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Dan Schwartz

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Everything posted by Dan Schwartz

  1. Craig, I don't appreciate you taking this thread off topic with your insults. Do me, and all of us, a favor, please: Change your personal settings to ignore my posts.
  2. Gerard, the article you cite below has some bad info on hyperfocal distance: The strict definition is the closest distance remaining in focus while infinity is also in focus. The last definition (from 2000) is correct when one of the two distances is at infinity. I normally don't like to quote Wikipedia, at least until I look at the references and the discussion. That being said, the Hyperfocal Distance article looks pretty good. For a more thorough description, see Harold Merklinger's book The INs and OUTs of Focus, now available in PDF. PS: I shoot large format sometimes, bending the bellows into a pretzel!
  3. Note: For those of you who want to block my posts, here are the instructions. Already own 3, 4 & 5; but more... While looking again at the Lens & Repro rental counter display of three Nikonos V rangefinder bodies occupying less space than the Nikonos RS sitting next to it... Then looking at the Fuji GA645 (6x45 rangefinder) sitting in my camera bag, something occured to me: The problem with taking medium format underwater is not the size of the film or the larger CCD: It's the larger lenses caused by the longer lens-to-film distance to clear the mirror box in an SLR. A good explanation is found written by Phil Askey on the Leica M8 on DPReview.com: Solving the corner vignetting problem Because a rangefinder camera doesn't have a mirror box [it] doesn't need to use retrofocus lenses, meaning they sit much closer to the film (or in this case the sensor). The problem with this comes with wide angle lenses (which are pretty much the main staple of the rangefinder camera). [Emphasis added: DLS] Towards the corner of the frame the angle of incidence of light coming from the rear of the lens is so severely off-perpendicular that they would not pass equally through the microlenses above the sensor leading to fairly strong vignetting. Even a modest wide angle lens at this kind of distance could produce a difference of a stop or two between the center of the frame and the edges using a standard CCD sensor. Leica, obviously keen to solve this problem, took a three pronged approach with the M8: (Cut: Balance in article) OK, since a picture is worth a thousand words, which camera in this picture would you .NOT. want to build a housing for, or wrangle with in hostile conditions (such as underwater): This shot of a next to a 6x6 SLR and 35mm SLR shows the issue with the mirror box depth and effect on lens retrofocus: Incidentally, this Cambo with a 24mm lens is a camera that would be easy to build a housing for, using the same 39 MP back Troy has mounted to his Hassy H3D (16mm focal length with FX, 11mm with DX equivalents). I'm going to bed now; but I'm sure the engineers at the housing manufacturers are watching this thread for ideas. EDIT: The Cambo above becomes a 39 megapixel medium format point & shoot if the digiback has live focus available on the LCD...
  4. The lighting on this shot you posted is superb! I especially like the way the strobe reflected off the water onto the swimmer's cheek, chin and throat. Also, the strobe froze everything nicely: No evidence of front or rear curtain sync.
  5. James, I just discovered these shots tonight... Great work! Your photos prove the point that there's more to underwater photography than just reef shots.
  6. Si, What you may not know is that there is a whole lot of underwater photography shot in pools in NYC, for ad agency work, where fickle art directors look over, and judge you by your gear. Please see these excellent pool/model photos shot by James Wiseman, including the one I inserted above... Also, please see these superb swimmer photos by Gennaro Ciavarella here...
  7. I thought WETPIXEL.COM was for underwater digital imaging... [Photo deleted] Photo Credit: James Wiseman / ReefPix.org
  8. Gary, Put a Holga into a ziplok bag for "Mini Me!"
  9. MDB and Giles: Have either of you actually shot medium format underwater? Have either of you even shot medium format? [crickets chirping...]
  10. Jeff, Giles, and others: I would be getting certified up here, with the final open water dives done in Grand Cayman, as is commonly done. What is so hard to understand about that? Also, what you don't know about me is that I am also a camera collector; and I've already had several "AHA!" moments while looking over my various gear. I'll post a few photos later today, including one from Lens & Repro that goes a long way to explaining where I may be headed. Beyond that, please stay on topic and answer the question posed in my opening post.
  11. Paul, thank you for the warning on buoyancy control. Fortunately, that was a skill we learned on the "resort dive class" I took, allowing me to SCUBA dive with only 3 lbs of lead weight. However, as I mentioned above, I also opened up another thread in the Galley's General Chat section about SNUBA & hookah diving. Also I pretty much plan on limiting my diving to Grand Cayman, where a whole lot of reef life can be shot in 30 feet of warm water, without a wetsuit. I have no desire to abuse my body by diving over 100 feet down the wall: I took a ride on the big submarine down to 150 feet and had a blast; and may take the 800 foot bathyscapthe (?sp) ride next time I go.
