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randapex

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Everything posted by randapex

  1. Congratulations Eric, one of a kind shot for sure. Eye grabbing. Rand
  2. Off to T&C tomorrow. If I can remember to do it, I'll shoot some 60mm "with and without" the diopter shots and post them on my return. I'll make a note of the approximate MFD differences as well. Kasey your point is well taken on the 60mm but it also fits the 105mm and with the extra working distance, it's nice to pop a Woody's on and move in. Rand
  3. Hi Arnon, The Woody's allows a closer approach. Minimum focus distance is reduced by several inches with the 60mm. So the subject will be larger in the frame. Rand
  4. And, although no one asked, here's a shot taken with the 60mm in my dome when the rest of my dive and camera gear was delayed by the airlines. Used a small extexnsion ring ahead of the dome:
  5. Mike, my diving is for the better good. I do this not for myself, but for all...(insert BS smiley here____) Rand
  6. Hi Kilili- Thanks for the report. And, it sounds like Subal has a few problems to solve common to most of the D2x housings. Is there anyone out there that hasn't had a problem with the command dial? My soloution was to loosen the allen screw and move the wheel forwad and re-tighten. This eliminates the springing that apparently is supposed to keep the rubber wheel firm against the command dial and the rubber wheel is now ridgid. 100+ dives since this adjustment, no problems and I've been to 130' with no issues. Leak detector went off with a miniscule amount of water and would never stop blinking. Weeks later it still blinks so I'm getting that replaced. Hair dryer for the focus gears...Yep. Occasionally tighten the plastic screws too. Also use the Ultralight handles, mounting the strobes on them. This frees up the other strobe mounts, one of which I'm using with ULCS arms to mount my Fix light to. No other housing issues to date. The 1/4 turn to lock on the ports is scary though as on one dive, I mangaged somehow to bump it enough to turn it a 1/8 turn back and these ports aren't all that tight to the housing to begin with. I've used the housing with and without the eyepiece. I'd hate to go dive without it. YMMV. Rand
  7. Ahh cropping, that's one that gets the juices flowing. Ok, now that I'm shooting with fixed lenses, it seems more times than I'd like, I'm running into shots where the minimum focus distance stops me from getting the exact composition that I'd like. The inference is always: "If you're cropping a shot, you're not composing properly". So guess my question is, if you find a three headed seahorse giving birth and you're down to 100 psi, and just as you snap the shot a Parrot fish swims over the top of your frame creating new reef, do you toss the shot? Ok, that's a bit over the top but, I'm just not seeing the issue with cropping macro shots if you're up against MFD. Rand
  8. Lambis, Yes, it's been through the Raw converter and PS. If I can't adjust the photo in a few minutes, I don't keep it. The best ones never need much adjusting. Rand
  9. Hi Lambis, I'm not a freediver, doubt if I ever will be. But, had an opportunity to shoot Dolphins in the Bahamas without scuba. This was done with mask, snorkle and fins. I really didn't think I'd have any success as my breath hold ability is not good. And, I'm, Uh, very bouyant. Anyway, what I found worked best was to watch the histogram, and choose settings while floating on the surface and pointing the housing straight ahead. Held just under the surface. Since the Dolphins move fast, the shutter was easy, 1/125 to stop the action. Then, set the aperture and shot some of the other people and used the histogram to check my exposure. Shooting raw gave me a few stops + or - to play with after the fact. Used AF-C and closest subject priority. But these choices were specific to what I was shooting. Here's a favorite: f13 @ 1/125 15mm AF-C Closest subject priority, no strobe. If you're not using a strobe, then I'd concentrate on exposing the water properly and let the subject go black. It's just as easy to set W/B afterwards so I shoot auto W/B. You're shooting digital and as you say, can dive all day. Good luck. Rand
  10. Mike, The terms are the same, the technique isn't. (the same as darkroom use) Alex, your quote should be in lights: "Shoot knowing what you want to do"...
