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Everything posted by horvendile

  1. Hi! Sorry for the late reply. Vacation happened and I lost touch with the forum. In fact, nothing happened, except med noticing that right now I can't responsibly afford either setup. Also, going full frame may not be the right decision for me; it may be that an m4/3 system is better suited for my diving. But it quickly gets very complicated. So, right now I'm continuing with my current rig, trying to evaluate more closely which path to eventually take.
  2. That second shot. The one with the batfish(?) from below. Wow.
  3. I’ll try to not make it into a novel. I now shoot with an LX100 in an Ikelite housing, with a detachable dome-like wetlens (restoring topside FOV and improving corners) and some kind of diopter for macro. Can swap underwater, sometimes do. Also two DS-51 strobes. All in all I think it’s a decent setup considering its relatively low cost, and it’s also fairly transportable. The things I would most like to improve include * Pixel count. I’m often pixel limited, especially when I have to crop, which is often. (That may be a liveware problem, but it’s still a problem I have.) * Sensor performance. I frequently find both base ISO dynamic range and higher ISO noise limiting factors. * The ability to go wider than 24 mm (equiv), and I would also like better macro. (“Better” macro isn’t necessarily more magnification; it could also be the ability to focus on longer distances than super close with the diopter lens. And frankly, the image quality with the diopter is not good.) I’ve been spoiled with the possibility to be able to select type of photography during the dive. That’s why I keep looking for setups that allow me to do that. I’m still beginner enough that I can’t point to a specific kind of shooting I want to optimize a new rig for. I still want to be able to do most things, even if I accept that I have to choose what I want to do before entering the water. If I had to choose between wide-angle or macro to begin with, I’d go with wide angle. But I would also want to add macro later. Nowadays all my photography is done in tropical waters but hopefully that will change, and diving in dark, murky Swedish waters complicates things. I’m primarily a stills shooter. I may take the odd video clip but that’s just a bonus. I post process everything in Lightroom. I don’t know, was than an answer or was it just rambling?
  4. I just found the neighbor thread on dome choices for the 8-18. Will read it before posting more questions which may have been answered there.
  5. I found the thread now. Thanks for the tip. If - I write if - I find that the WWL-1 is more trouble than it's worth, there's always e.g. the 8-18 and a regular dome port. (Yes, I'm now departing the WWL-1 track for a bit.) But then I will have edge quality problems, right? Except at very small apertures. On Nikon FX and a 16-35 lens I could add the Sea & Sea correction lens, but I haven't seen anything like that for m4/3. Damn this is complicated. Makes my topside camera gear optimization seem really simple.
  6. I'll slide in here. I'm not sure I quite understood - or rather, I'm sure I didn't quite understand. Is it correct that the WWL-1, with its float collar, works well on the MWL-1 flip adapter? "Works well" meaning that when flipped away it doesn't impede handling too much. Whatever "too much" means. In other words, that on an Olympus E-M1 MkII Nauticam rig with a 14-42 lens, you could realistically use the MWL-1 flip adapter with both the WWL-1 and a macro wetlens (such as SMC-1)?
  7. I dropped the ball re this thread - sorry. So, if I understand ChrissRoss correctly, you can mount the WWL-1 on a strobe arm. And with the float collar, that shouldn't become too unbalanced? I hope. Would this be a solution to be recommended? I don't think I'm in a hurry, but I have a trip in November and I don't totally rule out upgrading before that. It would be fun, for sure. And thanks Xberges for chipping in. Yeah, I agree that m4/3 probably makes more sense than the A6400, despite the latter's larger sensor and AF. Definitely not your problem, but I also have to fit all this with possibly starting to migrate from Nikon F to Nikon Z for topside shooting. But I just won SEK 30 (about $3) on the lottery, so I should be fine.
  8. I'm on the move (sort of) so just quickly about this: no, the LX-100 is a m4/3 sensor, but it only uses about 80 % of the sensor area. So effectively between a 1" sensor and a full m4/3 sensor. But it's also a slightly older sensor generation than the 20 Mpixel sensor in the Olympus.
