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Everything posted by troporobo

  1. You might find my comparisons of the Subsee +5 and +10 diopters useful. The third set uses the Oly 12-50 lens at 50mm: https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/56141-comparison-olympus-m43-macro-options/ For what it is worth, a long time ago I tried one of the basic Inon close-up lenses with an Oly 14-42 lens and found it close to useless
  2. Great photos! The shots of your daughter looking like part of the pod will make a great memory for her
  3. What Tim says, exactly I would not carry IATA refs but I would carry whatever the airline says on its own website. People at the counter might say IATA doesn’t matter (it does) but it’s harder to argue with their own rules.
  4. I don’t believe this is correct, at least not universally so. I regularly hand carry a couple dozen lithium batteries (AA and camera) around Asia and across to Canada and the US, with the equipment in checked baggage. Never a problem. I’m sure the airline web site will have the rules for flights, if you can find them.
  5. Sometimes the sharks come really close, sometimes not. So I suggest a zoom. I took the same 12-50 lens there. The sharks were shy, but at the long end the lens really struggled to focus in the low light conditions. I got some good shots in the short to middle of that range. For that reason I would take the 9-18. But there’s no harm in taking both You know that strobes are not allowed, right?
  6. Allow me to suggest that you don’t always want “flat and even” lighting, for macro unless you want to produce straightforward ID images. Light and shadow need to be balanced. Backscatter needs to be managed. Backgrounds often need to be minimized. These objectives are not usually compatible with “flat and even” light. I had been pursuing the same goal. Most images were OK, some better than that, but few were outstanding. My biggest revelation came on a weekend when I (inexplicably) left my strobe arms at home, and had to jury rig one strobe to the cold shoe on top of the housing, literally strapped to the focus light mount with duct tape with no ability to swivel downward. I figured what the heck, it was worth a try. Somehow, I stumbled on a lighting setup that used the very edge of the light and produced better images than I had been making. Two examples below. Now I actively try to use just the edge of light when possible, aiming the strobes slightly outward or upward. Remember that strobes produce a cone of light at about 90-100 degrees. You also want the front of the strobe just behind the front of the port. I like them at 10 and 2 o’clock because it seems more natural to my eye to have the light coming from above the subject. I also frequently turn one strobe off, or turn one down to several stops if the shadows are too harsh. There are other ways to set up that might seem counterintuitive. Martin Edge’s book The Underwater Photographer and Ales Mustard’s book Underwater Photography Master Class both have lots of good material on strobe positioning. There are many good tutorials on this and other topics available on line: Backscatter tutorials UW Photo Guide tutorials Dive Photo Guide tutorials Good luck, and have fun!
  7. These are all wonderful, but I find the cardinalfish and pipefish images spectacular. Again, well done!
  8. I tried several options including the stick-on lenses and none were satisfactory. For years now I have a "bifocal" mask with no correction for distance, and love it. Have a look here: https://www.seavisionusa.com/ I don't believe it is necessary to have 1/2 to 1/3 coverage for the close up correction. Think about bifocal glasses on land. They have much smaller crescents for reading. Also note that you need the "bifocal" part only for gauges and tiny critters, but not for looking through a viewfinder, that works according to your distance vision and the viewfinder's diopter correction. This topic has been covered a lot here, a search will reveal more opinions and options
  9. Novus 3 is supposed to scratch your port. To remove a scratch, you have to remove material around it. Then get progressively finer from the (intentional) scratching of #3, then to #2, until it is polished with #1. The entire surface of the port will look uniformly hazy after the first step with #3. From your photo, that step looks barely underway, and there are heavy scratches that will take considerable time and effort. Maybe it was an error, but you originally wrote your sequence as 1-2-3 when it should be 3-2-1. It does work, but it takes a lot of elbow grease. Hope this helps
  10. Excellent images. Tell us about your lighting setup, it produced fantastic results.
  11. The full list of m43 lenses is here. It's pretty much limited to Olympus and Panasonic. There are also some from Sigma and some specialty lenses like Samyang for fisheye that are not listed. Note that m43 is not the same as DX https://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/lens_chart.html
  12. I will start by saying that my equipment is not the limiting factor in getting better images, its the grey matter behind the viewfinder that holds them back! I see great images all the time shot on all formats. I'm a big fan of the m4/3 system in general and Olympus gear in particular - I've had three of them. I currently use an E-M1 mk II in a Nauticam housing. I shoot stills exclusively and macro with the 60mm lens probably 80% of the time and also use a Subsee +5 diopter which allows 2:1 magnification. The E-M1 has very good autofocus and decent continuous focus with tracking that I am starting to appreciate in some situations. The 60mm macro lens is super sharp. The m4/3 system with its 2x crop factor has obvious advantages for macro photography (and for wildlife, which I also do). The size and weight of the body and lenses are of course more travel friendly , but to be honest not a game changer compared to full frame once you pack the housing, strobes, batteries etc. For a benchmark, everything I need fits in a Pelican 1600. I have not used a full frame kit but I dive with people who do, and I believe that the IQ of both ecosystems is comparable. I will say that I have seen images from full frame systems that I don't think I could have made with my setup. This holds especially for wide angle. But I feel no compelling reason to change.
