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ColdDarkDiver last won the day on January 7

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  1. Hi JimmyP, While not what you asked, I use an R5 with the Marelux housing. My go to lens is the 14-35 RF. If you poke around in the corners at 14mm its a little soft even when stopped down, but a little zoomed in it is a pleasure to use. Actually, it is always a pleasure to use, it is small, focuses very fast, and provides a very useful range and I use it both in the 180 and 230 dome. So, if putting together an R6 ii setup - I would go there rather than the 24-70. Plus for video, if you use digital IS it crops out the extreme corners anyway. Good luck deciding on your lens setup.
  2. I keep mine on at all times - both lens and IBIS. I can shoot well slower than I should be able to and end up with sharp images. This is a 1/16th which isn't that slow for 14mm but still pretty amazingly slow. And this one is 1/12th of a sec at 20mm. You can see how slow it is by the bubble stream but the ice is sharp - even though the diver shows a little movement. Not the best composition, but shows how nice IS can be. I think that turning off IS would remove photographic opportunities, especially in low light so I keep it on. I've never seen a degradation by leaving it on (that I have noticed).
  3. Hi Shane, Not sure if you have seen this discussion that is active in the Beginners Forum (largely involving non-beginners): But it discusses a lot of this. I went the reader route for a while when my eyes started to go and found them to be annoying. That wasn't part of my view that I used for photography or reading and so ended up getting a mild prescription mask instead - so much better. In my opinion the readers/bifocals are good for reading dive computers/ air levels but not for image/video collection. Yes to what you are saying though, super annoying not to be able to nail focus (or even read shutter speeds/iso any camera settings). Good luck finding a solution!
  4. I can also recommend the "get wet store" https://getwetstore.com/ which has inexpensive prescription masks. I bought one - somewhat skeptical about the low price and dove it a while and then bought a second for backup on trips. They are totally fine (in a good way) and about half the cost of other sources. This was after I went down the route of ordering different masks with built in readers. The two I bought really stunk. One would just never not fog, and the other was just annoying if I needed to read something other than my gauges (like a camera or dive slate). Most masks fit my face so I wasn't super worried about ordering something without trying it on. But that is not the case for everyone.
  5. Do you mean aiming light or video light? I run my video lights on arms out to the side just like my strobes to avoid backscatter and also make the lighting more dynamic. When shooting macro or needing an aiming light, I run a ultralight bar (the one with the screw holes) between dual ball mounts on my housing arms. From the center of this I either run locline or balls mounts and add aiming lights or a macro light depending on the use plan (and sometimes a go pro). Here is an image of it setup (it was really, really dark, so I used the Solas as my dive lights and the two strobes and macro for image collection).
  6. I found a nice solution for protecting the ends of Keldan's when transporting around since I don't want scratches in the front. They are the lens covers from Op/Tech (available for not much money via amazon). I have them on the 8x instead of the flux but they make a bunch of different sizes and they are cheap. The Pancake mini is perfect for the front and then i have the "small" (non pancake) that protects the switch a little bit. Nice when in a bag or on the boat. I know this is a bit of a zombie thread, but it still comes up in searches on this topic so I wanted to respond. It took me a while to find a solution I was happy with. Also, @jplaurel- I travel with the batteries removed and in hand carry. That way they can see that 99 watt-hour ratings since they have to be less than 100 and FAA/international regulations are you can carry up to 20 batteries 100 or less (like this) as carry on. They are not allowed in check in, so somewhat entertainingly your experience made you break the law by checking them in. Not that one can argue with security, especially in certain countries, so I am happy that worked out for you.
  7. It seems there is a lot of fisheye questions right now, but I have been wondering why most of the Port Charts either list a 140mm or 230mm port for use with the 8-15mm Canon (Nauticam/Marelux). While it seems that the fisheye would make a 180mm dome a nice solution with sharp corners in a reasonable travel package. Is there a reason why 180mm are avoided with this fisheye lens? I am specifically asking about the 15mm focal length – not when shooting at 8mm (i.e. not going to remove the shades). If anyone has experience using this lens on an RF mount, I also am confused why on the RF port charts there is no extra extension to make up for the RF-EF adaptor.
