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Posts posted by ornate_wrasse

  1. Thanks so much Allison, elbuzo and Nick! This will enable me to properly describe this critter to the camera club.



    Thanks for the link to the video. It was positively incredible watching that mantis shrimp spear (or club) its prey. I hope you don't mind if I give the link to the folks in the camera club. Kudos to those photographers who made a video of the action!


    Good to be able to describe the mantis shrimp in my image as the spearing kind.




    Thanks for wishing me good luck with my presentation!





  2. I read about Nikon 16mm 2.8 and Sigma 15mm 2.8.

    What you think is the best for underwater photography?Also I love half sea-half out of the sea

    pictures and I would like to take this kind of pictures...


    The two lenses are similar but, as I recall, the Sigma focuses closer than the 16mm 2.8. At one time, I believe it was preferred by Alex Mustard to the Nikon 16mm. But don't quote me on that!


    I used to own the 16mm 2.8 and I sold it. It's the one lens I sold that I really regret selling! Also, the over/under shots I've captured were shot with the Nikon 16mm 2.8. It worked great for over/unders with my big dome lens.


    You probably can't go wrong with either lens, but do remember that the Sigma will focus a little closer.


    That's my two cents. Happy shooting!



  3. These IR images are stunning! I especially like the first one. The focus appears to be tack sharp.


    For the second image, it appears you could crop 1/3 of the image on the right side, it doesn't add anything to the image overall. Also, the front part of the critter is a bit soft. I do like the dreamy look that the image has, however.


    What a great idea to take an IR modified camera underwater!


    Thanks for sharing these images.



  4. I have found that the extension tubes go together easily but require strap wrenches to twist them apart.


    Ditto on the strap wrench. I have had difficulty at times and have found that a strap wrench comes in very handy. I actually went out and bought one online and now it goes with me whenever I go on a dive trip.



  5. To give one example, I just sold a Subal housing for a D70 camera for $675. I bought it used at Reef Photo and Video for $1400. I'm guessing that the buyer paid me approximately 25% of what it had cost brand new. As it was, I recovered nearly 50% of what I paid for it.


    I can still remember a conversation I had with a well known underwater photographer a few years ago. His comment was that the older cameras still take good pictures. It's just that everyone wants the latest and greatest and are willing to pay the price for it. But if one is willing to go with an older camera/housing, there are a lot of bargains around. The buyer of my Subal housing got himself a quality housing for an excellent price. Although the D70 doesn't have all the latest technology, he'll still be able to take some darn good pictures with it.


    My two cents,



  6. You are spot on in your thinking that TTL doesn't function correctly in wide angle shots. The only situation where TTL works well is when the subject to be photographed fills up the frame, e.g. macro shots. For wide angle, TTL is definitely NOT the way to go. Manual, although a bit daunting to use to some who are used to TTL, is really not that difficult. It just takes a bit of practice. The results, in the end, for wide angle, are far superior to using TTL. After practicing, you'll soon know what settings (aperture and shutter) get you the results you want. Another poster has given you some great tips for shutter and aperture.


    Another theory that I have is that my strobes are positioned direct at the subject?


    Aiming strobes directly at the subject is to be avoided in underwater photography. It is the surest way to get a lot of backscatter in your images.


    I highly recommend you get a copy of "The Underwater Photographer" Fourth Edition by Martin Edge. There is a whole section about lighting. One of his tips, among many, is the following:


    "The idea is to avoid lighting the water column in between the lens and the subject. This reduces the effects of particles, and creates images that are cleaner, sharper and more colourful"


    Before long, you'll see big improvements in your images.


    Have fun!



  7. If you want to really blow up large use a really fine grain film like Kodak Panatomic-X ASA 32 if you can find it, or Ilford Pan-F 50 ASA


    Panatomic-X hasn't been made for years.


    Ilford Pan-F would be great for enlargements and I actually shot and developed a roll of Pan-F a couple weeks ago. Since it's such a slow film it's often shot using a tripod for topside shots, meaning a long exposure is often needed. When I used it recently, I was using shutter speeds of 1/8 of a second or more. If I hadn't used a tripod, there may have been a lot of blur in the images. I'm not sure that a film this slow would be good for the type of shots he wants to shoot.



    If you want to go with something similar to Panatomic-X you might choose Fotokemika Efke iso 25, a film made in Croatia.


    "Efke films are manufactured using classic emulsions with very high silver content. This results in a large grayscale reproduction. Unlike modern flat crystal films, which are very unforgiving to use, these films allow beginners to produce quality images. The nature of the film also easily allows large, grain free, enlargements to be made from negatives."



  8. Also, What sort of film should I use? Ideally i'd like it to be black and white. I'm guessing ISO 100 as I want to print these as 'fine art' prints.




    I actually do a lot of black & white topside photography and develop and enlarge in the darkroom.


