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Phil Rudin

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Everything posted by Phil Rudin

  1. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the Backscatter Mini flash and snoot.
  2. All of these lenses are closeup lenses of different powers expressed in diopters. What makes the Nauticam CMC and SMC lenses a cut above is the design of the lenses. With any macro lens the placement of the closeup lens in relation to the macro lens makes a big difference. If the distance between the C/Uand the macro lens is even 2 or 3 millimeters the amount of magnification begins to drop. If the macro lens does not sit very close to the port glass you loose magnification. If the C/U lens sits forward on the outside of the housing you loose magnification. The Nauticam closeup lenses and flip adapters are designed to reduce this distance from the macro lens. All of the C/U lenses you have referenced above except for the Nauticam are designed so that the lens elements are flush with the 67mm threads on the back of the C/U lens. If you take a close look at the Nauticam C/U lenses you will see that the lens elements extend past the threads to get them closer to the port glass. To make this work you need to use a Nauticam flip adapter or the threaded adapter ring that comes with the Nauticam lenses. You won't see another lens being sold with this adapter ring. This 3 or 4 mm extension difference allows greater magnification with like lenses.
  3. The CMC-1 can be used with a 60mm on APS-C but results is less magnification, 1.5:1. On M43with a 60mm the magnification is 2:1. The SMC-1 while more expensive is the better choice especially if you move to full frame at some point.
  4. The SMC-2 requires a higher level of skill than SMC-1 and 1:1. This is a very niche item for the obsessed super macro fan. My suggestion is to turn off AF and set to manual. Set the 90mm macro at 1:1 and leave it. Then acquire focus at 1:1 once you have done that flip in the SMC-2 and move much closer to your subject to obtain focus. When you are in focus at 1:1 and use the SMC-1 you need to reduce subject distance by about 50% say eight inches to four inches, SMC-2 is about 1/2 the distance as SMC-1 or four inches to two inches. Not aware of your skill level but these are toys that are not easy to use. When I have used SMC-2 and shot 150 images on a dive I will be lucky to get 5 or 6 in focus at F/18 to F/22. Lighting is also a bitch because you are so close to the subject and the obvious damage you can cause if you bump the subject is also a concern. The biggest issue for all super macro is subject selection, at times it is hard to find a subject so small that is not very three demential to photograph. With full frame at this magnification DOF is razor thin so most subjects will only be partially in focus.
  5. If you purchased the CMC-1 new it should have come with an adapter ring and storage bag. the adapter ring allows it to be used with most non-Nauticam flip adapters.
  6. As Vince said above the E 16mm for APS-C and the fisheye converter are marginal because the 16mm is so bad. The FE 28mm F/2 is a much better lens so I would expect better results. The Orange sponge shot is from a review I did of the A6400 and Ikelite housing with the 16 and Fisheye adapter. The fresh water shot was done with the Sony FE 28mm and the Nauticam WWL-1 for another review. Big difference in detail and much better than I would expect with the Fish adapter.
  7. I have attached the front page for my Sony a6400 review and I would agree with Jack regarding the A6600. All things being equal you will spend the same amount on housing, ports, gears, extensions, flash etc. for 6400 as you will for 6600. I consider the extra battery life and IBIS alone to be worth the $400.00 or so difference. If you chose to go with A6400 I have one for $775.00 shipped that is like new. You can also find my reviews for A7 III and A7R III in UWPMAG.com back issues. I like the 10-15 zoom for W/A and the Zeiss 50mm macro best.
