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Not as sharp as I expected?


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#1 team2jnd

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:31 PM

So as per the suggestions on this board, I bought an ikelite 5d housing for my canon 5d mark ii. I am using a 17-40L lens with the 8 inch dome port. My photos are not coming out blurry but they are nowhere near as sharp as I am accustomed to. I shoot mostly studio and landscapes so am I just being too picky? Is the water always going to cause my photos to be a little less sharp? I will try and post an example. I have only gone diving with my camera twice and feel like it is the first time I have ever used a camera so please any advice would be much appreciated.

#2 team2jnd

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:34 PM

So as per the suggestions on this board, I bought an ikelite 5d housing for my canon 5d mark ii. I am using a 17-40L lens with the 8 inch dome port. My photos are not coming out blurry but they are nowhere near as sharp as I am accustomed to. I shoot mostly studio and landscapes so am I just being too picky? Is the water always going to cause my photos to be a little less sharp? I will try and post an example. I have only gone diving with my camera twice and feel like it is the first time I have ever used a camera so please any advice would be much appreciated.

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#3 team2jnd

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:37 PM

This is probably a better example. The focus was on the eels jaw and it still looks out of focus.

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#4 team2jnd

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:46 PM

This is probably a better example. The focus was on the eels jaw and it still looks out of focus.

I forgot to mention that these were taken with ambient light, F10, ISO100, 1/200s

#5 Graggs

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:40 AM

I forgot to mention that these were taken with ambient light, F10, ISO100, 1/200s


Hi Team2jnd
I use a similar setup, but I have only dived it maybe 15~20 times or so.....is this your first time using a DSLR underwater?

I use the Canon 16~35mm lens on my setup

The EXIF data for your shots says the aperture is f5.6 ....could you have been shooting in Tv (Shutter priority) Mode?
Also the eel...there's a good chance the critter (or you) moved between focus and capture and at f5.6 (as you know) there's little or no tolerance for that.
In available light you could do with using a higher ISO setting and since the sensor on the 5D is flippin awesome, wind it up to 400 or even 800 to get a better aperture..I have 3 "Standard" setting programmed onto C1..C2..C3, they are: power to suit.
C1 Manual ISO 200 f9.0 125th
C2 Manual ISO 100 f16 200th
C3 Manual ISO 800 f8.0 125th Manual White Balance
C1 and C2 are my flash settings (everything manual) so they are really trying to capture a nice background, the slower one being the staring point for blue sea, the quicker one being the starting point for black background, then adjust flash
C3 is my available light setting.
I stress, these are starting points....be prepared to look at the histogram and change settings...unfortunately the aperture and ISO are a bit of a faff to change, but there's no real way around it, except to program in some start points...if you are not using flash, I would be inclined to program your Custom Settings for a wide ISO range, say staring at 200, then 800 and possibly 3200 if you dive deep?

Also, do you have a close up lens? I think for my setup Ikelite suggest / recommend a +2 Dioptre close up lens....On my last trip to Tenerife I tried it but with everything else going on didn't get around to doing any proper trials with it, so I plan to do a few tanks dives and find out what works best. In fact just checking their web site it doesn't appear you need one for your setup?

I also have a friend who sells very INON stuff in the UK and we have discussed close up lens....apparently they have varying results from lens to lens and company to company...since most of them are made for land based photography. He has found that the cheaper single element ones tend to be better...but it may be a bit of trial and error I'm afraid. You'll also have to be careful NOT to get one that has a long screw thread out front, or you will get some vinetting when your lens is wide. I have HOYA ones which are long, but apparently they can be cut down.

I'm sure there are plenty of links to shots taken on a 5D and Ikki combo...but here are mine if it helps..... http://www.flickr.co...os/graggz/sets/ The Hawaiian dive was the camera first outing, then Tenerife....I stress non of these dives are photo dives as such, they where conventional dives with me and my big housing messing it up for all the swimmers.

I'm sure you have the right kit to take some stunning pictures, it's just a case of fine tuning the setup and then finding some settings that work for you.

At some point soon you're also going to want or need a strobe....by far the best bit of kit I bought and has made the biggest difference to my photography...I opted for the Inon Z240 and use it in full manual mode...it doesn't work in TTL mode on the ikki case ...to the best of my knowledge, the only one that does is Ikki's own strobes, which are too heavy and have a dedicated battery arrangement which I'm not fond of.

There are some excellent kit write up's here from Steve http://www.oceanopti...aterflashi.html look at the equipment section.

Finally, try to get a decent book....in the UK we use Mark's book as the Gospel ... http://www.edgeunder...tography.co.uk/

I hope I'm not teaching you to "suck eggs"?

Graggs

#6 nitrosoxide

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 03:49 AM

So as per the suggestions on this board, I bought an ikelite 5d housing for my canon 5d mark ii. I am using a 17-40L lens with the 8 inch dome port. My photos are not coming out blurry but they are nowhere near as sharp as I am accustomed to. I shoot mostly studio and landscapes so am I just being too picky? Is the water always going to cause my photos to be a little less sharp? I will try and post an example. I have only gone diving with my camera twice and feel like it is the first time I have ever used a camera so please any advice would be much appreciated.


