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About berickf

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  1. Thanks so much Stephen, I found your updated article for what the pros use very useful. And your article that outlined the premium gear specifications depending on which lens you were to choose is very interesting as well. I like the analytical side to it, not quite as speculative as the "pros" choices. Now it would be nice to think that one day I would have the Seacam housing and ports to make use of this data, but I fear that I'm going to end up geting something more on the consumer level seeing as I'm not a pro and don't know if I could ever work the Seacam housing into my budget? Is there any such compolation of similiar data for Aquatica or Ikelite housings with this same list of lenses? Or perhaps if you are still feeling scientific, you can borrow those housings as well and create complete data tables for all housings/ports... and camera bodies, if you were feeling particularily benevolent and wanted to create an amazing resource for the photographic diving community. I have a feeling that your primary concern was for your own knowledge though, and not mine and others in my shoes. So I'll have to start saving! Thanks again, Erick
  2. In another thread I was recommended to read an article that was form June 2004, I think, and it was a list of the different gear that professional underwater photographers used. Since they all had ff cameras, the EF-S lenses were not a choice. For their ultra wide (weitwinkel) angle, most seemed to use a 12-24, which I assume is the Tokina lens? Of course with the difference between crop and ff being that of crop cameras having a reduced WA effect, I might really notice that 2mm on the wide end? Many also had either the 17-40 or the 16-35 as well. I really wish that Canon had a EF (L) version of the 17-55 f/2.8 IS, then my choice would be easy, but it seems like Canon purposely designs lenses in such away that it is nearly impossible to create a complete lens set that can take care of a wide variety of purposes, and always leaves one needing another! I guess that is good for Canon's sales, but oh so frustrating! Ideally I want a lens which is good for big fish/shark dives, and since that is the same focal length on a crop camera that one would like for an event lens, I would like it to have a f/2.8 for low light conditions, finally, because I'm moving to Kenya in a year and a half it would be a good thing if the lense ad some level of weather sealing... hence the EF 17-55 f/2.8L IS would be my dream lense, and I would be happy to find $1400 to pay for it if it existed... but it doesn't exist. The 16-35 is too wide (for portraight shots at events), the 17-40 is too slow to be a good indoor lens all the time, although it would be a great walk around for tighter environments, and at $590, after rebate, it has been very difficult to resist this lens in search of one that would be better for indoor conditions. I know that I intend on doing mostly outside photography, but in Kenya there also seems to be a wedding, a funeral or a church event every couple of weeks, and it would be nice to be able to shoot it without distracting the service with a flash! As for the recommendation of the 60mm macro. I intend to get it in one year, as well as a fisheye... either a prime fisheye, or the 10-17 Tokina fisheye if it reviews well over this next year, but at right this moment I'm trying to solve a different dilema. I think that the EF-S 17-55 is my only choice given the uses I want this lens choice to fullfill, unfortunately, mostly because of it not being weatherproofed. When I make the move to ff, I intend on keeping my old camera anyways so that I can teach my wife/children how to do photography when I'm not using it as a back up, so the fact that the lenses are EF-S will be a bit annoying, in that I'll have to find appropriate ff replacements for myself, but I will be able to keep the EF-S lenses for the crop camera. So it will reduce my flexibility, but would not be the end of the world. When I make the move to ff in 3-5 years, I'll assume that I have saved up some money and since full frame will make all my lenses wider I'll also pick up the 24-70 f/2.8L for indoor events, the 17-40 f/4L for future use underwater for big fish/shark dives and a big prime like the 400 or the 500 to make up for my telephoto losses by moving to ff. Then I'll still have my 24-105 and 70-200 f/2.8 IS as good general walk arounds for either camera. I'll still use the crop as my underwater lens for a couple years, then I'll get a housing for the ff eventually and hope to teach my children Scuba and underwater photography down the road... but that is a long ways away. My oldest is only 2! By the time I get my cameras/housings this far he'll only be 10 at the most, so he could be learning photography by then, but I doubt that he'd be ready to take it diving just yet. So that is the long term plan! I'm sure that you all wanted to hear it.. NOT But at least I have put you inside my head so that you can help me solve my dillema, while knowing how I'm tackling this dillema. Thanks all, Erick
  3. Hey Luiz, I have been reading the reviews concerning the Nikon AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8G lens, and it is really a nice lens. I have never looked much beyond Canon lenses before save for the odd Sigma, Tamron or Tokina that someone recommended to me as a third party lens. Does it have a Canon compatible mount? Would it work with the 30D? I see that there is a $40 dollar rebate on it right now, making it $1160, and unlike most Canon lenses, it comes with a lens hood and a 5 year warranty... So not much difference from the Canon 17-55 at $1040 without the hood and 1 year warranty. I like that it is weather sealed, because that is the biggest drawback to the Canon 17-55 in my books! Of course I'd loose IS, but not a big deal at these focal lengths... I have a sneaking suspicion that Canon and Nikon are not compatible though... I'm right aren't I? If so, that is just evil to point me at something that I can not even get! Erick
