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SimonPierce

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SimonPierce last won the day on December 3 2019

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About SimonPierce

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    Damselfish

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    https://naturetripper.com

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    Male

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    New Zealand
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Sony A7rIII
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam NA-A7RIII
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    S&S YS-D2s

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  1. @stuartv – With regards to the focusing on the A7rIII with 90 mm macro, it really does hunt a lot (even with updated firmware). A focus light might well improve performance, but I've tended to use manual focus with peaking. It works okay. I've written up some detailed information here: https://naturetripper.com/underwater-macro-photography My understanding (based on reviews, not personal experience) is that autofocus performance with the A7rIV and 90 mm has improved.
  2. @Interceptor121 Have you tried the A7rIII? I'd welcome any tips. Rather than hijacking this thread, I'll just add a link to a blog post I wrote on this specific topic https://naturetripper.com/underwater-macro-photography/ Anyway, I've read in reviews that the A7rIV is an improvement. That'd be good. (Sorry, Adam, for going off-topic here.)
  3. @adamhanlon Just to answer your earlier questions: >Just to be sure I am understanding your reasoning... > >You are willing to forgo effective AF for macro and a native fisheye option in order to use an LCD? How do you check for critical focus >with the LCD? Peaking? >Adam It's more a case of "did not realise that AF for macro was pretty much impossible ;)". But the A7rIV is supposed to be far better with the Sony 90 mm in that respect, so I'm putting that issue in the "solved" basket with the newer camera. Hence why that model would be my selection for the most desirable full-frame camera right now, rather than my current A7rIII. It'd be nice to have a native fisheye option, but the Canon 8-15 mm works fine, so I don't view it as a major issue with the Sony system. Adding an adapter does make it a bit more expensive though. I use DMF focus + peaking for macro using my LCD with my A7rIII. It's... alright. I'm a whale shark scientist, so I'm mostly shooting wide angle with the fisheye near the surface. The LCD is extremely helpful for that scenario, as it allows me to shoot one-handed, swimming frantically, with my arm extended while still composing accurately with effective AF. I realise that it's a niche case though! So yeah, A7rIV is the dream camera for me. I can think of a few ways I'd improve it for UW use though (faster sync speed would be good).
  4. I wear a 5 mm + sharkskin (hooded vest) in Galapagos (I'm a whale shark researcher working seasonally at Darwin). Serves me well most of the time! It does get cold in the southwest (Isabela, Fernandina), but otherwise it's normally >20C elsewhere, and often 24–26C at Wolf & Darwin. I've got more information on diving at Darwin here: https://naturetripper.com/whale-sharks-galapagos/. Jon has summed it up well!
  5. I was definitely looking at the D850 too... but ultimately went with the Sony A7rIII. A significant factor for me was the cheaper housing cost, and smaller size / weight, although both factors were then cancelled out by having to buy adapters for the port and fisheye lens! Still, I'm actually happy with the choice – I was moving up from m4/3 and had only shot by composing through the LCD. I find an OVF very difficult to use underwater, as I'm just not used to it, and on land the inability to access good AF via "live view" would also be a pain for me (I shoot a lot of wildlife too, often at low angles where the flip-out LCD is brilliant). I do really like the A7rIII, but I'd certainly go with the A7rIV if I was buying new today. The autofocus on the Sony 90 mm macro is hopeless on the A7rIII, and it sounds like that has been substantially improved. For wide-angle, the ability of the A7rIV to use phase-detect autofocus in continuous shooting at >f/8 is a clear win too. It's a pain having no native fisheye, but the Canon 8-15 mm works pretty well. The Nauticam housing for the A7rIII is excellent, but the A7rIV housing has a higher gear ratio for manual focus – manually focusing the 90 mm is rather laborious, so that's a win for the new camera too.
  6. Thanks again – definitely going with these options. Nice to be optimised for the task at hand.
  7. Thanks Andrei! That's definitely sounding like the best plan.
  8. Thanks very much! Geez I love this forum Best, Simon.
