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Ben M

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  1. In my experience ISO has the most effect, I use something between 100-400 and find I generally like the results from the faster end, but when visibility or size of the space are a factor I have to make changes. I use f/3.5 (same lens as you) and I find that shutter speed makes little difference on the cave itself but sometimes there can be other reasons for adjusting. I use 1/125 or 1/250 when outside of ambient light areas most of the time. I sometimes look at the histogram but find it only a slight guide when setting up as it tends to left unless the cave is bright and highly reflective. I find I don't mess with settings on the camera at all in between shots unless I am seeing some sort of a problem, but I adjust the settings on my on-board strobes for almost every shot. As others have mentioned something seems off. Is that image you posted heavily cropped? I don't have any experience with those particular Inon's but if I used similar settings and got that close my shot would be blown out. That is a rather dark walled area that you showed and there is the black passage behind the diver would skew the histogram Slave strobes help a ton, but it does give a different effect. I'm glad to see some cave related talk here. I've found very little help out there on the topic and would love to learn more and share. If anyone wants to do some NW Florida cave photography give me shout. I'm up for spending dives just figuring out lighting, settings, or messing with slaves. Best way to learn is to get in the water and try out different things. Here's some photos I've uploaded to my gallery on www.cavediver.net: http://www.cavediver.net/forum/gallery/bro...;imageuser=2226
  2. Update. Moved the Ike's offboard with the manual controllers and put the Sea & Sea's on my housing. Much better arrangement. Once I get used to the Sea and Sea's I might even like them better as it is easier for me to adjust the output levels on the fly since the controls are located on the back instead of on the side. The Ike's with the slave sensor are working out much better. It does not even compare. Here's a shot from my strobe check dive. I tried different ranges, angles, light levels, and the sensor picks up almost anything I can throw at it. Thanks for the suggestions.
  3. You could also use your video lights for more additional lighting. I've carried some strobes for some caves photo shoots where other team members brought video lights and that helped out as well. Any well strobg and well diffused light adds some depth to the cave. Ben
  4. Seems we are going down similiar paths. I don't know what the best answer is for you. I just ordered a couple of Ikelite controllers, but I have both Ike and S&S strobes. Good luck and let me know if you find something that works well for you.
  5. Well, I guess that is what I am asking. I can't cable the slave to the camera but could cable it to an offboard sensor. What I am hearing is that the Ikelite one is the best for this. I think part of the issue with the sensor on the YS is that it is recessed so non-direct light will not trigger it, not considering hiding the strobe, just placement angle at the moment. I am shooting in complete darkness (caves) minus my focus light (FIX LED 1000DX) so I have that going for me. So getting a couple of the Ike sensors and swapping my onboard and offboard stobes are my best route forward at this point? Thanks guys. It was terribly frustrating getting the new strobes in the water and just trying to get them to trigger at all, never mind placement, hiding them, or distance. I just didn't want to make another mistake. Ben
  6. I wanted to add more depth to my cave photos so I bought a couple of off board strobes to go with my pair of onboard DS160s. I was going to get another pair of Ike's and the external sensors but got convinced that the built in sensors of other brands were the way to go. I ended up purchasing 2 YS 250s. I've essentially done a couple of dives where I have placed the strobes on the bottom out in the open with the bottom sensor facing me and taken about 400 photos of the strobes laying on the bottom (yes I'm very stubborn). I'm in crystal clear fresh water and only able to get the strobes to trigger at less than 15 ft away, and only if I point my strobes directly at the remote sensor (head on). At less than 5 ft I can make them trigger fairly reliably, at 10 ft I'm getting less than 50% success. I've adjusted the angle of the remote sensor to me, adjusted the angle of the on board strobes pointing at the sensor, and moved to every possible distance from 0-15 ft. From what I've seen these will not be useful to me at all. Am I doing something wrong? Is the sensor on the YS 250s just not very good? Is there something I can do to make get more distance or angle and still trigger the strobes or maybe even be more reliable at 10 ft? Thanks. Ben
  7. As always you must be comfortable with the dives you are doing first. Task loading on challanging dives is not good. Here's a some photos. I'm typically not clipped but holding the camera by hand. I can and usually do most things one handed. If need to work, I can clip off the camera to free that hand, by using the yellow line on the left. If I am scootering, clip the yellow line and then attach the double ender to the bungee on the right handle and attach to me as one would carry a stage bottle. If swimming I am pushing the camera in front of me. The large handle is a stage kit that I modified and wove through the handles.Of course there is quite a bit more bulk when the strobes and focus light is attached. I hope this gives you some ideas.
