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Everything posted by UWphotoNewbie

  1. Thanks, its a shame that they didn't continue making these adapters, they really did make the housed P&S cameras a viable system.
  2. Someone just gave me a few new wet lenses for the Motor Marine system. I have 2 of these lenses already for my old Canon S300 that has been relegated to a backup system. It uses a Sea and Sea adapter to mount to the front of the Canon stock housing. You can use the old motor marine II wet lenses. I have used the 16mm quite succcessfully. I haven't used this camera in years and its a little long in the tooth. Now I just got a new 20mm and TT3 macro. So I have been thinking, does Sea and Sea still make these adapters? Does anyone have one of these for a newer camera? What camera would you recommend to pair this with?
  3. Someone gave me a YS-60/S strobe in brand new condition. This strobe was intended for the Motor Marine II system as near as I can tell. I don't think the strobe has any sort of slave sensor? Is there a way that this can be used with any digital camera? I was thinking maybe I could use a HeinrichsWeikamp slave sensor on my brother's Oly 5050 using the internal flash in the PT-005 housing as a trigger? Does this work? Can the Oly be set to manual flash without a pre-flash or will TTL work with the HeinrichsWeikamp sensor by ignoring the pre-flash? Also, I got the arm system to go with it. It has four ball segments with 2 clamps and a 2-screw mount with the T-mount system. Is there an adaptor for the Ikelite tray to the S&S ball size? I have such a thing for my ULCS arms but these ball are smaller. Thanks
  4. Now I think that would be insanity. Just pick one system and stick with it. I originally went with the 8" to help cure the 12-24mm softness because its right at the bleeding edge for close focus without a diopter. The 10-17mm doesn't have these issues. FE lenses work very well inside domes. If all I had was a 10-17mm for WA and I wasn't into split levels I'd go with the 6". If you are a nut like me and want to travel with all your lenses, then the 8" makes some sense. Advantages: -Actually lighter if you need to use: -Macro: 60mm, 105mm VR w and w/o diopters w and w/o focus -WA: 10.5mm, 12-24mm, 15mm -Better corners/focus with rectilinear WA zooms -Better split levels Cons: - More expensive - Bulkier if you have less lenses - More O-rings and some difficult assembly (its a bugger to disassemble these requiring a strap wrench or 2)
  5. Well just look at the newspaper comparison you posted at 10mm and 14mm equivelent in the center. To my eye the lens without the TC is sharp at all apertures. With it it looks pretty crumby until you get to F8 which is pretty small for a minimum aperture. You stated yourself that you were planning to use it at F8. I always thought that Alex's CFWA was making things waaay too complicated. Why not use the Sigma 15mm FE instead? This lens would focus just as close to the focal plane with the same magnification for the same reproduction ratio without the looses associated with more glass. The main justification was that Nikon 16mm doesn't get that close so it won't work that way. I really like the technique though and he produced some great shots. Thats not an endorsement of the optics but of the photographer instead. Well ok maybe but 6 MP is pleanty for many purposes not just the web, magazine shots (just ask Alex), photo books etc. The D700 brings much more to the table than just resolution and you still get those benifits.
  6. Interesting. Thanks for posting. Of course you could always just use it straight without the TC in crop mode. I'm not sure which is worse--taking the performance hit optically with a TC or just taking the resolution hit by cropping. On the one hand you have to stop down, focus is slower, and the pixels you get are less sharp. You also need special port extensions and gears. On the other hand you still get the benifit of high ISO, fast focus, normal apertures (for subject isolation) and simplicity but only ~6mp. 6mp is enough and that's what I get with my D70. So all things considered until there is a true FX replacement I'd just do the simple thing and use this lens on crop mode.
  7. I assume you are talking about fringing. The dual lens diopters like the Nikon 5T and 6T will not exhibit much of a fringing problem. I have both of these but it takes some digging to locate them for a reasonable price as they are discontinued. These are specifically designed to reduce this effect. Sure there is always a degradation in quality with any added lens but these are very good and if used properly the increased magnification will yield a dramatically different composition that will swamp any pixel peeping technical details. I'd spend my time worrying about the skills required to execute a photo like this instead of the technical. DOF will be sliver thin. Getting close without spooking the critter, disturbing the bottom/subject with the port and getting the lights up close enough will be the key challenges. I'd recommend setting for close focus and leave it on manual. Put the strobe right up to the port and ratio the lights. Then focus by rocking back and forth until the focus light appears then snap. There is also a technique called "Trap Focus" that you can try. This is not easy. Getting this right and an interesting subject are oodles more important (and harder) than what gear you use.
