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Everything posted by JayceeB

  1. Hi @Blenny84. Thank you All photos are from the Kona coast on the Island of Hawaii.
  2. I finally took the CMC-1 out for a dedicated macro dive today. It performed very well. I missed out on one or two shots because I couldn't get the lens in close enough to focus with a strobe, but generally it worked very well with some practice. I thought I might end needing a dedicated macro lens/port, but so far the CMC-1 seems to be working for my needs. Here's a shot I took of a Wavy Bubble Snail with the 28-60 + CMC-1 today (cropped).
  3. Circling back to the thread title… My original plan was to move from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II + 8mm, 7-14, 12-40 +multiple ports, to an Olympus OM-D E-M1 II + 14-42 + WWL-1B. The WWL-1B replaced the 8mm and 7-14mm for my needs, but I felt it did not quite replace the 12-40 quality for distant ambient shots. Just my personal observations with no science applied :). I then started considering the Sony A7C with 28-60mm kit lens. My hope was that the improvements in image quality which the Sony combination with WWL-1B would bring, would give me the balance of quality and compact kit I was after. I took a gamble and ordered the new kit. The first few dives with the new setup did not go awesomely. My 2nd and 4th dives resulted in the camera locking up half way through the dive, so I just carried it along for the rest of the dive with a black screen (I added the issue and fix earlier in this thread). Once I got the camera running smoothly (no issues for 20 dives after figuring out the fix), each dive photo shoot progressively became more enjoyable as I became familiar with the controls. For me, the dynamic range is much improved with both the ability to brighten shadows, and darken over exposed shots. Cropping leaves more quality. Auto-focus seems slightly faster, and possibly more accurate. Less focus hunting when subjects in the distance do not contrast much with the background. The full zoom range of the 28-60 + WWL-1B has exceeded the quality and performance I was looking for. I really like this lens. I need more time with the CMC-1 before I can say I’m smitten…understanding there is a learning curve. For the shots I’ve taken (in focus), the sharpness of the shots exceeded what I was expecting. The short working distance may not be a full replacement for a dedicated macro lens, but as I said, I need more time with the CMC-1. The WWL-1B stays on for most of my dives so far. I have removed it underwater a few times, and swapped out the CMC-1, but it’s not an exercise I would do repetitively throughout a dive. For me, I’ll carry the CMC-1 in case I find an awesome macro opportunity I don’t want to miss, otherwise it will be WWL-1B and crop. If I go on a dedicated macro dive, I’d probably leave the WWL-1B at home and just take the CMC-1. For me, the A7C+28-60mm+WWL-1B has been a great upgrade, delivering a high level of quality and performance in a compact kit.
  4. Thanks. The turtle did all the work. i just happened to be there .
  5. (28-60+WWL-1B) With Strobes: And finally, a few shots taken with strobes using the WWL-1B. The frogfish is an adult nearly the size of a dinner plate.
  6. (28-60+CMC-1) Macro: Here are a couple of examples I took with the CMC-1. I don't have experience with this type of lens, so there were quite a few throw-aways. Included is a seastar shrimp as-shot and cropped, and a redspotted nudibranch.
  7. Thanks, Wolfgang. Give me a bit to formulate my comparison thoughts.
  8. (28-60+WWL-1B) Over exposed as-shot and cropped: Baby Frogfish This frogfish was about 2-3 cm long. I first tried shooting with the CMC-1, but couldn't get my lens in close enough to focus, as the fish was set back in an indentation. Next, I tried shooting with just the 28-60 and no wet lenses, but the minimum working distance for the 28-60 at 60mm is quite large. Next, I tried shooting with the 28-60+WWL-1B...this is what I shot with, and then cropped. I was surprised that a shot this over-exposed could be adjusted to proper exposure. Cropping still left an acceptable level of quality for me.
  9. Here are a few photos taken with the Sony. Distant Ambient Light as-shot and cropped (28-60+WWL-1B): Scalloped Hammerhead Not a great shot, but it's only the second one i've seen, so i'll keep it, regardless of quality. I was impressed that the camera could achieve auto-focus with the dark shark against a dark blue background.
  10. One item to note. I had issues with the A7C on two of the first 4 dives. On the second dive of each day (not sure if this is important or not), the camera would lock up half way through the dive with a ‘Writing to Card. Please wait…’. Turning the camera on/off underwater didn’t fix it. I had to remove the battery and replace to get it to stop after the dive. I made 2 changes, that seem to have fixed this issue. I’m not sure if they are both required, but configuration options are: 1. Changed File Format=RAW (uncompressed) + JPEG to File Format=RAW (uncompressed). 2. Changed Finder/Monitor=Auto to Finder/Monitor=Manual. (Thanks, Phil Burghard, for this suggestion).
  11. Yes, I have a CMC-1. Have not yet decided how best to carry it. Right now I just throw it in my BC pocket. I could mount it on the cross bar, but if you want to trade WWL-1 for CMC-1, there's an awkward moment where both lenses are unmounted. I may end up using 70x200mm float arms with a bayonet adapter on one instead of the stix.
