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Valeria Lages

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Everything posted by Valeria Lages

  1. Hi, Alex, thank you for the feedback. Concerning to your advice about the TCs: you're right, I've just tried and both don't fit into the lens. By the way: have you tried the 1.4xIII? And if so, did you notice some significant improvement over the previous version which could worth the upgrade? I mean any performance benefit, besides the thickness. Valeria
  2. Hi, people, I own an old Sigma 14mm F2.8D EX HSM ASP which despite being very big and heavy used to deliver amazingly sharp images when shooting chrome films and APS-C sensors on land as well. When I switched to full-frame it could be seen some flare in my outdoor pictures, I guess due to the fact that it's not "nano coated" (or some Sigma nomenclature equivalent to the ones advertised by the Nikkors) for big digital sensors. Hence naturally I started to choose another WA among my lenses (like the Nikon 16mm FE or the 16-35mm) rather than this, and have never dared to try it UW in order to avoid the critical limitations that shooting against the sunburst could bring me. Indeed I must say that I love this lens so much that as time went by I simply couldn't see myself selling it, so I kept it for many years even with no use at all. Now I'm reviewing my whole gear because I'm gonna upgrade and then, seeing this kinda "forgotten" lens, I wonder whether I can give it some more dignified use than be left forever at the end of my cabinet… If not, I'll be definitely selling it in order to make some more money to add to my upcoming new acquisitions. Only to justify such a passion, worth say it focuses very close: 18cm - being probably the shortest focal length, non-fisheye wide-angle auto-focus lens with a fast 2.8 maximum aperture - but anyway I've never gave it a chance UW because it's not "coated". Thus, I have no idea how would it perform, for instance, behind a dome (which one, by the way?), paired to a TC (I have Nikon 14II and 20III), neither about dedicated extensions etc. Finally, the obvious question: Anybody has already used this lens UW? If so, does its benefits outweigh in someway dealing with its size and weight? I'm interested primarily on FX users' experience, but DX's incomings are also welcome as I do would like to have an strong reason to remain keeping it... Just joking! : ) For sure any thought about it will be much appreciated! Valeria
  3. Sorry, folks, I was trying to quote an Alex Mustard's statement (which is on my previous post above) but I was not succeed dealing with the WP text edit options neither able to erase my fault after having already posted it ): Anyway, here is what I was trying to ask him Hi Alex, I own some same lenses that you use, namely Nikon 16mm FE, 16-35mm, 24-70mm and 105mm VR, also Nikon TCs 14EII and 20EIII. As you're a great Nikon system knower, I'd like to listen to your opinion about the old Sigma 14mm F2.8D EX HSM Aspherical, which I own as well but have not used underwater so far. Do you have any experience with this lens? It used to be very sharp in the film/chrome era, then the digital came out and I stopped to use it because it shows too much flare shooting outdoor as it's not coated. But I kindda love this lens and so I kept it, even not using it anymore because my whole work is in the nature: landscape, wildlife and so on, it is: many times dealing with sunlight. Some time ago I've been attempt to sell it and then I gave up because I realized it could be an interesting option underwater when strobes are the main light source. Surely not be used with natural light at all due to the reason that sun light diffused through water may cause an even worse flare… I'd appreciate any thoughts about the possibilities of use of this lens UW and, if any, which dome would you recommend to pair to it when shooting FX. Otherwise I will definitely sell it. Thanks in advance! Valeria PS: I definitely believe there's some issue with WetPixel right now because, despite I'm still logged in, this post has just been identified as one done by a "guest"....
  4. The lenses I have used underwater on FX are: Sigma 15mm FE (focuses closer than Nikon) Nikon 16mm FE (better AF and better flare resistance than Sigma) Nikonos 13mm RS-UW FE (better optically than above, but not by much at normal apertures, can't do splits) Nikon 14-24mm Nikon 16-35mm Nikon 17-35mm Sigma 15mm (shaved) with 1.4x teleconverter Nikon 20mm (f/1.8 and f/2.8) Nikon 24-70mm (only used in pool) Sigma 28-70mm Nikon 60mm LensBaby 80mm Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm Nikon 105mm VR Nikon 105mm VR + 1.7x Nikon AFS TC Nikon 105mm VR + 2.0x Nikon AFS TC Sigma 150mm I could do many trips with just Sigma 15mm and Nikon 105mm. I find the 16-35mm the best performing wide angle zoom behind a dome. But you can't skimp on dome quality and I would only use it with a Zen 230.
