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60mm + 2X TC


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#1 kthan

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 12:36 AM

Hi

I may finally get to try out my S2 setup in 2 weeks' time :( Tks to James and Paul for all the help rendered in the setup of my system.

As advised, I have bought the 60mm macro. However, I am hoping to shoot some pygmy seahorses and i don't want to commit on a 105mm after splurging so much so soon.

Hence , is it advisable to atttach a Kenko PRO 300 2X TC to my 60mm? Or would the 1.4X TC be a better match? Any problems with AF after the merger?

And since I am on the 105mm, is the savings on the Sigma 105mm worth it, vs a Nikon 105mm, esp in AF mode?

Thanks fellas.

Eric

#2 scorpio_fish

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 02:46 AM

The Kenko Pro 300 2x is designed to work with lenses above 100mm. The 3x can work with lenses above 50mm although 100mm is still recommended. You might look at the MC7. It may work better with the 60mm.
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#3 Kasey

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 03:28 AM

I've shot both the 105 and 60mm with and without the kenko 2X on my d100. I haven't used the 60mm plus 2X tele since I got the 105mm a few months ago. the teleconveter really cuts down the brightness of the viewfinder, which might be even more of a problem on the s2. When I want to shoot 1:2 or less macro - I carry my 60mm. When I shoot 1:1 or great - the 105 with or without teleconverter. I think it'll be difficult to confirm focus on the eyes of a pygmy seahorse with the 60mm plus 2X tele! And you'll have to get awfully close!
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#4 kthan

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 06:46 PM

tks Kasey and Scorpiofish. Seems like there is no running away from buying the 105mm. Anyone care to comment on the sigma 105mm, esp in AF with the S2?

#5 Chris Bangs

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 06:46 PM

I have used the Kenko 2X with the 60 MM Micro and it works quite well, but as stated your working distance at full magnification will be quite short. This will make strobe positioning difficult and also cause your subject to retreat!

When shooting 2:1 you will need a nice bright spotting light to compensate for the light loss due to the magnification

Regarding auto focus, At 2:1 I suggest you try to avoid using it due to the very limited DOF and low light levels. If the camera can not "lock" in on the focus, the shutter will not release. This will drive you nuts and very likely lead to many lost opportunities!

If you do not have manual focus capability with your housing AND you plan to shot a specific subject, I suggest shooting in full manual focus mode (camera servo and Lens) and presetting the focus distance so that you can fit your subject in the frame. You will have to move the camera to achieve focus, but you will have the ability to release the shutter when you desire. The focus indicator Dot located in the far bottom left portion of the viewfinder will still function, therefore you can use it to determine when to press the shutter button. You may get a lot of soft images, but your chances of getting keepers is greatly increased. I do suggest that you try give this technique a try in your local area or even in a pool before you apply it on a expensive dive trip. 2:1 is not easy, but with practice and a LOT of patients wonderful results are possible. For good results you should plan to spend most of if not all of the dive on a single subject.

In my opinion, you should get the 105, as it is very useful for super macro. The 105 may actually aid in you success with the Pigmy Seahorse ( they tend to be a bit shy). Check Ebay, they are quite common and very reasonable.

Kindest Regards

Chris Bangs
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#6 james

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 07:36 PM

Hate to toot my own horn, but I got a 105 in good shape on Ebay for $393US including shipping.

I really don't use the 60 much anymore...

Cheers
James
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#7 kthan

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 09:49 PM

Tks Chris. I think that is how James shot the squid shots :huh:

#8 Chris Bangs

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 01:48 AM

one more "super" macro tip

Finding tiny critters at 2:1 using the viewfinder is a pain in the butt, but with a narrow beam light pre focused on the "frame area" you can reduce the "hunting" considerably. I use this technique to shoot 7:1~10:1.

How to do it!

before you approach the subject, find some thing you can easily focus on and adjust the light until you see the brightest image in the viewfinder. When you approach the subject, you can then direct the light on the subject before looking through the viewfinder. This will greatly reduce the time spent hunting while looking throughout the lens.

Again, this requires a bit of practice to master

A great spotting/focus light is the Ike PCA, Small,narrow beam, and very bright. The Ultralite "universal" light adapter designed for the Toshiba light works fine (a little electrical tape also helps keep the light secure) combine it with with a TLC base adapter and clamp and you can mount it on top of the S2 housing. This is what I use.

So far the light has not rebelled with the enemy housing and mount. :huh:

Chris
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Many outdated flashy thingys with aluminum tinker toys to connect them to the cameras.