  4. Hey Bart, I found both of these lenses reviewed on lensplay, but could only find the Sigma on Fredmiranda? I don't know why they didn't have the Tamron, but you are right, the Sigma had a terrible review! I don't know if the "macro" version will review any better, but I'm not waiting that long before I buy my new toys anyways! I don't know what it is, but the more reviews I read, the more prone to wanting Canon lenses. It seems that whoever gets Canon reports the good side, and usually the worst thing they have to say about a particular lens is "price" as the most heavilly reported con... but I'd personally rather pay more for a quality product that will let you do most of what you try to do then to pay less and not be able to take shots with certainty that they will turn out. As for the 60mm macro, I was thinking of getting some extension tubes for the time being to do some macros, and then when I go to get my housing, hopefully I'll have saved up $1,500 more over the next year to get a few of the little primes as well, including the 60mm macro at that time, so it is in the books, I want to get the Tokina 10-17 as well then, if it reviews well, but that is a year from now! For now I'm puzzling over my current dilema? have you ever used a 16/18-35/55 lens underwater? Curious to hear your personal opinion on any of them? Thanks for your ideas, Erick
  5. So you have the Nikon AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8G? Which looks to be very similiar to the Canon lens that I'm interested in! Have you used it under the waves as well on a few select dives? Did you like the way it performed underwater as well? I already know that either the one that you have, or the one that I'm interested in will be magnificent topside, but how is it to shoot underwater? Do you have a ff camera or a crop? Thanks a lot, Erick
  6. Alright, I don't mean to flog a dead horse, but I have to throw this question out again, because it continues to nag at me regarding my choice of lenses. I also know that most of you underwater guys probably have ff cameras and can not even answer this question. So please, any crop guys out there... have you ever used the EF-S 17-55 underwater for a shark dive or something in that nature? How did it perform? Better yet, have you used a 17-40 as well, and how did the 17-55 compare to that as an underwater zoom lens? I know that James can't help me on this one because he has never used the 17-55, so can anyone out there that has experience with this lens give me a helping hand! The only reason why I'm still nagging away on this issue is because the 17-40 will have so much redundancy with my walkaround 24-105 land lens, where as the smaller aperture of the 17-55 will open up a whole new world to me by giving me a good low light availability lens for above water use? But, how does it do underwater? Keep in mind that I'm already getting either the Canon 10-22 or Tokina 12-24 as my WA lens for general use underwater, so the 17-55 or 17-40 would only be for very select dives and I'm not planning on using it as my primary underwater lens. I was thinking either the: 1) Tokina 12-24, Canon EF-S 17-55 and Canon 50 f/1.8 = $1610 No Rebates 2) Canon EF-S 10-22, Canon 17-40, Canon 28 f/1.8 and Canon 50 f/1.8 = $1690 After Rebates 3) Canon EF-S 10-22 and Canon EF-S 17-55 = $1690 After Rebates 4) Canon EF-S 10-22, Canon 17-40, Canon 20 f/2.8 and Canon 50 f/1.8 = $1710 After Rebates or 5) Tokina 12-24, Canon 17-40, Canon 20 f/2.8 and Canon 50 f/1.4 = $1710 After Rebates with options 1 and 3 having a good above water, low light availability lens for indoor events like weddings, church events, or theater events, where as 2, 4 and 5 omit this flexible lens and try and make up for it through some combination of primes. But the root of any of these equations will stem from the comparrison between the 17-40 or 17-55 as a "lesser used" zoom capable lens for dives where some distance might be in effect between myself and my targets? Thanks for the help! Erick
  7. Hey Paul, I have already been trying to wiggle that spanner loose! I saw the thread, and followed the links, for that 10-17 fisheye lens. It is a very intriguing lens, especially for underwater use, but I think that it might be a bit too much of an "extreme"... yet fun lens, for use above the waves. It is definitely on my list of lenses to get as I gear up more towards underwater photography, but I think that for the time being I'm going to learn on the 10-22 for my Ultra WA, before I start bending light to do 180s! You can see on my previous thread that I was questioning if this lens was a good option for the pros, or if they'd sooner stick with their fixed fisheyes? Over the next year if that lens gets some good reviews from underwater pros, it will definitely become one at the top of my list. Thanks for the spanner, Erick
