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oneyellowtang last won the day on September 4

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About oneyellowtang

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  1. @sinetwo I will add - I have both, and tend to use a combination of the Stix large and small floats (on both arms) for virtually every set up. The reason is (as you suggest) the larger float arms do occasionally get in the way (for me - it happened quite frequently while shooting macro). Shooting wide angle (w/out a large dome) is the one scenario I prefer to use float arms.
  2. @sinetwo Go with the 60mm (for the D500). This is the "go to" lens for macro and small fish portraits for this camera... I have been shooting with this combo for years. Very versatile lens... (actually prefer this lens to the 105 on the D500).
  3. @sinetwo I know this introduces more complexity, but both my friends in Bali and the tourism minister have now said Bali is opening (for a limited set of tourists) in October. Both the US & the UK are on the list of countries that will be allowed. Entry will likely require a negative test and proof of vaccination, There are 3 reasonably good flights from the UK (all involving 1 stop) - Turkish (through Istanbul) Singapore Air (through SIN), and Emirates (through DBX). Bali's R0 number is now <1, and the they are close to crossing the 70% vaccination rate (a condition for opening their borders). The north coast of Bali has excellent macro - often overlooked because of travel time, etc. As an aside, we spent several weeks in the Maldives this summer - great diving, but almost no macro (handful of nudis, a few other critters in two weeks of diving) , but we were there for the big schools of fish, sharks, mantas, etc.
  4. @Barmaglot "and on many sites there, you simply don't know what you're going to get. At Richelieu Rock, I can see a group of harlequin shrimp, or an ornate ghost pipefish, turn around, and there's a big ball of trevallys or barracudas." And this is (unfortunately) is an example of why Thailand was amazing 15 years ago, and now is approaching "good..." 15 years ago anyone who had dived Richelieu would have finished your comparison with... "turn around, and there's a whale shark swimming by you..." Richelieu was (and still is) an amazing dive site, but it wasn't so long ago that it was a one of the top 10 sites in the world. I remember my 2nd dive there where while trying to get a picture of a seahorse the DM taps me on the shoulder and points up... It took me a few seconds to realize the sun was being blotted out by a whale shark (vs. a boat...) swimming over the top of us.
  5. @chipdiver For what it's worth... my daughter dived with an A7III with the WWL-1b, then recently upgraded to the A7R4, and used it with the WWL-1b extensively in Belize this summer. No issues with burping the lens (she forgot on several dives with no negative effect)... AF on the Sony (shooting with the 28-60) and the WWL-1b is fast (as in did not really hunt in any scenario we can recall). Where I would say the biggest difference lies is that her A7R4 vs. my D850 (or my older D500) is when shooting macro - the D850 is just faster finding focus on subjects, small, moving, low light, etc.
  6. @Draq & @TimG, Being lucky (daft?) enough to have both a D500 and D850 (both housed in Nauticam housings) there are really only 2 scenarios where I lean towards shooting with the D850 over the D500. 1. Wide angle where I can shoot the WACP on the D850 (with the old 28-70mm lens, for example). I don't take the WACP on every trip, and when I do it means lugging around another piece of luggage just to hold the WACP (small to medium suitcase just for it). The optics are really nice however (w/good corner sharpness), so if you there's a good chance to find large(r) subjects it often makes sense to bring it (like in the Maldives this summer). 2. Blackwater diving - the D500 with a 60mm is very good, however I've found that the D850 with (the same) 60mm is virtually as good focusing, and you can crop into the image a little bit more, so you tend to keep a few more shots. For regular macro I actually prefer the D500 - I find it to be more flexible framing subjects and it's really good in low light or where a subject is being a bit elusive. Also, shooting anything "fish-size" I prefer the D500, might just be that I've shot with it longer, but it feels a little bit more flexible.
  7. Dove Belize (turneffe) this summer, then did a family trip to the south of the Maldives (Laamu) - both during the Covid "lull" in June-early July. My daughter also spent 3 weeks in Sint Maarten this summer working towards her DM (diving was good, but not great... sorry @TimG) Fiji is opening up next month (although we'll see who they actually let in, flights are now showing availability from N.A.). And I'm cautiously optimistic as one our own WetPixel members just returned to his (work) home base in the Philippines, with the expectation that we might not be too far away from seeing the Philippines open up (could be months, but hoping...) There is some new research (published in partnership with Delta Airlines) that shows a required molecular Covid test (negative result) within 3 days of flying actually resulted in infection rates on COVID-19-tested flights of 0.05 percent or 5 in 10,000 passengers (significantly less than ambient community infection rate at the time). I fully expect travel (for the foreseeable future) to require proof of full vaccination, a negative test before travel (and potentially a negative test upon arrival or shortly thereafter), and masking throughout. Now if we only had some reliable therapeutic solutions to treat infections I think we would see many locations start to open up (there are 600+ drug therapies currently in development, and over 400 trials currently under review).
  8. @PeteAtkinson Interesting... I have both a D500 (+Tokina 10-17) and a D850 (+WACP) - both in Nauticam housings. For wide angle (and disregarding travel weight) I prefer the D850 w/the WACP over the D500. Corner sharpness being the primary advantage... This doesn't apply in all situations, but for the most part...
