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Posts posted by pKai

  1. If larger sensors were a total panacea for photographers we would all be shooting Hasselblad or PhaseOne cameras which by the way are both supported by Nauticam housings and ports.



    I have a lot of respect for you, Phil, but I have to take exception with that statement. A lot of (most?) serious and pro photographers would be shooting exactly those systems if they didn't cost more than their homes and weren't almost impossible to travel with absent a staff of assistants.


    OTOH, I agree with you that sub-frame (meaning smaller than APS-C) won't likely replace DSLRs any time soon, if ever.... I do believe that APS-C mirrorless offerings such as the EOS-M will put a dent in the consumer-level DSLR market above as well as underwater. They may even become the dominant force in this segment a few years out.


    A lot of people, myself included, started underwater photography with an LCD/EVF and never knew the joy of an optical viewfinder underwater. They won't miss it when they move from P&S or m4/3 to APS-C mirrorless.


    Due to a fortunate quirk of fate, I shifted from m4/3 to a FF 5D2 for my underwater setup. Topside, I've been a Canon SLR shooter most of my life. On dry land, holding a camera 2 feet in front of my face is a most unnatural act. Underwater, OTOH, it seems perfectly normal because that's all I ever knew. I have to say, even with the 5D2, I find myself using live-view quite a bit. Whenever quick focus is not required and/or my position relative to the camera makes it hard or impossible to look through the viewfinder, the LCD happily comes on. Maybe a $1500 angle finder will cure this.... but so far, I'm not itching to get one.


    I'm looking to hit the bridge this weekend.... shoot me a PM if you're into it....

  2. Just as a matter of interest is there a mirrorless camera/lens out there which has the same field of view as my Tokina 10-17mm FE at 10mm and can AF as quick as the Nikon D7000?


    I see 2 options:


    The Panasonic 8mm FE for m4/3 has a 180 degree FOV. I don't think there's a FE zoom for m4/3.


    The Olympus OM-D focuses pretty quick. Whether its as quick as the D7000, that's another story. I don't shoot Nikon, so IDK, but the EM-5 rivals/equals the 7D in focusing the type of subjects we shoot underwater. I don't think the EM-5 would keep up with birds in flight moving at 70+ mph, but UW, our subjects are generally much slower than that.


    If you haven't already, read the EM-5 review by Alex Mustard elsewhere on WP where he discusses the particulars of this camera versus existing APS-C DSLRs.


    The EOS-M could use the Canon version of the Tokina 10-17 with the same FOV as on a Canon APS-C SLR and with full electronic support. We'll see who ends up making a housing for it, if anyone. DPReview has a preview where they state focusing speed is not bad and that they expect better with a production model and production lenses. I'd wait to read more on this one.... specially how well it functions with EF/EF-S lenses via the Canon-supplied mount adapter that promises full support of all lens/camera features.



    One thing is certain.... after a period of relative boredom, things are happening again in the photo gear world!

  3. Still makes absolutely no sense to me why Nikon or Canon would kill DX, despite the whinings and complaints of Thom Hogan et al.


    I don't think necessarily killing DX/APS-C is in the cards for Nikon and Canon. I think its more like a move to mirrorless. I don't see Canon or Nikon adopting m4/3 -- I see them making APS-C mirrorless offerings like the EOS-M. This will appeal to topside amateurs looking for APS-C IQ in a smaller package and UW shooters looking for a less expensive alternative to SLRs but much better performance than P&S. There's no reason an EOS-M (or equivalent Nikon) housing can't cost as little or even less than Nauticam's $1300 EM-5 offering. That's much more attractive than $3.5k+ for a 7D housing or even a Rebel at $2800 or so.


    I think what's being dealt the death-blow is APS-C SLRs, not the format itself. I could be wrong! All that said, I see this playing out for years before we see our last APS-C SLR on a store shelf.

  4. As Alex eluded to in his review of the EM-5 -- m4/3 will give 1.6 crop a run for its money underwater.


    I'll go one step further in saying that mirrorless offerings including m4/3 and Canon's new 1.6 mirrorless "M" will make 1.6 SLRs disappear underwater. It won't happen tomorrow, but it will happen. IQ is very comparable and the "package" is half the size and less than half the cost. You can do a whole EM-5 system with housing, ports, and a couple of lenses for roughly the price of any SLR housing alone except maybe Ikelite.


