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Zen 100mm Dome...


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#41 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 11:41 PM

Did you try the set up with a 10-17 and 1.4TC on the D700?


No, I tried the 15mm & TC on D700. I don't have a zoom gear that works with the 10-17mm and TC. Also you would need exactly the right sized port extention to make sure you don't hit the inside of the dome/or get cut off.

Also I used the Zen Dome in Cayman, which does not really have the most suitable subjects for WAM. And since it was Adam's dome I didn't want to risk dinking it against something. So only did a couple of dives + the pool tests.

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#42 Steve Williams

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 07:51 PM

Can I go back to the strobe positioning question? I'd like to understand the issues with using large strobes to light the subjects using the little dome. Is the problem that wide strobe pattern blows light into the dome or that it's just tough to get them close enough or .......? I'm wondering if a large dia. snoot would help (if it's a pattern issue) almost a barn door type effect? I have the Ys 250's or the 110's if smaller is better but their really isn't that much difference in the diameter.
My shiny new Zen 100mm showed up yesterday so I'm itching to give it a try. The pool is still a little cool but the hot tub is ready. Just waiting for the duck. :)

Any thoughts appreciated,
Steve

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#43 col

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 08:02 PM

I used the small Zen dome on a couple of dives in Lembeh together with Seaflash 150's (similar size to ike DS-125/160) and found it quite difficult sometimes to get them close enough to the dome. I didn't have any issues with the strobe flaring into the dome.

Can imagine smaller strobes (e.g. Inon Z240) being much easier to position. Maybe the 'baby' Inons (S2000) are sufficient...
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#44 adamhanlon

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 11:12 PM

Hi Steve,

I've found the issue is getting my Z220's in close enough to the port, and still being able to hold the housing handles!

I think it is a physical size issue-you want the strobes in close and behind the port-but that's where your hands are!

Adam

Hot tub......???

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#45 stewsmith

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 11:15 PM

My shiny new Zen 100mm showed up yesterday so I'm itching to give it a try. The pool is still a little cool but the hot tub is ready. Just waiting for the duck. :)


Steve



Come on Mr Williams get in the pool and do some more of your testing. It cant be as cold as diving in murky UK waters. ( not that I do that ) Mine is now ordered and will be heading to Lembeh in may. Then up for sale when I return.

A quick question for 5D MK2 owners: Has anyone succesfully used a Zen mini dome on a Sea and Sea housing in combination with the 1.4 TC and 10-17mm and obviously an extension ring. If this is a possibilty then i might not have to get rid of the Zen.

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#46 Steve Williams

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:06 PM

Hot tub......???


Yep, Hot tub....


Posted Image

My wife took this and mentioned something about evidence to use at the hearing. The good news is the new Nauticam rig has been underwater (a nice toasty 102 degrees F) if not officially baptized in saltwater yet. :) The great news is no red lights or large bubbles. :) This is the Zen 100mm setup on the Nauticam 7D with electrically fired YS-250's. I put one of those fuzzy car wash mitts in the spa to play with strobe position. I thought the long yarns would sort of replicate anemone arms or I could at least see some shadows to understand how the light was acting. I shot everything at 10mm, zoom ring is back ordered.

I quickly understood what you were trying to tell me about getting close enough to light the front of the subject. My normal macro strobe position started to go bad with the subject about 6 in. away. After some trial and error I was able to work out a couple positions that allowed me to get a reasonable exposure with the subject actually touching the dome. You can tell from the shot above that it was a very bright day in Arizona today. Ambient exposure was about f/8.0 at 1/250 Iso 100. So I was shooting my mini test, manual f/14 at 1/250 with the strobes around 1/4 power, diffusers on. I was playing with strobe angle, position for and aft, up and down, and power. Four variables will keep you in the water a while. I started off shooting my 13" x 19" lens chart and you can really see how the corners roll away optically. It's pretty clear why you can lose corner sharpness as you open up the lens. You can also see how the normal strobe position would cause problems. It's made worse by the reflective plastic but you get the idea. This is at 10mm f/14 1/250 about 1/4 power on both strobes.

Posted Image

This is the mitt I used about six inches from the dome. The shadow on the right is all from the sun.

Posted Image


Here is a shot with the fuzzy things touching the dome with the strobes positioned beside and behind the dome, angled in toward the subject, right strobe higher than left, 1 notch under 1/4 power.

Posted Image

After a little practice I think the issue is not so much the size of the strobe as it is how sensitive a great exposure is going to be to position and angle. Very minor changes give very different results. The good news is after playing around I'm confident I can get reasonable results with the big YS 250's.


