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Phil Rudin

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Phil Rudin last won the day on June 29

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About Phil Rudin

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    Phil Rudin

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    LAKE PARK, FLORIDA

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Sony A7R IV
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    Nauticam NA-A7RIV
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    Inon Z330 X 2, Athena ring flash
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    Nauticam float arms
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  1. This has been an interesting discussion to watch and has taken several turns. Being a member of the aging dive population certified in 1963 and taking up U/W photography in 1967 like Adam and others I have had an opportunity see dramatic shifts in the dive industry. When I moved to Florida fifty years ago I was frequently the only diver on a dive boat with a camera. I fact spearguns outnumbered cameras by about ten to one and hunting/collecting were the common interests. When it comes to the age demographics of the diving industry I see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Attracting young divers has a lot more to do with mentoring than it does with economics. Every year at DEMA and I have attended a lot of years, PADI announces that they certified over a million new divers world wide during the year but they never talk about the million that dropped out of diving during the same year. What has stagnated is the ability of dive operators, dive clubs, dive certification agencies and more to keep young people involved in diving. I see plenty of young divers doing certification training at Blue Heron Bridge and I see plenty of them using GoPro’s and cellphones to capture images. The problem is that without mentoring they move on to snow boarding, hang gliding, skydiving and many other equally expensive sports. What we should be concerned with is keeping young diver’s involved in diving. To illustrate the dive industries desperate attempts to attract young people into the sport you need only look at the attached photos. At DEAM 2007 the dive industry launched sponsorship for the SCUBA Race Car. The industry spent over a million on sponsorship in an attempt to get young people who were watching stocker car racing to make the crossover too SCUBA. In hindsight the industry may still be questioning whether this was money well spent. Back to the original topic of the camera industry being in “stagnation” again I see the glass half full. I think it would be more correct to say that the industry is having growing pains just as it did when it shifted from film to digital. During that shift we witnessed winners and losers. In the U/W photo realm we lost the Nikonos line of cameras arguably the gold standard for U/W cameras to digital SRL’s. I kept my Nikonos RS and lenses for over fifteen years and reluctantly entered the digital world with an Olympus E-1 that I used most for crime scene photography in my former life. I did not begin using digital underwater until Olympus E-300/330. Adam may appreciate that among the first six lenses dropped for this 4/3 system was an 8mm fisheye, 50mm F/2 macro (still one of the best macros made) and the 7-14mm zoom. With the switch to mirrorless cameras we see a move away from 20th century tech and a move toward 21st century tech. The fact is that DSLR’s will suffer the same fate as film cameras, it is only a matter of time. So the question is which companies will best adapt and who will be left behind. If you are starting to build a new system will it make more sense to buy into 21st century mirrorless glass and expect the more recent entries into mirrorless to equal or exceed their DSLR models going forward. The flip side is to invest in the excellent line of DSLR’s now available and see what the future brings. Regarding glass will you want to carryover DSLR glass to a mirrorless system going forward. This did not workout as advertised when moving from film to digital and it is safe to say it won’t be the best answer when moving to mirrorless. Olympus riding off into the sunset has brought on some panic and gloom but I see it as an opportunity for others to succeed. The M43 market remains strong with many new camera lines like Z-cam embracing the lens line. Olympus has many brilliant M43 Pro lenses with more to come including the 150-400mm F/4.5 Pro and 8-25mm F/4 Pro. The idea that new product are revamped 2016/2017 vintage is just wrong. The Sony A7R IV is nothing like the A7R II, Nikon and Canon have announce new high end cameras like the EOS R5, Canon EOS-1D X Mark III (an Olympics offering as Alex suggested) Nikon D780, Sony is about to announce a completely new A7S II replacement, Z Cam E2 and more. All of these cameras have or will have housings for U/W use. Many new lenses are coming as well including several which are applicable to U/W photography. Again an excellent thread, I can buy into the premise that digital sales are declining but I can’t buy into the premise that the camera industry is stagnating. I also think that the U/W photo market is excelling with a verity of new products. I have never seen so many new strobes, lenses including water contact optics, housing options and more as I have seen in the last three years.
  2. Nikonos II, 28mm lens and Nikonos bulb flash.