    I recently switched from m4/3 to FF on a Canon 5D2. I have also owned a 7D since they came out for topside use and have used it underwater with borrowed housings before. I saw absolutely no practical advantage to the 7D underwater over the m4/3 that would justify the added expense. Pixel-peeping, you could see minute IQ differences in favor of the 7D and AF was noticeably faster against my E-PL3. The EM-5 cured both of these shortcomings. Sure, an EM-5 can't keep up with birds in flight like my 7D, but generally we're not shooting fish swimming at 70+ miles per hour underwater.


    The Canon 5D2/3 and the D800/600 from Nikon, OTOH, are clearly superior to either m4/3 and APS-C.


    FF body prices compared to what they were even one year ago are dropping faster than an American diver that didn't know lead in the UK is weighed in kilos . Witness the D800, D600, recent 5D2/3 price drops, and upcoming 6D. Underwater, I predict a lot of APS-C shooters moving up to FF and P&S shooters moving to mirrorless.... The relative few of us that adopted m4/3 underwater will either stay or skip right over APS-C to FF. All this will result in APS-C SLRs dying a slow death underwater first and eventually, topside as well.

  5. Welcome to UW photography.... you will love it.....


    You're right, TTL will not work with that setup. That's OK... UW, manual is better. Most of your shooting will be at 1/60-->1/200 and F5.6 --> F11. I like to set my f-stop for the DoF I want and then vary strobe power to control exposure of the foreground and shutter speed for the background as subject motion permits. Lighting underwater is vastly different than topside. Strobes are only good to a few feet -- even powerful ones, and depth eliminates warmer colors. By about 100' its all blue so if you want white light, all you got is what you brought -- your strobes. I suggest a lot of reading in this area. The book "Underwater Photographer" by Martin Edge is an invaluable resource. He does an excellent job of covering lighting and many other techniques.



    The YS-D1 is IMHO, the best strobe out there right now for any reasonable price. Seacam strobes are better, but they're also $2500 a piece. Get the pair because eventually you will want/need them. Learn how to shoot with one first, however. Like in the studio, you should know how each light affects the image before you add more. See above comment about UW lighting being vastly different. When I started, I thought that I knew what I was doing since I regularly use 2, 3, and even 4 strobe setups in the studio mixed with window light, etc... After my first few UW photo dives, I realized I was learning light all over again.


    I don't (seriously) shoot video, so I can't help much there. Unless you plan on diving very shallow, you will need video lighting as well for the same reason mentioned above. Video below 30-ish feet takes on a blue cast that's hard to impossible to correct with white balance -- the warmer colors just aren't there, so even if you tone down the blue cast, other colors will look gray/muted.


    IMHO, Ultralight Control Systems (ULCS) makes the best arms, clamps, balls, etc.... I suggest an 8" plus a 5" arm section plus clamps for each side/strobe. This will give you all the articulation you will need and allow you to place them far enough away from the lens axis to control backscatter.


    Lens-wise, you may want to consider a 100mm macro and flat port. There are a lot of macro and small subjects that you will miss with the lens you have. Also a zoom like the 16-35 or 17-40 will be more versatile than your 15 prime. The 15 will be good for video, close focus wide angle work, and larger animals such as turtles, sharks, sea lions, etc.... I've never been too fond of the fisheye look (underwater or above), but that's purely personal taste. I also shoot a 5D2 and my UW lenses are the 16-35 2.8L II, 24-105 F4L (mostly used in the 24-70ish range), and 100 2.8 Macro. The zooms go behind a dome and the macro behind a flat port.




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  6. Assuming we're talking "dry" lenses, not wet diopters, I put them in a ziplock, wrap them in a hand towel, and put them in a dry bag with the rest of my "dry" stuff like wallet, towel, etc....


    That said, I don't take a lot on a commercial boat. Generally, I carry a 24-105L and 16-35L both which work with the same 240mm dome. One is on the camera, so I really only have one lens outside the housing. If I'm shooting macro, nothing extra comes along. The dome stays home or in the truck; flat port is on the housing with macro inside.

  7. Thanks! I am really looking forward to taking this setup underwater. I finally decided on the first set of lenses. I'll start of with not buying the expensive port for the 12-50 but get the dome for the Panasonic 8mm fisheye first. The dome will not only accept the fisheye, which I'll get anyways, but also the very good 12/2 prime which will give me some moderate wide angle as well. Besides, I am going to buy the almost-released 60 macro and the corresponding flat port. With that setup I'll start and see where it takes me and what I may need in the future as an addition.


    Thanks for all the input, very much appreciated!


    Best of luck....


    IMHO, you should have a look at the Panasonic 7-14 before you commit to the 8 Fisheye and 12. Although not a fisheye, at 7, its very wide and quite sharp at all focal lengths.


