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#101 newmanl

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:00 PM

Great thread and I'm glad it's staggering around again!

 

I started shooting topside with a non-TTL Pentax MG and a Vivitar 285, then went TTL with a Canon Elan 7 and Canon 420EX flash. For u/w shooting, I started with a TTL system (Canon 30D in an Ikelite housing with Ikelite strobes), but now use a fully-manual system - a Canon 7D in an Aquatica housing with the same Ikelite strobes. Topside, I often found that TTL didn't always cope well with the conditions, or give the results I was after and that certainly applies u/w as well. At this point, I really doubt I'd expend the effort and resources necessary to re-gain the ability to shoot with TTL. 

 

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#102 divegypsy

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 03:20 PM

Hi Pixelites,

 

I'm a die-hard film shooter who wouldn't switch to digital until there was decent TTL for the flash.  I'm happy to say that in 2009 I went digital with Nikon's D700, and more recently onward to the D800.  And can report, from personal experience, that there is now there is really good TTL for digital camera strobes.  I've used both Hartenberger 250's with the Heinrichs-Weicamp converter and Ikelite 161 strobes with Ikelite"s TTL converter for Nikon.  Both work pretty well, though I'd have to say that I feel that Ikelite's TTL is a bit more consistent and predictable.  Ikelite's is also easier to use because the power for the converter comes from the primary strobe, not a separate battery for the converter. And if there is enough power left in the battery pack to recycle the strobe, there's enough for the converter.

 

I use TTL with every lens I shoot with, from fisheye to super-macro.  TTL flash allows me to get many more of those one shot opportunities that happen fast than manual flash ever could.  

 

Ikelite just introduced a new lithium ion battery pack for the 161 strobes and says that the new battery pack can deliver as many as 500 full power flashes and reduces full-power recycle time to under two seconds.  I took these strobes on a recent Komodo dive-cruise and over the nine days of diving, I did 19 of the dives, which averaged about an hour each, with my wide-angle housing and two Ikelite 161's.  The strobes were on for about 18-20 hours in total and gave me 623 TTL flashes.  And I never recharged them the whole trip!  

 

Fred



#103 tdpriest

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:46 PM

Hi Pixelites,

 

... 19 dives... 623 TTL flashes...

 

Fred

 

That's not really exploiting the possibilities of digital photography, is it?



#104 sharky1961

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 11:50 PM

Quote:

 

 

That's not really exploiting the possibilities of digital photography, is it?

 

well some take their time for a picture ( espially as you started with analog slide film) and some shoot at everything ( you can do with digital). In the end its just the number of keepers that matters. I am not a fan of shooting at everything and come out off the water with 200+ pictures.

just my 2 cents


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#105 Kelpfish

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:21 AM

I haven't shot TTL since the film days.  I recently revamped my system, getting rid of EVERYTHING because my lenses were the older styles that didn't mesh well with current housings and ports.  I ended up with a Nauticam D7100 system and I did purchase some optical D cables, but primarily as a back up to the hard wired option.  I am pretty comfortable shooting manual on macro and wide angle and don't have that inert need to rely on TTL.  I will definitely play with it but it will not become a crutch for me.  As far as shooting goes, I am a searcher.  I look for the photo opportunities.  Many times I come up with little or no frames shot.  I've learned over the years that there isn't much to get out of a shoot & pray mentality, for me anyway. One of the real skills of a good underwater photographer is the search, to find good subjects.  Then you improve your skills through composition and lighting of those subjects. My wife is a perfect example of shoot & pray...she just swims around pointing and shooting anything in her path and she trashes 99% of her images.

 

Joe


Edited by Kelpfish, 11 August 2013 - 05:24 AM.

Joe Belanger
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#106 divegypsy

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:19 AM

So sorry Ted, my shooting style is such that I wait for a shot that really appeals to me rather than just shooting a lot of things. If the number of shots taken is how to measure success, I'm a failure. Sorry if you find these flat and unappealing as you did with my shots posted to illustrate the versatility of the 70-180 Micro-nikkor zoom for Valeria.

