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Nicool

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Everything posted by Nicool

  1. And i am interested in arms and clamps Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Ditto! We’re very lucky down here Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. Still looking... Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Thanks, looks pretty worn out but i’ll inquire Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. hi guys, I am looking to buy a second hand Nauticam flat port, either ref. 18701, or ref. 18702 (the later would be my preference). make me an offer! regards Nicolas
  6. Thanks Chris for the crash-course! For global adjustments (where you're not making a selection) i am doubtful that i wouldn't be able to quickly achieve similar results with Lightroom on your photo. Care to share your raw for a try? Agree on the tutorials where the speaker spends 80% of the time telling you how important what they are going to tell is going to be Cheers Adam i'll give these tutorials a go
  7. hi there, Over the years i progressed in underwater photography techniques, but my editing skills are still very very basic. I came to this realization as i happened to be shown by two experienced photographers on 2 cases how they used Photoshop, this was miles aways from my capabilities with Lightroom! My current capabilities: I have enrolled to an Adobe photo plan, so i am using Lightroom Classic for editing (but i also have the latest Photoshop version in that plan). In Lightroom Classic, besides the basic global adjustments, i have been using spot removal (backscatter), graduated filters, and i am just starting to discover the adjustment brush, using my mouse for approximative selection of area when i want to do local changes. What i'd like to learn: How/when it really is worth jumping to Photoshop. Photoshop's smart tools to easily select a shape (e.g. a fish, a diver) onto you want to make local adjustments (e.g. color adjustmnet, clarity...) without affecting the rest of the image. Smarter/quicker ways to remove Backscatter? To be clear, i don't need the knowledge to "transform" the photo into a really different scene (e.g. adding/removing objects). That is not what i am after, i just want to get more efficient at getting my work "pop out". How? Call me old school, but i still have a preference to learn on a paperbook. I can read few pages when going to bed, etc. That is practical. And i do not have a tablet. That said, if the quickest/best way to learn these skills is a set of videos or something else, i am all ears. So looking for advice on how/where to learn these skills for underwater imagery editing :-) cheers Nico
  8. hi there, With both my wife and myself being underwater photographers, we're finding it best to have a second housing. So here i am, looking to buy a Nauticam housing for our Nikon D750. Please contact me via MP with an offer. cheers Nicolas
  9. hi Delia, We (my wife Lena and myself both shooting) have recently purchased two Retra Pro strobes (last month) to complement our trusty Inon Z240. Overall, the Retras feel reliable (we've done 6 dives with them), the quality of light is really good, and abundance of power is certainly there... but it goes with fast-eating batteries. Which can be understood, just have to realize. Two big plusses from my perspective vs the Inons: 1/ I am not concerned anymore about over-heating/melting the Inons if repetitively shooting (being aware of this risk, i was never shooting the Inons at more than 1/3rd power). 2/ Maintenance of the orings much easier, since they are attached to the cover, very easy to inspect. The strobe reduction accessories are nice too. That being said, we have shot the Inons for 9 years, know them by heart, know exactly how much shots we can get or how quickly they will recycle... We need to build that "intimacy" with the Retras now and it takes time. Surely the transition would have been easier with the Z330s, but hey, we wanted to try something different. You can check our instagram for some photos taken with these (the last shark and eagle rays ones), and i have done a mini-write up (post with multiple shark photos): www.instagram.com/nicolaslenaremy or on Facebook, same username
  10. Thanks both! I just re-added the photo. Will try the boiling water. I really like the shape of the angled Howshot s&s adapter, will be easy to plug/unplug underwater, which is my intent as i will be juggling more strobes in the future.
  11. Great topic guys, really informative! Can i ask for guidance as i am struggling to "bend" my 2.2mm 613 core fibre optic cable (one i purchased from a photo retailer), so that it fits in the S&S adaptor i have (brand is Howshot). See the photo attached. Basically the shape of the groove is too curved for me to succeed in fitting the cable. Reading the above, i was thinking maybe i should first soak the cable into warm water, to make it more flexible. Would that help? I don't want to damage my cable neither :-) On another note, as i have the Nauticam red LED flash trigger, and picky strobes (e.g. the Backscatter MF-1), i need to be wary about cable quality if i am to follow you guys in some experimentation. One question i had: do you think the distance between the end of the cable and the actual "window" whereby the red light comes out of the Nauticam housing matters? I am asking because different Nauticam-to-sea&sea adapters have different heights...
  12. Interesting indeed! Are you able to do the same tests with your Inon z240, and let us know which power setting on the Inon gets you similar exposure without a mask?
