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Night Dive with Canon 5dII


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#1 tyanea

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:52 AM

Hello all:

After my first outing shooting video for the first time with the Canon 5dII, and with better than expected results thanks to the members of wetpixel! it is now onto the next challenge. I will be off to the Big Island of hawaii next week, and plan on doing the famous manta night dive. This dive will be at night, but it will have lights from above boats and snorklers, along with lights from the other divers. The dive operators light up the water as bright as they can to attract the plankton.

I will be using a ikelite housing, a 15mm fisheye.

My question is regarding the white balance. I am really confused on how this will work, with this particular dive situation. In the past I would just shoot a picture of a dive slate, set that as the white balance, and be on my way. This would be shooting all natural light. But during this night dive I will have access to 2 ds 161's (both with 500 lumens) and a sola 600 focus light. Should I use these? Do I use them only for the white balance considering the other light that will be there? When you have artificial light, should I just let it do an auto white balance?

Also, any other settings that might change from the norm? As suggested from others, I start with f11, iso 160 and move on from there. I would imagine I will probably need to bump the iso up to 640 and maybe move to f8.....Any thoughts?

thanks again for any help.
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#2 Stuart Keasley

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:16 AM

Hello all:

After my first outing shooting video for the first time with the Canon 5dII, and with better than expected results thanks to the members of wetpixel! it is now onto the next challenge. I will be off to the Big Island of hawaii next week, and plan on doing the famous manta night dive. This dive will be at night, but it will have lights from above boats and snorklers, along with lights from the other divers. The dive operators light up the water as bright as they can to attract the plankton.

I will be using a ikelite housing, a 15mm fisheye.

My question is regarding the white balance. I am really confused on how this will work, with this particular dive situation. In the past I would just shoot a picture of a dive slate, set that as the white balance, and be on my way. This would be shooting all natural light. But during this night dive I will have access to 2 ds 161's (both with 500 lumens) and a sola 600 focus light. Should I use these? Do I use them only for the white balance considering the other light that will be there? When you have artificial light, should I just let it do an auto white balance?

Also, any other settings that might change from the norm? As suggested from others, I start with f11, iso 160 and move on from there. I would imagine I will probably need to bump the iso up to 640 and maybe move to f8.....Any thoughts?

thanks again for any help.

You're working at night, so you're only light source will be from the lights and torches around you.... the light they emit is going to vary from, I would suggest, 4000 kelvin to 5700 kelvin. Given that you are going to lose a bit of red, even with a local light source, I would set the white balance to static setting at the "colder" end of that range, i.e 5500, or "daylight".

I'm assuming you're going to set shutter speed to 1/50th (1/60th if you're NTSC)?

Aperture and ISO, I'd head straight to 640 and expect to have to open up the aperture a fair bit as well... I assume you'll be using quite a wide lens (mantas being quite big and all that :B):), so depth of field shouldn't be too much of an issue.
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#3 tyanea

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:39 AM

You're working at night, so you're only light source will be from the lights and torches around you.... the light they emit is going to vary from, I would suggest, 4000 kelvin to 5700 kelvin. Given that you are going to lose a bit of red, even with a local light source, I would set the white balance to static setting at the "colder" end of that range, i.e 5500, or "daylight".

I'm assuming you're going to set shutter speed to 1/50th (1/60th if you're NTSC)?

Aperture and ISO, I'd head straight to 640 and expect to have to open up the aperture a fair bit as well... I assume you'll be using quite a wide lens (mantas being quite big and all that :B):), so depth of field shouldn't be too much of an issue.



Thanks for the quick reply. You lost me on the White balance. The only way I have known to set the white balance, would be to take a picture and then in the menu set the white balance to that picture. Sorry for my ignorance, how do you set it to 5500 kelvin, as you are suggesting.

I will be doing 1/60th. and using the canon 15mm fisheye. I kind of thought 640 would be iso needed. from there I will have to play with the aperature.
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#4 Stuart Keasley

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:06 AM

Thanks for the quick reply. You lost me on the White balance. The only way I have known to set the white balance, would be to take a picture and then in the menu set the white balance to that picture. Sorry for my ignorance, how do you set it to 5500 kelvin, as you are suggesting.

I will be doing 1/60th. and using the canon 15mm fisheye. I kind of thought 640 would be iso needed. from there I will have to play with the aperature.

If you press the white balance button, you can then select a number of options, i.e auto, sunny, shade, tungsten, flash, cloudy, flourescent light, custom and kelvin. You're currently using Custom, and so have to take a photo of a white object and then refer to that as your custom white balance base .

If you change the WB to sunny, it will be set to a static 5200 Kelvin, or you can define your own Kelvin by selecting Kelvin, and then setting the temperature within the Menu.

Have a read of Page 65-67 of your manual for a bit more info.

Kelvin, in photography terms, is a unit used to describe the hue of the white (e.g white with a touch of blue, white with a touch of red), using the different colours a metal will take on as it is heated up (hence Kelvin, and temperature).

http://en.wikipedia....lor_temperature
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#5 tyanea

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 12:05 PM

Perfect. That now makes sense. thanks for putting up with my questions.

