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Puffer Fish

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Puffer Fish last won the day on April 23 2016

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About Puffer Fish

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    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Panasonic GH1/LX5 Several Canon
  • Camera Housing
    10 BAR
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
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    Lots of stuff
  1. Interesting used a 150mm...would seem to indicate it does have some limitations. I hope Alex does write up something, as all the info one can get is valuable.
  2. I think the two versions are different strength (hence the price difference). Interesting item. I would doubt it would provide coverage for a full frame, but it seems to work fine with the Sony. I remember buying a SAGA, and the throwing it away. It is made with low contrast glass, so focus is very difficult if you have a camera with contrast focus. As nothing is said about the design (number of lenses, and grouping)....and It is shown with a sony point and shoot (a very nice point and shoot)....buy one is a serious gamble. Particularly when they show an image (video) where only the center is used. But for those that will try anything new..go for it.
  3. Diggy, you have shown the issue with using a larger camera and lots of wet glass. Here is an eye on a squat anemone shrimp...roughly the same size as the eyes in your first image. and a bit smaller than the eyes in your last image. As I only post in facebook these days, will have to show that image, which is seriously compressed. I cropped the image (so one could see the detail. This is not because I'm some super photographer, rather it is just the technology. If you want really sharp super macro images, you need to use as close to F8 as you can (high means less resolution) and you need the least amount of total glass. I shoot lots and lots of medium to poor resolution...and that is where I would put yours. But every so often I get everything right. As you never see that level, I understand your view. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203321762364253&set=pb.1816326959.-2207520000.1460728409.&type=3&theater
  4. The SMC (other than the weight) is an excellent lens, and about the limit that can be used with a full frame..ironically I gave it to a 5D3 owner, and he is still using it. I believe it is about the limit one can use under normal conditions. Remember more magnification means shorter working distance, narrower field of view and reduced DOF. You can use a longer lens to increase the working distance..but that makes the DOF even smaller. There is a point with every system that things get really, really hard to use...
  5. Pullbear, this is a seriously complex issue, and one filled with lots of questionable information. The first question is "should I be using a full frame camera for taking super macro images?" The answer is yes and no. You can do it, but you will have all sorts of limitations. You will need a super strong wet diopter. You will have reduced image quality due to diffraction from using a super high F stop, the object will be way too close and difficult to find due to the huge size of the camera. A long time ago, I used a 4x5 for macro images. Worked great in a studio, and really, really sucked to use in the real world. So what should you use: Well, if you think of: 1. Full frame 2. Cropped sensor 3. 4.3rds (half sized, but actual 1/4 area) 4. Hight end Point and shoot. Cropped sensor is a far better choice, but in most cases the difference is pretty small. You get better magnification, but only by 1/3...more working space, but only by 1/3 and only 24 meg images (that is a joke, 24meg is equal to a 36 meg full frame. So for super macro (and only supermacro), one can get a slightly better image than a 36 meg full frame can do. The high end point and shoot has 20 meg sensors...and if lens were equal to that sensor, would be ideal, however there are lots of limitations and for the most part, while they can take good images, there are way too many limitations (limited f stop and focus issues just to name a few). But the 4/3rd by accident happens to be in the sweet spot. There are several ideal lens....they can do 2/1 at the same distance as a full frame can do 1/1.....because they use smaller macro lenses, depth of files is better.....and they current have far better resolution (20 meg micro 4/3 for super macro is equal to a full frame with an 80 meg sensor). None of the above was done by design...it just worked out that way, and has nothing to do with taking any other type of image. So why point this out...well it effects what wet lens you use, and the image quality you get. I current use the Panasonic GX8 (there is now an Oly with the same sensor), and I use the Aquako iV. I have the subsee +10, and gave away the SMC. I need to buy the Aquako III, as the IV is only usable in some, very calm conditions. If I had a full frame, I would need a +5.00 to get the same results, but it would be way too close, way to difficult to focus and you would have to use the highest F stop you had. In truth, that 2/1 covers most things I would take images of, and I can use F8 (the sweet spot for image quality) most of the time. So if my dive buddy had a full frame, and used this new 3.5... I can take the same image with a 1.75...except I would have twice the working distance, be able to use half the F stop and would be a lot easier (although find and focus would be the same for both cameras) Using less glass, all things equal, my image quality would be better. If I used a 3.5, that would be 7X magnification, and would be better called a microscope..might be fun to try though. I so wish all of the above was not true, as I dearly love full frame camera's...and larger. So, I'm no longer looking a stronger wet lens, I'm looking for the best image quality one around +2
  6. If you have used a +7, you will do fine. By the way, hand held works with all of super macro lens...one just has to be very, very stable.
