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Everything posted by Tom_Kline

  1. I agree with what Tim says in post (#13), however, I prefer to use a straight finder for most dives but prefer a 45 degree finder when snorkeling as they are easiest used while in a prone position. Similarly for a dedicated muck dive (just off the bottom). I have used them (45) as well for very shallow pix such as semi-submerged at the edge of a stream but it can be tricky positioning the housing so the finder can be used (dry in my case). I dug up some pix from 2011 showing this. One housing has a 45 finder on it the other the standard finder. I used the 45 finder to better aim the camera and to make sure none of the focusing points were on a nearby rock. I was just able to lie behind the camera to look through it. Actual photography was done using remote control via the cables you see in one of the pix. I was on a wider "beach" just downstream of where the cameras were to do the shooting. These finders are generally made to fit specific housings. Some such as the Seacam's are easily swapped out (think camera lenses). You will have to research your particular housing model.
  2. It would be nice to be able to actually see these pix. Getting both the air and underwater parts in focus at the same time (not using Photoshop!) is not that easy. To use longer focal length lenses one can use a split diopter lens - like a regular diopter but only covers one half of the lens so that one can focus at two distances. It is possible this is what your friend used. There is a bit of trial and error using split diopter lens with getting the subject to match the two distances. I failed the last time I tried.
  3. Getting the best fit behind a dome port is often a matter of trial and error. Maybe starting with the recommendations of the housing manufacturer and varying the amount of port extension (it helps to have several port extension tubes on hand). Most successful over-under shots have been done with fisheye lenses. I am not familiar with your gear so cannot provide more specific directions. Keep in mind that if the lens is squat very little if any port extension is needed. It is the longer zoom wide angles such as the more recent Nikon and Canon 16-35 lenses that are quite long and require a lot of port extension. The older primes used hardly any. The old Nikon 20D lens requires none (Seacam) for example.
  4. They work like dry ones except that they are placed on the outside of your housing+port hence they are wet. Because of the refractive effects of water they tend to be of greater strength than dry ones which typically screw directly onto the front of the lens. With dry diopters you may need to allow for their thickness - a little more port extension may be required - this is more critical with two-element diopters as they can be an inch or more thick. Wet diopters are used with flat ports only. Wet diopters attach in a variety of ways. Mounts are custom designed to fit the ports for which they are intended. It may not be possible to fit a given wet diopter to a given port. With some housing brands and their ports you may be SOL or restricted to those made by the housing company. There are now many on the market as well as discontinued models - you should check out various web sites. Retailer web sites are good start but a given retailer may not carry all brands.
  5. Looks like you did a pretty good job of it already with the pic your posted above. A low ISO value works for reducing ambient light thus making the background darker. Many are using snoots to focus the strobe light to a small area - there are lots of examples on Wetpixel. A fast shutter works but you will be limited to the cameras synch speed which may not be all that fast such as 1/250 sec.
  6. This is not entirely correct. The eye+brain (I include the eye because it is my understanding that some "post-processing" of the image data takes place in the retina) does some color correction even though it is incomplete. I had an experience that illustrates this: After shooting some soldierfish in a mini-cave in the side of submarine lava flow formation (Big Island) I decided to chimp to see if my flash exposure was correct as there was time to re-shoot in case I screwed up. The lava formation was large enough that I was in its shadow so the light was very blue even though it was not too deep. When I looked at the image on the camera's screen the soldierfish appeared day-glow orange. I later re-checked these images when I got topside and the orange color was normal. My eye+brain had been compensating for the rather blueish light. Recall also that when you shoot under tungsten lighting the image will be rather red unless the WB is set to tungsten. However we do not perceive all this redness with our vision. Our eye+brain is doing some color correction. quote: . Because usually and without lights we dont see reds more than the camera sees it,we dont see a white balanced image.So if its not there anyway why do we try to create it (can also use fake it) and try to give to to the audience, whatever that audience is, a fake white balanced image.
  7. Your catalog or catalogs should be a file or files on your computer. If you did back-ups you will have copies of them at an earlier state as well. A catalog is a file with a name that ends in .lrcat on a mac. Look for this.
