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How did Howard Hall do this?


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#1 kc_moses

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 08:02 AM

I will be going to Anilao early next year so I'm looking at some technique info to improve my shooting skill and I will be using a new set up. 

 

This is the video that I'm using as reference:

 

I just sold my point and shoot (Panasonic LX-7) and probably will get a GH4 and Olympus 12-50mm. I also have a +4 i-das diopter and a +7 Dyron diopter.

 

Looking at Howard's video, I can't help but see that the footage show the standard shot, then zoom in close up, and then further close up. I don't know what equipment he used (could be Red?), but is that something that an interchangeable lens system could accomplish? I know once you put a lens into the housing, you're stuck with that lens so I don't know how he get various stage of close up with the same creature.

 

The 12-50mm lens is recommended because it's wide & decent macro on the same lens. Could I use my existing diopter for real macro or do I need to get the Nauticam Super Macro Converter?

 

Also, another workaround/trick could be shooting at 4K, and when I want the real super macro, I would crop the 4K footage and eventually ended up with a 1080 footage. But I prefer to not do the cropping. 

 

Anyway idea?

 

Thanks!



#2 Oceanshutter

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:03 AM


 

I think he uses a RED on this.  Not sure about lens though.


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#3 kc_moses

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:14 AM

Even though if he's using RED, I don't know how he would do that with a interchangeable lens system. Is there a lens that cover that kind of distance that consumer don't have access to? If you look at the Flambouyance cuttlefish eating up the shrimp, the close up shoot was showing the shrimp is still being consume. If there is a wet lens solution, it would still take time to screw on a diopter so that's the part that puzzle me.



#4 pbalves

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 01:54 PM

I can think in 3 different ways to achieve different magnification quickly.

One is to use diopter with a quick interchange system/adapter (as Subsee adapters, able to have 2 different diopter with a swivel - https://reefnet.ca/products/subsee/ , or a quick connect system as the one from Aquatica - http://aquatica.ca/e...s_closeup.html)

Other way is to use a lens with a powerful zoom.

Another one is to use more than 1 camera during the same dive, one with a broader lens and other with a lens with higher magnification.

In this case it seem the first one.

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#5 jonny shaw

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 03:09 PM

This was shot on his RED, if I was to guess. Among other lenses he has the Sigma 17-70mm macro, not sure he had that lens at this time but it is very useful. I use it all the time on my Epic and although it vignettes slightly the usefulness for shooting wide and pretty tight is awesome. Secondly yes he could crop in from 4-5k, but you wouldn't crop more than 2-3k as the image will start to looks noisy and thirdly he probably spent a shitload of time underwater and was able to shoot similar animals on different dives with different lenses. People forget when shooting video that you need to plan a sequence to fit your story, if you just swim around with a camera and shoot cool stuff you get a montage of image which look nice but it is in no way as watchable. My advice is to dive an area, check out what is good and then go back a few times to get multiple shots.


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#6 troporobo

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 04:13 PM

The range of magnification in that video is possible using the Oly 12-50 lens. The tightest shots (e.g. the seahorse eating a shrimp at 4:40) could just about be done with that lens switched to macro which is fixed at 43mm.  A wet diopter on a flip adapter could quickly increase the magnification further for smaller stuff. 



#7 kc_moses

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 05:27 PM

Thanks everyone, that give me some idea.

 

Jonny, it's true that sometimes you need more than one encounter of the same creature to put together the footage, but I doubt he is that lucky to find two flamboyance cuttlefish eating the same type of shrimp.

 

It's good to know the the Olympus 12-50 lens is possible to get close to that kind of result. I think I'm going to invest in one of this since it's cheap and might come in handy:

 

http://www.fun-in.co...product_id=1714

 

I just bring myself to spend US$250 for a subsee adapter to just flip the lens in and out.......



#8 troporobo

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:33 PM

I had not seen that magnetic adapter before - it looks cool but I'm not sure that I would want to carry the diopter in a pocket or risk dislodging it accidentally over a drop off.  My next purchase is going to be a swivel mount like one of these:

 

http://www.divervisi...s-RM67-90P.html



#9 kc_moses

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 04:41 AM

The Deep proof swivel mount looks solid and reasonably price. I might have to look into that one as well. I have the same concern about the magnet lens adapter. for $40 I might just get it, test the strength of the magnet. It of course is depend the weight of the diopter whether it will hold or not. So there is some option.

 

So back to Howard Hall's footage, zoomming and a quick switch to a diopter is the best guess of how he did it? Any other tips beside cropping?



#10 Drew

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 01:58 PM

If I remember correctly, Howard was in Lembeh with a Red One a while back.  Like Johnny says, a zoom lens like the 17-70 macro could probably do some of those shots (except the super macro stuff like the hairy octopus  or the emerging flamboyant cuttlefish probably 60mm 1:1 macro lens)
Even without a zoom lens, looking at the sequences, many of those clips are within the range of a fixed length 24/28mm macro lens which can do 1:2.5-3 or something like that.  Behind a flatport, one can back out for a wider view and then close in for some of those tighter shots.

