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Everything posted by craig

  1. Oly has a prime fisheye and the 7-14. I would think their wide options are fine given no personal experience with them. It's the macro that bothers me. A 100mm would be very long on the 4/3 sensor but the Sigma exists for it though I've never seen anyone house the Sigma 105. The midrange zoom could substitute for the short macro. I believe the 50, the 7-14 and the 8mm FE could make a good set if you added the 1.4x for macro and possibly the 14-42 for portraits. It's just that Canon/Nikon offer more options. I've never made any comparisons regarding Nikon vs. Oly prices but, Ardy, you continue to insist that Oly is cheapest while assuming that nothing less than Oly can meet your arbitrary and vague quality standards. If you don't need "the best" then who's to say that a digicam at far less size and cost wouldn't be good enough? You are entitled to your opinion on lens selection, but Nikon and Canon win on more than just high ISO. Nikon and Canon offer better IQ at base ISO as well. As I said, you are entitled to your opinion on lens choices but if you think adding a Sigma 105mm (a lens too long for most on 4/3) and a 35mm f/3.5 (that's still a bit long and is slow focusing) is going to sway people into thinking 4/3 is a competitive macro solution I don't agree. The Oly 50mm and 35mm both have received complaints for their slow focusing and the Sigma 105mm extends massively making it difficult to house (and it is a slow focuser as well). I believe a 4/3 user would want manual focus with the 105mm and that lens does not switch between MF and AF easily. Regarding wide angle, rectilinear shooters may be quite happy with the Oly choices but DX shooters have comparable options plus a far superior fisheye choice. It all boils down to what you mean by a "complete line". The expense, size, and weight of the entire system needs to be considered as one component is rather meaningless unless it is optional. Once you add the size, weight, and cost of everything together the differences aren't nearly what's being represented here. If Oly pro glass is required to get the lens options necessary for underwater, then it's not really optional is it? When have I said otherwise? This kind of cheap-shot arguing is unwelcome. The whole suggestion that the Oly is radically lighter than all other DSLRs has already been debunked. Sorry you had such a hard time managing your Aquatica F4 but it isn't relevant. Not all Canon and Nikon DSLRs are as massive as an Aquatica F4.
  2. That depends on your perspective. I brought up the D300 because it was a divable system that I could weigh and it is actually heavier than a 5D2. I believe the weight of the Seatool D300 (aluminum BTW) is pretty competitive. This is the quote I have been responding to: Taking Drew's numbers for the Oly housing and body, my D300/Seatool combination is comparably light at 3000 grams vs. 2800. Of course, a D90 or Rebel would be smaller and lighter than a D300 and that would make the claims of 50% heavier even less likely.
  3. If you define the argument so that anything less than the Oly can't be considered then it will certainly be the cheapest, but by what standard do you assume that only 4/3 can provide a low cost, reasonable alternative to DSLRs? I don't need to offer advice in order to counter bogus arguments in favor of one particular system. I believe both Nikon and Canon offer compelling entry-level gear. I believe a new buyer should consider cameras, lenses, ports, and housings together when making a purchase. I don't support the idea of buying the cheapest housings in order to control costs. No, I am not an Oly fan. It's main claim is its reduced size but that is hardly realized at all underwater. Everything else about it is a loser compared to the competition except, perhaps, its price. No doubt they are capable of good quality results. So are digicams and even a used D100. If someone wants a new system with interchangable lenses at the lowest price, a 4/3 may appeal to them and it wouldn't bother me. I just don't like specious arguments and we've seen a lot of them here regarding Oly 4/3. Right now it's weight savings but in the past it's been other things like superior macro lenses.
  4. My weight judgement would be entire travel weight. That would include all my photography gear. Ready to dive weight isn't important to me because any still camera is within reasonable range. The weight of a few arbitrary components isn't interesting but it sure can be misleading. Size of the rig is of some importance since it effects what shots you can get. A housed 4/3 isn't really all that different than smaller Canon or Nikon offerings. It lacks the variety of macro lenses available in Canon and Nikon mounts and lacks the 10-17 fisheye. The Oly 50mm macro lens provides similar field of view to a 50mm on DX or 100mm on FX but to get more you have to resort to teleconverters. If I had to use nothing but a 60mm/DX and a 1.4x I'd be unhappy.