    I like primes topside because changing lenses is no big deal, but UW, I prefer zooms. There's nothing more frustrating than being down there with a fisheye prime on the day that every possible awesome fish portrait opportunity presents itself. This is the reason the 12-50 intrigued me.. specially if someone makes a port that supports switching to macro mode underwater. Almost sounds too good to be true to have 12-50 zoom and a 50mm 1:2 macro all inside the housing at the same time. IDK that anyone makes this yet, although Chris from Nauticam told me several months ago that they were exploring the concept.

  8. Here's something coming from someone who just went in the other direction.....


    I had (still have, its all for sale in Classifieds) an E-PL2 with 14-42 with OEM flat port, Pana 7-14 with Zen Dome, and Leica 45 Macro with Zen flat port. To answer the OP's question, unless you must have fisheye, those 3 lenses/ports are all you will ever need underwater with a m4/3. The 12-50, which I have only played with in the store, could replace the 14-42 and Leica 45, although I seriously doubt its as sharp as the Leica. That lens is stupid sharp.


    I loved the system and was about a millimeter away (waiting to see the price on the Oly housing compared to Nauticam) from going to an EM-5. Then, thanks to Stephen Frink, I came accross an incredible deal on a Seacam 5D2 housing that I just could not resist. I've been shooting Canon topside for longer than I care to admit, so no lenses to buy, etc.... Sorry to say, although m4/3 is very nice and, as Alex has said before, the EM5 can and will give 1.6 crop SLR bodies a run for their money; full-frame still rules.... but I digress.


    On almost every dive (about 5-10 a week) I would have 2 or 3 decent shots that there is no way in hell I could have made with anything bigger than my E-PL2. There's the critter in the crevace, the low-angle upward shot under the rock, the slit between two railings on the wreck... list goes on Those are shots I will now absolutely not ever get with my 5D2, Seacam housing, and trashcan-lid sized SuperDome. I am hoping that what I gain is more than what I lost.


    Moral of the story: You have an awesome system and you will be able to do things with it that us with physically larger setups cannot. Enjoy and welcome aboard!

  9. This set is about a year old and includes everything you need to make beautiful underwater images without breaking your wallet or your back.


    The only reason I'm selling is because I decided to get a housing for my Canon 5D2. All equipment is in excellent to like-new condition and has never been flooded, dropped, or abused. Always religiously rinsed in fresh water after each dive and all-in-all meticulously maintained.


    All original boxes and materials/CDs, etc are included.


    Here's what's included and the "new" price:


    Olympus E-PL2 with 14-42 II f3.5/5.6 zoom $499

    Panasonic 7-14 F4 Super-wide zoom $899

    Olympus PT-EP03 housing with flat port $599

    Spare housing back cover O-ring $20 * (not pictured)

    Zen Underwater WA-100 dome port $499 * use with either 7-14 or 14-42

    Spare O-ring set for Zen/Oly ports $20 * (not pictured)

    +1, +2, +4 Diopter set $79 * (not pictured) use with 14-42/flat port to get close-focus

    Zoom gear for 14-42 lens $59 * (not pictured)

    Zoom gear for 7-14 lens $59 * (not pictured)

    Two Sea & Sea optical stobe cables $130 * (not pictured) Works with Sea & Sea, Inon, and other strobes

    Spare Olympus BCS-1 battery charger $55 * (not pictured) This is a 2nd charger -- one comes with camera

    Two Spare BLS-1 batteries $40 * (not pictured) THREE batteries total.

    16gb SDHC card $40 * (not pictured)

    8gb SDHC card $20 * (not pictured)


    Total New: $3018


    First $2,200 takes it all!


    I'd rather sell it all together, but if you are interested in pieces, I may decide to do so.


    Shipping/insurance will be calculated for where it actually ships to. I am located in South Florida and local pickup/delivery can be arranged. Price is for cash/cashiers check/money order, etc.... PayPal is 3% additional... (sorry, can't eat this)....


    Please ask any questions you may have which I will gladly and promptly answer...





  10. I dont really agree with you that outside of photography pro is a measurement of quality. In my perception pro means they made it their profession. A pro soccer player (from europe after all) gets paid to play soccer all day. The result of this is that they become better at it than an amateur that plays on sunday afternoon for fun. So the effect is increased quality, but the cause is daily rigorous (paid) training



    Maybe this is a chicken-and-egg argument with regard to non-visual arts endeavors.... Perhaps its different in Europe, but here in the US, and in sports particularly, its nearly impossible to "turn pro" without already being among the cream of the crop at whatever you do. Of course, daily practice after the fact will make one better still, but to even have a hope of getting in the door you must already be among the top amateurs.


