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Posts posted by Tom_Kline

  1. The clouds parted yesterday so I finally got to shoot my EMWL in the nearby lake. I used a somewhat hybrid approach - remote polecam - bonfire backwater - muck - freshwater UWP! Water was maybe a foot deep. I used a single Retra pro at 1/4 power. Because of the 100 degrees of the lens I used just the protection ring as a light modifier. I may try something narrower the next time, maybe this evening but rain is predicted to re-start at 2200 which is when I was shooting last night. As well gale force winds are forecast...

    I did not want to deal with mounting the lens shade in the twilight (I set up during civil twilight (ended about 20:45) but was wearing a headlamp). There is a lens flare in all the shots - slightly off-center likely due to my strobe placement which was not perfectly centered but pointing more or less straight down (modeling light used for the "bonfire" technique). The pic shows a Threespine Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), which is a widely distributed species. I tried a different approach at showing a 100% crop. I made a virtual duplicate in LR that I cropped to ~800 pixels on the long dimension. The white things look to me like leeches - an African Queen moment!




  2. PS The contrast was a bit low and I only guessed at the exposure. I used 1/4 power on one Retra Pro for the distance shot then went to the lowest setting for the f/4 shots and forgot to reset it back for the last shot (f/16) so I equalized the exposures in LR by centering the histograms. The contrast was low evidenced by the histograms all fitting in the middle block in the LR display when centered so I set contrast to 100%. LR imported with camera neutral profile was left unchanged - which is also a bit flat. Camera used was a Nikon D800 (rez in corner of screen grab).

  3. Next is a jpeg converted from a screenshot of the last pic while working in LR zoomed into 100%. I had to compress the jpeg quite a bit to make it fit. Looks like the number of pixels is quite a bit less as well. So much for 100%! I may be wrong here as my monitor is 6K so hard to tell but the window in LR was quite a bit larger.


    Screen Shot 2021-10-06 at 3.35.11 PM.jpg

  4. Got my EMWL late yesterday!! (I am pronouncing it em-will, FYI). I bought it a la carte, just four items (totaling 3 grand), for now. These items are focusing unit #1 to use with the Nikon 105VR, the 100 degree objective, the lens shade for the objective, and a 67mm mounting ring (to replace the Nauticam bayonet mount on the focusing unit). I have a Saga port for the 105VR similar to what Adam has (Alex may be using the Saga port for the 60mm Nikkor). Nauticam cautions to not tighten the six screws holding the ring in place too tightly. In less than 24 hours three fell out onto my carpet that I was able to locate so a word of caution here - I went back and tightened them well using a long 2.5mm sized Allen wrench (my Swiss Army Knife style hex wrench kit (I have two, one for metric and once for inch that are light enough for travel but not up to this task) does not have long enough wrenches!).

    I took some shots in the tub since the weather today prohibits going outside. I shot at f/16 then pulled the housing out of the tub to shoot at f/4 but I inadvertently moved the aperture setting to f/3.8 during the shoot. Large aperture clearly not as good as stopping down. I started at about 12"/30cm working distance but did not quite put the housing in the same spot after changing the aperture. I then went closer still at f/3.8 then went back to f/16 still closer. The closer shots were about and inch (3cm) from the lens give or take. Full frame shots all have my logo in the corner.

    It took a while to figure out a target - I found an empty isopropanol bottle in my darkroom supplies and put in several 3/8" ss bolts to make it negative. Now to get them back out!!! I was kneeling on the floor next to the tub on the left so you see a slight bias due to the awkwardness. I was shooting using AF with one hand while the other was holding a Seacam monitor that gave me a view through the viewfinder (and observing the AF points doing their thing).





    • Like 2

  5. 8 hours ago, hyp said:


    On the other Hand @Tom_Kline has provided plenty of reasons for why a FF DSLR is the superior option for his kind of shooting style. People just need to understand that everyone has their own perspective based on what, where and how they shoot and take that into consideration when making their own choices about gear.


    When I started digital underwater photography I had already over two decades of shooting film under water. I mainly had to learn about the digital part (which alone was quite substantial) and had to gain some practical knowledge of dome ports as I had been using the Nikonos RS for preceding ~decade and thus did not have to worry about it.

    A new underwater photographer on the other hand is in a Catch-22 position. It is hard to know what to buy without having any experience. A new underwater photographer needs to set forth goals. What are the photographs going to be used for? What are the conditions (locations, seasons, depths, visibility, etc.) in which the photographs will be taken? What are the specific subjects that will be taken? Will any specialized underwater techniques be required to accomplish ones goals (a Catch-22 question so I a have left it to last)?