  5. It makes no sense to compare only a portion of the rigs. If you care about travel weight then you need to consider everything. If you care about lug-around weight then you need to compare the rigs ready to dive. By comparing only a fraction of the rigs you falsely inflate the percentage difference between the two systems (as is intended). Since 4/3 doesn't offer any advantage in IQ and doesn't offer the lens selection of DX or FX, it appears that dive weight is it's only argument. It's a shame it has to be exaggerated to even seem significant. My Seatool D300 with a 60mm macro, Nexus port, Inon 45 degree finder and Seatool dual grip tray comes in at 4.4 kg ready to dive (no strobes or arms). The D300 is a heavier camera than the 5D2. The Seatool tray and grips are 450 grams of that so the system without grips is only 4 kg. What is the weight difference between the two setups when the 4/3 one doesn't even offer the lens that I need for a dive?
  6. I'm pointing out the wild exaggeration to emphasis a point that doesn't, for the most part, exist. If weight above water were critical beyond function or travel issues, no DSLR should be considered. The difference between an OLY camera ready to dive with strobes is not that much different from other DSLRs. No, he's not and the majority of us don't need an underwater camera at all so that point is meaningless. Perhaps many don't feel the extra performance is justified but that's not the same as claiming it has "zero impact". It's another exaggeration. We don't know what the focus speed is, in general, for cameras that don't exist yet so be careful about claiming that point and shoots can't match them. Basically, a micro 4/3 camera is a point and shoot with a large sensor and interchangable lenses and a 4/3 format sensor will always have 1/4 the sensor area of full frame.
  7. What do you mean you are "sure"? Why are you comparing only a subset of a ready-to-dive rig? What does that matter? Is that all you carry around with you all day? Is the 14-42 your go-to lens? If so, why don't you use a digicam instead? Somehow I doubt an Oly setup is the cheapest available. How do you know you didn't drop down the "quality slope"? Compared to what?
  8. No, it's not a reasonable estimate and there's no reason to pull something like that out of thin air. Moving a camera back and forth 3 times a day isn't the same as carrying it around all day and it's irrelevant when weight differences are made up anyway. If someone suffers from a disability that significantly limits their diving, should they be using a DLSR instead of something radically smaller? No, I got it right. He didn't talk about enjoyment, he said the differences would have zero impact. Technically, micro 4/3 is not a DSLR. It is more of a conventional digicam with interchangable lenses. I don't think so. All these vague arguments could also be made on behalf of a Canon G9 being preferable to any DSLR rig. All you have to say is that the advantages of a DSLR are meaningless and the advantages of the G9 are important. If you make up some facts it gets even easier but no more compelling.
  9. So? What does an Aquatica F4 setup have to do with anything? I'd like to see proof of that. There's no way that the travel weight of an entire D80 setup would be 50% more than an entire Oly setup. Since when does anyone carry a camera rig all day? Since when does weight have any effect on a camera getting "knocked around in a reasonable sea"? Again, so...? It is nonsense to suggest that you have to be among the elite UW photographers to appreciate the difference in camera gear. If that were the case, who decided that the 4/3 system was the right threshold? Again, so? Should all but "top flight professionals" just give up?
  10. No, that's what it should be. There's some disagreement on what is bright enough (varies with lens) and then there are different ways to mount / aim that determine how wide the beam needs to be. Still, a light doesn't need to be bigger or brighter than what's necessary to assist focus. I'd say that halogen is less efficient and more fragile than LED. It has good CRI and strong red output. Halogen is easier to see than LED and I think that makes people think it's more effective. Hartenberger offers an LED light that has increased output in red intended for focusing. Not sure how well a normal LED light works when combined with a red filter.
