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#1 Webbey64

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:11 PM

Hey there guys, I am writing this thread as a very novice photographer who loves diving snorkelling and general marine life. Basically I bought a Fujifilm Finepix F100FD 11MGP and waterproof housing with a fisheye and macro wet lens. I have used this camera only a few times but have found that the pictures are not great at all. It is also extremely difficult to change any aperture or shutterspeed settings without having to spend 5 minutes searching through the menu to achieve the settings you want and as most of you know generally the time has passed to take the shot you wanted.

 

With all that being said I am in two minds of whether to buy another macro lense and some flashes for my Fuji or to source a second hand DSLR setup. If anyone can help me out with deciding on a good DSLR setup or thinks that I should improve on what I already have please let me know. My general feeling is that a Compact Digital is ok for underwater but the ability to control settings manually really lets it down.

 

Thanks for reading, Nick.



#2 ChristianG

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:29 AM

I want a dollar for the amount of times I've heard this type of plea.

 

1) I'm presuming that you have little knowledge of u/w photography, that you're, more or less, a beginner at this. Don't be shy about that, we all had to start at some time.

2) Your camera is, shall we say, "doubtful"? It's also a discontinued model. As well, Fuji (who of all people should know better) got into the "pixel war" about this time.

3) Just buying a new camera, dSLR or not, is not necessarily the answer.

 

I'd suggest that you get something like a Canon 110 which actually has pretty well all the manual options we all strive for. It's a good camera for topside use as well but, like all "compacts" is restricted in its capabilities. Within those capabilities it does pretty well. Learn to walk properly before you start running. :)


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#3 Webbey64

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

I couldnt agree more with you mate, but I am unsure why you think a compact is still the way to go? From the numerous articles etc which I have read regarding underwater photography it is my understanding that U/W photography calls for the ability to change  and adapt your shots more so than topside photography.  The light, sealife how close you can actually get etc changes from metre to metre of water, I dont want to go out and buy a brand new best of the best DSLR but I think extending my budget to buy a decent second hand setup would be a worthwhile investment as opposed to buying another compact digital.

Thanks for the reply nick.



#4 tdpriest

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:04 AM

... I am unsure why you think a compact is still the way to go? 

 

If you are used to a DSLR, then you're probably right. If not, then the learning curve is going to be horrible, and it will be cheaper and less complicated to move along it with a compact camera. Maria Munn in the UK has a good book, Martin Edge's book is still the best introduction that I know of. The point is that the principles are the same, and everyone's first images are disappointing.

 

Having used a DSLR for a long time I won a Fuji F100 a few years ago and found it very difficult underwater, even having (I guess) mastered a DSLR. There are better places to start...



#5 jimbolaya

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 04:52 AM

Hi,

 

I'm a beginner in DSLR underwater photography. I'm new to this forum and unfortunately it's not possible to start new topics for newbies here. So please excuse me for hijacking this topic ;-)

 

I need an advice for my DSLR setup for underwater photography. I've used my old Casio Exilim S600 with underwater housing for over 8 years. Now I would like to take my Nikon D5100 DSLR underwater and I consider buying the Ikelite housing for the D5100 for my next diving holiday (in Panama, starting mid April).

 

Currently my only lense which would fit into the underwater housing's lense port, is the Nikkor 35mm 1.8G (my Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 OS HSM wouldn't fit into the lense port). Would the Nikkor 35mm combined with the Standard - 6" Dome be an ideal solution to start DSLR underater photography? Or would I regret that and should rather buy another new lense (which one)?

 

Any hints are highly appreciated!

 

Regards, Jan

 

I like to shoot close-ups of fishes and macros of smaller things (nudibranches etc.). I don't yet favour shooting wide angles - maybe on my next diving holiday...



#6 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:14 AM

jimbolaya,

the Nikkor 35mm is a nice lens and she will be of some use underwater but no bee ideal, while the Sigma 18-250 isn't at all.

There are 2 type of generic lenses for underwater use; a wide angle +/- 12-24mm and a macro lens 60mm or 105 mm.

A nice zoom for underwater is something in the 16-25 mm range for big fishes, but zoom lenses are usually a pita to find the right dome,

as they will produce soft corners with a non ideal dome port.