  8. I've added 3 things to my camera rig. I only shoot in underwater caves, so it is important to control the camera to protect it and to keep myself from getting in trouble. -I modified a stage bottle kit to make a carry handle that I can quickly and conveniently grab to hold the camera, in addition to the hand grips but this on is more balanced. -I added a short lanyard with a bolt snap to be able to clip the camera off so it hangs under me if I need to momentarily go hands free. -I added a short bungee to the side opposite the lanyard side. I use this with a double ender bolt snap if I want to stow the camera and scooter a long distance. It rides much like a stage bottle would. Short distances I'll just use the carry handle. These I have found these work well for me and the carry handle is also great for out of the water.
  9. Thanks for the info. That is much more helpful to a newbie like me. I look forward to seeing some shots with it.
  10. -Learn to do many of those things one handed. -Clip off the camera on a lanyard and let go if you need both hands. Even at recreational depths you can get yourself in a lot of trouble if you can't manage your life support equipment and the camera. Underwater (especially at the tech level) you have to be a diver first and a photographer second. Your pictures will not do you any good if you don't come back.
  11. So if I'm shooting the Tokina 10-17mm behind a 8" dome, what would be different or "great". Smaller is nice, but with an already negative rig a smaller dome would make that evn worse.
  12. Found some cavers........excellent. Tony, what strobe(s) did you have on your housing for those shots? The model carried s-2000 makes a big difference. How do you trigger these lights? Does the model have to point the rear of the unit back towards the camera? I assume this makes it impossible to hide the strobe from the camera. I like the manual controller than Ikelight uses, but see advantages to not having seperate components and cables. Damien, Yes, I've seen how much remote strobes can add. Instead of removing 1 from my current setup I'm going to add and leave the 2 I have on the housing alone. Seems the best way I can keep backscatter out my shots is to position them at large angles so I'd only light half of the frame if I dropped one, but I'll give it a try. I need to get a manual controller to test it though. I use the Fisheye LED 1000DX for my focus light in caves. As I mentioned before I use this instead of my primary, which is stored, when I am shooting. I haven't tried to take any video but I need to give that a try. I'll try and remember to test this the next time I'm in the water, but it may be a couple of weeks until I get the camera back in the water as I have some other things going on. I've seen photos where the temps were mixes. You can definately tell, but these were large differences. I'm not sure you would pick up smaller differences as much or at all, other than knowing it was a different light source. I wasn't sure if that was frowned on or not. Ben
  13. Thanks for the comments guys. Damien, Nice shots. I especially like the one of the big tunnel in Springboard. That's a great cave and I'd like to get a well lit photo of the big room room one of these days. Your 2 smaller lights did better than I am doing with 2 mounted on the camera. That's even more of a push for me to get some slaves set up right away. I have the cave diving down, it's what I do and for now I'm only shooting in caves I know extremely well to make things easier on myself. Carrying the gear has not been a problem. The photography part on the other hand is brand new to me. This is my first go at it and the learning process is like drinking from a firehose. When I am shooting I have a small mask light for me to check gauges and what not. I turn off and store my primary light. I use an adjustable modelling light attached to my housing and if I need to grab a helper's attention, they know if I turn the modelling light to strobe mode, that I am trying to signal them. Here's a couple shots I took this past weekend in Jackson Blue. I'm using a 7D in an Aquatica housing with the Tokina 10-17 FE and 2 camera mounted DS160s. I like them considering I've only been doing this for one month, but know there is lots of room for improvement. I can get good lighting in small spaces (maybe too hot) but the bigger spaces I don't have enough light in the right places. If you come back to the Marianna area, ask Edd for me. I am a local and would love to chat with you at the very least if not dive get in a dive or two. Ben
  14. Hi gang, I'm a cave diver and have recently started taking underwater photos of my environment. The only available light is what I bring with me, but I am usually working in very clear water. I knew I was going to need more light but I wanted to start simple to get the hang of things, so I started with 2 DS 160s mounted to my housing. I'm happy with what I am able to do in small spaces but as the room/space gets larger I just don't have enough light. I'm starting my homework to determine what my next series of purchases should be. Eventually I'd like to light some fairly large rooms but I will probably slowly grow into it rather than get everything at once, but need a plan on how to get there. I was thinking about getting another pair of 160s with the manual controller from Ikelite, but wanted to get some suggestions. I know a couple of diver mounted or well placed strobes will dramatically increase what I can do right now, but I see that approach maybe being more limited as I get into larger spaces and need to setup light in more than a couple of locations to get the coverage. Would a large diver carried video light be more beneficial? For those that are setting up lighting for their shots, is there much setup time once you get the hang of things or can you do this fairly efficiently? Do strobes/lights of different temperatures create problems or should I try and get the same temp strobes for everything? Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. Ben
  15. Does the lever move smoothly and easily when the camera is not in the housing? The lever on my housing seems to have more motion than the button on the camera. Also make sure that when the lid is closed up the camera is in the same mode as the lever. If you look at the mating parts you should be able to see how it goes together. It does not need to be forced. I bet the lever is in photo and your camera is in video or vice versa....
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