  9. Chris, thanks again for valuable feedback. What would be the best way to fasten the WWL-1 on the rig? Something on the coldshoe of the housing itself perhaps? It's a good thing that I'm not about to make an immediate purchase. Now I will have time to think things through. I agree that sensor performance should not be the sole deciding factor. For me it's nevertheless a ​factor. With my current setup (Panasonic LX-100) dynamic range is often a limiting factor in post. There's a very big difference in how malleable the raw files are from my LX-100 and my D850. Precisely as you point out though the E-M1 II has several other advantages over the A6400. One of them is that I could see the E-M1 II having a fun role to play in my topside shooting. The A6400 is not as compelling as a camera. And I like the wide selection of m4/3 lenses.
  10. EZ. Check. Yes I know, the 12-50 has a rather expensive port + zoom gear. I haven't started adding prices yet, but of course it matters. No, I would definitely want the float collar. I'll check the pockets I have, but I suspect you're right. They are quite roomy (Hollis thigh pocket, https://www.hollis.com/nylon-thigh-pocket/) but the whole WWL-1 with collar sounds optimistic.
  11. A couple of follow-up questions: 14-42: Which 14-42 lens are we ideally talking about for the E-M1 Mk II? There are a bunch of them. I'm guessing the Olympus 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R, but I'm not quite sure why. 12-50: Is this the port which allows macro mode? https://www.nauticam.com/products/macro-port-with-m77-thread-for-olympus-m-zuiko-digital-ed-12-50mm-f3-5-6-3-ez The marking seems to indicate so.
  12. ISO: I see the base ISO as the important number. Extended low ISO really only overexposes the image and then lowers exposure in camera software, meaning that you clip highlights and with absolutely no dynamic range gain. For most scenarios extended low ISO is mostly useless, the sole exception I can come to think of being that you absolutely need a longer exposure and refuse doing post processing. Therefore base ISO is much more interesting from a sensor performance standpoint. Furthermore modern sensors, at least those used by Sony and Olympus, tend to be more or less equally effective per unit surface. Some differences can remain, but they tend to be minor. I admit that the graphs at DxO and photonstophotos contradict this for the E-M1 Mk II, and they are usually pretty reliable sources. I'll see if I can find some more information about that. So, all in all, if nothing really strange is going on, the A6400 should have a base ISO dynamic range notably higher than that of the E-M1 Mk II, both because of lower base ISO and larger sensor area. That is not intended to mean that the E-M1 is not capable of excellent images. As you have demonstrated. WWL-1 storage: Actually I was under the impression that this was a solved problem. A flip-away arm or so. But I may confuse that with the MWL-1. If it's not solved, well, that would indeed be a drawback. It should be possible for me to get another leg pocket, but I'd have to make sure it fits. With 130 mm diamater it could be too big.
  13. Hi all! I was quite active as a beginner here a few months ago, asking lots and lots of questions mostly about Nikon FX and the Nauticam WACP. I reached the conclusion that the D850 I already own with a WACP should be my best bet for optimum quality, but held off purchasing simply because of cost. Since then I’ve been thinking, and I’m now investigating other alternatives. Reasons for doing so include * size and weight (topside) of WACP solution, especially when travelling. * yes, cost. * not being sure I’ll be happy with having 25 mm (70 mm x 0.36) as my longest focal length. The alternatives I’m now looking at all include the WWL-1, which I gather is in many respects the equivalent of the WACP (albeit a removable wetlens) for smaller sensors. My plan with this post is to ask you whether I seem to have understood things correctly. I’ve been looking at two camera and three lenses. The Sony A6400 with 16-50, and the Olympus E-M1 MkII with either 14-42 or 12-50. Camera-wise the A6400 would give me about an extra stop of sensor performance. In fact, make that two stops at base ISO since A6400 goes to ISO 100, E-M1 to 200. (DxOMark and photonstophotos don’t quite agree though, I don’t quite know what to make of that.) I should also get a significantly better AF with A6400. The E-M1 on the other hand would give me IBIS and 2/3 stops better flash sync (1/250 s I believe, 1/160 s on the Sony). In fact, the Sony would lock me at 1/160 s or slower even if I turned off my strobes, since that’s what it does when the popup flash is raised. (The slow sync speed of the Sony should, in scenarios with sunlit backgrounds, be offset by the sensor’s theoretically better dynamic range at base ISO, but being locked at 1/160 s is still a bummer.) As for lenses, the 14-42 allows full zoom-through, giving full-frame equivalent of 10-30 mm with the WWL-1. This is better than the WACP. Using the 12-50 it vignettes until at 16 mm, giving maybe 12-36 mm equiv with WWL-1 assuming full zoom-through, which is still highly respectable by my standards. On the Sony side the 16-50 vignettes until 20 mm, giving 11-27 mm equiv. HOWEVER, if I use the bayonet mount the WWL-1 is easily removed, quickly opening up mid-range focal lengths should I need them. This is not possible with the WACP. Being behind a flat port I guess I need to go to maybe 40 mm (equiv) or so before getting rid of the most horrible corner issues, so there will be a gap in usable FOV:s but I think that will be ok. Also, I’m not sure but I think I should be able to use e.g. the SMC-1 with all of these lenses. I’m not sure how that would compare to a dedicated macro lens, but it should give me wide-angle, mid-range and macro on the same dive, which again would not be possible with the WACP. Of course I would be sacrificing resolution and dynamic range if I’m not using my D850. I have a couple of follow-up questions. But as a start – does this sound about accurate?
