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Member Since 16 Nov 2005
Offline Last Active Feb 03 2015 12:45 PM

#320844 Sigma 15FE + Kenko 1.4 on a D800?

Posted by loftus on 18 November 2012 - 04:01 PM

Hi Guys! Thanks for response! Okey, but how is the diffrent between the telekonverters for Macro use? With a 60mm or the 105mm on the D800. I had 60mm and 2x kenko 300 pro on my d300s. I loved it! But I heard that on the D800 you need the Nikon telekonverter for good quality? What you guys says about that? or shall I stay with the Kenko´s?

This issue of the D800 not producing good quality images with anything but the best lenses keeps coming up and I think is misleading. Any lens combination that produces good images with any other camera setup like a a D700 will still produce images that are as good if not better on a D800. So if you got great images with a Kenko and 60mm on your D300s you will get great images of very high resolution on your D800. It's just that because the D800 is such a high resolution camera, if you want to squeeze every last bit of resolution out of it, then using the best available lenses will be necessary.

#319844 Subal or Nauticam?

Posted by loftus on 04 November 2012 - 07:52 AM

I think it's a disappointing workaround for a 3.000EUR housing whereas I haven't noticed or heard housing brands like Subal, Seacam or Aquatica having this problem.

You are right about the 3,000 EUR thing, but actually I started using it (recommended by Reef Photo) as I had issues even with my Subal with handle screws etc with the threads binding in the housing, and also my flash synch cord lock nuts etc binding. So I first started using it for this on my Subal not for the Nauticam surface oxidation issue. I think it may help the oxidation issue by insulating the different metals. I'm not advocating smearing this stuff on the actual outside surface as that would be a mess.

#319137 Wide angle zooms for Nikon D800

Posted by loftus on 26 October 2012 - 04:48 AM

Unfortunately, if I understand the thread properly, that might be as good as it gets. The 16-35mm, despite being a less well-specified lens, seems to work better behind a dome.

By less well specified, do you mean just the maximum aperture? In other respects it is probably better 'specified' particularly for digital. Remember the 17-35 was developed in the film days. The reason the 16-35 behaves better behind a dome may have to do with the way the light is collated more specifically for digital sensors. I'm not sure I see the real differences topside between the 2 lenses, and in fact gave my 17-35 to a friend and don't miss it. The 16-35 also has VR.

#318208 Nikon Transfer Software corrupts D800 NEF files

Posted by loftus on 11 October 2012 - 11:41 AM

I think Nikon software simply sucks. I know the purists prefer Capture NX, but the programs are just so clunky compared to Lightroom, Aperture or Photomechanic that I just can't justify ever using them.

#318149 Sharktagging.com

Posted by loftus on 10 October 2012 - 02:15 PM

Just want to make a plug for all the work WP Neil Hammerschlag is doing at University of Miami RJ Dunlap shark tagging program.
Check out their new website, and of course donate if you can.

#317741 6 days in ohau!

Posted by loftus on 03 October 2012 - 01:26 PM


#317706 Malteasers...

Posted by loftus on 03 October 2012 - 05:27 AM

Very nice; I like the first wreck shot the most, nice elegant composition.

#317118 Nikon 16-35 ?

Posted by loftus on 25 September 2012 - 05:10 AM

I read Ken Rockwells test notes about both lenses and he definitely prefers the 16-35 over 14-24 for sharpness, corners, moiré, aliasing, etc.

I would be cautious of anything Ken Rockwell says for topside photography, never mind applying it to underwater. The 14-24 is a superb lens by any standards, just difficult to use underwater behind a dome. Love the hammerhead pic...

