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Everything posted by jplaurel

  1. TG-6 is a fine suggestion, if macro is your primary interest. But you could also consider a pre-owned Micro 4/3 setup that would have more capability and give you room to grow (estimated prices). Best of all, you will be learning alot of skills that will translate if or when you move up to a higher end system. Olympus E-M1 Mk1 body: $250 (make sure the seller gives you the included factory pop-up flash, which you can use to trigger strobes) Nauticam NA-EM1 housing: $600 Olympus 60mm macro: $450 Nauticam N85 macro port for Only 60mm macro: $250 Backscatter Mini Flash: $399 (new) So, for just under $2000, you now have a nice macro setup that will do 1:1, along with the perfect little strobe for it. Add the optical snoot for $149, if you want. Add a CMC or a pre-owned subsea diopter for more magnification. Now, you're in the Nauticam N85 world, so you can move up to a GH5, GH6, or the new OM1 if you want. And also, it's a nice, light and compact system. Easy to travel with and easy to love. You can do alot with a little setup like this and unlike the TG6, you can grow your system easily. Later, if you want to do some wide angle, add the following pre-owned items. Pair of YS-D1: $500 DP-170 AR coated glass dome: $600 (There's actually one for sale right now in classifieds. I'd snatch that up if I didn't already have one... Works great with both Panasonic 7-14 and 8mm fisheye) Panasonic 7-14 or 8mm fisheye: $500 (on KEH now)
  2. Yes, I specifically asked Daniel Keller this question and he said that a 4X (and presumably the 8X as well) with the AF-12B was the exact same light as the old 30k Luna 8 cyan heads.
  3. Hi Dreifish - Sorry for the delay. Yes, I'll do that with the Keldan 4x with and without the cyan filter. I can also do it with the Luna 8 with both the 5600K CRI96 heads and the 30,000K cyan heads. Based on what Daniel Keller told me, I expect the exact same result. The Keldans should provide a definitive reference. Actually, I have a color meter that should provide an exact measurement.
  4. In his review, Alex noted that the strobes do not retain some settings after being powered down. Thankfully, that has been fixed. With the currently shipping firmware, the following settings are all retained after any interruption of the power supply, including during a battery change: input mode exposure mode power setting pilot light 2nd curtain synchro TTL master and slave Inverted display
  5. We received the ONEUW strobes and set about getting them to work with a Canon 5DSR and 5DIII in the original Nauticam NA-5DIII housing. This is the original housing for the 5DIII, which has the mirror rather than the prism to redirect the LED lights from the flash trigger up to the optical ports. The short story is that we could not get the ONEUWs to trigger with this setup at all. Well, one of them would trigger intermittently, but it was inconsistent. We eliminated cables and the strobes themselves by hooking them up to my Sony Alpha 1 housing with the new Nauticam flash trigger, that uses red LEDs. That worked with no problem at all. The mirror and the optical ports looked ok, but we cleaned them anyway to no avail. The trigger batteries tested good, but we put in a fresh set anyway. Still nothing. We also tried an older pair of Sea & Sea YS-D2s, which also failed to trigger with the 5DIII and 5DSR via optical or electrical. Next, we are going to try a UW Technics Manual Flash Trigger #12032, which can trigger the strobes via optical or electrical (when connected to a 6-pin bulkhead). I am not clear about whether using this device to trigger the strobes via an electrical connection would allow TTL. I suppose it depends on whether it is a straight pass through from the 6-pin bulkhead, through the trigger to the hot-shoe. I'll test it and report back when I have all the parts in hand. The ONEUW strobes have all the TTL circuitry for Canon or Nikon (there is a version of the strobe for each). There is a little confusion around how to rig a pair of ONEUW strobes to a single passive bulkhead (i.e., no flash trigger, just straight-wired from the Y cable). Here is what you need, confirmed by both Reef Photo and ONEUW in Italy. This will enable you to use the strobes in either TTL or manual mode. I have attached screen captures of the ONEUW wiring diagram and the product page for the correct Y cable. Reef can supply both of these things, but the cable is a new product, so it may take a little time to get them from Italy. Y-Dual Synchro Cable 6pin-S6 2xS6 M6-L25 Cod# 330.010 Nauticam 14mm S6 Bulkhead
  6. You want Tefgel for that. I have also used Super Lube for that purpose and it works just fine. I always remove the handles and any stainless bolts that go into the aluminum housing, rinse, dry and apply Super Lube or Tefgel before storing a housing. An important part of maintaining your housing, if you ask me.