  6. 4 hours ago, Architeuthis said:


    Is the FOV range the only criterium to decide wich lens to acquire ore are there differences in optical quality that someone did notice inbetween possible lenses for a given camera system (center-, corner-sharpness, usable aperture, anything else)?


    Useful list; I was not aware that the Z 24-70/4 kit lens even works with the WACP-1!  My understanding from having watched Adam's Wetpixel Live interview with Edward Lai is that it is the physical size of the front element of the lens being adapted that is critical and that the quality of the lens is not important. My recollection of that video is that this critical dimension is about 60mm which brings up the Nikon kit lens as it uses 72mm filters. I just now removed the polarizing filter on my copy of this lens and note that the front element is quite a bit less in diameter than the filter thread. It is recessed so not possible to measure with what I have but could be as small as 60mm. The lens extends when zoomed to focal lengths longer than 24mm so I surmise that the position of the front element may be less critical than its diameter.

  7. As you mention above this thread is not about format but topside vs underwater. My local freshwaters are stained to varying degree - it looks like the fish are swimming in CocaCola! Thus WB adjustment is extreme compared to topside. I do this in LR so it is only metadata within LR. Keep in mind I do most of my shooting by remote control so I am generally not looking through the viewfinder (without the special Seacam accessory) and do have not access to menus without withdrawing the housing from the water which would defeat the purpose of remote control - disturbing my subject.

    List the housings you refer to above - I am a Seacam user and not familiar with any. Nauticam has some housings for an auxillary battery but have no idea of the benefit and how well it would work for me. Besides the cold and long duration I have managed to take thousands of shots during one shoot - record is over 10K with the D4s the day shot in continuous mode.

    • Like 2

  8. 9 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

    The question you are answering is not what is being asked

    You are answering the question is there a benefit to full frame?

    The ops question is 'Is the benefit of full frame accentuated underwater compared to shooting on land'

    The latter question answer is no the benefits are the same. What you describe is not special it is the same thing that happens on ambient light on land. The gap does not get larger

    So there is no disagreement you are just answering a different question that what is being asked

    I do considerably more color adjustment compared to topside for many if not most of my freshwater shots so no they are not the same. As well I tend to use ISO up to 12,800 (1Dx) and 16,000 (D4s) with autoISO and these cameras far more underwater. I have only used super high ISO for shooting with very slow vintage lenses such as a 500mm mirror lens for topside shooting.

    A not sensor size per se but camera advantage is that currently only certain FF cameras use large batteries (gripped models; see models already mentioned). (I did used gripped APS-C cameras (no longer made) a few years ago for the same advantage. Not sure if the D500 accessory grip uses them or not but I known of no housings for this combo.) These big batteries are an advantage for the cold water (a local stream has a mean temp of 4C - reported in an MS thesis - it is always numbing cold) I typically shoot in for long duration - camera is powered up for hours. Even so I have manged to run these batteries down to 0. Swapping batteries is a bit more challenging underwater compared to topside - in my case the o-rings need to be cleaned every time the housing is opened do to sand and silt in the water.

    • Like 2

  9. The Cambridge site was the first hit when I web searched the topic and was good enough for my purposes. Gamma or slope of the curve is but one of the parameters I was referring to - the term gamma is also used in analog (film). In the case of digital we can move the endpoints (0 and 255 in 8-bit) to "fix" at least some of the clipping. Folks that simply use LR or any other program to simply convert their raw files are missing the boat so far as a major advantage of digital over film. Clipping is mostly a non-issue for those willing to do even a wee bit of work. You seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill IMHO.

    PP IMHO opinion requires some slider shifting etc. Failure to do so is not the fault of Adobe et al.

  10. @ i121:

    A better choice of wording might help. For example, raw processors do not actually think!  As well, you may not understand the problem. It is not clear that you do from the above.

    The underlying problem is largely due to the 8-bit nature of jpegs.  The raw image needs to be converted into something that can go on one's camera or computer screen that also has tonal range limits. This is not too different from what one had to deal with back in the film days. Ansel Adams et al. wrote about this extensively, re. zone system etc. The tonal range in the scene had to be made to fit within the tonal range of film which was much less than the luminosity range of a bright sunny day with deep shadows. This was controlled by selection of film as well as developer type and method (in the case of black and white). Once one had a film negative one had to go through the same process with making a print on paper.  The analogous controls in digital are the profiles one applies when converting from raw to screen and then to print. The profiles incorporate the mathematical parameters needed to do the conversion, think Y-intercept and slope from way back in school. There is no thinking involved except by the photographer.

