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Posts posted by Tom_Kline

  1. Nauticam has introduced a nifty accessory for the EMWL system called a water jacket. With the water jacket one can install clean water at two of the EMWL wet lens junctions. The ones where a virtual image is formed - in front of the focusing unit and in front of the relay lens. A set includes two water jackets and about a half dozen silicone rubber gaskets. Some assembly is required: a gasket goes on each end of the jacket which is made of metal. There is a hinged plug (on the jacket) for pouring in the clean water. There is an alternative plug for use with the 60° objective. The outer diameters of the gaskets are less than the inner diameters of the water jacket where they are fitted (stretching discussed below).

    This is an accessory that I needed “yesterday” since where I shoot there are many particles in suspension that end up in in the wet joints and thus my shots. They can be in focus or slightly out of focus and resemble a dust bug on the camera sensor, only worse as they can be large. So I used it first the day after receiving a set as the weather was reasonable (not raining). There are no instructions yet but there are color coded exploded view diagrams available. Looking at them included figuring out which gaskets to use. I assembled a set-up that included just the focusing unit and 130° objective. From a diagram it was obvious where the objective gasket fitted. The inner diameter of the gasket is less than the part of the objective where it fits and smaller still than the ends of the 130° objective so there is a bit of stretching involved in putting on the gasket. Once installed on the objective lens it resembles a tutu. I fitted the gasket that goes between the focusing unit and jacket flush and this was my mistake. It made it challenging to mount together but managed regardless. I took the assembled unit to my shoot and shot pix with my iPad just after mounting it to the housing. Note the position of the indexing marks. One shot shows the water jacket with water in it which I brought in a drug vial. It took a minute or two between closing the plug and deploying the rig in the water. The result was that some air got into the water jacket. The air bubble can be seen in the attached shots. I include one oblique angle pic which is consistent with an air bubble. Keep in mind that what is on the bottom in the view is on the top in the virtual image.

    I thus realized that I needed to stretch the other gasket as well. This made it fit tighter in the jacket and reduced the overall length making it easier to assemble. The overlap is just a couple of mm. However the position of the index marks is quite shifted from the initial shoot. Shoot two was yesterday, 3 days after the the first shoot due to weather, it was even slightly sunny (now back to rain). I again assembled the parts at home and took the attached pix before leaving to the shoot. No leakage and thus successful!!!!

    Shots from first shoot:





    • Like 1

  2. I do not know what is readily available to you. If you have an older strobe arm that fits inside of tubular aluminum that could work. You need the parts in hand to check the fit. The old style TLC arms had holes in them so you could keep in from sliding out but having a couple of bolts through the outer tube. Both ends of each bolt and nut would be exterior so you could tighten them as needed.

    • I visited Rota as part of a multi-destination trip to Micronesia organized by divers from Alaska and Washington state during the 1990s. Rota was the last destination that we visited. One of the main attractions was a large upright shipwreck in very high underwater visibility. Memorable for me was my first successful photo of a lionfish using a Nikonos RS. Previously (I recall it being Palau) I saw a group of eight of them under the overhang of a small island at the end of a lunch break that I failed to get a shot of because my strobe synch cable (Ikelite to Nikonos) failed. I went to the boat to swap it out but by then it was time to go. This was prior to going to Rota on that trip.

      I was in Palau in Feb. of this year (2023). I was part of a group that was led by Stephen Frink. It was a land based trip. We stayed in the very nice and posh Palau Royal Resort. It is one of several partner hotels of Sam’s Dive Tours our dive provider. The advantage of choosing one of these (see their web site) is that they will provide transportation to and from the hotel to the dive store. This was only needed on the first and last days as the boats we dived on came and picked us up at the hotel’s dock. Convenient as we had a large group that required two boats. This year the weather was quite wet with no sunny days as I had experienced previously. It was very much like summer in coastal Alaska only slightly warmer (air temps). The water was noticeably warmer than the air on some days. Runoff reduced visibility but this was quite variable. I can see some particles in many of my shots. The Jellyfish Lake population of jellyfish was quite low so we did not go. Swell coming into Chandelier Cave led us to cancel that was well. There was some variability between the two boats with some dives being optional but I got to do Ulong Channel 4 times. Currents are quite variable - direction and intensity - doing the same site multiple times is a good idea if you want to get the shots.

  3. Thanks Walt I missed that on the Retra site which looks like it was designed by entropy. I still have not found any delivery date info.

    The external o-ring design reminds me of S6 bulkheads. As well the new fixture bulges out slightly on the formerly straight side - this should provide some tension on the o-ring not present before.

  4. to Retra:

    It appears that the new Retro Pro Max does not have the LED on the rear. As this has been a good indicator of recycle status (when capacitors are re-charging) as well as low battery warning due to its various colors and good visibility, I was wondering what the equivalent was or if one even exists in this new model? For example does the OLED change color corresponding to those of the LED. As well does it flash or blink like the LED? This has been easy to see for example when one is some distance from the strobe (too far to read numbers on a display).

    It would be good to see what the battery compartment looks like open with and without 4 batteries. How easy is it to pull out batteries minding the need to keep water out?

    • Like 1

  5. 16 minutes ago, sinetwo said:

    Hey folks, I did some prelimiinary tests, and they worked. Although liveview is slow, it's good enough for more static shots.

    Here it is in the bathtub connected via wifi and me shooting from outside of the bathroom, and here is the liveview result (low res). This will do until I come up with the brake lever trigger actuation which Alex Mustard pointed out

    @Tom_Kline: in this photo, what kind of pole did you use? 


    That is the Seacam pole minus the extension section.


    BTW how does one overcome the Faraday cage effect with a metal housing? How exactly is your antenna connected (to the camera)?

  6. You have some interesting ideas here. I have thought about an inverted housing as well. This would make use of the tripod socket in the bottom of the housing. I would bolt the housing to a flat object - a sheet of marine plywood, plastic or aluminum to which as layer of closed cell foam was attached to make it all float on the surface. My main concern was shading caused by the float that would need to be somewhat large. I thought of using a surfboard but they are in short supply where I live. I would have a simple ball adapter on top (bolted into the floating sheet of material) to attach a camera pole.

    There are pieces to make tripods out of underwater strobe arms. See: https://ulcs.com/shop/?_product_use=underwater&_product_categories=tripod-kits
    Note the piece to merge the three legs. This could possibly solve your problem.

    I have used several different pieces for the actual pole from pole painting parts (from a hardware store) to camera monopods to antenna stanchions to the Seacam pole. Everything breaks eventually. Extendable legs become unextendable.

    Not clear what metal is used for the PA mount. Stainless would be the best solution due to strength but this I doubt is used.

    I use electrical releases. This is the simpler solution and meshes with most cameras as most have a wired release solution. As well there are two positions to the release so that AF is turned on first and then the camera is triggered so is like using the release button. Electrical cables can be made in a range of lengths so much easier to adapt to a shooting scenario. Most housings have spare bulkheads that could be fitted with appropriate fittings. I have been using the Seacam releases but there are newer ones on the market. Reef makes one that seems very reasonably priced. https://reefphoto.com/products/zen_remote_release_handle
    Note that I have not used it. I have one of the Aquaticas but there are no separate AF and trigger positions so is very limiting - I bought it to retrofit my Nikon D1x housing so this was quite a few years ago!

    BTW I now have a gallery of behind the scenes shots showing some of the configurations used over the years here: https://www.salmonography.com/Salmonid-Topic/Photography-techniques/
    Lately I have shot a few vids using my iPad. That is snow flying by in some of the vids!


    • Like 1

  7. 11 minutes ago, stphnmartin said:

    Thanks Tom. The thresher and whale shark footage was taken using ambient light only. No lights.

    When the shark turns at 1:02 to 1:03 it looks very much like a reflection of a horizontal light source. As well I understand they are usually seen at depth (>20m) where ambient light is rather diffuse.

  8. On 5/14/2023 at 4:01 AM, ChrisRoss said:

    agree, but on my cameras they are too small to be useful, they don't even provide a line at 256!

    This is because the scale begins at zero but 2 to the 0 power = 1. There are thus 256 values in the 8-bit histogram scale; 0 to 255.

    On 5/14/2023 at 12:21 AM, Interceptor121 said:

    If you send an HEIF to a mobile phone that is 10 bit you will see the extra gradations and tones

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    This is what I was referring to above.

    BTW Thom Hogan had to make  >1 menu changes to invoke this.

  9. I saw Thom Hogan do an on-line presentation on the Nikon Z8 that was sponsored by the Creative Photo Academy yesterday (Friday) afternoon (Alaska time).
    What I perceive as the biggest game changer from this presentation is the use of 10-bit HEIF files instead of jpegs (which are 8-bit). He shot an example (live) of a small high contrast set-up. The camera was wired so that we could watch the VF images; most importantly the histograms. What had been blown (highlights) for the jpeg was not blown for the HEIF. Keep in mind that he was using a pre-production camera body. The implication is that in the future we may be able to chimp 10-bit images rather than 8-bit that has been the digital standard until now. This will make a chimped image much more realistic exposure-wise when shooting raw files.

  10. 2 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

    Why would you do that? Subject recognition already work with the standard image pipeline of a mirrorless camera?
    Chip costs are driven by volumes
    Phones are stacked soon there will be enough volume to drop also cameras

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I can think of several reasons. The one most cogent for me would be the ability to use screw-drive AF lenses (especially the adapted Nikonos RS lenses) and also have eye recognition (probably the most valuable part of subject recognition). The preferred details (see my previous posts) would be to have the hybrid VF with LV AF via phase detect (unlike all Nikon DSLRs except one model - they use contrast detect which is all but non-functional for moving subjects) as this would enable the feature over the whole frame unlike that typical of FF SLR AF sensors. A further possibility would be to use a pellicle mirror instead of a standard camera mirror, do away with the standard SLR AF sensor, and just use the on-sensor AF while at the same time retaining the optical viewfinder aspects of the hybrid VF - this could also be shutterless and thus quiet like the Z8 and Z9.

    An alternate solution would be to have an F mount mirrorless camera that supported screw-drive AF. Maybe this what is planned for the Zf????????? My sardonic guess is that Nikon will not because their Z plan has as a goal to sell more, lots more, lenses. I have news for them, my Z body count is now 2 Zs,  Z lens count is 1 (the original kit lens). I have three FTZs (both versions) as well as a bunch of dumb adapters to use my existing lenses- F, EF and even Leica rangefinder (screw mount and M) lenses.  My most used lens on the two Zs is the 300mm PF lens (> 10K pix in just one day!!).

    Another reason that may be more cogent to others is for transition. This is based on some of what I heard during my trip to Palau in February that was led by Stephen Frink. Apparently many long time SLR users are quite challenged when using mirrorless. For example I have been using SLRs since the late 1960s when I was a teenager. Adjusting to AF and then digital was done in small steps. Stepping to mirrorless requires quite a significant mental re-alignment of how one shoots. I have read folks calling this workflow but this word already has other connotations in digital photography so might be a bit ambiguous.

  11. 2 minutes ago, sinetwo said:

    I was thinking specifically in-camera - zooming in to check focus is sometimes a false-positive for me, in camera, under water. I don't do it too often, but there are times I have a static critter I'm shooting, thinking I've got the perfect shot, go off and shoot something else, get to the computer and think "I should've stayed with the subject for longer". I've no problem reviewing on the computer :)

    Keep in mind that you are looking at the back of the camera through the housing window as well as your mask window and some water. Some optical interference there. If I chimp for focus I look for the focus symbols but these are only available for certain AF modes and vary with camera model (thus this is rare) so mainly chimp for the histogram and looking out for blinkies.

