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rinjani last won the day on June 20

rinjani had the most liked content!

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About rinjani

  • Rank
    Wolf Eel

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Oakland, CA
  • Interests
    Underwater and general photography, travel, judo, cooking

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon Z7, Z7ii, D810
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam NA-Z7ii
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Ikelites - DS161
  • Accessories
    lots of extra kit

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  1. Nice video, thanks for sharing. Hope to get there one day.
  2. I have been using the same setup. The first time I tried using it underwater was pretty frustrating and way harder than I expected. I also did some practice out of the water on a table with some fish toys to get used to moving the snoot around. While doing this I spent some time figuring out how to set up the system on my rig for ease of adjustment so that I was able to spot-light the target with minor movements. Underwater I worked on presetting the spotting light for the subject before getting too close to the actual critter I wanted to photograph. I found it a lot easier to start with the widest beam possible and the brightest setting to get the light into the approximate area I needed it. Then fine-tuning it as I was shooting with one hand. It wasn't always simple (and yes there were moments of total frustration), but after a few dives I had it pretty well dialed in for shots with both my 105 separately with a diopter for super macro attempts. For actual image taking I nearly always used the #5 or #6 brightness setting. F-stop was between 18-29. Most of the time I shot at 1/160 or 1/200. Jon
  3. I made some of my own following the instructions in the post above by @davehicks DIY fibre optic writeup.... Once you have gathered the parts it is pretty simple. All the cables I made worked first time with a Nauticam setup. I estimated the cost at around $15/cable - that's a serious saving over the commercial cost. Good luck. Jon
  4. Video capability is one of the reasons I decided to move to the mirrorless body. It's far superior to what the earlier Nikon bodies are capable of. Anyone who's planning to try both photography and video is going to lean to the mirrorless bodies. As I mentioned earlier, for folks who are happy with their current system for photography and who have no interest in video I think that there's little reason to upgrade at the moment given the cost. Jon
  5. In an attempt to bring the thread back to the main question... Since all the major camera brands are moving to mirrorless, that really is the future. However, for many folks who are happy with their current DSLR systems, there is a question of whether to/when to look at upgrading to the current generation of mirrorless cameras. Some of the important issues that have been mentioned in this thread are: Autofocus (AF) speed and reliability Wide angle shooting into the sun EVF verses OVF viewfinders Underwater my experience of digital cameras is only with Nikon: D200, D7100/7200, Z7II On land my experience of digital is (including the above) is: D850, D810, D610, Z7 So for a Nikon shooter I can give some perspective. I know nothing about Sony or other systems for UWater. For AF the D850/D810 are superior to the Z7/Z7II - no question. For wide angle I will suggest that the difference in AF is not relevant, I've had no issues with the AF of the Z7II for doing underwater wide angle. For macro, the Z7II AF is prone to hunting and moving to the wrong object (my experience) but once I get the subject the way I want it minor AF changes work well and the EVF helps a lot for composition and nailing the focus (see below) For wide angle shots into the sun. I find no difference between the mirrorless and the D7200, they are equally hard to get a nicely balanced exposure. I can see the sun just fine on the Z7II. For me, getting the sun exposure dialed in is challenging regardless of system type, but I never felt that seeing the sun in the EVF was the problem - it was the same as ever, getting a composition, getting a model into a decent position, balancing exposure in the foreground (strobe power) with the sun exposure (f stop/shutter speed combo) and other familiar challenges. For the EVF v. OVF questions. I prefer the EVF, I can see everything I want to see. I have a sharper and brighter view of my subject. For macro I have been able to get a far greater number of properly focused images of small critters than with the D7200, especially for super-macro with a diopter. The other advantage of the EVF is that I can see the composition and the exposure of the image in the viewfinder without moving my camera from the subject. This makes it so much easier to refocus, modify strobes/camera settings since I don't have to move away from the subject or move the camera to view the screen on the back. For me the EVF is a great step forward. Now, for someone who has a complete D850/D500/similar DSLR setup, the question is what's the point of upgrading and spending all the money to do. In my opinion there's not too much reason for it at this point. The D850 has better AF, you have a system that you are familiar with, you have already spent the money. The D850 and Z7II have essentially an identical sensor (I know there's a several year technology gap, but there's little to choose between them if anything) so switching to the Z7II is barely, if at all, going to change your image quality. The Z system mirrorless housing is essentially the same size as a DSLR one so there's barely any advantage there. If you use 8 inch (or greater) domes then your pain will not be reduced by switching. Now, if you are looking for a new system, moving up from a compact camera or just starting out there are different strategies. You can get a used system for a fraction of the cost of buying new. D850, D810, D7200 etc. are all available for very decent prices and you can put together a great system for a fraction of a new Z7 system. You will be happy with the image quality. No question. Or you can look into the high end mirrorless systems. Your budget will be way higher, you will have great image quality. You will most likely be happy with the images. However, as pointed out by @Edy park and many others over the years, the real thing to work on is improving our composition and lighting skills. A new camera won't fix those things for us. A new camera may have some features that can help us with exposure or getting setup to take an images but it doesn't improve our skills, only practice and study will do that. OK, so why did I upgrade then and spend all that money? I upgraded because I had already switched from using my D810 for landscape and other topside images to a Z7 and I was moving to mirrorless anyway. I wanted the ability to get better video than the D7200 offered underwater. I have always been unhappy with my Tokina 10-17 image quality at the edges so I was looking to switch to the 8-15mm and would need to get a new mini dome anyway. I wanted to switch to optical connectors so I could add the Backscatter snoot system. yes, the upgrade cost was huge, it was painful, and while my wife knows it was expensive, she doesn't know how expensive But, for me, it's been fine to make the change with a small learning curve. Hope this helps anyone who is interested. Jon/Rinjani
