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Sony DSC-TX5 ... What/how to upgrade


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#1 tronage

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:29 PM

Hello everyone,

Brand new to the forums, found out about this place after attending an AMAZING workshop at Beneath the Sea given by Michel Gilbert!

Ok first let me tell you what I currently have:

Sony DSC-TX5 camera inside a Sony MPK-THJ housing. An that's it....

Been using it for about a year now, and obviously never got anything "spectacular" since not using an external strobe and typically keeping the camera on auto-everything...

So what I'm looking to do is to start to work my way up to some better equipment, however I'd like to do it piece-by-piece so my wallet has time to fill up again between purchases. At this point, my "goal" setup would be like a Nikon d7000 or Canon T3i, matching Ikelite housing, and maybe a pair of Ikelite DS161 strobes. Macro seems to be what I'm mostly interested in now, so I'd have a flat port.

I was thinking about maybe getting the strobe first. My current housing has a standard tripod screw hole on the bottom of it, so I figured I could use the Ikelite 9523.62 tray and if needed, modify it to mount my camera to it with the tripod mount. And then I have a place to put the strobe. (I was originally thinking of getting the 9523.68 that says it has a tripod mount, however it is $50 more, and I think would be rather big for my point and shoot.)

So now here is my problem / question: How to I get the DS 161 to work with my Sony TX5? I would like to do TTL w/ the fiber-optic converter... BUT I don't know if this is even possible with my camera, since I don't see it listed when I look at the different fiber optic cables that are compatible with the Ikelite fiber optic adapter. Does anyone have any ideas on how I would go about this, what parts I would need, and how to set it up?

I figured on the ikelite housing since it seems to be the most affordable one out there. And figured on the DS161 strobe to primarily do stills, but on occasion shoot a little video. I'm open to any suggestions people have, however keep in mind I'm a beginner on a budget, but I want to do it "right" the first time with few "stepping stones" in-between. I'd rather just have a goal setup, and slowly work towards it.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide!
-Rob

#2 derway

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:42 AM

The strobe(s) will be way too big and way too heavy, and out of balance, with a tiny camera. You need to go see them, if you have not seen them in person.

Spending $2000 on strobes, for a $200 camera is way out of balance, and would not improve your sony's photos very much, I don't think. That doesn't sound like a beginner on a budget!

You only need such crazy huge strobes to do wide angle, on DSLRs. For fish shots and macro on DSLRs, or any smaller cameras, the ike ds-51 is a much better size. You can get those shots much easier, and learn faster, with a smaller strobe.

The ikelite fiber optic adapter you mentioned is completely manual control.

Ikelite makes an optical slave device, which is manual control only.

http://www.ikelite.c...mansensors.html

There is a magic device made by heinrich's, called the heinrich's optical digital adapter. It has a clear window on one side, and you hook a nikonos type connector cable to the other. This will give you TTL control, with almost any camera and almost any strobe.

http://reefphoto.com...products_id=900

You will also need a connector cable, which ikelite makes, that has an ikelite connector on one end, and a nikonos connector on the other.

The cable and adapter will set you back about $350 or so, alone.

Most people, these days are using little fiber optic triggered strobes by inon, or sea and sea, with small cameras. They work fine.

If it were me, I'd upgrade to a better camera and housing and a single reasonable size and price strobe first. Then spend some time learning on that. You need a camera with M and A mode, and raw mode photos, so you can adjust the white balance after the fact.

The olympus pen epl2 or epl3 or epm1 cameras with the oly housings would run you under $900-$1200, for a 4/3 size sensor, which is close to the size in the d7000. That and a $3-400 dollar fiber optic strobe would be a better investment, to my way of thinking, and better for you to advance your learning on.

You need to try these out in a store, to see how you like the menu systems...
Don Erway
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nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#3 tronage

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:39 AM

Wow thank you for some great information there!

Yea I saw the strobes for the first time at the BTS trade-show, an they are bigger then I expected, but never considered in conjunction with my small camera lol. As for beginner budget, I more meant that I don't need "professional" metal housings for example Essentially the best that a hobbyist would want, just less then a professional would want. I try to minimize stepping stones where possible.

So to cover lights, I would agree the ds51 did seem better sized when I saw it, you also mentioned strobes by inon, or sea and sea, any recommendations for specific model(s)?

and for the Oly cameras / housings, thanks for the suggestion, I didn't know they used such a large sensor. Now are any of the ikelite/inon/sea and sea strobes easily compatible with it, specifically would any be able to do TTL or would they have to be manual?

Thanks again for your help, it allows me to make a much better educated decision on what to do!
-Rob

#4 derway

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:32 AM

Hey Rob. For wired yes, the ds51 is great.

The oly housings only offer optical triggers as far as I know.

The ds 51 and heinrichs adapter could be made to work.

But you might as well get a small inon, or sea & sea, or oly flash, and just use a fiber optic cable. Less to leak!

The oly strobes may use RC mode, and not even need a cable, I'm not sure.

The lowest cost and smallest strobes are the oly ufl1 and ufl2. The Sea & Sea ys 01, or a larger one, or the Inon s2000.

The oly's look like they might be the cheapest, but may only work with oly cameras.

If you search through the camera and lighting forums here, you should be able to get some ideas of how well they all work. I'm still using ikelite and wired...

Here are two good vendors who have these products, and some info on them.

http://www.opticaloc...ies/cat_24.html

http://reefphoto.com...amp;filter_id=4
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave