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Everything posted by craig

  1. I was on the second of back-to-back 2 weeks trips in Indonesia. I've uploaded a preliminary gallery from a Bali hotel room. Here it is: Muffy's Ultimate Indonesia
  2. I agree that flexibility is the reason the 100 is used with the 1.4x more often than the 150mm. Thing is, you rarely hear people advance the argument that you should use a 60mm with a 1.4x over a 100mm through the same reasoning. Why is that? If I were shooting full frame, I would be using the 150mm focal length more often than the 100mm and I'd rather optimize my most commonly used configuration. For full frame, I would take a 60mm, a 150mm, and a 1.4x and leave the 100mm and 2x at home. In DX, there are advocates of the 60 as the standard lens and others that advocate the 100mm. When it comes to full frame, I find it interesting that there are so few that stick with the longer equivalent. I think because Nikon and Canon don't make it many won't consider it.
  3. The Canon 100mm with Kenko 1.4x is 79mm x 139mm in length and weighs 732g. The Sigma is nearly identical in dimensions at 79mm x 137mm long and it weighs 895g. There's a half pound difference in weight but no difference in size. To say that the Sigma 150mm is huge is completely wrong. It fits in the Nexus multiport for the old Nikon 105 and leaves room for a 500D AND a filter. BTW, the Nikon 105VR is 83x116 and 790g. The Sigma is neither big nor heavy, the Canon 100 is simply light.
  4. Hmmm, the Sigma 150 is the smallest macro lens I use. I don't think the size and weight are unmanagable at all. Depends on the trim of your rig. A dry diopter will provide better IQ. Whether its maximum focus distance is a problem really depends on what you use it for. How often do you shoot macro subjects at a distance of 2 feet or greater? Obviously you will lose that ability but there aren't many subjects (or good quality results) that use that combination. I find longer working distances more useful with shorter focal lengths. The proper comparison for the Sigma 150 is the 100 with a 1.4x. Is the Sigma harder to manage and worse at AF than that combination? I don't think so but I haven't used one with Canon in a long time. I would rather do away with the degradation of the 1.4x than eliminate the far focus restriction with that focal range. I think the only argument for the 100 + 1.4x is that you already have the 100. Because I use a macro zoom rather than a 60 and a 100, I go straight to the 150 for supermacro stuff.
  5. Energizer Lithium isn't rechargable. They pack a lot of power, though, as great in cold, have very slow self-discharge and are lighter than other AAs. What rechargable lasts the longest depends on how much power is drawn from them. For heavy load devices the best battery generally available is the Eneloop despite its low (-ish) power rating. For more modest power demands a Sanyo or Maha 2700 is probably better. There are higher rated batteries but I haven't yet found anything better than those. I'm currently testing the Ansmann 2850's. I use Eneloops in my strobes and 2700s in my modeling lights.
  6. Everyone's comments here are on the money. I'd add a couple more... Imagine if you were shooting a white piece of paper. Ideally, the histogram would be a peak near the bright end with nothing else. Clearly, what's in the frame will determine the histogram shape. It also determines what correct exposure should be. You should understand that the histogram is not a display of what the camera sensor sees but rather what the resultant JPG image is after the camera has processed it. The histogram includes white balance, color space, contrast, etc. If you wish to use the histogram as a tool to help get precise exposure then you should consider camera settings that process the raw data as little as possible. Otherwise, what appears to be clipped highlights could be off dramatically. The downside is that your in-camera JPG reviews may not look good. Look for information on uni-white balance (uniWB, near-uniWB) on DPReview where they discuss how to accomplish that.
  7. I used that technique and think it's the way to go, but it was too immature on my Dell notebook. It will probably be easier to pull off on a desktop. It essentially offers the advantages of the EFI-X product without the USB flash part.
  8. If the battery is 7.2V then the efficiency is impressive. If the battery is 11V then the weight of the divable pack is impressive! I hope the product is as good as these specs say it is.
  9. I'm doing a lot of extrapolating. 6 x 7W x75 minutes = 52.5 Wh 52.5 / 7.2 Ah = 7.3 V Cell voltage for that technology is 3.7 V so either they are really efficient and the battery is 2-cell (7.4V) or it is 11V. BTW, Drew, there is no email address for you and Wetpixel doesn't allow me to PM you. Need to exchange information on how to meet.
