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Posts posted by TmxDiver

  1. Hi,

    If you send me a DM with your contact info (email and mobile), I can try giving you a call at some point tomorrow. It might be easier to discuss live.

    A few comments based on your post:

    1) I would not try to do a multi-dive project to begin with. Pick something simple that you can do in one dive. Even if it is just a portion of a wreck.

    2) Yes - getting out to the Midnight Hour might not be easy and you might want to dive your target and think about how you would make a model before you do the dive to make the model. Have you thought about doing a feature or small section on the Yukon? Boats go there every week and the top of the wreck is at about 65 fsw and the sand about 105 fsw. 

    3) For lenses, I personally prefer wide angle rectilinear but generally shoot with either the WWL-C or WWL-1B. You can toss out the macro lenses for anything to do with photogrammetry. That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind:

    3a) Metashape will do lens corrections so if you use a fisheye, it will compensate (to a certain degree) for the barrel distortion. I'm not sure if there is lens correction profile for the 8mm f3.5 fisheye you have and I don't even really know if there is a canonical database of what Metashape does have profiles for.

    3b) With the usual conditions in California, the reason it helps to have a wide angle or fisheye is that you can get closer to your target and illuminate it better and still get a decent amount of "coverage" in each photo. You will typically need about a 50-70% overlap of the photos for the alignment process.

    Both Becky and I generally shoot with video lights and not strobes due to the number of pictures we take on a single dive. 


    - brett


  2. Hi,

    I actually haven't dove the Midnight Hour (yet). Not sure why other than it is shallow and I tend to dive the deeper wrecks. However, I did see a video on-line and there is one thing that I noticed that could make your task hard: kelp on the wreck that is moving. I'm facing this issue right now as I work on a model of the entire Yukon wreck.

    I'm not sure if that is a seasonal thing or permanent. But, kelp moving around will complicate building a model. 

    It is definitely not too small for model. I've build models of much smaller. For example, there is a Piper airplane on the front side of Catalina that I did early in my photogrammetry:


    I recently posted a presentation of some photogrammetry basics that might be of some use:


    Most of my photogrammetry information, models, etc is at:


    There are some challenges with the environment here is SoCal (dark, particulate matter, etc.) that will complicate things in general but if you are patient, you will figure it out. Also, you can always start by building a model of "part" of a wreck. I did that with the Yukon guns and prop as I was learning.

    Good luck, 

    - brett


    • Like 1

  3. I'm not sure if it still happens on a regular basis, but if you do a "dawn patrol" dive and get in the water really early right before the sun comes up, there are bumphead parrotfish that congregate at the stern of the Liberty 

    I got some photos but it was before I was really getting into photography.


  4. 1 hour ago, stillviking said:

    I never see spoken here, but underwater photo editing is quite demanding and a challenge, since the photos don't always come out with that desired look! The blues are often faded and the colors of people, animals and corals are not always real, but greenish or whitish skin.

    It would be interesting for the more experienced to share some of their tricks and Before/After samples.

    I hope the post can be useful for newbies in UW editing like me!

    You might want to check out this website (if you are planning to use Lightroom):


    I've taken a few of her classes and was attending the live events during the beginning of Covid. They are very well done.

    - brett


    • Like 1

  5. I have actually removed my WWL1-B a few times during a dive (rarely, but I have). I don't have the bridge setup or even a bracket I put it on. Most people would consider me nuts, but what I do is that I dive with the hard plastic cap with a section of cave line tied to a bolt snap.

    When I want to remove the lens, I put the cap on (and make sure it is secure) and the bolt snap is snapped onto a ring on the housing handle. I then remove the lens and let it "dangle" below my setup. 

    I know, crazy, but it works. Note that I have never done this when I'm on a wall and I'm not somewhere I could retrieve the lens if something went wrong. :)

    - brett

  6. 9 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

    I am confused by these many different options and, in the absence of objective testing, try to get an overview about differences in IQ. I am not willing to acquire all these different options and test them out my myself, therefore I try to get as much information as possible by reading and asking people...

    In this context, I saw an interesting article at the Nauticam homepage, entitled "Halmahera/Indonesia with the Sony A7IV". The author was using WWL-1 and WACP1 side by side on a diving trip (it seems that the article is now offline))...

