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Everything posted by Tom_Kline

  1. I have some S&S connectors as well but they are of the wired kind so do not work on the new strobe models. I had some trouble getting my new strobes to work. Optical adapter #1 would not trigger yet I could see the red flash at the end of the fiber. I tired both of my new pros as well as one of my originals. No dice. To make sure it was not the camera I was able to confirm the strobe worked by using the wired connector. Then I unpacked adapter #2 and it worked on the new strobes! Was able to fire each pro but not able to fire the old Retra. So looking more carefully at adapter #1 I noticed red light coming out from around the fiber cable where it comes out of the adapter but did not see this with #2. So I decided to re-terminate #1. While looking for a matching Allen wrench size to loosen the set screw the cable broke off completely - see pic. Looks like a very bad design to me if the cable crimped where it comes out from the adapter. It might be better to have a bigger hole to match the one on the strobe fitting and have the same part on each end of the cable. This would make exchanging cables at each end much easier. I am not sure how to proceed now as there is not much to grab on to. The fiber optic did not just drop out after loosening the set screw. I tucked in the broken end of the fiber optic under the velcro strap for the pic.
  2. We will have to hear from Oskar. Meanwhile I was curious about the black cap over the optical sensor. I have never used these on my ori. Retras and have only used the similar part on my Inons when using them as slaves. The Inon part fits on the Retra Pro but the Retra part does nor fit on the Inons due to the larger diameter of the sensor - at least on the Z220 model. The hole in the Inon part has a larger diameter.
  3. Yes that is what I was referring. I seem to recall from when I ordered the strobes that two fiber optic cables could be used but that one would be included with each adapter.
  4. Mine arrived so just starting. Fiber optics are totally new to me too. Was not able to find the "app" either via Google using Chrome on my computer nor the Apple app from the Apple App store. There needs to be a back up maybe a pdf at the Retra website? Trying to figure out how 2 fiber optics are attached to the adapter. Is the part that inserts into the strobe a standard part?
  5. FWIW my DHL bill is 110US for two pro strobes plus two synch adapters. As well, DHL has to mail it to me since I am in the boonies.
  6. FWIW I have FW version 2.20 in my Z6. Since FW update affected the AF it could be significant for these TCs.
  7. I have not shot any pix with the 8-15 and TC so cannot comment on image quality. I removed the lens shade during my test yesterday. Note that the shade will cause strange vignetting at wide settings. It is interesting that my oldish TC is AFing just fine on the Z6.
  8. Got a DHL call today! Now if our airport does not shut down like last week!
  9. I use FF mainly for very high ISO. I use 12800 a fair bit (35.5K of 315K underwater images according to LR) as that is the upper limit I have set for auto ISO with my Canon 1DX which is now somewhat old. Have used higher but then needed a very heavy hand at noise reduction. I am also shooting FF Nikon mainly for the RS lenses. Does the OP have a high ISO need?
  10. I do not have your exact set-up. However I just now tried my Z6 + FTZ + 8-15mm - That works A-OK. Then I inserted a Kenko 2x converter that is a number of years old (probably close to a decade). I bought it for the old 105D Micro-Nikkor before there was a 105VR. It is called "2X TELEPLUS PRO 300" on the top surface and "KENKO N-AFD Made in Japan. DG" (the first D is smaller sized) not quite on the bottom (towards right (grip) side). This combinations works OK - was able to AF. The aperture readout in the camera is 3.5 to 4.5 when set wide open so is NOT reading effective f-stop.
  11. No problem ;->> Delete "very" from my earlier post! :-< Yup under water we want to shoot subjects that are about 1 foot to 1 meter away if at all possible. Especially with flash. One needs alternate techniques such as slaved strobes or more ambient light for greater distances IMHO. Pools have their challenges as well.
  12. The super long arms was an absurd suggestion of course. Possibly slaved strobes placed very 1.5 m to the left and right might have helped. Lighting up a large flat surface with strobes under water is problematic, e.g., walls. BTW I have taken many fisheye shots using just one strobe at the 12 o'clock about a foot above the lens optical axis A-OK. Subject is at point blank range. Seacam strobes with diffusers work rather well. Inon strobes (Z220) with their flat diffusers not so much
  13. Glad you found the lens to be sharp. Not sure of the point of the light fall off measurements. The corners of the pool were at a greater distance than the middle, i.e., > 1.5m. Maybe with super-duper long strobe arms so that each strobe would be halfway to each pool end from your position ;->>
