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Everything posted by Architeuthis

  1. It is interesting that you recommend FF, APS-C and MFT more or less equally to different people. Could you please outline the criteria how you decide, what sensor format you recommend (and what about 1" and smaller sensor compacts)? Thanks, Wolfgang
  2. I have a question about diving in St. Marteen: is it mainly by boat trips from the diving base or is it more using rental cars and going on your own from the shore? Wolfgang
  3. Thank you for this tip, Davide, the gorgonia are outstanding! Strait of Messina in combination with Ustica is presents as attractive destination for 2022, I am eager to see this... Can you recommend a diving base at Ustica? Wolfgang
  4. Regarding the initial question, I think this will not be in 2022. Due to the existing vaccines in 2022 it will, however, be easier to perform travelling, but not to all destinations (I fear no Raja Ampat )... In 2021, in summer, we were for two weeks in Croatia. Recently (September) one week at Fernsteinsee (Austria). For november/december we have booked three weeks in Egypt (2 weeks resorts with housereefs and one week safari), but whether this will take place depends on the future development of the corona disaster and also on me, recovering from a recent corona infection (that was, however, only with mild symptoms, since I am fully vaccinated)... In 2022 we hope to be able to go to Scotland (Oban and Farnes Islands; we had to postpone this trip sceduled for september 2021, because of coincidence with an important professional appointment of my wife; later it turned out that it would not have been possible because of the pandemic in U.K. (mandatory quarantine for people returning from U.K. to Austria). In addition it was sceduled for the time, where I was infected with the virus. Hence triple negative). We hope Egypt, Croatia and Carribian will be possible and will plan for these destinations, but will book shortly before departure. I think it is realistic to hope that travelling restrictions will become alleviated in 2022, but no complete freedom of travelling yet... Wolfgang
  5. I would love to see your pictures, Stuart, but I cannot see any. Am I the only one who cannot open any images from the post? Wolfgang
  6. Hi Nigel, I second the previous posters, turn it "off". I am using my Oly EM1II most of the time in full manual mode (also the Z330 flashes) and constantly review the images after taking and subsequently optimize the settings. Only in exceptional cases I use shutter priority (e.g. when snorkeling with dolphins, where I use exclusively ambient light and want to prevent motion blurr)... Wolfgang
  7. I just want to add that about 1 year ago I purchased these ready configured multicore optical cables, they are a bargain and as good as the expensive ones (some other poster whom I do not remember right now, here or on Scubaboard was sharing the link): https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32966164929.html?spm=2114.12057483.detail.3.17d34826fOubSx Before this purchase I was planning to make DIY, but at 25$/cable (including professional plugs), DIY does not look attractive any more... Wolfgang
  8. Hi tursiops, Why not mount the filter to the lens instead of to the WWL? Wolfgang
  9. First, I thank all for the very valuable suggestions and demonstrations... I first went the plumbing-pipe route and found a rubber end cap that fits the port. It needs some extension via a cutted piece of pipe. This solution is, however, relatively heavy and so it is a good solution for usage at home, but not for air travel... Another member here, Kraken de Mabini, wrote me a PM and suggested to try the end cap of a Subal macro port: http://www.subal.com/a308c36c20c1/Housings/Accessories/Protective_Caps/Protective_cover_114mm.aspx I ordered it and it fits. The cost including mail was 27 Euro, I consider this o.k. As one can see from the photo, it is a little bit short and could be longer, so it is o.k., but not a perfect solution. It performs its duty, i.e. it protects the domeport. In addition it is light. Certainly a solution for peple outsde U.S. but within the reach of a Subal representative.Thank you Elias for this suggestion... Wolfgang
  10. It is possible to make fluorography photos without filters. The picture below was taken just with the blue LED of my WeeFine Smartfocus 2400, without any filters, and in LR the blue as reduced greatly, but not complete, and yellow was enhanced. I guess, however, that for serious fluoro-photos you will need a serious equipment including filters... Wolfgang EM5II; Zuiko 12-40mm @17mm; Zen DP170; ISO 200; f 2.8; 1/8s.
