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Barmaglot last won the day on September 20

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  1. Yes, the 10-18mm is constant f/4. Dome is eight inches.
  2. The Sony 16-50mm kit lens that I have can go as wide as f/3.5, but only when fully zoomed out. At 35mm, f/5.6 is as wide as it will go. Sony recently released a 16-55 f/2.8, which is by all accounts awesome, but it costs $1400, extends quite a bit to zoom, and there are no zoom gears yet.
  3. I was there last month; did two dives at Monad Shoal off the Philippine Siren, but the threshers only showed up for one, and then only for a few minutes. I was using a Sony A6300 with 16-50mm kit lens in a dome - I was afraid they wouldn't come close enough for my 10-18mm and I was right; the only shots I ended up keeping were at 35mm. You may get lucky and have the sharks come closer, or you might not. Since it was a no-strobe dive, I had the camera set to 1/320s, wide open and auto ISO, which ended up f/5.6 and ISO 3200, producing noticeable grain. Second dive I took my 90mm f/2.8 macro and put it in a dome, intending to use it as a short but fast telephoto, but the sharks didn't show. If I go there again, I'll probably use 10-18mm f/4 in the hope of the sharks coming closer, and drop the shutter speed to 1/160-1/250 - this should get the ISO down to around 800-1000.
  4. I ended up getting the Weefine WFL05S. Aliexpress was running a sale at the time and I got it for $305, with free shipping and no import taxes. I spent most of October in the Philippines, total 43 dives, although only three days (10 dives) out of that were in Anilao. I got to use the lens on several occasions, although not too many. As far as the lens performance goes, there was no vignetting that I could see. Working distance is quite short, about 2-3cm from the lens front element. Frame width is about 1cm. I used it with a magnetic adapter, and the lens has a protruding rear element that matches the adapter perfectly - the rear element sits completely flush with the adapter's threads that go into the port. If one were to use the lens without an adapter, it comes with a spacer that goes over the protruding element, allowing the lens to be screwed directly into the port without bumping into port glass. Autofocus tends to hunt for a while, but is manageable as long as the camera is held still. Some uncropped samples: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1P7h8a7szaeFI0PAiANZ-6w5dZe0NpQZK https://drive.google.com/open?id=1edgltAMZF1Jvj9nl9HNvlZfPNUbVlJns https://drive.google.com/open?id=1T4fNAKJaA_8ow9qFJmA60IVALPJ42ofd https://drive.google.com/open?id=1U7lmAS9QJ63W0tj2C7jXxxIUXfz_uNBv
  5. The ring on 16-50mm lens operates both focus and zoom, depending on camera mode. If the camera is set to AF-A, AF-S or AF-C, the ring will only do zoom. If the camera is set to MF, then the ring will only do focus, and the only way to zoom the lens on A6xxx series bodies is by the small rocker on the left side of the lens, which is inaccessible in a housing. If the camera is set to DMF, then the ring will zoom until you half-press the shutter, at which point it will start focusing. Keep in mind that this behavior is specific to the 16-50mm kit zoom, and possibly other power-zoom lenses - I don't have any of those, so I can't confirm. Lenses without power zoom such as 10-18mm f/4 have separate zoom and focus rings, and with most housings, only one of those (typically the zoom) can be operated while the housing is sealed. In these cases, you usually set the camera to one of the AF modes and use the knob to operate the zoom. When shooting macro, DMF is useful even if you can't operate the focus ring - I shoot my A6300 with the Sony 90mm macro lens, and while it's pretty good about achieving focus on something, with the extremely thin depth of field macro photography suffers from, this something can be the wrong part of the subject. Shooting in DMF mode with focus peaking turned on, I can see which part of the subject the camera has focused on, and then move the camera forward or backward a little bit while the focus is locked, so that the eyes, or the rhinophores, or something else is (hopefully) in focus.
  6. See pages 7 and 14 of the user manual here: http://www.fantasea.com/manuals/1525_Manual.pdf Note that you need #2201 zoom and focus gear to connect that knob to the lens ring, but if you have ordered the housing as a kit with the #2101 flat port, it should be in the package.
  7. Fantasea housings have the zoom knob on the left side of the body, not the port - don't worry, you'll be able to zoom.
  8. AFAIK, zooming the kit lens via the body is a function only present on A5000 and A5100. What housing are you using that won't you access the zoom ring?
  9. Sony APS-C with kit 16-50mm does that too. Nikon FX with 60mm macro, or DX with 40mm macro and MWL-1 is another option. Sony or Fuji APS-C with a 50mm macro also work with MWL-1, albeit with a reduced FoV.
  10. If you try to use a dry diopter underwater, it will not work. Lenses work by having a different refractive index than the surrounding medium, but the refractive index of water is much closer to that of glass than air, so a glass lens immersed in water has a significantly reduced effect on light passing through it. The underwater diopters work by having air inside the lens assembly, which substantially increases complexity and cost - but cannot be avoided in underwater usage. Salt water may also corrode metal parts of lenses not designed for immersion. You can use a dry diopter inside a port if there is sufficient free space, but then you lose the ability to focus at longer distances, since you cannot remove the diopter while the housing is sealed. Extension tubes can provide a similar effect.
  11. Turn the strobes inward, either at an angle if you have some distance, or, if you're very close, directly facing each other. If the surroundings allow, you can even put one or both behind the subject, facing the camera.
  12. Right, but are you looking for more working distance or more magnification? If you're already as close to the subject as the lens will focus and you still find yourself needing to crop a lot because the subject is just too small, then you need a close-up diopter, , not a longer lens - a 150/180/200mm will just force you to stay further out and will not, by itself, go past 1:1 magnification (36x24mm frame size). If, on the other hand, you're having trouble getting close enough to subjects without spooking them, or disturbing the environment, or whatever else, then a longer lens (you have a choice of Nikon 200mm f/4, Sigma 180mm f/2.8 and Sigma 150 f/2.8) will be useful with smaller subjects, but will restrict you to partial shots on anything larger than 10cm or so. If it's reef features getting in the way that prevent you from getting close to the subject, you may also want to consider a muck diving destination - with the bottom being mostly bare sand and rubble, getting low and close to the subject is much less challenging than in a delicate coral reef environment.
  13. I'm not aware of any external electrical to optical converters with TTL capability on the market - Retra's e-opto converter is manual-only. If you want to run TTL with that housing and camera, you will need either Ikelite strobes (DS-160/161) and Ikelite's own TTL converter, or an optical bulkhead in place of the electrical one that's included with the housing, plus a TTL-capable optical trigger such as the one recently released by UW-Technics. @Pavel Kolpakov - the person behind UW-Technics - should be able to give you more details.
  14. I've exchanged messages with SeaFrogs support about this, and their rationale for not diving with housing under vacuum is that the increased pressure gradient reduces the housing's maximum operating depth. Since I don't dive past 30 meters, this is irrelevant for my use case, and I always dive with the vacuum valve attached and active. One thing that should be noted is that if you pump it just to the point where it starts flashing green, you will likely have it start flashing red at depth - my best guess is that the main o-ring compresses under pressure, the front and back halves of the housing get squeezed closer together, the internal volume shrinks and the air pressure inside rises correspondingly. Having the indicator suddenly start flashing red mid-dive is quite disconcerting, so I make sure to give it a dozen extra pumps after it turns green to avoid that.
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