  8. The S&S correction filter is used most for 16-35 zoom lenses because most lenses at 14mm are curved and don't take a filter. The 14mm is 7 degrees wider than the 16 which is a lot at the normal U/W range of three feet or less to the subject. The Olympus 7-14 zoom has the same 114 degree AOV as the Nikon Z 14-30 F/4. I used the 7-14 with 170 and 180 ports but did not get the corner results I was looking for until I went to the Zen Underwater 200mm optical glass port. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but with full frame you need large domes for expectable corner sharpness with rectilinear lenses and you need to be shooting at high F/numbers. I start at F/13 and higher using Sony FE 12-24 F/4 and 16-35 F/4 with a Zen 230mm optical glass port. Testing with a 170mm port and 16-35at 16mm are very poor, adding the S&S filter helps but most would still not be happy especially if you go to a 114 AOV rather than 107 degrees. Everything in photography is a tradeoff and with FF one of those is larger dome ports, with like DSLR's lenses the ports for best results can be even bigger (250mm). The 240mm acrylic port sells for $750.00 in the US and the 165mm is around $450.00. The S&S correcting filter is around $400.00. your money would be more wisely spent to go with the 240 than with the 165+filter combo. The photo is taken with a Sony A7R IV (61mp) and a Rokinon AF 14mm F/2.8 at F/13, ISO500, 1/125th sec. using the Zen 230mm port.
  9. Thank you all for your interest in my article in UWPMAG.com. Your questions for the most part address the Sony A7R IV and the Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 macro lens. So let me start off by saying that I am Senior Reviewer for uwpmag.com and I have done over eighty equipment reviews for this magazine alone. Most of my reviews address mirrorless cameras from a number of manufactures and that I have not done much with Panasonic because the Editor is a Pana user and covers that equipment. Most if not all of the questions you have ask are answered in those reviews so I will highlight some of the specific issues you have ask about. First is the issue of comparing apples to apples. I am a big fan of 4/3 and M43 having moved from the Nikonos RS film camera to Olympus 43 (E-1, E-300, E330 E-3) as my first digital cameras. I later migrated to M43 with the first camera with an Olympus housing. So first I can assure you that shooting with M43 is not at all like using Full Frame or Medium Format. Both FF and MF require much more critical focus than M43 or even APS-C. The first Sony FF cameras I reviewed were the A7R II and A7 II with the Sony FE 90mm macro. At that time I said that the 90mm macro was the best macro lens I have ever used, prior to that it was the Olympus 50mm F/2 for 4/3. I have never said that the Sony 90 macro was the fastest macro lens I have ever used so let me clarify that distinction. With each new A7R the auto focus has improved and the recent firmware update for A7R III has made the camera even better but not as good as the RIV. As I covered extensively in both of my A7R IV reviews I have completely changed my auto focus setting preferences. With Olympus EM-5, EM-5 II, EM-1, EM1 II, Sony A7R II & III, Nikon Z-7, Canon EOS R and more I have always used AF-S with back focus because that was what worked best for me while reviewing equipment. I also had a manual focus gear for most of those reviews which I used with subjects in the 1:2 to super macro range. I have now gone to what Sony calls AF-C (auto focus continues) and Tracking: Flexible Spot S (also implemented in the A6400 & A6600). This has allowed me to abandon rear focus and I have yet the use the manual focus gear. I want to make this clear, other brands like Olympus have similar focus settings but they have just not worked all that well for me. Sony is a clear leader in the area of auto focus tech and to say that all mirrorless systems have adopted EYE AF may be true but they just don't rise to the quality of the Sony EYE AF. Sony has two native FE macro lenses the 50mm F/2.8 and the 90mm F/2.8 both of which are class leading. With the A7R IV you can toggle between 61MP FF and 26+MP APS-C which gives an equivalent 90 & 135 or 50 & 75. My personal preference is for the 90 over 100/105 because of the wider AOV, they all end up at 1:1 so you have a slightly wider range without having much closer. As a point of reference I have used the Nauticam SMC-2 with excellent results. That is more than enough magnification for me. Regarding adapted lenses like I used for my Canon EOS R and Nikon Z-7 reviews they are just not the same. Mirrorless lens design is just different from DSLR lens design. So while adapted lenses are quite expectable (I use the Canon 8-15 Fisheye zoom with Metabones for Sony) they will never be as good as like quality lenses designed for mirrorless. When Canon and Nikon introduced DSLR's they kept the same lens mount so film users migrate film lenses. How many photographers are still using film lenses on DSLR's only those that have converted Nikonos or Nikonos RS lenses for underwater use. I have done 1000's of dives with Olympus gear and I can assure you that it works very well but is not up to the current Sony standard for AF. Last I am not sponsored by anyone and while I have an opportunity to test a wide range of equipment the equipment I own I paid for just like everyone else. I was accused of being an Olympus fanboy for years and now the same is true of Sony. The truth is I buy what works best for me, I went back to Olympus after a short stint with the Sony A7R II/A7 II productivity decreased. Since the release of A7R III I have been all in with Sony. That does not mean that I would not switch again if someone builds a better mousetrap. All photos with the Sony 90 macro and Backscatter MF-1 flash.
