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Everything posted by dreifish

  1. Definitely the mass of the whole rig and the trim of it is crucial to steady footage. I think Walt explained it nicely. One thing to keep in mind though is that the Nauticam housing for the C200 is actually not very long. It's quite compact and squat, which might negate a lot of the mass and stability benefits you see with a large heavy housing like the GATES housings for the REDs/Alexa for example. The C200 housing also ends up significantly negative by itself (just like the GH5 housing) so you need to add external floats of some sort if you want it to be neutrally buoyant. I dunno how much this impacts the whole stability and handling of the rig, but I certainly do wish the housing itself had a bit more internal volume and buoyancy. It's easier to start with a buoyant housing and add trim weights than to start with a negative housing and add floats, imo. I suspect the BMPCC4K housing is going to be fairly negative out of the box and will require large external floats to render neutral.
  2. In a flat port, it will become something akin to a 32mm. (Multiply by 1.33) Behind a dome port, it would retain its land angle of view.
  3. The Alex Mustard approach and the Keldan ambient light filters are two different styles/techniques/aesthetic choices about white balance: (a) Create a scene with both foreground and background illuminated by light of the same color temperature for a 'natural' look. This is the approach typified by the Keldan ambient light filters. Technique: set white balance based on ambient light, use strobes or video lights with blue filters to match the ambient light temperature to fill in the shadows on foreground subjects (b) Create a scene where white balance differences between the foreground and background illumination create stronger color contrast and more subject 'pop'. This is the approach most people take for wide angle stills and the school of thought Alex is expanding on. Technique: set white balance based on the color of your strobes/video lights; get nicely warm-colored foreground subjects set against a rich blue water column for maximum color contrast between subject and background. Optionally, you can use warming filters on your strobes or video lights to create even more color contrast between foreground and background and achieve richer blues in the background by setting you white balance cooler (e.g. around 4000-4500k). There's nothing that says you must use technique A for video and technique B for stills, though some people think of it that way. You can use either technique for video or stills depending on the artistic vision you have.
  4. So I used to shoot with stabilization + e-stabilization on all the time, and I.S. lock for macro shots. Recently, I started keeping e-stabilization off, which I think actually produces less of the weird jerkyness. But it's hard to objectively test. Turning stabilization off entirely definitely produces worse results though. It's quite noticeable. Unfortunately, because the 14-42II is a native lens, there is no way to manually tell the camera to stabilize for a wider focal length to account for the effects of the WWL-1. So it's always stabilizing for what it thinks is a 14mm lens I believe, even though it should be stabilizing for a 5mm lens essentially (i.e. doing less stabilization). My theory is that this is what leads to the over-compensation behavior and the weird jerkiness that happens from time to time.
  5. Good to know about the in-water beam angle. 90 degrees is certainly much more useful. The 160* they advertise must be in air.
  6. Yes, you can use CWB set to 6500K to make sure your subject itself is the correct color. But the downside of this is how it affects the background/ambient light color. Basically, you'll get a muddier-looking blue water column if you set your CWB to 6500k than if you had set it to 5500k. That's why many people prefer lights (and strobes) which produce warmer light around the 4300k-4800k range. Alex Mustard has written extensively about this topic -- here is one article that discusses it briefly, though I believe there's a more detailed one that hopefully someone else can link to: http://www.divephotoguide.com/underwater-photography-special-features/article/mastering-color-underwater-photography/?mc_cid=50206c0192&mc_eid=61bc20801b
  7. I bought the CineBags CB27 Lens Smuggler before with the intention of using it as my personal item in addition to a 'standard' sized carry-on. I ended up returning it. It's a very heavy bag even empty, and the amount of padding in it and the thickness of the internal dividers is overkill IMO. If you try to fill it up, it will look very bulky because of all the padding. Not to mention the weight when fully loaded with camera gear makes it very inconvenient to carry using the standard sling.