If there are any other suggestions from anyone, feel free to chime in.
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#6 Chakawa

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:02 PM

Perfect. That now makes sense. thanks for putting up with my questions.

If there are any other suggestions from anyone, feel free to chime in.



Hi,

I am getting in touch regarding your equipment, but not to provide you suggestions re the above sorry :B):
I am interesting in knowing about your set-up with the 5DmkII. Hope you don't mind me asking.

How does the Ikelite performs and is it really "user friendly". Especially in relation to the following:
- does the Ikelite housing offer 100% view of the LCD screen ? (in some other housing , it is not the case)
- how do you deal with the fact that Ikelite does not allow you to manual focus ? Have you tried to switch over the zoom ring and use it to focus ?
- finally with your 15mm FE lens, do you find the footage underwater extremely distorted ?

Many thanks !
Christophe

#7 tyanea

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:27 PM

Hi,

I am getting in touch regarding your equipment, but not to provide you suggestions re the above sorry :B):
I am interesting in knowing about your set-up with the 5DmkII. Hope you don't mind me asking.

How does the Ikelite performs and is it really "user friendly". Especially in relation to the following:
- does the Ikelite housing offer 100% view of the LCD screen ? (in some other housing , it is not the case)
- how do you deal with the fact that Ikelite does not allow you to manual focus ? Have you tried to switch over the zoom ring and use it to focus ?
- finally with your 15mm FE lens, do you find the footage underwater extremely distorted ?

Many thanks !
Christophe


Christophe,

Having only dove with it maybe 20 times (I have read up on this quite a bit), here is what I can tell you

-I am not 100% sure on the view finder question. I believe it shows the entire lcd. I never found it limiting.
-I have only shot wide angle with the 15mm and the 17-40mm. I have not tried to switch over the zoom ring to focus. To be honest, I don't find it that difficult to focus. Especially with wide angle. I try to keep my f stop between f11 and f8. Then I focus on something maybe 2-3 feet away, using the cameras auto focus. Then you can leave the focus there. Again, with wide angle it isn't a big deal. If you are shooting macro I can see it being a problem. But if you want to shoot macro, ikelite, I believe has a port for the 100mm that allows manual focus. A tri pod will also be necessary for perfect footage.
- As for distortion. I personally have no issue with it. I guess it depends how particular you are. In my opinion, the underwater footage, for an untrained eye, they wouldn't notice anything looked distorted. The topside footage however is much easier to see the distortion. There is a ton of video out there. I know Captain Caveman (member of wetpixel) shoots everything with a fisheye. And his footage looks great! Do a search for his posts and you will find them.

All in all the ikelite has its pro's and cons. I like that I can see the o-ring and see leaks if it ever occurs. I also like the price point. As I only do about 2-3 dive trips a year, I can't justify the more expensive housings. And not being as comfortable with the camera's functions, I like that the buttons are located where they are at on the camera. However, I'm sure for people with more experience view this as a con. other housings have the buttons that are more convinently placed. Ikelite's support is also excellent. The 4 lock port system is also a big improvement. It weighs a lot.

Hope that helps
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#8 Chakawa

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:37 PM

Christophe,

Having only dove with it maybe 20 times (I have read up on this quite a bit), here is what I can tell you

-I am not 100% sure on the view finder question. I believe it shows the entire lcd. I never found it limiting.
-I have only shot wide angle with the 15mm and the 17-40mm. I have not tried to switch over the zoom ring to focus. To be honest, I don't find it that difficult to focus. Especially with wide angle. I try to keep my f stop between f11 and f8. Then I focus on something maybe 2-3 feet away, using the cameras auto focus. Then you can leave the focus there. Again, with wide angle it isn't a big deal. If you are shooting macro I can see it being a problem. But if you want to shoot macro, ikelite, I believe has a port for the 100mm that allows manual focus. A tri pod will also be necessary for perfect footage.
- As for distortion. I personally have no issue with it. I guess it depends how particular you are. In my opinion, the underwater footage, for an untrained eye, they wouldn't notice anything looked distorted. The topside footage however is much easier to see the distortion. There is a ton of video out there. I know Captain Caveman (member of wetpixel) shoots everything with a fisheye. And his footage looks great! Do a search for his posts and you will find them.

All in all the ikelite has its pro's and cons. I like that I can see the o-ring and see leaks if it ever occurs. I also like the price point. As I only do about 2-3 dive trips a year, I can't justify the more expensive housings. And not being as comfortable with the camera's functions, I like that the buttons are located where they are at on the camera. However, I'm sure for people with more experience view this as a con. other housings have the buttons that are more convinently placed. Ikelite's support is also excellent. The 4 lock port system is also a big improvement. It weighs a lot.

Hope that helps



Thanks mate for taking the time to get into details.

