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Everything posted by randapex

  1. Mine worked fine as is with Subal. By that I mean no modification from when I used them with the D70 and Oly 5050. Rand
  2. I have 4 lenses. Of them the 15mm seems to gather the most dust. As Alex said, the 10.5 is such a, well, just a fun lens to shoot. Nail a shot with it and they are really awesome. Other 2 are the 105mm and the 60mm. Larry said it. You need to decide what you want to do, hit all the critters on the reef with an ID shot or make a plan, select a lens and execute it. Neither is a bad choice. I can see where it might not thrill you to wait out one or two subjects for a particular shot when you can be burning up the pixels on a variety of shots. Rand
  3. Hi J.C. I recognize those guys! Two things jump at me. First is, you seem to be shooting at extremely wide apertures. DOF is blurring too much of the subject for my taste. Except for the Blackeyed Gobi. That's in a perfect postion for minimum DOF and is a really nice pic. The other is there seems to be some fogging??? It may be the result of the DOF making everything so blurry but especially the first shot looks like some of my old 5050 shots when the housing fogged up. Rand
  4. Congrats Julie. Wetpixel member, and a buddy, Darek Sepiolo took second in W/A and his names up again in for HM in the portfolio. Good job Darek. Rand
  5. Great shot Larry. Works well B/W. Nice moody, isolated, expansive feel to it. The 10.5 is such a cool lens. For people stuck between choosing the Canon and Nikon, it's that lens that tips the scales. I'd hate not to have it with me. Rand
  6. Yea, you're right about the W/A. I think it's just the macro stuff is so colorul too. But Alex, Karl and others have posted some pretty awesome W/A stuff here in the past. I've been lax in that area so... Rand
  7. Suppose it's no surprise one of my favorites was shot with the 2xTC. Several previous dive trips were dedicated to learning the best way to shoot it. Thanks to the photogs here, some good advice on strobe positioning and helping me understand about the true f stops and how the sharpness of the image was affected. Anyway, a common subject (For Lembeh). My goal was to get these little guys as close to filling the frame as possible. I think this particular shot captures the shy nature of the Pygmy without it being the typical back of head shot. D2X, 105mm, Kenko Pro 2xTC. f22 @ 1/80. Nudi Retret, Lembeh. Rand PS: Alex, where did you find that beautiful anemone?? Color is exquisit.
  8. Kasey, I'll be at Buddy dive from the evening of the 2nd through the 11th. Fly out on the 12th. Ryan will also be there along with our group. So yes, if it's possible, lets get together for at leas a beer if not some dives. Drop me a PM here if you want to get specific. Rand
  9. Sigma 15mm Minimum focus is: 5.9" the Nikon 16mm is 10.2. Nikon 10.5 is 5.5". I've got the Sigma 15 but rarely shoot it but may just for comparison.
  10. Maybe that's why the 10.5 appeals to me. Shooting from the hip, or sand as the case may be, allows some fudge factor in the composition. I'm off to Bonaire in a week and a few days, and I'll see what subjects work with the 10.5. 24-7 shorediving should give me an opportunity to sort through some of this. Although I get the feeling we're not looking for the same type of shot. Which is fine of course. Rand
  11. Hi Alex, Great subject. I've done a little of this and at some point, wish to really get these types of shots cooking. It's been such a long road mastering the 2xtc that I've not really spent the time on this that I'd like to. What seems to interest me is the 10.5. It's a big field but, with the right subject, can yield really special photos. Your first shot is an example of what I mean. Really like the "Big Picture" look to that shot. My first tries on this with a Frogfish, resulted in a dark subject as I was barely an inch or so from the Froggie. This of course was necessary to get him somewhat prominent in the frame. But impossible to get any light on it and light the surround area as well. One thing that helped me, was removing my spotting light from it's center mounting arm and replacing it with a YS90. Used a single cord to the LH strobe and a dual sync cord on the right to fire both RH and center strobes. You can put the strobe just at the point the glass for the dome starts or maybe pull it back just a hair. Surprisingly (Well, to me anyway) it did a great job of lighting the subject. Here are two shots with that setup. Although it doesn't really look like it, I was just inches from the Yellow one. He was small too. Maybe 4" long. And Thanks Alex. Rand
  12. Hi John, last summer we stayed a few days at Turtle Cove and dove with Provo divers. (Was there for the Aggressor L.A. but stayed a few extra days) Was happy with both operations. The Hotel is typical middle of the road type place. Close to several restaurants, Liquor store and right on the water. The Dive op was great. After the initial dives, they pretty much let us do our own thing which is always appreciated. You'll find both W/A and macro there. So maybe 15mm and 60mm?? Rand
  13. Took me a second to make the connection with the avatar. Congrats Patrick! That's a great shot. Rand
  14. Should have mentioned that under any circumstances, it's not easy (well for me) to shoot this set-up. There's a lot of OOF crap too so, don't feel like you should nail a bunch of shots. It's like anything really, practice and lots of it. LChan, the 105mm gives you more working distance so, you don't scare your subject as easily but you sacrifice some clarity as the water column increases as you move back. ScubaSI: Although it subject to change, my starting point typically is 1/100 @ f22. Then adjust. The Gobi with it's mouth open was f18. Mike, one thing I've found as necessary to the point of being crucial, is focal plane. Learning to tilt the port so that the bits I want in focus are equi-distance from the lens is very important. Should have mentioned that. Thanks, Rand