  11. I also prefer the Inon adapter to the ULCS one, but also consider either the Inon or 10Bar YS-style adapter. They're lighter and less negative provided you switch your arm out for a YS version. The YS adapter style is easier to attach to a BC as well. 4th Generation also makes an Inon ball adapter and it is quite light. The new Inon mega-float arms have enormous lift and are well made.
  12. Yes, that is true. I consider that job to be part of the printing process but, judging by comments here and by the opinions of many experienced photographers, many think it's a a shared burden with the initial image processing. One thing that has always bothered me is that images are either "scene referred" or "output referred" and the transition occurs during the raw conversion. There is no intermediate form. Some print professionals I'm familiar with perform raw conversions with a particular output device in mind because the raw converter itself. I understand why that is but it's counter to how many people work with their images. It makes me wonder why these people bother working with intermediate color spaces. A philosophy I believe in is that things should be as simple as possible and no simpler ("Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Einstein). What we need, and what we have, is an intermediate color language for representing images divorced from either the input method or the output device and what is happening when people smash all the processing together is that things are being made "too simple". Doing so allows us to assign blame more easily, because there's only one processing step to point to, but I think it retards progress. One thing's for sure; there's a lot of room for improvement.
  13. I don't have anything that looks like that but I have had screen refresh problems with my Mac Pro. Turns out that the video card overheats. I replaced the ATI card with an nVidia but that one fails the same way. I also noticed it with my first G5 tower. My new displayport-to-dualDVI adapter freaks out frequently in a very similar way. I wonder if the notebook and desktop are failing in different ways?
  14. I think it's interesting that so much blame is being directed toward overprocessing when the failure is the printing tools. An image produced in a color-managed environment that displays well on a monitor should be able to be "displayed" well on a printed page. Otherwise, color spaces aren't the universal "language" they are designed to be. I realize there are limitations in the tools. For example, water that turns purple during print is a tool failure, not a photographer mistake. It's disappointing that such tool limitations exist, but even more disappointing that there isn't greater outrage that they aren't remedied. I appreciate the skill required to produce a good printed image but wish such skill weren't necessary.
  15. I have used some Inon arm products. They are very similar to the ULCS ones and you can mix and match. You can even use the Inon arm floats on ULCS arms. Yes, they offer clamps. I see little reason to choose one manufacturer over the other; it all depends on which one offers the best part for your use or which has the best deal.
  16. You want to use a SubSee with a 50mm or 70mm macro on full frame?
  17. Here's the XBench result I got from a Dell M4400. The OS X adaptation was barely functional at the time. I'd suspect the graphics numbers: http://db.xbench.com/merge.xhtml?doc2=339850 Notice the aggregate score for the Scorpio Black drive. It is not the fastest notebook drive any longer.
  18. You use the multiport base, the 105mm front port, and a 60mm extension (exactly the same as for the 70-180). You need the front lens support made specifically for the 200mm as well as the manual focus ring. Works great although it's really long for a DX camera. Take off the extension and the Sigma 150 fits perfect (but use a strip of velcro for a focus ring). Nexus makes a port specifically for the 105VR because of its fatness, but the VR lens does fit through the extensions and the multiport base. You could make the VR lens work with the larger 60mm front port, the base, and a short extension like a 20mm.
  19. Nexus has a 10-17 dome but it is not 8" or larger. Nexus doesn't have a lot of large domes but that's not a modular issue. Nexus's modular macro port supports the Nikon 200mm. I have housed it before and it works well. It is M5, however, so you need their adapter. Hard to be the modularity of the Nexus macro port.
  20. Nexus ports aren't as modular as Aquatica?
  21. It really depends on how you want to alter the color of the water. Warming filters emulate the effect of a warmer wide angle strobe but add some green while adding blue. Green filters will make the water bluer but redder at the same time. You can also consider a yellow strobe filter. Yellow somewhat combines the effects of warming and green filters. Yellow adds blue to the water without adding any red or green as the other two options do. I tried yellow on my last trip but the water was so blue already that I removed them. I used a filter similar to a CC10G instead since that was my weakest choice. These homemade filters look a whole lot like mine only much more neatly made.