  14. You would not be able to focus the RS 13mm on a Z camera with the current FTZ adapter. The RS used a screw drive AF.
  15. I think that making such a decision is rather complicated today since we appear to be in a transition between single-lens reflex cameras to mirrorless cameras. As well, 2020 is a summer Olympics year when Canon and Nikon have historically started new generations of SLR cameras. Both companies have already pre-announced their new top tier sports cameras, the 1Dx3 and D6. These cameras will no doubt have superior AF among other particulars when compared to the current cameras. This new AF technology will likely percolate down to the lesser models, much as the D850 uses some of the technology of the D5 and the 5D4 uses some of the technology of the 1Dx2. In my 1.5 decades of digital underwater photography I have only been current for about 3 to 4 years. Right after getting the D2X and right after getting the 1DX; I am still using the 1DX. It is very challenging to keep up with the technology unless one has rather deep pockets. The old model depreciates rather quickly as well. Since a new housing is generally required the old housing depreciates alongside. It is something like 50% per generation (but there is a lot of variability here). So buying the latest and greatest today needs to be done with this caution in mind. I have preferred the integrated grip large battery models. These are more expensive as well as larger in size and weight. The overriding reason is that I shoot a lot in water that measured on the C scale is generally in the single digits, i.e., < 40F. As well I may keep the housing submerged for many hours at a time in one spot - shooting by remote control. The big batteries loose about 30% of their capacity due to temperature - Based on the rise in % displayed in the camera upon warming up to room temperature after a shoot (I give a housing several hours to warm up before opening to remove the memory cards). The reason for me shooting both Canon and Nikon has more to do with the histories of their product lines over the last 1.5 decades than what is current. If I was choosing today Nikon would be ahead due to the availability of modified Nikonos RS lenses as well as the 60mm AFS lens which I have found useful. The normal focal length Canon macro lens, which I have, does not allow for full time manual focusing. Other lenses are about the same right now but Canon had the 8-15 for quite a few years before Nikon came out with theirs (I now have both). I think what is needed for mirrorless is a killer app lens for us UWPs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_application Such a lens could be a 50-150mm macro zoom that went to 1x at 50mm and 3x at 150mm. It will be expensive 2 to 3K, maybe even more. It may be that 16-35 mirrorless lenses are less problematic behind domes than SLR lenses but we need more data before making this generalization. A bit of good news on the Nikon 24-70 Z kit less is that it focuses close enough that a diopter is not needed for smaller domes. It is quite good for topside close-ups based on my experience. Forget the more expensive 2.8 24-70 that focuses to 0.38m like its SLR cousins.
  16. Yes it is fairly long. This is solved by stacking port extension tubes as needed per Tim's point. The above photo shows how I use it use with just the zoom ring which is near the lens mount. Something like this should work with most housings once you get the appropriate gear for your housing. The focusing ring is more problematic since it is quite far from the lens mount. Special tubes incorporating a focusing knob were built for this (used also for the 200 macro). As well one needs a gear for the M-A ring that you see here to switch focusing modes. The older (non AFS) 60 and 105 macros and a few other lenses also have these rings so you may be familiar with them. I have the lens set to minimum focusing distance (lens is thus shown at maximum physical length) and the ring set at A effectively locking it here so long as AF in the camera is set to off. Also on the lens is the Nikon close-up lens No. 6T. I used the UV as a lens cap when I removed it from the housing then later found a 62mm cap to go on so I am using the "belt and suspenders" principle by leaving both on. The 6T is hard to find so it is a good idea to protect it while out of a housing. It is quite thick and does not fit in a standard filter case so I store it on the lens. With this setup I can vary the magnification using the zoom while holding the rig in a fixed position - this minimizes water movement between the port and subject. Working distance is just a few inches (working distance can be changed by using the other T close up lens (it is either plus or minus 1 from 6) or by focusing). Hidden under the zoom gear is a rubber ring that Nikon installed when I had them remove the tripod foot that is not user removable.
  17. Combinations I found quite useful included the old 20mm f/1.8 and 28mm f/1.8 super-close focusing Sigmas, respectfully, with the Nikon D2X (so 30mm equiv.) and Canon 1Ds2 to shoot juvenile salmonids in streams by remote control without using a viewfinder. Only general pointing with a pole cam - literally point and shoot photography. Some cropping was needed to fix the composition for some shots. I used a small sized dome as well due to the shallow water. So usefulness may not equal zero. Here is an example: https://www.salmonography.com/Salmonid-species-galleries/Cutthroat-Trout/i-sQKSJtH/A
  18. The crop factors do make comparisons problematic. As well, the Nikonos lenses become less useful when cropped IMHO. For example, cropping may cut out the more problematic portions of the image taken in by ultra-wides like 14mm topside lenses, so they potentially work out better for video than ff stills. Actually I used the 14mm prime Nikkor quite a bit with the D2X (i.e. crop) not all that long ago... ;->>
  19. Thanks for the compliment. No on the WACP as it is a non-Seacam solution. I am not sure what I would do starting over. Since it is apparent that we are at the start of a new paradigm, i.e., mirrorless for all major brands, this is particularly challenging. My gear collection is largely a result of the last 15 years of digital history and no real planning on my part. Correct on army brat.
