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Canon 7D setup.


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#1 scubaseven

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 02:33 PM

I am going on a trip of a lifetime next year (sorry to keep harping and making you jealous), and was going to go with a $1000 setup.
But thought, why?
Why not get the good stuff.
Canon 7D and acc.

So here is what I am thinking:


http://www.bhphotovi...igital_SLR.html
http://www.bhphotovi..._Housing_f.html
http://www.bhphotovi...robe_Video.html

I am guessing I would need 2 strobes, correct?
Is there a better/cheaper brand?

Can I use the power grip for the 7D while its in the housing?
Any other info/tips I should consider?
cheers
Hope is never lost, but often given up.

#2 Viz'art

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 03:12 PM

The 18-135 that comes with this kit might not be the best lens for underwater, I would go with something with less range, maybe consider a 17-70mm from Sigma as an alternative, it has good close up capabillity and a decent zoom range and I believe Ikelite does support this lens.

For a lens in this range a single strobe can and will be good, I would say, given your choice of housing, to go go with a DS-161 or DS 160 if video is not in your priority.

And yes, you will have to remove the power grip, and its a good thing, housing are big enough as they are, :) the last thing you want is something that will make them bigger!
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#3 scubaseven

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 09:58 PM

Maybe an 18-55 lens?

And one of these:

http://www.bhphotovi...robe_Video.html

cheers
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#4 ileiman

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 04:54 AM

I have a somewhat similar setup: 7D in Ikelite housing, two DS161 strobes, but with two lenses: the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, and Canon EF-S 60mm macro.
The 7D kit lens EF-S 18-135mm is OK general puprose lens for surface use, but it is not suitable for underwater.
For underwater use you need either very wide-angle lenses, which you put behind a dome port, or macro lenses, which you put behind a flat port.
Note that the Ikelite housing, like all dSLR housings, does not inlcude any lens ports, those you need to buy separately according to the lenses that you use.

The kit lens 18-135mm (29-216mm equivalent on full-frame) is not really wide angle (74 degrees), generally you would want something much wider, like 100 degrees or more, up to 180 degrees with fisheyes. On the other hand it is not suitable for macro either, having closest focus distance at 0.45 and magnification ratio of only 1:5. At f 1/3.5-5.6 it is also a bit too slow underwater. But the worst thing is of course that it changes length from 100mm at wide, to 160mm at tele, so it doesn't work too well inside a lens port. Like all "superzooms" it tends to vingnette at wide end in a port that allows full zooming, or then in shorter port you cannot zoom fully out and loose the ability to use it macro, however the 18-135mm isn't a good macro even in best case.

While you can work with a single strobe, you really want two. The DS161 is an excellent strobe, especially when used with the Ikelite housing and the 7D, and the TTL control works quite well with this combination. The video light LED is useful in some situations for video, but don't expect too much out of it in that purpose, however as a focus light it is wonderful. You can't find anything as good as this any cheaper.

The Ikelite housing is OK for this price range. The more expenisive aluminium housings will cost you 2x or 3x more when you count in the ports costs.

Power grip does not fit into the housing, I am not aware of any housing that would support this. However, with TTL strobes you can shoot almost 300 pictures and 30 min video, so this should be enough for one dive, after which you should recharge everyhting and upload your pictures anyway.

I am going on a trip of a lifetime next year (sorry to keep harping and making you jealous), and was going to go with a $1000 setup.
But thought, why?
Why not get the good stuff.
Canon 7D and acc.

So here is what I am thinking:


http://www.bhphotovi...igital_SLR.html
http://www.bhphotovi..._Housing_f.html
http://www.bhphotovi...robe_Video.html

I am guessing I would need 2 strobes, correct?
Is there a better/cheaper brand?

Can I use the power grip for the 7D while its in the housing?
Any other info/tips I should consider?
cheers


Canon 7d, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, Canon EF-S 60mm Macro, Sigma 10-17mm OS HSM, Ikelite housing,
2x Ikelite ds-161 strobes with Stix 12"+12" arms with floats.
Canon ixus 980is in Canon housing.
Olympus c8080wz in Olympus housing.
website www.leiman.fi.