  14. Backtracking to the beginning of the thread: did you try the WWL-1 with float collar? I haven't tried it either way myself, but I understand that the float collar makes a big difference for handling. Also, out of curiosity, what modification was needed to make the LX100 II fit? I thought it was identical on the outside to the first version.
  15. As for the first question, whether the feature is important, I'd say "sometimes". I have a few pictures from a night dive, not macro, where I've used a red focus light and there are traces of red light in the picture. Not that disturbing, but you can see it at least if you know it's there. I don't have the pictures here (am at work), but it's likely they are taken at a notably wide aperture. Stopping down might have helped.
  16. I'd say that was worth a lot. Good intel, thanks. Since I already own the D850 there are no real cost savings with going to D500, at least not if the WACP is still on the menu. Also no meaningful weight savings. I still think the D850 makes more sense for me. If I were to start totally from scratch, with no cameras or lenses, the D500 might look more compelling. At the risk of derailing the thread slightly, I'll ask about the macro. I was going to spring for the 60 mm f/2.8G, for two reasons: * More allround, also usable for eg fish portraits. * Seems like the 105 mm has a steeper learning curve. The increased working distance could be both an advantade and a disadvantage, depending on the water and the motive I guess. Also, the 60 mm will be a slightly lighter option, which is good in an already very heavy kit. Do you have any comment to that? I mean, it also seems that many people prefer the 105 for use on FX. Which I totally understand, if the waters are clear and the purpose is purely macro.
  17. ...oh dear. Let's just say it's probably best for all that I earn my living by arranging colored dots on a screen and not by building things.
  18. Update regarding the A6500. I managed to play with one in a store for a decent amount of time today. My fears for clumsy AF handling may have been exaggerated. It's possible to select focus point without first pressing another button. Switching between focus modes is relatively easy. Specifically, switching between one point AF-C and tracking AF is perfectly fine. I'm not that impressed with the tracking performance I saw. The A6400 may change that. However. Engaging the pop-up flash does indeed limit the shutter speed to 1/160 s. Overriding that, eg by disabling the flash without putting it back down - which will be impossible underwater - does not seem possible. This would effectively limit the underwater shutter speed to 1/160 s. That sounds dealbreaker-ish to me. Once more I think I'm drifting towards the D850, despite the extra 5 kg and $4000.