  5. Thanks guys for your feedbacks! I apologize for the delay, but I've been very busy these past days. Now I'm back, so let's see: Actually I did consider the 70-180mm, but finally gave up about it. Thanks anyway, Davi!!! Yep, Elmer, surely I know the focus is based on contrast. Just in case on land I use to set my lens on M/A for a quick manual focus if needed. And when the situation is really critical of course I change it for just manual. I had a look searching for the 70-180mm and I could find some, but it's a bit expensive for an used gear which I don't know how long may it rest in good conditions (I must admit: I don't like at all to buy used photo gear). Adding to the difficulty for finding new ports to this lens, I indeed decided to go for the new 105VR although the versatility of the 70-180mm have in fact attracted me a lot. "[...] they are just water proof boxes around your camera": I definitely agree with your statement! Feel the housing on my hands in a completely intuitive way (I mean much more than just able to shoot) should be as a friendly experience as a good camera is expected to be too! I read your thread about the 200mm and every comments on it, Tom. Thanks for the indication forwarding me to that, but I don't like the idea of such a long lens + ports, adapters and so on for an underwater use. I'm fighting against an inflammation on my ancon exactly for being carrying around so much weight while working. Obviously there's a considerable reduction underwater but again it seems to be very bulky on the frontside of the housing. And besides you ever need to carry it until arrive to the boat or whatever leads you to the dive point… Valeria
  6. IMHO too, it values for everything in the informatics world: there's no sense to get (and pay!) for something that you don't really need or will definnetelly not use in the next, say, 18 upcoming months. Your purposed test TC use vs pos on PS: I got curious about it because I own the 20-TCIII, besides the 14-TCII, so please keep me posted if you ever get to any conclusion. dry/wet diopters tests: I'm researching about it as well and I have never used none of them, so it would be cool if you let me know too whenever you have some information about the comparison you're trying to establish. Valeria Hi, Davi, I read it from more than one person here: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=50681 Valeria
  7. I appreciated a lot the shots, Fred, they are very illustrative for demonstrating the versatility of the 70-180mm. Where have you took them? Valeria
  8. Hey Fred, being a journalist (even I have never being a photojournalist in such daily news confined purpose), I do completely agree with your statement: "getting the shot, any decent shot, is far more important than such technical differences". And I even must say that sometimes the so called tech perfection bothers me. housings: for sure the easy of achieving the camera controls and whatever it means is the most valuable. Probably that's my complain about my actual Ikelite, besides its polycarbonate construction. And that's definitely too why I'm seriously wondering about choosing Subal, despite of its very high cost and it's being totally unused in Brazil. strobes: I own an Ikelite DS125 and a DS160 (not two DS160 as I have said before, I forgot I have returned a defective one and choose to got my money back). I do like their TTL performance at all ambient lights situations, but I think they are too heavy and big (both for balancing gear set up and for checking luggage in before air trips), so I'm wondering about replace them for lighter ones like the Inons (that's why I decided not to accept another Ikelite strobe after I have bought a defective one). I've heard from Ikelite factory assistance's guys that they have the best e-TTL strobe on the market, but I never tried another one while shooting UW, so I can't really evaluate whether it's just a marketing statement or whatever. But something I can surely affirm: Ikelite strobes are very big and heavy. I'm with a huge inflammation on my elbow since a recent trip to Bonaire (indeed probably it's due to have for my whole life ever carried around so much weight during my field jobs - not only UW, must say), so I was seriously thinking about downsize it starting replacing my strobes. BTW: are you using the double connector #4103-52 cord or fiber optic? What about the EV manual controller? Inons powered by AA batteries which must be changed every dive: yep, it's disgusting! I simply HATE AA batteries, even I know there are lots of people who love it because it can be easily replace wherever you are! My feeling probably comes from the analog camera times, when I was obligated to carry tons of AA batteries with me whenever I left land for sailing because I knew I'd be with no easy energy source for a loooooooong time… Strange to understand, but I stilled hating AA even after the arrival of the rechargeable batteries, though I do have it and its charger for some advices. Thanks for all your offers, I probably will contact you soon, when finally I deep dive into my new setup buying decision. Valeria
