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Everything posted by guyharrisonphoto

  1. Is there a dive set-up guide out there for The Sony A1? I searched the forums here but did not find anything. Thanks!
  2. There are two versions. The one with the balls is not designed for long arms, heavy lights and strobes, but only for very lightweight rigs (go pros, point and shoots) with correspondingly small lighting. The big version is for the big rigs, where the lighting is connected to the camera housing in the traditional way and not to the camera mount. I have the prior version of their pro mount which mounts via a cam band and not the straps, and I actually prefer that overall, although the arca release plate on this new one looks even more robust than mine. I mount a Nauticam housing for Sony full frame plus a port, and the WWL 1 lens, plus long arms, retra strobes, and a video light, and it is a big and heavy rig (not as bad though as a DSLR with a dome) and even my version of the older pro mount takes it all very well. Scootering with it is a pure joy compared to kicking it around, especially in a current. The new small one looks phenomenal as a tripod for stationary work. But, I think the allen screws shown on the pro could be removed and a ball mounted there if desired. Would be worth asking Dive-X about that. OOPS! Just watched the video. Indeed, balls can be added to the pro mount where the allen screw is.
  3. So, as a rough calculation, for recycling anything up to 100 w/s, the Prime and Pro will take basically the same time to recycle, as the Pro is only recycling to 2/3 of its capacity, and the Pro will take longer only to reach its full capacity? If so, then you could set the Pro to 2/3 on the output dial and have, essentially, a "Prime" equivalent performance? Also, question about the battery capacity check function on my new Pro-X. The manual says the battery check is calibrated for "Eneloops". Does this mean it will not be accurate for Eneloop Pros? I hope to shoot these new babies this weekend!
  4. I have the LSD with the mount for the original Retra--do I need a new mounting module for the Pro X? Also, a different question. Since the original Retras are so good for snooting, is there a way to replace the pilot light with the newer brighter one?
  5. I want to paint one of my fin blades white to use for white balancing while I dive while keeping both hands on the camera. Is there a particular "shade" of white that would be the most color accurate for this? And what brand of paint would be good for plastic? Thanks!
  6. They don't exist on Facebook any more. Their website is blank. Guess I am out of luck. Too bad, it really seemed like a superlative product.
  7. Hi Oscar What firmware updates are there for the original retras that I have? I have not needed service since I bought them from your very first batch as they perform flawlessly, but am going to sell them as my Pro-Xs will arrive today, and am wondering if it is worth it to get the latest firmware. Especially with regard to the additional battery packs.
  8. I like to shoot a lot in portrait orientation and it is very difficult to rearrange the flashes, etc. I saw this tray years go. I would be interested in buying one if there are any still out there. Thanks!
  9. Was wondering what people's experiences have been with the Panasonic S system. I am debating whether to house my S1R.
  10. There is a new APSC player, and that is the Nikon Z50 with basically the D500 sensor (with phase detect added) and which can take Nikon's excellent fisheye zoom on the FTZ adapter. and also the Nikon 40 and 60mm macros. don't know how prices compare as I am not sure the housing is out yet but it should be very soon. Should not be a whole lot bigger that M43. But, I can't say how the AF compares.
  11. I use mine on the strobe arm. First saw this when I was blackwater diving and the folks said it was the best way to keep track of your depth since there are no visual references and it was right next to the camera viewfinder so no letting go and twisting your wrist, etc. It worked so well that it is my standard configuration all the time now. Oscar, on my computer (Galileo) the compass is tilt-compensated so that I can navigate with it just by leveling out the strobe arm with the computer facing me at an angle. If the dive required serious ultra-precise navigation then I could always wear my old SK-7 on my wrist, but I have not needed that yet (most of my diving is in clear water, though). My computer is AI so I have all info directly in my view immediately when I take my eye off the viewfinder. It's the best! Also works great when I mount my camera on my scooter.
  12. Has Nauticam tested the WACP with Sony mirrorless lenses? Sony has a 28-70 or so slow kit lens which is supposed to be only fair optically. Tamron just introduced a 28-75 2.8 which is supposed to be superb. I would be interested to know if Nauticam (or anyone) has evaluated the WACP with either of these lenses, and especially the Tamron. Thanks!
  13. I think you are pretty well set with your rig, you have all the basics covered. A wet lens on the 14-24 could substitute for your wide zoom/dome setup, and make your rig more compact for travel.
  14. Well, it's a question of choice for the OP. Spend the money on better flashes, or spend the money on a new fisheye lens and dome. The cost is going to be about the same, I suspect. My thought was that, since the OP has wide angle covered pretty well, the flashes would add something more valuable than a fisheye. Also, the post raised the question as to whether a fisheye would replace a rectlinear wide angle zoom set-up. My personal opinion is that it would not, as you lose too much versatility, but, that is my opinion. If the OP does not want to invest in flashes, then the idea of selling the 8-16 and dome, and then adding the WWL-1 to the 12-50, and also adding a fisheye and dome, makes sense, as it gives both capabilities.
  15. You have an excellent setup, lens wise. I shoot the same exact gear, except I use the Panasonic 7-14 for wide. I would not add the fisheye. You have good wide capability already. I have the 12-25 for mid-range animal work and fish portraits, combined with its handy macro mode. A very handy all-around lens and adding the WWL-1 gives you an "all around" ultra-wide (weitwinkel)-to-midrange-to-macro capability on a single dive that no other package can match. Reef Photo has a good article on this on their website. Personally, I do not prefer the fisheye look for reefscapes or animals. I prefer rectlinear, and the versatile framing/perspective of the zoom, and this times ten when you are shooting animals. Fisheye gets repetitive in its "look", and the fisheye shooters I deal with for goliath grouper and turtles have to chase the animals to get right in their faces, needless to say scaring them more often than not, and not exactly enhancing the joy of the other divers. Same problem with gopro users. But, not to say not to add one later if it fills some unique need. First, I would invest your funds in stronger flashes--that would, I think, pay far more dividends. A couple of YS D2s would light up pretty much any scene you want. I bought two Retras when they first came out, to replace my YS-01s , and the difference those made in my images was more than anything adding another lens would have done.
