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dmshore

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dmshore last won the day on September 24

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About dmshore

  • Rank
    Damselfish

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    S&S YS-D2
  1. Interesting. I print my stuff at Costco... mostly on acrylic, but also some on aluminum. I always save my pdf from Lightroom at 300 dpi, and I've been able to print (minimally cropped images) up to 24x36 on both of those media without issue. I can't tell you it looks grainy or pixelated. So I guess those images aren't being printed at a full 300 dpi? I've been happy with the print quality, so I guess whether it is 300 or 250 or 200 or whatever dpi, it's enough that (to my eyeball) it just looks like a picture, not a digital mess...
  2. I put together my first kit in early 2016. At the time, I believe the Sony A7II was the only full frame mirrorless choice out there. I went back and forth doing hours upon hours of research. It finally came down to a choice between the A7RII and the Olympus EM-1. I wound up choosing the EM-1. Price was a considerable factor. Not only was the Sony body more expensive, but the glass was much more expensive as well. And heavier. From a travel perspective, the M4/3 body and lenses are a heck of a lot smaller and lighter to lug around. At the time, there was not a whole lot of great native Sony glass to pair up with the A7... I would imagine that has changed, but I can't say that I am super familiar with Sony lens offerings currently. Certainly M4/3 have TONS of great lens choices that are tried and true for underwater applications. I have been SUPER happy with my EM-1. Obviously nowadays, you can get the mark II, which has a slightly higher MP sensor (20 vs 16). However, aside from a faster AF, I'm not sure how many of the other modest improvements are going to make any difference to you underwater. And, if you can stomach not HAVING to have the newest model, you'll surely find EM1 bodies and housings in the classifieds for a fraction of what you'll pay for a new body and housing. For me, the 16 MP sensor has worked well enough. I have made prints that I've hung at my office up to 24x36 inches at 300 DPI. Obviously you can't crop as much as you'd be able to crop with the A7RIII, but unless you are planning on making HUGE prints, all a 42 MP sensor is going to do is fill up your SD card faster. Also, do not forget that the EM-1 allows strobe syncing up to 1/320th of a second, which outperforms most other higher end offerings on the market. My final plug for the EM-1 is that the ability to change shooting parameters (aperture, shutter speed) on the fly is BRILLIANTLY easy. Regarding Nauticam vs Ikelite, I've only used Nauticam, so cannot compare the two. But my wife and I both shoot an EM1 in Nauticam and everything has been bullet proof. Vacuum pump and leak sensor are a no brainer. I agree with bill1946, SS YSD2 are a great bang for the buck and have worked very well for me. I have over 200 dives in with my older non-J D2s and haven't had any issues. Obviously numerous posts around these forums will cast some doubt in your mind about D2 reliability. If I had to do it over again, it would be between YSD2 and some RETRAs. Hope this helps!
  3. I second the vote for Costco. Very affordable, and if there is ANYTHING wrong with the print, they usually take it back without question. Obviously you will not get your images at the same resolution as other printing options. Lately, I've been having them print everything on acrylic. It is their most expensive option but it has the most solid construction and looks great!
  4. Really great set of photos. Excellent use of some narrow depth of field and various lighting techniques like backlighting and snooting. Thank you for sharing!
  5. Make no mistake about it... you can shoot the 60mm day in, day out in Lembeh and be happy. HOWEVER, I am a HUGE fan of the 30mm and think you should strongly consider it. I shoot an EM1 in Nauticam, so I'm not sure about your port setup for your Oly housing (but would assume that you'll need a new one for the 30mm). I bought the 30mm and associated port prior to my first and only trip to Lembeh for the Alex Mustard workshop in Oct 2018. I had used the lens/housing for one photo trip prior to Lembeh. There was a great write-up on the lens in the bi-monthly Underwater Photography magazine that pushed me to purchase the lens. In reviewing my image metadata for the trip, I took 2525 photos in Lembeh. 2313 were with the 30mm, 212 were with the 60mm. I never would have expected this before the trip. I had assumed I would have used the 60mm all the time, with the 30mm here and there for variety. The fact of the matter is, many of my photos could have been taken with either lens, but the 30mm worked for much of what I was shooting. You'll be seeing plenty of bigger subjects that would do better with a 30mm (larger frogfish, mandarin fish couples mating, scorpionfish, etc etc etc). Additionally, you can still use a wet diopter with your 30mm (despite what the UwP write up says about the difficulty of doing so). You'll have a paper thin depth of focus, but with proper techniques like thumb-focus rocking and using a small aperture, you'll be just fine and will come up some very different shots. And that to me is the key with having that second lens... I found that the 30mm just gave my photos a different feel than the 60mm. You'll see many of the same creatures over and over again during that week. Between my 30mm with/without wet diopter and 60mm with/without, I felt like I had four different opportunities with subjects to capture different styles of images. The 30mm can focus SUPER close... essentially on the glass of your port, so you will be able to get much closer than the 60mm to non-skittish subjects like nudis. You'll have to get creative with strobe positioning with these tight shots. Here are a few sample images I shot in Lembeh with the 30mm. When do you leave for your trip? Lembeh was amazing. I wish it wasn't on the other side of the world... it was about 36 hours door to door for me. I hope to get back some day.