The Nauticam is really feeling nice, everything comes to hand almost instinctively. It loaded up without a problem. I don't have a manual yet so I just screwed on the tray, stuck it in the housing and everything worked. My old S&S ports with Nauticam adapter ring look like they were made for it. If you look close at the top shot you can see I have both the handle and housing arm balls mounted so I could try out different arm mounting positions. I definitely prefer the arms mounted on the housing. I also figured out that when I'm doing this type shot for real I'll only need to use the shorter 5 in arm on each side. Unless I trying to use Martin's inward lighting technique, but that's for next time. I feel a good hot soak coming on.

Happiness is a new rig, a dry camera, warm water and more to learn.

Cheers,
Steve

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#47 davephdv

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:39 PM

Um, I would remind you that O-rings are designed for a normal temperature range. Remember what happened to the Space Shuttle when it's O-rings got below 32 degrees?

It is not recommended to take housings in a hot tub. Still, they were pretty cool shots.
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#48 Steve Williams

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 07:32 PM

Thanks Dave,
Good point partner, I was thinking about that. Of course normal around here in the summer is way above 102 air temp so I was comfortable it would be OK based on past history. And you don't have to worry about the rig being in anything close to 32. Heck the pool is at 70 and I wimped out.

Edit- I did some checking and the lowest high temp range for elastomeric material I can find is around 180F. The old Nikonos rings would fail about 220F. Some of the silicones are good to 450F. Not sure what the Nauticam o-rings are made of but I'm feeling pretty good about getting back in the warm water.

Steve

Edited by Steve Williams, 03 April 2010 - 08:23 PM.

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#49 PRC

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 08:59 PM

Steve - you will lobster thermadore yourself before you cook a nitrile o ring,

Some of the pool chemistry might get at nitrile after a few years immersion I suppose.

Dont forget these o ring things are fuel rated - and some of the stuff in diesel is just nasty - even with coke and ice.

Thanks for the test shots.

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#50 adamhanlon

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 10:12 PM

My wife took this and mentioned something about evidence to use at the hearing


Too funny Steve!

Great info-thanks for sharing.

Adam

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#51 stewsmith

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 12:06 PM

Well done Steve. I will have to get booked in to my local pool for a few evenings to try out some strobe positions when my dome arrives. I can see there being a bit of a learning curve regarding strobe positioning and I would rather do it here than at Lembeh.

All the best

Stew

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#52 greedo5678

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 04:35 PM

My shiny new Zen 100mm showed up yesterday so I'm itching to give it a try. The pool is still a little cool but the hot tub is ready. Just waiting for the duck. ;)

Steve


Steve,

Great tests, the set up looks slick, and nice hot tub. But which duck did u order? Ive heard from pros this can make a huge difference to u/w tests. Standard ducks dont cut it and u need the ltd edition scuba duck! :goodpost:

Great idea with the car mitt vs anemone, all u need now is a Nemo toy...

And looks like i might be forking out for a small dome for the 7d too then.

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#53 Cp

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 05:35 PM

Yep, Hot tub....
The good news is the new Nauticam rig has been underwater (a nice toasty 102 degrees F) if not officially baptized in saltwater yet.


You forgot to order the optional drink cup holder.

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#54 TimG

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 08:14 PM

Hey guys

I've given my Zen 100 a good run-around here in Lembeh and then last week in Bali on the Liberty wreck (tough life eh?). Very happy with it on my Subal housing and Tokina 10-17 And it sure beats having to pack the FE2. But I am getting vignetting at around 14mm with a 20mm Subal extension. Odd. Is everyone using 20mm extension rings? (it's what Ryan suggested)

Thanks - I'm off back to the Liberty tomorrow........ :-)
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#55 Steve Williams

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 09:10 PM

I am getting vignetting at around 14mm with a 20mm Subal extension. Odd. Is everyone using 20mm extension rings? (it's what Ryan suggested)

Thanks - I'm off back to the Liberty tomorrow........ :-)


Hey Tim, I'm setup with the 20mm extension on the Nauticam. Which body do you have it on? Pictures please, I'd love to see what you're able to do with it.

Chris, I was feeling decadent enough without a drink holder, that and I didn't see it in the catalog. :goodpost:

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#56 Gudge

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 11:22 PM

But I am getting vignetting at around 14mm with a 20mm Subal extension. Odd. Is everyone using 20mm extension rings? (it's what Ryan suggested)

No, I'm using a Subal 15mm extension and getting excellent results with no vignetting. The 15mm extension was recommended by Ryan too.

There seems to be a lot of confusion and mis-information about what extension is required with the 4" Zen dome. When I first ordered mine back in early December 09 I was told by Reef Photo that no extension was required. The first time I used it without any extension it was obvious that this advice was wrong. After some too-ing and fro-ing with Ryan on what extension was needed I was given the 15mm extension advice in late February 2010, I purchased one based on this advice.
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#57 TimG

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 11:38 PM

Doh. RYAN!!!

