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Nick Hope

Member Since 12 Sep 2004
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:57 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Red filters for GH4

23 April 2016 - 04:00 AM

I have retro-fitted the VXQ1911 part in the back of my Panasonic 7-14mm. It cost me a blummin' fortune from www.partsimple.com... USD 79.24 including shipping to Thailand. It was the cheapest option I could find. I used a craft knife rather than a Dremmel to shave off the material that wasn't needed.


Using tape does work OK. Use the thinnest 3M Scotch Magic tape which leaves less residue than others.


As for filters, in my experience the Original Magic Filter does not give good results underwater with the GH4. I don't know how their Auto-Magic filter performs. In the back of my Panasonic 8mm fisheye I have recently been using a piece of Rosco Dark Salmon (#008) e-color+ gel which perfectly matches the UR-Pro blue-water filters that are used in Gates, L&M etc. housings. With a manual white balance on the palm of my hand, results seem good. You can contact Rosco or their distributors and ask them to send you a set of Rosco swatch books for free then you can test different colours. The swatches themselves are big enough to cut a couple of filters out of. Be careful not to scratch them as you flip through the swatch book. These gels are intended for lights, not lenses, and purists will tell you that you should be using a proper optical gel filter such as Kodak Wratten, but the Rosco material looks pretty clear to me! I don't know which of the Rosco gels is theoretically the most optically clear. Once I know that I will probably order a bigger sheet. I have also used Rosco lighting gels as ND filters on the back of my Panasonic 7-14mm.



In Topic: Socorro 2016 with the RX100

22 April 2016 - 12:30 AM

Great! Looks like an awesome place to dive.

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

29 March 2016 - 07:03 PM

Point taken, but I would say that at macro sites like Lembeh, Anilao etc. I do shoot loads of things closer than 5cm with the CMC, and 2-3cm away is quite common for me if the subject is tiny or I'm going in for a detail shot. More static subjects like nudibranchs, shrimps, coral etc., but for kicks I shot this frogfish eye (with Oly 12-50 + CMC) from just a few mm away :D  I often have to rock the housing back on 2 tripod legs so there is room to flip down the CMC.


So if macro is your thing, lenses that require you to be very close should not be ruled out for some shots.

By the way, at this sort of range with small subjects, you soon learn to flip the lens down very slowly to avoid creating a wave that washes your subject away.




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

28 March 2016 - 09:37 PM

...When you stack them you are at +12 instead of 13.3 of the CMC which is not significant...

I didn't realise the CMC had been assigned a diopter-strength "number". My understanding was that the CMC and SMC don't behave quite like diopters and so it is difficult to equate their strength. But maybe that was just the SMS. If 13.3 is indeed the strength then my previous suggestion to take an Aquako or Noodilab diopter as well as an CMC is not so smart as the strength is quite similar. I seem to remember one of the Aquakos is about +14.

As a quick side question, have you had much experience with lights and shooting wide angle video? I'm looking at purchasing one of the RG Blue System underwater lights, do you think one light would be enough? Or do I really need two? I've been reading lots of conflicting suggestions on websites that sell the lights so it would be great to hear from someone with practical experience (who also isn't trying to sell me their products!)

I have an RG-Blue System 01 light that I bought as a 3rd back-light to go with my Keldan lights (for 3-point lighting). It had a charging fault on its first trip but they did repair it under warranty, after a very long wait. I take it along on trips mainly as a spare as the colour temperature matches the Keldans quite well. As a primary light for wide angle, I believe it's only strong enough for very close subjects, or subjects at night, in caves, wrecks, under ledges etc.. Even 2 of them won't do a lot on a reef in bright daylight conditions.

Can't find any info about Noodilab lenses either.

I saw on Facebook that they supplied diopters to a few well known photographers (I think Alex Mustard, Kay Burn Lim, Jerome Kim) within the last few months. Not sure if they have reached production yet, or how well they perform. I think it's something like +20 but I could be wrong.

What about the Nauticam SMC lens?, How come nobody mention it?????

The SMC was the earlier lens. It's bulkier and I think is designed more for full frame, APS-C etc.. The CMC came later and is designed more for compacts and M43. It works great with my Oly 60 and Oly 12-50 on GH4.

I would recommend not investing too much at first. With too much "magnification greed" you can end up with poor picture quality and would have been better off magnifying less then cropping 4k in post to HD. With a Panasonic 14-42mm PZ perhaps get a CMC first and see how you get on. Maybe try borrowing or renting some other diopters and try them, or try stacking them with the CMC or each other. If you really want as much magnification as possible then you need to start with a proper macro lens and accept that good wide/macro on the same dive is not going to happen.

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

23 March 2016 - 10:20 PM

There are also a couple of dual flip arms available. I think Reefnet make a 3D-printed plastic one, and Saga possibly make and aluminium one. The Nauticam single adapter is very nicely engineered though.

With a dual flip adapter and option 3 you could perhaps try a CMC on one arm and a stronger Aquako or Noodilab diopter on the other. But you'd be in "experimental" territory with those stronger diopters.