#5 ileiman

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 05:27 AM

Maybe an 18-55 lens?

Nope, that's neither wide angle nor a decent macro.
A bad compromise of everything.

The "Tokina AT-X 107 AF DX 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Fisheye Zoom" is THE lens for wide angle:
http://www.bhphotovi...T_X_107_AF.html

With this one you do need dual DS161 strobes.
For Ikelite housing I recommend the 8 inch dome 5510.45 with the superwide port body 5510.11.
With smaller domes you might see soft corners, but the 8 inch dome gives a crystal clear and super sharp image all around.
It is also a good idea to get arm extensions for the strobes, as with the regular arm sets that comes with the DS161 strobe set (3945.01 + 3945.02), you easily get flare at the widest angle.

The Tokina finds also good use above surface in certain situations. It is an excellent tool for documenting the insides of houses and you can create stunning panoramas.

The brand new Canon "EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM" might also be a good choice. But not many have used it yet underwater, so it's hard to find comments.

For macro I recommend the Canon EF-S 60mm MACRO.
http://www.bhphotovi..._2_8_Macro.html
It gives you 1:1 (lifesize) magnification ratio at shortest focusing distance of 20 cm, and is f/2.8. Really sharp lense of high build quality and probably one of the sharpest of EF-S range, has USM focus motor with full time manual override. If you like photographing small creatures of the sea (like seahorses, nudibranches and the like), this is the best you can get.
For this lens you need the Ikelite 5502 port.

The bad thing with these lenses is that you can only use one of them during a dive. Underwater there's no changing of the lenses :)
Unfortunately there is no general pupose lens that can do everyhting as good as these.

Edited by ileiman, 12 December 2010 - 05:31 AM.

Canon 7d, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, Canon EF-S 60mm Macro, Sigma 10-17mm OS HSM, Ikelite housing,
2x Ikelite ds-161 strobes with Stix 12"+12" arms with floats.
Canon ixus 980is in Canon housing.
Olympus c8080wz in Olympus housing.
website www.leiman.fi.

#6 Timmoranuk

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 06:29 AM

Don't forget the Canon 10-22mm which bridges the gap nicely between the fisheye Tokina 10-17mm and mid-range zooms like the Canon 17-40mm or (my choice) the Sigma 17-70mm (the new OS version is good) which is ideal top-side walk around glass and is far superior to any kit lens.

Maybe don't be tempted by the Sigma 8-16mm yet. With the small apertures this glass needs behind a dome its a specialist lens unless you are blessed with gin clear waters and high, overhead sun...

Edited by Timmoranuk, 12 December 2010 - 09:59 AM.

· Canon 5D3, 7D & Nauticam housings. Sigma 15mm, Canon 16-35mm, Tokina 10-17mm, Sigma 8-16mm, Canon 10-22mm, Sigma 17-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Sigma 120-300mm, Canon 60mm & 100mm
· INON Z-240s & Sea & Sea YS-250 Pros
· SmallHD DP4 monitor & NA-DP4. Fisheye Aquavolt 3500s & 7000s
· Zen DP-100, DP-200 & DP-230

#7 scubaseven

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 10:58 AM

I have a somewhat similar setup: 7D in Ikelite housing,


Some good info there.
Thanks.
Hope is never lost, but often given up.

#8 scubaseven

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 11:01 AM

Nope, that's neither wide angle nor a decent macro.
A bad compromise of everything.


And again.
Cheers.
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#9 ileiman

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 11:28 AM

Don't forget the Canon 10-22mm which bridges the gap nicely between the fisheye Tokina 10-17mm and mid-range zooms like the Canon 17-40mm or (my choice) the Sigma 17-70mm (the new OS version is good) which is ideal top-side walk around glass and is far superior to any kit lens.

Maybe don't be tempted by the Sigma 8-16mm yet. With the small apertures this glass needs behind a dome its a specialist lens unless you are blessed with gin clear waters and high, overhead sun...

I have been thinking about something like the Sigma 17-70mm OS, as a "scouting lens".
But for an Ikelite owner there is one bad thing: it doesn't officially fit the Ikelite ports, being too thick. On this forum I have seen some posts showing how it could be tweaked into the Ikelite port by using rubber band and velcro tape to attach the focus ring, but that looks kind of risky.

