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JayceeB

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Posts posted by JayceeB


  1. Thanks, Chris.

    If my calculations are accurate, the Sigma would have an additional 1cm working distance.

    I also noticed that the Sigma does not have image stabilization.  Not sure if this is required, or if the Sony 90mm image stabilization works in conjunction with the A7C image stabilization.

    I use back button focus.  If the autofocus can get close, i can fine tune by moving the camera in and out.  I wonder how the reported autofocus compares to the Oly EM-1 II + 60mm


  2. I'm currently using the A7C + 28-60 kit lens + CMC-1.  It works well if you can get very close to the subject, but in many cases, the subject is positioned in a recess, preventing the shot.

    For dedicated macro dives, I'm considering adding a macro lens + port to my kit to enable a longer working distance.

    Does anyone have experience with both the Sony 90mm and Sigma 105mm macro lenses?

    Thanks.


  3. I'm interested in this same topic.  I have the A7C+28-60 Kit lens and use the CMC-1 for macro.  Nice and sharp if you can get the lens in close enough, but a lot of missed opportunities due to insufficient working distance, or  there's no room to light the subject with one or both strobes. 

     

    Also considering a dedicated macro lens/port.  Considering the Sony 90mm or Sigma 105.


  4. 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).

     

    DSC01621.jpg

    • Like 2

  5. 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.  

    • Like 2

  6.  (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.

    frogfish-as-shot.jpg

    frogfish-cropped.jpg

    • Like 1

  7. 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).


  8. 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. 

    PXL_20210401_223406016.jpg

    PXL_20210401_223110660.jpg

    • Like 1

  9. 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.

    • Like 1
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