What Auto Focus mode are you using ?

#7 tdpriest

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:21 AM

Three things that can't be said too often:

1) The clearest water is like a misty day: you have to get close to get sharp images.

2) The brightest underwater scene is like a cloudy day: only the top few feet is really well lit, and good for ambient light photography.

3) Freeze the moment: use a fast shutter speed.


Three other things:

4) Your lens should be able to focus close to the port (see (1)): this means a wide-angle, even a fisheye, lens or a macro lens. The Canon 17-40mm looks a reasonable bet (to a Nikonian), but it has a long zoom spread and I would guess that it's difficult to match it with a suitable dome port (in the way that the Nikon 12-24mm was almost impossible to match with all but the biggest of dome ports). The Canon lens isn't really wide enough to be an ideal underwater lens.

5) To shoot sharp images more than a few feet from the surface and yet have reasonable depth of field, most photographers will need to add some artificial light.

6) Autofocus algorithms, and, indeed, exposure algorithms are not designed for the underwater world. Wide-angle lenses, in particular, can focus on the wrong part of the image and meter the light in very odd ways. AF is more reliable if you control the focus point and don't rely on fancy computation, spot metering and manual exposure often work better, with wide angle lenses. Macro lenses automate more easily, but only if the subject is brightly lit: this is why focus lights are often seen attached to older photographers' housings!


In practice: the turtle would be sharper if you had been closer, the moray eel if you had used strobe lighting.


It takes a while to find your way: underwater photography is indeed like staring from scratch! Good luck!

Tim

:)

Edited by tdpriest, 22 January 2012 - 07:27 AM.


#8 diver dave1

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:15 AM

I do not use Canon DSLR equipment however, there are some parallels to Nikon lenses.
All threads here related to the Nikon 12-24 indicates a diopter is required due to the limited close focusing. And even with this, the corners are soft.
The Nikon 12-24 close focus limit is about 30 cm.
The Canon 17-40 close focus limit is about 28 cm.

So I suspect you will also require a diopter and perhaps an extension on the dome. But, we need Canon experts to enter it.
So Canon experts.. does he need a diopter? Extension on the dome?

Here is more on the Dome Port Theory.
Dome Port Theory

And I certainly agree with comments made above.

Nauticam D7000, Inon Z-240's, 60 micro, 105 micro, Tokina 10-17

www.shiningseastudio.com


#9 team2jnd

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 11:59 AM

wow, first of all, that everybody so much for taking the time to help me out. It is amazing to me that people with such a wealth of knowledge are willing to share it with others with no benefit to themselves. So thank you agian. First, yes it appears I was in Shutter priority at 1/200s instead of manual like I wanted to be so that deffinitely is problem but earlier I was at f/10 and got similar results. When I am in the studio, I can zoom in on somebody's face to the individual freckle and it is still sharp. This is not the case for me underwater. Even when I am shooting something stationary. These photos were actually taken snorkeling in Hawaii and only about 3-5 feet of water. I do have an ikelite DS 125 strobe but I have connected it to the housing with the sync cable but the strobe will not fire. I know that the strobe is not the issue because I have tested it before. I am very new to this aspect of photography so I am sure there is a setting I am messing up or something and will call ikelite tomorrow to find out what I am doing. The lights on the housing light up and say ttl and the strobe is set to ttl but no flash when i click the shutter. As for the metering, I used evaluative metering and the focus was manual selection (center). I do not have any diopters because the website told me that they were not necessary for my lens.
Other questions I have:
Is the 17-40 not good for underwater photography? I love it for landscapes and everything else and think its an amazing lens but it definitely seems to struggle at close distances. (less than 2-3 feet)
Is the DS 125 enough light for diving at 30-40 feet? Or should I buy a second strobe?
And finally, how does everybody get so close to their subjects?! I shot the above at 40mm because I can not seem to get close to anything in the water before it gets scared and swims away.
Thank you in advance everyone.
Oh and graggs, your photos are amazing. I live in hawaii and have been to that same wreck. My dive buddy found a similar octopus there but it was not as friendly as yours haha. And that turtle on the wreck is always there. One of the biggest I have ever seen.

#10 team2jnd

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 12:31 PM

Just ordered the suggested book off amazon. I am excited to read it

#11 Graggs

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:45 PM

Hi Again,
Second time of typing ...pesky lappie locked up and Boooooof!
I can't help with the strobe, since I don't use any of the ikki fancy shenanigans, just a manual cable.
Re Bigger strobe or more strobe: I faffed about for a while with a small strobe on my G9 setup - then this year I plucked up the courage to fork out on the z240 and I've never looked back.

There's lots on the internet re lenses for underwater photography and I'm not the best to offer counsel, as I said, I have the 16~35mm...but I already had it, so made no sense not to use it, I suppose one day a 10~20 or similar might be on the radar?