  9. @lbaldwin99 The above commentary is spot on... I will add just one thing (more as explanation than adding something new). When shooting against a blue water background we're usually taught (early on) that your shutter speed will control your background hues (light vs. dark, and some foreground details). As some people say, "dialing in the blue..." You then use your aperture (and strobe power) to control the amount of light hitting your subject in the foreground. There are edge cases to this but is generally a way to think about your situation. As mentioned above, I would definitely shoot aiming for a darker blue background (by shooting with a faster shutter speed, if possible). One challenge here is that there is a limit (using strobes) on the sync speed with the camera, so this will only work to some degree. In your case your background is light in color (both because you are fairly shallow and because of your aperture setting), and then we add in your strobes which are lighting the foreground (in this case slightly blowing out the eye(s), which are already "light" because of the natural light in the scene). As others have said - If you are shooting these subjects shallow I would be shooting at the fastest shutter speed in which I could get the strobes to sync (to help w/the background color), and then for this scenario I would be looking to shoot higher than f10/f11 (if I'm below the squid(s) I might try to get to f16/f18) and then definitely dial down your strobes (while also trying to paint with the edges of the strobe light cones, not aiming the strobes right at the subject - because there is light drop off on the edges of the cone vs. center). Having said all this - daytime shooting of this highly [highly] reflective animal is tough, and you will likely end up needing to post process (potentially darkening the image, background separately from the subject) to get good results (without the perfect shot). Shooting them on a blackwater dive is tough for other reasons, but it's much easier to get a distinctive (contrasting) background. EDIT: should have added, move your strobes to closer to 9-3 positions as well. Your strobes may very well be closer to your subject than your lens, which makes this a tiny bit harder for you.
  10. @TimG Sure... however you are quickly stepping into the realm of the hypothetical. I would argue near the top end the various housing/port combinations make the delta between the same camera/lens combinations (being housed) almost irrelevant. Nauticam vs. Subal vs. ? for the same camera/lens combination is mostly differentiated by taste, personal choice, and regional resource access (like service, etc.). I've shot the D500 in a Nauticam (preferred), Subal, and Aquatica housing... (and the D850 only in a Nauticam). So I would argue the housing/port have little to do with my above statement... So let's focus on the camera/lens combination for a moment: The A7R4 (shooting either with a native Sony W/A lens, or a Canon 8-15) is a pleasure to shoot with. It's fast and the rig is a bit smaller than either of the Nikon DSLR housed systems, making it easier to handle as well (which is an apple to oranges comparison, but...) The D500 and the Tokina 10-17 (with a small dome) is a great system, and until I shot a D850 with the WACP (either with the 28mm or the 28-70mm) I assumed you just had to finesse the soft corners issue. Although these lens/port combinations do provide different image perspectives, I've used them both to shoot sharks, mantas, etc (and the WACP is not the most easily manageable port out of the water, during travel, etc.) When given the chance today, I will shoot W/A with the D850, and macro with the D500, and other scenarios with whatever body/housing I have with me on a given trip (because I've been shooting w/Nikon for years, and I'm comfortable with these cameras). Having said this - shooting whale sharks with the Sony A7R4 was significantly easier than with either Nikon system, however the A7R4 was mostly hopeless shooting on a black water dive (tradeoffs). BTW - what you left out is the photographer skill level in all of this. Having spent years shooting with Nikon DSLR's, picking up my daughter's A7R4 (in a Nauticam housing) was relatively easy (once you get the menu options down). I found myself grabbing her camera rig on several dives where she wasn't going to dive, just so I could shoot with it (vs. the D850) - by choice.
  11. @Architeuthis Re: Olympus AF experience... Both my kids started shooting with Oly's - our daughter started with an E-M5, then eventually moved to a E-M1 (our son inherited the older system as part of the upgrade). the E-M1 was a huge step up (esp. for macro) but was still not in same class as my D500 (which my son now has). Re: The Sony A7III was a negligible upgrade for macro (from the Oly), however the A7R4 definitely is an improvement (although the Sony 90mm F/2.8 is still not "amazing" in low light or with fast moving subjects). The A7R4 still trails the D500 both in low light and AF capabilities (an illustrative test: black water dives... the D500 outperforms almost every other camera except the D850, also with a 60mm lens). Where the A7R4 shines is wide angle, it's both more versatile than a D850 with a WACP and delivers better results that a D500 with a Tokina 10-17 (and dome). My daughter proved this on a daily basis during our recent trip to the Maldives this summer.
  12. @Jheard89 Just one additional comment: a number of folks have mentioned the Oly options - these are good cameras, however the comment above about the difference in AF is accurate. Both my teenage kids started with Oly cameras and both have moved away from these systems because of the AF performance (esp. in low light). My daughter moved to a Sony A7iii (and now an A7R4) and my son moved to a D500. The D500 AF is "magical" as someone mentioned above.
  13. D500 with a the 60 or 105 lens, and a single strobe would be a good set up for what you are looking for. For gobies in particular, the 105 will be the preferred lens as it will give you more working distance from the subject. Having some experience shooting gobies (in the sand) specifically for ID shots, I ended up switching from the to the 105 when I was helping catalog a reef population in the western Pacific. You will benefit from the cropped sensor as well. For the most skittish ones, we played around with using a tripod and remote trigger - worked okay, although framing was still an issue.
  14. @Architeuthis - the Cathedrals sites (in Lanai) can/do silt out somewhat easily (if someone fins near the sand bottom). The challenge then becomes not backscatter (because you are not using strobes) but rather a "milky" effect showing up in the resultant image. Letting this settle a bit before shooting was helpful.
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