  8. Too bad, I think mola mola's are one of the strangest/most interesting fish in the ocean. Congrats on spotting one...
  9. Just out of curiosity, what do you want to photograph so deep?
  10. The bayonet system on the superwide port isn't the greatest solution. Its more of a kludge. I use it but I'm really careful to center it on the housing such that a turn either direction won't push it off. I make sure the hood is centered when the port is on in thast position. Then I make sure the hood is on good and tight so it won't shift. Then I use the hood position to monitor the port position. The hood is useful for that and to protect the dome from scratches (on tables, boats and coral). I don't think its really that important as a light shade.
  11. If you want to use this lens primarially underwater, I'd go with the 10-17 FE. Fisheye lenses are great underwater because you don't see the distortion much at all and you can get a big object really close so everything will be sharper. Water clarity not optical performance is the bigger factor underwater. Plus at 17mm, this lens isn't really that fishy. Don't compare fields of view for fisheyes and rectaliniear lenses with focal lengths directly. This lens at 12mm is much wider than the 12-24mm would at 12mm. At 10mm it gives almost 180 degrees. If you want this for both, or you do lots of wrecks, I'd get the 11-16mm. The optical quality and speed are much better than the F4-ish 12-24 or 10-24 lenses. It will focus faster because of the wider aperture, you can use filters better, its wider. It has less range but its better to zoom with your fins than with your lens underwater anyway. Use your macro lenses if you want macro. I think you'll be dissapointed with the results at 24mm as a macro lens anyway.
  12. Take a look at the pinned thread "Getting more than 1:1 macro from 1:1 lenses". I have used reversed lenses as diopters and I'll tell you the magnification is tremendous. This is great for microsocopy but I think its waaay too much for most underwater applications. DOF is virtually non-existant. I think it would be very difficult to control for moving, 3-D subjects especially without a tripod. For someone properly motivated by the right subject, using a tripod, with the proper ports, very negative bouyancy and much more patience than I have it is possible. But definately try it on land. Reversing rings are very cheap and its loads of fun. You can also reverse mount any lens by itself with the proper adapter ring. That way your $100 50mm 1.8 makes a great manual macro lens. This may have an application underwater if you preset focus and exposure and shot from a preset distance.
  13. Thanks. Good to know that you have control. I only say this because IMHO there are other priorities before replacing what is one of Nikon's best optics. I think a new WA for UW or midrange zoom would be more useful and cost the same as replacing what is mostly a very good lens. From the pictures I've seen, this is only a problem at very wide apertures (where DOF is shallow anyway) and you are not likely to put important subject matter in the corner anyway. So, if you are more interested in UW, I think the emphisis should be on WA. By all means, if you have the means, the new 70-200 is bound to be dynamite.
  14. I don't have a D700/D3/D3x to test this with but I think that these cameras sense that you are using a DX lens and automatically switch to crop mode. So, while technically you could use the 12-24mm at 16mm unless you do something tricky with the CPU contacts it won't work. Or is there a firmware override for that?
  15. Assuming you go the D700 route, get rid of the DX lenses and keep the FF lenses. Still not all of the FF lenses you list are optimal for underwater. old style Nikon 60mm macro; Nikon old style 105 macro; Both of these are perfect for macro. No real need to upgrade to newer versions Nikon old style 16 FE This is still one of the best WA on FF for underwater Sell the Nikon 12-24mm and Tokina 10-17 FE. You don't really want to sacrifice so many pixels by using crop mode. Get a 17-35mm instead, but you'll need to add cash. Keep the Nikon 18-200 for topside use but sell the really old Nikon 35-70. This is where FF is really going to hurt. I expect when I go FF to not part with this baby since its my most used lens for family photos and getting THE shot (framing etc.) is more important than absolute quality. You probably won't be using the 35-70 if the same range is covered here anyway, and its not of much use UW. Keep the 18-200 maybe even after you get the 24-70. Nikon 70-200; This one is perfect for topside use. Don't be tempted to replace it with the new version.
