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Everything posted by Tom_Kline

  1. Yes!!! I think examples are needed! Many seem to want to upgrade without articulating a good rationale or two, etc. The average Joe might do well with something even less than what the OP has. I see a lot of Sealife and Go Pros when diving in Hawaii. The only local (to me) that has given an UW presentation used a Sony 100 model with wet lenses - the results wowed most people in the audience although the pix were not all that sharp. The projector may have been dodgy as well (I used a different venue when called).
  2. Yes, there is a need to extrapolate from non-underwater users! The Z9 is not all that bad in cost. The housings, something else.... What will be interesting is to see which aspects of the tech in the Z9 end up in the next gen cameras. Nikon has already indicated that this will be the case. Possibly one of these will be better for warm water UWP (smaller and less expensive a housing). However in the post-covid world we may have to get used to much higher prices. :<<
  3. !!!! IQ alone is insufficient rationale for up-sizing one's sensor size IMHO. One needs to be rather specific such as a desire to make really large prints that have been unsatisfactory with current gear. I use FF. My main bodies are the Nikon D4S and Canon IDX that are used mostly in auto ISO mode with max ISO set, respectively, at 16000 and 12800 for available light shooting (spring to very early autumn). These cameras have resolution in the same ballpark as micro four thirds cameras but have about a 3-stop high ISO edge. With direct sunlight I typically get from ISO 5000 to my max (when a cloud blocks the sun). Use mainly fisheye lenses (so no real small lens apertures except with micro-dome). Need short exposures due to fish movement. Shallow water but at 60.5 degrees north latitude. The big batteries also help a lot because the mean water temp in my streams is 5C (actually measured by a graduate student).
  4. Here is a far better comparison of DSLR vs mirrorless AF than this thread: https://www.zsystemuser.com/nikon-z-system-news-and/dslr-versus-mirrorless.html BTW the rumored next FW update for the Z9 is supposed to have an AF improvement - we shall see!!!
  5. Adam I gather you did not use the new style cable adapters. (???) It looks like an FO in the cover shot for the vid. Since I already have two sets of Retra strobes - the original and Pro models - I have been reluctant to buy a third set!! For me the main advantage of the X models is the new style cable adapter (call it model 3) which I am compelled to use since I have Seacam housings which do not have dedicated FO ports (the brand's main weakness). I am thus curious about their use. While the improved version of the non-attachable cable adapter (model 2) works, there is a lot of lose cabling as well as dealing with the lose heavyish adapter. The supplied velcro strap is highly unsatisfactory IMHO (I could use more colorful language!). The only advantage is the ability to swap out FO cables and even not attach them until settled in under water. I have been attaching them just before deploying a pole-rig for recent night work (until spring started).
  6. The last time I carried on a superdome (230 or so mm) it was attached to the housing in a large pack-back that was rather roundish so that it tended to roll when set down. This resulted in one of the lens shades cracking and eventually breaking off. This was some years ago and have been reluctant to fly with it since. I have a long-delayed (due to covid) overseas trip planned for 2023 and would like to take it (mainly for over-unders). My current plan is to bury it within nested containers. It fits (tightly) in a Cinebag dome case. This will go inside a Cinebag Square Grouper case after wrapping in clothing. The SG will go inside a Pelican Air 1637 case. This case will be checked luggage. I will write "GLASS" on the outside of the case. It is yellow so easy to write on.