  10. The new issue #112 of uwpmag.com posted today with my reviews of these new products, uwpmag.com is a free PDF download.
  11. The 230mm 9.25 inch port is optical glass and runs around $1760.00 new in the US. The 200mm 8" comes in acrylic with acrylic at around $550.00 new. Bigger is better for split shots, sharp corners with wide rectilinear lenses and more.
  12. The obvious upside to this new lens is that you can zoom through to 24mm which many older compact wet lenses do not allow you to do. The lens is very low profile, works with the bayonet mounting system to move between C/U lens and wide. Unlike the larger WWL-1 the WWL-C has a built in buoyancy collar.
  13. Hi Adam, sorry to hear you will not be joining use after DEMA, I would have been happy to let you use the Sony A7R IV which has excellent auto focus particularly when shooting AF-C with Lock-on AF expanded Flexible Spot. I have used the Canon EOS R and the Nikon Z-7 and they are simply not in the same class. I agree that lack of a native fisheye is still a problem but using the Canon 8-15 with Metabones is no different than using a DSLR lens on the ESO R or Nikon Z-6/7 with an adapter.
  14. Hi Jamie, I reviewed the new A6400 for uwpmag.com issue #108 May/June 2019. This can be found by going to the home page and finding back issues at the top of the page. The article is a free PDF download. The A6400 has excellent AF speed, eye AF both human and animal (which so far is not all that good for fish). Also excellent image quality for 24MP. The under $900.00 A6400 lacks the IBIS which the A6600 will have along with excellent AF and the huge upside of the newer Z battery which was left out of the 6400. This will more than double battery life. If you do macro I recommend the Zeiss 50mm macro which will also work with the Nauticam wet lens MWL-1, with theSony PZ 16-50 you can also use the Nauticam WWL-1 wet lens. Other lenses I have used and like are the Zeiss 12mm F/2.8 and the Sony 10-18 F/4 both work with the Nauticam 180mm port so that is the way to go if you like rectilinear lenses. If you want apples to apples performance wise with the D850 I am working on a review for the Sony A7R IV, excellent AF and tracking, weather sealing lots of excellent lenses, high battery life. You can quickly toggle between FF 61MP and APS-C at 26MP. This works great with lenses like the 90mm which acts as a 135mm on APS-C. Much much more, the review should be ready for the Nov/Dec 2019 issue of uwpmag.com
  15. Hello Sclarge, I sent a PM regarding one item of your equipment with no reply.
  16. I reviewed this camera in an Ikelite housing for issue #108 at uwpmag.com, free PDF download in back issue. The lenses I like most are the Sony E 10-18 zoom for wide and the Zeiss 50mm for macro. As stated above the 16-50 with a flat port and wet lens like the Nauticam WWL-1 is also an option. A very cheep solution is the Sony E 16mm with clip-on Fisheye adapter lens. The 18-135mm is an excellent above water/travel lens but not a lens that can be supported underwater. I have a like new A6400, 18-135 and awesome Zeiss 50 macro for sale, tropicalone@bellsouth.net for further information.
  17. For M43 format cameras. Nauticam N85-140mm Optical Glass Dome Port. Retail $1040.00 Nauticam Mini Extension Ring 17. Retail $210.00 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 8mm F/1.8 Pro Fisheye Lens. Retail $999.00 All three $1470.00 All items are like new in original packaging with instructions. This port also works very well with the Olympus 12mm F/2 and a Nauticam Mini 20 Extension. also selling the 12mm with optional Olympus lens hood and hard case. $575.00. Free shipping in the US. Contact direct at tropicalone@bellsouth.net
  18. The A6400 is an excellent camera and a great choice for U/W photography. Just named DPreviews best camera under $1000.00 because of its great image quality, stellar auto focus and tracking system. I reviewed the camera for issue #108 of underwater photography magazine, uwpmag.com using an Ikelite housing. The article is a free PDF download you can find in the back issues. You can PM me if you have any additional questions after reading the article.