  16. Thanks divegypsy, The shot you posted looks acceptably sharp to me. Have you had a chance to do any more with this lens? When I last tuned in the general consensus was to forget about using this lens underwater. 1) Its too wide for most domes to perform well. 2) Its too physically thick for many systems esp. after you get a zoom ring around it. 3) There is no way to use a filter. I of course was very dissapointed to hear this as the D700/14-24mm combination seemed like the perfect solution for ambient light wreck photography with filters. High ISO, fast aperture, ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) with straight lines and sharp. Well it looks like you have a solution that works well. Tell us about it.
  17. I'm sure there are lots of folks that are jumping in with their cameras including Ikelites but even with the tougher aluminum housings I wouldn't recommend it. Another thing to consider is that with DSLRs you usually have one or 2 strobes on wobbly arms. Sure you can crank down the arms (and I've even seen temporary ties to hold them together) but you'll have the strobes to bang around as well. There are a lot of hard objects that you can bang the housing on besides the water surface--tanks, personal gear, other divers. I once had the divemaster backroll onto my head and conk me with his tank. Then there is your mask and regulator. I can't hold my camera with 2 strobes with one hand very securley out of the water. So now you risk loosing your reg and mask on entry. A better solution is to let the camera down on a line before you enter if you can't have the divemaster hold it for you. If not, choose a more photo-friendly dive operator.
  18. WOAH! Anyone here using a D90 in an Ikelite D70 hoousing? This would be very good news to me if true.
  19. I don't know. I think you are going to have a very tough time finding what you are looking for. First of all the equipment you are looking for is very specific and very high end and very complicated. So I doubt that anyone has them for rent. The best I could find was a D2X or a D300. You can rent them from Cathy Church in Grand Cayman, Stephen Frink in Florida, or Backscatter by mail order. Perhaps some of the specialty live-aboards that do photo cruises have high end gear to borrow. But A D3/x? In any case its expensive, upwards of $350/day and over $1800/wk even for these older systems. That includes shipping time. But I think the better question is what do you hope to accomplish with the system if you had it for a day? These are very tricky tools to use with a lot of task loading. To get your money's worth on these cameras you really need to know what you are doing and have some practice with it beforehand. I doubt that you will achieve what you are looking for by having such a high end camera for a day unless you are really familar with that camera, underwater photography, and the housing/strobe system. This is why Cathy Church's camera rental comes with a dive guide included @ $60/hr. I think this is wise. In any event I can highly recommend her school in Grand Cayman. You can shore dive right off her dock and her instructors are top notch. She helped me figure out my point and shoot digital camera and Ikelite strobe years and years ago (before dSLRs existed). She spent a couple hours figuring out how to make it sync and I had a 1 hr dive with her instructor. She only charged me for the dive. I hadn't bought the gear from her but she was a very nice lady. I think you really have 3 options: Take a structured course, buy your own high end system and take the time to learn it, get a point and shoot renrtal and practice. You can buy a point and shoot rental with strobe for what you'll pay in rent on the system you are seeking.
  20. This is the bible. Great to hear that its in the fourth edition. Plesae post when I can get a copy. I have a space for it next to my second and third editions! Seriously, noone deals with the technical aspects of DSLR photography better than him. So with that and Jim Church's Essential Guide to Composition I think you are set.
  21. I think this is the kind of pixel peeping that is interesting in engineering but not really relevant to photography. Certainly FX sensors will get better over time but the advantages to underwater photography over film are tremendous. The small issues with film vs digital quality are miniscule. You don't really care what is going on in the extreme corners. Your subject shouldn't be there. In fact you often want the corners out of focus to draw your eye toward what is really important. The corners will have slight vigenetting and dome ports will likely add distortion there anyway. I doubt any of this will be detectible anyway in the real world and if it is its likely as much an advantage as a disadvantage anyway. I don't want to go back to the stone age. Digital capture allows me the tools to get what I really want in the frame, w hich is what really matters. --Shoot hundereds of shots on a single dive --Instant preview to review and adjust: composition, lighting, exposure settings, focus --Live Preview for composing in awkward angles--this IS important UW --Very high ISO capability to handle low light WAY better than film. (That's the advantage of FX) --Better selection of fast WA lenses for low-light shooting (another advantage of FX) --Easier and more powerful manipulation of images to fine tune technical issues than film through RAW processing --EXIF data to help you learn Have you ever shot an entire roll of garbage shots on film. There's nothing more frustrating than that when trying to learn. Leave the technical issues up to the engineers, or join in onthe discussion for the fun of it. But don't base photographic decisions on this kind of minutia. If you can afford FX and the lenses to go with it then go for it, I'm sure you won't be dissappointed in the results. If not then DX will serve you very very well I'm sure you won't be dissapointed either. Just look at all the stuff Alex Mustard published on his D70!