Looks like he's going to make even more cash out of me...... Thanks Steve and Gudge.

I'll flick some pics up when I get back, Steve. I've not managed to process all I brought back from my last trip yet (only got back on Friday and I'm off again....)

And in case anyone is interested..... I am leaving KBR in a couple of weeks time. I have been the dive manager here for a year and it's been great fun. But a year is enough. Besides the Tim Tams Gudge and Mary very kindly sent me for Xmas have finally run out.

I cannot recommend Lembeh Straits enough though for anyone wanting to do some amazing small critter diving. I don't know what I'm going to do next yet. Anyone want to hire a former British diplomat turned dive manager? I can tell people to go to hell and leave them looking forward to the journey.......

:goodpost:
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#58 RedSeaDiver

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:43 AM

And in case anyone is interested..... I am leaving KBR in a couple of weeks time. I have been the dive manager here for a year and it's been great fun. But a year is enough.

Should be a decent farewell party - hopefully you won't get floured like Mike was for his brithday!

I don't know what I'm going to do next yet. Anyone want to hire a former British diplomat turned dive manager?

Always wondered about the Canberra bit in your signature - all is explained! If you turn up in Sharm with your resume you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a job at a dive centre - good luck with the job hunt.

I can tell people to go to hell and leave them looking forward to the journey.......

A friend of mine who used to work for similar masters to you used to explain it as "There's nothing I can't solve with a phone call - or 200 Royal Marines!"

Edited by RedSeaDiver, 05 April 2010 - 12:45 AM.

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#59 Cp

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 03:34 AM

No, I'm using a Subal 15mm extension and getting excellent results with no vignetting. The 15mm extension was recommended by Ryan too.

There seems to be a lot of confusion and mis-information about what extension is required with the 4" Zen dome. When I first ordered mine back in early December 09 I was told by Reef Photo that no extension was required. The first time I used it without any extension it was obvious that this advice was wrong. After some too-ing and fro-ing with Ryan on what extension was needed I was given the 15mm extension advice in late February 2010, I purchased one based on this advice.


On Nauticam, we recommend the 20mm extension. On Subal, the recommendation is either the 15mm or the 18mm. (and just to be clear, these recommendations are specifically for the Tokina 10-17, other lenses will be different).

Chris Parsons
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#60 Steve Williams

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:52 AM

While were waiting for Tim to post some real images (hint, hint) :D I learned a little more, playing with the dome. It's warming up nicely here in the desert, pool is up to 76F(25C) so I finally broke the ice and jumped in with the new Nauticam and the 7D. I'm still working on understanding the intricacies of the 100mm Zen dome with the 10-17. Did some comparison tests at 17mm varying f-stop. I know you pros have this down pat but thought I'd post a couple of shots for the rest of us beginners.

The first thing you notice is the optical difference between the 10mm and 17mm. Here is a comparison, both shot at f/14. The dome to subject distance was varied to fill the frame at each zoom position. It's tough to get the exact same position on multiple shots so I'm not quite squared up but hopefully you get the idea. The corners don't bend away as much at 17mm compared to the 10mm, as you'd expect.

17mm on the left 10mm on the right;

Posted Image Posted Image

It appears that because the corners are optically closer to the focus plane you can use a wider aperture and get reasonably acceptable corners at f/11 when racked to the 17mm vrs f/14 at 10mm. f/8 would be very usable. Here is f5.6 compared to f/11. Both shot at 1/250 varying strobe power to get roughly equivalent exposures. These are 1:1 Lightroom crops of the bottom left corners. Text is 1/8 inch high on the 13" x 19" focus chart.

f5.6 on the left f/11 on the right

Posted Image Posted Image


Thanks to Adam's fish shots, I started thinking about how the 17mm on the crop frame is getting closer to my old 28mm lens on the Nikonos that I used for fish back in the day, not at all equivalent but I started wondering about fish photos using the 17mm end of the zoom. I haven't found just the right practice rubber ducky yet so I resorted to my practice fish. He's about 6" (15cm) high. (Picture a Blue Tang) This shot was taken at 17mm f/14 1/250 ISO 160, 1/4 power on the left strobe, a notch less on the right. "fish" was roughly 12in (30cm) away from the dome. I only got one attempt at this. Turns out our female Golden Retriever is not happy about fish in her pool and she dutifully retrieved it and unceremoniously ended my practice session. :beer:


Posted Image

I'm liking the potential. The other thing to note is at 17mm you're farther away for the same subject size in the frame so the strobe position is less of a problem. There are lots of variables here but I can't wait to get this is some saltwater.

Cheers,
Steve

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