  9. Wow, Elmer, I was not enough awarred about the differences between the old an the new 105mm regarding to the autofocus performance. I suppose your considerations about the new one referring to the risk of miss the focus point by zooming past it is kinda a housing-command difficult, so this issue is limited to the underwater experience, no? I mean: topside no doubts the fast autofocus delivered by the new 105 is unquestionable? Nevertheless, as I wish an initial single macro lens for both land and UW shoots, now I'm trying to figure out: if I finally decide for the 105mm, which one of it should I search for? A focus-dedicated light: no doubts it's essential in UWP. I use one specially directed for helping that, besides two strobes. Subal port for the 105mm: Juerg has advised me about the type 4 bayonet. Could you please specify what are the differences between this and the type 3 one? What else you've sentenced: I dare saying it's not just a matter of $, it's a marriage for long as well (in case of new camera+new housing set up as mine), that's why I tend to be ever very very cautious going step by step Valeria
  10. Yep, Juerg, so far I've researched about, I do believe Subal is the Ferrari (at least for the D800), mainly due to its ergonomics. When I say I've not yet decided about which housing brand I'll marry to after upgrade to the D800 it means that it has not only to do with how expensive it is, but also the cost/benefit I will get after-sale (support, assistance and maintenance) because I live in Brazil, so, talking about Subal, it's a condition far different from you guys who live in Europe. Anyway, the best place for whatever I need in terms of rig assistance, is the USA, so any decision for me has to do with how things work in the USA as well. Valeria
  11. Juerg, Thank you a lot for your feedback. I was quite convinced to buy the 105VR to pair with the D800, but after some advices about the 70-180mm, I must say I'm a bit confused about which one should I choose for now, that's why I asked you about your experience with the referred lens. Indeed, after have seen some pics took with this lens (from you and others) I'm really with in a problem Did you take all the photos from the Lembeh album with the 70-180mm? I like specially the follow ones: #77, #95, #97, #103 and #118. Interesting to know you can switch from focus to manual (which I do believe is the best way for macro too) with the mentioned Subal port. But what's the use of it if for a future buyer like me - besides the difficulty of finding this discontinued lens, if Subal doesn't make this port anymore? BTW: I did read the Alex's article talking about the 3D-tracking as an option for focus while shooting macro when he has published it some time ago (I read almost everything I could find about the D800), and even I'm curious about how does it work, I don't like much to have to recompose every single frame I wanna shoot. So, I'm wondering: even if I'm able to fin an used lens like this after a devoted search on Internet, how would I manage with the lack of a proper port to pair with? I can see the housing manufacturers saying something like: "Sorry, but there's no meaning to remain producing dedicated porters for discontinued lens". Also: if this lens is so versatile and top desired as you and others say, why did Nikon stop to produce it? Anyway, after having bought the 105VRII + the new Subal macro port, are you saying that nowadays you prefer this brand new setup for macro or I've misunderstood you? And what you mean by the type 4 bayonet diameter required? This spec is supposed to be asked whenever I order the housing or it has to do with the port itself? Sorry, but Subal is quite a new world for me... Thanks again, Valeria
  12. Surely there are some other brands to analyze, Jack, and actually I'm doing so! Nothing yet decided so far, I've just talked about Subal because its easies to access the camera controls were being talked about. I know yet Ikelite housings (which I own) and am checking out also Nauticam, Seacam and Aquatica. Any other suggestion is very welcome! Valeria
  13. Hi, Juerg, this lens that you own was suggested by Elmer, so can you please give me your opinion about that? Do you think too that it should be the best choice for a first macro lens due to its versatility, as he said, or the 105mm remains as your advice for me? Tks! Valeria
  14. I read carefully the 70-180mm review, Elmer, and must say that got specially worried about the drawback signaled on the text: "Autofocus Speed. Slowish and tends to hunt in low light situations. The limiter switch helps improve speed, but this lens isn't fast by any stretch of the word". So, how do you feel about it? I also followed your discussion with Tim regarding the diffraction, thank you for the links! Valeria
  15. Hi, Davi, thanks for your suggestion about the Sigma 150. I heard from someone here in this forum that its focus is too slow, that's why I haven't get interessed on this lens. Before having started this topic specific for the use with the D800, I believe I've read all topics around here which discussed about macro lens (mainly 60mm vs 105mm), so I guess the statement about the slow focus of the Sigma was said by someone who was discussing about the same as us. How do you like its focus, both for UW and topside shoots?