    This page (especially towards the bottom; note the table) may help you understand things better than I can write:  https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dynamic-range.htm

  11. If you want the image to be different after import select a different develop setting in the import menu. See attached pic. I had the camera on neutral and this is what the imports looked like before I worked on the images. There are a bunch of "canned" develop settings and one can even buy some that are UWP-centric from https://below-surface.com/en/

    Note as well the metadata import settings - I named mine "Use This", ROTFL

    Also I selected minimal previews which means it took just a few seconds to import each folder of images.

    BTW one can control how long 1:1 previews are kept - various ways in the menus from automatic to fully manual.

    Screen Shot 2021-09-05 at 8.56.09 PM.jpg

  12. I have used normal focal length macro lenses for many years. First case was using the classic 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor back in the late 80s when I was a Ph.D. student! This was a lens that extended quite a bit when focused close. More recently I have used the 60mm AFS lens with both flat and done ports (each has pros and cons).  I have yet to take a 1:1 or even 1:2 shot using one so this argument has not much value to me. Instead these lenses provide much better close focusing ability than the run of the mill standard lenses that may only focus to 0.4 meters. The normal focal length is useful for larger or more skittish marine creatures that are smaller than a whale. A 105 or 100mm is just too long a lens for other than close-up portraits, which I have done when confronted with the wrong lens syndrome on a dive and wanted to shoot anyway!

  13. 1 hour ago, edgarhurtado said:

    Hello! I have an upcoming photoshoot session with artistic divers in a pool. I don't really know how to trigger my underwater strobe with flashes I'll be using outside of the water ( GODOX AD600BM).

    My quesiton is: can the INON z330 serve me to trigger flashes outside of the water?


    The z330 will be connected to the camera via a 5 pin sync cable to Nikonos, but I also have strobes outside of the water ( regular studio flashes: GODOX ) and I don't know how to properly light both underwater and outside of the water regular flashes. Will TTL also work with my external flashes?


    I hope I can get your help guys,

    Thank you! 

    See my yes and no replies above. One solution is to use an optical slave which is what I did here using the much older Inon Z220.


    The triggering strobe is the one pointing up. Your Godox may have a slave setting - check for this. One can buy slave sensors as well.

    Another solution is to use a radio slave. One can house a Pocket Wizard: https://www.backscatter.com/Aquatica-Water-Wizard-Pocket-Wizard-Plus-III-Underwater-Housing

    Be very careful when using topside strobes near water!!!!!! It is best if you an assistant attend them!

    Good luck


  14. I think of it as the distance between the lens and a strobe (instead of what was stated above) with the axis of both being in parallel thus forming a square and thus 45-45-90 isosceles triangles when thinking of the strobe's light output. Double the 45 to 90, thus a strobe with 90 degrees coverage will reach the lens' optical axis i.e., the center of the frame. A wide angle strobe will do more thus one can use the feathered edge of the strobe for illumination. Do the same for each strobe when using two strobes - distance between them will vary according to their "clock" position. Use this as a starting point adjusting the strobe angle to point outwards if so desired as Tim mentions above.

  15. I have used Inon strobes (220 and 240 models) with Canon 1D series cameras (see signature) in Seacam housings with no problem. I have always used the hot shoe connector. Never heard of using a communications port for flash synch! There is a standard PC connector on most cameras for old style wired flash synchronization but I have not used one of these with a Seacam housing yet.

    PS. The hot shoe connector is wired to S6 bulkheads in my housings as delivered by Seacam in my current housings (I had to "steal" a bulkhead to allow remote control in some of my earlier housings).

  16. 2 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

    I produce sRGB 2048 pixels wide images for facebook and 1080 wide for instagram I also print on sRGB actually and to be frank I never had an issue of loss of quality or color. While in some cases the issue was the brightness when you go and print compared to what you had on the screen

    I am a bit stingier with my pixels, more like 640 to 800 on the long axis. As well images are watermarked. Most folks seem to be using their phones to look at these sites so why bother with more rez, that is what my website is for.

  17. On 6/6/2021 at 3:29 PM, ChrisRoss said:

    Your working distance on the 100mm macro at 1.4x is 85mm so you lose 30mm of that working distance, so you might have 45mm of working distance allowing for port glass thickness etc even in a perfect fitting port.  The lens is not reported to extend when focusing, see this post: 


    According to this page the barrel extends: https://sansmirror.com/lenses/lens-database/lenses-from-camera-makers/canon-eos-rf-mount-lenses/canon-rf-100mm-f28l-macro.html

    We will have to wait and see for a more detailed evaluation. The image of the lens nose is consistent with a portion of the lens extending as there are several parts here - the front end is not flush.