  11. Did someone already test the Zuiko 8-25mm f4.0 pro UW (or has other relevant information about UW use)? I am asking, since I consider to buy one for UW use for my wife as a birthday present (The zoom range/optical performance seems to be superior over the Zuiko 9-18mm that she already has and f4.0 is plenty for UW use)... I could not find recommendations for extensions on the Nauticam homepage nor on the Zen homepage (we have the Zen DP170-N120). Nor was I able to find a zoomgear for Nauticam housings (NA-EM5II and NA-EM1II). I emailed Nauticam (US) and also Zen, but did not get response. Today I also emailed deepshot about the zoomgear, lets see whether they have something to say... Other lenses that appeared later on the market (e.g. Canon RF 100mm macro or Nikon Z 105 macro) already show up in the port charts of Nauticam and also focusgears are available. The Zuiko 8-25mm looks to me appealing, but in case it is not supported or does nor perform UW, an achievement would not make sense for us... Wolfgang P.S.: I have a short update to this issue in post. I just got an Email from Ryan Canon (Nauticam US), saying " Thanks for reaching out! The Zuiko 8-25mm lens is not yet shipping, and we have not evaluated it for compatibility in our port system yet.". This is strange, since the lens is readily available here in EU. Seems the availability in US is delayed....
  12. oneyellowtang, This is important information. Could you state wich Oly cameras they used (did this have PDAF?)) and how much better AF is on Sony A7R4 and also compare AF of A7R4 to D500? Thanks, Wolfgang
  13. Hi Scotty, I am back now since two weeks, but did not have time yet to postprocess the greatest part of my photos: a lot of work after the holidays and finally I got a summer-flu and am lying right now in the bed... What I can say is just what my impression is now: To have similar corner sharpness with the Nauticam NA140 and the Zen DP100 dome, the 100 dome requires 1-2 f-stops more (this statement I will be able to check after processing my photos). With the NA140 dome (and the Zen DP170), I do not recognize a difference in AF compared to the Zuiko 8mm fisheye (I always use "C-AF" with my EM1II). I have the impression that with the DP100 the number of slightly out of focus photos is substantial (I never noticed such photos before with the NA140 dome).. For me the NA140 will remain the main fisheye dome. I also never used the Zuiko 8mm since I have the Canon 8-15mm (and the Tokina 11-18mm). The DP100 will be for extreme CFWA (The NA140 is, however, quite small; the difference is not big)... Wolfgang
  14. Good photos. Especially the first one has potential, since you avoided to directly get the bright opening in the picture (when going for the light beams, avoiding to directly image the opening is an important method, as can be read also in Alex Mustards famous book). As said previously by several, these openings easily can destroy the image, when blown out. In addition there are the light beams entering the cave and the light beam from the divers lamp that have different spectra... My personal processing would be (everybody will have his/her own preferences): Increase "shadows", "clarity" and "exposure" (reduce "highlights" a little, but not too much). Adjust "whites" and "blacks", so that neither are oversaturated, but the mayority of dynamic range is used. Then have a look at the noise and reduce if required ("luminance"). Subsequently I would process in photoshop with "autotone" and "autocontrast", but almost never 100%, use "undo" and then "fade" to apply only part of that filtering, according to taste. At the end some sharpening (also here "fade" to take not 100% of the filter). Finally the TIF file can be tweaked again in LR (eventually "clarity" and "vibrance", "saturation" and WB according to taste). Eager to see the outcome... Wolfgang
