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Everything posted by randapex

  1. Starbuck, Ok. I've lusted after those ever since I saw a photo by Berkley White of several in a row. I'd love to see some although up to now, no, I haven't seen any. Do they have them in Indonesia? Rand
  2. Thanks for the comments and compliments. Joe, it's cropped about 35%. The top had too much negative space. Probably not the best example to use as I've got plenty that aren't cropped but I just loved that shot too much not to share it. (edited for accuracy) Alex, I'm not sure how to answer your optics question. The photo Pictopia did of the Golden Roughead (Yes, that Golden roughead ) was very sharp and I didn't notice any CA or fringing. But, I'm not an expert on that. What I have noticed is when you do get it right, they can be incredibly sharp. I've read some negatives about the 2xtc but it may be that until you get it right, the results are less than spectacular. (Feel free to e-mail me for examples of crap shots, I've got a lot of them ) Arnon, the subject to port distance is about 5" or so. I didn't really look at it but it's enough that you don't have to get too close to the Fan or risk hitting the Pygmy. Kilili, Yes, rack out the lense all the way and then turn back just a hair. I use it in manual only. My port extension does allow the focus ring on the 105mm to be adjusted but, I don't use it as it's too easy to cheat back. And then you might as well not use the Kenko 2xtc. Starbuck, is this an amphipod? I've no idea other than it did jump up in the water column in a flea like manner and then settle back on the starfish:
  3. On my recent trip to Lembeh, I had a chance to hone my super macro skills. My previous two dive trips, much time was spent with the 105mm, 2xteleconverter and woody's diopter. I find the results really exciting as small details that aren't normally seen, reveal themselves. The eye of a blennie, for instance, goes from being a nice sharp image to an almost pixelated view as the structure of their eye becomes visible. The basic problem shooting this set-up is subject acquisition. Just finding the tiny critter in the frame can be frustrating. Especially when it's moving a bit. Pygmy Seahorses always seem to be turning and bowing down. And of course, the gentle rocking of the sea can move your body as well. The result of which, is lots of screaming and cursing into your reg. Deco can be a problem as well. These tiny creatures are usually found at 70' (23 meters) or deeper. 10 minutes can pass in a heartbeat with nothing accomplished beyond getting in position and spending a ton of time working the grid trying to find the Pygmy. So it helps to have as much work done topside before descending. Strobes are set in position tight to the port, aperture pre-set at f25 shutter 1/125. LH strobe 2 clicks from full, RH strobe 3 clicks.The last thing you want to do is bring the housing away to check exposure and then re-start the process of finding the Pygmy. Install the 2x tc on the lens. Set the 105mm to manual focus and rack it all the way out. We want maximum frame filling images here. Now the fun begins, once the Pygmy is located, it's time to get the eye in focus and snap the shutter. No attempt is made at composition. Why? Because by the time the eye is sharp, something moves and it goes out of focus or you lose the subject completely. They field of view is so tiny, that even a 1/4" of movement, on your part or the subjects, can move it out of the frame. So, see a sharp eye snap the shutter. After you've got some nice clean shots in the can, go back and add composing to the mix. You may get one good shot before hitting deco... My original plan was to add the Woody's diopter as well but it was just too challenging already. Plus, the Pygmies were pretty much filling the frame as it was. Ok, enough talk. Here's a Denise Pygmy, Full frame: And a Barbiganti. (bit of a crop) I call this one the Bartender : Love to hear any feedback, good or bad. Rand
  4. Hi Alex, Hard for me to say your work needs...well work. But I know what you're wanting so I won't go on about how much I like them In no particular order, this is what, after several run throughs looking for any minor issues, I found: 1. The model in several shots seems to be a bit far back. In the blah zone I guess. 2. Some of the negative space with the model seems bleak. 3. For some reason, it bugs me that she's wearing shorts. FWIW, IMHO, etc. etc. Rand
  5. Hi Lambis. This is something I've played with a little but didn't really spend too much time on. But I'd like to try it again. One thing I found was not to shoot up. Just no way to get it black (Except at night ) Not the best example but the closest I've come. And, you need to accept that an image taken in fairly shallow water during a sunny day isn't going to be very black so Photoshop will be needed too. On this picture, shot during a sunny day, Bahamas (Where the water is incredibly clear and bright) in 15'- 5meters, settings f14 @ 1/250 Strobes at 3/4 power. Then I used levels and selective color to increase the black point. I know the sand in this one brightens up the shot but if it were mid-water, I think it would be fairly close to black. In fact, this shot would look better as black and white. Rand
  6. Good Luck Luiz!! And you are much closer to Lembeh! Rand
  7. Great interview Alex. Really like the black face on the, ah man, total mental block on the species... Rand
  8. Hi Caper, You have some good shots posted there. Lots of familiar critters too. But...No Warbonnetts???? What's up with that? My website has some coldwater shots as well. Port Hardy being my favorite dive location. We'll be back up in September. Rand
  9. A group of us dove the Sea of Cortez the second week of November and saw several Whale sharks. Club Cantamar has a spotter plane to find them in the Bay. Cost was only an additional $20 and we still did two dives after the Whaleshark snorkel. Vis was down in the bay of course that's why the Whalesharks were in. The other dive sites had great vis. 50'-100'. My understanding based on conversations with other guests and crew is that they are usually there that time of year. Oct-Nov A good bet in the spring/summer, as you know, would be Ningaloo.
