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dougjgreen

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About dougjgreen

  • Rank
    Starfish

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Olympus E-P5 & Nikon J4
  • Camera Housing
    Miekon for Olympus, Nikon WP-N3 for J4
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    TBD
  • Accessories
    TBD
  1. Why is it "mentally difficult" to buy a camera that's a couple of years old when there is a new one out? The fact is, the inherent imaging quality of cameras has plateaued, and the sensors from 2016 are pretty much the same as the ones from newer cameras. New cameras may have some whizzier features, and possibly better high bandwidth video, but otherwise, there is very little difference in capability, other than, for a fixed sum of money, you can ALWAYS do better with a camera that is a few years old, than with a new one that sells for the same amount of money. Frankly, I am grateful for the psychology that you expressed, because it allows me to buy perfectly capable gear that's a few years old on the used market, for a small fraction of what new gear that is maybe a TINY BIT more capable costs. I agree with sbonev. Keep your camera - it's not the limitation on the results you are getting - and get a decent lighting rig.
  2. I have a radical suggestion - because it's a discontinued system: Nikon 1 - but because it is discontinued, some surprisingly good gear is available for incredibly low cost. The reason I like the stuff is that Nikon's housings for it are EXCELLENT, and they are currently being cleared out for dimes on the dollar. I recently got two different Nikon 1 rigs, camera + housing, for absurd prices, one for me, and one for my girlfriend: Nikon J4 with 10-30mm PD zoom or 18.5mm prime, with WP-N3 housing. Together, I paid $250 for this combination (although $350-400 is a more typical price). The housing is FAR superior to any comparably priced Meikon polycarbonate housing, as the controls are precise, and work perfectly. It's originally a $750 housing that I picked up for $115 brand new. The camera has some control quirks, but is capable of excellent results, with a good 1" sensor. These were $600 cameras before Nikon killed the system through incompetent marketing, and now can be picked up for $200 with lens (I actually paid $130 for mine, but I don't expect folks to be able to match that deal). Also, got a Nikon J2 with 10-30mm lens, for $125 and a lightly used WP-N1 housing for $52 bucks. New ones are going for $100-150. This housing was also a $750 high quality housing when new, and is the same quality as the WP-N3 I mentioned above. The camera is basically an earlier version of the same camera I described above. The quality of the housings, and the absurdly low prices they can currently be gotten for is what makes these rigs ideal. They are a noticeable cut above the TG-5 for photo capability. Quite comparable to a Canon or Sony 1" compact with housing, but for a fraction of the cost - but also with interchangeable lenses. You really can't do better in a camera + housing for under $400 than these rigs. The housings have access to all of the camera controls, including zoom ring (unlike the Meikons), and the controls are precise and functional, to a much higher degree of fit and finish and tolerance than the Meikon rigs. As for strobes, the housings have dual optical ports, and use the built-in flashes to fire slave strobes, so they'll work with pretty much any modern lighting rig. It's not going to give you Full Frame low light capability, but they ARE directly comparable to the 1" sensor rigs out there. And these rigs are FAR smaller than any Full Frame setup. For a sense of size, The housing + camera is about the same size and weight as a Full Frame DSLR WITHOUT the housing. Although you'll want to weight these rigs down to give them neutral buoyancy. People are talking about budgets in the $1500-3000 range, well these rigs are in the $300-400 range, excluding lighting. Even adding a good proper lighting setup and you're still going to be under $1K I should add that I have experience with a Meikon housing for my Oly E-P5, and Micro 4/3 is my main system for shooting on dry land. The quality and ergonomics advantages of these Nikon 1 housings relative to the Meikon base line of ~$200 housings is more than enough to justify the slight sacrifice in inherent camera image quality between Nikon One 1" sensors relative to Micro 4/3 gear.
  3. I'm going to suggest a genuine bargain methodology, with respect to getting quite decent housings, with quite decent cameras, that are extraordinarily inexpensive relative to the quality they offer: Both Nikon with their now discontinued Nikon 1 series, and Olympus with some of their older Micro 4/3 cameras, made some very good (as in, a notable cut above the Meikon rigs) housings for cameras that, while they are models which are a few years old, are perfectly competent low cost photography cameras. The housings, which, when they were current models, were $700-1200 items, but recently, you can find them on clearance for prices in the vicinity of $100-150. In particular, Nikon's WP-N1 (for the J1 and J2 camera), WP-N2 (for the J3 and S1 camera), and the WP-N3 (for the J4 and S2 camera) are excellent, and can easily be found brand new, for prices in the $100-200 range). These were originally $750 housings and they are built to that standard. Similarly, the Olympus PT-EP06 housing for the E-PM1 camera can easily be found on the secondary market for that same $100-200 range. In each case, I'd be suggesting getting a dedicated 2nd hand camera just to take advantage of the housing - but the cameras are currently incredibly inexpensive, yet quite competent mirrorless shooters. You can get a used E-PM1 body, as well as most of those Nikon 1 cameras, for something like $100 with little difficulty, and then get whatever lens fits the housing and your shooting preference. After carefully considering these alternatives, I picked up a Nikon WP-N3 housing, brand new, for under $125, and a Nikon J4 camera, with 10-30mm lens, for a similar amount. For $250, I got a highly competent rig, that was initially intended by Nikon to be a $1300 rig. I also got a secondary rig, with a similar WP-N1 housing, very lightly used, for $55, and a Nikon J1 camera with 10-30mm lens for $90. So for $400, I got TWO quality underwater housings, each having a dedicated camera and lens for my underwater shooting. I personally went the Nikon route, but I believe that the Olympus route would have been just about as good, at a similar cost. This ebay seller in Canada is selling multiples of this Olympus housing, with or without the E-PM1 camera included: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-PEN-E-PM1-camera-with-PT-EP06-underwater-housing-lot/192579688858?hash=item2cd6a4d99a:g:yusAAOSw0rNbMC-L https://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-PT-EP06-underwater-housing-for-the-PEN-E-PM1-camera/192579693004?hash=item2cd6a4e9cc:g:y2MAAOSwHlRbMDO9
