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J Kyle

Member Since 08 May 2011
Offline Last Active May 12 2011 10:25 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Shooting large pelagics with DSLR?

12 May 2011 - 06:50 AM

Well you're not shooting whales so you don't need an super wide lens as much. Even with whales, fisheyes give them that guppy look.
I think the Sigma 12-24 is very useful for video... not great for stills because of the lower resolution but 12mm is awesome.
The only caveat of shooting with Canon DSLR is that darn 4GB file limit. It forces you to be vigilant about recording time and also forces you to watch for activity more intensely.

12min limits is no problem...I can hold my breath and swim for 60 seconds at the most!

In Topic: Shooting large pelagics with DSLR?

10 May 2011 - 12:33 PM

Even with a longer focal length, you still need to get close to get the colors. So don't be such a baby and get closer! :lol:

Ha, ok. I can do that. :(

Also the Tokina 10-17mm is fisheye. Honestly keep away from fisheye for video unless you want to use it to do a few scenic reef type shots or other underwater landscapes. For wildlife it is really a poor choice.

Yeah, for some reason I'm just realizing that now. When I started to do research I came across reputable sources of info that would say that big, wide, fisheye is popular. The tokina 10-17 is almost always mentioned. But I guess that's because the majority of people do wide reef shots, or wide wreck shots, or the like. Or its possible that most people who shoot large fish go wide and get close. That was my original understanding, which is why I was considering the 15mm fisheye. But now it seems like I'd be better off to go with a little longer focal length, but still get as close as I can to maximize color, drama, etc.

Lots to think about.

In Topic: Shooting large pelagics with DSLR?

10 May 2011 - 04:48 AM

hi Joe, Just a little word o the wise. Be careful with green hooked fish - particularly bill-fish.

I will be; I was actually relieved to hear the suggestion of a longer focal length than what I had been considering - it allows me to put more distance between myself and the fish. Not much, but enough that I should feel comfortable. I'm not risk-averse, by any means. But I do try to do my homework.

Marc, the 14 would make that billfish look like a guppy.
I'd suggest using a 7D @ 13mm (either EFS 10-22, Tokina 11-16 or Sigma 8-16). You get about 20mm, 1+stop more DOF than FF and can switch to 8fps when needed. Plus the AF is faster.

I, too, would have thought the 14mm would create the same kind of "smallness" that the 15 fisheye does. And if it does, I'd rather gain the fisheye's ability to do the classic over/unders. Basically, if I go the DSLR route for my underwater footage (which it appears I am OK to do) I need to limit myself to two lenses. My topside kit is already large (a backup 5D2 and a full Sony FS100 rig, assuming B&H fills my preorder before late July) so I just won't have the room.

I had considered the 7D because I would have been able to use the Tokina 10-17, which is supposedly the most popular lens for underwater stuff. But I was really afraid of overheating. It's going to be 95+ degrees and 80-90% humitity during the day. I can't have my camera crap out on me at a critical moment, and as far as I know (my own experience included) the 5d2 just handles adverse conditions better.

In Topic: Shooting large pelagics with DSLR?

09 May 2011 - 04:41 PM

Hey Simon
Drew sent me an email today saying that you were asking about shooting billfish. My advice, for what it's worth is stay away from the fisheye whenever possible. Drew was spot on with his advice on that lens, although great for over and unders, it really forces the perspective giving billfish this mega long bill and tiny tail and it kills "presence". It makes a 400 lb blue marlin 5 feet from the dome look like a bug on your windshield. I've used 3 lenses successfully in the past, the canon 14mm 2.8, the Canon 24mm 1.4 and my all time favorite and cheapest is the Sigma 12-24mm EX, the one you thought was a fisheye, it's actually rectilinear. I've used all 3 on both full and 1.3 sensors. There is a big difference here in that I'm shooting unhooked fish. Shooting hooked fish is pretty basic, you can even take a wrap on the leader of a blue marlin underwater to get him in the perfect head forward position (don't do this if you are not sure on the wire). The problem is you can always tell a hooked fish, his color is gone his movement and gesture are exhausted etc.,etc.. In hookless teasing marlin and sails we can get the fish all lit up in a "fired up" state in just the best of condition. More and more we are moving to the 24mm range to bring that "in your face feeling" to the shot. It has it's drawbacks with shorter DOF but the biggest issue is getting a fish traveling at that speed in focus and in frame going from 20' away to past you in less than one second from the time you see him. Be prepared to throw away a lot of images. That lens range also provides detail lost on the wide guns. At 24mm on the 1D MarkIV from 3 feet away you can even see the parasites and tiniest of details especially in the bubble con trails. With the motor drive at 10 frames per second I'm shooting these stitched images and printing them 8 feet across on aluminum. This is the one we shot during the St Thomas video you saw, it was shot with the Sigma at 24mm, @5.6, 1/800th, 800 ASA. There are 5 frames so it was taken in a total elapsed time of 0.5 of a second for the entire sequence. Good luck! BTW we will have a new Pacific sailfish shot and video ready for release in the next 3 weeks. There is a lot of video and info on how we get THE shot.

Well this is just about the best advice one could ever hope for! So I guess on my 5DII I should try a 35mm prime to emulate the 24mm on your APS-H sensor.

And yes, unfortunately I will not be able even hope to capture a billfish when it is lit up. We have 8 days on the water planned but I'm pretty sure the anglers are going to want to fish with actual hooks every day haha. I guess I would too.

That shot must just be awe inspiring on an 8ft sheet of aluminum. That's such a perfect medium to bring out those colors.

And, suffice to say, I am desperately looking forward to seeing the sailfish shot/video.

Thanks for the responses,


In Topic: Shooting large pelagics with DSLR?

09 May 2011 - 04:50 AM

Actually, after watching that video again, I realize that it he definitely used a fisheye to get that footage. The above water horizon gives it away. edit: Ok, now I really don't know. some of them seem to be, some of them don't. The post-shark encounter getting out of the water shot is not fisheye.

*scratches head*

I'm at a loss here. I will have time to test various lenses in the pool but I'd rather get it right on the first try, especially considering how much ports cost.

And that assumes that I am right to use DSLR for this application, although, again, watching that video gives me hope because that is just the type of thing I am trying to accomplish (the video, not the still).