  7. I use the Keldan SF-2 spectrum filter (for the camera) and the Keldan AF-12B for the lights. Assuming your Gates lights output at 5600K, then the Keldan AF-12B should work, assuming you can find a way to fit them. The inside diameter of these filters is 72mm. They also make a larger version that is 110mm. Daniel Keller mentioned that they can supply the AF-12B material by itself. So, you could get some of that material, a few 58mm filter rings, and make some 58mm filters for your Gates lights with the Gates filter mount. I do see from the specs that the Gates lights are 5000K. Keldan are very responsive. You can reach them here: https://keldanlights.com/contact/contact.html
  8. I just set up an Alpha 1 system and have used it on about 50 dives so far. Comparable to the D850? The real question should be "Does ANY camera have AF that's comparable to the A1. It is unbelievably fast. Unbelievably accurate. It will track a sea lion zooming toward you as if you have a seasoned focus puller at your side. I've been shooting video with it, and I just leave it on continuous autofocus. Amazing machine.
  9. Glad you mentioned that, because I'd run into those filters as well. Well, I guess there's no substitute for actual research into the color science, and at the moment, Keldan seems to be the only company pursuing it for underwater video lights. The AF-12 filters work very well on my Keldan 4x and 8x. I also have the 30,000k cyan heads for my old Luna 8s, which are the same light color. As an aside, if you use the AF-12B filters, pay attention to the "use in water only" warning. I had to hand my rig off to a fellow diver just before we surfaced, and I neglected to turn the 4x adjustment ring to the lock position. Of course, they got bumped as they were brought up into the RIB, and after 5 minutes, this is what happened. Expensive lesson!
  10. That's a good point, Hyp. But maybe it's enough just to add a little fill in the shadows, especially at moderate depths, if you're not using a red filter, and a wet lens at moderate apertures? And what about a GoPro with a light red filter at moderate depths? Might work... Then again, they're may be a good reason why L&M doesn't offer filters for the little Sola lights. I wonder if it would be feasible to offer those small lights with a switchable 5600K/30,000K output.
  11. I would love to know this as well. It would give new life to some of my old lights, like the old Sola Video 2000. Given the cost of the Lee filters, though, I was thinking that maybe a good option would be to buy a pair of the "bluewater dome port cover" for $39 each that L&M make for the Sola 15,000. I think those Sola 15,000s are pretty big, so they could probably be jury-rigged to fit her lights. You could even cut them down to size for something like the old Solas. At least with these, the only work would be getting them attached in some way. The light color should be perfect, assuming the Sola 15,000 is 5600K. Bluewater Dome Port Cover for Sola Video 15,000
  12. Most cameras that can do a manual white balance also allow you to simply set the kelvin temperature. Most UW video lights are 5600K. But as Blake says above, the real solution is what Keldan is offering. Basically, you want to white balance the camera with just ambient light, then have lights that approximate the same color temperature as daylight at whatever your depth. At a minimum, this means cyan filters on your lights, but you can get better results if you use a red filter on your camera in addition. How much better is subjective. The interesting thing about Keldan is that they offer both filters, which are designed to work together. Light and Motion also offers cyan domes for their Sola video pro 15k lumen lights, I think.
  13. If you have a Nauticam housing, you may be able to forgo the plate and just add some balls.
  14. Certainly no manufacturer is immune from the increased costs related to the supply chain problems, fewer workers, and higher production costs due to inflation. It's also worth noting that the new Subal Alpha 1 housing is about $2k more than the Nauticam. I've always had Nauticam housings, mostly because they were early to market with M4/3 housings. And without exception, they've all been excellent. High quality, well-engineered, and many little features that tell you whoever designed the housing was really thinking things through. And also, they're very ergonomic with comfortable and sensible control layouts. The one downside, and this is related to that ergonomic design, is that they're full of complex little clockworks inside. On a live aboard, I don't think you'd have a chance in hell of servicing one. A friend of mine has an old Subal 5DSR housing, and a pusher failed. He had the parts on hand, and with simple tools, he fixed it right there on the camera table. I believe he said that there's alot of parts commonality across housing models, and within each housing itself, which means you don't have to carry a very big spares kit to solve quite a few common problems.