  15. I am now proud owner of a Zen DP100 minidome (N120 version). As already mentioned several times here in the posts, the native neoprene cover is a joke: it fits very well to protect the single isolated domeport, when no extensions are attached, but when attached to my camera via N120 extension it does not fit any more and gets loose all the time. This is unacceptable for transportation of the assembled rig, e.g. on a boat. A good solution seems to be the hard cap offered by Backscatter for 8$: https://www.backscatter.com/Zen-Hard-Plastic-Travel-Cap-for-DP-100 This cap does not seem to be available in Europe. When ordering from Backscatter it would cost 65$ (including shipping and 20% VAT; eventual tax by coustoms unclear and not yet included). This is just ridiculous and I am not going to spend 55+ Euro on a plastic cover... Does someone know whether a similar cap is available within EU for reasonable money or has another good solution to protect the DP100 minidome? Wolfgang
  16. I am a little late to this party (just returned from Croatia, where i did similar cave dives)), but here are my thoughts: The photo that I can see on the links is definitley without strobe. You could place a remote strobe somewhere in the cave to get a special light effect. Also a diving model with lamp can be nice... As Oneyellotang suggests, I would arrange with the other divers. Usually I go (with buddy!) after the others into such a cave: since the flash is not used the stirred up dust particles are not so important. You have every time of the world then if you just keep to the overall diving time limit and meet at the end at the boat (when you are first the others are waiting and will jostle, after a while, even when they are impressed by your great camera and promise to wait before the dive starts) ... Regarding WB, you do not need to care and do it afterwards, when you store your photo as raw.. In such caves I usually increase ISO dramatically, out of the comfort zone (e.g. ISO 1600, even with my EM1II MFT sensor). One can use strong noise reduction in LR and it really does not matter for such photos when you loose some detail (Do you see any detail worth working out in the photo you linked?). I also would open the aperture bejond the value that I use for well lit photos under "normal" conditions (e.g. f 6.3, sometimes even f 5.6 with my fisheye (8mm-15mm)/Nauticam 140 port combination - but I cannot say for your specific combination, best you check out yourself an a lazy day in well lit condition what apertures can be tolerated...)... Regarding exposure time, it depends whether you intend to freeze (the often "dancing") single rays within the entire beam or you want just the beam. When the latter and your camera has good IS you increase exposure as much as required, but take care not to blow out the bright cave opening too much (with the IS of my EM1II I can do 1s exposure handheld, even if I do not find support on a rock for my camera). Often the light at the opening is still blown out: then you can locally reduce color saturation and vibrance in LR (not much color in and near the blown out area anyhow), reduce the brightness of highlights and it is also o.k. If you want to freeze the rays, you have clearly an advantage with the large sensor... Good luck, eager to see your photos, Wolfgang P.S.: Here just two photos from this last trip. They show how results are alike when using similar parameters as said above (both using natural light only): ISO1600, f 8.0, 1/60s, 8mm ISO1600, f 7.1, 1/6s, 8mm
  17. Hi imacro, concerning the "reef shot" (2nd last photo): As Tim said the strobes were pointing too far outside, so that the center is not lightened as good as the periphery. In addition a long distance is covered in the middle of the photo and, according to the law of inverese relationship with squared distance, the lightnening drops off very fast with distance. Here the "rabbit ear" configuration of strobe arms may help to achieve more homogeneous lightening over longer distances (prerequisite is that the strobes do not point too much outwards)... Wolfgang