 

The purpose of my post here in strobes and lighting three days ago was primarily to say that I thought Ikelite's claim of more flashes and faster recycles with the new Lithium ion battery packs appeared to be true.  I'll attach a few of my new Komodo shots, all taken with TTL, which show some of the results of what was my first underwater experience with the lithium powerpacks and with the D800 in my new Subal housings.  

 

Nothing unusual here, just the usual Komodo suspects.  But I'll keep in mind the old photo cliche, "If your friends don't like your pictures - find new friends!" 

 

Fred

Attached Images

  • Mantas.jpg
  • Lionfish.jpg
  • Fusiliers & surgeonfish.jpg
  • Surgeonfish school.jpg
  • Sponge, crinoids & sun.jpg

Edited by divegypsy, 12 August 2013 - 12:26 AM.


#107 divegypsy

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:40 AM

Joe,

 

A quick comment on TTL.  I don't feel that it is a crutch. I learned underwater photography in the days when there was no TTL.  When I finally took the time to try it and analyze how it worked so I could predict the results, I found my  percentage of keepers went up considerably, particularly on those one-shot opportunities.  Nikon's newest DSLR's make the TTL an even better tool to use than in the film days because there is a separate flash compensation control, easily accessible with the push of a button, that allows you to reduce the flash power when ambient light is providing part of the exposure as it is in most of the shots I've posted above.  

 

Tim,

 

With regards to exploiting the advantages of digital photography, I may not shoot high volumes, but I do enjoy having a wide range of ISO's to shoot at, a real digital advantage vs film.

 

Fred 



#108 tdpriest

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:06 AM

 

... well some take their time for a picture...

 

I started with transparencies, too. I was often frustrated by having to ration my exposures. Now I might shoot 10 or even twenty versions of an interesting subject, limited by my imagination or by concern for the effects of my efforts on sensitive wildlife. The greatest benefit of digital to me is the ability to make a test exposure, closely followed by the ability to see the different effects of modelling my strobe light. I'd regard 100 exposures as taking my time (after all, that's only one shutter release every 40 seconds), but 200 as a wild dive! In green water, 100 would be wild, but 60 nearer the mark...



#109 tdpriest

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:08 AM

Sorry if you find these flat and unappealing as you did with my shots posted to illustrate the versatility of the 70-180 Micro-nikkor zoom for Valeria.

 

 

They're not flat at all, sorry if I'm annoying you (and I'm not "Ted", by the way). I thought that the fascination of a technical art like underwater photography is that we get there in different ways... 



#110 Kelpfish

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:34 AM

Joe,

 

A quick comment on TTL.  I don't feel that it is a crutch. I learned underwater photography in the days when there was no TTL.  When I finally took the time to try it and analyze how it worked so I could predict the results, I found my  percentage of keepers went up considerably, particularly on those one-shot opportunities.  Nikon's newest DSLR's make the TTL an even better tool to use than in the film days because there is a separate flash compensation control, easily accessible with the push of a button, that allows you to reduce the flash power when ambient light is providing part of the exposure as it is in most of the shots I've posted above.  

 

Tim,

 

With regards to exploiting the advantages of digital photography, I may not shoot high volumes, but I do enjoy having a wide range of ISO's to shoot at, a real digital advantage vs film.

 

Fred 

 

Hi Fred,

 

Just to be clear I wasn't referring to you, but to the general shooters who if they don't have TTL they are lost.  I fully agree with you that TTL can really increase the number of keepers, but I only need 1-2 of a subject, not 20.  Moving on to the next subject, same thing.  For me, TTL (as mentioned by someone earlier) is really beneficial for some people for one-offs where you might get only one chance and the subject has vanished.  But for me, I pre shoot a few frames on a similar substrate to match closely the animal to get the exposure right.  I do this because TTL has its own behavior and I am not comfortable enough to rely on it for those kind of images.  The attached image is a perfect example.  Here I knew I would only get one shot of this feeding bat ray, so I ducked behind a reef, shot a few test shots, got the exposure right then crept up and took the shot.  As predicted it bolted after one shot, but I got a keeper.  For shots like this I don't have time to adjust EV because of the limited shooting time.

