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Ricardo V.

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Everything posted by Ricardo V.

  1. CptMax, In essence, what you are mentioning about the use of Voigtländer lenses would be contingent upon 2 things... One: being able to focus it manually underwater and Two: setting an aperture before housing it just letting it stay fixed through your dive. Right?
  2. Can't live without them. Love my 41C. Fortunately, there is an ap for that....
  3. I'm with you. It truly is interesting and often perplexing to see how others see or think things work. For some reason, I can't help but think of RPN calculators, which folks I work with.... including my self, still use today and firmly believe there is nothing better; however, we've be hard pressed to find a Reverse Polish Notation calculator anywhere.... go figure. Back to the topic at hand. This YouTube video put together by a professional photographer helped me a lot. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xWXBS1D5aSk He elaborates, explains benefits and demonstrates how to program or customize specific buttons the A7R2 to essentially perform focus acquiring and locking in keeping with what the end user wants. I'm sharing it here with the group. I found it beneficial and have implemented some of the suggested tips and tricks to better control focus features. Cheers, Ricardo
  4. Paul, I'm just realizing you are a pro in the field of underwater photography. Hats off to you, please don't take my post in any way other than what I'm openly sharing as my true personal experience with the 7D, and now in preparation to soon dive with the Sony. I still think that the suggestions and comments I've offered stand, specially for people like me that are passionate about this hobby and can benefit from learning how to fully control any camera and it's features. Cheers, Ricardo
  5. Paul, I'm very new to this specific camera, and found this YouTube video to be incredibly helpful. It's a bit long, but it reviews critically important controls and setting that A7R2 users need to master, if they want to have full control of it's focus power. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5xr-i8LBb6g I started my underwater photography hobby a little over 12 years ago, and can recall how frustrating it was not being able to control where my Canon 7D was focusing. After some repetition and practice, I was able to understand some of it's focusing features... but it was still guesswork. I then fortuitously bought a video tutorial DVD, and the instructor explained in detail the different focusing features and functions, but more importantly, how to tell the camera exactly where and when to focus on something. This was a watershed moment for me. I did not know you could actually do that. A couple of years later, while taking classes with Marty Snyderman, he took the time to evaluate where I was and set the bar even higher encouraging me to gain full control of ALL camera settings, aperture, shutter speed and ISO, instead of letting the camera decide for me, I would decide. That was an aha moment for me and ever since, I have been telling the camera what I want, instead of letting it guess what I want. It took practice, lots of practice, and time too... but now it's second nature. Hope this helps. I've not dove this camera yet, but it has such a rich offering of focus controls that I think a bit of practice, following the tips offered in the video above, will let you decide. Cheers, Ricardo
  6. John, Thank you for confirming this. Much appreciated. Happy to learn there is a workaround the battery stamina issue and the hot shoe. Ricardo. PS: I could see a combo fix that integrates an external battery, that sits in the hot shoe, and serves as led flash trigger.