Ikelite lists the 35mm 2,8 lenso on their port chart and not the 35mm 1.8 and they mention that the flat port will give sharper images but reduces the angle.

There is no note that you would need a diopter to get rid of the soft corners as with other lenses, so the lens may work with Ikelite's 6'' dome also.

You probably should get new lenses and point directly on FX as most probably sooner or later you will get a full frame camera and can continue using your lenses,

otherwise you can get DX lenses and sell them later together with the camera

Standard are like the following lenses:

Tokina  AF 11-16mm f/2.8
Tokina AF 10-17mm f/3.5 - 4.5  (fisheye)

Sigma 15mm EX DG (diagnoal fisheye)

Nikon 60mm micro

Nikon 105mm micro

 

As you like to shoot small critters, your 35mm is useless and you should buy a macro lens.

Nikon 60mm micro

Nikon 105mm micro

Tokina AF 100mm f/2.8

 

The 60mm is easier to handle but you need to get closer to fill the picture as with the 105mm and both Nikon lenses are approved build and optical quality,

while the Tokina 100mm is a nice sturdy lens but may have slight problems with CA.

 

Anyway, going to Panama you will use more the macro on the caribbean coast but need a wide angle on the pacific coast as the fishes are numerous and big there.

I travelled Panama severall times and used the macro only in Portobelo and usually 1 dive during my visits to Isla Coiba National Park.

 

Chris


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Canon G12 with Patima aluminium housing - Fuji E900 with Ikelite housing
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#7 jimbolaya

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:38 AM

Hi Chris,

 

thank you very much for all that information!

 

I have to admit that at the moment it's probably out of my budget range to buy the ikelite housing + port (around 1300 euro) plus(!) an extra macro lense (around 50 euro).

 

Meanwhile I understand that with my 35mm will probably not help me to shoot any good macro photos.

 

As I think about switching to a full frame camera maybe in 2014 or 2015 (as soon as Nikon offers an affordable model with built-in gps) I now even think about purchasing a point and shoot digital camera (instead of using my DSLR) just because of budget limitations.

 

I'm currently browsing Flicker to find out which point and shoot camera would produce photos to my liking..

 

Regards, Jan



#8 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:51 AM

jimbolaya,

i replied you already on your tread in Scubaboard regarding a compact camera.

As you can get a Canon G12 with a housing for 400€ i suggest you to go this way.

I have a G12 and still use it frequently when i am working as dive guide or in strong surge or current conditions,

when my big  DSLR rig is too big to carry or handle.

The G12 is one of the best compact cameras of its class and can produce high quality photos when used right and the possibility to

zoom and especially switch to macro is a very nice thing to have underwater as often you encounter something too big or small for the mounted lens with a DSLR.

The quality of a good DSLR is certainly better but you have to consider a price somewhere between 4000 and 8000 euros for a complete and new rig.

 

For this moment you rather go with a advanced compact camera and invest in external strobes you need to step up in quality and maybe in a wide angle or fisheye wetlens .

The identical Canon S90/100 in a FIX Fisheye housing and the Inon UFL-165AD gives you a 165° field of view.

 

If you would like to try the G12 or a DSLR i invite you to organize a trip to Sardinia where i run a dive operation and there it will be possible to try the G12 and a Nikon D7000 DSLR.

 

Chris


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Canon G12 with Patima aluminium housing - Fuji E900 with Ikelite housing
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#9 jimbolaya

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:31 PM

Hi Chris,

 

the G12 was exactly the camera I was looking at about 30 minutes ago ;-)

For those of you who are interested what the G12 can do, here is an awesom photoset on flickr, most pics are taken with G12:

 

Do you think these photos were taken with an external strobe? If yes, can you recommend a low-priced strobe?

 

 

 As you can get a Canon G12 with a housing for 400€ i suggest you to go this way.

 

I've been looking for exactly that setup for the last hour on eBay, Amazon etc. Unfortunately I wasnt able to find a second-hand G12 AND housing for 400 €. Did you really see that offer somewhere or was that a rough guess?

