenses
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields


#16 mrbubbles

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 10:14 AM

I agree she runs some of the best trips around. She has the boat and crew running like a fine tuned machine