  18. Hi Mark, I own both Zen DP-100 and Nauticam 140 domeports and use with Canon 8-15mm. The Zen DP-100 I own only recently, but I posted some sample images, taken in murky waters (also JonCrow posted some sample images with DP100 there): At the first glance, IQ looks very good (Canon 8-15), but I have to test further in clear waters. I will leave this Friday (July 16th) to the mediterranean and will stay till beginning of August. I will post some sample images here and in case one cannot see then a difference in IQ compared to the bigger Nauticam 140 dome, I believe the difference is really small. In case IQ would be so similar, the smaller dome is certainly the better option (unless you intend to go FF later, then the 140 dome is probably the better choice)... I have more experience with the Nauticam 140 dome and can say that IQ is brilliant. I used few times the Zuiko 8mm behind the 140 dome (with N85/N120 34.7mm extension). I used the Zuiko 8mm also behind the Zen DP-170-N120 (with a custom made 30mm N85/N120 extension (https://www.unterwasserkamera.at/shop/catalog/en/product_info.php?info=p6901_d-d-nauticam-n85---n120-portadapter-30mm.html) as well as the Nauticam N85/N120 34.7mm extension) and IQ is at least as good as behind the Nauticam 140 port. This is surprising, since the Zen DP-170 is not a fisheye, but a WA domeport and not a complete hemisphere, but it is real. Of course the DP-170 is big, but you can also house a rectilinear WA lens within it (we use Zuiko 7-14mm or Zuiko 9-18mm; maybe the new Zuiko 8-25mm f 4.0 is the perfect choice). You can have both fisheye and rectilinear WA with one dome... I have the N120 versions, because I want to be flexible (for instance use the Canon fisheye or the Sigma 4.5mm circular fisheye (Canon EF version)). In addition, I plan to go for a FF system in 2022 and can then continue using the domeports. The downside is that you need expensive extensions and adapters in addition (the N120 extensions can be continued to use with FF). The N85 versions have often built-in extensions, what is simpler and cheaper, but when you want to use another lens (like Canon) or change the system, you cannot use them any more... => In case you go for the N120 ports, you have to check with Nauticam/Zen which extension is recommended (they do not state the length of the built-in extensions on their homepages)... Another lens to consider is the Tokina 10-17mm (Canon EF version), which gives very good results too (Zen DP-170-N120 with Metabones 0.71x speedbooster in my case). Wolfgang
  19. Regarding AF I can say that I use both Pana 45mm and Zuiko 60mm macrolenses on Oly EM5II (CAF) and EM1II (PDAF). With EM5II AF is much better with 45mm compared to the 60mm. I believe this may come close to the situation with GH5 (also CAF). With EM1II (PDAF) AF is very good with both lenses... Wolfgang
  20. Hi Jon, The extension ring is not causing problems as I am using it. I guess (as you alraedy say) that the extension is just too short in your case. I shortened one extension collar, the one for the Tokina 10-17 with 1.4x TC, where my design is a bit too long (I did not want to redesign and order a new one). I used an abrasive tool similar to the one below to make it fit: https://www.bauhaus.at/schwingschleifer/bosch-professional-schwingschleifer-gss-23-a/p/24795795?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxNmGjevD8QIVjP93Ch1I1QMyEAQYAiABEgLrvfD_BwE&ef_id=EAIaIQobChMIxNmGjevD8QIVjP93Ch1I1QMyEAQYAiABEgLrvfD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!11897!3!224895636698!!!g!297667046343!!947016865!47437589459&cid=PSEGoo947016865_47437589459&pla_campid=947016865&pla_adgrid=47437589459&pla_prpaid=297667046343&pla_prid=24795795&pla_adt=pla&pla_prch=online&pla_stco= In addition, I drilled three threads (each in 120° distance from the others) into the extension collars. These are for grub screws that are thightened with allen keys, so that the collar is fixed firmly to the zoomgear and can not get loose during the dive... Wolfgang
  21. I think one can see differences in sharpness in the edges between the two testshots, taken at f 5.6 and f 6.3 (ton and hanging brick). The image arse, however, not directly compareable, as the difference may be also just the different distances of the edges to the lens, and not produced by the minidome... I will try to get shots in clearer waters and show crops of center and edges. At the end a careful comparison of test images at different apertures under standardized conditions, as proposed by Jon, will be the better means to finally judge IQ. I am eager to see these photos... Wolfgang
