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Undertow

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Everything posted by Undertow

  1. Either will be fantastic. Mostly people will make subjective suggestions depending what they shoot. Brand-wise I've spent time shooting both and always preferred Nikon - I find both their ergonomics and lenses to be better. But it's splitting hairs. Most pros shoot one or the other. Generally considered Canon better for video and Nikon better for stills. Out of curiosity I checked DXO Mark and the 5DMkIV did surprisingly well considering Nikons have been mostly slaughtering Canons in the technical measurement realm for the past few years. Its the top scoring Canon but Nikon's D600/610/750/800/810/850 all outscored it. Not that it's really significant when it comes to actually shooting images. You can't go wrong with either. I also tell people now that unless the know for sure they want a DSLR, they should go mirrorless. They've come such a long way and the quality gap is realistically minimal. The small size translates to much smaller UW rigs. DSLR rigs are huge and heavy and a pain-in-the-ass. Cheers, Chris
  2. Ok wow... Please forgive my cynicism but 11 replies and no one has mentioned the primary issue here??? Apologies guys, but some of these replies are just confusing the situation. Laroux, Your ambient exposure is too bright. Your strobe clearly works, but the TTL circuit sees plenty of exposure from the ambient light and doesn't 'need' to add much to create a 'properly' exposed image. Dial down your ambient exposure. Also, as mentioned, you need to be a bit closer for best results but decent images can be had at your shooting distances. White balance is also way off. If your files are raw, crank up the magenta in post and you'll see a difference. For the future, start with the camera's 'Cloudy' white balance (usually a cloud symbol). Plan a dive to sit in one spot for 15+mins and experiment with exposure and flash settings. Set everything to manual and play around. Find what works for a given subject (even just a rock...) then switch to TTL and see if you can replicate it. Cheers, Chris
  3. We occasionally do some pelagic shark stuff here and I usually shoot a midrange zoom (17-55mm on DX, now 24-70mm on full frame). The long end comes in handy. In fact my profile thumbnail is a tiger at about 60mm behind a dome.
  4. Haven't read through all this gear discussion but I usually tell people that unless they know they want a dslr rig, go mirrorless or compact. Your images are excellent, you know what you're doing. If you're happy with compact, go that route. Regarding your hand, why not disconnect the strobe arms and clip them to d-rings on your weight belt (and/or BCD shoulder straps) for the topside walk? I also have a bag shoulder strap rigged to my housing handles. It took me a while to also realize my macro setup was messing with my wrist UW, not from negative buoyancy but from the housing's trim. It was very nose heavy and I holding it level I was always sort of 'twisting' it up. Didn't even realize I was till I had some wrist problems.
  5. Great video, thanks for posting. How bout something like this instead of using a screwdriver? https://www.autozone.com/gaskets-and-miscellaneous-fasteners/hose-clamp/koehler-ez-hose-clamp/862122_0_0
  6. I'm not sure what you mean, why not just adjust the lights' position? That's what movable ball joint arms are for... No single lighting position is applicable to every shooting scenario.
  7. Sorry but its definitely not a post processing issue. To simplify my post above I'm 95% sure its condensation inside the port from overheating as the housing sits in the sun. This can happen very quickly if the port's uncovered but can still happen with the port covered. It can take a very long time to dissipate and be exacerbated by the cool water (greater temp difference b/w inside and outside of housing), ruining entire dives. Cheers, Chris
  8. Pretty sure this is what you mean: www.divervision.com/howshot-fiber-adapter-for-inon-strobe-older-slave-sensor-FA-SS2IN.html?
  9. I'm not fully abreast of all the Canon options out there but "do-everything" systems sacrifice quality. Generally no, it is not an option for SLR rigs. Nor do we really want it to be. Not only do the shorter range SLR lenses generally offer much higher quality, they force you to 'focus' as a photographer. If you're shooting wide, you wave hello to the pygmy seahorse and then go find some cool wide shots.