  4. The recall is still active, and I suspect it always will be, because it's a safety (explosion) issue. Nowadays, Nikon is exchanging the SB-103 strobe heads for a $125 voucher on their website. I exchanged mine last week after being informed of it by another poster here. The issue with using SB-105s and most modern UW cameras and housings, is that they sync via fiber optics. So you need a separate optical in slave trigger that ignores pre-flashes, and outputs to a Nikonos 5-pin connector. Those components exist, but they are hard to find, and not mass produced by anyone, hence expensive.
  5. Any experience with Intova Px 21 flashes? I believe I could get a very cost effective setup using two of these strobes .
  6. I'm trying to figure out if there's any way to interface a modern housing for a mirrorless camera, who's only flash connector is two optical ports for the pop-up flash, to fire a Nikonos strobe as a slave (it's an SB-103, but the same gadget would work for any Nikonos strobe). I'm pretty sure that I could cobble something together that would work on dry land, that I could just tape in place, but does anyone have such a device that works underwater and securely mounts to an underwater flash and/or bracket?
  7. I've recently decided to get serious again about underwater photography, after a lengthy hiatus. The gear I used to use for underwater shooting is all long obsolete (Nikonos IVA and V cameras, with a Nikonos SB103 strobe). Currently, I shoot both M43 and Nikon 1 Mirrorless gear on dry land, and I have got a couple of underwater rigs that I can use: I have an Olympus E-P5 with a Meikon UW housing, and a Nikon J4 with a WP-N3 housing. I've had the cameras for a while, but just got the housings - both were startlingly inexpensive, so I decided to get both and sort out which one works best for me. The Olympus is a very fine camera, but the Meikon housing seems a bit clunky and non-intuitive to use. The housing will work with my 14mm f2.5 prime lens (28mm equivalent). The Nikon 1 rig based upon the J4 is clearly a less sophisticated camera, but the UW housing seems to be beautifully designed and elegant to use, with functionality that completely preserves all of the camera's (somewhat limited) controls. This housing will work with my 10-30mm f3.5~5.6 zoom (27-80mm) or my 18.5mm f1.8 prime lens (50mm equivalent). It vignettes - cuts off the corners of the frame, with my 10mm (27mm equivalent) prime. Anyways, which rig to use is not my main concern - I will sort through that over time. Really, my issue is how to I get beyond shooting in available light into a proper UW flash setup for the best quality, without breaking the bank. Both housings have optical ports that use the camera's built in strobe as a master, so I am looking for a reasonable flash setup that will operate as a slave through an optical connection. 1st of all, My Nikonos SB-103 still works, and I have all the mounting brackets for it,. so it would be awesome if I could still use this UW flash unit. I was wondering if there are any cable/adapter setups that can connect with a Nikonos 5-pin connector at the strobe, and to an optical slave trigger at the housing. If that won't work, Is there a good reasonably priced optically triggered slave strobe I could use? Nikon makes one for the N1 system, but it's exhorbitantly priced, at around $750 for the strobe itself, and another $300 or so for the brackets and the cabling. I'm looking for some sort of setup for lighting that I could cobble together for a few hundred bucks. I'm not concerned about TTL flash, I can deal with manually setting the exposure. 1st of all, My Nikonos SB-103 still works, and I have all the mounting brackets for it,. so it would be awesome if I could still use this UW flash unit. I was wondering if there are any cable/adapter setups that can connect with a Nikonos 5-pin connector at the strobe, and to an optical slave trigger at the housing. If that won't work, Is there a good reasonably priced optically triggered slave strobe I could use? Nikon makes one for the N1 system, but it's exhorbitantly priced, at around $750 for the strobe itself, and another $200 or so for the brackets and the cabling. I'm looking for some sort of setup for lighting that I could cobble together for a few hundred bucks. I'm not concerned about TTL flash, I can deal with manually setting the exposure.
  8. Hi, I'm Doug, from San Diego. I've recently decided to get serious again about underwater photography, after a lengthy hiatus. The gear I used to use is all long obsolete (Nikonos IVA and V cameras, with a Nikonos SB103 strobe). Currently, I shoot both M43 and Nikon 1 Mirrorless gear on dry land, and I have got a couple of rigs that I can use: I have an Olympus E-P5 with a Meikon UW housing, and a Nikon J4 with a WP-N3 housing. I've had the cameras for a while, and I just got the housings. The Olympus is a very fine camera, but the housing seems clunky and non-intuitive to use. The housing will work with my 14mm f2.5 prime lens (28mm equivalent). The Nikon 1 rig based upon the J4 is clearly a less sophisticated camera, but the UW housing seems to be beautifully designed and elegant to use, with functionality that completely preserves all of the camera's (somewhat limited) controls. This housing will work with my 10-30mm f3.5~5.6 zoom (27-80mm) or my 18.5mm f1.8 prime lens (50mm equivalent). It vignettes - cuts off the corners of the frame, with my 10mm prime. Anyways, I'll sort out which rig is going to be my main one for underwater shooting soon enough, but actually the reason I joined is to get much more information about underwater lighting rigs from folks who are knowledgeable about it. Both housings have optical ports that use the camera's built in strobe as a master, so I am looking for a reasonable flash setup that will operate as a slave through an optical connection.
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