  13. Another vote for the Olympus 60. Great IQ, and with a +5 diopter you can capture really tiny subjects like anemone fish eggs. It works just fine in the port designed for the 12-50 zoom.
  14. Thank you all. I don't think it is a problem with the contacts as other flash units work fine and I am sure that it's not a setting issue, I have (painfully) become expert in the Olympus menu labyrinth. I like the idea of the Nauticam trigger but it is 4x more expensive than a new flash and I don't really need the additional features. It may just be bad luck, as failures are not discussed much on the various forums.
  15. This flash, which I need to trigger my strobes, seems to have failed completely and without warning. I know the hot shoe is working as expected because my above-water flash works fine. I have searched various forums without finding information on failures, but perhaps my Google-fu is not up to scratch. I know a few of you have this camera so wondering if anyone has had problems with the flash?
  16. I have one for sale. If you search the classified adverts for my user name you should be able to find it. I would do so myself but am on dodgy connection and about to go fully off grid in an hour. If you’re interested, shoot me a PM and I’ll respond before Thursday.
  17. Listen to tursiops! The 60 is a great lens, focuses quickly and is very sharp. I differ from his advice only in that I use autofocus, usually S-AF but if there is much movement from current or surge I will switch to C-AF. You can certainly use one strobe and get good macro photos but you will have harsh shadows. Video lights are not strong enough, once you stop down to get decent depth of field. If you're worried about the 60mm being "too much" here are two examples from a recent dive taken with that lens.
  18. Tim, thanks for the shout-out! Joanna, if you enjoy shooting WA, there are definitely opportunities in Anilao, but it is dependent on conditions. We generally get very good visibility from about December through March. But it can vary by site and season - we had fantastic vis 2 weeks ago. But now the rainy season has started so it's macro only until the end of the year. Good WA sites are Sombrero, Beatrice, Kirby's, and Saddle, and sometimes Bahura, plus the Dari Laut wreck. I am personally tending more toward close focus WA as a way to broaden my macro habit, and there are unlimited opportunities for that in Anilao
  19. I can't find anything about filters on any page. What am I doing wrong?
  20. Is there a way to show thread subjects rather than each individual post within threads when choosing Latest Activity? I liked this feature on the old version. The new version, which is much more visually appealing, requires a lot more scrolling.
  21. I was a regular out there years ago but haven't been in a long time. I can tell you that basing yourself in Gizo, Munda, or Uepi will yield all the opportunities for big pelagics that you could want. Grand Central Station near Gizo is great for sharks and tuna and is easily combined with a dive on the spectacular Toa Maru wreck. Uepi is known for the occasional hammerhead or tiger. Munda is in the middle of the Marovo lagoon and probably the prettiest spot for above water tourism. All of them are within a boat ride of each other so you can always do all the sites from any base. I don't have current info on the operators but I know that Dive Gizo is still there since the 1980s and still run by Danny Kennedy so he is a great source of information. In short it is a great destination.
  22. it looks like you have autofocus set to C-AF (continuous) and the camera is hunting in and out of focus as you weren't close enough to the fish for it to lock.
  23. Let me clarify that my reference to mediocrity was not image quality, but rather my perception, mindset and composition. Believe me, I also suffer not only from FOMO but also from AMO (actually missing out!). Here's an example. I shoot macro probably 80% of the time. Recently we decided to dive a very pretty reef so I rigged for WA. I have spent many years looking for mating nudibrachs without success. Guess what I finally found? A mating pair of nembrotha colemani. Aaarrrggghhh . . . . This was as close as my setup allowed, and my WA lens is nowhere near as sharp as my macro lens. For the compositionally minded, yes, I could have gone around to the left and isolated the pair against blue water but I didn't see the point with the WA lens. Fortunately we were able to go back the next day, this time rigged for macro, and found two more pairs, so I got the shots. I have had other dives where I am rigged for macro and we find something like a very cooperative hawksbill turtle or a large octopus or a big swirling school of barracuda. I get a slight twinge of regret but am mostly content to just enjoy watching them. However I get to dive a LOT so I know I will have other opportunities. I completely understand if someone dives only a few times a year that a versatile rig is perhaps a better way to go. I shot an Olympus 12-50mm lens with macro function behind the expensive Olympus port that allowed both zooming and switching to the macro function. And I got many very nice images. It is better for macro and portrait as the flat port makes the wide angle not as wide as you would like at times, but it works well at both ends of the range. And if you have a good diopter you can get close to 1:1. I sold that complete system minus the strobes for under $1350 and it took a while to get that price. I have seen others go for less here on WP. Here are two quick examples from that setup, one WA one macro (without diopter), to give an idea of the possibilities:
  24. Dude, relax. You are the one making assumptions. I have already explained that I don't have a subscription, and tried with tech support many times. You react with "probably you lost your license, just keep paying Adobe, then install other software you don't need, and you should have been working differently anyway". i am sure you're trying to be helpful. The advice just didn't fit my situation. So let's move on to other solutions.
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