    The reason I got the Saga port was for the 67mm threaded end. This enables fitting a range of optical add-ons, from the EMWL to wet diopters.


  18. "Back in the day" one had to have space between a macro lens and port because the lens extended when focused so this should not be too big an issue. The larger OD of a standard macro port will help with buoyancy since there will be a larger air pocket. It appears that the RF100 macro does extend a bit to get to 1.4x so that apparent extra space may end up being useful.

    The main downside will be accessories that apparently require the camera lens to be right up to the port glass such as those made by Nauticam. For example, on their lens compatibility list, the older extending Micro-Nikkors are not included for the EWML. We will have to wait and see to when the new lens is available and in the hands of the housing and port manufacturers to get more specific info. A third party port manufacturer that may produce a port for the new lens and with an Aquatica mount is Saga. See: https://sagadive.com/product/frontales-conicos-de-aluminio-saga/   Note that they offer Aquatica now. I have one of their ports from this list for Seacam for the Nikon 105mmVR macro and it is quite nice.

  19. 9 hours ago, horvendile said:

    The 105 mm appears to be longer than the F-mount version, but of course doesn't need the FTZ adapted. It would be neat if I could use the same port.

    See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RJh7VZrjA4

    The Z 105MC will fit behind your existing ports with a few spare mm (room for an achromatic diopter lens??). This, however, may not be ideal for the EMWL so I suspect you will need a new port - we will need to wait for Nauticam's (or Alex's) tests. The vid shows the new 105MC lens to have superior IQ to the 105VR F mount!

  20. I cobbled together my BCD using parts from various manufacturers. So it could be called a hybrid or a bastard....

    The back plate is aluminum but should be stainless steel for better positioning. As well it should be used with steel tanks. Failing that I have four weight pockets on the two straps holding the tank not visible in the photo. Using a lycra suit, which is all I really need for Hawaii, temp about 25C, I have all my weight in these pockets. This is not the safest for quick ditching but I can assume any position with extreme ease, horizontal or tilted up or down. To save on weight I have just one D ring on each side. This shot was on the way to Niihau Island with Kauai visible in the background. On my previous HI trip to this one, which was to the Big Island, I got towed to the surface by the left hand side D ring as I was attached to a short down line for a blackwater dive when a breeze kicked up. The captain had not deployed a drogue so we quickly became a sailboat. A significant amount of force was needed to do this as I am well over 200 pounds in weight. So having a real solid rig is important for some circumstances - I broke the plastic D-rings on a previous BC from much less duty. The yellow strap that you see in the pic is from the weight belt I used in the 1970s. The belt is now fairly supple so I am using it for the crotch strap which is vital to the backplate design. Note that there is a heavy buckle which is important for opening and removal while in the water - has not failed me yet. I see weights on the bench so this is before they got loaded. You can also see my Canadian sombrero - a wide rim Tilley hat in an empty tank holder. As well there is the strongest sunblock I could find in the yellow thing next top the camera. The captain did not like me spraying it so it was not used after this first day of the trip. The reg you see is the same model that Adam has. I have gone back to using a combo reg-inflator. The Atomic SS1 model has a clever design allowing quick removal from the wing inflator hose.


  21. I am curious if anyone is using bulb or other long exposure techniques. An example would be for swimming around a wreck and doing multiple flashes.

    My long exposures have been limited to streams (some due to aperture priority auto-exposure setting so variable in length). Camera was always on a "tripod" of sorts and negatively buoyant to keep from drifting in the current. With and without flash.

  22. 51 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

    E I would prefer a so called full frame camera in the 4:3 format because it is better to me than 3:2 but that is a discussion for another day.


    +1. I do a fair amount of cropping of my FF images to the 4:3 aspect ratio  (I use standard ratios for cropping to make it easier to print to standard sizes - earlier in the digital game I free-formed the crop). A fair number also end up as 16:9!!

    A wider than 24mm FF format would be nice. I suspect we are stuck with the legacy effect as 24mm was about as wide as was possible to fit between the sprocket holes of 35mm film. Note that Nikon and others tried alternative formats with their 35mm cameras but most everyone ended up with a format that was 36mm long as the area (24x36) had an edge over formats that were 24x(<36) (this was way back).

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