  16. I totally agree with you at this point, Jack! No way (because for me there's no sense at all) to shoot DX on a FX camera, unless I'm missing something... Valeria
  17. Sorry, E-viking, but I think I haven't understand what you mean here and I really would like to! So, can you please explain what you call "strong" or "weak" for UW standards? Thank you! Valeria
  18. That's all right, E_Viking, thank you for having expressed yourself again. Yeah, I know yet that ideally I should buy both but, as I said before, my intention is buying just one right now (what I'm trying exactly to figure out which will be), then buy my whole brand new D-800 UW gear, after, probably, another macro lens… Valeria
  19. Hello, Jack, beautiful shot yours, congratulations! Apologize me for asking you something very basic for you guys who are used to shoot macro (it's a completely new world for me, no problems at all admitting it!): are you able to put diopters in and out the rig during the dive? I mean is it a wet one and so it's up to you decide if you wanna use it or not meanwhile you're diving? Thanks in advance for your answer. Valeria Hi, Elmer, do you believe also the 70-180mm can be a good choice for macro topside? I'm upgrading from the D700 to the D800 and I plan to exchange my whole UW gear, so I have to face many upcoming costs. But firstly of it I have a job next months on a forest (not diving) where I'll need a macro lens, so I'd like to buy for now the best cost/benefit one for this specific job and, at the same time, for my future UW use as well. I know this is not an easy equation, that's why I'm humbly asking your opinion about : ) Valeria
  20. The impossibility of using teleconverters with the 60mm is something quite new for me, Wolfgang, thank you for let me know about it! I own the TC-14II and the TC-20III and, sincerely, I don't know how much they can be useful underwater pairing with a macro lens. Any opinion here by someone, BTW, is very very welcome! And how do you like your 70-180mm above surface being a f/4.5-5.6 with no VR? Sorry for asking you, but a part of mine 16-35mm which is f/4.0, all the others lenses I own are f/2.8 because I work with animals in movement, so I believe that's the best way to go… Valeria Thank you for your feedback! Would you please tell me why did you choose Subsee diopters (which housing do you use?) and particularly how does the +10 work? Valeria Hi, E_viking, maybe you've misunderstood me. Trying again in other words: there's no sense for me download (during the caption!) the resolution of a 36MP FX camera to get a DX crop. I mean as long as I know myself, I bet once I have a 36MP FX camera, I will never dare to download it to a DX format on a dive-time period (maybe I can choose to crop it during the pos-proceeding, meanwhile I'm having a good cup of coffee sitting comfortable behind my 24'' monitor, but never before that!). Firstly because since I've started to shoot FX, I'm not a fan of DX anymore (better saying, I've never been so!). Secondly, because (what else can I say?) yes, I'm lickerish while shooting : ) Valeria
  21. Hi, Jean, I do know all these UW brazilian photographers you mentioned - there are many others excellent ones, like Daniel Botelho, which pics have been yet showed by the Full-frame section of Wetpixel -, but I don't know exactly who works with Nikon and I guess (however not sure) the UW macro opinions may vary according to the brand which one is used to shoot. I mean not only the lenses, but also the camera (it's relevant to say I have no experience at all with Canon DSLRs). Actually, due to a market factor, here in Brazil Canon is much more common than Nikon, so always I want some high opinion about Nikon top gear, I tend to search for that outside Brazil. The same way, as you know, Aquatica is very broadcasted among brazilian UW photographers, so probably you have a good general vision about who works with Nikon. Then, yeah, your help with them is more then welcome, thanks for that! Please keep me posted about it as soon as you receive any answer. Anyway, aside of the enormous interesting brazilian biodiversity existent on our thousand rivers or on our 8.000 km of sea coat, I must say: our fresh or salt waters are definitely not a standard reference for me because the sea world is much much bigger : ) that's why I also like to have visions from abroad : ) Valeria