#315713 Manta - D800E

Posted by loftus on 02 September 2012 - 04:24 AM

Here is 1 more and a 100% crop to give some idea of the detail the 800E can show at the point of focus, Sigma 15mm f3.5

Posted Image

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#313864 Ocean Safari 2012: It begins again

Posted by loftus on 31 July 2012 - 10:09 AM

Thanks Drew; despite the lack of underwater action, still had a great time; plan to be back - it is addictive. I plan to spend more time there hopefully next year. As for the whale breaching above, (I was the one towards the front of the whale) viz was so bad that I really only saw it as it broke the surface. Needless to say I tried bringing my camera up in time to get an over under, but only got one image that shows even part of a whale, and the rest I was covered in water. More fps on my D800 would not have made a lick of difference.
Here's the only one that shows a piece of the whale. Also does not help that my lens was cranked out to 18mm. The rest just show water over my dome. Posted Image

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#313011 Seacam D800 Housing

Posted by loftus on 18 July 2012 - 06:27 AM

Just got back from South Africa; got to meet Drew and hang out with him for the first time. No matter what anyone else says, he's a really great guy. The only problem is that he does not have an opinion on anything. :)

#209332 My first UW Fashion Shoot....

Posted by loftus on 21 April 2009 - 10:38 AM

Hi Guys,

I've been asked to do an UW fashion shoot for a local magazine, i've done topside fashion work but never UW. I've looked over some past threads with good pointers but have a couple questions.

What focal lengths do people prefer? I know UW closer and wider is better, but in fashion, normal lenses are preferred. I'm torn between my 17-55mm or 11-16mm (on DX). I'm looking at a 20'x20' backdrop and at 11mm i can only be about 6 or 7 feet away to fill the frame w the backdrop. At 16 or 17mm i get a few more feet separation.

Do people prefer to light from above or UW? I've considered using an umbrella on a UW strobe attached beneath a surface float but fear for the backscatter, even if well separated from the camera (have a 10' sync cable). If i setup topside, I'd try an UW strobe on a float to optically trigger the topside strobes. I have plenty of strobes, 5 UW and 4 topside, but no studio strobes or pw's to work with. I'm a little worried about triggering optically in daylight. (I may try to splice an old hotshoe cable to to an UW sync cable to fire my nikon SU-800 with radiopoppers on my topside nikon strobes)

What about directing the model. What's the best way for them to dive down, head first, then pose or feet first using hands to push up, then down, like they teach in lifeguarding? Any specific techniques for getting the flowing material & hair to work well?

Anything else i need to take into consideration? i am getting the pool professionally cleaned beforehand. Thanx guys, i really appreciate any help. Cheers,


Hi Chris,
I'll try to answer some of these questions, and I'm sure James will add when he sees the post. I would caution you though to do some test shoots say ahead of time (I'll always be happy to fly to Bermuda to help :( ) if this is an important commercial gig. Maybe have the model (s) work briefly with you head of time to make sure they work well underwater. I think either of the lenses will work but with DX my choice would be the 11-16 or the Nikon 16mm. Tokina 10-17 at 17 end will work as well. The key point to instruct your model is to keep hands and feet in the same plane parallel to the image plane, and not extend hands or feet towards the camera, which will of course result in distortion. To start with I would use one strobe on the camera balanced with daylight; then add a strobe for fill either topside or underwater, but start simple, add complexity as you see your results.
Presently I use 2 topside studio strobes with a long arm on camera strobe(at lowest power for fill mostly). As far as how to trigger etc, I'd test to see what works ahead of time. I use a long synch cord to trigger topside strobes linked to Pocket Wizards. Underwater slave triggering works fine, but topside I have found slave triggering to be a little eratic.
You can add softboxes, I use them topside with snoots as well - I find it cumbersome for the underwater strobes, and have destroyed a few umbrellas underwater, but James likes to use them underwater. I prefer to just add diffussers to underwater strobes, like milk container plastic.
The best thing to teach the model is simply how to sink passively, no diving or anything. Simply have them practice a little hyperventilation, then exhale and even continue to exhale as they sink. This way they do not waste energy flailing about to stay down. Depending on the model, she may have 20-40 secs or so working time. Get them relaxed doing this first ,then begin gentle movement to allow garments hair etc to flow. Tell them to avoid conditioners etc in the hair that prevent soft gentle movement of the hair.
In addition to pool cleanliness, make sure pH is around 7.4 to avoid eye discomfort etc.
Best of luck,