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GoPro close-up mod for underwater

GoPro close-up macro

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#1 glee719

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:15 PM

Hello,

 

I was tinkering with some spare photography gear and ended up with something useful I would like to share.  I am sure those with aftermarket housing or special adapters can make this prettier and sturdier.  This is just DIY, no frills.

 

GoPro UW Close-up DIY

 

Let me know what you think.



#2 FanchGadjo

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:18 AM

This is a cool DIY way of doing macro. The first video I saw GoPro doing macro

was this one :

This amazed me !

 

The whole setup :

https://www.youtube....?v=bDAopwmGXmk*

 

Thanks for sharing your idea.



#3 glee719

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:06 AM

Yes I saw that too. My DIY was trying to avoid the cost of buying Blurfix port adapter because I am cheap :lol2:



#4 Interceptor121

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:49 AM

That doesn't look anywhere near to what a compact camera can do without any close up lens

Edited by Interceptor121, 09 May 2013 - 02:51 AM.


#5 johnspierce

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:18 AM

On my last dive trip in Fiji I tried using the Gopro 3 Black for some macro video.  Here's what I used:

 

- Gopro 3 black (naturally :D)

- Snake River Products 52mm filter adapter

- Metal 52mm to 67mm step up adaptor

- Aquatica +5 67mm screw-in diopter (which I already had)

- Change Gopro mode to 1080px60fps  NARROW so it wouldn't vignette.

 

I tried it in the pool first and it would focus really, really close and was quite crisp.  I had high hopes.  In actual use, I realized my videos would be very jerky unless i used a tripod to stead the cam while running.  I'm just a dumb still frame photographer and really didn't think about that.  So, it didn't work as I had planned because I didn't have a mini/submersible tripod with me - all my macro viddy's are herky-jerky and not really usable.  Next time.

 

Another thing I figured out on this trip is how to mount the Gopro to my DSLR housing.  I started out with it on top.  I had a triple clamp so I could mount it right next to my focus light.  However, I had a hard time getting it aimed properly while simultaneously taking photos, so I moved the trip clamp to the left hand hold and mounted the Gopro with a 4" extension were it was just beside and a touch back from my 10-17 on the left.  That worked really well and my video was pointed exactly like my still camera.

 

It was fun.  By the end of the week I was getting some decently smooth wide angle video.  Macro was sortof a fail this time, but next time I'll bring a gorillapod.  Trying now to chew through about 192gb of video files from our dives.  


Edited by johnspierce, 09 May 2013 - 07:20 AM.

Nikon D800 | Aquatica Housing | Inon Z-240


#6 glee719

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:45 AM

I forgot to post up my 2nd test with some varieties.  Link.

 

The bottom line is it definitely gets you to somewhat of a close-up, enough for things >4 inches long/wide to fill the frame nicely.  I do mount it on my Nauticam housing for OM-D, and I use to take videos at the same time I take stills.  As for taking videos, if you noticed in both videos my GoPro was perfectly still.  The trick?  Stick one of the flat mounting base on a 1kg weight.  You can decide to carry the weight as extra, or just use it as your normal weights because once I am down 10 meters I don't need it.

It is very steady on a rock or sandy bottom.  I imagine a gorrillapod would be too light given that you have to deal with currents.


Edited by glee719, 09 May 2013 - 07:49 AM.


#7 glee719

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 08:07 AM

That doesn't look anywhere near to what a compact camera can do without any close up lens

 

I wasn't trying to say this beats a compact point-n-shoot.  But as far as I know, GoPro 3 for video will beat a compact point-n-shoot in terms of price, frame rate, resolution, and compactness.  I don't know of any compact camera shooting 4K or even 1080p/60.  Also, if you put a compact camera together with even the cheap polycarbonate housing you are talking more expensive than $500 usually.



#8 Interceptor121

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:56 AM

It will beat a compact for wide angle but you can't do any close ups also the lens is dark so you will need light that with a compact you don't need.

 

Here in UK GoPro plus LCD and a filter is £480 you can get a Canon S100 with housing for £500 yes the canon will need a lens for going wide whilst the gopro won't but the Canon will do great close up out of the box whilst the gopro even with a lens will be poor

The gopro will soon need lights as the lens is very dark so soon you end up spending money in accessories to compensate for the camera being poor and not having custom white balance

 

GoPro is a good introduction to video many people after doing well with it move on to something else once they get to grips with the limitations

 

Clearly is a great device for outdoors but underwater has got no exposure control a dark fixed focus lens and no custom white balance all features that are pretty much essential

 

It is a good thing though for underwater video that gopro and their marketing exist so that other manufacturers are pushed to do more so welcome but all in all it is only good within the limits of the capabilities


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#9 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:05 PM

The GoPro has f2.8 aperture, I wouldn't call that a "dark" lens. With a small sensor and 170degree FOV the focal length of the lens must be very short making the use of diopters not very practical, so I plan to just use it as is, perhaps selecting the medium or narrow FOV settings. I will be experimenting with mounting options for my Nauticam EM-5 housing. If I come up with something interesting I'll post a picture. The plan is to attach it directly to the macro port with hose-clamp and the standard GoPro mounting clip.