  8. Hey Jim, That was an interesting article. I even noticed that the 17-40 was recommended by Stephen if he was restricted to "one lens" While a couple others used the 16-35. Then, even though the ff cameras that they all use get more out of the wide angle aspect of the lenses, most also had a 12-24 in their lens list. (revisiting the original question of my thread) I think that they all had a 10.5mm, 15mm or 16mm fisheye. I wonder if any of the pros will opt for the new Tokina 10-17mm fisheye to get some flexibility within that range, or if they will all just stick with the fixed lenses? They also had many small primes, which I intend on researching as part of camera accessories phase two... in about a year. As expected, Ikelite was not a favourite housing, but they did seem to like the strobes offered by Ikelite. I imagine that the housings that they choose cost a fortune and I don't think I'm ready to try and jump into their league, by any means, so when the time comes I think that I will try to keep the cost of my initial housing, ports and strobe needs within the $2000-$3000 range, although I will maintain some flexibility in the event that I can recognize a significant jump in operational capabilities at a marginal price increase, so, again when the time comes I won't make that $3000 ceiling too rigid if I can justify the increase... Much like I have already done with choosing my camera and lenses so far! I think that when it is all added up I will have already have broken my budget by about $1000... another reason why I'm not willing to move up to the 5D at this juncture. Again, thanks for the article. Erick
  9. My reasoning is this, When I first wanted to get a DSLR I quickly realized that the body was more the medium of the art (like water colour vs oil in painting) where as your lenses are the brushes that one chooses to use. Unfortunately, in the world of serious photography one's gear is costly, and when working on a budget, compromises have to be made. With the gear I want to get right now, my budget is stretched so if I wanted to pay $1,250 more (after double rebate) and get the 5D then it would force me to make the decision between downgrading my lenses or not getting the full complement of lenses that I have decided on getting. Now, for myself, I really would not consider compromising my lens choices. Even if I'm starting off doing water colour painting, at least I know that I'm laying it down with brushes that are fine haired enough to allow me to paint with detail and that, so long as I take care of my them, won't start losing their bristles. The other option would be to compromise the range that I cover with the lenses and not get either the 70-200, the 24-105 or both the 10-22 and the 17-40. This would be akin to learning oil painting now, but not bringing all the brushes that I need to learn all the aspects of the art. My compromise has been in the medium, I've choosen to start off doing 1.6x cropped watercolour, and will go to class with a lot of nice brushes to learn with. I know, there will be a whole new learning curve when I move on to full framed oil paintings, but I hope by then I will have a pretty good grasp of how to use the entire range effectively and can make the jump effectively. When money counts, something has to give... unfortunately. I hope that this made some sense, Even I'm starting to wonder what I just wrote? Thanks again, Erick
  10. Hey James, One more thing keeps eating away at me, that being the need to have a good max aperature for low light conditions on land, like for indoor shots. I already figure that with my budget already chewed up I'll just settle on the cheap solution of throwing in the 50mm f/1.8 into my package for now to tide myself over for the time being until I figure out a better solution. That was one reason that the 16-35 did have some appeal to me originally, but since it is not said to be the greatest lens for underwater use I have scraped it off the list. One other option that I want to know your opinion on though is the Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS. I know that this lens does not have an Ikelite port that it can fit into at this time, but I was wondering, is it compatible with the A30D housing and port? You mentioned that that housing uses a one port fits all theory, and I just wanted to see if this lens was included in that theory. So how does the 17-55 rate for underwater use? It is a tragedy that this lens is an EF-S though, because I think that this fact virtually rules it out as a contender within my initial package because my wife doesn't want $1000+ hand me downs, plus this year there is no rebate on this lens. But if you or anyone else could give me the heads up on the utility of this lens for underwater use as a replacement for subjects that would otherwise have been for the 17-40, that would be really appreciated. You know, just to give me a little more to agonize over Thanks again for all your help, Erick
  11. Hey James, Yes that was an interesting "3rd rate outfit" experience. But a good learning experience and now I'm no worse for the wear. I will go with one of the many companies recommended throughout those threads now that I have learned the ropes. Luckily that experience got me to go on these forums, so I'm actually better off from the experience when you look at it in a practical light because I have been given so much great advice. So I guess if you have read those threads you know that I eventually decided upon the 70-200 f/2.8 IS w/ 1.4x extender when needed for telephoto and the 24-105 f/4 IS for my walk around as my "land lenses". And, now with your help I believe that I have settled on the 17-40 f/4 and the 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 to round out the full zoom range (Canon over Tokina for the extra two mm of focal range since they are optically equivalent) and this should have me covered when I make the "dive" into underwater photography as well! Once I get the hang of the camera I'll work my way back up from the shorter focal lengths to the longer with a collection of primes to fill out my underwater and macro selections and if I want to get beyond the 200mm w/ 1.4x then I'll really have to fork out a lot of $ because, quite frankly, I didn't like the way that the 100-400 reviewed when dusty conditions are taken into consideration (Kenya is very dusty), and those high focal length primes become really expensive! So those will have to wait a couple of years at least because I have to save up