  12. Jeff: I am very disappointed in your attitude: I asked for people who have actual MF UW experience, not snide remarks, as I wanted to keep this thread on track. But, since you raised the subject of my self-admitted lack of skills: 1) I just posted SNUBA/hookah & photography, Will this allow for bigger housings? in The Galley's General Chat: This may be a viable answer for me; 2) My father would probably go on this trip and dive with me, depending on his recovery from having 3 discs replaced in his back last week. 3) Although my SCUBA diving skills are at a "resort class level," my father sat in on the classroom training & watched over me during the pool training (East End of Grand Cayman), and said the training quality was pretty good. 4) I've contacted WP member & dive instructor Heidi Connel about poolside dive instruction here in the NYC metro area where we both hail from; with the open water dive to be down on Grand Cayman. 4) I've contacted Cathy Church's UW Photography school for lessons in underwater photography. 5) Because of what I've posted above, I am reasonably confident that I'll succeed in UW photography.
  13. I'm following site policy and started this thread, instead of adding this into the housing discussions. My father, who is an experienced diver with over 20 years under his belt keeps talking about the SNUBA diving he sees some people do. Also, there is something called hookah diving. My question: Does using an above-water air supply help when handling a bigger UW camera housing? What do the video boys do with their bulky housings? Note 1: My father would probably go on this trip and dive with me, depending on his recovery from having 3 discs replaced in his back last week. Note 2: Although my SCUBA diving skills are at a "resort class level," my father sat in on the classroom training & watched over me during the pool training (East End of Grand Cayman), and said the training quality was pretty good. Note 3: I've contacted WP member & dive instructor Heidi Connel about poolside dive instruction here in the NYC metro area where we both hail from; with the open water dive to be down on Grand Cayman. Note 4: I've contacted Cathy Church's UW Photography school for lessons in underwater photography. Note 5: Because of what I've posted above, I am reasonably confident that I'll succeed in UW photography.
  14. My father, an experienced diver for 20 years, at one time had a Nikonos (Nik III, if I recall) about a decade ago for a couple years; and I serviced it for him. My advice: Carry along extra anything that corrodes. Also, carry Q-tips & 91% rubbing alcohol, and pencil erasers to clean electrical contacts. Make sure your battery charger has the right plug and voltage for your destination hotel or live-aboard. Along these lines, be aware that AA NiMH batteries self-discharge 10-20% every week (more if the batteries have a bunch of charge cycles on them). Keep one complete set of alkaline batteries still in the pack (Shop-Rite often has 8 AA's or AAA's for 99 cents), in case the charger fails: Oftentimes, electric utilities on small islands get all sorts of transients, frying sensitive equipment. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. Whenever I go on a remote shoot, I always buy a new branded CF card (Lexar or San Disk) from a major retailer [NEVER buy a CF on eBay -- Almost all are counterfeit, according to surveys & tests published a month or two ago in Shutterbug or Pop Photography (I forget which).] Also, carry a cheapie spare P&S camera: The cost of airfare and accomodations gets thrown out the window if your camera floods/ gets sat on/ gets dropped... on the first day. If you never take the camera out of the sealed box, reputable dealers will take it back in 14 or 30 days.
  15. I hear you both on that: Fortunately, we have a pool in our backyard, so I can practice easily, starting with a snorkel and even over-under shots. Also, it has a salt chlorinator system, with me keeping it at 4000 ppm, about 1/10th that of the ocean, so that I would have a heads-up on any corrosion issues. EDIT: I also intend to take a class at Cathy Church's UW photography school on Grand Cayman, as she covers buoyance issues and lighting. Hat tip to Giles for the recommendation! In any case, if the water is too choppy &/or I can't get my arms around UW photography, I'll also be taking my Speed Graphic - Aero Ektar "David Burnett Combo" so I can play Ed Weston, as the Island also has a wonderful assortment of tropical foliage. ---------------------- In any case, getting back to the issue of ergonomics, I think you'll be surprised at my analysis once you see the photos to scale. Then, I'd like to see photos of Alex' & Troy's Hassy housings next to their dSLR housing for size comparison; and also anyone that has a Rolleimarin housing as well. After all, this section is "Gear Lust"
  16. Hi Drew! These are the kinds of answers I'm looking for... To a point. What I'm trying to do is start a discussion amongst the experts (like you, Alex, Troy, and Stephen) -- All guys who have shot medium format underwater -- about what does, and does not work. (more) When you see the photo I have set up on my shooting table tonight (but will shoot in the morning), you may just change your mind... Especially when you see the weights & volumes in the captions. Keep your powder dry! These are items I'm looking for opinions for, i.e. rigid vs pliable (such as Ewe Marine)... Hell no... And I don't intend to, either: I want to make pretty pictures, not freeze my cajones off! Don't apologize! Yes, I'm a "resort" diver; but that doesn't mean I can't "shoot pretty pictures" once I get the right gear underwater. The key phrase is "the right gear." In any case, I'm going to post the photo of what is on my shooting table tomorrow (Tuesday); and once you see it, a lot of pieces to the puzzle will fall into place. Then, we can have an intelligent discussion... And no ad hominum attacks, either. Cheers! Dan PS: I'll be putting my engineer's hat on for my underwater MF/DigiBack project PSS: I just bought this digiback for my Mamiya 645AFd system; so now I can shoot both 6x45 cm and digital through it; PSSS: This is the `blog on my latest camera project, to be rolled out Thanksgiving dinner with Polaroid Type 72 and Ilford HP5+ film; PS^4: I have access to CAD/CAM camera part machining.