 

Bart


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#10 glee719

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:47 PM

I guess GoPro's price point in UK makes it less attractive.

I use Nauticam's OM-D housing.  As for the mounting options, I currently have it mounted on the left side (camera left) of the housing's notch for the pop-up flash.  The flat GoPro mounting clip has sufficient surface area for the double-sided tape.  As a precaution I tie couple straps just in case it falls off.

There are ball mounts for GoPro too.



#11 Interceptor121

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:18 PM

The GoPro has f2.8 aperture, I wouldn't call that a "dark" lens. With a small sensor and 170degree FOV the focal length of the lens must be very short making the use of diopters not very practical, so I plan to just use it as is, perhaps selecting the medium or narrow FOV settings. I will be experimenting with mounting options for my Nauticam EM-5 housing. If I come up with something interesting I'll post a picture. The plan is to attach it directly to the macro port with hose-clamp and the standard GoPro mounting clip.

 

Bart

I measured the gopro field of view in water it is around 90 degrees diagonal and 80 degrees horizontal out of the standard dive housing. That is equivalent to 22mm focal length. Now when you put a close up lens that has a focal length of 100mm on its own assuming it does not vignette is like shooting with a 22mm equivalent small sensor camera from 10cm away. Things are still tiny as usually at that distance a compact can step to 50mm. What I am saying is that the gopro already gets focus around 8". If you put a lens in front of it you can take it down to 4" and it will probably focus between 4" and 12" but then further away it will be blurred. Am not sure this is worth doing unless you want to use the camera as a POV spycam in a fixed position close to a fish like garden eels or similar


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#12 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:32 PM

I measured the gopro field of view in water it is around 90 degrees diagonal and 80 degrees horizontal out of the standard dive housing. That is equivalent to 22mm focal length. Now when you put a close up lens that has a focal length of 100mm on its own assuming it does not vignette is like shooting with a 22mm equivalent small sensor camera from 10cm away. Things are still tiny as usually at that distance a compact can step to 50mm. What I am saying is that the gopro already gets focus around 8". If you put a lens in front of it you can take it down to 4" and it will probably focus between 4" and 12" but then further away it will be blurred. Am not sure this is worth doing unless you want to use the camera as a POV spycam in a fixed position close to a fish like garden eels or similar

 

That 22mm is probably the full-frame equivalent value. To get the same FOV for a much smaller sensor the actual, not FF equivalent, lens focal length is much smaller (just like the m43 fish-eye is 8mm whereas the FF fisheye is 15mm). For diopters the ratio of real focal length of lens and diopter is what matters for magnification. For a short focal length lens you would need a very short focal length diopter, preferably approaching the lens focal length. For the GoPro that would leave you with millimeters of working space if you could find a +50 diopter to start with. It will allow you to focus closer than the 8" which can be beneficial in murky water but not being able to focus on any thing beyond the focal length of the diopter is a pain for continuous use. For an 100mm, aka +10 diopter, a point 100mm in front of the diopter is in the focal plane which means it will appear at infinity to the camera lens, so you can't focus beyond that.

 

Bart


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#13 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:44 PM

I had my first stab at mounting the GoPro directly on the Nauticam port for the Olympus 60mm Macro lens. It isn't pretty but it seems quite sturdy and, my main concern, should not interfere with stills photography. I may end up putting the iTorch on a short arm using the housing mounting ball and put a Nano focus light in the hot shoe. I also have the ball-to-GoPro adapter and several other odds and ends to experiment with when I get the system underwater in 10 days, 3hours and 17 minutes from now :)

 

Here is the overview image

GoPro1.JPG

 

And a close-up from the mount point

GoPro2.JPG

 

The foam is to make the flat GoPro mounting clip that comes with the camera fit the round port barrel. I also image it gives a bit of extra grip compared to hard plastic on aluminum, but perhaps it isn't necessary. It is held in place with cable ties. I tried a hose-clamp first which worked but I realized that it probably isn't made of marine grade steel so would end up a rusty mess.

 

Bart


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Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#14 decimal86

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:15 AM

Hello,

 

I was tinkering with some spare photography gear and ended up with something useful I would like to share.  I am sure those with aftermarket housing or special adapters can make this prettier and sturdier.  This is just DIY, no frills.

 

GoPro UW Close-up DIY

 

Let me know what you think.

 

glee719,

 

thks so much for yr share on the close-up DIY, i'm gonna start with a seafood meal and then follow yr advice. cheers







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