    Here are my suggestions for black and white film at ISO 100 along with comments:


    1. Kodak TMAX 100


    "Super tight grain, moderate contrast and an extremely long tonal scale are all characteristics of this superb film from Kodak. For those shots that require a high degree of enlargement, you'll be hard pressed to find a better film than TMAX 100. Best processed in TMAX developers, but can be processed in more conventional developers also."


    2. Fuji Neopan Acros 100


    "Fuji Neopan Acros 100 is a medium speed black and white film with rich gradation and outstanding sharpness. These features make it a good choice for a wide range of photographic applications including portraits, landscapes, architectural and product photography.


    Boasting Fuji's Super-fine Sigma Grain Technology this update of the older Neopan 100 has exceptionally fine grain yielding smoother and sharper textural depiction even under substantial enlargements."


    I have shot Fuji Neopan Acros quite a bit and I really like it. I haven't used Kodak TMAX 100 but a lot of people like it. According to the above comments, it's great for shots needing a high degree of enlargement, which would be great for you.


    The following films are black and white films at ISO 125:


    1. Ilford FP4 Plus


    "Ilford FP4+ is an exceptionally fine grain, medium speed (ISO 125) black and white film. It is ideal for high quality indoor and outdoor photography, particularly when substantial enlargements are to be made. In addition to general photography, FP4+ is also suited to copying and internegative work, and has many applications in scientific technolical and industrial photography."


    2. Kodak Plus-X


    "Here's a classic in an extremely fine grained, medium speed film with excellent resolving power, high acutance and superb detail in both highlights and shadow areas. Responds well to both push and pull processing in standard chemistry, for maximum ease of use. Highly recommended for general photography in moderate light situations."


    Hope that helps. There are many other excellent black & white films, but that should be enough to get you started :-) If you were local, I'd offer to develop the film and make prints for you.


    I'll just mention one fairly recent color film, although I know you wanted to shoot b&w. It's Kodak Ektar. It's ISO 100 but is very much like Velvia, in that it has very saturated colors. I really like it and I think it would work well for your application if you're doing color. I have shot a fair number of rolls with this film and am pleased with how it comes out.



    Good luck with your project!



  9. I will talk to the rental guys and see if they have one for a D7000 and bring the 12-24 tokina


    When the Tokina 12-24 came out, a lot of folks tried it underwater but decided that the corners were too soft with this rectilinear lens. A much better choice is the Tokina 10-17 which I highly recommend.


    I used the D300 and Tokina 10-17 to get the following images:


    Shot at 17mm focal length, f/8, 1/100, ISO 200



    Shot at 17mm focal length, f/11, 1/125, ISO 400

    This shows the boat that Diver Pam mentioned.



    Shot at 17mm focal length, f/11, 1/100, ISO 400

    This shows the dome port on the diver's housing



    In regards to over/unders, a large dome port, such as seen in the above image, will be needed. I have used the Nikon 16mm Fisheye for the over/unders I have shot in the past. You could also use the Sigma 15mm Fisheye, which focuses a bit closer than the Nikon 16mm.


    Be sure to let us know how your trip went. And be sure to post your images.



  10. My question is what does everybody use to protect against floods?


    Hi Max,


    In my humble opinion, the best way to protect against floods is to focus 100% on what you are doing when you assemble your gear for the dive. Do not talk to anyone while doing this or otherwise let yourself be distracted by anything. It just takes a brief second of inattention when you may do something that inadvertently leads to a flood. I've had one flood and it was 100% caused by human error as I was not paying attention when I assembled my gear for the dive.


    Regarding the leak detector, I do have one in my housing. On one trip to Cozumel, I found the light mysteriously flashing in my hotel room one morning, it had not even been in the water. I could not get the *$%@ thing to stop no matter what I did so I eventually took the battery out. If this happens to you, don't be alarmed (no pun intended) because these things happen even when there is no actual leak from water getting into the housing while diving.


    Enjoy your new housing!



  11. If someone would be kind enough to send me a link to the thread, I'd appreciate it.


    I checked over at www.scubadiving.com and it appears you've already found the thread and posted in it so, at this point, there's no need to send you the link.


    Glad Kira was able to find the owner of the image. it's a fantastic image.



  12. Fantastic Bonnie! It was great to read your entertaining report and see all of the images. Glad you didn't meet an untimely end to your life after your run-in with the blue ringed octopus :P

    Too bad Andrea had to pay out big bucks to the immigration thieves :)


    Sounds like you had some wonderful underwater adventures.


    Thanks for the report!



  13. Ditto on what Bentoni said about Photo Mechanic. It's a great program for dealing with many images with lightning speed. The reason I became interested in it was that I heard years ago that Stephen Frink used it for his underwater images. I have no idea if he still uses it, but I've never regretted my decision to buy it. The support for this product is excellent. There is a forum where questions can be posted and they are quickly answered. Watermarks are easy to do and they look great, there are choices for font, color, etc.



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