  8. If you can return them, I would definitely return them -- and for a refund, not for the Tri color version. The biggest problems both models have is that they have a 160* beam angle (which is far too wide, and will lead to less light falling on the part of the subject that's actually in-frame and a lot of wasted illumination outside the angle of view of your lens. Another issue is the light quality (they're <80CRI) and temperature (6500k is too cool. 5000k or lower will allow you to reproduce nicer blues in the water column). For the kind of money you're paying for these, I suggest you take a look at the Jaunt G18 Plus lights instead. Check out this thread for a more in-depth comparison of the best current options for underwater video lights: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=63400
  9. Autofocus probably works just fine for focus and lock, which is how I use the GH5 anyway. Don't expect anything different here. In terms of image quality, keep in mind that what may be fairly obvious differences when seeing (and grading) original files may mostly be negated by YouTube compression. I have shot the same scene side-by-side underwater with the GH5 and a Red Helium 8k. I can attest that the RED file was significantly sharper and showed much better separation of the sunrays in the sunburst. It wasn't a subtle difference even on a 15" macbook display, which kinda surprised me. Now, sharper lenses and a better dynamic range may have played a big role in that difference and I don't expect to see similar results from the BMPCC4K, but I wouldn't underestimate the amount of detail retained in a lossless cDNG image vs. a compressed 150mb/s file. At least, not without seeing side-by-side originals. Of course the value proposition is different for someone starting fresh vs. someone considering an "upgrade" from an existing GH5/GH5s setup. But even in an upgrade situation, you'd still be able to re-use most of your existing ports, lenses, etc. and sell your old body & housing, so we're not talking about spending $5000 extra. Perhaps more like $2000. I am a little bit frustrated with the inconsistent behavior of the GH5's stabilization with the Panasonic 14-42II & WWL-1 truth be told. I don't know if that's due to the camera not understanding the real focal length once you add the WWL-1 to the front of the lens or some other issues, but it does from time to time produce jerky behavior that makes the shots harder to use. So that's why I'd be willing to experiment with an unstabilized body. Then again, I may indeed find that I miss the GH5's stabilization also. Only way to find out is to test it. I'm as big of a proponent of adding artificial light as anyone around here I think, but it's not always the solution. First, investing in lights isn't really an investment atm -- LED technology is still evolving quickly, and I expect that any lights you buy today are going to be available for half the price in 1-2 year's time. Second, there's just times when you can't use artificial light. Either because it will spook away whatever you're trying to film, the subject is too large to illuminate, or whatever. In those situations, it would be nice to get better behavior with ambient light and custom white balance than what the GH5 provides without a red filter.
  10. Most of my experience is in Southeast Asia -- but for what it's worth, I've never had anyone measure the dimensions of the carry-on (assuming it's not obviously too large). Air Asia does weigh them though.
  11. I'm considering it (housing price obviously being a factor). I'd love to try it out at least, though it may indeed prove to be a minimal upgrade over a GH5/GH5s. The biggest advantages I see are the wider usable dynamic range at 4k60 (12bit raw vs 8-bit h.264 v-log internal gives a lot more color gradation information) and the greater flexibility over white balance that being able to work with the raw files should bring. The bigger monitor would also be a nice advantage. Even if the Nauticam housing ends up costing $3600-$4000, the whole package will still be in the same ballpark price range as a GH5s+Nauticam Housing Downsides are the lack of in-body stabilization (but the other cinema options like the C200, EVA-1, REDs, Alexa also lack this) and the much larger file sizes that require more storage and processing power than the GH5's 150mb/s files. A lot will depend on just how good the black magic raw is once it gets implemented. And I'd love to see FCPX support for braw. From the comparisons I've seen out there, image quality is really quite close overall with what the C200 puts out, including similar/lower noise at ISO 6400 than the C200 produces, at $5300 for body+housing vs $15000+ for the C200 (more once you factor in pairing it with a WWL-1 vs WACP). So unless you really need the dual pixel of the C200, or Canon's color science somehow rears it's head again, this seems like a much better buy?
