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Glasseye Snapper

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Glasseye Snapper last won the day on July 29

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About Glasseye Snapper

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    Great Hammerhead

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  • Location
    Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests
    Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Olympus OM-D EM-1 mark ii
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Inon Z330 II
  • Accessories
    Kraken ring light, Backscatter 4300 video light, AOI UWL-09F wide angle wet lens

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  1. Same story for me: EM-1 mkII in Nauticam housing that is now 6 years old and used heavily. I'm even using the original o-rings with the spare ones still waiting to be used. After a 5 month dive trip this winter I expect housing and camera will be retired but it certainly was money well spent.
  2. Hi Dianna, You don't mention a strobe. With the super close working distance of the TG-6 you may get away using the in-camera strobe. On nauticam housings the camera flash is blocked by the housing and even if not it would not be great. I think a second-hand Olympus camera with housing and strobe would give you better results than an OM-1 in new Nautimcam housing without strobe (and probably cost a lot less). Of course you can just add a strobe to the OM-5 + AOI housing. For macro work it doesn't have to be a very powerful strobe. Backscatter has a compact flash that does TTL with olympus cameras and is particularly suited for macro work. I haven't used it but suggest you check it out. I wouldn't worry about battery life, just bring a spare and swap between dives or after every second or third dive as needed. The best way to 'milk more keepers out of the battery' is to shoot fewer weepers. The new camera setup should help a lot. For me it also really helped to go dive with a buddy in a place with a good house reef where you can dive without guide (assuming you and your buddy are comfortable with that). Then you can take your time to line up shots, try different settings to see how it affects the result, etc. Today I posted tutorials on Olympus camera customization and image exposure concepts. I use an Olympus E-M1 mk ii in a Nauticam housing but I am sure a lot of it will apply to the OM-5 as well. You can find it at: https://biodives.com/uwphotography/
  3. Hi Litos, Like Chris I would be surprised if you needed 1/400th shutter speed to suppress ambient light unless you want to shoot with a wider aperture. This is unlikely if you are aiming for close-up work. The aperture opening at which resolution becomes diffraction limited is also smaller (higher F-number) for macro photography because it depends on the 'capture angle' (the angle of a light cone emitted from a point on your subject and captured by the aperture diameter). If you open the aperture you gain optical resolution. But the same is true if you get closer while keeping the aperture the same. I just posted two tutorials on my website. One about optimizing menu settings, buttons, dials and the lever on my Oly OM-D E-M1 mkii camera in a nauticam housing. A lot of topics should be relevant for your OM-1 in AOI housing. The other document deals with controlling exposure of ambient and strobe light underwater. The "Controlling ambient light exposure" and "Controlling strobe exposure" sections cover a lot of these issues. You can find it at: https://biodives.com/uwphotography/
  4. I have posted a few neat tricks for Olympus cameras recently. This came out of an effort to write some camera tutorials for my website. I have now released two of them, with two more in the works. These are not brief 'top five tips' kind of pages or 'cut-and-paste' text or concepts taken from other sources. In their Google Docs format the customization document runs 24 pages and the exposure document 18. You can read it on a phone but you are probably better off with a larger screen. If it is too long to read in one go, there is an index at the top so you can dive right to the topic you need. Available tutorials Olympus mirrorless cameras: customizations for underwater use Exposure Control: managing ambient and strobe light Tutorials in preparation Focus control: camera and dive tips to nail focus Subject size: using the lens focus motor as a digital caliper You can find the tutorials at: https://biodives.com/uwphotography/
  5. If the two A7c models released last week weren't enough, they announced another 61Mpix full frame camera in an even smaller body today https://pro.sony/en_CA/products/installable-cameras/ilx-lr1 (or just google for it) It is aimed at the drone market and other users of 'remote operated cameras'. So no LCD, view finder or many buttons. But if you exclusively use the camera underwater a clever housing maker could let housing buttons control the camera electronically instead of mechanically. If so, it would also be more likely that future camera models would fit the same housing as you don't need the mechanical buttons to line up precisely. At 3.94 inches width x 2.91 inches height x 1.67 inches depth, weighing approximately 0.53 lbs (~300g) it will be the tiniest package although the housing would need to include a battery and a screen in the housing or as an accessory. Still a creative mind can probably come up with some unique and attractive solutions to deploy this underwater. MSRP is $2,950 USD, a bit high compared to the A7cR given that it lacks LCD, viewfinder and other 'user controls' but not unexpected since production numbers will be much lower.
  6. I have seen these sandy tubes a lot, sometimes so many together that it changes the nature of the substrate. However, I have not seen the fan, perhaps it only comes out at night. I assumed it was some kind of worm but left it at that.