  8. Wolfgang, Doing a comparison like you suggest is very expensive and time consuming so it is unlikely that you will find this answer. I know of one underwater photographer who has and I believe still is shooting with 24x36mm, APS-C, and m4/3. That person is Alex Mustard. He has discussed this a bit here on Wetpixel as well as in his book. Keep in mind that the rules keep changing. I would say that the Nikon D500 is the current state of the art APS-C camera for underwater use. So conclusions based on earlier cameras may no longer be valid. This raising of the bar applies to all formats as well as camera types - Almost no one can keep with it and have extensive side by side experience with all of them. A number of people bought into the high MP Nikon D800 and its derivative models and find the high MP useful - discussed here on Wetpixel. Keep in mind that water itself is somewhat like an AA filter in that light is scattered and thus resolution is diminished. However unlike a filter the effect of water is quite variable - some things to consider are water distance, what is dissolved in the water, and what is suspended in the water. There are a lot of choices out there. One really needs to know very specifically what ones requirements are to make the best selection. For example, I make use of high ISO - have shot a lot at ISO 12800 in the last couple of years. I am shooting close-up action in poor light that can also be low contrast (e.g. salmon spawning behavior) so need the most sensitive and fastest AF there is. As well, I am shooting in cold water. I measured a water temp of 34F last month when I was shooting - this is about 1 degree C. I shoot for prolonged periods - not so much in December but I have had the camera powered up in one spot in a stream for 12 hours continuously during the long summer days. The only cameras that meet my requirements are the full sized sports oriented DSLRs. BTW, mirrorless cameras all seem to have tiny batteries that die rather quickly. If I lived in Austria I would be temped to photograph Huchen spawning. This would probably require the same gear I am using with salmon in Alaska. If you are only going to shoot in the Red Sea then your requirements might be quite different.
  9. I played around with zooming the film strip - momentarily when doing so the black part above the row of images does cover up the grey toolbar but only for a split second then fixes itself. This is not exactly what you are getting. What happens when you close the filmstrip (click on the tiny triangle in the middle at the bottom)? FYI, I am using a 2012 mac pro with 32GB of ram and have re-set the LR cache to 10GB. I avoid running other apps such as office when working in LR. I have nearly 1/2 million images in my LR library.
  10. What is not often stated is that the refractive index of water varies by wavelength of light. This results in chromatic aberration which can be seen even in a swimming pool. Behind a flat port the chromatic aberration is a function of the angle of view measured from the optical axis, i.e., the half angle. It gets much worse as the angle increases. Therefore one can only use flat ports with near normal focal lengths and longer. One can get away with a flat port with a 35mm focal length on the 24x36mm format for example. The non-SLR Nikonos 35mm lens used a flat port - this is why it was amphibious and not underwater only (all the non-SLR Nikonos lenses with focal lengths <35mm were under water only). The main purpose of the dome port is to restore the angle of view of the lens. This also results in the removal of the magnification (that you get with a flat port - see Bill's comment) and thus variability of magnification related to chromatic aberration. However, one needs to properly set up the dome port (correct amount of port extension). As well, one cannot avoid the field curvature of the virtual image. For example with a 105mm macro you would need to move the dome port some distance way from the front of the lens and you may lose some of the lenses macro capability. The resulting air space between the dome surface and lens could also be problematic in terms of rig buoyancy. Also important is the distance to the dome port virtual image is quite close. Most 50 1.4 lenses cannot focus close enough, i.e. at minimum focus (e.g., 0.45m) the lens is focused beyond infinity when behind a dome. The solution is to use a close-up diopter lens. These may degrade the image to the point of uselessness - it varies by individual lens design. For example I found that when using one with a 24-70mm zoom (min. focus of 0.38m) the result with single lens diopter was unacceptable. OK however when used with a two-element achromatic diopter except that the thickness of the diopter caused additional vignetting.
  11. True but AF will start OK if one activates AF with the shutter release but the selected point will be automatic, one just cannot use the screen to move the box. One CAN however use the joystick to move the box. I have the 1Dx2 on my lap as I write this and have just done this. Check this out: http://www.backscatter.com/learn/article/article.php?ID=258 I have my body configured to use the shutter release button to activate video so when I push the set button the AF box goes to the center. This is not what the above article says but it may be a result of how I have my body configured.