    I asked at Nauticam who the author was and what his impressions on the IQ difference between WWL-1 and WACP-1 were. Phil Burghard from Nauticam wrote to me that the author was Hergen Spalink and:

    " I spoke to him about this and in his opinion he could barely see an image quality difference for the Sony 28-60mm f/4-5.6 combined with the WWL-1B and WACP-1. For the size, weight and cost, he highly recommends the WWL-1B combination. For the aperture value, Hergen felt very comfortable opening up to f/5.6 with good corner performance."

    It may well depend on the lens behind the Wetoptics, but for the Sony 28-60mm I would interpret it this way that the WAPC-C (situated between WWL-1 and  WAPC-1 in optical quality) is not worth going for, as the difference between WWL-1 and WAPC-C, if existing, probably must be very, very small...



    P.S.: I do not think that comparing WWL-1, WAPC-C and WAPC-1 is "apples to oranges", as the final outcome on the image is practically the same (same FOV and distortion), except MAYBE center and corner sharpness. Objective measures are not existing/accessible and different authors have different opinions (The lowest common denominator of different reports is, however, that the differences in IQ is small, if existing). Hence it is totally justified to ask for objective measures of differences in IQ as the differences in size, weight and money to spend are obvious...


    Thanks for the research. This is enough for me to decide to stick with the WWL-1B and not spend the money for the WACP-C which, in my particular case, would probably have neglible and no noticeable increase in quality. 

    - brett

  7. 1 hour ago, shanesmith.photos said:

    Thanks @Phil Rudin! That looks like a nicely balanced overall setup on the A1. Like a few others in these forums I’ve used the Sony A1, 28-60mm lens and WWL-1 with great success. I’d be fascinated to see some comparison shots between the WWL-1 and the WACP-C, to see how much of a step up this provides in image quality. I know that the WACP’s corners will be sharper at wider apertures, but what would be particularly interesting is how much sharper/better the centre of the frame is. As Alex Mustard pointed out, any of the WACP’s should theoretically be slightly better than the WWL-1 because the light doesn’t have to pass through the Glass - Water - Glass boundaries of the wet lens. The real question is how noticeable this difference is. If it’s meaningful then I’d look to upgrade. Having said that, I absolutely love how compact the WWL-1 is for travel, so I’m loathe to add more weight and bulk to my kit!


    In previous forum threads, reviewers have shied away from comparisons between the WWL-1 and WACP-1 because it was such an apples vs. oranges comparison in terms of price and size. Now that there are three tiers of Nauticam water contact optics in close(r) proximity of each other, maybe this comparison would make more sense.

    I'm in exactly the same place. I'm not sure it is worth the money to move from the WWL-1B to the WACP-C. This has to do with current abilities as a photographer as much as it does anything else. I'm just not sure I will see a noticeable difference. But, I would love to see some real-world data comparing the two.

    - brett

  8. 3 hours ago, Draq said:

    You may also want to check Storm cases (owned by Pelican) and Nanuk cases.  They have some in different sizes with wheels.  Because I like to pack my housing "upright," if I can, that limits me to something at least 13-14" wide and 9" high, even with the mounting balls removed.

    Because of that magical combination of "wide enough" and "deep enough,"  I would guess that the 1616 is probably the most common large pelican air case for underwater photo gear.  It is bigger than I actually need, but anything else either is too shallow or too narrow or weighs more.  You could shave off 6-7 lbs by going with a polycarbonate suitcase and padding everything well, like Alex does.


    Just FYI, I was able to fit my full frame Nauticam Sony a7rIV housing into the Pelican 1535 by removing the balls (solving the "deep enough" problem) AND the handles (solving the "wide enough" problem).


    - brett

  9. 1 hour ago, Dann-Oh said:

    Hey Brett,

    Funny enough your site is already in my Chrome bookmarks.  I usually browse your site/blog when I need a little boost in my diving morale and my gills are drying up (I have a 1 year old so I don't get to dive as often as Id like to).

    I just finished up a sidemount class to help me learn to manage multiple cylinders and to be able to move them around. and what not.  I am planning to dive sidemount as much as I can this next year.  I am planning to start working on decompression diving skills and knowledge this time next year or early 2023 depending on my confidence.  I have started conversations with one of my diving mentors that I rally look up to about what it would take to get to the Infidel (located on the west side of Catalina, California, USA sitting in 165fsw).  We have a shortlist of things I need to work on in order to have solid enough skills to move into decompression diving. (I'm currently 'bouncing" +/-4ft on safety stops he would like me to "bounce" less than +/-2ft on safety stops, I completely understand why this is important).

