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Barmaglot last won the day on September 20

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About Barmaglot

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  1. LED lights are much, much less powerful than strobes - by several orders of magnitude, as tests show; a Sea & Sea YS-D2 has a prompt output in the area of a million lumen. I started with two Archon D36V lights (2x the output of your D34R, times two lights) and found that in daylight, they didn't make much difference outside macro ranges. Switching to twin strobes - and cheap, fairly crappy SeaFrogs ST-100 strobes at that - immediately produced an improvement in image quality much greater than any camera upgrade could have achieved. Putting good strobes on your TG-5 is the fastest path to better photos.
  2. About a year and a half ago, I got a package of wheel balance weights on Amazon and glued about a pound's worth to the back of my dome - they come on sticky pads so nothing extra is needed. Not a single one has loosened so far, and 7 grams per weight allow for fine-tuning of buoyancy and trim.
  3. That's either local or new. I flew Qatar Airlines to Philippines in October (from Israel, so one extra connection in Athens and Larnaca on the way out and back respectively) and nobody batted an eye at my 15kg carryon backpack or 32kg checked bag.
  4. Honestly, it isn't that complicated... Looking through my A6300 menus, I have, among those that are relevant: Quality: RAW - there is no real reason to shoot JPEG underwater Drive mode: single - can't really shoot bursts with strobes and pop-up flash, maybe with a LED trigger and low power Flash mode: rear curtain sync Focus mode: DMF for macro, AF-C for wide-angle Focus area: Center AF illuminator: Off AF drive speed: Fast AF track sens: High ISO: 100 for macro, auto 100-800 for wide-angle Metering mode: Center White balance: Auto SteadyShot: On Zebra: Off - it's useful for video, kind of useless for stills with strobes Grid line: Rule of 3rds Auto review: 2sec - wish there was a 1sec option Peaking level: low for macro, off for wide-angle Peaking color: yellow Live view display: Setting Effect OFF - this is important, as if you turn it on, camera will focus with aperture at your set setting rather than wide open. With it off, it will let it maximum light for focusing, and close the aperture as you take the shot. Priority set in AF-S: AF Priority set in AF-C: Balanced emphasis AF w/shutter: On, but I use a trigger extension. If you want to use back-button focus, this goes to off. Exp.comp.set: Ambient & Flash Monitor brightness: Sunny weather Power save start time: 1 min As far as shooting goes, I keep it in manual mode, f/8-f/13 for wide-angle with 10-18mm or 16-50mm, f/11-f/16 for macro with 90mm, f/22 for supermacro with 90mm and +13 close-up lens, 1/160 shutter most of the time, a bit slower if I want a brighter blue background. Sometimes I play with flash compensation a bit if I feel that TTL isn't doing the best job. Display mode is almost always the electronic level; it makes a very handy reference. I shoot with both hands on tray handles, triggering via an extension on the right side. Don't really push buttons much while diving; right hand only really leaves the tray handle to adjust aperture via top knob or shutter speed via rear knob.
  5. The M43 equivalent of that new Sony lens would be 12-41mm f/2 - where is that lens sold, and what domes/extensions/gears support it? Yes, there is the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8, but the APS-C counterpart of that is Zeiss 16-70mm f/4, which has been available for about six years now, and is supported by pretty much all housing manufacturers.
  6. I'm not a Nauticam user, but I thought that N85 stood for 85mm diameter of the port mount? The 16-55mm f/2.8 is not that big around - spec sheet has it at 73mm, which is barely larger than 10-18mm's 70mm, and smaller than 90mm's 79mm. As far as housing it goes, I'd be a lot more worried about the significant distance it extends to zoom - going by the photos, it looks like it goes from 100mm collapsed to something like 150mm extended, which has major ramifications on both flat and dome ports. At the very least, you'd need a much larger dome than 4.33" to keep it from bumping into the glass when extended and/or vignetting when collapsed.
  7. Last trip, I was carrying 24x18650 for lights, 16xAA for strobes, a spare battery for the camera and a powerbank containing 6x18650, all in my carryon. Eight flights in total, no issues.
  8. To the best of my knowledge, the regulations are: Li-ion batteries must be carried in the carry-on. The idea is, if one catches fire, it can be noticed and dealt with in the cabin, as opposed to the cargo hold. The batteries must be protected from shorting out. If you're flying with loose 18650/26650 cells, get plastic boxes to hold them. Maximum capacity battery pack allowed on board ins 99 watt-hours. This presents a problem with some of the larger video lights that come with humongous battery packs. Loose cells or multiple packs exceeding 99Wh in total are not a problem.
  9. Yes, the 10-18mm is constant f/4. Dome is eight inches.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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