  7. Ok, lets see if we can make this less stressful. First off, I am guessing that the cmc is used by zooming all the way out, and using that for macro (P&S lens normally have their macro with the lens at the widest field of view). If so, then one gets a greater working distance, but that is true with any wet lens. Usually, it is best to have the lens as close as possible to the macro lens (which can be zoomed out or something close to being zoomed out, just watch how the lens move as you zoom) You need enough working distance to protect your port and allow you to get lighting on the subject...so around 2 inches (or 50mm) is a very good number. Depending on the port size, you might be able to go down to around 40mm or so. If you had the Saba, subsea and SMC, you can actually see the difference between a high contrast and low contrast lens. Higher is better with contrast detection systems. All can take very nice images..but the lower the light, the less clear the water and the lower the contrast can make focus more difficult. Higher is better, but all work for at least 70% or more of the time. Saba was the worse, subsea next and SMC the best I have used (so far). This is a glass issue for the most part. It was easy to see the difference between the SMC and the Saba, but not so with the subsea. I think Aquako, used the same as the CMC should produce very similar magnification (a bit better) and should work fine. I would go with that for now. Learning to use a high power macro is a bit difficult unless you have had a lot of experience with weaker ones, so everyone will have a steep learner curve. Just have fun and enjoy. Oh, and remember..start with the camera lens as far out as it goes....use the highest F stop you have and move the camera first to get focus. After that, it is practice.
  8. They both should be close...but different. The Aquako should have a little better magnification. The Nauticam should have better working distance. The Aquako should have better DOF, the Nauticam a bit less. Both should work, and it comes down to the focus issue. I know the SMC is a very high contrast lens, if the CMC is similar, it should do a great job of contrast focus. Aquako is an unknown to me..if it is good, then don't think I would go any farther, with one other reason...How good is the working distance with the Aquako? If it is too close, then would consider the CMC. As you have the Aquako, it should be easy to answer.
  9. Reading Nauticam's review of the CMC, that is a very mixed bag. It seems if you are using say a Sony R100, the CMC may be stronger, but using a larger sensor camera, for the most part it would not be close. It seems to be an interesting approach, as it is not a simple diopter design. As this is focal length increaser, DOF will go down, working distance will go up on a small sensor camera. Bigger the sensor, the less it works, the more DOF effect will come into play. Own say a oly micro four thirds and there are far better options. Own a Dslr, and would not consider it.
  10. Looking forward to images...lets hope it works as well as they say it does.
  11. I have Oly, Subsee, Saga and SMC wet lens. The Oly have great optics, but way too weak. You can stack them, but getting all the air out between them, making sure there is not particles, is a serious pain. The Subsee works, but I have the older ones and cannot stack them. The SMC is a joy to work with, easy to see, fast to focus...and pretty much all I use these days. One could stack them, but after the cost, boy would that be heavy. The saga is light weight, and the images don't look that bad, but these are "softer" lenses than the Nauticam, so when trying to focus or to view exactly what is in focus, these are harder than the SMC (which is a high contrast lens). Images look fine, just hard to use, would not want to stack them. That leaves the new guy on the block.Aquako..light weight, supposed to have higher contrast (will see). One of the concerns about stacking wet lenses is the resulting working space one gets and could one actually use all of that magnification (assuming one is at maximum). I know the SMC should work, as it seems to have a greater working distance than the subsee, but I would doubt a human would be able to see the object one would be taking images of. The attached image is with the SMC at around 1/3 power. Stacked and at maximum magnification, one would be looking at something around a 30x microscope... Still don't have the perfect lens, so hope the Aquako is it.
  12. I've used just about every maker of arms and clamps. I-das clamps have had durability issues and have damaged the arm balls, however, the arms have been every bit as good as any makers. I am still using a set with well over 1,000 hours of diving on them...they have some scratches on the balls from the older Idas clamps..but so do some of the ultralight ones. Historically, it is the clamps that wear out (from every mfg), until the new I-das clamps with Stainless steel inserts...which has solved the galvanic corrosion issue. I should note that after over 5,000 dives, I have a huge collection of worn out arms, clamps and odd parts for housing. I-das arms are not one of those.
  13. If you mean around 2 meters away, then yes. Flash coverage varies, as would where you have the center of the strobes pointed, so how big of an animal that would cover is pretty variable. You will see a fair number of absolute opinions of what the "correct" strobe arms lengths should be, but like many things with shooting underwater, the conditions and type of water you shoot in, as well as what type of images you like make a difference. If, for example, you dive in very clear water all the time, well you don't need long arms. If you dive in hazy water, a little distance helps and if you dive in terrible vis, removing any defuser and getting the strobes out to at least 45 degrees is really important (which can mean more that the standard 5"/8". I have 3/5/8/12 inch arms and while I normally use the 5/8 combo, have used them all. If all you are shooting is wide angle, in clear water, you may find that a single arms works.. would not recommend that for general underwater use. Oddly, about one in of ten dives I have something that can not be lit without actually removing a strobe and holding in my hand. Assuming one can control their position without using their hands, it is kind of fun and it occurs to me that one dive I should just take all the images that way. It is surprising when you do that how many new lighting options come to mind. Note: The last time was to get an image of a never before photographed deep reef scorpion fish. It was in a recess that the strobe arms made it impossible to get light to. I actually had to hold the strobe in front of and over the top of the camera, farther than the arms would go. The one before that was a leaf fish in a small ledge, where the strobe needed to be under the camera to get any light on it. The neat part about this is that strobe arms don't cost that much, and regardless of what anyone says, you can try different setups and pick the one you like.
  14. I carry everything (except tools) in my carry-on...and in the last year, it has gotten much easier. I used to get a major remove everything from the bag check, and my last two times (Bonaire and Bora Bora) the bag did not even get any extra checking. They don't seem to care about arms anymore.
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