  6. I have to put in a vote for the Fix Neo Mini 1000. I have mine mounted on my cold shoe. You can get it in both a white/red or all-white spot/wide version. I have one of each. Both settings can be put on at 100%, 75%, 50% and 25%. Additionally, the light has an auto-off feature that senses your strobe and shuts down, so it won't affect the exposure. The light is bright enough that is functions as my dive light. I agree with posters above that having a red options is very useful for some creatures, although I have to say that my EM-1 often has a tough time locking focus with red light. I generally only use it for one night dive before recharging, so I'm not certain of how the battery life will hold up for multiple dives in a row, but I've never had an issue with it lasting for one dive.
  7. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences and tips for Garuda! I think the best bet for me would be to ditch the hard Pelican case. It's proven to be a bulletproof travel case for my Caribbean dive travel, but I fear it will attract attention and get weighed. I have no doubt it will be WAY over 7kg, and I don't want to get stuck frantically throwing my expensive glass in my suitcase and praying for the best. I will plan on experimenting with placing the delicate things like the ports in with my cameras and lenses in a camera backpack, and then will put the more rugged items like the housing, strobes, arms in a separate bag inside my main suitcase. Speaking of ports, it seems like I have an audience here familiar with this part of the world, so let me ask your opinions on ports/lenses to bring. I'm heading to Lembeh obviously with the intent to focus on macro. Are there any/enough wide angle subjects and scenes to warrant bringing my 170mm dome port and accompanying fisheye?
  8. Very nice photos. I have a question for you regarding Garuda. I'm heading to Lembeh in October for the first time ever, and I'm flying Garuda to/from Jakarta. What are their exact policies regarding carry-on luggage? Are carry-on's weighed? If so, do they force you to check them if heavy? Or merely pay an extra fee? I typically travel with a light back pack with my cameras/lenses, and a heavy (but appropriately sized external dimensions for all US carriers) carry-on Pelican hard shell case with my housing, strobes, etc etc etc. This has worked for any flights I've ever been on for numerous destinations in the Caribbean. Garuda's website notes a 7kg weight limit for carryons. Did it seem like they were actively checking weight on bags? My Pelican case is way over 7kg. All my valuable equipment are in padded compartments, and the case is hard (and can be locked), so I could theoretically check it, but it is my MUCH preferred option to keep it with me. Any insight you can add would be helpful. Thanks!
  9. Just returned from a week on the Cayman Aggressor IV. Sadly, the weather was poor, so we did not get a chance to make our way to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. I booked the trip just a month before the great Dr. Mustard's Cayman workshop was announced. I would have done that workshop instead in a heart beat! To preface my summary of the pair of RETRA strobes I rented from Bluewater Photo, I'm rather new to the UW photography scene. I've been shooting for about two years now. I've used S&S YSD2s with my EM1 in Nauticam housing up until now. Given that my wife has opened the pandoras box of UW photography, I needed another set of strobes for our trip. After the wonderful reviews of the RETRAs I've read, I decided to give them a shot. In a word, WOW. These strobes are solid. Construction is fantastic. The strobes look and feel great. I took a comment in Alex's review in the Sept/Oct UWP to heart: instructions are NOT necessary. I turned them on and jumped in the water. The control knobs are simple to use. Power changes were a breeze. During the trip, I only shot in manual, so I cannot speak to the performance of TTL. The battery life display was a welcome addition... it sure beats guessing if you are at 75% or 25% before jumping in the water. The quality of light was excellent, but again take that with the grain of salt that I'm still in my learning curve. Given the overcast conditions, I rarely had the turn the strobes beyond 25% of max output. Only shooting directly towards the sun at the surface on the rare sunny day I encountered did I have to crank it up much beyond this. Given the low power setting, I was easily able to get 2-3 dives in before I felt compelled to switch batteries. One interesting thing that happened halfway through my trip, I had trouble with the strobe firing with rear-curtain mode on my camera. I normally leave my camera on rear-curtain, but on day four the strobes would not fire. Upon switching to standard flash on the camera, the strobes started working again without issue. I'm not sure if this was a camera problem or a strobe issue. To summarize, I like the RETRA strobes a lot. I will be curious to hear more comparisons to the latest Z330s before purchasing a set, but I would be very surprised if a pair of RETRAs don't wind up in my Pelican case sometime soon. Here are a few shots from my trip. David
  10. Phil, Thank you very much! I agree that it is not a "first choice" type of lens, but I figured that since I now own the lens, I'd give it a shot for one or two dives and see what kind of images I'm able to produce. I'll often get in to some trouble with fitting larger subjects in the field of view with my 60mm when I'm trying to shoot portraits of larger subjects. Perhaps the 25mm might do the trick for these. I was not planning on using this lens behind my 60mm macro port, as I thought the field of view would be too wide and catch some of the inside of the port in the shot? Beautiful shot of the shrimp, by the way. Thanks again. David
  11. Greetings everyone. My wife recently purchased this lens for a photography course that she is taking. Does anyone have any experience shooting this underwater? I'm planning on bringing it along on my trip to Bonaire next month and jumping in the water with it once or twice. I currently shoot a 60mm macro, 8mm fisheye and 7-14mm. For my wide angle work, I utilize a Zen 170mm dome port. I am planning on using this for the 25mm and seeing what transpires? I suppose this might give me a different perspective with fish portraits of larger subjects that don't fit in the frame of the 60mm... Thoughts? Experience with 25mm underwater? Thanks!
  12. Nauticam N85 30mm Extension Ring for m4/3 Ports 36630 , 100 € 75 € Is this still available?
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