  7. I think I121 makes some good points in his article (linked above). Adam makes some good points as well. My digital mirrorless experience is limited to the Leica M8, Canon EOS-M, Nikon Z6, and Nikon Z9. I have had the Z9 in my possession for about a month after waiting 6 months for the delivery. A while back in another thread I suggested that an EVF would be useful for dimly lit situations. My thinking was something like 25m down diving in Hawaii. Light enough to see by but can be challenging for even gripped DSLRs (Canon 1D and Nikon one digit) to focus quickly on small skittish fish like Flame Angelfish (one of the pygmy angelfish spp) with a 100-105mm macro lens. Have done so but they do try to avoid a light if one is using one which I was. As well one needs a light to see most colors. I have no experience thus far but possibly one could avoid having to use a light in this scenario - as well one can do some color fixing of the color of the two viewing systems (but enough for blue water???). The main caution is that according to Thom Hogan for the Z9 AF to work well the exposure has to be correct (read his blogs for the details). I.e. one might need to use long exposure for it work well in the above scenario. I am reluctant to use the term shutter speed because the Z9 does NOT have a shutter. Exposure duration is far, far better diction!!! For now I am not spending the money to find out!! I agree that the current lens choice is limiting for all the 24 x 36mm mirrorless cameras. Someone starting from scratch has a dilemma here. Should one buy a “near-extinct species” DSLR or even a DSLR lens of a “near-extinct lens mount” - may be OK for the short term but the resale value will drop… The best equipped mirrorless format is micro four-thirds. The issue here is phase or contrast detection AF ? One of the first questions raised of the new Panny model is if there was phase detect AF. Also, will new Oly brand stay around? I got the Z9 mainly for the AF system which works rather well especially when used properly. However, not only is it mirrorless but as mentioned above, it is shutterless!!! The limitation of this aspect is the 5 millisecond flash synch. I remember the days of 1/60s flash synch so this is hardly a huge issue. The rather huge advantage is the near total silence. The only thing I hear when shooting the Z9 is the very slight whoosh sound of the ‘silent wave motor” - not so silent after all, ROTF, when using an adapted Nikon AFS lens. Walking around with the camera powered on I also hear the FTZ(1 or 2) working (the diaphragm closes down) when the camera goes into sleep mode. Why is this so huge?????? I was able to take photos not otherwise possible!! I make this as my primary criterion for buying a piece of photo gear. I was able to take photos of very skittish birds within 3 meters due to the silence. These were shorebirds during their migration in my area that took place a week after me receiving the Z9 so I was just a noob using it. I took pix at various settings - VR on and off for example, and various exposure durations, etc. They move very fast especially when probing for prey. I got a few blurred shots at 1 millisecond exposure and many at longer durations (e.g., 1/400s) - their heads jerking up and down along the bill’s axis. But I got some 100% satisfaction shots as well. These were all done with the 300mm pf lens. This silence may not have much application in underwater work (due to the racket generated by scuba) except in remote control situations when there is little background noise (I think I have been save by the noise of moving water for many of my shots).
  8. Yes, do NOT use exposure simulation!!!! This is a major problem when using live view in a DSLR IMHO.
  9. Does the housing have a connection with the button on the left side of the viewfinder housing? This allows one to switch between screen and EVF manually like with the Z6 and Z7 series. As well there are additional menu-level customization. One can set the EVF to always be for on shooting and the screen for chimping and menu use. There is another setting for reducing the EVF image size that is there for glasses wearers that might also be be good for underwater use. The sensor that drives automatic switching between the EVF and screen is just above the eyepiece. This is likely blocked by the UW housing or the extended UW viewfinder hence my suggestion of using the manual button above. As well, Nauticam has recently introduced new viewfinders. Their descriptions lack the details need to evaluate whether one of these will help your problem or not.
  10. When I used it most successfully recently (i.e. on digital, I was deciding between using it or the 60mm with a dome port (re. a recent post by Alex M) on a given dive day (trips to Niihau Island from Kauai Island). The 20-35 is just a bit wider. The 60 rig would be more travel friendly and a bit more versatile (especially if one also brought along a flat port).
  11. 100 or 105mm is very challenging to use in limited vis. Best use is for extreme close-ups (i.e. macro) near 1:1. I shot this same fish species (Lingcod) holding a Chinook Salmon while I was diving in B.C. a few years back My dive buddy-host posted the video he took at the same time on FB so have this jpeg handy.