  19. Ok ok, new idea! Background So far I consider it established that m4/3 with WWL-1 would make for a significantly smaller and cheaper package than D850 + WACP, at the cost of not so much optical performance as about two stops of sensor performance. Choosing between them I'm inclined to give the nod to large and heavy. However, I'm still balking at both cost and weight. But last night I looked at the WWL-1 port chart and homed in on the Sony E alternative. New idea What about going for a Sony E (APS-C), such as the A6500, with the WWL-1? Let me go through some aspects of that. ​Sensor ​Assuming equivalent sensor technology, which is often more or less true today, I will still lag about a stop behind the D850, plus of course lose a lot of pixels, going down to 24 Mpix. On the other hand I will gain about a stop compared to an m4/3 solution. This will be a compromise and I will have to think about it. ​Autofocus Ok I may not have the AF of the D850, but still, the A6500 is known for having good AF, right? Lenses I know there is a dearth of native underwater lenses. Let's look closer at that. For the WWL-1 it's the 16-50. I know that's considered a mediocre lens at best, but for this purpose it may be fine. It has to be zoomed in to 20 mm which may be a bit of a hassle but it's probably ok. Macro: The CMC lenses work with the 16-50, but I don't know how well. The lens port I would use for the WWL-1 also allows the 30 mm Sony macro which I suspect is a mediocre solution with too short working distance. On the other hand the 30 mm macro is cheap. The best macro solution may be the Canon 60 mm with metabones adapter. Fisheye: No native fisheye, but there is the Tokina 10-17 for Canon with metabones adapter. I don't know how well AF works with the adapter, but if it works well, wouldn't that fix me up pretty well? Oh and there's also the Sony 10-18/4 if I'd like to go classic wide angle. ​Strobes ​It seems I may be able to use TTL at least with the YS-D2J without any separate TTL converter. The Inon Z330 isn't mentioned and I should probably ask someone, but I'd think it will work. ​Topside ​I have no particular yearning for the Sony APS-C topside and I suspect Sony will pretty much abandon it, to the extent they haven't already done so, despite the A6400 being recently released. But if I look at it as a pure diving solution it may not matter that much if Sony loses interest. Summary/Question This write-up is done purely on specs, no actual experience. Have I missed anything important? Is there a good reason m4/3 seems much more popular than this solution? ​Edit: ok, flash sync at 1/160 s is a letdown. Edit2: according to http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/sony-a6500-camera-reviewthe shutter speed is limited to 1/160 s when the popup flash is up. That could be a deal breaker. Surely faster shutter speeds are sometimes required. Edit 3: Possibly cumbersome handling of AF system. New A6400 may be better, but no Nauticam housing (yet). Possibly slow recharge of popup flash, could be better with electronic triggering but it's unclear to me how to achieve that. So far there seems to be a number of compromises and gotchas in addition to the lost sensor area compared to the D850. Still, it's about 5 kg lighter and, in Swedish prices, something like $4000 cheaper, even counting the fact that I already own the D850 and will have to buy the Sony camera.
  20. I think that's a great picture! Furthermore, I have just acquired a Nikon 28-70, so I guess I have now no choice but to buy the rest of the Nauticam WACP system also. Poor me.
  21. Well, I already own the D850. Sure, if a complete set for D810 turned up at a reasonable price (and with practical purchase conditions, I live in Sweden) I'd certainly consider it.
  22. Though that picture doesn't show any huge domes or a WACP, which is where I would think the main problem lies.
  23. Oh, I've done that already. Very informative in several ways. Ah well it seems I may have to give up the notion that maybe the extra resolution won't be visible. Which is mostly good, of course. And thanks ChrisRoss for the packing example. I'm assuming that if I go for full frame, much of the equipment will have to go into the checked luggage. Not least if I spring for the WACP which is just too heavy for carry-on.
  24. Considering strobes - I confess I'm not very conversant with the different makes. Are there any large differences between the Inon Z330 and the S&S YS-D2J? They seem to cost about the same. Yeah but the idea is of course to take the route via Raw files, to lift shadows and save highlights. This must conceivably be the same as on land, where DR is absolutely a thing.
  25. Thanks for the replies! Dynamic range I spend a lot of quality time both at DxOMark and photonstophotos, so I'm pretty clear on the basics. I also acknowledge that when the available light is a limiting factor, the need to stop down less with m4/3 than with FF may make up for the difference in sensor area. However, when I'm shooting in eg the Red Sea at daytime I'm often at base ISO with my current rig (admittedly with lower f/# than I'm likely to use with an ILC). Shooting scenes with the surface visible is also one of the scenarios where I feel limited by dynamic range, trying to capture both a relatively dark for- or middle ground and having the bright surface in the background. At least for this, I suspect FF will be markedly better than m4/3. If that makes it worth the extra expense and weight for FF, well, that's another question. Resolution I was thinking that maybe 46 MP is seldom realized under water. The basis is partly that if the WACP with an old 28-70 för Nikon beats the other wide angle solutions, well, then that's an indication that resolution is often so-so. Which wouldn't be strange, shooting through water. Of course there will still be 46 million pixels in the image file, but how often will I be able to resolve such detail? Maybe the difference between 20 and 46 MP isn't so big in practice? This is pure speculation however. Macro could be another thing, with less water between subject and lens. But FF macro often seems to be stopped down to f/22 or so, where 46 MP of detail will probably not be resolved anyway because of diffraction. So, this ends up as a question: will I typically see much real resolution difference between 20 and 46 MP? Assuming correct handling of the gear. Well, two of you have already said I will see a practical resolution difference. But I seem to be asking anyway! :-)
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