    Great! If you want, you can sign up on the blog to get updates whenever I publish (which is usually only about once/week).

    The Infidel is a fun wreck for sure. If you are going to that depth, consider a goal of diving the UB88 which is a little bit deeper but amazing to dive a WW1 German Sub off Southern California. It is about 190' to the sand and about 165' to the top of the conning tower.

    - brett

  10. 13 hours ago, Dann-Oh said:

    Gosh Dang, between you and Becky Kagan Schott you guys are making me want to move up to Michigan to enjoy the beautiful Lake Huron diving.  These sites are on mu bucket list for sure.


    A google search shows the wreck sits in 165ffw, what kind of bottom time are you getting? Your photos shows a diver in back mounted doubles (I'm guessing at least HP100s) and 1 deco bottle (I'm guessing an AL80)

    You should definitely go -- it is epic diving with amazing wide angle photographic opportunities.

    I went in July 2021 and took my rebreather. We were diving the wrecks if Presque Isle which are all about 180-200 ffw. On most dives it was 35 or so minutes on the wreck and a runtime of about 105-120 minutes.

    Pictures are here:



    - brett


    • Like 1

  11. 2 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

    I would not check in a camera which is far more delicate than a rugged housing and a port

    If you intend to check in a pelican you need to have a full foam insert not a bag so that all items are locked. In essence you need to cut the foam to fit your camera and lenses.

    I rather keep the camera and lens in the hand luggage and check in my dome (which is 180mm)

    I have recently checked in my dome on a connecting flight to the red sea in a north face duffel bag with some towels around it. the nauticam bags are rugged and so is the dome even a fall is not going to crack it easily as long as it is inside its container

    For smaller domes and ports i have a hard cap so that is pretty much bullet proof

    This is exactly what I do. My camera, lenses, and Lithium batteries go in my carry on and my housing, WWL-1B (with hard cap), ports, flash, video lights, etc. all go into a Pelican case with "custom cut" dividers to hold everything in place.

    The Pelican can be carried on (size is okay, weight is not) or checked and I have options.

    I've done some pretty serious travel in the past year and never had a problem.



    - brett


    • Like 1

  12. 3 hours ago, Draq said:

    Thanks, looks good.  Would be interesting to compare to a shot without the diffuser...

    Thanks. I have to make a small correction. I was getting my kit ready for a dive tomorrow and checked the diffuser and it is the "White Diffuser" and NOT the "Wide Angle Diffuser."

    - brett

    • Like 1

  13. 17 hours ago, Draq said:

    Diffuser question and battery charger update.


    1. First, I will be taking a dive trip in January to a location where the water can be a bit greenish.  This is a first for me.  Wondering if there is a benefit to using the Retra diffusers in such a situation, or if it is better to leave the green or deal with it in post?  If taking a diffuser, is it worth adding the new  soft diffuser (if anyone knows yet) in place of the wide angle diffuser I already own?

    2. I see there have been some discussions of chargers.  A few months back I added superchargers and thus had to ramp up my charger abilities.  I purchased and took an XTAR BC8 charger, available from Amazon and it worked well.  This is a small-sized charger only marginally larger and no heavier than the 4-cell chargers I already had.  It charges fairly fast and never seemed to get overly warm (which is bad for batteries).  They are not expensive chargers but seem to have a good "intelligent" charging program.

    I have  added another for an upcoming trip.  That will allow me to charge all 16 cells daily, and I also like having more than one charger in case of a failure.  These things never seem particularly robust to me, so the idea of a backup is appealing.  Hope this helps someone.

    I was out diving the Yukon in San Diego yesterday playing with my Retra ProX and had the wide angle diffuser. The water was very green (normal for the area) and had a TON of particulate matter in the water. Quite frankly, I'm a bit surprised at how the photos turned out given the conditions. Visibility was probably 6m / 20 feet.

    The photos below have had a few adjustments in LR but nothing major and I haven't cleaned up any backscatter. I'm not planning to use them for anything other than I was just testing the strobes in those conditions.


    - brett




    • Like 1

  14. 3 hours ago, Draq said:

    After very careful consideration I abandoned the idea of a WACP-1, primarily due to air travel considerations.  I often travel on airlines where that bag would stand little chance of getting past the carry-on guards.   Looking at your photo, that appears to be a Thinktank or similar bag.  Knowing those are not really intended to be checked luggage, do you have a contingency plan if they won't let you take it in the cabin?