  10. Put a circular strobe tube around that LED light head and power it from the same battery source. The add a big, fat, strobe arm version of the battery. Subtronic could do that. A 96 CRI is pretty impressive. It looks like the battery pack is 7.2V.
  11. If that's true then the package is pretty attractive for 160Ws. The Subtronic site isn't very helpful but the Li Mn charger sure is small. The YS-250 ready to dive with a single 8" arm segment is about 1800g. I would expect its spare batteries to be lighter and cheaper. Just trying to add perspective to the overall weight of these strobes. A Z-240 ready to dive with a single 8" arm is about 850g. I misstated Z-240 with charger weight earlier, it's 1050g not 1150g. I accidently weight two sets of batteries because the strobe had a set in it at the time. I could see the Subtronic as weight-competitive at 1200g but not anything special at 1600g. I would like to see an optical trigger even if it screwed into the sync cord socket.
  12. I just weighed a Z-240, diffuser, YS adapter, 8" arm, 4 AA batteries, and a charger at a total of 1050g (corrected from 1150g originally stated). Considering we have an 800g strobe here and need to add a battery-arm, arm adapter, clamp, and charger I'd be surprised if they are comparable in weight. Matters get worse when you add a second battery. I share my AA charger with my modeling light though not everyone does. AA chargers are small and light. I would imagine these are preferable for wide angle and small enough for macro assuming you can accommodate the arm length. I think, though, that the travel weight will be heavier. Perhaps, Jeff, you could weigh and arm, clamp and charger so we can see the tradeoff. How long is the arm?
  13. The way I see it, this battery design trades a battery compartment seal for a multiple cabling seals. From a failure standpoint it's not really a win. You also have to travel with unnecessary packaging (extra arms) if you want backup batteries and you are limited in arm configuration as Alex already said. In order to compare travel-ability you need to consider the weight of everything; the strobe here may be small and light but idk whether it looks as good once you factor in the battery solution. Hard to say without all the data. I'd like to see more specifics and comparisons to other 150 Ws models. What is the voltage of the Subtronic batteries?
  14. It has a button specifically to pop up the flash
  15. Some of that is noise filtering which I'm not sure made that much difference. I used Noiseware. I see some problems on the tail but it was a quick hack. In addition to NoiseWare, I did white balance to the white dots, mild replace color adjustment on the water, shadow/highlight, healing brush, a burning adjustment, plus general and selective sharpening. Had I been working with the original size I would have been more careful. I think the posterization could be minimized with a full resolution image and more care. The blue water is slightly different in sRGB than in my original. It might be for the better though.
  16. I have one of those, Giles. I got it hoping to adapt it for underwater. The problem with that particular device is that it only uses one strobe and absorbs enough to prevent it from working at f/16 and up with something like a Z240. I agree that the design is interesting though. Needs more diffusion too.
  17. That's a matter of semantics. I've found experts who refuse to use "gamut" in that context and others who are fine with it. There's no doubt, though, that digital sensors have a range of spectrum that they respond to and it's usually broad. Whether you want to refer to that range of response as gamut or something else is another matter. My personal feeling is that gamut, "the complete range or scope of something", is an appropriate word to use. Software doesn't contribute to the range of color that the sensor responds to, it effects what you are capable of getting in the color-managed output file. Raw converters aren't necessarily accurate and visually distinct colors can map to the same sensor values, so there's some art and some science to the process. Clearly, software has an impact the "output-referred" gamut but that was never my question.
  18. Also, keep in mind that the lens on the Inon is curved and will alter the beam pattern underwater. That's true of any strobe, of course. I have a rig that I built to do underwater beam pattern tests but I fear it will soften the pattern a bit and wouldn't show that pattern as dramatically as your image, Alex. I agree that doesn't look like the ideal starting point. After seeing your result I looked at the Z-240 face and I see how that pattern comes about. I have an S-2000 and the strobe tube diffuser is substantially different than the Z-240. I did a quick test similar to yours. First is the Z240: Here's the S2000: The Z240 appears to have a little better beam when diffused and is a stop brighter.
  19. Yes, the 150 and 100 will be the same until you combine it with a diopter. When I use a supermacro setup I rarely have use for focusing beyond two feet. A dry +2 diopter will make the 150mm stronger than the same diopter on a 100mm with little downside.
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