  8. From a hybrid standpoint one of the issues with the original R6 is that if you hit the "record video" button in anything other than the video selection it defaults to whatever the settings are in P mode. In P mode - 10 bit video (i.e. CLog3) is not available so you are stuck with 8-bit pre-graded footage. I hope that R6 II fixed this (noting the separate switch now) but this makes the R6 less good underwater hybrid shooter. Above water, this is less of an issue because just swapping to video setting and using the full capability of the camera. For reference, I shoot an R5 underwater (which I love) and an R6 above water (which I love). The underwater hybrid thing and lack of 10bit of the R6 in "record now" is not something I have seen discussed prior and is an important consideration for some (not all). If it allowed Clog3 in P, then this would be a non-issue. I also like that on the R5 it is button pushes instead of wheel turns to change modes. In my experience, housing to wheel connectors get worn out far more often than buttons and the mode selection dial is a main fail (and then service) point for me. The dynamic range of both of the cameras is astounding in real world use scenarios. In comparison to the A7 III (which is now not that young) is night and day. From a size perspective, I can travel with the R5 housing (handles removed), 180 dome, and lenses in a carry-on size pelican. Smaller would be nicer for this, but only slightly so between the A7 series (which I decided against due to the crop at 4k60) but in reality I don't think that difference is much.
  9. After using the lens a bit more, I have to say this is a very nice and solid choice for underwater. If I look in the corners, there is a bit of not sharpness but do not find it overly distracting. I have not used it with the S&S adaptor nor do I plan to. This is my go to lens. I have been using it behind a 230mm Marelux port on the R5. Here is a 16mm shot at f/5: I don't find the ice at the top distracting even if there may be some distortion from shooting so wide open. Going to 14mm is really nice too. What is remarkable is also the image stabilization. I have sharp eye's on other divers at 1/4 of a second exposure. That is ridiculous. As an example, I cropped this one to get rid of some black on top and bottom but it was F/4 at 14mm with 0.4 second exposure:
  10. Just adding more experience in the real world. Overall, the lens is easy to use and gets very nice images. I finally got it in the water with some sort of visibility. I haven't been shooting for corner sharpness (i.e. not as stopped down as I would normally do if I was shooting scenery) since I really got this lens for shooting video on the R5 and for that it does great (although I still stink at color grading... ohh so much more to learn). The following was shot wide open at F4 at 14mm in a 180mm dome. So sort of a worst condition scenario. ClearLake1.mp4 Here is a shot at 14mm at F6.3 - not to show corner sharpness but more real world usability: I still need to dedicate a dive to real landscape imagery and will get to that in the coming weeks and can post some more at that time.
  11. Having recently made the jump to FF I would say that if you are not shooting video, a lot of the differences become less compelling. For me it was Canon or the Sony A7 iv. I went with Canon due to the 1.5 crop at 4k on the Sony, making it a large and heavy aps-c size sensor for more money but since you won't be shooting video, that doesn't really matter. In addition, white balance at deeper depths is a challenge on the non A1 sony (although I have not heard conclusive answers on the A7 iv) and this can be fixed in post on stills easier than video. I will echo what Chris said - look at the whole housing costs and the housing and port availability. Not an issue with the Nikon, Canon, or Sony but if the only manufacturer is Nauticam, all of a sudden things just got very expensive and any cost driven choices on the body become mute. Also be sure to include the cost of strobe firing solution (TTL or not) in your searches. Those also range widely in cost and availability. Canon has a new mount - that may be of interest and the lenses are super nice. Sony's take the WWL-1, which is a significant advantage in certain cases. Sony housings are frequently (but not always) smaller too since the bodies are smaller. Then again, nothing is small with a 230mm dome on the front. I'd also say you may want to have the Canon R6 on your list. I have one for above water shooting for stills and it is a dream to shoot with. For shooting stills there is no downside for the R6 compared to the R5 (fewer megapixels but WOW do the images come out clean even at stupid ISOs). The R6 is also closer to your price point (but over, except you can get a housing that is non-Nauticam and that will recoup all of the body cost differences right there). Good luck on your decisions!