    Just curious...dealing with airline luggage restrictions is one of my constant sources of aggravation in life and I am always looking for ideas.  My basement looks like a luggage store.

    One of the reasons I decided on the WWL-1B over two other options I considered (16-35 with 230mm dome and the WACP-1) is the size/weight. Based on the picture posted by @dreifish, I'm glad I made that choice. There are better options from a purely technical standpoint but they come at the "cost" of size/weight and, as usual, there is no free lunch.

    I have all my primary photo equipment in a small-ish Pelican case that I can either carry on (it is overweight but under max size) or check it if I'm lazy or if I am forced to and it is protected from the vagaries of checked luggage. Picture below:


    - brett


  15. 6 hours ago, phxazcraig said:

    At this point, I'm considering almost anything.  -The WACP-2 is out though!  Ideally I would not have something as large as the 230mm dome to pack.   Also, it has to be available between October and February, in case there are supply chain issues.


    I have a Sony a7rIV and I would prefer the 16-35 + 230mm dome combo (I shoot a lot of wrecks and prefer rectilinear) but I have the same issue: I don't want to travel with a 230mm dome (along with a rebreather, drysuit, camera gear, dive gear, etc.). 

    At the time, the WACP-C was not available and I didn't want to spend the $$ on the WACP-1 so I went with the WWL-1B. 

    I just checked the port chart for the WWL-1B and I don't see any Nikon full frame lenses listed so you might need the WACP-1 (or the new WACP-C).

    I don't know the Nikon system, but If I'm reading the WACP-1 port chart correctly It looks like with the 28-70mm Nikon lens you get a FOV of 130 to 59 degrees which seems like a pretty good range.


    - brett

    Screen Shot 2022-08-24 at 7.48.34 AM.png

  16. On 8/21/2022 at 11:19 AM, phxazcraig said:

    I read some trip reviews about deco diving in Truk and water temps.  I was surprised to hear that the temps were generally 82F or more.  I'll be fine in my 3-mil with hood (hooded vest as an option) I think.  I'll be diving single tank recreationally, except that if I need to do deco stops in the range of 'less than 30 minutes total' I'm fine.   Done a lot of minor deco diving in Roatan, although I'm still needing to understand how my newer Suunto D5 shows deco times.

    I'm considering taking a wreck dive course over the winter, if I can find one in Phoenix.   I doubt I'll be taking a tech diving course, ever, but I wouldn't rule out taking ANY course, if available to me in Phoenix.   I love learning new stuff with the help of an instructor.   It's so much more efficient than learning on your own.

    So now I'm starting to think about photography at Truk.  Pretty much screams wide angle there, eh?    For wide angle I have these options, none of which I'm extremely thrilled with.  I'm planning on taking my Z9 in Nauticam housing.

    1. 16-35 + FTZ adaptor +  Sea and Sea Internal Corrections lens, 90mm extension behind a 230mm dome port

    2. 14-30 + Sea and Sea Internal Corrections lens, 50mm extension behind a 230mm dome.

    3. Something else I have not yet purchased - perhaps the WACP-1 with ?? zoom lens?

    I am not opposed to getting the WACP-1, though I have a very limited knowledge of it and how it is used.  But I saw them in use in Bonaire in June, and there are two things that super appeal to me - the smaller-than-230mm size, and much improved corners.

    What lenses does one use (on a Z9) with the WACP-1?  

    Have you considered the WWL-1B?

    - brett

  17. I get cold easily as well. A coupe data points:

    1. The last time I dove in Chuuk, I wore a 3mm and I was fine on all dives except a couple where we had extended run times (2 to 2.5 hours) with a lot of deco where you aren't moving much.

    2. Palau has similar water temps and I wore a 3mm in March there and was fine but got a little cold only due to the surface conditions (it was cold and rainy a couple days).

    3. I just got back from another trip in Palau and took my 5mm since I knew we would be doing a lot of 2+ hour runtime dives. Most other divers had 3mm (or less) and were fine.

    Everybody is obviously different, but unless you are doing some long dives, you would probably be fine in a 3mm full suit and bring a hood. If you did get cold, you could probably borrow a shortie or something else to layer.

    - brett


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