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Everything posted by TmxDiver

  1. I just got back from 9 days of diving in Palau. Here is a picture from an a7r4 at 28mm f/8 inside Chandelier Cave. Note that the JPG export is only at 20% quality to reduce file size to 3.5MB. I've boosted the shadows a bit to get more light in the corners. I was very happy with the WWL-1B and 28-60 lens on the trip. Very versatile.
  2. Okay, so I had the right function, just not the right nomenclature for "BB." Haha. I don't own a Z330, but I took a look at the manual and it looks like they might have put in a "simple switch, for example" to control the function instead of the BB: Those bastards! - brett
  3. Purely a guess, but I'm assuming he means the small magnet that you can use to disable (or enable?) the pre-flash cancel mode? BB as in "BB gun" where the small magnet resembles a BB? But, I took a quick look at the manual for the Z330 and I don't see mention of using the magnet so maybe they have gotten rid of that? Here is a screenshot of the S-2000 manual page that mentions it: - brett
  4. I used to shoot a Sony a6400 and almost exclusively wide angle wrecks. I had two setups I used that are similar to what you are considering: 1) Sony 10-18 with a 7" acrylic dome (I needed the 100m rating and the 180mm glass equivalent was only 60m) 2) Sony 16-50 with the WWL-C The benefit of the 10-18 combo was primarily straighter lines. If I knew I was going to be diving a ship, I would take it every single time. I personally liked the look of the photos with this combo "better" but that is a personal choice. I also used this combo when I was taking photos to build a photogrammetry model. If I was diving an airplane or something smaller or something unknown, I would take the WWL-C. The advantages of the WWL-C are that it is more compact and easier to travel with (you mention spending some leftover $$ on travel in your last comment) and that it is more flexible with the zoom range. Unless you really want (or need) straighter lines for wreck photography, I'd stick with the WWL-C, especially if you are considering travel. Regards, - brett
  5. Perfect, thanks everybody! I turned of auto review when using video lights (a) because I found I didn't need it and (b) if I decided to take pictures for a photogrammetry model during a dive, it was a hindrance. What I really need to do is take advantage of the "Memory" function to record the settings for video lights, flash, and photogrammetry so that I can easily switch between them and have the same baseline every time. Regards, - brett
  6. I've been thinking about this based on some of the recent threads and my initial foray into using flashes instead of video lights. With video lights, I had Live Preview set to ON so that I could basically see what the picture would look like with a specific aperture, shutter speed, etc. and would adjust those to get the exposure I wanted. I understand the need to have Live Preview OFF when using flashes in order to focus (camera presumably boosts ISO, aperture, etc to allow more light into the sensor to do that). My question / thought is whether you really want to use both of those for a given dive or condition (I'm thinking mainly wide angle here). Here is my idea or line of thinking: 1) If you leave Live Preview OFF, you run the risk of underexposing the background / ambient water & light given that it will artificially "boost" exposure in order to focus and you won't know that (I guess unless you review the picture while shooting and see it). 2) Would it be better to turn Live Preview ON initially to get the correct settings for ambient conditions (again, thinking wide angle here) and then turn it to OFF when taking the pictures with the flashes? Maybe I just got used to not reviewing pictures when shooting because with Live Preview ON I pretty much got what I saw on the screen when I composed the photo? Does that make sense? - brett
  7. This is what I bought, but it is showing unavailable: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UQWGM2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 - brett
  8. Thanks, Chris. This discussion has been very helpful. I plan to write up a blog post and summarize it all so that others can benefit. In terms of your statement above, can I then conclude the following in terms of light intensity & pulse duration: 1) Manual Mode - constant pulse duration. In camera flash compensation setting doesn't change anything. Strobe power varies the intensity of the light but not the duration of the flash. 2) TTL Mode - flash pulse duration controlled by TTL logic in the camera. In camera flash compensation increases or decreases the pulse duration. On board flash power knob increases or decreases flash intensity but not duration. Is that correct? Thanks, - brett
  9. Again, very helpful! Thanks. Given my "newness" to strobes, I will probably 1) Start with TTL (manually set ISO along with f-stop & shutter speed per the other discussion and use in-camera flash compensation) and then 2) Start testing manual with manual mode with (WL + ON) as you do. One (maybe) last question on #2 above - Given that you aren't using TTL, when you adjust exposure compensation, do you do it in camera or individually change each strobe? Thanks again, - brett
  10. Perfect, thanks! One quick question: In "Smart SL mode" do you need to fire the camera once each time you turn on the strobe(s) or does it learn it permanently? Does that question make sense? - brett