  15. Thought I'd share some of what I learned in Lembeh last month. Shooting almost exclusively with the 105mm and the Kenko Pro 2xTeleconverter. I'm not trying to come off as "this is how it's done", more of, here's what I've found out by banging my head on multiple dives. Until this trip, I'd been adding the TC to the 105mm lens, racking it out all the way and then using the "rocking focus" method to nail the eye or whatever part was the focus point. I've found that the 105mm racked, without the TC gets you the same reproduction ratio if you cheat back from your subject more than about 3" with the teleconverter attached so, what's the point of adding the 2xTC if you're not going to utilize it. Rack it out and leave it there for maximum magnification. The huge issue with this technique, in particularly with Pygmy's (Which frankly, I didn't really shoot that many of this time) is acquiring your subject. It's just hard to find them with this high magnification. So, this trip, I used the focus knob, cheating back until I spotted the critter then slowly move in, turning the focus knob at the same time until I'd bottom out. This worked quite well. It also gave me some flexibility for shooting a bit larger subjects that would over fill the frame at the extreme focus end. So, I've found it's Ok to cheat back, as long as there is method behind it. Many people have asked me why not go with the 60mm and 2xTC to reduce the water column? My answer has been DOF is so thin, that if you're not careful, you'd be pushing your housing into the Seafan (Or what ever critter you're shooting) with such a short subject to port distance. Towards the end of my week, and this is after doing perhaps 100 dives with the 105mm/2xtc over the last year, I decided to shoot the 2xtc on the 60mm. Having honed skills on the longer distance, and knowing quite a bit more on what it takes to acquire the subject, this to me is a next logical step. Although it was just one dive, I'm pretty excited about seeing results from the 60mm now as the water cloumn is reduced by several inches. Also, it was mentioned to me a while back by someone here that they didn't much care for black backgrounds. Pretty much took the comment to heart as it was a goal of mine to find attractive negative space first, then hope like hell something would swim through it. I'll post a few shots for examples of the latest foray. The rest should be up on my website in a few more days. First up, my favorite of the trip (fullframe): My caption for this one: "A Fixlight is how much??" Couldn't help a little black here. And this odd ball shot of an Anemonefish, maybe a 1/2" big, swimming in the coral. Had I not left the power cord for my Laptop at home , and could have seen this shot large, I'd have definitely spent more dive time on working this. Didn't want to detract by adding my copyright. The patterns are sooo cool. (cropped) Rand
  16. After flooding two $400 lights on one dive trip, I was reduced to my back up. I'd seen this light on another diver and asked about it. He was using it for a regular dive light. So I ordered one just before my Indonesia trip. After using it on 10 or so dives, I found it quite functional other than having to point it a little more precisely than a Fix light. ULCS makes a nice little cradle piece that will attach it to you ball arms. 50 hr. burn time, yes that's right 50 hours. Uses 4 AA batteries. And for $51.95 it's a price we can live with. Coast LED Lenser Rand
  17. Incredible water clarity there. My favorite is the Wrasse O/U. The shark with the Travellies is also a nice set-up. Have to admit, I've no idea where Rangiroa is. Guess I'd better look at the map. I get a black line at 1/400. 1/320 is no problem. Rand
  18. To further expand on the 60mm with TC... In too much of hurry one day, I mounted the TC to my 60mm. Was waaaay too close to the subject for that setup. It's very difficult to acquire your subject, the DOF is so shallow, you can miss it and the next thing you know, you're up against it. The 105mm (100mm in your case) lets you stand off just enough to prevent damage to the subject or it's enviroment. Not saying you can't use the 60, just be very careful. I'm using the Kenko Pro 2xtc. I've not tried anything else so, no advice other than to say I've been happy with the results. Rand
  19. I put one strobe on a single cord and then the other two on a 'Y' cord. Here's the one that got me thinking about it. I'd shot this on the first dive trying to light the stuff under but not getting any on the froggy. Or at a minimum, odd partial lighting.
  20. Hi Kriptap, You won't need a diopter. What you will need is a third strobe to light the critter that's 1 inch from the dome though. Was doing some C/F W/A shots with frogfish. I couldn't light it and the reef around it with two strobes. So, I added a third over the top of the dome to light the froggie. Thankfully, he was still there when I went back. It may not look like I was all that close but he's only 3 inches long and no more than 2 inches from the dome. Note the tunicate in the lower left for size reference. You will love shooting that lens. Rand
  21. Check out Padi's new front page. Todd's Scuba Diving Dolphin cover is being used in the photo rotation. They have also linked to his gallery. Congrats Toddy! Padi front page And this page has the link to his gallery: Todd's gallery link Rand
  22. Hi Cor, You can pickup the Visa in the Airport at Port Moresby. There was a counter as you entered. But you will have to pay in Kina so, not sure where you're coming in from. Cairns for me, but pick up some at the Currency exchange prior to departure as you'll need it on arrival. The Visa is 100kina. Rand
  23. Hi Tony, Kimbe Bay. PNG. From Walindi Resort, I did two dives on the Zero, the first, the water was very clear but the second dive, it was much more clouded. It's in 50' (18m) and not all that far from shore. Believe there's a river that empties into the bay. I was very happy we had a second chance to do the dive because on the first one, I'd spent all my time shooting and realized afterwards, that I hadn't really "Looked" at the plane. It's condition is unbeliveable really. The canopy is shoved back. It looks like the Pilot was able to get out before it sunk. No one could find any indetifiying numbers so, it's a bit of a mystery. But I found it very easy to look up in the sky and imagine this thing coming down... Here's a shot from that second dive. Converted because of the crappy vis: Rand
  24. Joe, The Fix light has a removeable battery. A spare battery is about $100 which seems high until you consider that I needed 2 Modlights (at $400 a pop) to be able to drop in an hour for another dive. Plus, the Mod lights take several hours to charge while the Fix light battery charges in less than a hour. Rand
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