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Everything posted by Barmaglot

  1. Again, you're taking test shots in air. This is absolutely irrelevant as far as underwater performance is concerned, because the dome acts as an additional lens element underwater. Imagine comparing two different teleconverters by taking shots without actually mounting them between the lens and the camera. Get your rig to a pool, or at least a bathtub, and compare in there.
  2. FA-LED3 is listed as a manual trigger, so I assume that it does not pre-flash. The Inon manual says this about ACC: So you need the magnet to put into the hole. Failing that, you can use the camera's pop-up flash to trigger instead of the FA-LED3; this will pre-flash and let the strobe fire on the second detected pulse. Also, I don't know whether or not the FA-LED3 allows you to exceed 1/160s shutter speed in camera settings (the pop-up flash doesn't, my UWT trigger does), but if you do set your shutter speed above 1/160s, you will get a partial exposure unless both your trigger and strobe support HSS (yours don't; you need a UWT or TRT trigger plus Retra strobes in HSS mode for that to work).
  3. Are you triggering with the camera flash or an LED board? Is the strobe magnet in or out?
  4. Thank you, that does sound encouraging. I'll be on the lookout for good deals on a used Metabones IV and a Canon 60mm. Looking at physical specs, those two together are about 35mm shorter than the Sony 90mm, so they should fit into the same port, albeit without the possibility of adding diopters.
  5. My trip is in November, so no great hurry Which adapter are you using?
  6. AFAIK the autofocus speed of A6300 with adapted lenses isn't brilliant (it's much better on the newer bodies like A6400 or A7RIV), but it'd be interesting to hear from someone who has the experience with that specific combination.
  7. If the lens front element is right up against the port glass, I would expect a reduced field of view, smeared corners and some pincushioning. Being this close to the glass, the effect should be close to a flat port. Here is a 45mm lens (16-50mm @ 30mm on APS-C) shooting through a dome (properly placed near its nodal point), and here is the same lens shooting through flat glass. The effect is more pronounced at wider FoVs, as you can see here for 16mm (24mm-equivalent) through dome, and here through flat glass. For a 35mm lens on full-frame, I would expect the distortion to be somewhere between these two examples. Just for the reference, this is the amount of distortion that a 15mm-equivalent (10mm on APS-C) lens experiences behind a flat glass port.
  8. Those are taken in air. With air on both sides of the glass, it does not modify the image aside from some very minor loss of sharpness and potential flare. It's when you place it underwater that different refraction indices come into play, and the dome starts acting as an additional lens element. If you google 'dome port theory', you'll find plenty of articles explaining the effect.
  9. Dunno, I was specifically cautioned against using diopters, what with how much everything moves around. Looking at Nauticam port chart (I use a SeaFrogs housing, but it shouldn't make a difference), working distance for CMC-2 with 16-50mm is listed as 69-121mm - just two inches of range. I don't have one of those fancy add-on viewfinders, so I'm using the screen to frame and focus, and I imagine that losing the ability to acquire a subject from a distance, then move in while keeping it in the field of view will make life that much harder. It's also more expensive than a SEL30M35, albeit not by much.
  10. I did a couple of blackwater dives with my Sony A6300 recently, and found that the 90mm (the only macro lens that I have) is somewhat too slow and prone to focusing on particles in the water, while the 16-50mm is fast, but doesn't have the needed macro capability - I could shoot the baby squids and jellyfish, but not much else. Between Sony 30mm f/3.5, Sony 50mm f/2.8 and Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8, which one would be the optimal choice? I was told by a D500 user that 60mm macro is the most optimal choice for them, but I haven't seen either of the Sony 50mm options being praised for speed, so I'm actually leaning towards the 30mm - it's small, relatively cheap, the comparably wide FoV should aid with subject acquisition, and focus should be snappy. Is there anything that I'm missing with this line of reasoning? I just signed up for a blackwater-focused liveaboard trip, and I want to be fully equipped before I head out
  11. I think you could put a bridge between the tray handles, over the housing, something like this, mount a lens dock in the middle and park the WWL-1 there when it's not in use.
  12. You could do the same long exposure on the camera, then trigger the strobe using a cell phone flash or something similar.
  13. Looks pretty good. Can you take a photo of its light pattern, in a way similar to this? https://www.retra-uwt.com/blogs/news/comparing-light-ouput
  14. Small note on clamps - I have a number of clamps similar to the ones you linked, and a pair of Ultralight clamps that I got in a store when my luggage got delayed, and the difference is quite significant. The Ultralight clamps grip better when tightened, and slide smoothly when loosened, allowing easy and precise strobe positioning without the whole setup flopping around. Cheap arms are fine, but quality clamps are worth the extra investment - I'm planning to replace all my remaining clamps with Ultralight ones before next trip. It's be nice to have a field report about the SF-01 strobe - I had a pair of ST-100 Pros and they were serviceable, but limited to TTL-only operation when triggered by fiber optics; I have since then sold them onwards. Hopefully the SF-01 is better in this regard.