for my underwater housing first, because it is very obvious that these lenses and the 30D body are going to suck me dry! Maybe in 3-4 years I'll look into a new body and hand the 30D over to my wife, then because she is scared of lenses that cost over $1000 I'll leave her with the 10-22, and get her the inexpensive 17-85 and 70-300 IS. Then I might pick up the tokina for myself to replace the loss of the 10-22, but there might be all kinds of new options for both of those lens kits (mine and hers) come that juncture? So I'll have to start my homework all over again! Thanks again for all your help, Erick Hey Mike, I would be getting the 17-40 primarily as a topside WA that is not extreme like the 10-22 can be, but I also like that it can be used effectively underwater, so while it would not be my main underwater lens, it could be useful in some circumstances. For instance, as mentioned in some threads, as a lens for shark or manta dives where I might not be getting as close to the action as I might like to, or need to to effectively use the 10-22. I also like the aspect of having both for reasons of upgradability in the future which I covered in my previous post in this thread. I hope that addresses your question adequately. Erick
  12. Ok, thanks so much James you are really helping me come to a decision here. I have another question. Earlier you said: Here's my recommendation in terms of both price and use: 1) Sigma 10-20 or Tokina 12-24 2) Canon 10-22 If I am not concerned about the $160 price difference between the Canon with the Sigma or Tokina lenses, and am only concerned about the best glass available for the purpose of WA zoom underwater, then which is the best pick for my future 30D? Still the same order, or would a "quality of picture" priority criteria shuffle it up a bit? Also take into consideration that I intend on getting the 17-40 as well at this point, so there will be some overlap at the high end, and I don't care about limiting myself by getting EF-S if I ever decided to upgrade to ff, because I would have the 17-40 and my wife can inherit all the 30D gear that wouldn't be able to be used on the upgrade body. Thanks again for your patience with my endless questions. Erick
  13. Thanks a lot James, I will definitely take your and Jim's recomendation of the A30D over the Ikelite when the time comes to choose my housing. You make some good and valid points. Would you say that the Ikelite is built with "controls [that] just stick out wherever is easiest to build", or is the comparison much closer then this assumption would leave me to believe? I have no experience with either so I hope that this is not a dumb question? Did my homework regarding your lens rating make sense or did I drop the ball? Thanks for all your help!
  14. I believe that all of these lens choices are contained within the body throughout their focal range, although don't quote me on that I have read another thread that pointed out that the 16-35, at least, does not fit into the lens port that well, and that this was causing some refractory lines from the dome to show up in some pictures, and I can only assume that since the size of the 16-35 and the 17-40 lenses are very similiar, that this might pose a problem for the 17-40 as well inside that housing. I can only hope that in the next year as I learn my camera, that Ikelite is able to adapt their gear to suit either of these lenses if I choose to buy either of them. Otherwise, if the lens is not well accepted by that housing I may be forced to adapt my choice in housings. This brings me to my next question. At $1000 more, is the Aquatica A30D that much better then the Ikelite 30D model to justify the price jump? I know that its depth rating is better, but quite frankly I can't see myself going below 60m no matter what housing I choose. Is there a great leap in optic quality in pictures taken from inside the Aquatica model, or is it functionally that superior? Or is your choice simply a cosmetic preference? Thanks for the reply, Erick
  15. Alright, At first I was looking at the canon lenses for the double rebate, but since James and so many others have recommended the Sigma 10-20 and the Tokina 12-24 I have decided to look at the reviews for those lenses as well. Unfortunately the review pages that I know about specialize in land use, but they do give a general impression of build and optical quality (does anyone know of any lens reviews especially for underwater). The Sigma, doesn't actually rate that well (above water), save for it's price, which is about the same as the Tokina at $500, where as the Tokina rates better and has a f/4 which is very comparable to the f3.5-4.5 of the Canon 10-22. The Canon lens is one of those EF-S lenses that is said to use 'L' quality glass (along with the 17-55 f/2.8, for which is too big for an Ikelite housing), so assumingly the glass quality of the 10-22 is superior to the other two, and it is quicker when in optimal conditions, but is that worth the $660 after double rebate cost, or $160 more then either of the others. The 17-40 alternatively, doesn't always capture the 'whole scene' due the distances that one has to be to their subjects underwater, but its after rebate price is only $590, which is a great price for a lens of this quality. The 16-35 comes in at an astounding $1,300 after rebate, so I could actually get both the 17-40 and the 10-22 for $1,250 or the 17-40 and the Tokina/Sigma for $1,090 and effectively cover an accumulative 10-40 range. According to James the f/4 average of this range is fine and their is not any reason in expecting at the 16-35's f/2.8 aperture as having any great advantage in the underwater environment. Is this an appropriate analysis? Or am I missing anything here? Thanks for the help everyone, Erick
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