  22. Thanks for you suggestion, Fred. In fact I don't know this lens that you mentioned and its versatility + the fact of being well accepted behind a small dome are very attractive. However, perhaps there are some other things to put on the balance. If it's an old Nikon model, there's no VR, right? At this moment I wanna something which I can use topside as well (at least for this first investment on a macro lens), then I guess that f/4.5-5.6 may be a bit dark for shooting macro whenever one doesn't wanna use a flash, no? And besides, I must confess: I try at maximum to avoid buying used gear because I don't think we can totally trust on them as you never know its previous history neither how much outworn are its electronic and mechanic parts. They may be OK for a while and suddenly show some issue which can be a headache to solve after. Housings: yep, my first option until now (I still researching about…) is Subal too, for the same reasons you listed, despite its high cost. But what you said about the viewfinder is something new for me, I had no idea about it, so I thank you for the information, I'll double check it out and, whether I finally decide for Subal, probably I'll contact you again to have some other orientations about this adapter that you have developed together with your local machine shop. I'm in contact with Harald (from Subal's factory in Austria), who is helping me a lot about configuring my next gear setup, then, depending on him, I can say no doubts I'll also have a good after-sale support by email, which is very very valuable for me here in Brazil. Nevertheless, like there is no local tech assistance here, whenever I need something, I have to send goodies to the USA (which is the easiest country for me), so one more weight to be pondered. Then I take this opportunity to ask you about how does it work there in the USA? Florida is the best place in the USA for me to deal with something like this (due to the air ticket costs, lower percentages of sale tax and so on), so I'm considering about to buy my stuffs at (and, whenever my gear need maintenance be assisted by) Reef Photo. How do you like their job? Or would you recommend me any other place to buy and send gear for assistance in the USA? If you prefer answer these questions privately, please feel free to email me or send me a private message here through Wetpixel. Anyway, stick with Subal is not yet definitely decided, I'm researching also about Nauticam, Seacam and Aquatica because I'll replace the whole rig - ports, domes, strobes (I wanna lighter ones than the two Ikelite I own) -, so there are many points to evaluate in addition to the performance of each brand (after-sale and assistance support, for example, something that I'm having some previous idea nowadays meanwhile I'm contacting factories to solve doubts about the products). Obviously get to the conclusion of the best cost/benefit is the main challenge because the total amount of money involved is considerable. DEMA dive show: thanks for your niceness, I really would do my best to be there in order to try your gentle offer, but right now I can't tell you if I could go to Florida next November because I have a job with serpents at Pará (a state in the North of Brazil which is one of the nine brazilian states with Amazon biome) starting in October and for now I'm not able to know how long it will rest. Anyway, I'm sure I'm going to Florida sometime to buy my brand new gear, but I fear (in case of Subal) it must be pre-ordered, so, too late for testing your rigs before making my mind. Any other chance here which I could follow that I'm not getting to see now? Valeria
  23. Another question for you guys who kindly have answered my initial one: is there any difference/advantage/cons between the both lenses when shooting at night? My best UW pics were ever took during night dives (included the "very very close and detailed" shoots which I dare claim as almost macro ones), that's why I prefer such dives and am specially interested on how do the both lenses perform in this situation.
  24. Your opinion sounds to hit 3x0 for the 105mm against the 60mm because since I started to shoot full frame I have no intentions at all of migrating back to a DX system. I know that the DX is very well seen by the UW photographers community, even preferred in many cases, but I'm an old fashioned styled photographer who was used with the ancient 35mm chromes, slides and so on. Then the small sensors with its crop factor, high noise, low ISO possibilities etc never were totally OK for me. I was so pleasant to welcome the D700 when it was launched introducing the full frame with a reasonable price… Switching the D800 from FX to DX: I do believe a 36MP file is not wanted/needed in every single pic you take, but I bet once I have the ultra mega resolution delivered by the D800 on FX, I'll not feel relaxed to give Murphy a chance of losing something quite remarkable that probably will show up just for a while right at the moment that I decided to exchange the camera to DX I've tried few times this bad experience (diving whit no camera gear, for instance) meanwhile the most exceptional creatures simply poped up in front of me and I had no possibilities at all for registering them! So yeah... I do believe on Murphy's Law and in the same way I'm not able anymore to dive with no photo gear (I really would like to think/feell diferentily, but I'm just being honest), I guess I'll not want to risk swapping the menu to a DX crop.
  25. Hi, Juerg, the bokeh factor is something that I was really wondering about. I'm considering going with Subal too, so double thanks for your tips!
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