  20. Where did the 28mm value in the first sentence come from? The Nikonos 15mm is like a 20mm lens behind a dome as you stated further up. It looks like Pawel's shot is a bit back focused, corals slightly back are sharper than the ones lit. Maybe not the best example to make his point. Ian is correct about the old Nikonos mount; one has to avoid putting side pressure on a lens with a moment arm longer than ~ the 35mm lens, e.g., this applies when using extension tubes. Back in the day I would take an NIII with the 28mm lens with me in my BC pocket with no problems from giant striding in.
  21. John, Yes I remember Dick Tracy which I read almost daily in the Stars and Stripes newspaper in Germany as a child 50 years ago! Adam reported elsewhere that the minimum working distance of the WACP is zero whereas it is about a foot or so with the 20-35 (my recollection from film days). Therefore one might be able to get a slightly better fish portrait of a small fish with the WACP but this needs to be confirmed in a pool test with something like the rubber duck in: That said I think this answer is academic as really neither lens will be good for a portrait of a small reef fish which are better shot with a 50 to 200 mm macro lens with optimum focal length being inversely proportional to fish size. They are OK for larger fish as well as schools of fish. I got in a manta at a cleaning station with the RS lens at 20. I did manage to chop of part of a wing in a few shots so wider could have been even better. https://www.salmonography.com/Aloha/Hawaiian-cleaning-symbioses/i-mSDXvcV/A Tom
  22. I have been using the Z6 for nearly a year and have found the focusing to be quite good, maybe even better than my D3X. It is challenging to make direct comparisons; for example, one should have 2 copies of the same Nikon AF lens, which I do not have. The Z6 worked very well in near darkness with the only lights being Christmas lights. As well, the viewfinder is much brighter than an SLR; basically it is a form of night vision. It would be interesting to see how this works under water with color being off. I would not be surprised if one could dispense with a focusing light during day dives which may be needed in shaded spots. Another advantage is being able to move the AF points around beyond the central area (applies to FF). I generally use 1 point AF which seems the fastest probably because it uses less computing power. That said I believe Canon and Nikon could have done much better AFwise. This might require more computing power (2nd CPU?) which could drain batteries even more. I am waiting to see what their pro sports mirrorless cameras turn out to be. Hopefully they will have batteries with a far higher CPA rating as well.
  23. I have wondered about this myself. Looks like the shade comes off but I have not seen what it looks like after this. It would be cool if one could swap out the front glass oneself to enable field repair assuming one had a spare on hand. A new cycle of cameras are due starting with the 1Dx3 and D6. We do not know at this time whether there will be a new 5D as well. If so this would be a good upgrade for you in a year or so that would work with your WACP. I would wait to see what the 1D equivalent mirrorless turns out to be before switching to Sony especially if you have a lot of EF glass.
  24. John, I have a Seacam modified 20-35 and shot the 20-35 as well with film "back in the day" with the RS. The minimum focusing distance of the lens is 0.38m which limits how much "reach" one will get at 35mm if I understand your use of this term. Filling the frame with something small? I use the lens mainly at 20mm but do have a few at 35mm on my website from HI. Such as this one: https://www.salmonography.com/Aloha/Hawaiian-Invertebrates/i-ktJSpXN/A I do not know if this was shot at minimum focus distance or not but probably not as I did not want collide with lava rock as I was drifting along the backwall of Molokini! The Pencil Urchin is fairly large but there is a smaller species above it. The images to right of this are also with this RS lens. The exif data report it as the 16mm fisheye but this is incorrect. The focal length, however, is correct. Exif data can be seen my clicking on the three-line symbol below the arrowhead symbol in the upper left as seen on a computer. To properly answer your question likely requires using the RS lens side by side with the WACP in a controlled situation such as a pool like Alex Mustard did in his excellent video on dome ports. A point he makes in it is that some wide angle options limit ones ability to get close to a subject because the optics get in the way, hence the need for the 10cm/4" macro domes. Maybe the answer to your question is "none of the above" like in multiple choice questions ;->> Tom
  25. ULCS sells grips that go in the round hole. Possible to put one on each side. One can be lower than the other - good for even more accessories to go on top and not be too high.
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