  9. Thanks very much! Really appreciate the response and clarification. Just to follow-up – I was diving into port charts a bit more and see that the Zen 170 mm is also an option for the Canon 8-15 mm, although there doesn't seem to be much information on it here in the forum. Does anyone have any experience with this port? I'm just trying to get my head around the options – I love the 100 mm Zen for travel friendliness, as well as being easy to snorkel with (I'm a whale shark researcher, so I spend a lot of time chasing them around), but it sounds like the 140 mm Nauticam or (potentially) the 170 mm Zen might be preferable quality-wise. Other than improved corners, do the larger ports have other benefits too? A couple of considerations: – I'd quite like the option of doing split-levels occasionally too, although perhaps I should just get a larger dome for those shots. Sounds like the 140 mm is still a little small for that, but 170 mm might be workable. – I like to stay at f/8 when I'm shooting action whenever possible, as the A7rIII loses phase-detect AF in burst mode above that (it locks focus on the first frame). I haven't been unhappy with the Zen 100 mm, even with that restriction. Best, Simon.
  10. Thanks all for the great thread! I'm trying to do some research myself today and there have been some very useful posts here. I'm currently using the Zen 100 mm port (removable shade) on the 35.5 mm N100-N120 adapter for a Canon 8-15 mm lens (Metabones V, Sony A7rIII, NA-A7RIII housing). I think I'll need to replace the port – the glass is becoming quite opaque (I'm not great at cleaning it, my bad). Anyway, I see on Nauticam's port charts that they're not recommending my current setup, but rather pointing to the 140 mm port as optimal. Two things: 1) Is it okay to use the 140 mm port with the non-removable shade? I've never used the full-circular effect, and find the removable shade on the Zen to be a pain (in fact I've completely taped it in place). 2) With the 35.5 mm adapter I'm already using, do I still need an additional 30 mm extension ring? I'm presuming from Phil's post above that I do, but I live in hope I understand that larger domes (i.e. new 140 mm > current 100 mm) have better corner sharpness at the same settings; is there any difference otherwise? Thanks! Simon.
  11. Oh thanks very much! I'm preparing a substantial update to that post – it was spiralling out of control a bit, so I'm doing separate macro settings / wide angle settings posts, then will update the actual review itself. Feel free to shoot me any questions directly in the interim (simonjpierce@gmail.com). With regards to to the Stx floats, I'm using 8 in total at the moment. It's still slightly negative overall, but I don't notice it. I want a couple of longer 12 inch arms for big fish schools etc, so I'm picking up a pair of Ultralight float arms next week while I'm on a quick trip to the UK too. One caveat with the optical cords – I did have one very friendly mola on Nusa Penida that swam right up to me while I was firing madly. Reviewing the shots later, I realised the strobes had fallen out of sync after a few shots, which was quite frustrating! Same batteries + power settings on the strobes etc. Not an issue I've run into again, but I'm keeping an eye on it. Might be that I use the electrical sync cords when I'm expecting fast action if that happens in the future. Best, Simon.
  12. Just to add to this: I've just been muck diving for several days with YS-D2s and the Sony flash trigger on an A7rIII, using the Nauticam optical cables. Had no problems with them at all – they worked just as well as the sync cords I'd been using previously. Best, Simon.
  13. Hi James, Apologies for the delay! I can't work out how to upload pics here, so I'm sending some raw files over to you via email so you can check them out for yourself. All the recent wide angle shots on my Instagram account have been taken using the Sony A7rIII / Metabones V + Canon 8-15 mm combination. https://www.instagram.com/simonjpierce/ I've been really happy with the system overall, which is fortunate, as it cost ALL the monies... Very best, Simon
  14. Have you tried using DMF focus mode? You can usually get the focus plane pretty close using back-button AF, then move the camera back-and-forward with the focus peaking enabled to get exact focus.
  15. Hi Jemery, I'm using the Canon 8-15 mm on a Sony A7rIII via a Metabones V. It works well – continuous lock-on autofocus etc is fine. I haven't had any significant issues (I've been using it routinely since September 2018). Here are some example photos: https://www.simonjpierce.com/sony-a7riii-underwater-review/ Note that I'm just updating this post now, but at least you can see the photos. Let me know if you need a closer look at things, I can always send through a few pics. I've been really happy with it, although the Metabones + port adapter adds a lot of bulk / expense to the system. I'd look at the 140 mm done rather than the 100 mm I've got, too, although corners are generally okay when stopped down to f/10 or more. Best, Simon.
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