  12. I do not see why not. The camera does not know it is underwater (unless naked and then it will die fast). BTW I have shot topside underwater video of salmon using the AF of the 7D2 and 1DX2. The cameras had no trouble following the action when I looked, i.e. the AF boxes were jumping around). I had a relatively high vantage point with the cameras pointing down with telephoto lenses. As kind of a joke I have a frame grab of the video I took of two salmon species spawning together on the homepage slide show that was done with AF - there is a housing on the other side of the couple as I was shooting stills of them at the same time. To save you time I exported a jpeg of the frame grab. The resolution is higher on my website than here. Note that the fish are blurry due to surface waves. This is from 2015 and done with the 7D2 and 100-400II lens. Probably a polarizer as well.
  13. Sounds like an 85mm macro is in your future as it does fit in between the 60 and 105 nicely. I might have purchased the 85 had Nikon brought it out sooner. After going digital I bought the 60 and 105 D lenses (felt a need for AF for UW) and then the 105 and 60 AFS when they came out. As well I have the older manual focus 55 and 105s, the macro zoom, and the 200 medical lens. Thus my lack of interest in the DX macros, which came out more recently. A few years back I shot an entire diving trip to Maui with the 105VR using the D2X. Got some great shots of small reef fishes on that trip but it was a bit too narrow the day a White Tip Reef Shark and a moray were going around in circles in front of me! Even the 60 might have been too narrow for that. However I have taken half-shark pix with the 60 (the front half!). The 60 is pretty good for shooting APS-C format in more limited visibility too.
  14. Not yet. It is now extremely cold - Alaska is one big popsicle. I have received a replacement part - the contact piece for the joystick - from Seacam. It fits around the 4 fingers that stick up in the new style joystick. I may have to remove the live view connection - this is something I do not use. I have shot video with the MkII but set up the camera to use the shutter release button so do not mess with the LV button. I may be able to get away with just removing the rubber contact piece for the card selection button (to the left of the tiny LCD at the bottom of the camera rear).
  15. The Seacam is more powerful. I can get backscatter with either design.
  16. With a dome diffuser such as the ones for SEACAM strobes one can cover the near field of a fisheye lens. I have thousands of shots done this way with one strobe mounted at the 12 O'clock position. I have also shot the same fish eye lens with an Inon strobe with the Inon flat diffuser installed - earlier 220 model that is the same size as the 240 models. The corners come out dark unlike SEACAM. My conclusion is that dome diffusers are superior to flat ones at least for fisheye lenses. Adam H tested one a while back but good luck finding the test on this site.
  17. I have shot a lot of salmon behavior in streams some of it after sunset - see my web site esp under "salmonid topics" for behavior examples. However I am a stills shooter. I use the same cameras, housings, focusing lights, and strobes that I use for scuba diving. It is all done by remote control using SEACAM remote control components http://seacam.com/en/products/remote-system I set things up wearing fishing waders then work the cameras from an elevated shore whenever possible - for a better view. Otherwise I will stand on gravel bars in the stream. Depending on current strength and camera setup (e.g. dome size) I use up to 30# in ankle weights to help hold things down. Even with this much weight when the males fight they can knock the camera around requiring a re-set. For this reason I do not recommend leaving your gear alone. When there is very little current sediment can end up on the dome port from digging and fighting also requiring entering the stream for wiping off. As well I will swap out strobe and focusing light batteries while the setup is in situ. Chest pockets are useful for this! It may take 2 to 3 strobe batteries in one day to get to the spawning if it even happens before I have to leave. At open canopy sites where and when the sun shines I do available light shooting at high ISO so don't use strobes for all my shots. If I was to do video I would start using something similar except I would need a housing upgrade as my 1Dx does not AF in video but my 1Dx2 does. AF is important when shooting at point blank range as is typical. I would next think about an external battery for the camera since most of my still shoots go on for many hours - even the big pro batteries in a 1D will not last long (great for stills but doubtful for video in a housing). Possibly would use lights that could run off a generator or separate car battery. The batteries would be on land and run to the camera setup with waterproof cables. IR does not go far in water so not sure if that will even work. You might consider super sensitive (to light) cameras aka night vision. You might have to add a few zeros to your budget. None of this stuff comes cheap.