  12. This could be a "killer app" for underwater photography. Let us hope that Canon actually produces it!
  13. I have the Seacam converted 20-35 RS lens. The first thing you need to know is that the focal length needs to be multiplied by 1.33 to compare to lenses designed for use in air. The second is that the minimum focus distance is not all that great - I recall it is 0.38m. About a foot or so of working distance. It is best used with larger subjects in superb visibility such as sharks in a non-baited situation. Shot it using a D3X and found it to be sharp out to the edges. Due to the small volume it is quite negative, even more so back in the RS days (1990s).
  14. I actually have the same lens but think of it as the 100L. I saw the title and saw RF 100 so had that mindset. The 100L has been my primary lens when shooting Canon under water in the tropics (Hawaii). This has been done with gripped bodies (1Dz type where z varied among models). It does take a moment to run from infinity to maximum close-up but what you describe sounds a lot worse. The 5D2 was notorious in the forums for its poor AF. So if the R5 is worse... I have a local friend who is a wildlife photographer that has been using the R5 with his Canon 600mm lens (it was new about a decade ago so not likely to be the latest model). He has posted some superb wildlife shots with. So hard to explain the 100L. I would go on Canon forums where it is more likely that you will find someone with both an R5 and the 100L. If it works poorly topside it will not likely be better under water! See if others with this same combination are having issues. I decided to go with the Z system rather than the RF system a few year ago (at least for now). This was mainly due to the use of SD cards that I find too small to handle unless I am sitting down. Soon after I learned that Leica rangefinder lenses do not play well with the RF cameras due to the thick cover glass etc. This was also the main reason why I have not tried the Sonys. It turned out that the Nikon Z system uses thinner sensor stacks which enables use of some Leica glass. The lenses I have seem to work well - the Leica 35 1.4 has less coma then the Nikon 35 1.4 (old manual focus lens from the 70s; the Leica lens is newer - 90s) at 1.4 which I use for some night shots. To get back to your question - I have the Nikon 105VR that is more or less contemporaneous with the 100L. I have found them to be very similar in function. I have used it on Nikon Zs without significant issues thus far. Was using it with the Z9 a few days and the AF worked rather well keeping up with the wind causing my subject, a flower, to wave side to side as well as back and forth. I kept the target area under the small focusing group I selected (small dynamic area in Nikon-speak). Razor sharp 45 Mp images.
  15. So how well does the AF work with the RF100 topside? If you are near infinity and then quickly switch to a very close macro subject how quickly does it AF? Much faster compared to underwater?
  16. This could be due to focus breathing since the lens is focused closer when using the smaller port for the same subject distance.
  17. Close-up lenses simply screw into the 67mm threads of the Saga conical ports. I have the aluminum version for the 105 AFS Nikkor that I have used with with the SMC-1, Inon-167, and EMWL focusing unit 1. Nauticam sells a 67mm ring to replace the bayonet mount on the focusing unit which I did. There have been price increases in many things here in Alaska since the pandemic began, some more than one-third up in cost. These cost increases likely vary by location. We do not know what costs Nauticam has had to deal with in order to keep on producing gear. More increases around the world are likely now due to the Ukraine war especially fuel and food. There is already a shortage of wheat.
  18. "Blue water, white death" It was shown on TV when I was in high school (now > 50 years ago!). I recall chatting about it the next day with my chums. It was the first thing I bought once Apple started selling vids on-line as I had not seen it since back then. Interesting historical shots of whaling that would not be PC today. One diving incident bothers me (as a former diving officer) and that is that no one was there to help to take Waterman's 35mm movie camera (prob an Arriflex) in housing (rather large) off his hands when he boarded post-dive.
