Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Barmaglot last won the day on July 3

Barmaglot had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

41 Excellent

About Barmaglot

Profile Information

  • Gender

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:

Recent Profile Visitors

12181 profile views
  1. The 16-50mm PZ is an okay starter lens, but on its own, it's neither particularly wide nor capable of macro. It is, however, very compact and quick-focusing - you can put it in a short threaded port and shoot wide-angle and macro with add-on wet lenses. There is an older 18-55mm kit lens, but that one hasn't been sold for years now. Expanding from that, for wide angle, there is Sony 10-18mm f/4, and... that's pretty much it. There is the Zeiss 12mm, but it suffers from a fixed focal length and can only do CDAF, while its 1-stop advantage in aperture (f/2.8 vs f/4) is wasted underwater. For fisheye, you can pick between Sony 16mm f/2.8 with VCL-ECF adapter (full controls and autofocus, but iffy quality and fixed focal length), manual lenses from Samyang and 7Artisans (cheap, but manual focus and fixed aperture once you seal the housing) and adapted options like Tokina 10-17mm (fairly expensive once you include the adapter and AF issues on older cameras like A6000). In fairness, fisheye is kind of a weak point for Sony, both on APS-C and on full-frame. For macro, there are four choices, each with its own compromises: 30mm f/3.5 - small, cheap, generally fits the same ports as 16-50mm kit lens, but the short focal distance produces a very short working range - its 1:1 reproduction distance is practically on the port glass. More suitable for fish portraits than true macro. 50mm f/2.8 FE - good combination of working distance and focal length - not too long, not too short - but very slow and unreliable autofocus on most bodies. Reportedly, the A6400 solves its autofocus issues, but with older bodies, it's not a good choice. 50mm f/2.8 Zeiss Touit - suffers from the same issues as 50mm FE, but costs more. 90mm f/2.8 G - great image quality, but costs a lot, and even buying used doesn't save you much. Autofocus can be fast (for a long macro lens), but you have to hold it absolutely still while it's moving its internals around; a bit of current or surge can totally ruin your day. It also chews through battery - I can reliably get three dives out of a single charge with 10-18mm or 16-50mm, but no more than two with 90mm. The narrow field of view can also limit your shooting opportunities, especially in less than perfectly clear water - you simply have to stay way too far back to fit non-macro subjects into the frame. On the other hand, it's your best choice for true macro and supermacro. FWIW, I use the 90mm G, but if I had an A6400 rather than my A6300 (the former did not exist when I bought the latter), I'd probably go for 50mm FE instead.
  2. The Meikon wet dome isn't a true lens like, say, a Nauticam WWL-1 or Inon UWL-H100 - it's only a dome with air inside, so its effect is limited to restoring the lenses in-air field of view. Basically, when you put a lens behind a flat port and take it underwater, its angle of view shrinks by about a third due to refraction - Meikon's wet dome cancels this effect, similar to how a dry dome port would do the same, but it doesn't otherwise affect the optical properties of the lens. 'Real' wet wide lenses have multiple lens elements inside, and widen the camera's field of view significantly, but of course they cost a lot more.
  3. A Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga has been my daily driver for several years now; at first a 1st gen one, and since last year, a 3rd gen. I replaced the original 256GB SSD with a 2TB Intel 660p, so space is not an issue, and I don't need to mess around with external drives. At work I keep it docked to two monitors with the laptop itself in tent mode giving me a third screen. A quad-core CPU and 16GB RAM give sufficient performance for all but the heaviest tasks.
  4. SeaFrogs sell it here: https://seafrogs.com.hk/collections/spare-parts/products/fiber-optic-port
  5. Are you using single- or multi-core fiber optic cables? I've seen multiple recommendations to use multi-core cables (typically 613 strands) with LED triggers and/or less sensitive strobes because they transmit light more efficiently.
  6. New user tchakatak was able to post a new thread, but when I replied to it, they were unable to reply back - but they can send private messages, so logon session doesn't seem to be the culprit.
  7. I've had one for about a year now with maybe 60-70 dives on it; shooting it with an A6300 and 10-18mm, 16-50mm and 90mm macro lenses. No complaints about build quality, although the zoom ring for 10-18mm is somewhat finicky to set up and the fiber optic plugs are not positioned very well. The vacuum system works as advertised - on my last trip, it started flashing red before I left the Airbnb room I was staying in; I opened up the seal and found a tiny white cat hair on the main o-ring - a potentially real bad day that turned out okay. I've read reports that newer versions of this housing ship with double main o-ring, but mine has just the one. As far as optical quality, I did some pool tests a while ago, you can see them here: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AupWSggdlFYKjtRFu-IIxyopM8fvAA Can't speak about video, as I have only ever shot stills with it.
  8. I've been using one of those for a while, and it has held up fine over a hundred-odd dives, but the clips are annoying to take off d-rings while under tension, so I ordered this one last month, and it just came in the mail. For less than $5 shipped, I'm impressed - proper bolt snap, and the coil has a metal wire rope inside clear plastic. It stretches out to about 1 meter when the buckle is unclipped.
  9. Buoyancy added by neoprene will be gone at depth, when it compresses, so I wouldn't rely on it for that purpose.