  3. So your two best choices for the Canon 8-15mm Fisheye are the Nauticam 140mm optical glass port and the Zen 100mm optical glass port. Both Zen and Nauticam make the ports with and without the removable dome shade. You will need to remove the shade if you want to use the 8mm end of the lens, I am sure you are aware but what to point this out for others reading the thread. I have used both ports a good bit, the Z100 with the A7R II and III and the Nauticam 140 with A7R III and IV. The 140 port requires a 30mm extension which you may own, with Zen the extension is built in. I have used the 8-15 fisheye with both the Metabones and Sigma MC-11 adapters and see no noticeable differences. Both of these ports work very well but I lean a bit more towards the 140mm for a bit more sharpness near the edges of the frame at like f/numbers. I have also used this lens with ports from Aquapazza, Inon and Ikelite ports. I shoot this lens only at 8/9mm or at 15mm anything else crops off the top and bottom of the frame which is not to my liking. Images at 8mm and 15mm. I am sure all Sony A7 users would rather be using a Sony FE 8-15 or 15/16mm Fisheye but it does not appear that is in the cards any time soon for any of the full frame mirrorless cameras. A significant upside to mirrorless is that just about any lens can be mounted to the cameras with an adapter. Only some will have excerptible auto focus, case in point Nikon has an excellent 8-15mm fisheye I have used several times on Nikon Z6 & & with FTZ adapter. Unfortunately no quality adapter existed for Nikon to Sony hence the greater exodus of Canon DSLR users to Sony over Nikon DSLR users.
  4. I have reviewed both of these cameras for uwpmag.com and this is my take as a still photographer. First these cameras are Nikons first jump into the full frame mirrorless market. I reviewed the Z7 as a pre-DEMA teaser for the Nov/Dec 2018 issue #105. At the time the only lens I used was the Nikon 60mm F/2.8 macro with the FTZ adapter and Nauticam's MWL-1 and SMC-2 C/U lenses which were also about to debut at the DEMA show. At the time the auto focus was not up to par but that has been corrected with firmware updates. With the Z6 (M/A 2020 issue #113) review all of the introductory shortcomings has been corrected and I also had the opportunity to use the excellent Nikon Z 14-30mm F/4 S and the also outstanding Nikon 8-15mm Fisheye with FTZ adapter. As stated above both cameras are very similar using the same frame and excellent built quality Nikon is known for. Both cameras fit into the same housings without any modification. This reduces production costs and benefits the U/W photographers like myself who carry the high MP camera while traveling and use the low MP camera as a backup and surface camera. At the $2000.00 and $3400.00 price points I would have expected Nikon to offer a little more on the high end. Both have the same EVF I would have expected the higher 576,0000 rather than the 369,0000. Both have a 1/200th flash sync speed, I would have expected 1/250th for $3400.00. Both have a single card slot which they got slammed for on release by terestrial reviewers and both use in-lens stabilization which only works with the limited Z lens line. I apologize if this issue has been corrected in a FTZ firmware update. Most U/W photographers don't use the higher frame rates of the Z6 but it is always nice to have and I would rather have the Z7 ISO range on the bottom end rather than the top 204800 ISO on the Z6. Most of my U/W work is done in the ISO 50-1600 range so the Z7 suites me in this regard. Most U/W photographers will be more than happy with the Z6 and if you find the need for more MP's as you expand your horizons you can always add the Z7. The biggest issue is how much are you willing to spend because the housing, ports, extensions, strobes, arms, lenses, gears and more will all be the same for both cameras making the overall difference an additional $1400.00 for the Z7. If you wish to read my reviews they can be found in the back issues at uwpmag.com, these are free PDF downloads.
  5. As Adam points out the Sea & Sea correction lenses page lists some of the lenses that are supported. That page also omits some lenses like the Sony 16-35mm F/2.8 and Nikon Z 14-30mm F/4. If you go to the port charts for those cameras and lenses they indicate compatibility with the correction lenses. I ask Sea & Sea about the possibility of a 72mm corrective to accommodate the much more frequently used Sony 16-35mm F/4 and was advised that is not in the cards at this time. As a result I have used the 77mm with the step-up ring. I have tested the lenses with the Ikelite eight inch compact done (not eight inches in diameter.), Nauticam 180mm dome and Zen 170mm and 230mm domes. As you would expect the larger dome port diameter the better the results assuming the proper port extension is in use. I used all manufactures recommended port extensions both with and without the corrective lenses for comparisons to conclude the one to two stop advantage on full frame.
  6. The Sea & Sea correction lens is available in 82mm and 77mm thread sizes. I have used the 82mm with the Nikon Z 14-30mm F/4 which is 82mm using the Nikon Z6. I have also used the 77mm with Sony A7-cameras using the Zeiss Batis 18mm F/2.8 which is 77mm and the Sony 16-35mm F/4 which has a 72mm thread size. With the Sony zoom lens I used a 77/72mm step-up ring. I also own the Sony 20mm F1.8 but the thread size is 67mm and a 10mm jump may defeat the purpose of the S&S lens. All three of these lenses I would shoot at F/13 and above if possible on full frame. Assuming the lenses are fitted with the proper dome size my results have added about 1-2 stops of like corner sharpness on full frame v. not using the S&S lens. S&S list both the 82mm and 77mm lenses as suited to the 240mm/230mm NEW 210/AR and 165 port II. I used the Nikon 14-30mm with a mini port (about 152mm) the type cut from a larger radius dome and the results were awful. While the subject in the center of the frame was tack sharp about two-thirds of the frame was soft. All of the lenses listed in the S&S compatibility chart are zooms but my results with the fitted 18mm lens were the same. If used with a larger (200mm plus) sized port expect a stop or two better results depending on your equipment. I would add that the S&S correction lenses while providing an improvement are not going to come close to the results you can get with water contact optics like the Nikonos RS 13mm Fisheye, WACP I/II or others.
  7. I am interested in your dome port shipping to Lake Park, Florida. Excepting the $300.00 price, have PayPal if you would like to be paid that way. Direct contact Phil Rudin at tropicalone@bellsouth.net
     