  12. Er.. this is a 1Ds Mark II, not a 1Dx Mark II, right? Think the level of interest would be drastically higher in the latter
  13. I've personally just cut the magic filter gels and stuck them to the front of the 14-42 or the inside of the 35mm port. That being said, don't expect a red filter + blue filters on the lights to produce deep blues.. in fact, it's exactly the opposite. To get those rich blues, you want to have your effective white balance set in camera somewhere around 4000k-4500k. But what you're doing by custom balancing for the ambient light, with or without a filter, is setting your white balance at 10000k+. This will give you 'natural' looking results for the foreground, but it's a disaster in terms of the water column IMO. The best result you're going to get is a greyish, desaturated water column. Sometimes you end up with purple water column instead depending on how much the in-camera white balance + filter combination pushes towards magenta. Red filters don't do anything magical -- they just attenuate the cool side of the color spectrum to compensate for the attenuation of the warm wavelengths by the water itself. In-camera white balance works slightly differently, boosting (applying gain) to the red channel of the signal being read off your sensor. But the end result of either method is to increase the relative strength of the red channel compared to the blue and green channels. Since this is a global adjustment, it inevitably impacts the blue water column also -- turning it a desaturated grey mush, or worse, purple. I'll also second the part about Raja visibility. Expect 10-15 meters, with a lot of plankton in the water. If you're lucky, you can get 20, but it's equally possible to end up with 5-10m on some sites. It's highly variable (and can be greenish, too). Standard advice applies for wide angle -- get as close as possible, watch your light positioning to minimize illuminating particles.
  14. 18.5KG without any of the lithium batteries. Just had to check it in recently because I have another identical bag full of land camera gear I brought on the plane
  15. This is an excellent video explaining these concepts in the context of the Black Magic Pocket Camera 4k. The same thing should apply to pretty much every other camera out there when recording video.
  16. I can fit all this (GH5, Nauticam Housing, Panasonic 14-42II in 35mm port, Nauticam WWL-1; Inon UCL-165 wet diopeter; 2x YS-D2 strobes, 2x Gates GT14 video lights, Weefine 3000LM ring light, 4x 8" ultralight arms, 2 5" wide floats, 1 nauticam 250mm carbon fiber float, 12 clamps, 6 jumbo STIX floats, fiber-optic cables and a nauticam pump): In a rolling carry-on sized bag: I do remove some of the ball mounts for transpiration to make stuffing everything in easier.
  17. Do your strobes use the NIMH battery packs? NIMH batteries in general don't handle long periods of time in storage well. The best advice is to leave them plugged in trickle-charging if you're going to not use them for 1 month or longer. The obvious way to test them is to just hook them up to the camera and take a few test shots on land. You may find that your battery packs don't hold a charge (or have been reduced substantially in their capacity). Swapping out the o-rings for new ones wouldn't hurt for extra piece of mind. Otherwise, what are you trying to test them for? What are you worried about? If they were stored in a dry, cool environment, they should work just fine. And as I mentioned, that's easy to test by just setting up your system and taking a few test shots on land.
  18. I think he's trying to point out that his 7000 lumen light is about 4 stops weaker than the Olympus GN85 strobe? That's roughly in line with my own findings that the Sea & Sea YS-D2s are 5 stops more powerful than my 14000 lumen Gates GT14 video lights. Doing this test using the shutter speed is a bit counter-intuitive, because the strobe exposure isn't impacted by shutter speed. You would've gotten the same exact exposure with the strobe at F5.6-1/6-ISO200 as you did at F5.6-1/125/ISO200.
  19. Haven't tried it, but I was under the impression that the CMC-2 provides greater magnification (and thus less working distance) than the CMC-1? I personally also use the UCL-165. Partially because I bought it ages ago, and partially because any higher magnification is useless when hand-holding with the 14-42mm lens. At least for video. Maybe a different story when shooting from a tripod, but I also have the Panasonic 45mm macro and Olympus 60mm macro lenses, which I feel are a much better solution for real macro (and super-macro) work than the 14-42 + diopeter route. So why bother with the CMC-2? What hole does it fill?
