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1st time out with the magic filter in Malibu

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#1 sgietler


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 09:55 AM

I finally got around to using a magic filter that I bought a while ago. I sure wish I had remembered to bring these to Anilao!

I used the large S&S dome port & my nikon 10.5mm lens, ISO 400, shutter priority mode at 1/60th. visibility was around 30-35ft, considered very good for a shore dive in southern california. most photos ended up with an aperture from F3.5 to F5.6.

I can't remember if I purchased the blue water or green water filters. Alex, is there a way to tell? my package says "MN10.5 (3)". I'm pretty sure I bought the blue ones. The water around here is usually halfway between blue and green. I wonder if the green filter would have given different results.

It was really nice not having the bulk of the strobes, especially since this site has decent currents and swells. It was also nice not having any backscatter, and getting even lighting. I brought a white dive slate with me so I could take some photos at different depths to assist in the white balancing later. All photos were white-balanced in ACR. The weather was sunny, and most photos were taken between 20-40ft depth.

Overall I was pleased with the results, although the colors and contrasts are less than I had hoped for. They might be better in tropical water, or with more colorful subjects, the local water here can kill contrast quickly.

The pamphlet the came with my filters was very well written, and it helped to read it before and after the dive to reinforce it's tips.

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Edited by sgietler, 24 November 2008 - 10:06 AM.

#2 Alex_Mustard


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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:22 AM

Hi Scott,

I think that they are very nice. Especially for your first attempt. I particularly like 1, 3 & 4.

They are taken with an Original Magic filter, which is for blue water, but works into quite greeny water too.

The shots are good, so there is no need to completely reinvent what you are doing. My main advice for stronger colours is to shoot slightly downward - this ensures even illumination on the subject which brings out rich colours. Quite a few of these shots are taken upwards, which silhouettes subjects and hides their colours.

In temperate diving much of the colour can be under over hangs and in the shadows - which isn't ideal for filters. But I think that where you have colour it is recorded very nicely. The Garibaldis look great, even when they are not in the foreground. The urchins, seastars and shark all look nice too.

In lower viz (which So Cal is always going to be) you can give the images a bit more contrast and move the black point up a little to boost the images a bit.

Hope that this helps,


Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D5 (Subal housing). Nikon D7200 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).

#3 JackConnick



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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:13 AM

Nice Scott, I like #1 & 4. The shark is very nice.

Ahh Malibu, dove there as a kid 40 years ago, lots of abs then, yum! There was a good little spot right out from Malibu Bay Colony.


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