  12. And this shows my complete kit. The 200mm cross-bar mount for the WWL-1B works very well, and keeps your strobe arms clear and light. Might be worth trying a 70x200mm float arm for the cross-bar as the entire kit still needs a bit more buoyancy. As you can see, I only have single 200mm arms for strobe mounts to keep the kit compact. Double arms would give more room for additional stix.
  13. Here are two pictures showing the Olympus+12-40+7" dome on the left and Sony+28-60+WWL-1B on the right. (**Note: 1lb weight velcro'd to the bottom of the 7" dome for trim on the left).
  14. Here is a photo of the focus knob that shipped with the 28-60 port.
  15. Thanks, Waterpixel. That helps. The port ships with the focus knob uninstalled. I left it off.
  16. Nauticam Housing Notes for the Sony: Sony on/off button on housing is more robust than the Olympus, and you don’t need to lift the housing switch up before removing the camera like you do the Olympus. Sony Nauticam housing tray does not overlap the camera battery cover, so you never need to remove it. Olympus tray has to be removed from the camera every time you change the battery. Sony is slightly easier to load tray into the housing, as it does not sit as deep in. The Olympus housing has a top ball mounting hole, which is where I had my focus light mounted. The Sony housing does not have this mounting hole, so I moved my focus light ball to the plastic hot-shoe mount on the lens port, which isn’t quite as rigid. Sony housing has more robust fiber optic ports on the housing, but you have to purchase Nauticam Optical Fiber Connectors ($27) to use standard fiber optic cables. Olympus housing does not require this. The Sony nauticam flash trigger has an on/off switch that must be turned on with the housing open. The Olympus doesn’t require this when using the kit flash to fire strobes. I used to prepare my camera the night before for early morning dives, including turning on the leak detector and vacuum pumping. The green leak detection led light doesn’t seem to draw much power, as I haven’t noticed substantial battery drain doing this. I’m not sure I can do this now, as the nauticam flash trigger will be on all night inside the housing (it has a blinking green light to signal that it is ‘on’). Will have to test it out. Anyone have experience leaving the Nauticam flash trigger on overnight? Most pictures you see of the Nauticam with 28-60 lens show the focus knob installed on the port. This is optional, so I left it off until I decide whether a manual focus gear is required.
  17. Here are a few photos comparing the size of the Nauticam housings. Olympus on the left. Sony on the right.
  18. Thanks, Chris. I have a few odds and ends left to collect. An extra battery and separate charger were on that list. I use Nitecore for other batteries. They also make a double for Sony FZ-100 batteries: Nitecore USN4PRO for Sony NP-FZ100 I was thinking of the Nitecore unless anyone cautions against non-Sony chargers.
  19. Camera Body Notes: The Olympus feels less 'plastic-y' and more ergonometric for land use than the Sony. I only plan to use the Sony underwater, so this isn't important to me. Sony EVF is on the far left. I frame with my right eye, so took a bit of getting used to, but now i don't notice it. Sony EVF is smaller than the Olympus. Almost too small to track small fish darting around in a larger frame. Macro I can still manage viewing focus, just barely. You can’t turn off fill flash on the Sony in Manual mode. This means you need to turn off the strobes when shooting with ambient light. I shoot with 2 custom dials set up. One for flash. One for ambient. The Olympus ambient dial has flash turned off, so I can leave my strobes on. The Sony ambient custom dial doesn’t allow this, so you need to actually turn your strobes off to ensure they don’t fire when shooting ambient. Maybe I haven't figured this one out yet. If any Sony users have tips, please share. Sony 28-60 doesn’t stop when you zoom all the way out, so you end up retracting the lens if you keep going, which causes a warning sign to appear on the screen. I did this a few times on the first couple of dives while in the housing, but have gotten used to it now. Sony does not come with a battery charger. Charging is via USB-C cable (which is included). Sony doesn’t charge with the USB-C cable if camera is ‘On’. I’ve made this mistake a couple of times, went to load my camera, but had to wait to charge it again in ‘Off’ position. Again, if any Sony users have tips, please share.
  20. I've had the Sony kit for a few weeks now, and have been jotting down a few notes. This is not an equipment review but rather my experience moving from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II in a Nauticam housing with dedicated lenses and ports/domes to the Sony A7C in a Nauticam housing with the 28-60mm kit lens, WWL-1B and CMC-1. Here are a couple of photos of the Olympus on the left and Sony on the right. The Sony has a Nauticam flash trigger mounted on the hotshoe.
  21. New Kit arrives in a week or so. Will report back to this thread on my experiences.
  22. Thank you all for insightful feedback on equipment and technique. You brought forward some considerations I hadn’t thought of, and your responses are much appreciated. I’ve decided to proceed with the A7C + 28-60 + WWL. I’ll use the A7C kit for a month or so to confirm if the performance enhancements balance the limitations of full-frame. If the A7C works out for me, as I hope, I’ll keep it and sell my Olympus kit. If the A7C does not work out for me, I’ll sell the A7C kit and upgrade to a Zen 170 dome for the 12-40. I consider this a learning exercise with no wrong result...albeit an expensive learning exercise
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