  10. Kasey, great spread. My copy arrived yesterday. You photos are a cut above the standard with those pics. The blennie shot with the red negative space really jumps. Keep up the good work. Rand
  11. Here's an example of rear curtain sync: Rand
  12. Well, spectrally speaking , (is that really a word?) the Boxfish jumped out more than the rest. I think that's a special shot. My thought is, other than the Boxfish, if these were posted without comment, that I'd think they were done in PS. Even thought perhaps it would be impossible to do. But it's that Boxfish shot that leads me to the conclusion that you're on to something worth pursuing. I'd like to see a larger animal shot this way. Rand
  13. I'd look forward to meeting and diving with you if you can make it Luiz. Rand
  14. Just a heads up, if anyone's looking for a good camera dive trip. I'm doing a 10 day L.A. out of Kima Bajo April 15-28. I'm not organizing but can point you in the right direction if you. PM me. Rand
  15. Thanks Luiz, voted a few days ago and now, 2 of my 3 votes were gone??? Fixed it but just a FWIW. Rand
  16. My 2 cents: If you're not really into macro, then I'd go with the 105mm. It's fantastic for fish and other medium subjects. Sigma 15 FE for the wide stuff. Rand
  17. Luiz, Yes, that's it. Never dive without it. I really have to question the 20% though. It really seems more than that. Definitly have to do a test with and without the diopter now.
  18. Ack, Luiz is typing at the same time I am... Luiz, if the Woody's is 1.2-1, would that mean using it with the 2xtc push it to somewhere around 4-1? Rand
  19. Hey David, I purchased mine from Ryan at Underwater Camera Pros. It's a great piece of kit. At least you've some flexibilty with macro focus distances. Not sure what the reproduction ratio is, I think of it really as a way to reduce the minimum focus distance which results in the critter being larger in the frame. My inclination is to say it goes from 1-1 to 1.7-1 or something just short of 2-1. And yes, it fits the Subal flat port. Rand
  20. Lisa, I've got one more thing to suggest. The hotshoe connector in the housing is connected to a small circuit board that's mounted with 2 slot type screws. Disconnect the wires from the bulkhead(s) to the board and then remove the screws and board. Turn the board over and you will see all the small solder points for the printed circuits. Look closely, a magnifiying glass might help, and see if you see a kind of greenish scum in places. (This would come from the salt water leak), I used a small xacto knife blade to carefully scrape away this crud. I think the second time, I used just a toothbrush. Anyway, re-assemble and try it. I think this crud is causing a short and once removed, will allow the strobes to fire. If indeed the strobes do start to work, then I'd suggest ordering a new hotshoe connector kit and replacing the old one. Best of luck Rand
  21. I did a little research on this error message for a friend. Apparently, it's kind of a catch all error code. It's recomended to pull the battery and then re-insert it to clear the error. (Tough to do U/W ), and as James said, clean lens contacts. But, like a failing circuit breaker, in some cases, the error will pop up with increasing frequency until if finally won't go away and you'll have to send the unit in. Do a search on it in Google for (lots) more info. Rand
  22. Thanks Luiz, showing the "guts" of the system is really helpful. Glad you took the time to put this together. As a FWIW, I've never had this problem with my Inon Z220s. Frogfish, are you saying this has been an issue with the Inons? Rand
  23. Ok, here is one of the first shots from my first dive with an underwater camera system. (I don't count the film camera I rented a few months earlier for two dives, the film was lost in the mail so I decided to buy my own rig...and we all know where that leads... ) Anyway, Oly C4040 with Tetra housing. Single Sea & Sea YS90 strobe. March, 2002. I still remember this dive, shooting and seeing the black results in the LCD. Furiously turning knobs and pushing buttons until finally, something showed up in the screen. What's an f stop?? LOL! It may sound a bit patronizing but, it's sites like this one that helped me learn to take better U/W photos. I don't even want to think about where I'd be if my improvement had to rely solely on my own efforts. But I understand Joe's request, so, if there's just one or two points I'd like to convey, one is: "Get Closer". After you're done shooting the subject, see if you can cut the distance you've been shooting from in 1/2. The other would be, make a plan ahead of the dive. It's really rewarding for me to get a shot that's planned out in advance. Keeping with the "Togetherness" theme of my first pic...Before I left to dive the Sea of Cortez last month, I'd mentioned to Todd that my goal was to get a nice Sealion shot with the sun in the background: Rand
  24. Happy birthday Eric. Hope it's a great day for you. Rand
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