  7. For macro on stationary/slow subjects AF on my E-M5 ii was fine. It is the erratically swimming small fishes that are my main challenge for focusing. Although my current E-M1 ii is probably better than the E-M5 ii, it remains the one area where I would like to see either the camera or myself improve. Wrt IQ, for me IQ problems are always due to the subject being too far away, now properly oriented (tail shots), underexposed or out of focus. Camera sensor IQ is never an issue. So any upgrade incentive for me has to come from improved 'hit-rate', not image quality. As I am on a 5 month dive trip this winter I have been pondering an upgrade to the OM-1 or switch systems to the A7RV (or Fujifilm X-T5/H2S). I like the higher resolution and 'croppability' of the larger sensors, but not the larger lenses and having to start from scratch. If money were not an issue I would upgrade but for now I decided the biggest improvement would come from making better use of what I already have. So I invested time in experimenting with the camera and studying the manual instead of investing money in new gear.
  8. A quick Google search gave magnification numbers in the 25-28% range for a flat port vs dome port. So 12 mm would behave like 15mm. I shoot my 12-50mm kit lens exclusively in the Nauticam port for the 60mm macro lens but it vignettes below 14mm. I rarely care about WA but assume that is unacceptable for most people who do care. On my last trip I did care about WA because I needed to document fish habitats, not just the fishes themselves. I ended up getting an UWL-09F wide angle wet lens which worked great with the 12-50mm kit lens. It can focus on a subject that touches the front of the wet lens and it is crazy wide (at least to someone not used to WA photography). You can also zoom through the 14-50mm range to select your field of view and you can take it off and get that semi-macro shot on the same dive. The disadvantage of the wet lens is ~1000g more in my luggage and ~US$1000 less in my wallet. But I bet a good dome port isn't cheap and light either and the wet lens is actually pretty compact.
  9. When you set the arrow pad to 'direct function' (menu>gear>B>Button Function>arrow pad function>direct function) you can reprogram the right and down arrow buttons to a limited set of functions. The main one I knew of, and use extensively, is to control power-zooming the 12-50mm kit lens. That is actually the default action in movie mode. It means you don't need to buy a zoom gear. I actually have the zoom gear but still often use the arrowpad as I find it easier than twisting the zoom gear knob. I mainly use the zoom gear in manual zoom mode when I need to select a focal length more precisely. The limited choice of functions that can be assigned to arrow pad buttons didn't have another particularly useful function for me and, for lack of something better, I had the down arrow button trigger manual focus. It was not that useful because much of the time I am already in manual focus. I can also get MF by triggering Preset MF (drives lens to closest focus distance and switches to manual focus). However, I just discovered that if you are already in Preset MF mode, but no longer at the closest focus distance, then pressing the down arrow to trigger manual focus actually drives the lens to the closest focus distance. Knowing this undocumented feature I think I will simply be using Preset MF instead of MF all the time. It will do everything MF was doing but a single down-arrow button press will now give me instant focus at minimum distance. Great for guaranteed 1:1 life size reproduction! Finally, I used to have a button programmed to trigger Preset MF. This works great but there are always competing functions looking for a button to trigger them. The highest priority are important functions that can only be triggered by a button. Next highest are important/frequently-used functions that are cumbersome to access with the Super Control Panel (SCP). Preset MF can be triggered with the SCP but I found it tedious enough to dedicate a button to it. I just discovered that a press of the AF/metering button, an easy to access button on the top left of the housing that I have never used, is equivalent to pressing OK to bring up the SCP, use arrow keys to select the AF selection tile, and press OK again to get the list of AF modes. That makes it so much faster and easier that I think I no longer need a dedicated Preset MF button. One more thing to test on my next trip.
  10. I use Preset MF and it works like a charm for my 60mm macro, 25mm F1.8, and 12-50mm kit lens. I set the Preset distance to ZERO and then it drives all three of them to minimum focus. The 90mm with its on-lens range limiter switch may be different but I would consider it a bug. If you don't find a solution you should contact OM Systems. There may be an alternative to try in the meantime. On my OM-D E-M1 mkii there is a menu to assign AF limiter function to a programmable button. You can define up to 3 distance ranges of your choice. You press the button you have assigned the function to and rotate the front dial to pick one of the distance ranges. You may want to try it out. I haven't tested to see if it drives the lens to the programmed distance but it may help AF for close-up work.
  11. I believe Red Sea Diving Safari allows solo diving when certified. At least I'm 99% certain that's what they told me on my last visit. I had.a buddy so didn't need it and it may be conditional on a checkout dive performance. You'll have to ask. In general I found the Caribbean much more accommodating and judging you by displayed skill and attitude rather than your C-card. That also applied to my experiences in the Philippines so far. But France, Spain and the Egypt were forcing me to get AOW certification even with 1000+ dives experience. I never expect any operator to approve solo diving without having seen me in the water, even with SDI solo and PADI DM + sidemount certification. It is not just about training but also about attitute towards personal and reef safety. But if I don't have a buddy and there is a '100% no solo diving policy' then I'll go elsewhere. For places with a good and easy house reef I have been pretty much allowed to dive solo anywhere I went, including two operators in the Red Sea. I won't name them but if you demonstrate you are a good and responsible diver I think you can dive solo in more places than you think. I normally go to smaller locally owned operations so perhaps things are different at fancier resorts, I can't tell.