  7. John, What battery pack are you referring to? I see one that Backscatter has online that looks like an artisan craft project put together with epoxy. Is that it? http://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/Nauticam-A7II-UnderwaterExternal-Battery-Pack It does not leave enough space for fiber optic trigger system, so you have a work around with cables. You have them routed through one of the caps for external monitor or vacuum valve right? Thank you, Ricardo
  8. I invested in Ikelite products once, went all out...housing, dome ports... large, medium and compact. Flat ports for macro, pair of strobes-161, focus lights, cables, fiber optic backup system, arms and clamps of all sizes and even a large pelican traveling case to boot. Every time I had an issue, Ikelite would say... send it back, we will look at it, test it and will get back with you. If it's you, we will send you a bill. If it's ikelite, we will address free of charge. I though that was excellent customer service. Time and time again, issue after issue, they always had the same response. Essentially, I would ship it to Chicago, they would supposedly service it, test it, send it back with a bill that said zero charge, and nothing else. No explication on what they did to the system, no comment on what they saw, no logic or follow up to what ever they did to it...or didn't do, and some times, not even fix to the problem. I recall this decisive moment when I experienced a partial flood that thaks to ikelite being clear plastic, I was able to see the water pooling inside the housing and some steam building up inside. Sent housimg in for repairs and service. It took 3 successive back-forth shipping plus dives to test, and it wasn't till I specifically found out while diving with it that if I adjusted the zoom dial- knob it would let drops into the housing and that's how WE found the misterious leak. Ikelite was only able to really fix it after 3 tries. By then, I had enough. Fortunately, I did not loose any photo equipment. Nauticam was just starting to appear, they showed up during a DEMA show, and I decided to invest in a new housing, and to this day, don't regret that one bit. If you are new to this hobby, or just want to dive occasionally with a camera and don't really care about reliability of the equipment, then,Ikelite may be an option. If you are committed to this underwater photography deal as a hobby or semi-pro, and want to have a solid, reliable equpiment that will last many years to come. I would suggest getting something other than ikelite. I know there may be different opinions and I truly respect that. This is just my opinion based on my personal experience and after spending well over $4K in ikelite equipment. Or maybe I should say after throwing four grand away. Hope this helps. Ricardo
  9. Adam, When you mention "no decent fisheye option", are you refering to the Nikon or the Sony? Like the OP, I'm researching this Sony camera and want to learn more about it. I understood that with an adapter, the Sony can shoot Canon lenses and some folks appear to be happy with results. In addition, Rokinon has fisheye lenses that appear to be gaining accolades from underwater photographers. I've read a few posts and articles from really good underwater photographers, including Phil Rubin, who I consider an authority in this field, and If I recall correctly, he seems to comment favorably on the Sony's ability to work with wide angle lenses made by others. What have you seen or observed? Is the focus an issue too? Thank you, Ricardo
  10. Jetor, I have the Nauticam 45 viewfinder. It's been very reliable, I truly enjoy using it, in fact, can't even imagine going without it and can say it's worth every penny. I've had it for 7 years now, and it's got well over 800 dives and it's still working with no problems. It has an adjustable knob on the side to adjust focusing onto the camera's view finder. Once it's set, you just leave it. I focus it to read the numbers ant that's it. The only times I have difficulty with it is when shooting macro subjects during night dives. The fact that it's angled, and that shooting a particular situation may call for upside down buoyancy or some awkward position can make it a bit more challenging to frame the subject, since there are just less points of reference to actually spot the critter. Nevertheless, I've always found a way to overcome that situation and it works out in the end. Of course, a 180 view finder solves that, but then the 45 deg. viewfinder lets you get closer to small critters that are at ground level, whereas the 180 won't. It's all a compromise, as you know.... for wide angle, I've never had a problem. Again, it's only a problem in my case, at night. To overcome this, I shine a red focusing light and try to spot a silhouette, then look for it through the viewfinder and that works for me. My viewfinder has endured lots of use. I take care of it, but then, it's got lots of miles on it and I am very happy with it. I wish that Nauticam had a better way to fit the thing into the housing. It actually stays in place, thanks to a rubber o-ring. It's crazy. In any case, it's never failed me. But then, I still witpsh it had a more robust fastening mechanism. I have not tried any other view finder. Hope this helps. Saludos, Ricardo