  20. Interesting, I hadn't seen the Dehaze in Davinci Resolve before. It seems the effect is fairly subtle though even at full intensity. I guess you could always stack multiple ones. I'm going to experiment with it more and see how it compares to the version in lightroom. Unfortunately, it's a Davinci Resolve Studio feature, so you need the full studio version to use it.
  21. All very good advice, and concisely summarized. To recap: 1. Get close to your subject, and then get closer. Particles in the water between you and the subject scatter light, reducing contrast, resolution and preferentially attenuate shorter wavelenghts of light (i.e. your reds, oranges and yellows). 2. Use custom white balance and/or red filters to rebalance the color spectrum in SHALLOW water (10m or less ideally) 3. Use artificial lights (strobes, video lights) to bring back warm colors and create subject/background separation, especially in deeper waters where white balance alone is insufficient 4. Shoot subjects from eye-level or below (in general) to increase the viewer's connection with the subject and help simplify the background 5. Approach subjects slowly and methodically. Don't chase -- everything under water can move much faster than you can if it has a mind to escape you, and no-one cares about your shots of fish tails or a turtle's ass. Definitely need to find a less echo-y room though to record the audio in
  22. All of this (GH5 in nauticam housing, WWL-1; macro diopeter, Weefine 3000 Lumen ring light; 2xGates GT14 lights and 2x YS-D2 strobes plus arms and floats to keep it all neutral, battery chargers, etc) Fits in a rolling carry-on bag once fully disassembled: My advice is to avoid any system that requires a large dome port if you value portability. The m4/3 systems are a great option for underwater use for everyone but the most demanding pros.
  23. For wide angle options, I wouldn't really recommend either the 16mm w/ fisheye converter or the 10-16mm rectilinear zoom. The IQ from the 16mm isn't great, and I'm not a fan of rectilinear lenses behind dome ports anymore now that there's better options out there. Too many compromises in terms of size and image quality (corner sharpness). First, figure out if you want a fisheye or a rectilinear zoom type lens. For Fisheye, look into the Tokina 10-17 or Canon 8-15 fisheye zooms with an adapter (Metabones IV works with both). You'll get excellent IQ and a very nice usable range with either option. One%2
  24. Personally, I find waveform representations of an image vastly superior to a histogram and much easier to use as a reference when grading. I wish I could have a waveform display in Lightroom/Photoshop. I'm not sure what you mean specifically by levels -- do you mean the exposure/highlights/shadows/whites/blacks sliders in Lightroom? Most programs, FCPX, Premiere and DaVinci Resolve included, allow you to use curves to adjust exposure and things like contrast, color balance and saturation, not just color wheels. The Lumetri panel in Premiere (based on my limited use) tries to be somewhat similar to Lightroom/Adobe Camera Raw also. Really, the luminance part of the color wheel works very similarly to the exposure/highlights/shadows slider in Lightroom. But they offer the additional option to push a certain color cast into only a certain luminance range in your image. You can't really do that with photo editing software for the most part without applying luminance masks. One feature I miss a lot when color grading is Lightroom's "Dehaze" slider. Something like that which boosts local contrast and saturation could do wonders for underwater video. I don't know of any easy way to replicate it in FCPX or Davinci Resolve.
  25. Based on the focal length in those images, I'd say you're really overestimating how close you are to your subjects. 4ft away from the mantas at 33mm (i.e. 50mm full frame equivalent) would not be able to fit a whole manta in the frame. Maybe if you had been shooting with the Tokina at 10mm, yes. But with a 50mm lens? No way. If I had to guess, you're at least 3-5 meters away. This matters of course because all that water kills your contrast and resolution. Other possible factors: Your lens is fogging up inside the housing? The focus is off? Hard to say based these results, as the loss of resolution could come from other factors Looking at the GoPro image, I wouldn't say the water is all that clear either -- rather, the perceived increase in sharpness and contrast you see from the GoPro is at least partially attributable to different processing, and partially attributable to your friend having to get closer in order to fit the whole manta in the frame with the GoPro's wider lens. The GoPro is boosting the contrast quite a bit. Do you have any shots with the Tokina 10-17 you could show us? Have you shot 18-55 on land? Maybe there's some issue with the lens itself.
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