  16. I shoot mirrorless, and I agree that an external viewfinder is an incredibly good investment. I would go with the 45, for sure. It sounds like macro is on your agenda and the 45 really shines in this area. Don't get me wrong, the 45 is still easy to get used to for midwater shooting, similar to the 180. But, the 180 will never get you as close to the reef and "down at the animal's level" when you are doing macro.
  17. Hi Oskar, does this mean that the new Retra Pro will be compatible with the typical Eneloops, but you will also offer the proprietary battery pack? Will this proprietary pack offer half the recycle time and double the number of flashes (like the battery pack extension did with the original Retras)?
  18. There is a distinction between harm to the animals and harm to the dive experience. It looks like flashes don't physically harm the animals themselves. I am sure the same would be true for video lights. But, the harm to the dive experience by disturbing the animals and causing them to flee is an whole different thing. The thresher sharks are a classic example. Given the rarity and expense of the dive, and the expense and effort just to get there, are the operators going to take the chance that flashes or video lights are going to cause the sharks to flee? Similarly, if lots of flashes causes a pygmy seahorse to want to move deeper into the sea fan, out of view, then it makes sense to limit how much irritation you can inflict on it. Common sense needs to come into play. Classic example, there is an area near me where we can see sawfish. This is a new and very exciting discovery. I use a scooter with a camera mounted. But, before I went to the dive, I asked the operator if the scooter was OK or would it disturb the fish. He said they were very skittish and I should leave the scooter behind, which I did. I then asked, because of what he sais, if I should set up for wide angle or mid telephoto and he sald the latter. He was entirely right, the fish were very skittish and difficult to approach, and took off if you got within about 10 feet of them. Needless to say, gopro people were not welcome, either, needing to rush the fish just to get close enough. My mid telephoto setup was absolutely the proper thing. But, with the water conditions, it was not conducive to great photos with flashes, so I did not really get anything worthwhile as far as photos go. As far as the dive goes, it was amazing. Saw six of those things, one of the strangest big animals under the sea. Sometimes, our desire to photo and video things must take a backseat to the dive itself. But, that has nothing with harm to the animals.
  19. Alex are using the Z-cams underwater? Any thoughts or is a review coming up?
  20. Interested in the above question as well. Also, are you coming out with a remote trigger for the strobes? Finally, what firmware update will be coming for the existing strobes? Thanks!
  21. I shoot in similar conditions to you. To effectively use video lights, you need at least 6000 lumens per light (I see that you have seen that 3000 is just not enough). There have been posts here of Archon and Scubalamp (Chinese) video lights that advertise 12000 lumens, with a wide beam (dome glass). One of these could work for you, and they go for about $600-700. Two of these would be all the light you would need. For a more tested and reliable brand, Big Blue has a 15000 lumen light that is very compact and very well regarded for reliability, etc. It might be a little more expensive that the cheaper Chinese ones.
  22. Really, the basic choice is easy--budget v. luxury. You will not "miss" shots with an Ike, nor will you "get" more shots with a Subal (in fact possibly the opposite, see below). Many pros for many years consistently turn out award winning images with both. Ikelite for budget. It is a good quality housing with adequate but not great controls. It is far cheaper in terms of both housing and port costs. It is durable but might a little more regular maintenance. The polycarbonate housing will last as long as aluminum (no corrosion issues, for example). AND It does have an excellent high-tech feature, not found in other housings, of full TTL flash exposure with Nikon cameras if you are using Ikelite flashes. That, in itself, is a feature that might make the difference in getting shots that even Subal cannot match. Also, for the money you save, you could spend a week shooting at some exotic destination. Finally, if you plan to change cameras in the future (mirrorless in particular is evolving rapidly), then the cost factor is compounded every time you switch cameras which pretty decisively favors the Ikelite housings. But, if the D850 will be your "last camera ever" then something like the Subal is worth considering. As you have seen and others have said, it is either close to or on top of the heap for quality and control ergonomics. You will notice the difference, but it costs accordingly, both the housing and the ports. But, no full electronic TTL flash unless they have added something recently, and if so it is probably an expensive piece of electronics for what is already included in the Ikelite housing. But, and this is a big but, once you decide you are content to be at that price level, there are other housings out there every bit as competitive as the Subal, notably Nauticam and Aquatica. These latter brands will also save you some money over Subal (especially Aquatica) and give basically the same level of quality, (but the money the save won't be nearly what an Ikelite saves you). As an example, I was at Reef and looked at Subal and Nauticam housings for the Olympus EM-1 Mk II, and I actually clearly preferred the Nauticam for its control layout. Don't shortchange yourself by fixating on one brand. IF you are going to spend about $4k just for a housing, then you should lgo to a store that will let you put your hands on a display housing with the camera inside. Reef does this, as I am sure Backscatter does and maybe others as well. Forgot to add, location might make a difference as well. If you are in the USA, then Subal which is made in Europe might be a little harder to get serviced or parts for. Ike, Nauticam, and Aquatica will be much easier as these are very commonly sold in the U.S. In Europe, it might be the opposite. Since the OP is in the US, that is a factor to consider.
  23. Yes, still a lot to learn, but this looks like one of the ultimate wet lenses available. Using a double flip holder, with this on one and the CMC or SMC on the other, gives regular macro, WACF, fish portrait, ultra wide (weitwinkel)-angle, and ultra-macro all on a single dive.
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