  12. I have an R5 with the RF 100L combo. I found that it wasn't super easy to use but when the subject was lit well it focused fast. I was diving in heavy particulate dark water and I think the challenge was that it didn't know what to focus on when it was having trouble. I posted this in another thread, but when given a subject that was well lit - it just hit the focus perfect. For scale, the fish's eye is ~2cm in diameter and the image has had no crop nor post processing (straight out of the camera as raw). Here is a less compelling image, but considering everything was moving and there was nothing easy to focus on (in a phytoplankton storm) it was able to grab a focus when it needed to even in difficult conditions. I don't have the EF 100L (I have the 100 2.8 Macro non-L but I have not taken it diving - I can throw that on the R5 with an adaptor to compare but don't think that will inform you) so can't comment on the comparison between the two lenses that you are working with/deciding upon. I found when I got the RF100 lit right, it was amazingly sharp and colorful and pretty fast to focus. I would consider this a lens that does work underwater, in fact the greatest challenge I had with it was working far enough a way, in very poor condition water, that I was able to frame the image how I wanted to without it being too close. I am looking forward to trying the lens in better water conditions (not super hard when these were taken with <1m vis and surgy water).
  13. I think there has been a pretty massive improvement in macro in addition to wide angle without resorting to wet lenses. While I wasn’t going for corner sharpness here, everything that was meant to be in the plane of focus is crisp even though it is not in the center of the frame. At this point, I wonder whether wet mate macro lenses are needed concerning the improvement in macro through flat ports.
  14. I just got back from putting the 16mm RF through its paces. This was in a Marelux housing, R5, with the 180mm dome port with no extensions on it. It was a very poor weekend to test this setup as the visibility was bad (<1m with very large particulate) and it was dark (think night dive during the day) so everything was heavy strobe. This was not an opportunity to look at wide-angle and corner sharpness but also really not an easy shooting scenario for a camera. Having said all that, the lens was just a pleasure. Frame, fire, adjust lighting, frame, fire - no lag, every shot in focus. In fact, every shot that wasn’t a keeper was due to strobe placement and backscatter not the lens itself. I was shooting High ISO with too small of an aperture (F10-11) but the sharpness was impressive for just taking photos. I also ended up shooting in 1.6 crop mode for a lot of it, mostly due to the water conditions. From a handling standpoint, for such a large setup it is very compact. I.e. the lack of extension makes it feel like a much smaller rig than it is. Would I take the RF 16 on a trip as a backup lens? Yes - without a doubt. Would I treat it as my main workhorse lens? Yes. Honestly, it was the easiest setup I used that weekend allowing me to focus on composition rather than…well pretty much anything else. Here are a couple - I didn’t crop so you can see the whole image. No sharpening was added in post.
  15. Thanks for the info Phil. I think the Rf 16 will be a small aperature specialist or have to be run in 1.5 crop mode with the 180mm. Nothing like actually trying it in the water though and I will let everyone know how it works. I worry that it is so short that it won't be able to be positioned well in the port for optimum corner sharpness. In any case, I like having a backup lens that may not be as great as the main lens (14-35) but still will work if in the middle of the ocean if my main lens decides it wants to fail (or falls in the ocean or many of the other fates of gear on a boat). I think zooming just a wee bit in on the 14-35 will produce the best images. For top side shooting, I have a 100-400 L (gen 1) and that lens always got meh reviews, but it was excellent at 390 just not great at 400. Sometimes that slight zoom shift can make all the difference. I have been interested in the S&S corrective lens and that may be a way to go. For the 16mm it seems like the chances of it working are slight. The front element on the 16mm is soooo small that I can't imagine that it would play well with a ~diopter that is designed to correct a 77 or 82 mm front element. In any case, thanks for the insight (and all the insight you provide in your magazine - I read it all the time). And Still Viking, thanks for the kind words! Any particular ones you want at full resolution? Here is the 14mm (showing the lenses worst) but I can also try and link the raw file if you are interested (FYI it is 25 mb).
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