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davehicks

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davehicks last won the day on September 21

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About davehicks

  • Rank
    Manta Ray
  • Birthday 04/25/1967

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Seattle, WA USA

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
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  • Camera Model & Brand
    D800
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Ikelite DS-161's

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  1. That's a myth about magnets, probably left over from the days of floppy disks. Modern flash memory devices are not effected by any magnet or magnetic field you are likely to encounter outside of a physics lab. Below is a snip from an article and source I found on the topic. Busting the Biggest PC Myths | PCWorld Fortunately, most modern storage devices, such as SD and CompactFlash memory cards, are immune to magnetic fields. "There's nothing magnetic in flash memory, so [a magnet] won't do anything," says Bill Frank, executive director of the CompactFlash Association. "A magnet powerful enough to disturb the electrons in flash would be powerful enough to suck the iron out of your blood cells," says Frank.
  2. I use the SubSee +5 diopter on my FF w/ 105 and like it very much. It is weaker than the SMC and gives you a nice range for mid-small subjects from 1 - 10cm in size. The magnification is about 50% but it cuts the minimum focal distance of the 105 about in half. I find this is a lot more flexible and useful than the SMC. In my limited experience with the SMC it's only really useful for subjects in the <1cm size range.
  3. Here is an example I shot last week with a similar setup to yours, using a D850 / 15mm Sigma FE / 170mm port + Inon 330 strobes. The left strobe arm is 12+16+8 and the strobe is pointed inward from the upper left. The right strobe is closer in to the right an pointed forward. ISO 250 / F9 / 1/80s Left strobe is -1.5ev, right is -3ev. The water conditions in Puget Sound were relatively good by local standards at 25 foot visibility but this is heavily particulate water. I did not do any Spot removals of backscatter, but I did bring down to 0 to the Clarity/Texture (midtones) of the green water using LR. You can see there is hardly any distracting backscatter in the image. The point of using a lower strobe power is that you don't illuminate the backscatter nearly as much in poor clarity water. You can boost exposure in post processing to get the brightness you want for the image, selectively if needed. I shot at -1.5ev & -3ev which is about 1/3rd and 1/8th power for the two strobes. If I shot in these dark and chunky waters at Full or Half power the image would be blasted out. If you want a darker background use a faster shutter speed. 1/125 or 1/200. The strobes don't impact open water background color. Shutter speed controls ambient light.
  4. Strobe Position and Power Levels. You can try to reduce strobe power a bit, maybe bump up your ISO some. Simply having your strobes out to the side and angled outward a bit will probably expose well, but leave you with a flat image without texture or shadow. I tend use a really long set of arms and then rake the subject with one strobe pointed inward (on the side or top) between the subject and dome. The second strobe is usually at a lower power level at a more traditional position as a fill light. I rarely get much backscatter and the images have a much more lifelike dimensional look to them.
  5. I have used Novus #2 on a glass flat port that had bad water spots that I could not remove any other way. The Mild abrasive and a microfiber cloth cleaned it without scratches.
  6. The best (maybe not cheapest) is to get custom made prescription lenses made for your preferred mask. Either send in your current mask, assuming you like it, or buy a second copy for the lenses. Provide your current full prescription from your optometrist. You'll get a mask you know fits with proper corrected vision. I have recently used this company and was very satisfied. prescriptiondivemasks.com
  7. I have used the Nikon 105mm for many years in the greenest water and visibility as low as 2-3 feet. With a spotting (white or red) light you can still get really good images. If you worried about distance you can get closer with a diopter. I use a +5 subsea with great results. I originally used this lens with a D70 and D300 DX cameras. It worked very well on those cameras, but the autofocus performance improved a lot with the D800. I expect any DX camera being sold today will be at least as good, certainly the D500 would be as good or better. Below is a shot I took recently in some of the worst visibility I've experienced in a long time. Probably 3 feet of visibility. Finding something to shoot was difficult, but taking some shots once found was not difficult. This was shot with the D850, 105mm, +5 closeup lens, and the Backscatter Snoot.
  8. I can put my entire Nauticam D850 setup with two Inon 330 strobes, arms, 105mm lens, 15mm lens, macro port, 170mm port and various accessories into a rolling Thinktank carry-on bag. It's pretty heavy but it is legal carry on size. I usually put the camera body and topside lenses in a backback, but it could go in the housing. (although not recommended)
  9. Nauticam is excellent and a great choice. I've had their D800 and D850 housings and they are fantastic. You'll want to get a Nikon 105vr lens as your primary macro lens. The 60mm is nice for intermediate range but the 105 can't be beat for small stuff.
  10. Very few Bird In Flight photos are taken underwater. I do a lot of bird photography myself and there is a big difference in the amount of available light. Even a cloudy day will have a lot more light to assist focus than in often available underwater. It's is the low light autofocus capability that really distinguishes DSLRs like the D850 or D500. Also note that most camera & lens development is optimized and tested with photographers shooting birds and such above water. I would venture to guess that very little engineering is done to optimize for underwater shooting.
  11. I've had this issue with the BS Miniflash as well. My Inon 330's flash fine with the same cable that the BS rejects. A new cable will probably help, as I noticed that just a bit of a crimp or bend in the fiber will reduce the light enough to cause a problem with the BS but not then Inon. Also look into upgrading your optical fiber to something like a 2mm fiber that will transmit more light then the standard fibers. The Backscatter Flash is clearly using as less sensitive trigger.
  12. I've heard nothing but good things about both Retra and the Inon 330s. My only concern about Retra is that the company sort of when into hibernation for a year or two until their latest product release. I hope that they don't do something like that again. I've been shooting the 330's for a few years and am very happy. Very reliable and consistent, good battery life, very robust. Controls are easy to access and adjust. Plenty of power in the 330's.
  13. I have to shout out that I am really enjoying these regular Wetpixel Live videos! It's great content and I love the frequency that you are putting them out at! I am sure it takes a lot of work to prepare and keep a full list of content ideas. Keep up the amazing work. On this topic of maintenance, one thing that I'd like to see is the set of "Tools and Spares" you each bring with you on a trip. What redundant or replacement parts do you bring along? Cheers, Dave
  14. Start working on your upper body strength. Fellow D850/Nauticam user... My rig is about 25lbs out of water.
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