  13. Thanks Chris for your replies. I didn't think about the differences in brightness between the center and outside of the strobe beam. However, probably like you, i am indeed aiming the outside of the beam to the subject, to minimize backscatter. To your first question, i only need to take 5-6 photos in a burst (for macro quick action), so it seems like most strobes will cope reasonably well with that. For wide-angle - inquisitive sealions, maybe a full second at lower frequency, so a gain 5-6 shots in total, but with more power, so hopefully the Retra Pro would be able to cope. At least my understanding is i won't have to worry about "melt down" (i would never try repetitive high power shooting with my Inons Z240, too concerned about damaging them). Any further "field" feedback on the Retra pros would be greatly appreciated
  14. Wow i didn't think you could get a nice A2 on 3200 ISO with an APS-C sensor. One day i need to see your large prints physically, bring them down in Oz (so no, i thought 1000 ISOs would be a limit not to overcome to keep decent IQ, as i've also got diffraction happening at these macro apertures) Hi Algwyn, Thanks for your message. Since you're sharing your personal opinion, without factual evidence, can i suggest that you be a little more humble and less prescriptive? First of all, you might have missed this recent scientific study on the effect of flash photography over seahorses. Full details of the research paper are available here. In short, it demonstrates underwater strobes don't have an effect on seahorses, be it on their ability to feed (incl. fast hunting) and no retina damage was found. Secondly, when i shoot 10 fps, it is for a very short burst, i would say half a second, meaning 5-6 photos, set at around 1/16th of my Inon Z240 strobe power (sometimes less). Meaning in that burst, i will deliver less light than by flashing once at half power... Lastly, this species isn't the pygmy seahorse that you find in south east asia, but a Sydney's pygmy pipehorse (Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri). Endemic species to +/-200km around Sydney (Australia). There is a dive site here where local divers have been observing and photographing these animals for many years. Given they are rather sedentary, week after weeks the same divers often see the same individual on the same rock. While being photographed, they have been observed feeding (i.e catching tiny crustaceans) and even courting. These empirical observations are consistent with the findings of the above-mentioned scientific study. Hope we can go back to the original topic - which is about the performances of the new Retra Pro strobes.
  15. Try super macro, with a depth of field probably 1-2mm, and a subject head of around 1cm... and the said subject has a tendency to bounce back and forth in the surge (its tail attached to an algae, the rest of the body swinging around)... while you're struggling against a tidal current... Let's say it brings its set of challenges, and 10fps helps you get one of two sharp shots. EXIFs for the attached example: -Nikon 105mm AF-S VR lens (with Subsee +10 diopter), on a Nikon D500 -Speed: 1/125th -1000 ISOs -f/16 Note the photo is sharp on the eyes, but due to the upload resolution/weight limit it doesn't render well.
  16. Hi Chris, Thanks a lot for this very informative reply! I just quoted these 2 sentences as that's where i am seeking more clarity (on the second one essentially): 1/ Do we know whether the Inon Z240 and Retra Pro strobes (just comparing the one i own vs the one i might buy) are offering an "exposure guarantee", meaning by either delivering the expected exposure (as per the user's setting on the power dial: full power, 1/2th power, 1/4th power...) or by just not firing if they aren't ready? As a user, this is my expected behaviour: once i have setup my strobe powers correctly, i will approach the subject and take a few shots (focusing on composition), then back-off to check results. When i do, if i see few photos turn black/not lit, i'll know my strobe power was too high and will decrease + bump ISOs. If the strobe kept firing inconsistently (due to not reaching the needed charge level in time), it will be more difficult to tell & decide Thanks for pointing the other thread Oskar, which i've read, good learnings. As a prospective customer, i am still left to read at manufacturer specifications and compare. In the above thread, i see the Inon Z330 specs are to be taken with a pinch of salt, but the Inon Z240 (my current strobes) and the original Retra seem more "consistent" in behaviour. My question is on the Retra Pro specs: i read i would get my ready for a complete exposure at 80%/40% power respectively in 3s/1.5s (no indication of how long it would take to be ready for a full power dump, but i understand now that other strobe manufacturers won't indicate that neither, and i understand why, so ok). 2/ So is this understanding correct: -if i set a Retra pro to the 75% mark (so below 80%), i'll get a predictable, stable exposure provided i wait at least 3 seconds. -if i set a Retra pro to the ~37.5% mark (the one between 50 and 25%), i'll get a predictable, stable exposure at that power, provided i wait at least 1.5 seconds. 3/ Then if i understand well Chris' earlier explanations, these above recycle time are from the a totally empty capacitor, meaning if i hadn't been shooting for a minute, my Retra pro will be recycled at 100%, so i would shoot twice at the ~37.5% mark and get full, consistent output without waiting the 1.5 seconds (but i will have to wait before shooting a 3rd time at that power)? 