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#1 kieran

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:33 PM

Hi folks,

Having recently returned from a trip to Philippines where i took my first underwater photos i have some questions.
I was using s100 and FIX housing, shooting in manual, using the built in flash and no lenses.
Please see pics http://morefromzhong...ter-photos.html
(feedback much appreciated)

I had alot of fun and learnt alot!

The biggest problem i had was getting the S100 to focus and the obvious limitations of the flash and lens.

I am starting to think about the next items i would like to add and i am seeking advice.

I am going to continue my underwater education by shooting macro. Please could people offer suggestions for a close up lens to fit my 52mm or 67mm port. Budget options ideally.

Please tell me if this a daft idea but i would like to mount a S2000 strobe and focus light (dive torch) onto the housing via the cold shoe mount. This will keep things small and allow for single handed operation.

Any advice regarding the items required would be greatly appreciated.

PS - Malapascua was fantastic, a really quirky beautiful island where the dive business and the locals worked in harmony. We used Thresher Shark Divers and they were excellent. Employing local DMs, boat crew, hospitatlity staff etc. A fantastic week and a real priviledge to see the Thresher sharks.

Many thanks

Kieran

#2 Steve Williams

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:00 PM

Hi Kieran,
I think your idea makes good sense. I have been setting up S100 and doing a fair amount of practice with different configurations of focus lights and strobes. I tried using a older Sea & Sea 110 and like you I found the camera really needs a focus light to do macro well. I added one of my Sola 600s to the rig using a triple clamp to hold both the strobe arm and the focus light. It worked but I found it to be very unbalanced and hard to hold comfortably. I purchased a Nauticam Flexitray tray and left side handle to use with my FIX housing and love the combination. The Flexitray lets you adjust the handle distance from the housing. They also make a non adjustable version for a little less money but I like the versatility and my wife will be the primary user and with her smaller hands I wanted the adjustable version. ULCS also makes a handle and tray that would work well too. I have the strobe ULCS arm attached to a Nauticam mounting ball on the handle and it's very comfortable to use. I have the Sola mounted to the cold shoe mount as you suggested. I haven't had the rig in the ocean yet but a couple of practice sessions in the pool have made a believer out of me. This setup as configured would not do TTL because of the older strobe but I'm sort of old school anyway. It would really be slick with a new YS-D1 or one of the TTL Inon units.

I'm using a Subsee +5 which attaches directly onto the FIX supplied 67mm thread so its very easy to mount. My initial tests have shown that the rig focuses very quickly and the combination has really impressed be with the possibilities. I'll post some images tomorrow of the macro capability. Here is a shot of the current setup. I'm sure others here have more real ocean experience and will chime in.

S100 Macro rig.jpg


You did a great job with the onboard flash, definitely time to get that strobe. (I'm very jealous that you got to swim with the threshers. ;-)


Cheers,
Steve

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#3 kieran

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:50 AM

Thanks steve,

Please could you tell me if you have any experience with the INON UCL-165M67 Close-up Lens? Would this be similar to the subsee +5 you use?
Also how about this as a set up (with my fix housing) but use a 3-way clamp and arm instead of the 2 way pictured to mount a dive torch as basic focus light?



any advice welcome.

Cheers

Kieran

Edited by kieran, 24 January 2013 - 01:55 AM.


#4 Steve Williams

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:41 AM

The INON 165M67 work very well and a bunch of folks on Wetpixel use them. Typically they use two stacked up to which will give you the power close to one Subsee +5. Here is a quote from Keri Wilk who designed the Subsee system and is a member here at Wetpixel:

"The SubSee system is a completely different optical design than any of the others available. The +5 is a 2-element achromat, and the +10 is a 4-element achromat, both which are sealed between optical glass windows. This means that they retain all of their power underwater, so the power designations (+5 and +10) are accurate both above and below water. The other lenses are +5, +8, and +16 diopter lenses on land, but underwater they become +2, +3, and +6 diopter lenses, respectively. So, in order to get the same power as the +10 SubSee, you’ll need to stack all 3 of the FIT lenses together."

Do a search here and you will find lots of threads on the close up lenses.

I tried using the 3-way clamp and it will work but I found it very clumsy to use in practice. The problem is that when you must loosen the clamp to adjust the strobe, the focus light is also now loose and you have to find a way to hold and position two things in one hand while tightening with the other. In practise it's just a pain to use.

In practise I prefer the Subsee for it's optical quality. Here is a screenshot of two images side by side while testing the subsee +5 and S100 combination using the setup pictured above. The one on the left is using the S100 and the Subsee +5, the one on the right is my Canon 7D using the 100mm macro lens, known to be one of the sharpest macro lenses available for any DSLR. The image is from the center of a US dollar bill and is 36mm by 24mm so as close to a 1 to 1 full frame equivilent image as I could do. Even pixel peeping at 2:1 it's very hard for me to tell the difference.

Macroscreen shot1_1.jpg

Cheers,
Steve

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#5 Aquapaul

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:14 PM

What I like about the Inon 165 is you can use just one with pretty good results especially for someone new at extreme macro, the depth of field gets mighty thin with 2 165's stacked. I haven't used the subsea so I couldn't comment. I just sold two 2 165's and a holder really cheap that I used on my canon G10 before I went DSLR. I have now for my DSLR one of those Sola 600's that Steve talks about and I like it, works well, pricey though. There are cheaper smaller options for focus lights.
Paul Chase

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#6 Steve Williams

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:31 PM

Paul is right. I only used the Sola because I had it (and if my wife needs it for her S100 I might have to get a new Sola 800). Posted Image I would use a smaller less expensive light if I was starting from scratch.

Steve

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Canon 5D Mk III, 7D & 40D, 60mm, 100mm, 17-40L, Tokina 10-17, Nauticam 7D, Sea & Sea MDX-40D YS-250's ULCS arms, Lightroom


#7 kieran

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:23 AM

Thanks chaps. mmmmm rock and a hard place, would like to purchase a strobe to last (s2000) and a suitable lens but want to ensure i have enough light to focus but cant afford it all.....damn it with these expensive hobbies.



k

Edited by kieran, 25 January 2013 - 02:24 AM.