 

Rgds, Jan

 

P.S. Thanks for the invitation to Sardinia - I might actually visit Sardinia this or next year and get back to you about that ;-)



#10 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 03:40 PM

Hi Jan,

i sent you a private mail in German regarding your questions.

 

The G12 - like any other camera - without a external strobe will not produce good pictures.
Internal strobes are a workaround and most of the time produce a ugly backscatter as the strobe is too near of the lens and internal strobes are too weak

to illuminate more than macro distance. Yes, i guess all pictures above where made with at least one strobe.

There are several cheap strobes, Bonica for example but i don't recommend them as i had some uw photographer students having issues with cheap strobes.

I would recommend you a INON S-2000 or better a D-2000 strobe, they are very sturdy and powerful and they work perfectly with the G12.

The S-2000 is a very small, but still powerful strobe and fit perfectly a small camera in a small housing while the D-2000 is a bit bigger, but still a small strobe and

has some advanced modes you probably don't need.

A good option for size is the Canon S100/S110 in the new, small Ikelite housing as the S series is almost identical to the G series but in a different housing with less buttons and dials,

so you need to use the menue to change some of the settings while using the G12 you can just rotate a knob.

 

Chris


Nikon D800 - Sigma 15mm - Nikon 105mm Micro VR - Hugyfot Housing - 3 Inon Z-240 strobes - 2x2 8'' ULCS arms

Canon G12 with Patima aluminium housing - Fuji E900 with Ikelite housing
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#11 Mario V

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:25 AM

Hi Jan

The G12 is an excellent camera but unfortunately it will be limited underwater by the lack of wide angle options.

Because the physical size of the lens, any adapter to attach a wet lens will show on the picture  and the amount of zoom required to eliminate the vignetting will destroy the image quality.

From the underwater point of view, the canon S range (S90,S95, S100 and the current S110) are a better option. The camera specs are identical plus you have the advantage of optional wide and fisheye lenses.

The recently launched G15 is the first camera of the G series that have a dedicated wide angle option thanks to the new Inon S100 wide angle lens. 

There is a good review of the G15 on the following link:

http://www.deepshots...-for-canon-g15/

 

All the photos you see on the gallery were taken with strobe. As Chris said Inon strobes are excellent and they have the best sTTL mode in the market. The S2000 has very similar specs to the D2000 and is a lot smaller, this unfortunately affect the controls which art small and fiddly. 


Mario Vitalini

fishinfocus underwater photography

www.fishinfocus.co.uk


#12 C0bbie

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

Im Just about to move into the big boys camera league, currently only on a g12 with strobe, what gear do you use please, Diving skills are now spot on so want to get some advise from non biased non endorsed experts. Looking at spending about 5-6k excl tax as I live outside the uk now....any advice on camera, lens, housing and strobes etc is greatly appreciated!

#13 maxman2402

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:11 AM

Hi,
 
I'm a beginner in DSLR underwater photography. I'm new to this forum and unfortunately it's not possible to start new topics for newbies here. So please excuse me for hijacking this topic ;-)
 
I need an advice for my DSLR setup for underwater photography. I've used my old Casio Exilim S600 with underwater housing for over 8 years. Now I would like to take my Nikon D5100 DSLR underwater and I consider buying the Ikelite housing for the D5100 for my next diving holiday (in Panama, starting mid April).
 
Currently my only lense which would fit into the underwater housing's lense port, is the Nikkor 35mm 1.8G (my Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 OS HSM wouldn't fit into the lense port). Would the Nikkor 35mm combined with the Standard - 6" Dome be an ideal solution to start DSLR underater photography? Or would I regret that and should rather buy another new lense (which one)?
 
Any hints are highly appreciated!
 
Regards, Jan
 
I like to shoot close-ups of fishes and macros of smaller things (nudibranches etc.). I don't yet favour shooting wide angles - maybe on my next diving holiday...


I use the d5100 in an ikelite housing.
If you plan on buying one, keep in mind that the body has no focus motor. So the tokina lenses will not work.
All the macro lenses will work and so will the nikkor 10-24 and 12-24. If you want to see pictures taken with the d5100 just take a look at my Flickr page.
Cheers,

Max Daniël