  12. I don't know but the Apollo 22 image on the bluewaterphotostore site shows a substantially smaller strobe with what seems space for 2 instead of 3 batteries. My guess/hope is that they all show the same functionallity but at different power level, size, weight and cost. Looks interesting!
  13. I got the Perdix II in February and used it for a 3 month trip. The only thing I regret is not getting it sooner. Vibration alarms are great since I can't hear the high beeps of my previous computers and it is nice to get a subtle heads-up when needed. It feels rock solid and readability, information content, data download all work just great. Dive computers with color LED screens use a lot more battery power than the passive LCD screens used in the past. So if older Perdix computers refered to in other replies didn't have the color LED screen than battery life comparisons are probably not informative. I use two rechargeable nitecore 3.7V Li-Ion batteries. I already use bigger nitecore 3.7V Li-Ion batteries for my backscatter videolight and can use the same charger for the dive computer battery. I swap batteries after the charge symbol turns yellow. The computer can actually tell you the battery voltage and I found it switches to yellow at 3.7V, so there is a lot of battery power left (a full battery starts at 4.15V and I think it can drop to 3V or less). However, a battery swap is so easy that I don't wait for it to turn red. I ended up swapping batteries after about 4 days with 5-6 hours of bottom time per day. If you wait till the battery symbol turns red you can probably count on one swap per week. I do recommend to have a spare because the degassing computations stop when you take the battery out and then restart when you put a new battery in. If it takes you 2 hours to charge the battery you have missed 2 hours of degassing. It is a 'conservative mistake' but if you want to charge overnight you definately want to have a spare and not miss 12 hours of degassing calculations. A final point is that with my old LCD computers battery life depended mostly on the number of dive days, not the number of dives, because the screen uses little power and deco calculations continue for 24 hours whether you make 1 or 3 dives. For LED screen computers battery life depends more on actual bottom time because that is when the screen is on.
  14. I actually have this lens and use it underwater but in hindsight it wasn't worth it. It is a good lens and for my fish portrait work it is good for mid-sized fish (angelfish, butterflyfish etc). However, the 12-50mm kit lens is just so much more versatile that the 25mm gets used very little. The original idea was to shoot it nearly wide open when there is very little ambient light, e.g. dusk, dawn or night, in hopes a video light would be adequate for both video and stills shooting. But I never go around doing that. One good thing is that that all 3 my lenses; 60mm macro, 12-50mm kit zoom, and 25mm F1.8 fit in the same port for the 60mm macro lens. The 12-50mm zoom vignettes below 14mm but I don't need WA for my fish portraits. On my last trip I needed to document habitats for which I did need WA, even much wider than 12mm. I didn't like the idea of buying a dome port and ended up getting a AOI UWL-09F wide angle wet lens which worked much better than I anticipated.
  15. Sensor-size 'equivalence' behavior always gives me brain spasms and in practise I don't think sensor size matters much (I am a MFT shooter myself). My thinking is that a larger sensor can indeed more accurately record the optical image created by the lens, but my 'bad images' are always due to failing to create a good optical image in the first place (poor focus, exposure, subject distance, composition, ...). Better viewfinder, autofocus, metering and more time underwater to hone my skills are more important than sensor size. Macro photography may be one area were a larger sensor does help, at least on paper. In my thinking, macro photography is about resolution with magnification playing a secondary role needed to match optical resolution to sensor resolution. For instance, if your optical image has greater resolution than what can be captured by the sensor you can either match the sensor to the optical image (use smaller pixels) or match the optical image to the sensor (use higher magnification). As a concrete example, the pixel size of the 40 Mpixel APS-C sensor in the Fujifilm X-T5 is very similar to a 20 Mpixel MFT sensor (it is equivalent to a 22.5 Mpixel MFT to be precise). If the optical resolution is higher than the sensor resolution when the subject just fits the MFT frame, an MFT shooter can't magnify more because you clip your subject. In contrast, the X-T5 can magnify an additional 1.33x and still fit the subject on the frame. Pixels on a Sony A7R IV or V are only slightly larger than 20Mpix MFT but you can magnify an additional two times. The simpler way to think about it is probably that the same field of view is sampled by more pixels, which helps if there is enough optical resolution. I still consider this a theoretical benefit and at least for my fish portraits not something that concerns me. In practice, limited DOF often makes us use aperture settings where the optical resolution no longer exceeds sensor resolution. But in macro photography discussions I often have the feeling that people are chasing magnification without paying enough attention to resolution.
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