    Nauticam N120 8.5" acrylic dome port with shade (sku #18802) in pristine condition. Rarely used - no marks or scratches. Includes spare o-ring, neoprene cover and silicone grease. Retails new for $680, asking $300 + shipping in the US.
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  8. Just to be clear the N-120 170mm Zen Underwater port has the removable shade for the circular end of the 8-15 zoom.
  9. My first suggestion would be to look at the Saga and Zen port charts at zen underwater.com and sagadive.com. These 100mm ports are very lens specific and according too the charts neither brand supports the Sigma full frame 15mm lens. In fact the only full frame lenses they support are the 8-15mm fisheye zooms. The Nauticam N120 140mm optical glass fisheye ports support both the sigma 15 and the outstanding Nikon 8-15mm fisheye zoom. The fisheye zoom requires the port with the removable shade for the 8mm and and an N120 40mm extension. The port with the removable shade is a bit more expensive but if you ever intend to move up to the 8-15 zoom it will have been money well spent. Photos are with the Nikon 8-15mm F/3.5-4.5 fisheye zoom at the circular 8mm and and the 15mm full frame end using a Nikon Z6 with Nikon lens adapter. The housing is Ikelite with the eight inch compact acrylic dome and Ikelite DS-161 flashes.
  10. I have not seen or tested the Tamron lens so have no comment regarding that lens other than to say it should work in a smaller port like Nauticam 180mm or ZEN 170mm with the proper extension. I am in the process of testing the new Sony FE 20mm F/1.8 with minimum focus distance of 18cm (the Tamron is 10.92cm). My lens will focus all the way to the glass with the 170 and 180mm ports. Photo touching the port glass, zen 170mm.
  11. Hi Eric, First of all 1:1 or life size on a full frame camera is an image area of apex. 36 X 24mm the frog photo is way greater than that, I would guess at least 1:3 or greater. With this lens to get to 1:1 the lens needs to be within 1 or 2 mm of the subject which just will not work with a dome port. The thickness of the port glass alone would prevent using it at full life size. With FF and a lens as wide as 15mm you would be best served with a 230mm or greater port diameter. Even if you were to use the lens for its excellent wide angle qualities by the time you added the gears it would not be cost effective. Rokinon/Samyang makes a 14mm F/2.8 AF lens for Canon, Nikon and Sony FF mirrorless which is also an excellent lens. This lens focuses to 20 cm which is a usable distance behind a 230mm port. You will find my review of that lens in back issue #112 jan/feb 2020 at uwpmag.com, this is a free PDF download. The Rokinon FE 14mmF/2.8 is now on sale in the US for under $500.00. This lens is a much better choice as a budget ultra wide (weitwinkel) rectilinear. Out of the water the Venus Laowa 15mm works quite well using focus peaking.
  12. The fisheye converter for the Sony FE 28mm F/2 snaps to the lens like a lens cap. The 28mm has a 49mm thread the new Sony FE 20mm F/1.8 (which shipped in the US today) has a 67mm threads so I would say not.
  13. Also Adam, Just out of curiosity I am interested to know why a firmware update which still does not raise the Z-cameras to the level of the current Sony tracking, eye AF, is in your words, "may make the Z series much more attractive for underwater use" I think theNikon Z6/Z7 are excellent cameras however they have few native lenses including NO Fisheye, (14-30 zoom and the coming 20mm). In November 2019 you rejected all Sony FF cameras for in your words, "The lack of a native fisheye makes it hard to justify the Sony full frame mirrorless cameras for underwater use when pretty much every other manufacturer offers one". I don't understand why the lack of a native fisheye would not apply to all camera brands.
  14. Hi Adam, The dome port used is the Ikelite Compact 8 inch dome with the 50mmport extension which is the Ikelite recommendation from the port chart. The dome port is the acrylic "Dry Lock" and it masters about six inches across and cost $350.00. The first image shooting up is at 17mm, ISO-640, F/18, 1/200th sec. This image also uses the S&S M82 internal correction lens which could be affecting the image with the smaller dome port. Second image is at 14mm, ISO-640, F/10, !/80th sec. Both images are full frame no crop.
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