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Member Since 29 Dec 2001
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#396096 Sony RX100 VI - Ultimate P&S camera?

Posted by JackConnick on 06 June 2018 - 06:53 AM

It's now a super zoom out to 200mm with a very long lens barrel. It will be very hard to house. Most of these are unusable underwater as such.

#395581 LED strobe trigger not enough power

Posted by JackConnick on 20 May 2018 - 08:37 AM

We've been dealing with this issue for a while.


We've found the new S&S cables to be the thickest and carry the most light. Better than Nauticam. We've had no issues at all with YS-D1 strobes and triggers. When S&S came out with the YS-D2 they "dumbed" down the sensitivity of the trigger on the strobe to try to improve TTL. Most triggers (as opposed to boards) do not do TTL, only manual. But more and more new ones are coming out that do work in TTL and they do work better with the red LEDs.


Recently we've been testing the latest rev of the YS-D2J strobes (yellow label). We are finding that they are working fine with most triggers. While S&S isn't saying they changed it, it seems like there has been an improvement in this area. We are also seeing pretty much a zero failure rate for these "new" strobes now being made back in Japan at SunPack. All of their strobes like the YS-03 and YS-01 are now also being made back in Japan.

#394187 Yap Sharks with a 60mm Macro Lens on a D850

Posted by JackConnick on 07 April 2018 - 09:12 PM

I've always felt that it was hard to get close to big animals like sharks and that more reach is required over something like a mid range zoom.


Alex had talked about using a 60mm lens behind a dome for sharks and on a recent shark dive in Yap, I decided to try my old AF-D 60mm macro Nikkor on my D850 behind a Zen 170 dome and 70mm extension. I could of used a smaller extension, but it was what I had.


The results were quite stunning, I felt. You do need clear conditions to have it work out though, but AF was fast and I had lots of range. The longer reach shortens up the background too.


I also switched back and forth from FX to DX mode to see how that felt. I think it's probably more valuable for macro work with the 60 to get more DOF and will try that next week in Palau.







#391908 Best Fisheye for Nikon D850 in Nauticam housing

Posted by JackConnick on 01 February 2018 - 08:56 AM

I'd agree with Alex as to smaller domes. I normally shoot a 170mm Zen with my D800 and now D850. The last trip I shot at f/9-f/11 or so, which is where I commonly shot my D800, and definitely wish I'd stopped down more. This can be a challenge for lighting though. So larger dome/travel size/aperture considerations are maybe a bit more of a balancing act.


The resolution of the D850 seems to challenge lens/port combos more. One point also is that the setup seems to have been having some front/back focusing issues - more than with the D800. Users are advised to fine tune the focus of their lenses - even FE's with a wide range of DOF. I think my Sigma was slightly front focusing on the body I was using, which was a rental that i received the day before I left.


As to the questions at hand - the Nauticam D850 comes with an optical sync converter. You can upgrade it to a TTL card. The Zen 230 and most domes don't use an extension with the Sigma 15mm FE.


As to challenges - Macro DOF on full-frame is probably the biggest difference I encountered, and I miss using the 60mm Macro and diopters, vs. only the 105mm. Yes, you can shoot the 60, but not really at much magnification.



#391506 A few D850 Shots from Fiji

Posted by JackConnick on 21 January 2018 - 07:58 PM

Thanks, gang.


I think the D850 is a lot faster and the AF better. It certainly has higher resolution. Which I think is pushing the envelope of what the Sigma is capable of. I mostly shot at f/9 or f/11 or so and I found I had small DOF issues even then.


Here's another:



#391490 A few D850 Shots from Fiji

Posted by JackConnick on 21 January 2018 - 09:16 AM

Spent a week on the Nai'a and another 8 days at Qamea Resort near Taveuni.


Shot the Nikon D850 in a Nauticam housing. I used the Sigma 15mm FE, Nikon 17-35 behind a Zen 170mm dome, as well as the Nikon 105mm VR macro.


I'm still working on a TR, will post when it's available. But here's a few shots to whet your appetite.


Underwater Album on Flickr













#389477 Sony full-frame with Nikonos 15mm - thoughts?

Posted by JackConnick on 17 November 2017 - 10:59 PM



Yes, it works pretty well. I shot that rig and found that I just stopped it down to about f/8 and did zone focus - one setting for closer up and one out to infinity. The lens has a huge depth of field. It's really small and very sharp.


I wrote a review with photos and video: Nauticam NA-A7 - Sony a7 Review: Mirrorless in Mexico



Sea Lion by Jack Connick, on Flickr

#388278 WWL-1 questions

Posted by JackConnick on 10 October 2017 - 08:34 PM

I think it shoots pretty well with the Oly 14-42mmEZ and maybe better with the 12-50mm, but I haven't tried it.


No, you shouldn't need to remove it, usually as most ports have "breathing" holes in the sides. They bayonet system makes it pretty easy to deal with.


The buoyancy collar is a bit fussy to put on in that you have to align the long screws and the foam doesn't exactly guide them. I'd probably put it on for the length of the trip rather than each day. It can be a bit brittle, so it needs to be packed carefully where it can't get bent. The hard cap is the way to go and I wouldn't worry about trying to put it off/on in the water for sure. Just maybe add the Nauticam lanyard to make rig handling easier and safer. The glass domes, while expensive aren't as "touchy" as softer acrylic domes which mar easily.