  11. Troporobo, Bill and Elmer, Thank you for giving me some great pointers. I see you all have the Olympus. I understand that it has an assortment of features and customizable button functions that help manage focus, as well as user adjustments to control, set and restrict focus hunting ranges. I'm looking to upgrade and will go take a look at the Olympus M1 Mark-II this weekend. My old Canon 7D hunts too; however, with a red Sola focusing light, I've been able to achieve focus and have essentially resolved that challenge. In any case, I'm assuming focus capabilities and low light performance of the M1 Mark-II, must be far superior than the classic 7D, which is considerably older technology too. I like Nauticam and will likely stay with the brand; however, I understand other great housings are available in the market, such as Aquatica, Subal and Olympus too. Thank you, Ricardo
  12. I've been shooting a Canon 7D for almost 9 years now, first 2 years housed in Ikelite, and the balance in Nauticam. I enjoy this equipment tremendously, and shoot macro 80% of the time, and the rest wide angle. I have been luggin this gear through airports across the Caribbean, and still enjoy diving with it. Technology has made great progress and I'm considering moving into a complete different set-up. Something lighter, with excellent focus and that can give me better performance; however, nothing less than could reasonably be expected from something like a Canon 7DMark2, or decent SLR rig. Those of you that have experience with these new mirrorless cameras and that are familiar with the classic Canon 7D, please share your insights and recommendations. I want to continue shooting fiber optic, and want to have full manual access to aperture, shutter speed and ISO like I have today. I can adjust these things while looking at a subject through the view finder. No need to pull the camera away for any reason. I do need help with autofocus and would expect the camera to allow rapid focus point selections... to have a reliable way to quickly select focusing points without having to pull camera away and look at the screen. Today, I can select focus points, and work the focus while looking through the view finder. I would like to be able to use a magnified view finder, instead of the typical LCD display behind cameras. Am also interested in exploring super macro and maybe some video; however, my interest is mainly sharp focus stills, full manual control, nice bokeh when possible, good battery life, magnified viewfinder (separate accessory of course), travel friendly, fiber optic and all manual settings with ease. I understand lens selection is very important too, and welcome your recommendations. Thank you, Ricardo PS: My current system is: Canon 7D Classic. Nauticam housing Zen compact dome port for Tokina 10-17 Nauticam flat port for Canon 60mm macro Sola500 focus lights Inon Z240's -fiber optic Magnified 45 viewfinder
  13. How well does the a6500 handle focus once it's housed? Can the user select focus points without too much trouble?
  14. How well does the a6500 handle focus selection? I understand it's a touch screen, so that's not going to be accessible once it's in the housing. Does it have a quick way to accept focus point selection as deemed appropriate by the underwater photographer? Does it require manual focus?
  15. I'm looking for a Nauticam macro port 87 for my Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM. Thank you, Ricardo
  16. The canon 60mm is superb- not just to start with, but to keep as a main goto lens thanks to its great optics and is responsiveness. I started with the canon EF100 mm f/2.8 USM and had difficulty with depth of field and blurry images. I opted to then try the 60mm and it was more user friendly for me. I later learned more about taking control of my camera settings and after practicing, switching to manual, reading books, taking clases with underwater professionals and practicing, I was ready to pick up the 100 mm macro back and it was a better experience for me the second time around. They are very similar, but the 100 mm will give you advantages is certain situation where the 60 mm may be a bit wider, or may need for you to get much closer as compared to the 100mm lens. Well, you do want to get very close, but that's another topic.... They have a newer lens now, the EF100 mm f/2.8L IS USM and while I have not tested this version of the 100 mm canon with Image Stabilization, I understand they are pretty much discontinuing and retiring the EF 100mm withouth the IS, but optically speaking, they are very close to each other.
  17. Hello Tim, Great suggestion. If I'm getting your feedback right, your thinking of approaching this with a snoot type effect so to speak, by concentrating light on the eyes and toning down the background luminance levels, rather than just lighting the hole scene up. Will keep this in mind. I know where this little brotula lives and maybe we can revisit and try again soon. Thank you, Ricardo
  18. Welcome. I'm relatively new to this as well and like you, had been reading here and there and finally decided to create an account and officially sign in. There are many knowledgable and tallented people here- hope you find this to be productive and beneficial towards advancing your underwater photography and a platform for you to share any insights too. Take care and much success in you endeavors.