  22. Here two photos taken with EM1II/Canon 8-15mm/Metabones 1x under similar conditions, but behind the Nauticam 140 dome, a week before at the same location: 8 mm, f 6.3, 1/160s, ISO 200, 2* Inon Z330 8 mm, f 9.0, 1/250s, ISO 200, 2* Inon Z330 More testing in much clearer waters is required to come to a final conclusion about comparing IQ between the NA140 and the DP100. Until now I am excited about the minidome, IQ is very good as far as I can judge under the given conditions (3-4 m vis)... Wolfgang
  23. Here a report of my first photos taken with EM1II/Canon 8-15mm fisheye/1x Metabones/Zen DP100 (N120 version): I took the Nauticam 34.7mm N85/N120 adapter plus a 30mm N120 extension ring. According to Zen's recommendation the total extension is 2.4mm too long and this should lead to slight vignetting @8mm. This is, however, not the case (and so I will not test the the 25mm extension ring, which leads to an overall extension of -2.6mm too short). I also did not notice any sign of puple fringing (as Chris reportes for the Pana 8mm fisheye behind the DP100 minidome), so this is likely really a phenomenon created by the Panasonic lens (it was my initial fear that the purple fringing is caused by the small minidome and not by the lens). A difference is also that one can leave the sunshade on the lens, when using the NA140, while one has to remove the shade when inserting into the DP100 minidome (with both domes one has to mount the lens separately from the front, when the camera is already in the housing (with 34.7mm N85/N120 attached) and then mount dome+extension). I also must say the photos were taken in a nearby gravel pond with 3m - 4m of vis what is not ideal for judging sharpness of the image. My impression was that IQ is comparable to the Nauticam 140 dome, but the number of out of focus images is greater compared to the same lens in the Nauticam 140 dome. This MAY BE a homeopatic impression, because I always have in the back of my mind that the virtual image is nearer and smaller and so AF will be more difficult... 8mm, f 8.0, 1/200s, ISO200, 2*Inon Z330 I also had the impression that wrong positioning of the strobes, leading to backscatter, is easier with the minidome. Positioning of camera and strobes for WAM is easier. Here an example photo of a common sunfish (Lepomus gibbosus). I could have taken the photo with the Nauticam 140 dome as well, but is was easier with the minidome: 15mm, f 7.1, 1/160s, ISO200, 2* Inon Z330 The fish did not let me come close enough to really exploit the advantage of the minidome vs. 140. On July 15th I will go for two weeks to the Adriatic and hopefully there I will encount something more suitable (e.g. nudis in front of a nice background for WAM). Here some test photos (uncropped) that may allow, to some extent, judging the IQ better: 8mm, f 5.6, 1/250s, ISO200, 2* Inon Z330 8 mm, f 6.3, 1/160s, ISO200, 2* Inon Z330 In the next post I will post two images that I took under similar conditions with the same camera/lens combination, but behind the Nauticam 140 dome... Wolfgang
  24. I can recommend Zakynthos (https://www.nero-sport.de/en/) from my personal experience. The base is well organized and if you come with a buddy, they will let you dive according to your needs as a UW-photographer (provided that you don't dive like crazy and adhere to the time and depth demands) . Very good visibility (the deepest spot of the mediterranean (one of these spots is called "Calypso depth", > 5 km deep) is only few tens of miles away), plenty of caves and grottos and all kind of animals that populate the mediterranean. Generally, the Ionian sea is biologically richer than the Egean sea. Years ago I was diving in the Zyklades and this was disapponting: also good vis., but practically a desert. Good places were the east coast of the Pelepones (plenty of groupers) and east/south at the island of Hydra, where I could see the mediterranean triggerfish (Balistes caroliensis; rare in the mediterranean, more common in the part of the Atlantic ocean that is close to the mediterranean (e.g. canares islands). I cannot recommend diving bases there, as I was diving there on my own from my sailingboat ... Wolfgang
  25. Great advice here, the idea with the tupperware is very nice... I also asked at Zen and Phil Burghard wrote me that the Cinebag CB73 fisheye bag is just designes for the Zen DP100, so I will order one. I will write later how it compares to the Nauticam travel bag... Wolfgang
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