Jump to content

Alex_Mustard

Super Mod
  • Content Count

    8579
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Alex_Mustard

  1. I see my name! I run plenty of underwater photography workshops during the year. More than my wife likes. I announce all my workshops via a newsletter, which you can sign up for here: http://www.amustard.com The newsletter basically lets you know that a new trip is open for bookings and the full details are live on my website. I do not advertise my workshops in adverts or on Facebook. They are only promoted through my website. This really helps in bringing a group of like-minded photographers together, which is essential for an enjoyable and productive shoot. My trips are mostly populated with photographers who have been before or by shooters who have been encouraged to join by a friend, who has been before. Because my workshops are popular, they regularly fill soon after I have sent out this announcement email. Once a trip is fully booked, it is marked so on my website (which is why they all look full). I don’t open trips for bookings as soon as I have planned them and reserved boats - because it means that my guests end up having deposits out for ages in advance. I usually open them 18-9 months before they happen. If you really like the sound of a particular trip, even if it is full, then it is always worth contacting the agent to be on the wait list, because cancellations almost always happen. Photo workshops, and indeed my workshops, aren’t for everyone and I have tried to share as much honest information about what they are like on my website. Read this before booking. My best advice is to ask opinions of people who have been on my workshops and find out if they are right for you. I would also add that many photographers run workshops and many are excellent, and some are not! So it is always worth asking around for opinions from photographers who have been on workshops and work out who are the good teachers and who are not. Finally, plenty of people have written articles about my workshops, this is the most recent one I have seen: https://www.henleyspiers.com/blog/2018/2/3/whats-it-like-on-an-alex-mustard-workshop Alex
  2. Downside of a dome: you can't use an accessory diopter with a flat port, you can easily scratch your expensive dome, you get less magnification, the lens does not focus quite so close. On the plus side you get a 33% greater angle of coverage (I often use this combo when shooting larger macro subjects - e.g. octopuses on muck dives). You also get corners free from Chromatic Aberrations - which are very noticeable in fine detail when using the Nikon 60mm AF-S G behind a flat port. Most people don't worry about this - because the important subject matter isn't in the corners - but if you look at your images you will see it. This is an example of a very standard image shot with 60mm and curved port (unprocessed direct from camera): Here is the corner detail - screen grab from lightroom. See how all the detail is well defined right to the corner. This is the advantage of a curved port. This is a typical corner frame crop from a flat port shot with a 60mm, which shows all the detail is smeared by CA. Of course - most of the time this does not matter as the main subject is rarely in the corner of the frame! I use both. The flat port most of the time. A curved port (a small section of a larger dome - not a mini dome) when I value greater angle of coverage and/or specifically want those perfect corners. Alex
  3. I normally avoid discussions about specific strobes, because I think light is the most crucial thing in photography (I know how valuable having exactly the light I want has been to my career). And the right quality of light is far more valuable than the quantity. However there are no measurable specs for quality - so photographers argue about the measurable specs. However, I know what light I want and need and that informs my strobe choices. ------------ I shot a pair of Inon Z330 strobes on a trip to Cayman in January. That trip persuaded me to get the Retras (although I haven't got them yet). But I would add that both strobes are a significant step on from the previous generation strobes like the Z240 and D2. On that trip I used the Z330s most of the time (as I had used the Retras before and had a good knowledge of their performance) - which is how I assessed them, but did one dive with one of each strobe to compare them in a single shot to share. This shot is not what I based my own conclusions on - but it is consistent with them. This is the comparison shot of the two strobes (that I posted on Facebook at the time) - screen grab from Lightroom: Quotes from that post"Comparison of coverage and quality of light between