Have you had any experience with the Sigma 8-16mm?
Would be interesting if it was good, but a you are saying it is not?
It is not exactly cheap either.
Canon 7d, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, Canon EF-S 60mm Macro, Sigma 10-17mm OS HSM, Ikelite housing,
2x Ikelite ds-161 strobes with Stix 12"+12" arms with floats.
Canon ixus 980is in Canon housing.
Olympus c8080wz in Olympus housing.
website www.leiman.fi.

#10 scubaseven

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 06:32 PM

With this one you do need dual DS161 strobes.


Are there any strobes that are as good that use normal AA batteries?

Edited by scubaseven, 27 December 2010 - 06:34 PM.

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#11 Cary Dean

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 07:52 PM

Are there any strobes that are as good that use normal AA batteries?


You might consider the Inon Z-240
http://www.backscatt...s/InonZ240.html
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#12 scubaseven

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 10:25 PM

You might consider the Inon Z-240
http://www.backscatt...s/InonZ240.html


They cannot be used in TTL mode apparently.
I already contacted a guy about them.

I am not sure what TTL mode is exactly, but its seems like I would need it (through the lens, but whats that mean?).
Hope is never lost, but often given up.

#13 Cary Dean

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 10:29 PM

They cannot be used in TTL mode apparently.
I already contacted a guy about them.

I am not sure what TTL mode is exactly, but its seems like I would need it (through the lens, but whats that mean?).


With the Sea & Sea TTL adapter they'll do TTL but you're better off with
manual mode most of the time. (specifically for Wide Angle)
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#14 scubaseven

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:31 AM

With the Sea & Sea TTL adapter they'll do TTL but you're better off with
manual mode most of the time. (specifically for Wide Angle)


Thanks.
Guess I will have to learn what manual mode is.
Might pay to do a course (or DL a heap of videos off Youtube).
:)
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#15 ileiman

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 01:51 AM

They cannot be used in TTL mode apparently.
I already contacted a guy about them.
I am not sure what TTL mode is exactly, but its seems like I would need it (through the lens, but whats that mean?).

TTL = "Through The Lens" automatic exposure control for flashes. The camera controls the flashes and exposure automatically.
If you are a beginner in underwater photography, then I strongly recommend you get a TTL capable flash setup. I really helps a lot.
With an Ikelite housing the most practical way is to use Ikelite flashes. Using anything else gets quite complicated.

Of course you can do everything manually, but the learning curve is steep and you will see a lot failed shots before you learn it properly.

On Canon cameras there are actually many generations of flash TTL systems, you can read about them here:
http://photonotes.or...lash/index.html
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Speedlite
http://www.bobatkins...speedlites.html

TTL control works such that before exposing the picture, the camera first meters the subject without flash, then it commands the flash(es) to send a very short preflash, which the camera then meters again (through the lens using its internal metering system). Now the camera is able to compute a proper exposure taking into account both the ambient light falling to the image background (metering without flash) and light from flash(es) reflecting from the image foreground (metering with preflash). Image foreground is that part of the image which is within reach of the flash. The camera then exposes the picture and at the same time controls the flash output. On older Canon TTL systems, the flash output is controlled by quenching the flash once the camara metering has determined that enough light has been sent to the foreground. On newer Canon eTTL-II the camera sends a command to the flash telling how much light the flash should send. Flash intensity is controlled by adjusting the duration of the very short light pulse coming from the flash tube - the duration of the flash discharge is in the order of a millisecond or less (<< 1/1000 s). On Canon cameras the flash can be controlled through the hot-shoe either by using the older quench control (to support REALLY old flashes long since discontinued), or with newest Canon Speedlite flashes (EX, EX II) by sending commands over a serial bus. The eTTL-II system also controls the flash zooms inside the EX Speedlites and support many advanced features. Additionally the Canon Speedlites support a wireless control system. The Canon 7D can act as a wireless flash master and is the first of its kind in this respect.