4/ Can i expect these recycling numbers to remain valid whatever the charge level of my Eneloop Pro batteries (e.g. at the beginning or end of the dive)? 5/ Any indication at which power i can get a recycling time below 0.1 seconds? Assuming the recycling time vs power setting ratio is linear, I would think a 2-3% setting (1/30th of 80% full power) would get me that consistent output at that power, if i trigger every 0.1 second (10 fps burst mode)? 6/ keen to hear how "linear" is the autonomy/power setting curve. E.g. if i set the Retra Pros at 25% power, can i expect 4x150=600 flashs roughly? I find my inons Z240 pretty predictable on that aspect, which i like. Interested in both Oskar feedbacks and user field observations to get clarity on my 1-6 questions Now before you all tell me no one shoots at full power nor needs a 0.1sec recycle time, let me explain where i am coming from/share more on my specific needs/shooting techniques: -I lack power when shooting wide angle with my Inons Z240, although i never shoot them more than 50% power (i'll be at 25% when i now there will be some repetitive shooting). Why? These strobes are known to "melt down" if you shoot too often at high power. But honestly even at full power (admittedly i tried a few times very carefully), i am still not covering specific needs, such as lighting a big scene with several grey nurses and sealions cruising. Yes, i do bump the ISOs (up to 400-500 on my D500), but in bright scene i'll be limited by my max shutter speed (1/250th). Bottom line, i do need more power. -i need ability to shoot short bursts at 10 frames per seconds, and i need doing so with higher power output than my Z240 inons (i would question upgrading otherwise). Use case: i shoot tiny (1-2cm) sygnathidae in the surge, super macro setup (tiny depth of field), and the 10fps burst will grant me 1-2 sharp shots once the animal turns towards me. Today with the Inons i have to step down significantly the strobes to allow this, meaning i might be at 640-800 ISOs on my APS-C Nikon D500 (IQ trade-off). -Assuming the Retra Pros don't have a "melt-down" issue, i intent do shoot also large animal action (the cheeky sealion passing by briefly) in burst mode, but then at higher power setting (and maybe i don't need 10fps, 3-4fps so recycling at 0.2-0.3 secs would do). Again that requires a predictable recycling time, and clarity on how the Retra Pro will behave (my question #1 above). Cheers Nicolas
  17. Hi Pavel, that gets me confused. From a user perspective, what matters is: « how quickly do i have sufficient charge so that the next photo is exposed like the previous one (assuming no setting changes) » If what you’re saying is true with my Inons, i would get varying levels of exposure between shots, whereas i do get good consistency (noting i never shoot them at more than half power, too concerned about overheating). Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  18. No problem with mine after 4 dives. Here is a pygmy shot with it... but a Sydney pygmy pipehorse Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  19. I might have to go this path too... but that means buying a dual quality fiber optic cord, plus likely another arm section + 2 clamps :-/ Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  20. Hi there! Although we don’t have Phil’s experience, my wife and myself tried our fresh new MF-1 snoot in Sydney’s local muck dive on saturday. We had a total blast: both of us having a few shots we were happy with. For context, our only other snoot experience was 1 dive with Retra’s LSD on an Inon z240, same dive site. The results obtained with the Backscatter combo were much better, given that aiming is much easier (focus light has same beam size as the flash, so what you see is what you get). What we haven’t figured out yet is how to precisely orientate the spotlight when using the reduction masks, as they make the shape of the spotlight quite blurry. Phil would you know? Nicolas Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  21. Anyone heard back from Retra on the strobes readiness? Yes, have got a dive trip planned soon (early Feb), and the subject matter would certainly benefit larger strobes Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  22. Probably right, so there might be more photographers than we thought making money, but they kept it secret ;-) Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  23. Hi guys, 8 years later i would love to hear fresh views on the topic not that i expect UW photography to easily pay bills now but curious to know how the over-presence of social media (for instance) may have transformed underwater photographers’ bottom line 8 years ago we said the main income source was leading trip, workshops, doing trainings... what about social media? what about being a brand ambassador (not sure if that grants you more than free loan gear) :) Nicolas
  24. Would love to hear an update as Retra were supposed to ship second half of October Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  25. Thanks for that! I know it’s not so straightforward to compare non-rectilinear lenses, so just wondering how differents are the angles of view between 8-15mm + kenko 1.4 and the 10-17 without kenko. I really like my 10-17, unsure what sort of improvements a 8-15mm could bring besides lifting my purse Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
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