single Inon Z330 strobe (left) and single Retra flash (right). This is not a comparison of strobe power - I did other tests for that. The Inon was slightly ahead on strobe power, but that may be because the diffuser is does not spread that light as wide. Both strobes are considerably stronger and have more coverage than an old Z240. Do consider that both strobes have done very well in lighting a large wide angle scene, shot into the sun, with just one strobe, which is very impressive. These were both shot on about 50% power. Taken with Nikon D5 and 8-15mm fisheye @ 15mm, f/11 @ 1/320th, ISO 400." "The difference between the strobes was immediately obvious testing them together. With diffusers attached, the Inon is about 1/3 stop more powerful than the Retra. I did the tests with diffusers on because you'd always use them that way for wide angle. This difference is almost entirely down to the difference in the diffusers. The Z330 currently feels a bit unfinished and rushed to market. It needs a better diffuser - one that spreads the beam a little better and warms the light (it is currently way too cool - and you can't add gels because of the domed front)." and "Strobe manufacturers like to quote Guide Numbers - which is the most useless information there is. This is because the guide number is inversely proportional to how wide the strobe beam is set to be. If you want a high guide number, simply make a narrower beam. Easy. Unfortunatlely the best light for lighting wide angle scenes in clear water is wide and soft - so that it illuminates the subject naturalistically, without eyecatching burned-out hotspots and harsh shadows. Some manufacturers do quote angle of coverage - which is good. But again it is not the best statistic. What is more important than how wide the beam is - is how much of a fall off of light is there from the centre to the edge. Two strobes might both have a quoted 120˚ coverage, but in one, after 90˚ there is only 20% of the light remaining. In the other there is 70% remaining. The second example will be easier and more flattering to use." Quotes from that post"Comparison of coverage and quality of light between single Inon Z330 strobe (left) and single Retra flash (right). This is not a comparison of strobe power - I did other tests for that. The Inon was slightly ahead on strobe power, but that may be because the diffuser is does not spread that light as wide. Both strobes are considerably stronger and have more coverage than an old Z240. Do consider that both strobes have done very well in lighting a large wide angle scene, shot into the sun, with just one strobe, which is very impressive. These were both shot on about 50% power. Taken with Nikon D5 and 8-15mm fisheye @ 15mm, f/11 @ 1/320th, ISO 400." "The difference between the strobes was immediately obvious testing them together. With diffusers attached, the Inon is about 1/3 stop more powerful than the Retra. I did the tests with diffusers on because you'd always use them that way for wide angle. This difference is almost entirely down to the difference in the diffusers. The Z330 currently feels a bit unfinished and rushed to market. It needs a better diffuser - one that spreads the beam a little better and warms the light (it is currently way too cool - and you can't add gels because of the domed front)." and "Strobe manufacturers like to quote Guide Numbers - which is the most useless information there is. This is because the guide number is inversely proportional to how wide the strobe beam is set to be. If you want a high guide number, simply make a narrower beam. Easy. Unfortunatlely the best light for lighting wide angle scenes in clear water is wide and soft - so that it illuminates the subject naturalistically, without eyecatching burned-out hotspots and harsh shadows. Some manufacturers do quote angle of coverage - which is good. But again it is not the best statistic. What is more important than how wide the beam is - is how much of a fall off of light is there from the centre to the edge. Two strobes might both have a quoted 120˚ coverage, but in one, after 90˚ there is only 20% of the light remaining. In the other there is 70% remaining. The second example will be easier and more flattering to use." ​That said, the deal breaker for me with the Z330 is that I could not use it for inward lighting (p122-123 and p152-153 of my book) - because it does not have a sharp edge to the beam to exploit. So the decision was actually reasonably easy. Alex