  10. Probably not. Meikon has a universal housing that fits models I through V, with compatibility achieved by swapping some internal parts, and looking at the instructions, it looks like model I is distinct from all the others, using a special shim for the buttons in the back.
  11. I doubt anyone will pay $1600+ for a pair of YS-250s, unless they need them urgently and have money to burn. While they don't come up for sale that often, this pair appears to have been sold for $900, and this pair for $800. Another set here seems to have gone for €900. A single strobe here, in usused condition, seems to have fetched $550.
  12. It's a combination of camera and strobe capabilities. The camera shutter determines the speed at which it can execute a normal flash sync - the first curtain exposes the sensor, then the flash fires, then the second curtain moves in and closes the sensor. The shutter curtains don't move instantaneously though, and the speed at which they move out and in determines the overall shortest possible exposure - while they're moving, the sensor is still getting some light. In order to provide a shorter exposure, the second curtain starts closing before the front one is fully open, creating a strip of light that races across the image, and this precludes using a normal flash, because if it fires when only part of the sensor is exposed then you get underexposed areas where the curtains were covering the sensor at the moment that the flash fired. Some cameras have shutter curtains that move exceptionally fast, like the Nikon D50 that allows 1/500s flash sync; some are much slower, like Nikon 1 series that are generally limited to 1/60s flash sync speed. Most Sony interchangeable-lens cameras are limited to 1/160s, or, in some limited circumstances as Pavel mentions, 1/200s. Here is an animation showcasing this process: https://cdn.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/media/2015/04/fstoppers-high_speed_sync-_shutter-_operation.gif Fixed lens cameras usually have diaphragm or 'leaf' shutters located in the lens - these have a much smaller distance to cover when opening and closing, and thus allow for much faster flash sync speeds. For example, Sony RX100 series cameras can sync flash at up to 1/2000s. Note, however, that full-power flash dumps usually take around 1/320s (for commonly used underwater strobes such as Inon Z-330/S&S YS-D2; figures may differ for land strobes), so syncing your flash faster than that cuts into strobe power at the same rate that it cuts into ambient light power. The way this limitation is overcome for interchangeable-lens cameras with curtain shutter is so-called high-speed sync where, instead of emitting a single powerful pulse, the strobe emits a series of smaller flashes, typically modulated at 40kHz while that thin strip of exposure races across the sensor. Alas, this has the unfortunate effect of massively reducing effective flash power, and in underwater strobes, support for this mode is almost nonexistent. The long since discontinued Olympus UFL-2 was effectively a land strobe (Olympus FL-36) in an underwater housing, and thus inherited its ability to do HSS with select Olympus cameras using their RC triggering. The upcoming Retra Prime and Retra Pro flashes claim HSS capability with triggers that can drive this mode using LEDs, but they are not shipping yet, and neither are compatible triggers. Once they're out (C'mon Oskar!) we'll know more about how useful this mode is in practice. As mentioned above by Pavel, Sea & Sea YS-250 Pros with their long burn time at full power allow for a sort of of pseudo-HSS, but these are also discontinued. With other strobes, including YS-D2s ,you can't sync any faster than allowed by your camera's shutter mechanism.
  13. A few points: Underwater, full frame is often more trouble than it's worth. The light-gathering advantage doesn't come into play much because most of the time, you're shooting stopped-down with strobes, and the thin depth of field doesn't play well with dome ports, requiring huge, heavy, unwieldy and expensive domes. Likewise for macro - in most situations, you want as deep a DoF as you can get, which does not exactly play into full-frame's strengths. Surf housings and dive housings are generally two separate markets. Surf housings with pistol grips tend to be built as lightly as possible so that you can hold them out of water for extended periods, but this restricts them to very shallow depths, as the light construction isn't so good at resisting water pressure. Conversely, dive housings tend to be much heavier than surf ones, so the manufacturers generally don't bother fitting them with surf-specific features. One exception is Meikon/SeaFrogs, who have a line of housings for Sony A6xxx and A7/A9 series (and an RX100 M3 through M6 model coming soon) that can take an optional pistol grip with trigger, but as can be expected, they're heavier than competing surf-specific offerings - my A6xxx model is about 1.4kg with just a basic flat port and no camera inside; approaching 3kg with camera, lens and dome. If you're serious about underwater photography, a good pair of strobes is a much better investment than just about any camera or lens. A cheap P&S with strobes will easily outperform the best DSLR that has to shoot in ambient light at 20-30 meters. Shooting stills and video in the same dive is a difficult proposition - not only do they require different gear (strobes for stills, constant lights for video), but more importantly, it's a whole different mindset when it comes to finding and framing your shots. Most people concentrate on one of the other.
  14. Yeah, but that last post there is dated April 5th, nearly three months ago. I'm sure I'm not the only one with an open preorder who would appreciate some newer info Incidentally, I'm going to the Philippines for three weeks of diving in October - having a pair of Retra Pros to take with me would be a nice bonus. Mind you, not having them wouldn't break my trip, as I have a pair of older strobes that I can take with me, but still, it'd be nice to have new toys to play with.
  • Create New...