Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by craig

  1. I prefer the corrected one. When you correct an image you effectively soften the corners, though. Doesn't hurt this example I'm sure. I prefer a correction tool that allows arbitrary correction and cropping. No reason why it has to be only one way or the other. Unfortunately the one I used to use is discontinued and I no longer use Windows. Anyone know of an interactive correction tool?
  2. That's exactly what I was thinking. If Bruce wants credit there's work to do.
  3. Bruce, I would say that James and HUPS started this project. I hope the irony of taking credit for advocacy in a forum explicitly created for that purpose is appreciated. How many believe Wetpixel is here to maintain a "carefully guarded family secret"?
  4. But proportionately greater diffraction as well. At equivalent resolution 4/3 doesn't have better depth of field. DPReview makes quite a point of criticizing the focusing features of the lens. They agree with you.
  5. You mentioned the DPReview comment here. How many macro lens reviews has DPReview published though? I'd point out that for the 1400 line/ph that DPReview is reporting at f/8 that Photozone is reporting 1800 lines/ph for Nikon macro lenses at f/16. Trouble is that we can't compare these numbers because we don't know how they are generated. DPReview hasn't published any Canon or Nikon macro lens tests so I fail to see the significance. Yes, diffraction doesn't depend on water but on land you aren't shooting everything at f/11 or smaller. Alex said that he would choose diffraction limits over not getting the shot any day (and who would disagree?). He didn't demonstrate that he was getting his full 12MP's worth at f/22+. Diffraction is a physical law, not a variable. It's seems too often misunderstood. I'm simply saying that a DPReview comment doesn't suggest that 4/3 system is the one to shoot because it's got the greatest macro lens. It sure seems like that's the idea being advanced. I would like to know more about why you feel this lens is outperforming so many other macro lenses underwater. I can't remember seeing a macro lens review that wasn't complimentary.
  6. Phil has suggested before that Oly 50mm macro lens is especially great based on lens reviews. It's also been refuted before. Macro lenses used underwater are all diffraction-limited and how sharp they are at wide apertures is of no consequence. I promise you that a FF camera with a proper 100mm lens is not going to be outperformed by a 4/3 system shooting macro no matter how great the 50mm is. I agree, though, that a 4/3 system is likely to perform well at the price point. Whether a 4/3 system is more desirable than an entry level APS-C system is the real question. For some it may be but not for me. As for how good the 9-18 is based on a DPReview article, the Nikon 14-24 is thought of pretty highly as well and it was shown recently that the lens doesn't perform as poorly underwater as many suspected. I wouldn't say that the 14-24's liabilities are well documented.
  7. I also feel this is incorrect. Once you normalize field of view and physical aperture, the sensor size doesn't matter. The problem is that people like to compare at identical f-stops and you can't do that with different size sensors. The physical aperture and FOV must be the same. Full frame cameras are really more challenging because they are usually higher resolution that smaller ones.
  8. You may need to think about that some more If the extra power were required then the DS125 would underexpose. I'd rather have a good exposure than hurry up and get another bad shot. The recycling rate of the two strobes appears the same anyway. There's 50% more electrical power and 50% more recycle time. What does it mean to "second-guess" a strobe's abilities? I'm not aware that there was ever even a first guess! I would imagine the extra power is welcomed by some and the LED is an improvement to the extent it's important.
  9. FX has twice the surface area as DX and requires about one stop smaller f-stop for equivalent depth of field. Yes the halogen FIX light is gloriously wide. I position my focus light even with my front port glass as close to the port as possible. This minimizes the parallax issue and reduces the need for an extra wide light. You still need a wide light but not 85 degrees. I would not consider a halogen light at this point.
  10. I agree, but the total light path was only about 10"/25cm. Yes, that's true but more output means a larger light or a custom battery with shorter burn times. In the FIX case it's the latter. Yes, dimming helps fix the burn times but you still have a custom battery and charger instead of AAs. There's always a cost to more power and it's the cost that's the downside. I always considered the FIX halogen light the best once you were underwater. It was out of the water where I liked it less than the older LED version. I haven't seen those images, but the D3 requires an extra 1+ stop of light (over the D300) and if you want dark backgrounds you need faster shutter speeds. Yes, you would want even more light as a strobe replacement, but that's not the point! The point is that the focus light, when putting out this much power, will have a noticable effect on your images even when you are using strobes. That's an unintended consequence that people may not be aware of and may not want. White balance for my BigBlue light is not the same as it is for strobes, so if I am doing creative lighting effects the focus light will be washing out my shadows and adding uncorrectable color casts. BTW, I wouldn't assume the FIX 1000 is brighter than the BigBlue without testing. It puts out twice the rated light but it may be considerably wider. Also, I'm not stating a preference for one light over the other since I've never seen the new FIX light. I'm simply throwing out some arguments for why another light might be preferred. More power and more beam width are better up to a point, then other factors become more important IMO.
  11. Just for information, I did a test shot with my D300 housed, Sigma 150mm, Hoya +3, fairly near minimum focus with just the BigBlue light and no strobes. Focus is 4.5" from the port (in air). ISO 200, f/16, 1/60. This is a shot of an earbud on a shot glass and is a 1/10 reduction of the full frame: This was converted via flat tone curve and a custom, neutral profile with +0 exposure adjustment. Highlights just clip after white balance and the green channel is clipped in the RAW data. If I used f/22 and 1/250, the BigBlue light would be less than 3 stops below saturation! This is with batteries that aren't fully charged, too. The BigBlue light is 500 lumens, not 1000 like the big FIX light. You can see that, on an ISO 200 DX camera, these LED lights have output surprisingly close to the required strobe light. That's why I question this nuclear arms race for more focus light power. In a pinch, I could shoot macro with just this focus light.
  12. I've had old drives fail to spin up after sitting. Some RAID controllers spin down hot standby drives but spin them up periodically to guard against that very thing. I used to do server storage controllers; in that life I saw about every disk failure imaginable. Some of which we caused ourselves
  13. Working distance should stay the same. The lens itself is working in exactly the same way; the teleconverter is magnifying the lens's image on the way to the sensor. The extra length added to the system is also added to the overall focusing distance.
  14. Is that figure is per year? The interesting thing is that hard drive systems used for backup can, and will, use redundant disks so drive failure rates don't dictate the availability of the backup. It is more difficult to do the same with tape. Yes, and in the context of how much data you have to back up. The backup requirements we have on location are small.
  15. I'm not kidding. I've had more than my share of hard drive failures but never one in a notebook or on a trip. Most hard drive failures occur due to power supply and cooling issues. Both are controlled inside a notebook. Furthermore, notebook hard drives are developed to withstand extreme conditions. Tapes and tape drives, on the other hand, are delicate. You may be able to fix a tape cassette in the field but you will never be able to glue the particles back on or iron out the creases. Dropouts and footage loss occur often and whole cassettes can be lost. A drop that a hard drive is designed to survive could well kill a tape mechanism. Sometimes a tape recorded in one mechanism won't play in another. Some system to bank on... Now, of course you don't fix a hard drive in the field, you carry a duplicate. You wish you had tape duplicate in the field so that you don't worry where your lost sections will be when you go to repair the damage... Duplicating a hard drive is easy. Duplicating tapes in the field isn't. Then there's the fundamental design of a system consisting of a whole lot of tapes, a tape drive, and something else for redundancy. Compare that to two hard drives. It's an trivial matter that the two drive solution is more reliable as well as more available. I suppose if you ignore the redundancy issue and stick your head in the sand that you may be happy with tape especially if you make up some facts about hard drives being more delicate than tape. Are you suggesting that I'm keeping my critical data solely on a 1G iPod like you are keeping your citical business footage on a single, 10 year old, well used tape? You realize that the 1G iPod lacks good cooling, it has shock and vibe issues, and contains a drive not typical of today's notebook drives, right? You understand the 1G iPod lasts as long as the life of a regularly-used source tape; that a 1G iPod is not indicative of good engineering? BTW, my 1G iPod worked fine until the battery failed. With a solid state solution, you can perform an automatic backup on import. Many photographers do this and the capability is built into import software. Having this a part of the workflow renders all these hard drive rantings moot. It's not about the failure of a component, it's about a strategy that doesn't lose data. One thing I find amusing is that tape systems used to back up critical computer data have, as part of the process, regular verification. The reason for that is that backup tapes regularly fail to read correctly and sometimes system restores can't work at all. Tape always was, and always will be, crap compared to hard drive storage. It was and is a necessary evil in applications where adequate capacity can't be obtained any other way. As soon as you can do the job practically without tape, it's time to ditch it.