  4. Hi Jordi, The main reason for the higher apertures in many of my shots is photographic. I guess it comes down to the fact I am using the lens now, not testing it, so I am selecting apertures based on what is appropriate, rather than what would test the ability of the lens. Most of the images I have shot recently are in bright, shallow conditions and I am close to the subjects (so I have lots of flash). The small size of the WACP is advantageous in such situations compared with a big dome. Also when I am close focusing on a subject (such as the turtles) I needed to use a small aperture (not for corner sharpness, but for adequate depth of field). This is something that you need to consider with both the WACP and the RS-13mm. Also, after last summer I returned the WACP to Nauticam and I am waiting for my own one to be ready (I just heard that it is). Since I still had an pre-production prototype of the WACP at home (much smaller and not as good as the final WACP, but still better than a dome port) I used that lens in Mexico, Florida and have it with me on my current trip. If the official WACP is 2-3 stops ahead of a dome, the prototype is about 1.5 stops (both have the same field of view). So I would use my more recent images as a guide to the types of shots that the WACP, rather than a measure of quality - as the production WACP is better. Finally, although the 28-70mm f/3.5-f/4.5 is an old lens - it is a sharp one. Also it is actually has a faster aperture than the 16-35mm, which is f/4 (although it isn't AF-S). For wide angle subjects I don't find the AF a limitation. Alex
  5. There are more example shots from WACP on my website now - to show how it can be used. I have over 100 up there now, they are sorted chronologically, so newest are first: http://www.amustard.com/library/page/search/%2228.0%22/ If the link does not work - search for: 28.0 which brings up pictures taken with 28mm lenses (or 28-70mm) which is covers my use of the WACP. Currently away shooting in the Indian Ocean - and expected to use the lens a lot (although it will be a while before I process, keyword and caption the best shots from this trip to add to my website). Alex
  6. One thing to watch with XQD is compatibility between cards and readers. The card reader that came with my D5 is for G Series cards and won't read my older cards from D4 which are H series. Something to be aware of if buying secondhand cards. There is no issue with using these cards in any of the cameras. I don't know what the M stands for on the lefthand card below (but it does work with the G series card reader) Alex
  7. I've always used the second slot as overflow. The main use, however, is when I forget to put the first card back in after downloading. So I have a rule to never take out the second card, so it is always ready for mistakes!
  8. I have three friends with red ones. Don’t know anyone with a yellow one.
  9. Subal are currently working hard to deliver D850 housing orders and they are completing housings every day at the moment. They shared this special edition for Nikon 100 Years for a special customer yesterday on Facebook. Alex
  10. On my pump (with a pretty dodgy gauge) the pressure required to get a green light on a brand new Nauticam housing was -0.3 Bar. On that housing for the OM-D EM-10 Mk3 that is about 3-4 pumps. On my Nikon D5 housing when using a 230 dome that is about 20 pumps to get the green light! Alex
  11. Retra did test their strobes with the board in the Nauticam D5 housing in the summer. However, I think that there is a new version of the board now because that board would not fire at all Seacam strobes. I think that the Seacam problem is fixed now with the Nauticam housing for the D850 - although I am sure Pavel can confirm. Alex
  12. These are tests from Nauticam showing the image quality achieved by lens in air and behind different dome ports underwater. All ports (when in water) significantly reduce image quality towards the edges of the frame. But the bigger the port, the less this happens. As photographers we overcome this problem by closing the aperture. A smaller dome port is more versatile, but for the best image quality I would not go too small on dome ports. While the <180mm domes work well with the fisheye, the optimum corner sharpness comes at f/14-f/16 range. However, with a camera with the resolution of the D850, these aperture are not best for optimum center of frame resolution (because diffraction limits the maximum resolution achievable). A big dome 230mm ( allows you to shoot a little more open f/11-f/13) and therefore get a better compromise between center frame and edge of frame max resolution underwater. The attraction of a RS-13mm fisheye is that it does not have the port effect seen in the graph above. Giving it a wider range of useable apertures (and attractively for those with high resolution cameras) the ability to achieve more center frame resolution because the impact of diffraction can be minimised. Alex
