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About Warren_L

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    Wolf Eel

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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D3
  • Camera Housing
    Aquatica D3
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Dual Ikelite DS-125
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    ULCS Buoyancy Arms

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  1. Alex, I am curious about your take on the Nikon 16mm FE versus the Sigma 15mm FE. I've only used the Sigma on land, so I cannot really speak to the Sigma for underwater use. I migrated from a DX body a couple of years ago and loved my Nikon 10.5mm FE, but I don't think my shots are as crisp with the 16mm.
  2. Although I own a D3 and not a D700, I think in way of lens discussions they would be identical. I also use an Aquatica housing for my D3.... The Nikon 14-24mm is going to be more difficult to get results you're going to be happy with, simply because the lens cannot accept standard front mount diopters. Being a rectilinear lens, the corners are going to be soft with any aperature pretty well larger than f/8. I went to a larger dome port (9.25" megadome) to help with the corner sharpness issue and acceptable sharpness can be had at f/8 or smaller. However, for topside photography, the 14-24mm is probably my most used lens. It is one amazing piece of glass, but for underwater use, it has certain limitations. For wide angle my preference is the Nikon 16mm FE, although the Sigma 15mm FE will likely do just as good a job.
  3. If you're shooting a cropped sensor dSLR I'd go for the 60mm first. More versatile. If full frame, the 100mm has a similar angle of view with less depth of field.
  4. There are many factors that affect the quality of image a particular sensor produces. Pixel density gives you an idea of how closely packed the photosites on a sensor are. In general, a lower pixel density is better (but not always as there are other factors that affect sensor quality). With more space between the centre of adjacent pixels means each pixel can be bigger - which can result in better high ISO performance. I assume when you say "better" DOF you are really referring to "larger" DOF. Larger DOF is only better if that's what you require for the type of shots you're doing. In actuality, sensor size has nothing to do with DOF. The reason why you tend to get larger DOF with a smaller sensor is because you tend to use shorter focal lengths to achieve the same angle of view as compared to a larger sensor, which would require a correspondingly longer focal length. It is the use of shorter focal lengths that gives you this difference in DOF.
  5. I have used this lens underwater before (I don't own it anymore as I've sold off most of my DX lenses). It's not bad for a starter lens, but it's really not all that wide, especially on a DX body. It will do ok for some seascape type shots and portraits. It's not bad when you're not sure what you're going to see. It's also not a super fast lens at f/4, and the build quality is that of a consumer lens. But it is inexpensive and not a huge risk if you decide later to go with something else.
  6. Having transitioned from DX to FX in the last year, I can offer you a few of my personal observations. For wide angle, I think the 10.5mm FE is sharper than the 16mm FE, though the 16mm is acceptable. You can still use the 10.5mm FE on a FX body in crop mode, but you essentially end up with an image with resolution just a bit lower than what you would get on the D70. With the 60mm micro, your angle of view is going to be wider on the FX body, so at your minimum focusing distance in the absence of cropping, your images will lose a bit of magnification compared to the DX body. You can compensate by going to a longer focal length like the 105mm micro, but keep in mind that by doing this you're cutting your depth of field.
  7. If I was invested heavily in Canon glass, the 5DMkII would be one I would definitely be considering. However, the autofocus issue would be a big stumbling block as it uses the same system as the 5DMkI, which has it's issues. As well, with HDR, high frame rate is important to me as it allows me some options to do handheld HDR. And for the rare underwater HDR that I've done, it would be virtually impossible without the high frame rate of 9 fps at full resolution.
  8. I tend to agree the $8000 price tag is overdoing it, and based on the reactions of people on the photography based forums I belong to, many others feel the same. However, there will be quite a few who will buy the camera regardless as it is something they need for the work they are doing. But I suspect once the initial flurry of early adopters wanes, the market will cause the price to adjust accordingly. So unless you really need it, it may pay to wait on this one if you really want to pick one up.
  9. Had it not been for the revolutionary improvement in high ISO performance of the D3, I'd still be shooting my D200. Although, I don't shoot the D3 much higher than ISO 1000 underwater, still the cleaner images I am getting from ISO range up to ISO 1000 is a vast improvement over the D200, which I rarely felt comfortable shooting over ISO 400. The problem with exceeding ISO 1000 is that the minimum strobe setting starts to become too strong. But for the ISO range from 400 to 1000, I utilize this range routinely without giving it a second thought.
  10. That's a generalization that perhaps holds true for some, but not all. I guess it depends on what you're after. If you do a lot of cropping, sure, extra pixels will be useful. I don't do much in way of cropping. Most of my shooting is in dark and deep cold water with limited ambient light. I'd take high ISO performance anyday over more pixels.
  11. I've been having mixed results with the 14-24mm/D3/Aquatica combo. I use the 9.25" optical port. Corner sharpness is not too bad with f/8 or smaller, but anything larger than an f/8 you will get noticeable softness in the corners. For the most part, I've switched back to using the 16mm FE.
  12. It's actually quite funny to see all the whining about the price point of the D3x. People have been holding back and waiting for the D3x for quite some time - especially after the firmware slip-up they made earlier in the year. But for underwater shooters, what does the D3x bring to the table that the D3 doesn't already have? If purely for the want of more pixels, then yes, however, after looking at some D3x high ISO samples, I think the D3 still has the edge on high ISO performance. I moved to a D3 because of the high ISO capabilities. A D3x wouldn't make much difference to me.
  13. However, soft corners can be a pretty significant issue depending on what you are shooting. If you shoot anything other than subjects in mid water, this could be very problematic. If the lens can accept a diopter, that would be your best bet to help sharpen up the corners. Also going to a larger dome port with a larger internal radius would help.
  14. When you say "more" closeup work, what do you mean by that? Both the 60mm and 105mm micros provide the same magnification (1:1), but at different working distances. If you're looking for greater magnification, a diopter, wet or dry, will achieve that end. However, keep in mind that it does this by reducing the minimum focusing distance, and with the 60mm, you already have a fairly short minimum focusing distance and reducing this any further may begin to present problems in being able to properly light your subject, and perhaps getting too close. Optimally, you'd want to use the diopter on the 105mm.
  15. The Aquatica D3 housing with the 9.25" Megadome is the setup I currently use. Both with the 16mm fisheye and 14-24mm wide zoom. With the 14-24mm, the large dome is a definite must for corner sharpness, and you'd have to shoot at f/8 or smaller. Not an issue with the 16mm fisheye.
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