  15. The electrical cords are somewhat bulky, expensive (the dual sync cord sold by SeaFrogs is $130, and that's as cheap as it gets), limit your strobe choices (for example, Retra flashes are optical-only) but most importantly, their connectors are sealed by o-rings and represent additional points where water can get in. The UWT board also gives you TTL capability, whereas direct connection via sync cord works only in manual mode. Specific to Sony full-frame cameras, UWT board also gives you higher maximum sync speed (1/250 vs 1/160) and if you use Retra flashes, you can do high-speed sync at speeds all the way up to 1/4000. Keep in mind that the UWT optical bulkhead has the triggering LED built in and requires the UWT board to function; it will not work on its own. You could try a DIY mod with a simple piece of acrylic replacing the electrical connector and the SeaFrogs flash trigger behind it, but I have no idea how well that would work, if at all.
  16. It's not exactly apples to apples comparison, but when I upgraded my SeaFrogs A6xxx housing from 6" to 8" dome, I took a series of comparison photos in a pool using 16-50mm and 10-18mm lenses (24-75mm and 15-27mm FF-equivalent). You can see them here. I highly recommend getting the vacuum kit, it has saved my camera numerous times. One time, I was staying at a house with a bunch of cats, sealed my housing in the morning, pumped it out, went to have breakfast and saw it start to flash red. Opened the door and found a tiny white cat hair on between the white o-ring and white plastic... the thing was maybe 3-4mm long and almost transparent, but it would've been enough to kill $2k worth of gear. Pavel at UW-Technics makes a flash trigger board for SeaFrogs housings that comes with a replacement bulkhead that allows you to use optical triggering with strobes instead of the electrical sync cords, but it's a $450 expense.
  17. No, the camera doesn't 'know' anything about the strobe - it calculates the strength of the main flash pulse to properly light the scene, and the strobe replicates it to the best of its ability. No, when you set the strobe on manual and enable ACC (magnet in, IIRC), then the camera pre-flash is ignored completely and the strobe fires on the main (second) flash emitted by the camera, at the strength that you set it to via the power adjustment knob.
  18. It's actually at 18mm rather than 10; this lens is what I believe is called a reverse telephoto type, and it extends as you zoom out rather than in, so it's at its longest when set to 10mm.
  19. You may also want to consider WWL-C rather than WWL-1/B, its target 24mm focal length is closer to the 16-50 than the WWL-1's 28mm, although you may still need to zoom in just a little bit to avoid vignetting - Nauticam's port chart specifies 17mm.
  20. The 16-50mm PZ extends when the camera is turned on and ends up basically the same length as the 10-18mm. I have a SeaFrogs Salted Line housing, and with the basic flat port, both lenses get very close to the glass. I can give you the exact measurements later today when I get home.
  21. I don't think you can fit a Retra LSD on an S2000; it is listed as compatible with Z-330, Z-240, D200 and D2000, all of which are considerably larger. Besides, the S2000 does not have a modeling light, so you'd be aiming it blindly. I believe 10Bar has a newer model with a laser that turns off when the strobe fires, but your best option is probably Backscatter MF-1+Snoot combo - you could sell the S2000 to offset its higher total cost.
  22. I tried that with UWT trigger and Retra Pros and couldn't get it to work. Maybe I need more practice. I've only done a couple blackwater dives so far, but I was using Retra Pros with reflectors and it was taking full power dumps to get proper illumination at ISO 800, although, to be fair, I was stopping down to f/36 for depth of field. Even with superchargers, that is not burst-friendly.
  23. How do you do focus stacking on a Sony camera? I've looked into it some time ago and couldn't find anything that didn't involve external devices that aren't practical for use underwater.
  24. It isn't too bad; I scrubbed away most of it and it doesn't appear to affect the functionality of the strobe. Worst comes to worst, I'll contact Retra about buying a replacement set of contact boards.
  25. Unfortunately it happens A few months ago, I was preparing to go diving next morning, so I set up my rig the day before, but when I woke up, I was running a 38.5C fever and a visit to a doctor confirmed dengue, which was followed by a bout of tonsillitis that required IV antibiotics to treat, so I got knocked on my ass for almost two weeks, during which my rig sat on a shelf, sealed, ready to dive. When I got better and opened it up, I found that at least one Eneloop Pro cell leaked electrolyte inside a brand new Retra Supercharger I took out the circuit board and cleaned it up as well as I could, but there's still an unsightly discoloration all over its insides.
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