  11. Perfect, thanks Chris. Much appreciated. So, I think the summary for "best practices" would be: 1) Set the ISO (along with f-stop and shutter speed) 2) Use in-camera flash exposure compensation Thanks, - brett
  12. Hi, I have a Sony a7r4 and I've mostly used video lights in the past but I have recently purchased a pair of Retra strobes and an UW Technics TTL converter. I've been doing some bench testing and have some questions that I'm hoping others can help with. First, I tested the TTL functionality by setting the strobes to TTL and then, with the camera in manual mode (as I always use), I varied shutter speed, f-stop, etc. one at a time and checked the exposure of the resulting pictures to make sure the strobe power was adjusted to keep it mostly consistent. It actually worked very well and I used the histogram to verify the exposure. I also tested the strobe in manual mode and varied the strobe power to get a picture with a "good" histogram when camera settings were changed. So, here are some questions: 1) Strobe vs Camera Flash Exposure Compensation in TTL Mode If I want to increase or decrease the flash exposure, does it matter whether I do that in camera or on the flash? Let's assume I want to increase exposure. I would think the "downside" to doing that on the flash is that it requires more power which means fewer total flashes and longer recycle time. If I do it in the camera, I think it would basically do the same thing by telling the flash to increase power output? 2) ISO in TTL Mode When I use my video lights, I control the f-stop and shutter speed for whatever I'm trying to photograph and then use Auto ISO but with a fixed maximum. How does Auto ISO work with a flash (or does it)? Does it simply use the max ISO or does it somehow calculate ISO during the TTL process? I know this is a newbie question. I'm also assuming that most people using a flash set a specific ISO? 3) Strobe Mode I've read the UW Technics & Retra documents, but I wanted to verify something that I've tested but I'm not sure I completely understand it. If I set the UW Technics rotary switch to TTL for Retra but then decide I want to shoot some photos in Manual mode on the strobe. Since the camera case is already sealed shut, I can't change the rotary switch so I think there are two ways to do this: (1) - Change the strobe to M mode and then adjust the power accordingly. I'm assuming the camera will still send the TTL signals to the strobe but it will just ignore it? (2) - I've read in the documents that you can set the Sony camera flash mode to "Wireless Flash" which I believe disables (?) the TTL signal information and then you would adjust the power on the strobe? Would you ALSO need to put the strobe in M mode? Thanks, - brett
  13. I wanted to give a quick follow-up. I ended up getting the Pelican 1535 case so that if I have to check it, I'm not worried about anything getting damaged. I do have a Think Tank soft sided suitcase coming just to check out, but I'm probably going to return it and stick with the Pelican. I found it way more efficient in terms of space usage to remove the Nauticam handles and ball mounts. It only takes less than 5 minutes to re-assemble once I get to my destination. I'm able to fit the "old style" (larger) Nauticam housing for the a7r4, WWL-1B, N100 Flat Port 45, two Keldan 8x video lights, two Retra strobes, GoPro housing, CMC macro lens and associated batteries, etc. into the case. Below is a picture of the case with all the equipment loaded up. I forgot to weigh it but will do that before I leave on my next trip.
  14. A few quick notes and thoughts: 1) Re: Burping. I think this might have changed when Nauticam switched to the new bayonet mount. I've had a WWL-C for 18+ months and never burped it and never had a problem. I just dove with a brand new WWL-1B today with the Bayonet Mount II and didn't burp it and the photos came out great. 2) Re: removal What I did for my WWL-C is that I use the hard cap (I know, it isn't made for diving) but I use it with some cave line through the cap and then with a bolt snap on the other end that gets attached to the housing. I remove the cap (and have a small tire weight on it to avoid having it float in front of the camera) and take my pictures. Given the hard cap locking mechanism onto the wet lens, you could probably remove the wet lens from the bayonet mount but keep the lens cap attached with the cave line to the bolt snap which is attached to the housing. A bit hard to describe in words but I can send a picture at some point if it isn't clear. - brett
  15. Perfect, thanks! Yeah, my biggest concern would be the handles on the housing fitting inside. I just measured the height of the A7r4 housing and it is a hair under 8" to the top of the balls and about 7.5" to the top of the strobe ports. So, the 1510 definitely wouldn't fit the housing upright (7.6" interior) and the 1535 is even worse (7.2" interior). This is one of the "hidden costs" of moving from my a6400 to the a7r4. Even if I took off the ball mounts (which is easy) I think I would also need to take off the black plastic bushings on the strobe ports. Putting the case on its side is one option but that just seems like a bad idea. Definitely need to do more research. Regards, - brett PS - I have quite a few friends who also do the "rEvo as a backpack" plan.