#9 craig

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 02:12 AM

A modified version of Chris's focus advise is to pre-autofocus at a guess-timated distance and lock it in with the MSC switch. You'll get the same effect but can reset it for the next critter or switch back to autofocus as you desire. Combine that with the pre-aiming of the focus light if you like that technique.

My preference on a focus light is to mount it such that it requires little re-aiming regardless of subject. It helps to have a long port barrel for this. Thanks to Mauricio for showing me how to set this up. It was indispensible for my smaller pygmies.
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#10 Lndr

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 01:57 PM

My preference on a focus light is to mount it such that it requires little re-aiming regardless of subject.  It helps to have a long port barrel for this.

was this something from another thread ? I'd be interested to read more on this
... can't quite picture how the long port is helping with your focus light :huh:

#11 james

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 02:23 PM

It has to do with paralax I think.

If you're going to be doing manual focus on a dive, the idea is to get the focusing light as parallel to the lens as possible so that your subject is always brightly lit for focusing.

If you are going to prefocus at a set distance, then it doesn't matter. You can aim the modelling light while your housing is set up on the camera table. Then you just shine the light on what you want to take a photo of then look through the viewfinder for fine adjustment.

An underwater laser pointer that would turn off when the shutter is open would be perfect for this. My research buddies have u/w laser pointers, but I have no idea how to rig one to turn off...

Cheers
James
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#12 kthan

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 06:10 PM

...and lock it in with the MSC switch.

Hi Craig

Regrettedly, I don't think I can access that button on the old Ikelite S2 Housing during a dive, unless I preset before the dive and shoot manual. But for a newbie, shooting manual on the first dive with the S2 is too daunting a task.

I will try to mount my Ike PCA light on my housing to help focusing, and I do hope the camera's own focusing light will come on as well, as mentioned by James in his review.

Tks all for the kind advices. Real infomation overload here, if you add on to all the questions I have had for the past 2 months. I have also bought a DS125 from a fellow wetpixalian. In fact, all my stuff are from fellow wetpixlians :huh:

James, tks for the tip for your lens. i think the bid is way above your USD390 now, and + shipping to Singapore, wow! Think I may stick with the sigma. Anyone out there using the Sigma 105mm f2.8 on his DSLR ? Feedback greatly appreciated.

Regards
Eric

#13 Chris Bangs

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 07:14 PM

I do not know if Ike has a light bracket for the PCA Yet, But if your housing has a shoe mount on top like my old F90 housing did, you can use hot shoe ball adaptor,clamp, and ultralite light bracket. If you really want control of the aiming light (long port/very short subject distance) you can even add another short arm and clamp. This will allow you to adjust the light so that the beam is not blocked by the port.

Note, on my F90 housing, the open end of the shoe mount was blocket by the Sync connector. All I had to do was file off a bit of plastic so that the adaptor could be inserted from the free side.

Regarding the Sigma 105, does it provide a 1:1 reproduction ratio? If so it should work fine although it may focus a bit slower (AF) than the Nikon.

Craig, your MSC idea is wondeful! Why didn't I think of that :huh:

Chris
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Many outdated flashy thingys with aluminum tinker toys to connect them to the cameras.

#14 Lndr

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 07:23 PM

sure, just had the impression that most people have their focusing lights on the housing, or arms.

have often wondered about a laser pointer myself ...

#15 james

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 07:46 PM

Yes, the Ike housing has a mount where you can attach a ball on the top. You need to get the ULCS ball adapter that is made to slide into the hot shoe on a NikonosV (AD-HS is the part number).

Here's a hotlink to the photo on the ULCS page:

Posted Image

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


Cheers
James
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#16 craig

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 10:33 PM

This is how long my lens barrel is:
Posted Image

I use an arm to mount the light so that the lens of the light rests just in from of the port opening and touches the port. The arm works its way back to a third hotshow not shown in the picture.
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#17 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 01:29 AM

My advice would be to go with a used 105. Like James I got a similar deal - I think buying new lenses for use underwater is a waste of money. I am not worried by the look of the external aesthetics, mine are pretty ugly but the optical quality is how I judge a lens and both my used 60 and 105 are optically perfect.
Regarding the 60 - This is probably the most flexible non-zoom lens ever made, I used it in Lembeh for around 80% of the time.
Flooding a used lens only hurts 30% as much too, so too the used Housings & bodies I buy at 25% cost of a new one. So, at the end of the day I am getting $14,000 results for around $3000. Worth thinking about eh?

#18 kthan

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 05:00 PM

Yep I think I will get the 105 afterall.

All my stuff are second hand too, except the S2 body. Although they are not 25% of the original cost, I am still happy with the substantial savings.