  22. Underwater photography esp. with DSLRs takes practice so take it slow. There is a lot of task loading on you with so many features, equipment choices, knobs etc. its easy to get flustered. On top of that you usually have expensive dive trips and limited time pressures to deal with. Just remember this all takes time to master and to relax. I have had this problem before with lens settings esp. when I use a manual focus or zoom ring that can brush the side of the lens barrel when assembling. Some tips: 1) Fully assemble the rig in the hotel the morning before and test it. Then leave the same lens set-up for the whole day. Here's my proceedure. a) charge batteries overnight b) Get up early set up camera c) Make sure you hear a click on both port latches d) test that focus, flash, work. Camera set to manual. Shoot a few frames to test e) Quick dunk in the pool as a leak test f) Wrap everything up in a 24 can soft cooler and head to the dive boat. Ther's usually no time to futz with extra gear on the boat so I don't bring anything. Everything is ready to go. 2) Simplify. I have waaaay too much gear and lens, filter, strobe combos. I get the best shots when I simplify the gear. 3) get the dome shade, it helps protect the dome port from scratches 4) I usually leave the cover on until its time to get in the water 5) don't worry about the port falling off. It won't. Just be careful it doesn't bang on the side of the boat etc. 6) With the 10.5mm port be sure its centered in the lock position. The shade helps identify if this is good or not. 7) Don't ever jump in with a camera.
  23. The Ikelite port system (both 8" and 6") is a compression flange that seals with water pressure once you are below the surface. It wobbles a bit and feels a bit loose on the surface. You can even rotate it on the surface if for instance your light shade is in the wrong position. Relax though once you get it in the water water pressure compresses the O-ring and its sealed. This system works well. I would welcome a third latch though and a way to retrofit my D70 housing. The third latch would also need to deal with the 8" port for the 10.5mm fisheye which fits on like a loose bayonet plug. The only place where this system doesn't do well is in rough conditions at the surface (surf etc.) I'm suprised that you have been OK jumping in with your camera. I wouldn't do that with any camera. I once had the divemaster drop my strobe when he grabbed it to hand it to me. It promply flooded on that dive.
  24. I'm really happy they did a refresh on this lens. Its now at the top of my purchase list to go along with a D700X when it comes out. This is one of Nikon's most important lenses so I'm glad they "appearently" nailed it. The old one wasn't bad but once FX became a driving force many complained of problems in the corners. Realistically though this shouldn't be an issue. Sharpness: its pretty hard to get planar subjects in real life that would cause you to notice this and usually the subject isn't dead in the corner so having a little bit of "Bokeh" on the stuff you don't want the viewer to focus on isn't a bad thing. Vigenetting: Sometimes a subtle darkenning of the edges draws the viewr toward the important subjects in the picture more toward the center or 1/3rd of the frame. So this isn't as bad as it seems. Still, for $2400 it better be perfect. I'm currently using a 70-300 for price, zoom range and weight. Once I go FX I'll probably get the 70-200 + a TC and lament the loss of DX "magnification". I don't see many using this lens underwater. Its too big, doesn't focus close enough, and its hard to light or even see clearly subjects that are more than 2 meters away. This is art and there are surely plenty of people breaking boundaries, but I don't see this as a mainstream UW tool.
  25. The 60mm is my most oft-used lens. I really like the faster focusing of the new 60mm over my old one. Since I use it as a fish lens the faster focusing is a blessing. I also got it because it fits in the same Ikelite 8" dome system port extension I use for the 12-24mm lens in combination with the flat port. This justifies the extra $100 because I save it on port extensions and I travel with less. the old 60mm because of the extension during focusing does not fit and needs a bigger port.
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