  16. No, it's an accurate statement. Hard drives have failures as does tape. Between the two, tape is far more delicate.
  17. I think the nudi is terrific. The others look too much like a video frame grab shot with failing halogen light. I think the darker background looks better and I'd like to see whiter foreground lighting. Herb's manipulation is interesting.
  18. The 10-17 works with the Kenko 1.4x converter.
  19. The new FIX LED is even brighter and has variable power that the BigBlue lacks, but it has a custom battery and marginal burn time (though with LED the low power settings should make burn time much better). I'm sure it's a great light but you have to decide if you want the custom Lithium packs and chargers. In my mind, LED should allow us to get away from such batteries. The achilles heal of the BigBlue light is the lack of true variable output. It has high and low settings only. It does take AA batteries, though, and has a great switch and bulletproof construction.
  20. I can only speak in generalities about dome characteristics. There are ground glass, molded glass, and plastic domes in order of optical quality. Ground glass is prohibitively expensive in large sizes. Plastic can be field repaired. Generally speaking, larger domes are optically bestter but harder to dive and travel with. Some manufacturers emphasize wide angle optics more than others. Seatool's advantage is supporting many port systems. I didn't have any existing domes when I got my Seatool housing. I decided to use only the 10-17 underwater and that's not a demanding lens to house. I'm using the Seatool dome for that and I don't see any problems. If I were to house a superwide rectalinear I'd look for something big like the Subal or Ryan's big dome. If I wanted a compact dome for macro I'd look at the Nexus ones. I have some Seatool flat ports in addition to their dome and they are lightweight and made well. I am using the Nexus multiport for macro and the Seatool adapter for that works very well.
  21. [1] not sensible for all the reasons already provided. You need wide angles and close focusing. A general purpose zoom doesn't do anything other lenses can't do better. There is no one lens that does everything. [2] all are good manufacturers. Nexus lacks the back focus control for the D300 which puts it at a disadvantage. I have the Seatool which takes ports from all the manufacturers you listed and some you didn't. Port choices are important too. Ergonomics are important and you have to decide that for yourself. With the Nexus and Seatool you can use optical strobe triggering and still use TTL for macro. Sea & Sea and Subal will need TTL adapters and sync cords. You need to consider strobes and housings together. TTL is not necessary with digital and is idiosyncratic. Decide for yourself how important it is and how you will achieve it should you want it. [3] You can consider the Nikon 12-24 and the Sigma 10-20 as well, but there will be a lot of recommendations for the 10-17. The 11-16 has very limited zoom range and I don't think there's a lot of experience with it underwater yet. I prefer the 10-17 for very wide and the Sigma 17-70 or 18-50 for large animal shooting and fish portraits. If you had the 10-17 I suspect your 11-16 would get little use. [4] You can't expect to shoot pygmy's and fish portraits with the same prime macro lens. A 105 is a minimum for pygmy's; more is better. Eventually you will want a wide macro, the 60 or Sigma 50 or even Tokina 35, and a longer macro perhaps even combined with a 1.4x teleconverter. 150mm is about the longest combined focal length for cropped cameras that most will want to use.
  22. IMO a focus light doesn't need to be so wide. Wider than necessary lights waste power. The older FIX LED light could stand to be a bit wider but it worked. I'm using the BigBlue LED light and it's rated for 500 lumens, or half what the LED1000DX is. It's so bright that it very substantially effects exposure at f/11 on the D300. I'm going to ask Ryan for the strobe sensor version. 1000 lumens is more than needed. I would definitely take it over the HG20DX though.
  • Create New...