  13. If you want to see examples from each you can use the Search tool on my website http://www.amustard.com/image-search/ Type 13.0 for images with RS-13 Type 28.0 for images with WACP The pictures are in chronological order with the most recent first (not necessarily the best examples of the lenses)! Also note that the 28.0 search actually picks up the 28-70mm lens - and therefore the older images (page 6 onwards are not with the WACP). Alex
  14. Sorry for the slow reply - I have only just spotted this post. I would definitely suggest a read of my article about this is FREE UWP Magazine (Issue 100) - the cover of which is taken with a WACP!: http://www.uwpmag.com Perhaps most important to state, I don’t see these two as an either/or - both are fisheyes - but they do not cover the same range of field of view at all. The RS-13 is a 175˚ fisheye. The WACP (with a 28-70) is a 130-57˚ fisheye. Of course, given that both are expensive, many consider this an either/or question - but that is a financial issue, not a photography one! Which is more useful comes down more to what you mainly shoot. I use the RS13 much more than the WACP on average, but on some trips (shooting big animals) I use the WACP more. I’ll add more in a second - just going to bring the article up to copy and paste some text!! Alex This is the start of the article:
  15. Just to clarify, I am only taking the Inon strobes (from Adam) with me to the Cayman Islands next week. But I am pretty sure that photographers in my workshop group have the Retras (I know one has them on order and is hoping that they make it in time), so we can probably do some back to back tests. Alex
  16. I don't have any insight at all - everything I know about this I have learned from this thread. My feeling is that this is probably not a big deal - and although sounds dramatic is probably just how they will restructure their business. I says people might loose deposits - but I am not sure if anyone is actually affected by this. Whenever I have ordered a housing, I have paid when I have got it - not given a deposit first. I think that Subal have already machined their housings in Serbia for a few tears. And this suggests that they will probably now completely build them there - rather than assemble in Steyr. I guess that they want to be thought of as Subal Austria - so don't talk about this in their release. It also seems very sensible to have a main showroom/operations in Vienna - which is much more accessible than the remote Steyr. While keeping the experienced service staff operating in Steyr is probably sensible too, rather than asking them to move to Vienna. Hopefully Subal will release a bit more information to answer specific concerns from customers. even though the BOOT show is just a few weeks away now - when people will be speak to them face to face. Alex
  17. So far the emphasis has been testing the WACP philosophy and I am sure that in the coming months as more people have a chance to shoot it - we will get better information on the best lenses to use. Alex
  18. I am not really involved in the Sony mirrorless community, but I am sure lots of people have shot that. I have seen Cheungy Diver shooting the WWL-1 and 28mm back in 2015. Alex
  19. I couldn't get the WWL-1 to mount close enough to my lens to use it with Nikon with 28-70mm (this was 18 months ago): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156695440455713&set=pb.796325712.-2207520000.1507125929.&type=3&theater The WACP is the solution for this failed attempt! Alex
  20. But with the Sony setup you will be limited to only 130˚ with the WWL-1 or the WACP. You still need a 180˚ fisheye. Also while it is possible to shoot splits with the WWL-1, it is not advisable - as there is water in front and behind it to contend with. Again you want a fisheye and normal dome for that.
  21. Hopefully the WACP will get much more testing soon - I don’t think the WACP has been tested on a Sony yet. During the development of the WACP, I shot a prototype version in the Red Sea that was half way between the WWL-1 and the WACP. On my Nikon this was about a stop better than a dome and a stop worse than the the final WACP. So maybe this is a guide for now. Alex
  22. I have shot both underwater. The 16-35mm performs well underwater, the 14-24mm does work, just not quite as well. I have made 100s of dives with 16-35mm, I have never bought a 14-24mm. Alex
  23. In comparison to the two RS lenses the WACP is a very useful addition with a 28-70mm. RS 13mm - FOV 170 degrees WACP + 28-70mm - FOV 130-57 degrees RS 20-35mm - FOV 68-42 degrees (from what I understand) Although if you owned the WACP you could easily use a longer lens behind it to cover the whole range of the RS 20-35mm. Alex
×
×
  • Create New...