  11. Always liked reading others views on this question. If I were running a photo comp. and my goal was to show the skills of the photographer U/W, not their photoshop talent, my rules would be: Raw adjustment in converter Adjustments in PS: Levels-color-contrast-shadow/highlight-unsharp mask to the image as a whole. That's it. The burn/dodge tool is too powerful IMHO. Removal of backscatter is a no no. This falls under removing an element from the shot. I shoot a lot of cold water as well. There are ways to minimize or eliminate backscatter with proper strobe placement and use of negative space. (And someday, I hope to learn how) On the other hand, if you're cleaning up a shot for your own use, as a print or whatever, then I say anything goes. This is the creative side of the hobby that should be enjoyed to it's fullest. Why leave a big blob of crap in the middle of an otherwise beautiful shot. I was impressed with Alex's cloned shots of the flying Pygmy and only wish my skill with PS were as good. I'd frame that shot in a minute and be very proud of it as a work of art. All IMHO Rand
  12. Good looking housing, I like the design of the shutter speed control. Rand
  13. A select group of images that reflect your vision and talent Alex. Not often I look at an U/W photo gallery and want more. It's great to see those inspiring images and say "I must go diving, you've given me an idea!". Rand
  14. Some tremendous shats there. Really love the white frog fish. Is it free swimming? Total black background really sets that shot off. My moisture alarm also went on and has not re-set itself so I've got a new one on order. It seems very sensitive to even the slightest dot of water. I'd pulled the back off mine in Lembeh just before a dive to take a topside shot and the alarm started blinking during the dive. Came up to find just a spot of moisture between the sensors. Tasted it and it was fresh water. Obviously condensation formed from taking the back off in that humidity. Again, great shots. Rand
  15. Karl, this was shot out at Niihau where the vis was un-real. So far I couldn't even put a number on it. Looking down from the boat, it was by far the bluest water I'd ever seen. I mean blue. If only a whale was swimming by Herb, yes, it was near mid day on that dive and it was blazing. 60'. +or-. I'm really looking forward to getting to the Sea of Cortez as the Sealions there make perfect subjects for this type of shot. And you're right, don't know why I thought that a different approach was necessary just because it was a new camera. Ryan is bringing some Subtronics to T&C for me to try. I've had a bit of trouble lighting my macro shots with the TC and 105mm as well. Rand
  16. I've been wanting to shoot sunbursts with my D2x but haven't found anything close to the right subjects to place within the frame with the sun. I thought, what's the point. Well as I found out, the point is, it's a little different shooting with this camera than the D70 with it's higher flash sync speed. And in general, the few shots I've taken "on the wing" have been pretty ugly. In fact, I was beginning to wonder if the D2x couldn't handle the sun as well or maybe, and more likely, I'd lost my touch. So, I decided to go ahead and shoot sunballs in Hawaii, with or without a foreground subject and get some idea if it was me or the camera. My first dive, there were some turtles but the shots came out horrible. I mean BAD!. After reviewing them, it seemed my shutter speed when exposing for ambient light, was very low. 1/80 which in the past has not been very productive, but I was trying f22 to tone down the sun. So, later in the week, I gave it one more try. Ignoring the little meter, I started at 1/250, max shutter speed for syncing with the strobe, and worked with aperture only. Spent the dive shooting W/A but again, nothing seemed to work with either C/F W/A or a critter swimming high and tight. With a few moments to burn before my SS, I shot directly into the sun. Nothing to obscure, just me against 'Ol Sol: f10 @ 1/250 Sigma 15mm FE Note: After seeing this posted, there seems to be a little pink in the sun ball that's not in my original or if it is, not as pronounced. My post processing skills suck so it probably can be remove or toned down further by someone that knows what they're doing. It's the overall result that I'm trying to show in any case. Rand
  17. Hi Joe, That Pygmy, too cool. Love the way he's "glaring" at you. Really nice shot. And your Batfish. I've yet to see one and you get it near the surface with reflection. Great pic. Rand
  18. Thanks for the comments. Karl, yes I've used it with the 105mm. But, with the 60mm, cutting down on the water between subject and lens, seems to really sharpen the overall image from what I was getting with the 105mm. Reminds me a bit of using the stack macros on the 5050. You get very close to the subject. The 60mm seems to be a better option for slow moving or stationary subjects. You wouldn't think that little bit of water would make much difference but to me it's pretty obvious as the images are much sharper. To my eye anyway. It's such an inexpensive piece of glass, I'm really impressed with the results myself although, I seem to recall some saying it wasn't really all that good. So, that's what I'm asking for. Overall opinions on the sharpness or anything else. I've taken to looping the lanyard through my spoting light arm and letting the diopter hang loose until needed. Rand
  19. Alex, Ok, now I get it. Wasn't sure what you meant by the "Magic" reference. Guess I need to spend more time watching these threads...except diving is so much more fun! Put me down for two, 10.5 and the Sigma 15. Thanks, Rand
  20. Took these in Kauai last week and got some fairly decent shots with the Woody's diopter attached to the port. I'd be interested in any feedback with respect to the diopter's affect on quality. Found it a nice alternative to being so confined when using the teleconverter. Rand
  21. Mike, you've been gone too long. Very common in BC, not sure if it's a young Blackeyed goby or maybe a blackspot. Not too up on the Gobies names here. This one is from Barkley Sound. Rand
  22. I love Herb's shot as well. Here's a couple attempts:
  23. I'm not convinced that using the 2x results in un-acceptable photo quality. Frankly, my goal is to spend enough time with this set-up to show that the photos are up to snuff. It's just the right dive trip conditions need to present themsleves. One more with the 2xTC: Rand
  24. I've been working a little with the 2xTC on my 105mm. Never really had it on where the conditions were perfect as the magnification doesn't allow much in the way of water movement. And, I've ended up with lots of junk as well, but it's great when it works. Shot this in Florida a couple weeks ago: Rand
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