  10. I'd recommend to any non-professional to go mirrorless for UW. SLR housings are a real commitment, you become beholden to some really bulky and heavy crap. The quality gap between mirrorless and slr has shrunk significantly but the physical difference in UW rigs is huge. A high end mirrorless camera and lens will outperform a low end slr and lens. Lenses are more important than cameras. Portability can make a huge difference in many shooting scenarios too, think about the gopro revolution for action footage. I'm definitely of the belief, given today's camera market, that if you don't know you want an slr, go mirrorless.
  11. I imagine its a type of lock washer, keeping tension on the screw so it doesn't wiggle loose.
  12. Its likely not a sensor issue. Generally this is created by some form of 'fogginess' somewhere within the light path. Beyond the obvious of cleanliness it could be: 1. Within the lens from mold, but usually only excessive mold. 2. Outside the lens within the port from condensation. This can be from an uncovered port sitting in the sun or just a warm camera rig taken into colder water. It can take a long time to dissipate on its own. 3. Due to the UW visibility especially with bright areas. Regarding #3 - this is something I've seen regularly with multiple camera rigs shooting humpback whales in open water in midday sun. Their white pectoral fins are so much brighter than anything else and surrounded by these halos. Its better controlled on newer cameras but many times unavoidable. It can happen in good visibility but is far worse in poor visibility. I've also personally seen this with scenarios 1 & 2. Beyond that my port even has what some on here have described as mineral deposits on the outside from the water over years of use and imperfect care. Its visible on the port when looking at certain angles and light. Pretty sure it contributes. Planning to try and polish it off. Hope that helps. Cheers, Chris
  13. I've found UW specific fiber cables quite thin and flimsy (and expensive!) so I've taken to making my own out of 3mm end glow cable, mounting it into the plug ends from a failed cable. There was a recent thread about this exact issue with S&S strobes & led triggers with a video someone posted making it work with a custom cable like mine. Fiber cable is super cheap. Cut, flame polish the end, mount into the plug and you're good to go. Someone else suggested dipping in boiling water & wrapping around a rod to create a coil in the cable. Plan to try that.
  14. I'm sorry but that just sounds absurd. Why would they limit the number of cameras you can bring? People go there with mountains of camera gear every day. I've been twice (albeit many years ago) and never heard of any limits. A quick Google turns up nothing. International Galapagos Tour Operators Association "Essential Travel Info" (nothing about camera limits) https://www.igtoa.org/travel_guide/essential_info Galapagos National Park Rules: https://www.galapagos.org/travel/travel/park-rules/ All I see is no flash photography of wildlife, no drones. Commercial work requires a license. Perhaps you're reading about customs regulations for locals not tourists? Like duty-free limits for locals?
  15. Here I've gone one step further. My Ikelite strobe is 18cm long. Shot at min focus 50/1.4 on full frame. Again, would be magnified 33% UW behind a flat port. Forgive the shallow DOF - seems there's something wrong with my lens and it will only shoot wide open at 1.4.
  16. Below is the Nikon 50/1.4 on full frame at min focus, 1.5'. The canon 50/1.4 focuses a hair closer at 1.48'. This would be magnified by 33% UW behind a flat port. Just assessing wether a lens he already owns (!!) would be usable and to me it absolutely would. You don't need to fill the frame with the animal to get great shots, as evidenced in the above posts. I'm not referring to what lenses he could buy, everyone has covered that already. Regarding murkiness - I've shot plenty of images at greater than 1.5' focus distance in very murky water. Its really not far! Easily manageable for great shots. (BTW focus distance is measured from the sensor). I think its a bit unfortunate to often see on these forums "Your lens is useless UW, get lens A, B or C" instead of "Your lens would work with X limitations, if you wanted to spend the money, lenses A, B or C would be ideal". Has me tempted to pop my 50/1.4 on and go find a 20cm subject UW. Cheers, Chris
  17. Personally I think its a bit much to write-off your 50/1.4 non-macro. Seems like a subject you could easily shoot with that lens, even if you can't focus down to macro levels. So you won't get any closeup face or eyeball shots, sure. Does it mean you can't shoot less magnified images? Of course not. Indeed a macro is more versatile but we often must work with what we have. I think both your 100 macro and 50/1.4 would be options.