  17. Followup: What led me to this question was the rental counter display at Lens & Repro in the Photo District last Friday... Sitting next to three Nikonos V cameras was a Nikonos RS -- And the RS was bigger than all three V's put together... And then some more. [Next time I go there, I'll take a snapshot so you can see the size difference to scale.] I guess my point is that, in the grand scheme of things, trying to house an SLR form factor camera of any size (even a Nikon Pronea APS), with associated penta prism, may not be quite the best way to go about things, from an ergonomic standpoint. The floor is open to the experts... Have at it, guys!
  18. The subject of taking medium format gear has, unfortunately, gone off thread. However, one subject not really talked about is ergonomics. Not re-hashing all of the old imaging arguments, there are some of us who are just more comfortable shooting medium format... And please, let's leave it at that. What I would like to hear about are people who have actually used medium format gear underwater (Alex(!), Troy(!), Stephen(?)); and specifically centered around the ergonomics of the larger housing. Some of my questions include * How does shooting MF underwater compare to shooting vido with a broadcast-quality camera; * How does the larger housing react with your BCD? * I shoot the Mamiya 645AFd system, which is rather bulky: Would your opinion change if you shot a small 6x45 rangefinder (without the bulky pentaprism), like my Fuji GA645, or a Mamiya 7-II? (Later today, I'll put a photo of several 35mm & MF cameras side-by-side, for more intelligent discussion.) * As you go deeper, is the increase in handling difficulty of the larger housing more than that of a smaller housing? * Is the increased difficulty of handling a MF rig exacerbated by colder water? [Those last 2 questions go to my self-imposed 30 foot limit in Grand Cayman.] Please, let's not turn this into another pissing contest: Above the water, I like to shoot handheld medium & large format. Without getting sidetracked on image quality issues, I'm beginning to think that housing a 6x45 rangefinder may actually be a smaller package than a big dSLR. Please, let's keep this civil!
  19. Firstly, it shows that you can get a great shot right outside your bedroom window -- You don't have to travel thousands of miles. And Yes, he was a bit out of focus on that image; but A) I only got 4 shots on my digicam before switching to medium format; B) I was excited as hell at first seeing a red-tailed hawk outside our bedroom window, just a few miles from NYC! Helge's and Troy's admonitions well heeded, I think that's the way to start out crawling (submerging?) before walking. In any case, the U-BXP will easily hold my Fuji GA645 rangefinder and a big flash.
  20. Hi James! Your shot of the `ray with your CC lens filter & strobe gel shows something interesting: Notice the tint of the sunball compared to the white belly of the `ray. Anyway, nice shot!
  21. I'll get hold of my Phase One rep to see if he (Kim) is accepting contacts -- Most likely, yes; but I want to be sure. Google isn't returning (AFAIK) usable results for either "Kim Lundshøj" or "Kim Lundshoj"
  22. My "point," exactly! All kidding aside, given the level of expertise on this BB, I didn't want to be accused of dumbing down my answer to explain the absorbtion curve of water, yada yada yada... Also, notice I wrote I'll try to answer you as best I can while sailing a desk. Cheers! Dan
  23. Paul, after playing around with my view camera and some diopters (I could squeeze about 1.2:1 enlargement on the ground glass with my Xenar 135mm f/4.7), I see your point, especially the second paragraph about exceeding the capabilities... Chalk that up to not enough detailed macro experience on my part.
  24. Paul, my fiancee's nickname is "seal" and she absolutely loved the way the seal turned his head towards the camera! And, I liked the composition of the angled kelp, too! My question: Were you panning on that shot to get motion blur of the kelp in the background? (more below) When I first saw the 100% crop, I was initially fooled into thinking that you were shooting at ISO 3200, the turbidity was so great. Since your 1Ds is very quiet, my question to you is that do you think the shot would have been better at, say, ISO 800 with 2 more stops of aperture & speed? Always willing to learn more, Dan
  25. I'm holding in my hands Right Now an N8008s, an N90s, and F100, so I'll try to answer you as best I can while sailing a desk. The N90s about doubled the AF speed of the N90; while the F100 doubled it again. (I forget the CAM model numbers of the AF module off the top of my head). Anyway, the n90s has a red AF assist light above the right grip (where the second command dial on the F100 is now located: I mention this because it doesn't look like the F100's controls match up to an N90/N90s housing; so spending $185 on eBay for a used F100 -- with its much better AF -- is not a viable option. Is either the case, bracket, or your (gloved?) right hand blocking the red AF assist light? Does your flash have a red or white AF assist light? red AF assist is used because it's less noticeable than the white AF assist on my S2 Pro. Also, by the very definition of the wide field "fisheye" image presented to the AF sensor, it will require more light to "grab onto" something to focus on. [by the way, diverging slightly off topic, a handy factoid about the N90s is that it has the smallest "spot" (narrowest angle of view) of any 35mm SLR's spot meter: This is VERY handy when shooting chromes to avoid blown highlights (and for The Zone System for B&W) -- That's why I kept mine, even after I bought my F100 a few months ago.]
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