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Nicool last won the day on May 13

Nicool had the most liked content!

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About Nicool

  • Rank
    Eagle Ray
  • Birthday 02/10/1984

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  • Location
    Sydney, Australia

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D500
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam NA-D500, NA-D810
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    2x Retra Pro, 2x Inon Z240, 1x Backscatter MF-1
  • Accessories
    too many accessories to list...

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  1. The other area where some floats could be added would be the focus unit, at least some of them, to pull some volume away from the front lens, sleek challenge indeed. Thanks for sharing the background behind this shot Gudge, nice one by the way. So far I've spent 4h30 in the water with my EMWL and can only see 1 subject I might have struggled to do with a "fatter" relay lens. However, I can see many more that would have been easier to shoot if my rig were more neutral. The downside for me with large float arms at the front is imbalance when I fiddle with arms positioning. I found that having 2 strobes pushed at the front (2-10 positions) worked well for many subjects, but I do like to play around with my lighting, and in this department i had limited flexibility with the EMWL non-lifted. I personally would accept a bit of a "fatter" EMWL in exchange for that neutrality in water. I am pleased to report I found a company who manufactures on-demand floats custom made for the EMWL (among many other smart UW photography gadgets), mine are being produced and I'll share observations once I have tested them: https://eocean.eu/en/accueil/280-buoyancy-collar-for-nauticam-emwl-relay-lens-750gr.html
  2. Thanks a lot Jan for theses detailed explanations, I hadn't suspected you carried your clean water on the site, but it makes good sense!!
  3. Hi Jan, Very nice DIY indeed!! Thanks for sharing. Can I ask what you're doing when entering the water: will you disassemble the 3 pieces to let all the air bubbles out, or just rotate the bubble release rings? will the sock already by on when you do those things, or do you add it afterwards, once bubbles are out? Looks like I let some bubbles trapped in during my first dive with the rig, at least that's how I explain the annoying black donuts on my photos, so want to make sure I get these guys out
  4. I am finding myself with the same issue Gudge, also compensating with my most floaty arms at the front, but this works well if not moving the arms much. When I start doing more creative lighting, this will straight away un-balance the whole rig. Hoping Nauticam are watching this thread (wink wink ;)) I can only vouch for them to design a solution, suggestions below: A custom float/collar that would fit around the relay lens. Fitting it there would mean limited disturbance when swapping front lens element underwater. Also, we need this to remain as sleek as possible, to keep the advantage of a tiny rig that marine life tolerates closer. There I see two design options: Option 1 (my preference): a collar + shackle system, which just clips around the relay lens. Makes it impossible to use the flip holder nor strobe mounting brackets (ref 87518), so the collar should come with some sort of shackle, making it possible to clip it on a D-ring on your BCD. Then, when i want to store safely my (fully assembled) EMWL out of the way, I take it off the macro port, add the front/rear caps, and just clip it on, next to the ton of accessories I am clipping anyways (Retra snoot, Retra macro rings, car keys, etc. etc). Option 2: this collar fits around the 87501 flip holder. Then you can use both (I can't see myself crawling through waves and rocks out of a shoredive with the EMWL still on my macro port). In both cases, I believe it's essential to keep the diameter of the whole thing as small as possible, in order to make it less intimidating to wildlife. In the meantime, I'll try to craft something myself but Nauticam would surely do a better job
  5. Bloody 8-15mm lenses! Why on earth don't manufacturer go for a Tokina 10-17mm like lens (FOV wise) :/
  6. Interesting conversation! The housing width is something, but when it comes to air travel packing, I found the height of the housing is a bigger constraint. Recent housings that don't use the pop-up flash have been able to reduce on that side, the next constraint will be that port diameter indeed. I am curious why we see 120mm diameters being used by manufacturers, as I can't think of a lens that would need that width, even with zoom gear. Maybe the venerable 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikon lens, a pretty large beast, but most would be thinner.
  7. I would like to thank everyone for their replies here and perspectives shared, quite helpful. Massive special thanks to bghazzal for his reply that is not only comprehensive, but really answering my exact question, taking into account my specifics. Indeed, since my main pursuit is and will remain still photography, it will take precedence and i won’t want to restrict my photo artistic options by having setup a lens that will allow video. If i see spinner dolphins... guess what i will choose between photo and video I did try the TG6 videos this WE during shallow snorkelling, Great Barrier Reef, and footage seemed of decent quality, but these really were easy/ideal conditions. I straight away noted the battery life issue, and too narrow field of view (no housing, no extra lens). I will review the video examples shared with attention, but see myself most likely go with the GoPro7 option. I do shoot mostly in darker waters though (temperate Australia) so noted the IQ will suffer on a small sensor like the GoPro’s when light is missing. With my modest needs, i think this will be ok. One point bghazzal raised and that interests me is the autofocus performance. I suspect it gets more critical on a DSLR’s shallow DOF, and more forgiving/no brainer on a small sensor, especially if using a wide lens like the GoPro’s. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. hi all, Just to set the scenes, I am a newbie in videography (topside & underwater) but my wife and I have 13 years experience shooting underwater photos. Our UW cameras have had video capabilities for the past 10 years (Nikon D7000, Oly OM-D EM5, Nikon D500, D810), but we have never pressed the record button, except by mistake! We are just getting started into videography, watching through tutorials and the good work of some of you. I will start recording videos myself soon, though I don't have high ambitions, I'd need advice on the gear to start with. My needs are recapped hereafter: -my wife and I are both photographers, and this will remain our main underwater imagery focus (we're going down with a Nikon D500 and Nikon D810) -from time to time, one of us will be taking videos, essentially these will be filming the other one while he/she takes photographs or just dives around. -most of our diving is shallower than 25 meters -occasionally, if a rare encounter/behaviour shows up and our DSLR lens aren't a good fit, we might capture a video -occasionally, record a family video when our kids try snorkelling -occasionally (maybe), some vlogging videos -at some point I might get video lights, probably not at the start The options I see: 1/ Using my son's Olympus TG-6. He's not using that camera too often yet so we can borrow. However we have zero accessories so far, so thinking I would need to get a housing, plus maybe a WA conversion lens. 2/ Getting a recent GoPro, such as the Hero7 Black or more recent I will need to get a housing too. I take that GoPro have a single fisheye lens, so field of view will be wide enough for underwater scenes by default. 3/ Using the built-in video functions of our Nikon D500/D810. I doubt this would be the right course of action as A/ I may not have the right lenses mounted (still diving for photography as a priority) and B/ even if I have the right lens mounted (e.g. a Tokina 10-17mm), adding video lights at some point would make our DSLR rigs really too bulky. I am really hesitating between the TG-6 and GoPro. Not sure which has the best image quality, and any other considerations I should look into? cheers Nicolas
  9. I too wouldn’t bother with a bag. Orginally I was fitting my gadgets in large drysuit pockets, and I must say the LSD was nearly filling one cargo pocket. Then i had a few wetsuit dives, seeing me clipping that much accessories on D-rings: -1x LSD + 1 mask -2x Reductors + macro rings -Backscatter coloured filtered system (for another strobe) Very easy to grab gear and use my Retras in different ways during the dive. I would just clip/unclip, sometines leave an accessory on the seafloor for a while if i will be stationary (all are slightly negative). I like to keep macro rings and masks in pocket when i have one though. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. Hi there I think the range of accessories make a lot of the Retra flash’s advantage. During a dive i happily switch from a snoot to a diffuser to reduction rings, depending on subjects, and do so for macro and WA/CFWA. ypu mignt want to look at the detailed review I have published in Underwater Photography Mag #117 (http://www.uwpmag.com/), of the Retra flash pro + accessories. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Super useful real-life test Gudge, thanks for taking the time! I watched this thread with curiosity as whether it would change my mind on Mirrorless Autofocus being a showstopper for me to use one of these cameras. I started UW photo with a Nikon D300, striking AF, and then moved to a mirrorless Olympus (2013) only to rush back to Nikon DSLRs in 2014, after missing too many shots due to disappointing AF. In 2016 I bought one of the first Nikon D500 out there and enjoyed shooting it since then. Specs sheets aside, my shooting style means I challenge autofocus to its limits: some silty dives, with current and sometimes surge bouncing left & right, I like to shoot at dusk or under rocks, or at the entrance of ocean caves. In those dark places, I turn OFF my focus light (more used as a dive light), as I noticed countless situation where, even in red mode, it would impact how close I get to a subject, and how comfortable the subject is to display a behavior. Oh, and I use ALL the time continuous AF tracking. It compensates my own movement in current/surge, as well of movements of my photo subjects, brilliantly (Nikon D500 + Nikon 60mm AF-S macro, or Nikon D500 + Tokina 10-17mm fisheye). Not sure if it was designed for my usage, but it surely works well, and makes a big difference in bringing that memorable shot home. My observations and frustrations over the years, when it comes to researching the mirrorless offering: -the test benches that reputable photomags would use to compare autofocus is just irrelevant: I stopped reading these when I realized a few years back all modern cameras would nearly get top mark -testing AF in a store is useless: those are brightly lit spaces to make sure all cameras look & perform great -limited "field" observation shared by users of those new cameras, at least in situations comparable to my shooting style: tracking a bird in bright daylight isn't the same game, and snapping a few fish portraits in a bright tropical reef with 20 meters viz isn't the same game neither. So, thanks again for sharing your experience. I think in the next few months I'll try to borrow/loan a recent mirrorless setup to try and see for myself, if it matches or beats my D500 in my shooting style.
  12. Be it Sony's or another one, Nikon announce their Z9 will have a stacked sensor, see from the official Nikon press release: It utilizes a newly developed FX-format stacked CMOS sensor Can't wait to see what will happen. Hopefully Nikon can challenge the Sony offering and offer healthy competition for us consumers.
  13. My understanding: stacked sensors yield higher data bandwidth, and these mirrorless cameras manufacturers may choose to use these extra/faster data in a number of ways. One is for the autofocus to "see" the scene more often/with more details and react quicker/smarter in terms of driving focus. We're understanding that Nikon won't be using exactly the same design as the Sony A1 + it's totally up to them to decide how they use the faster data. So there is opportunity for Nikon to differentiate themselves. My personal hope is that they put a focus (haha) on the autofocus - I mean Nikon are leading autofocus performance in DSLR land. Yes the architecture is different on a mirorless camera (no more dedicated AF sensor), but surely they can re-use some of their knowledge, algorythms, etc. Being late doesn't mean you cannot catchup in the race and take the lead. Up until 2007 Nikon was using CCD sensors whereas Canon was on CMOS. Nikon was lagging in image quality because the signal-to-noise ratio is harder to manage on CCD (so quicker image degradation/more loss as ISO increased). End 2007 Nikon launched their first CMOS DSLRs (D3 and D300) and overtook Canon in noise management / High ISOs. Exciting anyways!!
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