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Posts posted by ornate_wrasse

  1. Hi all,


    I know some folks here were interested in the new SubSee Magnifiers that ReefNet are selling. This is to let you know that mine arrived in the mail yesterday. The +10 lens is still on backorder, but I received the magnifier with the +5 lens. Included was a fancy looking gizmo that appears to mount on my Subal 105VR lens port that holds the SubSee in front of the port. They also thoughtfully included a wrist strap, one end of which can be threaded through the SubSee magnifier.


    I won't have a chance to use it until next month, but I'm excited about all the new possibilities for macro photography.



  2. Maybe less of a difference than you might think. I believe that the canon specification is from the sensor not the front of the lens but I could be mistaken.



    Is the Sigma specification measured from the same place (from the sensor, front of the lens, or whatever) that the Canon specification is measured?




  3. I don't shoot Canon so don't know their lenses very well. However, I used to own the Nikon 16mm Fisheye. After I bought my Nikon lens, I found myself wishing I'd bought the Sigma 15mm lens for its closer minimum focusing distance.


    I was curious and checked out the difference in minimum focusing distance between the Canon 15 FE and the Sigma 15 FE. As with the comparison of the Nikon to the Sigma, the minimum focus distance is shorter with the Sigma:


    Sigma 15 Minimum focusing distance - 5.9"

    Canon 15 Minimum focusing distance - 7.9"


    I don't know if that would make any difference at all, especially considering dome port takes up some of that distance, but wanted to point out that there was a difference.



  4. Yes, I've used the Capture NX2 Auto Retouch Brush for backscatter. Some time ago, I wanted to use it to remove backscatter on an image and I posted a message on Nikonians asking for help in using it. I got some really useful tips. However, in some situations, I go to Photoshop and use one of their tools and find it works better than the Auto Retouch Brush in Capture NX2.



  5. There are other ways of doing this. I'm going to suggest it because it appears you are shooting with a D70S camera. If so, your RAW files are NEF files.


    I import my photos from the memory card into my computer using Photo Mechanic. It's a program which very quickly imports images into your computer and allows you to asign key words and make selections about which images are keepers and which ones require no further action, among other things. The ones I like I can then open up easily for editing in Capture NX2 which is an excellent RAW converter for those shooting RAW with Nikon cameras. The two programs, Photo Mechanic and Capture NX2 work quite well together.


    I may end up buying either Lightroom or Aperture, but so far using Photo Mechanic and Capture NX2 work for me.



  6. A big huge congratulations to you and your wife!


    As someone who has experienced morning sickness three times (three pregnancies, three children, now mostly grown up) I can tell you that it usually completely disappears by 12 weeks into the pregnancy and will usually improve by 10 weeks. There's hope for you and your wife! Also, if you have a 2nd and or 3rd child, it doesn't mean that the second and third pregnancies will be exactly like the first.



    Things that were important last yr will have no importance next yr. Many of the most important things next yr will be things you never thought of before.

    This perhaps seems obvious but when you get there and look back, its quite dramatic.


    Truer words have never been spoken. You may find yourself referring to your life B.C. [before Children] in comparison fairly often. The two are completely different in many respects. For example, "Before Children", who would have though of saving lots of money each month for an event some 18 years in the future [college education] for a little blob that weighs 7-8 lbs! But, hey, the change in emphasis in your spending and saving habits does happen.


    Again, congrats and may your wife get through morning sickness as quickly as possible :)

  7. Free to good UK home!

    Inov8 EN-EL3 Replacement Digital Camera Battery for Nikon (apparently) for Nikon D100, Nikon D50, Nikon D70, Nikon D70s


    I bought it for £20 and when I realised I had ordered the wrong one (no "E" on the end of the product code) I had lost the packaging and they wouldnt accept it back, then I found out they were only a fiver on Amazon so its not worth any more effort than posting it to whoever wants it! No strings :blush: I dont like throwing it in the bin when I know someone else can benefit from my errors


    If you have no takers in the UK, I volunteer to take it off your hands.

    I'm one of the few around here who still use one of the above cameras (the D70S).



  8. Hi Maria,


    First of all, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Wetpixel.


    Please excuse me, I have done a search for LX3 and don't appear to have come up with anything so I am probably doing it wrong in some way...


    Can you be more specific in what you think you're doing wrong and/or what you're searching for?


    The Panasonic is a highly regarded digital compact and I don't doubt you will be able to get some nice images using it.