  19. This is probably one of the most interesting posts I have seen here. There is so much to learn from constructive feedback that I´ll gladly jump in with a photo, offer my 2 cents on previously posted images and await suggestions from the group on what can be done with this picture. The vehicle wreck: Its not easy for me to distinguish that there is a truck in the photo, so not seeing anything in the foreground, the focus goes to the model, but the model is kind of far, in an awkward position. What I would suggest would be to reposition and shoot closer to the model, just a bit lower- shooting up some more and perhaps at an angle so the steering wheel can be more noticeable, particularly if the model is to be suggesting that he or she is driving the vehicle... and if other parts of the truck are evident, including them in the shot can help identify the subject. The one eel: What I think is happening there is that it looks like the main subject is starting to swim away and flee. While you can see an eye, it appears as if just a fraction of time sooner would have done it. Friends are also starting to leave the scene and it appears timing is what it is. OK, with that said, here is a photo that I would welcome your constructive feedback on. Thank you, Ricardo
  20. Any Nauticamers tried the new Canon EF40mm pancake? If so, how did it work for you.
  21. When only dive destinations with u/w photo op's are considered when planning family vacations.
  22. I beleive it's a matter of preference. In my case, the traditional cables cost more, they require a higher degree of maintenance over fiber and the cables are bulkier, connectors are one more thing to flood proof and to worry about. Fiber is light, flexible, durable and much more afordable. When traveling, I had a malfunction once with my 2 strobe cable and had to use a backup 1 strobe cable unit to resolve it. Had to settle with one strobe to finish the trip. When I got home, sent the cable part in for repair, and pretty much ended up having to purchase a new one because one of the little copper cables inside the phone type cord, gave all it had. With fiber, there is no cable inside, just fiber optic type plastic. I also had a situation at the end of a boat dive when one of my fiber optic lines broke from the strobe. After looking and reviewing the damage, it appears it may have been from lifting the system by the fiber optic and while I don't do that, when we hand the camera to someone onboard a boat, and with rough weather to contend, we don't really know what happens until we are back onboard and those things are part of diving. To fix the fiber optic problem, I simply opened the connector, cut one inch piece from the fiber optic to make it flush, placed it back into a new connector and to this day, it works like nothing ever happened. In my opinion, fiber optic is the way to go.
  23. Bent C, Tim, Andres, Just want to thank you all for helping me sort strobe settings. Works like a charm. Sincerely, Ricardo
  24. Hi Bent, The link to the conversation you started in January of 2011 about 7D and Inon 240Z strobes is just what I needed. Thank you for this- I read it carefully with one of the strobes in hand, plus also checking a bit on the Inon manual, and things are starting to make sense now. It gave me a good laugh too. Hello Tim, I will test the Auto mode, but this time canceling the preflash by locking in the button. Its now making sense to me and am chomping at the bit to get in the water and put this into practice. Much appreciated. Sincerely, Ricardo
  25. I have tried "auto" and it works pretty much as the S-TTL. This idea of adjusting the internal camera flash output down to 1/128th is great. The internal camera flash recycles so quickly that it gives you more flexibility with improved camera response- shifting the lag time to be a condition of stamina of the cells powering the strobes, the memory card's writting speed, number and frequency of exposures taken in rapid succession and type of image quality settings, rather than just waiting for the internal flash to recycle. The challenge I have is that as soon as I manually lower the internal camera flash output from 1 to 1/128th or any value under 1...down the Inon strobes output light goes, and the images turn out underexposed. I am speculating this can be solved by setting the Inon stones to manual, turning off the Inon pre-flash sensors i.e. (bottom right button pushed and locked in) and adjusting the output intensity (upper right knob) until you get a feel for how much light you need based on shooting conditions. If you are shooting balanced or un balanced images ect.ect. the gun number divided by distance to subject or f-stop and getting a feel for how they respond and checking histograms too. At least for me, the Inon manuals are so tough to read that seems like when working with a fiber optic connection, mastering any type of Inon strobe settings other than S-TTL, TTL, Auto requires pretty much developing your own. I use the fiber optic setup and like Inon's S-TTL, and want to switch to fully operating the strobes 100% manual, just cant get a hold of a go manual that expains all the settings in sufficient detail for ease of transition. May need to do the trial en err. method and develop a feel for them.
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