Here's a review I wrote on the 14-42EZ and the WWL on a EP-L 7 camera:




Kona2-1 by Jack Connick, on Flickr


#387197 Thoughts: Sony A7R II from D810

Posted by JackConnick on 01 September 2017 - 08:02 AM

I've used a D800 for years now and have also shot the A7II in a Sea & Sea housing with a flash trigger.


I think while the housing size is a bit smaller, it's not all that much difference in the water. You have to use a port adapter, extension and mid-sized DSLR sized ports on the a7II. So what are you really saving?


I mostly use a Zen 170mm dome on the D800 with a Sigma 15, or even a 17-35mm if I don't care too much about the corners (blue water). Those are pretty much the same sized ports on the a7II.


As far as using Canon lenses on the a7II, it gets pretty awkward and the AF is even slower... There is a new Zeiss Batis 18mm lens that shows good promise. But all of the Sony lenses are expensive, the Sigma 15mm FE is like $600.


I didn't have battery problems on the a7II, but I mostly shot stills. Video is more of a problem. I do like that I can basically shoot all day with the D800 on one battery.


The viewfinder is one area that I'd also give a huge benefit to the D800. An optical viewfinder is so much brighter and easier to use than an EVF. Yes, you give up focus peaking and some of the other more electronic features that are nice. But again those are more useful for video. And of course the better, faster AF on the D800. I found that the a7II sort of jumps a bit for macro, manual focus is pretty much necessary.


The a7II is lighter. And my older D800 Nauticam isn't the lightest for sure. But I'm sure that the new D850 housings will be lighter as they will be a few gens newer.


I've also tried the Oly E-M1 MKII and D500 for something smaller, but I keep coming back to the dynamic range and quality of the D800, although I think if I was shopping right now, I'd buy a D500, I continue to be impressed with it.


I've some articles on these comparisons on my blog:

Micro 4/3rds vs. APS-C & Full-frame Cameras: Mexican Shootout or Standoff?


Sony a7II and Sea & Sea MDX-A7II Housing System Review


#381324 Komodo with E-M1 MKII

Posted by JackConnick on 08 February 2017 - 04:16 AM

We're on our way back from Komodo. We had a good trip but the weather was pretty bad and instead of ending at Maumere, we came back here due to very high winds. But although we're tired, everyone's disks are full of great photos and the DIVE Damai crew helped make the most of all our opportunities. Much more soon, here's a few photos to get started. All were taken with the new Olympus E-M1 MK2 in the Oly housing, with the 8mm FE, 60mm Macro and 12mm lenses. I used the new Saga Dive Trio diopter system for macro as well.


My initial thoughts are that the OM-D E-M1 MK2 is a great imager and a big improvement over the earlier MK1. AF in low-light is much better, and the performance is really good for macro. Battery easily lasts 3 dives, probably 4. I had some weird issues with TTL on macro with the YS-D1 strobes I was shooting - exposure would be great for 4-5 frames and them be totally over exposed for a frame. Never quite figured out what was going on.


Much more soon.

















#375681 Any issues using a Red Torch for Nite Shots

Posted by JackConnick on 30 July 2016 - 08:43 PM

Just shoot at about 1/100th or 1/125th of a sec and you won't see the focus light.



#370517 New Nauticam 29 port for Panasonic 14-42mm PZ could be a blast for 4K video s...

Posted by JackConnick on 16 February 2016 - 12:03 AM

For what it's worth, I just wrote a quicky review using the WWL and CMC in Oly's PT-EP12 housing. The Oly 14-42mmEZ lens fits very close to the end of the port and the lenses work quite well. Not my favorite camera, but an interesting combo that's pretty small.


See: Olympus EPL-7 with Nauticam WWL-1 & CMC Lens Review







#368261 Olympus 8 mm f/1.8 fisheye Pro or Olympus 7-14 mm f/2.8 Pro?

Posted by JackConnick on 14 December 2015 - 01:10 PM

The Zen DP-170-N85 works without an extension with the Oly 8mm FE. The DP-170-N85II won't work. There is no one port solution for both the 8mm FE at 7-14mm lenses at this time. But heck, it's Christmas you never know...

#367950 Olympus new lenses 8 mm fisheye considerations weight and so on ...

Posted by JackConnick on 05 December 2015 - 09:41 AM

As Jim showed, I think you're missing a very large point. The f1.8 has much faster AF in the dark conditions we find underwater. You can shoot at a lower ISO in many situations, deeper dives, caves, underhangs and on wrecks, as well as dusk and dawn. Even during cloudy conditions in more turbulent contditions the extra light at depth allows the lens to catch focus faster, this is especially true for m4/3rds cameras that rely on (modified) contrast AF.



Shot in 145' of water, ambient light.



Ambient light

#366882 Olympus OM-D E-M1 low light photography questions

Posted by JackConnick on 06 November 2015 - 05:58 PM

You might want to consider buying the new Olympus f1.8 8mm FE which will gain you quite a bit better ISO at a reasonable shutte speed. It's really made for what you are shooting.