  19. Longbord 1 please read this, several miss leading responses are made above. First the Ikelite housing for the Canon SL2 (and SL1 & SL3) supports the DLM port system not the DL port system. So all of the observations by Chris would not be relevant. Only the DL port system includes the Compact 8' port which is much different than the DLM 6" port. The DL Compact eight inch port is excellent when paired with the Canon 8-15mm Fisheye on a full frame camera, see my review of the Canon EOS R in back issue #106 of uwpmag.com. This is a free PDF download and the review was done with the Ikelite housing and Compact 8' dome. Because your camera has an APS-C and not a full frame sensor the 8-15mm zoom is a large expense unless you intend to move to full frame. The Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye zoom also has problems with zoom range and vignetting with your housing and port selection. J-S comments reference the Sigma 15mm Fisheye with the five inch Precision dome on a full frame camera. The Precision port and the Ikelite port DO NOT support the discontinued Canon 15mm fisheye because of the large difference in minimum focus distance between the two lenses. The Sigma focuses to around 6.5cm while the Canon is 20cm this makes a huge difference when focusing on the virtual image created by the port. The fact that the Canon 15mm works in your current system does not make it ideal by any means. I would be more inclined to invest in a new lens rather than a new port.
  20. My mistake on current ZEN 170mm domes the dome shade blades are removable. So if you already own that port and can remove the shade blades you would have an advantage for splits. Would not be my choice for any other full frame lens other than fisheye.
  21. Please Read because some of the information above is a bit incorrect. First the Sony A7 line of housings has an N-100 100mm port mount not N-85 so any comparisons are not valid. Using the Nauticam N100 to N120 35.5mm port adapter allows you to use N-120 ports and in the case of the Canon 8-15mm Fisheye the metabones adapter extends to the edge of the port adapter and then you use the Nauticam Canon port charts to find the extension for the 8-15 zoom. The proper extension for the 8-15 zoom is the N-120 30mm for the 18811 140mm fisheye port with removable shade and 30mm for the Nauticam fisheye port II and 30mm for the ZEN 230mm. Both have dome shades that can be removed for use at the extreme 8mm end of the lens. Be aware a 140mm port is made that does not have the removable shade. Zen also makes a 100mm with and without removable shade. The ZEN DP-100-N120-CR (For removable) would be the proper dome. The Zen 170mm and Nauticam 180mm ports ARE NOT fisheye ports and DO NOT have removable dome shades, so the 8mm end of the lens would be useless unless you crop out a good deal of the frame. I have used all three port sizes extensively and as you would expect the larger the port the better the image quality in the corners with apples to apples settings. I would agree that the 230mm dome is a bitch to travel with but I have managed to keep my carry-on roller bag to under 12kg by putting the housing without grips, lenses and bodies into my "computer" second carry-on bag. The larger upside to the Nauticam/Zen 230mm (I own the ZEN) beyond the obivious over/under upside is that the230mm port can be used with the Sony 12-24 zoom, 16-35 F/2.8 & F/4, Zeiss 18mm and more by using 20mm, 30mm and 40mm extensions.
  22. As Taxi has said the Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 is outstanding for any Sony E mount camera and on the APS-C is equal to 135mm on 35mm size sensor. I would also consider the excellent E-mount Zeiss 50mm F/2.8 macro which is made for APS-C sensor Sony cameras. I just used this lens for a review in the current issue of Underwater Photography magazine uwpmag.com with the new Sony A6400 and Ikelite housing. The Zeiss 50 macro gives a 75mm 31 degree AOV v. an 18 degree AOV with the 90mm. Bot angles of view are very useful for macro with the 90mm being better for super macro with add-on closeup lenses. The auto focus on the A6400 is way ahead of A6300/A6500 in speed and accuracy for both lenses.
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