  15. The Sony 28-60 is actually an excellent little lens, considering that it's such an inexpensive and cheaply-built little thing. Works really well with the WWL-1B on Sony full frame cameras. My advice is that, if you plan to travel with it, buy two of them. When I got my first one, I accidentally dropped the camera with it mounted and the barrel extended from just 1 foot onto a thickly carpeted floor. The barrel jammed. I sent it to Sony, and they said it could not be repaired. So it's a very fragile little lens. You can buy them all day long used on eBay or on B&H for around $300-325 or so.
  16. I haven't fixed any distortion in post. I have heard people say that the WWL-1B does have some barrel distortion, but it is hardly noticeable. And even so, I'll trade a little distortion for sharper edges and corners any day. Because it's inherently sharper in the edges and corners, you don't have to stop down as much as you would with a rectilinear 16-35 behind a big dome. Sony users are fortunate in that we can use the WWL-1B which was originally designed for compact cameras. Sonys are the only full frame cameras that can use the WWL-1B, as far as I know.
  17. If you're using Final Cut Pro, there's a step you have to do to a "Color Space Override" to work with HLG footage in a Rec 709 timeline. Once you've done this, then you apply the Camera LUT as usual. I found it to work well with the Leeming LUTs. The workflow is here: https://daejeonchronicles.com/2019/03/11/workflow-leeming-lut-one-sony-hlg-bt-2020-for-rec-709/
  18. Thanks for this and the other info you posted. I've found it very helpful. Dumb question incoming... Regarding the dual native ISOs for S-Log3, does mean that noise at 12,800 is as low as at 640? I understand that the intermediate ISO settings past the base are progressively noisier, but at the higher base ISO, does it clean up to be the same as the low base ISO?
  19. I replied to someone heading to Socorro in another thread, but I decided this topic was worth its own thread, since so many people struggle with this issue. Since I started shooting video underwater, I've been bedeviled by the mixed light problem. Years ago, few cameras apart from Canon DSLRs could dream of being able to white balance at depth. Then, along came the Panasonic GH5, and slowly camera makers followed suit. But what about supplemental light? The problem is that when you're white balanced at depth, the output of 5600K video lights look red. If you white balance to 5600K to match your lights, then the ambient color looks terrible. And unlike strobes, almost video lights almost never have the sheer power to overwhelm daylight enough to get good color unless you're very close to the subject. What you really want is nice ambient white balance, and supplemental light that looks "normal", i.e., like natural light at depth. The secret is to white balance for the ambient light at depth, then adjust your video lights so their output matches the ambient light color temperature. That way, you get a nice, colorful ambient light exposure, with a little more light on things close by to bring out detail and color, but without any weird color casts. For example, consider filming sharks. Ambient light only with a good white balance may look good when filming them from the side, but when the animal swims over you, it becomes a silhouette. It's alot nicer to throw some light onto the shark's belly so you can see some detail. But if you add light from normal 5600K video lights, it looks all red or pink. You want it to be white. And even though you can get a nice shot of sharks from the side with ambient light only, without extra light, you miss out on the beautiful iridescent colors in their skin. With good light, you will see flecks of gold and other colors in their skin as they swim by. Around 8 years ago, Keldan released cyan heads for their original Luna 8 lights, and few people took notice. I remember then Nauticam rep Chris Parsons lamenting that he was having a hard time getting people to understand the idea of using cyan video lights to get better color underwater. After all, isn't a lack of red in underwater daylight the problem in the first place? I was an early adopter of the Keldan cyan idea, but I never could get it to work very well with my GH4 (w/red filter) or the GH5 (without red filter, as it could white balance at depth on its own) Even with the GH5 white balanced at depth, I could never get really clean whites. I was in the Revillagigedos a few weeks ago, and finally had some success getting decent ambient color with a mix of ambient and supplemental lighting. The rig was: Sony α1 Nauticam NA-α1 housing Sony FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 Nauticam WWL1-B wet lens Keldan Spectrum SF -2 red filter (a frameless filter placed between the flat port and the WWL-1B) Keldan 4X lights with SF-12 Ambient filters. I shot mostly Slog-3, but I also tried HLG. My experience was that, with Slog-3, I was at 6400-12,800 alot of the time in order to punch through the red filter and at the same time overexpose by about 2 stops required by this profile. This means quite a lot of noise, but Neat Video does a good job