  16. Thanks! Three quick questions: 1. Which rebreather do you have and which Pelican case do you put it in? I'm just curious. I have a rEvo that I put into a Pelican Air 1607. 2. Which Pelican Air case do you use for your camera? Is it the 1637? If so, that one is even bigger than the case I use for my rEvo so I'm assuming not. 3. Which camera & housing do you use? Do you have a picture of it in the Pelican Air case? I've thought about doing exactly the same as the benefit is that if you are forced to check your camera equipment due to weight, at least it is in a Pelican Case. My other current options are: 1. The new CineBags Grouper XL. The advantage of this solution is that I can then use that same case to hold my camera on the boat and use it as a rinse tank while I'm diving. The downside is that it would get heavy to carry around an airport but I guess I could always use the shoulder strap. The other downside is that it doesn't provide any "real" protection for the equipment. 2. Something like the Think Tank Airport Roller bag that I could lash to the Pelican Air when I'm moving around with all my bags. Thanks, - brett
  17. Thanks, Chris. Do you put your camera & housing & lenses, etc. in the small spinner? If so, what spinner do you use? Thanks, - brett
  18. Hi all, I've read a lot of the suggestions and threads on packing suggestions, but I can't find one that quite "fits the bill" and I'm hoping I can get some suggestions here. Below is background and requirements: 1. I travel with a rebreather in a rolling Pelican case that gets checked (obviously) 2. I also check a large rolling duffel bag with other dive equipment (fins, reels, SMBs, etc). I'll also try to fit a drysuit and undergarments in this bag so it can act as padding for video lights, etc. 3. I travel with a backpack with other miscellaneous stuff (books, magazines, iPad, computer, etc.) so I can't have another backpack for camera equipment Now, on to the hard part - how to carry on camera equipment 1. I'll be traveling with a a7r4 in a Nauticam housing and the WWL1-B 2. I'll have video lights and strobes 3. When I'm in airports or at the destination, I need a way to "move around" with all four pieces of equipment (assuming I might not be able to get a luggage cart). My thought is to get a padded duffel bag type luggage that I can put over a shoulder or carry at my side. Then, I can rest it on top of the rolling Pelican case when I'm moving. In that situation, I would have the rolling duffel, the rolling Pelican case, and then my backpack. Thoughts or ideas? Thanks, - brett
  19. Same, except still photos for me. Priorities. http://wreckedinmyrevo.com/ - brett
  20. I think, as other posters have indicated, they both have a place in the lineup and it really depends upon what you are going to be photographing. The WWL-1 option really has a lot of versatility and, if you do shoot wrecks occasionally, the pictures will look "normal" to most people. You can also use fisheyes for wrecks and I have a few friends who do that. I think it works well for CFWA on a wreck, but I just personally don't like the distorted look of what should be long, straight lines on a wreck that you get with a fisheye for wide angle shots. Also, if you do end up shooting large pelagics, I would think that the WWL option is probably the better choice. However, if your subjects are mainly reefs, small-medium creatures, etc. then the fisheye might be best. The last thing I will point out is that the WWL lenses are somewhat heavy - even in water and even with the built in or add-on buoyancy collars. You will likely need to add additional buoyancy if you want a natural rig. I also shoot with video lights so that adds to negative buoyancy problem. - brett
  21. Not be pedantic, but neither of your lens choices is rectilinear. The WWL lenses definitely have some distortion to them. Nowhere near a true fisheye lens, but it is noticeable. For context, I currently shoot with a Sony a6400 and use both the Sony 10-18mm and the WWL-C wet lens. I generally use them for different things. The corners on the WWL-C on equivalent camera settings is better, but I shoot a lot of wrecks and usually prefer the 10-18. I'm starting to work on a A7rIV setup and hope to test it with the Sony 24mm and the WWL-C lens in the next 3-4 weeks. - brett
  22. I recently noticed that the Nauticam port charts include an option for the a7r4 with the WWL-C and a 24mm prime (instead of the WWL-1/B). Either the native Sony 24mm or the Sigma. I’ve been using my a6400 with the WWL-C and I’m considering upgrading my system. I was seriously considering the a7c but since I already own a Sony a7r4 (but only for land use at this point), I was thinking I could pick up a used r4 housing and preserve my investment in the WWL-C. I would lose some of the zoom-through capability of the wet lens, but almost all of my photos are wreck / wide angle. Has anybody (Phil Ruden?) tried this combo or have any thoughts? It wouldn’t be quite as compact as the a6400 or a7c, but it would be a full frame monster pixel option without the need to travel with a huge dome port and would allow me to use my existing wet lens. Brett
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