To use "true" eTTL flash control at all with a Canon camera, there are three prerequisites: 1) the camera must be able to trigger the flash 2) the flash must be able to send a preflash, 3) the camera must be able to control the main flash intensity, either by the older quench control, or better: by using the control commands sent through the Canon hot-shoe or by Canon wireless flash control. Cheapest non-Canon, and especially cheap underwater flashes can do none of this. In addition you of course need a way to connect the camera hot-shoe to the external flash. One less obvious advantage of TTL is the fact that with TTL control the flash(es) are almost never shot at full power. This saves battery life (gives you more shots), and the flashes recycle faster (you can shoot the next picture sooner).

The better Inon underwater flashes have a feature called S-TTL. See:
http://www.inon.jp/t.../sttl-auto.html
S-TTL emulates the camera's own TTL system by observing optically the behaviour of camera's built-in flash: when camera's flash sends a preflash, the Inon flash sends a preflash, when camera's flash shuts off (quneches), the Inon does the same. A drawback of this kind of system is the fact that you must use the camera's internal flash, and it drains the battery of the camera and heats the camera unnescessarily. To prevent backscatter, you would need to block the camera's own flash.

With Ikelite underwater flashes you can use eTTL with Ikelite housings. The Ikelite dSLR housing contains a conversion circuit that interconnects the camera hot-shoe and the electrical sync cords of the flashes. Additionally on the 7D housing you can adjust TTL flash exposure compensation with dedicated buttons, and even force the flashes to full manual control when needed.
But even with this setup, you still don't get all the goodies of full-blown Canon e-TTL II, as you would with Canon Speedlite-430EXII's for example. Unfortunately the Canon Speedlites are not designed for underwater use, so I guess the Ikelites & the likes are the next best thing.
Canon 7d, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, Canon EF-S 60mm Macro, Sigma 10-17mm OS HSM, Ikelite housing,
2x Ikelite ds-161 strobes with Stix 12"+12" arms with floats.
Canon ixus 980is in Canon housing.
Olympus c8080wz in Olympus housing.
website www.leiman.fi.

#16 Timmoranuk

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 03:30 AM

Have you had any experience with the Sigma 8-16mm?
Would be interesting if it was good, but a you are saying it is not?
It is not exactly cheap either.


The build quality and optics of the Sigma 8-16mm are excellent and its a terrific very wide angle lens for top-side use. Its achillies heel is found u/w as corner sharpness is less than good at apertures larger than f/8, which may not be a problem if shooting into the blue but for forced perspectives around wrecks, piers and structures (where this glass excels) this may be problematical. Of course, shooting at shallow depths with the overhead midday sun largely negates this issue. Its a great lens to have in the box, like the 4.5mm circular fisheye, but choose the 10-17mm fisheye, and 10-22mm and 17-70mm rectilinears first.
· Canon 5D3, 7D & Nauticam housings. Sigma 15mm, Canon 16-35mm, Tokina 10-17mm, Sigma 8-16mm, Canon 10-22mm, Sigma 17-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Sigma 120-300mm, Canon 60mm & 100mm
· INON Z-240s & Sea & Sea YS-250 Pros
· SmallHD DP4 monitor & NA-DP4. Fisheye Aquavolt 3500s & 7000s
· Zen DP-100, DP-200 & DP-230

#17 scubaseven

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:46 PM

TTL = "Through The Lens" automatic exposure control for flashes. The camera controls the flashes and exposure automatically.
If you are a beginner in underwater photography, then I strongly recommend you get a TTL capable flash setup. I really helps a lot.
With an Ikelite housing the most practical way is to use Ikelite flashes. Using anything else gets quite complicated.


I believe you are right. It would get quite complicated and I might lose a lot of good shots.
Will stick with the original idea (Ike housing/strobes).
cheers
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#18 scubaseven

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:49 PM

TTL = "Through The Lens" automatic exposure control for flashes. The camera controls the flashes and exposure automatically.
If you are a beginner in underwater photography, then I strongly recommend you get a TTL capable flash setup. I really helps a lot.
With an Ikelite housing the most practical way is to use Ikelite flashes. Using anything else gets quite complicated.


Sounds like good advice.
I will go with the Ike housing and strobes.
And the Tokina lens.
I dont have the time to learn properly and dont want to lose a heap of shots.
cheers
Hope is never lost, but often given up.