    I'd also like to hear about any of your diving experiences with the camera and what happened when you tried to use it.


    Could anyone help me on what would be a good strobe to use with the above combo?


    There are several strobes that will do the job. A lot depends on your budget. I am partial to Inon strobes because they are small, very dependable and easy to use. But there are a few other brands out there.


    Please be kind as I have not a clue about photography.


    Maria, we were all beginners at one time and not all of us have a background in photography. In any event, you've come to the right place as we're here to help you achieve your goals in underwater photography. There are also a lot of resources out there to help you.


    Kind regards,



  9. Those are some VERY nice images!


    I'll actually be there in two months for Alex Mustard's workshop. Your images were quite the introduction, I've never been to Grand Cayman before.


    Nice bokeh, BTW, on several of your images!


    Thanks for sharing!



  10. I currently have a Nikon D300 in an Ikelite housing with an Ikelite DS-51 strobe and I'm thinking about adding a second one. Does that have to be another DS-51 or can I add the stronger DS-125? Any suggestions?


    I think you will be quite limited in choices of what you shoot if you select another Ikelite DS-51. If you want to stick with macro shots, it would be fine, but if you are at all considering wide angle images, the Ikelite DS-51 is not a good choice as it's not a very powerful strobe. OTOH, if you are shooting with two strobes and one of them is the DS-51 and the other is the DS-125, your lighting may be uneven. If finances permit, you may want to consider buying two DS-125 strobes. You could keep the DS-51 or sell it to raise additional funds to offset the cost of the additional DS-125.


    In any event, I probably would advise against purchasing another DS-51 unless you want to shoot macro exclusively.


    My two cents,



  11. Does anybody know if Reefnet is finally shipping their Subsee adapters?


    The only thing I could find was a thread on Digital Diver as late as October 9th, and still no word.


    I emailed Reefnet last week but no reply yet.


    I spoke to Keri on the phone October 19th. They had some problems while getting them ready and Keri had to spend a lot of time to correct the problems and make sure everything is perfect when they are shipped. He told me he was up long into the night answering 40 email messages a day or two before I called. He wants to do right for his customers and make sure they receive a product that is exactly what is promised, hence the delay.



    According to him, the first of two shipments will arrive on October 31st and the second in mid/late November.



  12. How would you describe your first dive with your housing?


    Your first dive with your housing may surprise you, especially since you're an accomplished topside photographer. Depending on your housing and the controls it offers, you may find that controls you regularly use topside simply aren't available to you underwater. Another area that may surprise you is that when shooting underwater and using a mask, that seeing the viewfinder clearly and easily isn't always possible. This is not a concern topside, but it is something uw photographers talk about a lot. Although they are expensive, you might want to consider a magnifying viewfinder. I did and I'll never go back to shooting uw without one.


    Your first dives underwater may get you thinking that you are close enough to your subject to take the shot. But, think again! It's likely that you are not close enough. Get even closer! And you still may not be close enough! What I'm trying to say is to get as close as possible, even if it seems like you are close enough.


    And, always take the housing underwater first, without your camera inside the housing. This enables you to test and make sure there are no leaks before you risk getting your camera wet inside a leaky housing.


    My first dive with my new housing was made while taking an underwater photography workshop with instructors who could help me. If at all possible, you may want to consider attending such a workshop for your first dives with your camera + housing.


    I'm not sure whether you're a certified diver or not, but, if you're a new diver, be sure you get some dives under your belt to learn good buoyancy control before you tackle diving with a camera.


    For me, my first dive with my housing wasn't a completely new experience as I'd used a Nikonos V camera before. Although I was familiar with using a camera without a housing, the sheer bulk of what I was carrying and the additional weight was an eye opener compared to the Nikonos. There were a lot of new things to learn, but it was a very enjoyable process.


    If additional questions come up, please feel free to post them here. You came to the right place, Wetpixel, a great community and source of help for uw photographers.



  13. I will echo Walt to a degree - I use a Oceanic Shadow which is very similar to the Scubapro - 1 window frameless mask -


    Ditto on the Oceanic Shadow. it's a great mask for uw photographers.


    But I also would encourage you to save your $$$ for the magnifying viewfinder. I bought it even though I was hesitant to spend the extra $$ and I've never regretted it. I've found it makes it so much easier to see through the viewfinder that I can't imagine being without it.