Interchangeable lens systems can be limited in focal length choice and also the FOV choice (dome vs flat port), but with a bit of ingenuity and strong lights, these limitations can be minimized.


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#11 howeikwok

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 03:44 PM

Thanks everyone, that give me some idea.

 

Jonny, it's true that sometimes you need more than one encounter of the same creature to put together the footage, but I doubt he is that lucky to find two flamboyance cuttlefish eating the same type of shrimp.

 

It's good to know the the Olympus 12-50 lens is possible to get close to that kind of result. I think I'm going to invest in one of this since it's cheap and might come in handy:

 

http://www.fun-in.co...product_id=1714

 

I just bring myself to spend US$250 for a subsee adapter to just flip the lens in and out.......

 

I have 4 of these magnets. They work as advertised. I have loaded a subsee and 1-2 more Fun-in +5 diopters stacked with no issue. Any more and it might drop off on land. There's always a danger of a force coming from the side dislodging the lens but if it is just one lens then the risk is quite minimal.

 

One caveat. the magnets also gets a bit of sand stuck on it underwater. The type of black sand with iron content. So you'll need to clean it off from time to time.


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#12 thani

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 08:36 PM

This was shot on his RED, if I was to guess. Among other lenses he has the Sigma 17-70mm macro, not sure he had that lens at this time but it is very useful. I use it all the time on my Epic and although it vignettes slightly the usefulness for shooting wide and pretty tight is awesome.

Hi Jonny,

I was looking at this sigma lens to be able to shoot both Wide & Macro in the same dive on the Blackmagic Production Camera 4k. This camera has around 1.7 crop factor compared to FF.
First ,what do you think of the lens?
Would it still vignette on BMPC?
Do you normally use it behind a dome or a flat port?
For Macro can one have a swivel diopter?

I appreciate your reply guys :)
Best Regards,
Thani

#13 jonny shaw

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 08:47 PM

I don't think it would vignette on the Blackmagic camera as it is designed for APC sensors, I like the lens, it is sharp, not Zeiss sharp but pretty bloody good for the money, its 2.8 at the wide end and it does have IS (although won't work on my RED). I use it behind a 8" dome and get pretty good results. The real selling point of this lens is just how versatile it is.

 

No idea about swivel diopter?


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#14 thani

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 04:07 AM

I don't think it would vignette on the Blackmagic camera as it is designed for APC sensors, I like the lens, it is sharp, not Zeiss sharp but pretty bloody good for the money, its 2.8 at the wide end and it does have IS (although won't work on my RED). I use it behind a 8" dome and get pretty good results. The real selling point of this lens is just how versatile it is.
 
No idea about swivel diopter?

I meant a close-up lens that sets inside the housing which can be swiveled in front of the sigma lens when doing macro.
Do you think artificial lighting is needed when doing macro with this lens?
Best Regards,
Thani

#15 jonny shaw

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 03:11 PM

Doubt a flip diopter would work as the lens front element moves when you zoom, but I don't know. I would almost always light a macro subject, but that's just personal taste.


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#16 thani

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 05:57 PM

Doubt a flip diopter would work as the lens front element moves when you zoom, but I don't know. I would almost always light a macro subject, but that's just personal taste.


What was I thinking? The lens moves when zoomed. let's forget about the inside flip diopter :)
Thanks Jonny, I appreciate your help.
Best Regards,
Thani

#17 jonny shaw

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 06:31 PM

You could possibly use one of those wet clip on ones though? Dependent on housing port etc.


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#18 Drew

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 08:29 PM

Jonny, if you are suffering from vignetting with a dome port, have you tried putting a +2 diopter, should magnify the FOV and also allow you to get a better (closer) focal distance from the port.

There are quite a few of those wet diopters to fit flat ports.  Most of them have adapters for various housings.


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#19 jonny shaw

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 03:01 PM

Vignetting is not due to the dome it is due to sensor size, the weird thing is as well it vignettes more at the 70mm end and goes through another vignette spot around 40-50mm length. 17mm isn't bad.  I actually had an email exchange with Howard about this and he had the same result.

I need to get a flat port, but just don't get that much macro work to justify it as I need the port plus the larger extenders basically 2.5k worth of gear


Edited by jonny shaw, 20 May 2014 - 03:02 PM.

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#20 Drew

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 12:27 PM

Jonny sorry, I misread the lens you were using. I don't know why I thought it was the discontinued Sigma 24-70 macro, which isn't as sharp as the 17-70 but fits FF, so you can shoot 6k without vignetting.  The magnification is about 1:4, and I don't think it's as sharp at wider apertures but good looking from f8 onwards.  


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