Attached Images

  • stingray.jpg

Joe Belanger
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www.visitingcatalina.com

#111 divegypsy

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 05:21 AM

Tim,    I apologize for the mistake on your name. And I am not annoyed, just trying to have some fun.  My comment saying I was sorry if you find these shots "flat and unappealing" was simply what I thought was a somewhat humorous reference to your own comment concerning the pictures I used to illustrate the versatility of the 70-180mm Micro-nikkor zoom which were shot on a single dive only to show Valeria what that lens was capable of.

 

In your post on Valeria's thread, you had written, "At the risk of sounding as if I'm flaming Fred, I feel that the flexibility is a curse: there is a flatness to the images that he's posted that suggests using the zoom as an alternative to getting the very best angle on the subject.)

 

And all five of the shots I've posted from the Komodo cruise were also taken with zoom lenses.  Curses, zoomed again!

 

Joe,  I think your shot of the bat ray digging in the sand to capture prey is a really good shot. And nice lighting, too.  Its a great looking fish.  A bit like a stealth bomber.  Thanks for sharing it with us. Trying for a good behavioral shot is one of the things I like to do most with my own UW photography.  But getting a really nice reef scene that captures a special mood runs a close second.  Your profile says "industry" but isn't specific.  If you are going to be at DEMA this year I'd really enjoy meeting you.  I'd love to talk with you about diving in California.  I've done only a few dives there and those were almost 30 years ago. 

 

Fred


Edited by divegypsy, 12 August 2013 - 05:24 AM.


#112 tdpriest

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:08 AM

Tim, I am not annoyed...

 

Fred

 

Message received! I do have a thing about prime lenses...

 

... I may have been the last to buy a Tokina 10-17mm, and felt an undeniable relief when I went FX and sold it!

 

My point about "flatness" is a fondness for directional lighting: I find it difficult to achieve if "standing off" with a zoom macro lens as I like short arms. It's also playing with light that leads me to shoot a lot, after finding an amenable subject (and I'm sure it's not significant that I usually choose the very first image of the sequence to show, after all the fuss with RAW conversion, Photoshop and so on)...

 

... wide-angles often have nice directional lighting, as the strobe rarely fills the frame evenly; I think that's why the lionfish above is my favourite of the set.



#113 ehanauer

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 11:21 AM

Im in Cozumel this week primarily to try out the Inon strobe with fiber optic connectors. I'm very impressed with their TTL system, after having tried it with other strobes in the past and always going back to manual. Maybe it's time for this old fossil to go over to the dark (light?) side.

Joe, remember when I dragged you kicking and screaming into digi and Photoshop?
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#114 Kelpfish

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 06:13 AM

 

Message received! I do have a thing about prime lenses...

 

... I may have been the last to buy a Tokina 10-17mm, and felt an undeniable relief when I went FX and sold it!

 

My point about "flatness" is a fondness for directional lighting: I find it difficult to achieve if "standing off" with a zoom macro lens as I like short arms. It's also playing with light that leads me to shoot a lot, after finding an amenable subject (and I'm sure it's not significant that I usually choose the very first image of the sequence to show, after all the fuss with RAW conversion, Photoshop and so on)...

 

... wide-angles often have nice directional lighting, as the strobe rarely fills the frame evenly; I think that's why the lionfish above is my favourite of the set.

Oh yes I do, Eric.  And you were right.  Right before that I almost bought a film Seacam housing from Steven Frink but am damn glad I listened to a fossil.  I am shooting this weekend at Clemente and Catalina on a 2-day to test my new system.  I have already had my D7100's at Nikon for poor auto focus, though.  I tested them in the studio last week and they seem pretty good now. 

 

Have fun in Cozumel and when you get back I can swing by your pad and we can go eff off shooting somewhere.

 

Be safe.

 

Joe


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#115 ehanauer

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 06:10 PM

We'll be back the 20th.
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