of cleaning it up. I shot one dive at the boiler with HLG3, and I think going forward that will be my go-to profile. You don't have to overexpose it, so noise is less of an issue. If you nail the white balance, you get very nice color and good dynamic range. But remember that you have a little less room to work with it than slog-3. Still, HLG3 grades very easily, once you drop a corrective LUT onto the clip (I use the Leeming LUTs). Once that's done, I found that only minor corrections to contrast and exposure and saturation were required. Simple corrections and easy to do. Another benefit of HLG3 is that you can use the footage later to deliver for HDR displays, if you like. Here is the workflow for HLG in Final Cut Pro. My advice is to try HLG3.BT2020 in XAVC 4K S-I at 60P, 10 bit 4.2.2 For Slog-3, I am using the Phantom LUTs, and have found that the "Ice Blue" LUT works beautifully for underwater footage. After applying the LUT, only minor corrections to contrast, saturation and exposure were needed. Just a few clicks... The Keldan system is brilliant. I was able to get nice color with ambient light at the Canyon cleaning station, where you will be at 80-90 feet. It's nice to have good ambient color and be able to put some light on the animals without the red cast. With the Keldan red filter (on your lens) and cyan filter on your lights, you get a nice clean look. I credit a deceptively simple little tool for making my life underwater alot easier. If you're serious about video, YOU MUST have a good gray card at a minimum. And a color checker is also very useful as a color reference when finishing your footage. The Keldan color checker/white balance card was INDISPENSABLE. I had it on a small retract, so I could just grab it for white balance, and I'd also sometimes flip it over to show the Xrite color checker side at the beginning of a shot. I hold it at arm's length for white balance. Really, I cannot emphasize how valuable this thing is. Don't think, just buy it and thank me later. The attached video shows my wife, Karin, photographing a silver tip at the Canyon. It was shot in slog-3, probably at about ISO 3200 or 6400, XAVC 4K S-I (600 mbps), 10bbit 4.2.2 at 60-FPS. Noise reduction with Neat Video. Keldan SF-2 red filter, and Keldan SF-12 cyan light filters on Keldan 4X compact lights. Depth was 85-90 feet, proving that the SF-2 (rated for 2-15 meters) and SF12 (rated for 10-18 meters) work well together, even beyond their respective depth ratings. Notice that the lights don't have an overly warm cast, even though at 30,000k, the light temperature is a little lower than ambient. I found the SF-2/SF-12 filter system to work well from safety stop depths all the way down to 100ft. Karin with Silvertip Graded.mp4
  20. I was just there a few weeks ago. Sony A1 in Nauticam housing with 28-60 and WWL1-B. Keldan Spectrum SF -2, and pair of Keldan 4X with SF-12 Ambient filters. I just wrote up some of my experience shooting video in Socorro a couple weeks ago in a separate topic. Karin with Silvertip Graded.mp4
  21. Keldan 4x without question. You can also get the cyan "Spectrum" filters for them which, when used with Keldan's "Ambient" filters on your lens, can produce beautiful ambient color. The idea is that you hate balance through the red filter, then convert your light source to something similar to the ambient light color underwater. Keldan is the only company I'm aware of that offers a light filter and camera filter that are designed to work in combination. Here's a really good rundown of the mixed light issue from Florian Fischer.
  22. Thanks to everyone who participated in this thread. We ordered the ONEUW strobes and will spend a couple weeks getting to know them at the shootout in June.
  23. Just want to thank Phil Rudin for commenting in this thread with a “heads-up” on his review of the ONEUW, which I found to be very helpful (link below). For those considering this new strobe, here’s a list of the few reviews out there right now: Alex Mustard reviews the ONWUW 160x on Wetpixel Phil Ruden reviews the ONEUW for UWPMAG in issue 124 (starting page 24) Indopacificimages reviews the ONEUW 160x strobe ONEUW 160x Review by Don Silcock on Wetpixel (same review as on Indopacific Images) Backscatter gives the ONEUW 160x a cursory review in their 2021/2022 strobe roundup
  24. Yes, could be an effective compromise when travel weight is an issue. In this class, however, you would also have to consider the Inon, with its “plus-shaped” pattern. I shoot video, so these are primarily for my wife, who shoots the 5DSR. She already has a couple pairs of the YS-D1 and D2, so she has the “light & compact travel strobe” thing covered. I think she would have chosen the Retras over the YS strobes if they had been available back then. But now, they feel like a half-step. Every single person I know that has the YS-250s will not give them up for anything. The Seaflash and ONEUW are the closest thing on the market now, though the new Ikelite is right on the horizon. For the kinds of things she is shooting now, big power that can keep up with the 5DSR at 5fps is what’s needed.
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