    Going beyond sports and such.... woodworking/carpentry is a poplar hobby and many "amateur" woodworkers produce stunning work. That said, would you trust an amateur carpenter to redesign and build your kitchen? Safety issues aside, would you hire an amateur electrician to rewire your house because he offers his services for almost nothing as long as you give him "credit" for the work -- much the same way amateur photographers offer their images to magazines for free?


    Photogrpahy is different in the sense that organizations that used to exclusively consume the work of professionals and pay accordingly now have no qualms whatsoever taking work from amateurs at a fraction of the price or even for free. Sometimes this work is "just as good" -- sometimes not. For example, I see a lot of garbage photogrpahy in news magazines these days. The days of "Life" and their consistently top-notch photography even in mundane stories are gone, I'm afraid.


    I do agree with you that in any visual art that is as equipment and travel intensive as underwater photography, wealth does buy access -- to both "stuff" and places -- as well as time to practice one's craft to a level of intensity that rivals someone that gets paid to do it.

  11. Simon wrote : "It can be useful to remember the origin of the word amateur..French, meaning 'the love of' (or close - francophiles please correct me."


    Amateur means in French: someone who loves/like something. "Un amateur de vin" means "someone who loves wine". Same for photography or football.... This is the first meaning of the word amateur.


    "Sport amateur" means non-professional sport... ie. "amateur sport". Same for photography or other human activities where there is a distinction between a professional or a non-professional/hobby-like endeavour.


    So, we can infer that in French or English "amateur" describes someone who engages in u/w photography for the love of the disciplin as opposed to someone who does it to make a living.


    Having said that, many amateurs take pro-level images, they simply do not earn their living doing so... So we all start as amateurs and some become professionals, just like in golf, sailing, or astronomy...


    This topic is interesting and the insight provided by distinguished members of the profession is great food for thought... And so is the


    Michel Gilbert



    A few..... including the well-respected and very successful Stephen Frink, have mentioned in this thread that being an "amateur" underwater (or whatever) photographer does not imply inferiority in one's image-making ability and that, indeed, many images made by amateurs are "pro quality". Of course, I agree with this; I see some amazing photography every time I come here.... just to mention one place.


    Outside photography and perhaps a few other art forms, the word "amateur" certainly implies and correctly describes someone who has "less-than-professional-level" abilities. Generally speaking, an amateur boxer will lose to a pro every single time. The best amateur (College) American Football team has not a prayer of besting even the most mediocre NFL tream. "Amateur" actors almost never perform to the level of Hollywood's best.... and so on.


    I put forth a theory -- science geeks would correctly call it a hypothesis since I have not conducted one iota of experimentation to support it:


    This one important difference between photography and other endeavors is largely responsible for the desire to "go pro" that many talented amateur photographers seem to have....... People that are good at something don't like being called "amateurs" ----- Its an ego thing.... even if subconscious.


    Personally, I have been guilty of this at times. Although I've made money from (mostly not underwater) photography on and off for most of my life, its never been my main source of income. I am technically an "amateur" and after countless hours of therapy (not really) have come to grips (really) with this oft-maligned status........... but please don't call me that. biggrin.png

  12. Let me start off by saying that I like you shot, it certainly has a lot of pro's:

    Nice subject, good sharpness, exposure is correct (if there is such a thing as correct exposure), the fish is nicely composed in the corner - all the basics for a good shot is there.


    The only two con's I could come up with is that the substrate around the subject is quite colorful and therefore leads the eye a little away from the subject. (I know its hard with subject living in holes! :) ). The second con is that there is not too much depth in the shot, there is a foreground but I'm missing a definitive background.


    I always try to find subject that sit up high on something, or where I can get down low and shoot with water behind the subject, to get a feeling for the environment that the animal lives. I hope my advice can somehow help, keep up the good work, Morten :D



    Thanks for your commentary..... now that I look at it more, I agree with everything you say and will apply going forward!

  13. Nice shot.


    How often are you diving Blue Heron Bridge? I will be down there June 1st for a night dive will my camera in hand. Any chance of getting together?





    Thanks... and very good chance! Always looking to dive with new people. I go there quite a bit since I live relatively close. Its one of the best shore dives in these parts.


    Generally, night dives there have to be done in conjunction with one of the shops.... Nothing to do with the diving itself, but since the adjacent park and its parking lot are closed at night, local dive shops have special permission from the city to park in the lot and will issue parking passes to divers. Have you arranged this yet? Force-E SCUBA in Riviera Beach generally organizes these night dives at no charge unless you need rental gear.

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