  22. Tom, If I used a 105mm, shot at f/32, didn't mind using a more powerful modeling light, and used larger strobes for macro then I might agree. I use longer focal lengths and a weaker diopter so that I don't need to switch in the diopter during the process of shooting. I like my modeling light where it is (that's what's in the way) and I don't have trouble blowing out macro subjects. I install or remove my diopter before moving in for a shot. That's a less realistic proposition for a 105 and a +10. With that combination a swinging arm may well be the best solution.
  23. That's right. I have no compaints with SubSee. Sorry my image didn't contribute anything for you. You and I agree that the Hoya +3 isn't an interesting comparison so why pursue it further? I agree, and people (should) want to see that. How much difference should we expect between diopters when the power varies from +3 to +10 or perhaps even wider? Perhaps, but it appears to me that the corner softness is different from left to right and is different from the center top and bottom. I don't care to argue it, but you could see how that might be relevant to a full frame shooter. My apologies on the spelling. I disagree, though your information is informative. The whole point of such an exercise is to determine what works best for your style of shooting, and the claim specifically was that IQ was at least as good as the competition. Since all the diopters mentioned are competition, the choice of comparison was not actually mine. I didn't say the MacroMate was immune, just that it is quite rugged, and I never said I required bombproof, just that my solution is so. I would claim it is silly to say that the SubSee is as tough as a MacroMate or some 67mm solutions such as mine. That is not the same as saying that the SubSee isn't tough enough. That would require a qualitative judgement that I'm not making. My comment may not have been necessary to you but it was aimed at those with "big doubts". It was not meant to disparage the SubSee product. Let me state this otherwise. I believe the SubSee is strong enough but I have not used it. I believe other products may be even more immune to damage in the face of abuse but I don't think that should be the basis for anyone's decision. I consider all that excellent news. As I've said here earlier, my personal preference is for a press-on, thread-on, or bayonet type attachment. I don't personally want the swing type because of how I position my strobes and light. I like seeing the larger diameter and weaker power option for longer focal lengths. The new +5 thread-on may be my personal best choice. I would be happy to try both these new diopters. In response to this thread and discussions on the trip, I've been gearing up for some wet diopter pool testing already. I must obtain a 105mm macro lens since that is truly what people will want to see. I am also obtaining an underwater repro stand for precise focusing and I'll need a proper Nexus port. Perhaps I can include SubSee products in the test. I already have Inon, Marumi, and MacroMate diopters to test and I'd like to get an Epoque in addition to yours. I'd be happy to take input on how to conduct the tests. I want to to show focusing range and power and I want to show sharpness at some comparable magnifications. I have a suitable underwater macro test chart. Thank you for all the excellent examples and the fairness of your replies.
  24. I disagree on the convenience point. Some like the flip design but I don't because it forces me to move my strobes and modeling light (at least temporarily). I don't find flip designs any faster than slip-ons or screw-ons because of my style---they are all slow. Flip designs also add permanent weight to the front of the camera. In the case of the SubSea it's not much but with the MacroMate it is considerable. The SubSea may be robust if nothing falls on it. The one that broke on my last trip was a mystery; no one knows what caused it but the mount had a piece broken off. Furthermore, one of the optical elements (there were several new ones on the boat) got several lens scratches without ever entering the water. The SubSea may be robust enough but it is not in the same league as MacroMate and our rigs do take punishment. As for screw-ons, it depends on implementation. My 67mm adapter is really solid thanks to Ryan. It's possible to bung up a thread but unlikely if you use a proper holder. 67mm diopters are easily the most compact overall and have less stack-up height than SubSea or MacroMate, both of which are quite thick. In the end, what matters is results. Clearly there needs to be some direct, comparative testing. In my experience wet diopters are too much like a religion. While I'm not so enthusiastic about cropping as you, Tom, I agree that magnifications beyond 1:1 with DX are of limited usefulness and 2:1 doesn't hold a lot of interest to me. Full frame shooters need it about 1.5 times more.
  25. I wouldn't blame him for not trying this with the camera removed. The housing didn't flood because of a manufacturing defect or setup problem.
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