  14. Ellen, I was under the impression that a focuslight mounted on your hotshoe and would auto shut off when you take the shot? Those ones in that article didn't have hot shoe attachments? If I have to turn it off and on every time.... I'll probably be using the spots on my YS's ^_^




    The focus lights are not mounted on the hotshoe of the camera. They are generally mounted on the housing. In my case, it's mounted on the top of the housing. There is no need to turn them off when you take the shot. The one I have used in the past, the Focus Fix light, allows you to turn down the intensity when you don't need it for a shot to save battery power, but I probably wouldn't turn it completely off during the dive.


    By my calculations, you should be diving now and having lots of fun using your soon-to-be-replaced camera. Let us know if you have more questions when you get back.



  15. Here's a great article from Reef Photo summarizing the different focus lights available:


    Focus Lights


    Sometimes, even when diving in sunny conditions in clear water, a focus light is necessary. A case in point is when I was diving in the Bahamas on a liveaboard a couple years ago and went into a wreck to photograph orange cup coral and other interesting things. I was using my 105mm lens (the old version of the lens). It was extremely difficult to lock focus. That's where a focus light comes in handy. Even though the water was clear and it was sunny, the conditions inside the wreck dictated that I needed a focus light.



  16. Thanks Ellen!!


    I'm happy to help!


    So, these gears, they are attached to the lens? And give you the ability I'd guess to control the function automatically? On the Arms.... what is the general opinion on length? Which set and size would you recommend for the Tokina?


    In my case with my Subal housing, the zoom gear is attached to the lens and I control it by using a knob on the outside of the housing which uses gears which are mated to the zoom gear. Other housings may do the same thing differently. I leave the zoom gear more or less permanently on the lens since it's a bit difficult to put on and off.


    For length of the strobe arms for wide angle shooting (i.e. your Tokina 10-17) check out this Wetpixel link:


    Wide Angle Strobe Arm Recommended Length


    There are also lots of other links out there and maybe others can offer a few that they have found useful. If I find any more that would be especially helpful to you, I'll post them here.


    Also, what other "Little things" might I be missing? I'll double check, but I don't remember the need for extensions for either the 60mm or the Tokina.


    detailed shopping list....






    Port dome




    TTL converter



    What am I missing??? Things are getting toward the budget limit... what else am I missing?


    In my own case, using the Subal Dome Port, I did need an extension for the Tokina. Using the Flat Port for the 60mm, no extension was required in my case.

    With the 16mm Fisheye and the 10.5 Fisheye lenses, however, I did not need any extensions at all when using those lenses behind the Dome Port.


    I would also get a neoprene cover for the Dome Port to protect it when the crew hands it down to you and when you give it to the crew at the end of the dive. It may, of course, come with your Dome Port.


    Eventually you may also want to purchase a Focus Light which is, in my case, mounted on top of the housing. This can range from an inexpensive purchase to well over $400 for the top of the line unit. When light is dim and when shooting at night, the lens will often hunt and be unable to lock focus. A focus light makes autofocus possible and many uw photographers use them. Definitely not anything you "need" right now, but it's something you may eventually want to buy.


    Hope my comments helped even if they had you worrying about the "empty wallet syndrome". :P



  17. 4. Whats the thoughts on arm lengths? My guy tells me that longer doen't equate to better...opinions? Im fine with my sea arm 7's, unless theres a legit reason to spend the extra $$$.


    5. Here's the nOOb questions.... I knew nothing about focus and zoom gears? Are they only for manual operation? Do I need them?


    Hi Greg,


    You will need a zoom gear when you're using that fantastic Tokina 10-17 lens. The zoom gear will enable you to change the focal length on the lens from 10 to 17 and anywhere in between. When shooting topside, it's very simple to change the focal length of the zoom lens. However, when you're underwater, you can't exactly do that as the camera & lens are inside the housing. :P I did see a post here from someone who used the Tokina 10-17 without a zoom gear, but he was limited to only one focal length (e.g. he was forced to shoot all the images at a focal length of 10).


    As for focus gears, a lot of folks never use them and just use autofocus all the time. However, with some macro shots, some folks like to use manual focus as autofocus may hunt given difficult lighting conditions. The focus gear enables you to manually focus your lens.


    As for your question on arm lengths, I'll just say that when shooting wide angle, a lot of folks (including myself) use longer arm lengths. It has to do with placement of the strobes to reduce or eliminate backscatter. However, when shooting macro, you don't need long arms and your strobes can be much closer to the camera housing.



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