  19. I guess it must be a miracle that I have so many in-focus shots taken with my Z6!! Nikon has updated the AF by quite a bit but many of my shots are from earlier FW (I have been using it now for several years - bought it at the introduction). It has basically the same AF system as the Z7 but using a lower rez sensor, so may be less accurate (??). It is the absolute best camera for manual focusing in my > 50 years experience using SLR cameras (I had most of the focusing screens for the F, F2 to try out as well). Thom Hogan has a fairly extensive review on the Z9 here: https://www.zsystemuser.com/z-mount-cameras/nikon-z-camera-reviews/nikon-z9-camera-review.html An important AF compliant (re. the Nikon Gear group) has been addressed with the v.2 FW as it now incorporates the customizable focusing area rectangles of the D6. The one that interests me is one I think of as the tipped over obelisk (think 2001 and Aku-Aku). One can limit focusing to a rectangle of AF points that extend across the entire frame. The closest I have been able to do like this was with the D2X and D2H but it was just a belt of 3 AF points back then. One can also combine this with automatic subject detection such as animals. While automatic point selection has worked somewhat like this (no eyes though!!) because the focusing area was centered in the frame, it did not span to the left-right edges so that my subjects would often nose out of the area resulting in OOF fish snouts. (Omitting the top and bottom avoids unintentional focusing on the stream bed or surface.) This new AF system could possibly help with this issue. Similarly when doing vertical shots (while scuba diving, not my salmon work) and wanting to focus on the something towards the end of the frame the subject would barely be within the focusing area so that even picking the focusing point farthest from the center it was far from optimally placed on the subject. This issue is a problem for FF not APS cameras but I want to do this with my RS 20-35mm lens so the D500 gets a veto! Now we just need a screw-drive AF FTZ adapter!!!!
  20. I have been curious about this as well for the same rationale outlined by Phil. Some vid cameras use crop sensors and this may be the biggest market for the port. Sigma should have come out with this lens when the D2X was current and not 2013!!! Nikon, as well, was late with their DX macro lenses!!!
  21. To feed the crab one would need very finely chopped food on the order of 100 microns as the longest dimension. I have seen and shot these feeding but all I could manage (with the RS and 50mm lens) was looking down on it in its anemone. Kudos for the angle, lighting, as well as not disturbing it (it was feeding so behaving normally).
  22. It does not work so well with Nikon D1x files because of the asymmetrical pixels, ROTFL. Here is a screen shot from an early version of my "Salmon Year" slideshow in LR. You can see a few doubled images in the filmstrip where I did some supersizing (my preferred name; Adobe should call the button "supersize me", ROTFL). Note the highlighted image in the filmstrip and the one to its right (it is not narrow as the shot was taken looking straight down). I took this shot in 2005. I added a second screen shot in grid view to make this clearer. The two other supersized pix that you can see in the grid were shot with the D2H (a 4 MP camera).
  23. Note quite satisfied with what I just posted I jumped back into LR and did this blow-up of the fish mentioned at the end. Not too bad since the fin rays can be seen and even counted though a bit challenging with this background (the anal fin ray count is an important diagnostic characteristic for identifying salmonids).
  24. Interesting discussion! The focus shift you describe Edward seems a bit different from the usual focus shift due to spherical aberration that is quite common with fast lenses like those with an f/1.4 maximum aperture. I have been using mine with the 105VR Nikkor with decent results shooting a Nikon D4S camera using automatic AF point selection in AF-C mode. I am shooting using a remote control plus intervalometer with a pole cam rig. I am about 2 meters away from the subject on more or less dry ground so only have a marginal view of what I am shooting. As well I am using a SAGA port with 67mm threads like the OP and like Isaac I am shooting without the middle section so just the 100 degree objective and focusing unit. The pix that are attached are from one of my more successful shoots all done at f/20. Even at f/20 the DOF is very very shallow. These fish are Sockeye Salmon fry about 3 to 4 cm long. In particular the last shot with the salmon at the right edge of the frame - the middle of the fish is in focus but both the head and tail are slightly OOF. The camera was on the streambed so the framing remains constant.
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