  18. I use this stuff: https://www.edmundoptics.com/lab-production/general-tools/light-absorbing-black-out-material/
  19. I'm very glad to hear this. So it means minimum power is actually -6 stops correct?? I had assumed it was -4. Even though I've already decided to go with the Retra, this was an important element vs z330. Personally I've had situations shooting in low light where I wanted less than minimum power on my z240's to balance with ambient. But I'm making some ND gels to accomplish this.
  20. I've built my own FO cables as well. Seemed like a no brainer - existing ones I had were so bloody thin and flimsy and cost a fortune. When they inevitably failed, I cut the plug ends off and mounted them to some decent size end glow (or could use multi strand). FO cable is cheap. You can get the plug ends for a couple bucks from some of the UW photo shops. I also work a lot with artificial light topside and I'm confident you'll be totally fine in manual UW. Its really not complicated, at least regarding strobe power, when you have experience working with these tools.
  21. Awesome work Graeme. You've made great use of natural light already and maintaining that 'look' might only want a gentle touch of strobe fill in certain instances. If you're looking to use strobes as key lights that changes things up a lot. Personally if I were in your shoes I wouldn't buy new Ikelite strobes. I'd look for a pair of used Inon z240s. With the new z330 and a couple other new strobes recently on the market, there should be some of these available at reasonable cost. I wouldn't really consider the DS51 up to par, but I've never used one. The DS161 does produce nice warm light but its really bulky and heavy. The stiff low profile side dials are a PITA to use - hard to adjust without moving the strobe out of position. It also lacks an optical slave sensor common to most other strobes today, so your only option is electrical sync. I also wouldn't count on using TTL in your scenario if you're considering it. On the plus side it does have a slightly higher quality of light with its round flash tube.
  22. Excellent, glad it worked out. I've been using an i1 on my 2015 5k iMac + old Apple 30" cinema display (matte screen). I've found using the largest number of 'patches' in the calibration process to be much more accurate than the default. Even after calibration, I do find the old matte Apple Cinema display to be far more precise regarding the final print. This is primarily due to the contrast difference between the two screens. The new glossy displays 'pop' way too much. Cheers, Chris
  23. I wouldn't mind if someone (Bill?) could lay this out a bit more succinctly please. Even reading the previous linked thread is confusing when I've never used S&S, Nauticam or Inon grease. Personally I've really only seen 3: old Nikonos grease (the clear thick 'gel'-like stuff), Ikelite which I believe was similar, and Aquatica which is white, less dense, silky smooth and much more expensive. Personally the Aquatica stuff seemed far superior so years ago I tossed out the rest. I've used it for years on the yellow Inon strobe orings which are markedly different from my aquatica orings. But never saw the Inon grease. If there's a single grease that is safe for everything, I'd like to get that! Tribolube 66, 71, 77??? Though I only see 66 & 71 at this site linked from the other thread: https://www.piranhadivemfg.com/category/Lubricants-156 I have a feeling the Aquatica grease is one of these. So what's the difference??? Cheers, Chris
  24. Yes alining the lens behind the dome is very important for UW. I would indeed suggest a vacuum valve especially as dive housings are designed to seal with pressure - they're weak on the surface. I'd consider surf impact to be extreme flood risk. Surf housings are different for a reason. The focus difference b/w the dome's virtual image and above water with a 6" dome will be huge. The post above however is wrong that a flat port would be better for over/unders. Only better for over (for wide lenses) and hence why surf housings use them.
  25. Get the D500 and keep your 10-17. That camera is a beast and the 10-17's versatility and compactness with a small dome is unrivaled underwater. Ignore the "FX are the pro cameras" mantra nonsense. Mostly came from Nikon ill-serving the DX line for a few years. I've shot a D500 alongside my D810 topside and would seriously prefer it for certain things like macro. Image quality is 100% up to par, though I don't pixel peep. If you can easily do that Type3 to Type4 conversion, Subal makes the most sense to keep ports and viewfinder. Otherwise if you're in Canada check out Aquatica, I'm on my 3rd housing since 2006 and they've been fantastic. Prices are very reasonable, perhaps more so from within the country. The other option would be to just switch to a mirrorless system like Sony or Olympus. They're so compact and image quality will still blow you away when paired with quality lenses. Cheers, Chris
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