  18. They are both on the Sea of Cortez/Gulf of California at the southern end of Baja. I found a map with Pulmo circled: http://www.4vientos.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/BUENAVISTA-LOS-BARRILES-CABO-PULMO.jpg Looks like about the same distance to either from the airport. Gordo Banks is offshore of Punta Gordo about halfway between them. See http://www.mexfish.com/baja/baja/cabosmp/cabosmp.htm
  19. I did some dives there back in 1994 before heading out to the Revillagigedo Islands on the Baja Treasure. I recall boarding diving skiffs right in the CSL harbor for the local dives. As well the operator did a day trip using their van up to Cabo Pulmo. There was a lot of current on the first Pulmo dive so that many did not do the second one which had no current. All this was quite a while ago. I do not recall the diver operator. I shot my underwater photos on that trip with a Nikonos RS and film!
  20. I set up mine to work at 24mm. Optimizing for 70mm would involve much more port extension and thus severe vignetting at 24mm. The trouble with normal focal range zoom lenses is that they extend quite a bit when zooming. The 24-70/4 extends a bit less than the Canon 24-70/2.8 or 24-105/4 lenses see- http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-24-70mm-f-4-L-IS-USM-Lens-Review.aspx(scroll down about 80% of the page).
  21. I used this lens during my most recent trip to Hawaii (in 2016) - there are a number of examples on my website in the Aloha! galleries. I used it with a Canon 500D diopter lens. It is a +2 achromatic which means it is fairly thick so there is tiny amount of vignetting at 24mm. I found simple one-lens diopters to be unsatisfactory. The minimum focus is 0.38m other than using it in macro mode which requires one to slide a switch. This makes the macro mode not useful for underwater use IMHO. I used the 24-70 with a Seacam Compact Port - my guess is that the port's radius is the same as an 8 inch hemispherical port. One can use this lens with a Superdome (it has a larger dome radius) and no diopter - see http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=52222&hl=%2Bcanon+%2Bnorway.
  22. FYI - Inon strobes are designed to use S&S cables. I have found S&S cables to be reliable. It sounds like your strobes were not able to charge up the capacitors. The light comes on when they are charged. This could be due to a weak battery. Are your batteries OK? The circuitry responsible could be bad as well. I would do your tests with fully charged Eneloops. If you suspect the sync cable - test one strobe at a time with a singleton sync cable. Keep things as simple as possible to do a process of elimination. You said "I am now wondering if this may be related to using sea&sea cables with a Inon strobe,"
  23. I have both cameras as well as a Seacam 1Dx housing. I removed the internal contact parts of the 3 controls on the back that have changed and was able to fit the 1Dx2 into the housing and also able to dry fire it (i.e. indoors). I do not recall absolutely if I plugged in the flash synch do-dad (the gizmo that slides into the hot-shoe) or not as it was several months ago. I am waiting to see what is different about the new Seacam housing - probably will be shown at DEMA as it may be out already.
  24. Roger that. The camera selected the 1/640 s. It also varied the ISO since I was using auto ISO - I use this a lot for ambient light pix. I set 1/500 s. as the minimum shutter speed and ISO 800 and 12800 as the, respectively, minimum and maximum ISO (in the auto ISO menu). Fixed at f/13 due to aperture priority. This is with a 1Dx, auto ISO functionality varies with camera model. If I run out of ISO, i.e. at 12800 and more exposure is needed then the camera will go to longer than 1/500 s. (this happens later in the day as well as when a cloud passes between the sun and the camera - the sun is weaker in Alaska at 60 degrees N compared to the tropics- so exposures may be different from you are used to).
  25. Some fish are capable of very quick movement that may not involve traveling. Family Antennaridae feeding comes to mind. I was editing pix I took a few weeks ago yesterday and marked this one to use here in case this got asked. This is an ambient light exposure at 1/640 s. I was using aperture priority with auto ISO. Note the blur at the front and tail ends of this female Pink Salmon in the process of excavating her redd. The large dorsal spots just posterior of her head are not blurred. Rocks on the bottom closer than the fish are in focus so this is not a DOF issue. One pic is a blow-up of the other.
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