- How do you deal with focusing whilst zooming with your 17-40mm ? must be challenging & fish don't normally wait for you :B):
- How do you find the footage with your 17-40mm , especially on the edges, is it acceptable ? and do you find that at 17mm it is wide enough ? (just because I am thinking on relying only on a 17-40mm for now even for wide angle shot)
- Finally, you mention the weight, do you mean it is a good weight to avoid jerky shots ?

Sorry for all these questions !
Thanks,
C

#9 tyanea

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:15 AM

Thanks mate for taking the time to get into details.

- How do you deal with focusing whilst zooming with your 17-40mm ? must be challenging & fish don't normally wait for you :B):
- How do you find the footage with your 17-40mm , especially on the edges, is it acceptable ? and do you find that at 17mm it is wide enough ? (just because I am thinking on relying only on a 17-40mm for now even for wide angle shot)
- Finally, you mention the weight, do you mean it is a good weight to avoid jerky shots ?

Sorry for all these questions !
Thanks,
C


- I actually tried not to zoom while shooting footage. I think that zooming while recording looks very unnatural. So when I used the 17-40mm I would zoom or zoom out, focus, then record.
-I actually stopped using the 17-40mm (underwater) in favor of the 15mm fisheye. The corners were very soft. It was very noticable. I don't have the diopter for the lens. Some people say that helps a bit. FYI, I have the 8 inch ike dome as well. Again, I just like the way the fisheye looks. It was much sharper than the 17-40. I felt the 17 was wide enough for me, (of course I wasn't shooting anything huge) I am by no means an expert on this. But to my eye the 15mm looks better.
-The Ikelite out of water is heavy I think. underwater, with the 8 inch dome, and no lights, it would want to flip on its back, with the dome towards the surface. I need to figure something out to make it more evenly balanced. This would obviously affect the smoothness of the shots. I found that it is difficult to be steady. I also found that when you hit the record button, that will move the footage and not look good at the very first. This might just be my technique that is screwing it up. I didn't find it to be too big of deal though, when I edit it, is just cut off the first fraction of a second and it looks good from there on out.

As a side note. I didn't take the sensor dust too seriously. I ended up with a full day with a big black speck on the footage. I will be more careful with this later from here on out.

Do you have the ikelite housing? I looked at your profile and it looks like you have it already. What are you thoughts regarding it?
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#10 Chakawa

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:17 PM

- I actually tried not to zoom while shooting footage. I think that zooming while recording looks very unnatural. So when I used the 17-40mm I would zoom or zoom out, focus, then record.
-I actually stopped using the 17-40mm (underwater) in favor of the 15mm fisheye. The corners were very soft. It was very noticable. I don't have the diopter for the lens. Some people say that helps a bit. FYI, I have the 8 inch ike dome as well. Again, I just like the way the fisheye looks. It was much sharper than the 17-40. I felt the 17 was wide enough for me, (of course I wasn't shooting anything huge) I am by no means an expert on this. But to my eye the 15mm looks better.
-The Ikelite out of water is heavy I think. underwater, with the 8 inch dome, and no lights, it would want to flip on its back, with the dome towards the surface. I need to figure something out to make it more evenly balanced. This would obviously affect the smoothness of the shots. I found that it is difficult to be steady. I also found that when you hit the record button, that will move the footage and not look good at the very first. This might just be my technique that is screwing it up. I didn't find it to be too big of deal though, when I edit it, is just cut off the first fraction of a second and it looks good from there on out.

As a side note. I didn't take the sensor dust too seriously. I ended up with a full day with a big black speck on the footage. I will be more careful with this later from here on out.

Do you have the ikelite housing? I looked at your profile and it looks like you have it already. What are you thoughts regarding it?



Hi mate,
I actually don't have the housing yet, because I would prefer to find a housing that offers full manual control , including focus ring ... and Ikelite doesn't ... rrrggghhh. So that means Aquatica etc but pricey :P

Interesting feedback you give. Regarding fisheye, how do you find the footage without light ? especially with 180deg angle lens which would be challenging. I actually would suggest you insert Magic Filter in it, looks awesome as long as you remain within 15m.

Yes, with 17-40 I read a lot about soft edge, unless maybe you have a bigger dome (which Ikelite does not offer) or diopter

Regarding the weight & balance, I have heard some people installing small"wings" type panel underneath the housing which helps a lot about balance and smooth shot.

Over to you :B):
Cheers
Christophe

#11 tyanea

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:34 PM

I think footage is excellent without lights. I don't have plans to even get lights for it. With macro you would probably want light.

I tried the magic filter for a couple of days and found it harder to get a good wb. And as a beginner I took the advice from a post that said to leave it off until I got a little better and the dive suited it. (the right depth and time of day)

Here are some threads that you will find interesting
http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=40133

This next one has some nice posts by Simon spear. He has some excellent example of what you can get with no light. I have dove the sites he is referring to and they are dark dives.

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=39662
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#12 tyanea

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:40 PM

I would be interested in seeing or getting more detail on the wings you mentioned.
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#13 Chakawa

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 03:08 AM

I would be interested in seeing or getting more detail on the wings you mentioned.



A friend film maker too, mentioned that to me but I have never actually seen it with my own eyes. But it makes sense doesn't it