  6. @TimG I like your nudibranch shot
  7. Hi Udic, As davehicks and timg said you need to change you lighting and composition a little. I'm not sure if you are shooting with one or two strobes. Rather than light up the nudis and everything around them you can try various ways to place more emphasis on the just the subject. Shallower DOF; getting closer and lower to help separate from the background; a single top-light; cross light from one side or with two strobes that reduce the light straying into the background; using lower power on the strobes and creating some contrast with different power from one side of the other; using a snoot to control what gets light. In LRoom you can create a radial filter to mask the edges and create some vignetting, you can select the sand area and try to bring it down a little with the exposure and black sliders. But the way this is exposed it may be a little hard to make too many changes without it being obvious or strange looking. In the images I shared below the seahorse was shot with a snoot straight down from above and a close-up diopter to get close and the octopus was shot with two strobes cross-lighting it, plus a shallower depth of field to emphasize the side of the critter.
  8. Looks great, but I'm getting cold looking at it Would be a lot of fun to try that out one day. Jon B
  9. I switched to Z7II (ii) this year after using a D7200 for 7-8 years. So far I've done about 65 dives with it. One thing I can say for sure about the EVF is that it's a lot better than the D7200 for taking super-macro images. I'm using the same viewfinder that I used previously (Nauticam 45 degree) but having a much sharper and brighter display means that I can be much more accurate in my focus when I'm trying to correctly focus a specific part of the critter. The D850/810 autofocus is superior to the Z7, no question. But for wide angle it's basically irrelevant. For regular macro it can be more challenging to get things in focus on the Z7, but once they are I found that it's much easier to retain focus by gentle back and forth movement looking through the EVF than I ever could manage with the optical viewfinder. The reason for this was that I could look at my previous image in the EVF without having to move my head or camera position to review anything. I even commented to my wife/buddy how everyone else kept backing off and looking at their images before trying again. In my opinion having direct feedback in the viewfinder without having to move away from the subject in any way is a huge advantage. Also, not that it's relevant for pure photography, the Nikon mirrorless video is far superior to the D7200/810/850. Jon B
  10. After a recent update one of my settings had changed on my Z7ii so that my flash settings were no longer the same. Check that i) your focus hasn't changed to manual and while you're at it ii) check that you don't have focus lock set on the back of your camera. Good luck with solving the problem. Rinjani
  11. It's only when I initially turn everything on. if the camera goes to sleep it's not a problem, it wakes up and on we go. But if you turn the camera or the strobes off then there's one (usually) initial trigger before the strobes fire. Sorry it's not working for you. The Ikelite adapter part I have is: 4401.3 (Fiber Optic Converter - 3rd Gen). Jon
  12. Hi Tim, I don't think so. It happens on land and when I set everything up from scratch. I assumed it's something to do with the strobe electronics and getting them in sync with the camera. 95% of the time it requires a single trigger. Jon
  13. One other thing. I found that the strobe power indicators needed to be set in the correct clicked position. When I was slightly between the "clicked" settings the power of the light was incorrect or the strobe seemed to not fire. Again annoying for the first dive or two then I got used to setting power right on the click settings. If I went beyond full power (by mistake) to the TTL setting the power was wrong/did not fire. Jon
  14. HI I'm late to this discussion but I have almost the same setup - Nikon z7II and Ikelite 161 strobes with the Ike adapter in the Nauticam housing. The Ike strobes do not work the first time you fire them after turning everything on (strobes and camera). They just appear to read the camera and then fire on subsequent triggers. This is something I found out when testing and while diving on my recent trip. If you turn the strobes off you need to start again with one or (sometimes) several triggers from the camera then everything appears to work. I had multiple dives where everything worked predive (on the second or third image). Once in the water I had to trigger everything 2-5 times again before one of the strobes (mostly twice was sufficient) would work correctly after turning the camera and strobes on again for the hour or two between testing and diving. It also sometimes seems to be an issue when you modify strobe power but this was very inconsistent. Moderately annoying the first few times. Just test as you drop down and hit the reef/dive area. I found it was mostly okay after an in water setup during the first minute or two. If you are turning the strobes or camera on and off while testing this will probably be an issue. For troubleshooting you also need to check your cables in case there's a problem with them. At the minimum make sure a light shines through in both directions while you move them around Making the cables using the info that @Kraken de Mabini is the way to go price wise. I made four cables to use as back ups for about $12 US each (after spending $$$ on a pair from a reputable company). Jon
  15. Just back from an overseas trip. Carry your own sanitizer for when you need it For some countries you need the booster vaccination (but you got it already right, so you should be good to go) Check if there are any apps that you need to have on your phone and get them loaded before you leave home. Some places require them for entry to restaurants/stores/etc Make sure that you are booked into hotels (etc) that meet any local quarantine requirements for the days after you arrive Budget extra money and time to get all the tests you need Make sure you check-in early at the airport. A number of airlines are closing their check-in counters well before the flights leave to allow for all the paperwork and processing steps. Be super patient with all the airline staff, they are not responsible if things take a long time or your paperwork is messed up. Wear your mask(s) properly - it's not that hard to do - and it's polite for the rest of the people around you.
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