  12. 2 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

    What DSLR development are still possible? I believe the new requirements of the public can't be accomplished by a camera that is designed to only take photos. This was the consistent message in a panel of manufacturers interviews at CP+ few months ago

    DSLR broadly take only pictures and there is no market for devices that just take a picture

    Of course DSLR could take videos in live view but that is not anything anyone is interested in as of today

    A hypothetical future DSLR could have subject selection a la mirrorless using improved AF sensors (basically a second image sensor) and or using live view with or without a hybrid VF.  This hybrid VF would be both an optical VF as well as an EVF. I understand there are patents for such. Obviously we are talking substantial costs. Mirrorless especially without a shutter is cheaper. However, for now, my understanding is that stacked sensors are a bit pricey.

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  13. 9 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

    Every raw file has a jpeg normally thumbnail size
    If there is a raw processor is to create a jpeg
    There are programs that can extract it. It is a good learning on why you never ever save raw only

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    The "thumbnail" is used for the icon whereas the embedded jpeg is full size and used by viewer-editors such as Photo Mechanic which is what I use. One can look at an image >100% while using Photo Mechanic. This is also why it is so much faster than Lightroom.

  14. One of the vids I watched earlier today mentioned that the Nikon EVF (Z9 and Z8) was far brighter than any of the other mirrorless cameras. Having more resolution (in the EVF) means more data to transfer and thus likely to have a slower refresh rate causing other problems. Nikon seems to have made a good compromise here. I see no issues in my Z9's EVF.

    A potential user error is to assume the AF of a new camera works the same as one from the past - Thom Hogan discussed this recently in his blog. One has to spend some time learning a new camera. There are a lot of AF options. I have been mostly using what I think of as the "fallen obelisk" also used in the D6 - a hybrid between 2001(the movie) and Easter Island - in combination with subject detection. The next to the skinniest fallen obelisk version as there are several choices. I have used both animal and auto subject detect. I used the later to shoot a helicopter recently - it works!

  15. I suspect we will get higher synch speeds with future electronic upgrades - faster stacked sensors and or faster CPUs. The D70 had a CCD sensor that enabled the higher synch speeds. I have shot zero flash pix with my Z9 so have not seen this as a problem. I have shot 4-digit ISOs of birds - so far so good. Not missing ISO 64 thus far. Maybe, if I copied some old slides or negatives….

    I do not see a battery issue at least for warm water open circuit scuba. One of the vid reviewers got a couple 1000 shots on one charge. FYI, I have done >10K shots without draining the battery in my Z9 at coolish temperatures ~5 °C.

  16. On 2/6/2023 at 5:42 AM, Draq said:

    Nikon also makes (or made?) a 10.5 fisheye for DX and 16mm fisheye for FX formats, both of which can be used on Nikon mirrorless bodies with the Nikon FTZ adapter.

    NO!!!!!! Both these lenses have screw drive AF so will not AF with either of the current FTZs. Can be used in MF mode.

    Aloha from Waikiki ("pit stop" en route to Palau)!


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  17. I second what Isaac wrote. Using the N15 for CFWA is leagues behind new tools such as the EMWL. With the N15 lens one had to use as small an aperture as possible such as f/22 and use the depth of field scale to fit the subjects and then "guess aim" the rig at the subject(s). There were  a lot of failures plus the DOF scale assumes only a modest final image size such as the size of a page in a book. Many N15 images would not make the grade with today's pixel peeing. I have a couple of shots attached that show the DOF on the side of the N15 lens (the second or N version that is needed for TTL bodies as well as digital sensors).



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  18. 2 hours ago, stillviking said:

    Anyone with full-resolution samples U/W with 8-15 mm with distortion correction on LR ON to be rectilinear? Thanks :)!

    Reduced IQ noticeable even at web rez. Note also the significant crop. It will be a s***storm if LR does not allow one to disable this correction for forthcoming fisheye lenses.



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