Getting Close
No idea....actually, there's a chapter in the book, but start with things that don't move...wrecks are normally quite good :))

Distance
Tim uses a great analogy. A really simple exercise is;
Find a subject in shallow water, be a distance away from it. Work out your exposure. Now compose...zoom in to 40mm. Take a picture and swim forward a bit, re-compose, take a picture...keep doing this repeatedly, adjusting the zoom until you are as close as you can get and your lens is wide. Look at the images on your computer. This should show you how even the seemingly clear water affects your shots, both clarity and colour. If you now consider that any light illuminating your subject is working its way through the pea soup water, so natural light quickly disappears and even the most powerful strobe has the same battle.

Thanks for the kind words about my flickr images.
Those Hawaii dives where the first proper dives with the ikki and 5D combo, they really are glorified snaps. And the guys I was diving with really weren't interested in me taking pictures :)(

Have a look at Tim's for some real inspiration. But don't get disheartened...we need more photographic divers!!
I'm hoping to sneak away one day and do a photo live aboard or similar...

I do hope you enjoy the book.

Graggs

#12 team2jnd

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:00 AM

Hi Again,
Second time of typing ...pesky lappie locked up and Boooooof!
I can't help with the strobe, since I don't use any of the ikki fancy shenanigans, just a manual cable.
Re Bigger strobe or more strobe: I faffed about for a while with a small strobe on my G9 setup - then this year I plucked up the courage to fork out on the z240 and I've never looked back.

There's lots on the internet re lenses for underwater photography and I'm not the best to offer counsel, as I said, I have the 16~35mm...but I already had it, so made no sense not to use it, I suppose one day a 10~20 or similar might be on the radar?

Getting Close
No idea....actually, there's a chapter in the book, but start with things that don't move...wrecks are normally quite good :))

Distance
Tim uses a great analogy. A really simple exercise is;
Find a subject in shallow water, be a distance away from it. Work out your exposure. Now compose...zoom in to 40mm. Take a picture and swim forward a bit, re-compose, take a picture...keep doing this repeatedly, adjusting the zoom until you are as close as you can get and your lens is wide. Look at the images on your computer. This should show you how even the seemingly clear water affects your shots, both clarity and colour. If you now consider that any light illuminating your subject is working its way through the pea soup water, so natural light quickly disappears and even the most powerful strobe has the same battle.

Thanks for the kind words about my flickr images.
Those Hawaii dives where the first proper dives with the ikki and 5D combo, they really are glorified snaps. And the guys I was diving with really weren't interested in me taking pictures :)(

Have a look at Tim's for some real inspiration. But don't get disheartened...we need more photographic divers!!
I'm hoping to sneak away one day and do a photo live aboard or similar...

I do hope you enjoy the book.

Graggs

Thank you again for the advice. It is frustrating but I love to dive so I will definitely have plenty of opportunities to practice. Hopefully some day I can return the favor and help a newbie deal with the frustrations of trying to get a decent shot underwater. Thank you again, I am sure I will be back very soon with more questions.
Jim

#13 Bent C

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 08:29 AM

Thank you again for the advice. It is frustrating but I love to dive so I will definitely have plenty of opportunities to practice. Hopefully some day I can return the favor and help a newbie deal with the frustrations of trying to get a decent shot underwater. Thank you again, I am sure I will be back very soon with more questions.
Jim


I used the Canon 5D and 5D m2 for a while with the 17-40. I never got great results with it underwater, but it was significantly better with a 2x diopter in front. Try that before you try anything else. Even with the diopter, I needed quite small f-openings to get decent (marginally) corners, but the centre was pretty OK.

Cheers Bent
Bent Christensen
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http://bentmedia.me

#14 team2jnd

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 12:38 PM

I used the Canon 5D and 5D m2 for a while with the 17-40. I never got great results with it underwater, but it was significantly better with a 2x diopter in front. Try that before you try anything else. Even with the diopter, I needed quite small f-openings to get decent (marginally) corners, but the centre was pretty OK.

Cheers Bent

Is there another lens I should be using? I would be willing to sell my current lens and replace it with a more suitable one. I was thinking about getting the 100mm l macro lens because my housing came with the focusing port for it. Any suggestions on equipment would be much appreciated
Jim

#15 Bent C

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:16 AM

Is there another lens I should be using? I would be willing to sell my current lens and replace it with a more suitable one. I was thinking about getting the 100mm l macro lens because my housing came with the focusing port for it. Any suggestions on equipment would be much appreciated
Jim


I was much more happy with the EF 15 mm fisheye. When it was to wide, I used it with a 1.4 extender. Sharp corners, sharp center, but of course some fisheye distortion. As I donīt do much wreck photo, that was of minor importance. Then again, as several of the earlier posters have mentioned, getting close and getting good light on the subject is way more important than which glass you have on your camera.

With regard to the 100 macro, I believe that is the general macro lens for the 5D. I used it for a long time, before changing to the M2 version. However, the original is really good enough, so I believe you should get it. Also here good light and close is the key.

With regard to selling the 17-40, I find it a very useful lense topside. So if you do topside photo, donīt get rid of it.


Cheers Bent
Bent Christensen
Nauticam and Canon 7D
http://bentmedia.me