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Alex_Mustard

Muck diving wide angle

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I love muck diving - and while I have not seen all the critters it is possible to see - I am fairly happy that I've got more than enough macro shots to last me a while.

 

So looking for a new challenge I want to have a play at shooting some wide angle on the muck. I guess the aim would be to shoot fist-sized critters (frogfish, scorpionfish, octopus etc etc) with a wide view of the background also in the shot.

 

This throws up a few problems regarding lens choice and lighting - and I'd appreciate advice and opinions.

 

The first issue is lens choice. The 10.5mm is just too wide for subjects this size - although it does have great sharpness both in foreground and background. It is OK on bigger creatures and outcrops etc - but is a little wide for this application:

SB14.jpg

 

The other lens I have tried is the 28-70mm, which works quite well in terms of subject magnification - but doesn't really offer the width of view of the background I want.

BA0002.jpg

 

My feeling is that either a wideangle zoom or a FF fisheye on my cropped sensor camera is the lens to use here. The rectilinear offers the ability to zoom - but I am worried about corner sharpness considering the close focus and DOF required for these shots. To solve this I like the idea of the 15/16mm FE - but my Nikon 16mm doesn't focus as close as I'd like (basically right on the dome)

The other line I am thinking about is using the 10.5mm fisheye with a thin teleconverter. Has anyone tried this? Is it even possible?

 

The final problem I have is port choice and lighting. I really need to use a smaller wideangle port, as my big dome makes it difficult to light a subject so close to the camera. Has anyone tried a FF camera fisheye on a cropped sensor camera behind a smaller dome? Any subal specific info would be particularly valuable.

 

Thanks in advance for thoughts and advice. No great rush as I am not off to Bali until August.

 

Alex

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Hello Alex!

 

I am trying to take dome pics of those kind of subjects but, besides lighting, I also find getting close enough a problem...This one is from two weeks ago:

 

 

 

foroP5070090.jpg

 

 

And I was really close...

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David, I think tropical creatures are a bit easier to approach! Most of the things I am planning to shoot let you get very near as long as you don't rush.

 

Good call, Karl. I hadn't thought of that one. I tend to think of it as a shark lens - but actually it could be a good solution here.

 

Alex

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i've been playing with the ef17-40, magic filters and the seacam wide port (which is much smaller than the super dome) in cfwa shots, but in the cold, murky and greenish mediterranean waters i have been diving recently it does not do the filters justice.

 

magic filter could certainly help solve the lighting issue and could be good for some specific shots

 

/paul

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From my experience with the 10.5 it's can be used quit good in two conditions. First the object can't be too small, creatures like 10-15 cm are great, smellers can be a problem. Second, you must be very very close to the subject, its can works with froggies, scorpions... but it’s a big problem with fastest creatures.

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Sigma 15mm FE is the best for CFMWWA*:

 

It will focus on the dome.

Lighting is very hard, a lot of backscatter issues.

normal_DSC_4218.jpg

One strobe only

 

* (Close Focus Murky Water WA)

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Subal's SWB Port is great w/ Sigma's 15mm Fisheye-

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Hi Alex,

Great subject. I've done a little of this and at some point, wish to really get these types of shots cooking. It's been such a long road mastering the 2xtc that I've not really spent the time on this that I'd like to.

 

What seems to interest me is the 10.5. It's a big field but, with the right subject, can yield really special photos. Your first shot is an example of what I mean. Really like the "Big Picture" look to that shot.

 

My first tries on this with a Frogfish, resulted in a dark subject as I was barely an inch or so from the Froggie. This of course was necessary to get him somewhat prominent in the frame. But impossible to get any light on it and light the surround area as well.

 

One thing that helped me, was removing my spotting light from it's center mounting arm and replacing it with a YS90. Used a single cord to the LH strobe and a dual sync cord on the right to fire both RH and center strobes. You can put the strobe just at the point the glass for the dome starts or maybe pull it back just a hair. Surprisingly (Well, to me anyway) it did a great job of lighting the subject.

 

Here are two shots with that setup. Although it doesn't really look like it, I was just inches from the Yellow one. He was small too. Maybe 4" long.

 

frogfish640.jpg

 

 

frogday_afternoon2.jpg

 

And Thanks Alex.

 

Rand

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Thanks for all the replies. I think that my goal is to be able to get the wide angle look to the background - with subjects of the size of Rand's froggies - still being a good size in the frame.

 

I think Rand's shots show that the 10.5mm is too wide to create the look I want - although I think his images are v effective. Just not what I am after.

 

Here is another 10.5mm example with a croc-fish. Considerably bigger than froggies and cropped slightly - and this is the look I want - I just want this with slightly smaller critters (about half this size).

SB12.jpg

 

Which leads me to think that the 16mm (possibly with dioptre - if Lambis ever sends them back!) and a small port (probably the SWB, thanks Ryan!). Is a good starting point.

 

Any other thoughts, suggestions and advice gratefully received?

 

Alex

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The other problem I am having is that the D2X is too tall (and the Subal is one of the shortest D2X housings) for this sort of shot. As a result the lens is a bit high and doesn't quite get to the eye level of the subject (see croc fish above), when it is on a flat bottom.

 

Maybe I need a D200 too, if I want to get this shot right! Or I could just turn my D2X upsidedown!

 

Alex

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Maybe that's why the 10.5 appeals to me. Shooting from the hip, or sand as the case may be, allows some fudge factor in the composition. I'm off to Bonaire in a week and a few days, and I'll see what subjects work with the 10.5. 24-7 shorediving should give me an opportunity to sort through some of this. :blink: Although I get the feeling we're not looking for the same type of shot. Which is fine of course.

 

Rand

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Thanks Rand,

 

As always I am already looking forward to seeing your results. I guess I am trying to get an effect that looks almost like a macro shot of the whole creature in the foreground and then shows a wide angle view of the location in the background.

 

Alex

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"To solve this I like the idea of the 15/16mm FE - but my Nikon 16mm doesn't focus as close as I'd like (basically right on the dome)"

 

Alex, don't know if you have tried this or not, but the Nikon 16mm fisheye will focus a tad closer with the rear filter removed.

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Sigma 15mm Minimum focus is: 5.9" the Nikon 16mm is 10.2. Nikon 10.5 is 5.5". I've got the Sigma 15 but rarely shoot it but may just for comparison.

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Rand - when will you be in bonaire? I tried to go Sat and Sun but all American Eagle flights were cancelled due to Montseratt eruption. I hope to make it for memorial day. More for windsurfing than diving, but I'm taking my gear and intend to dive at nght. Maybe we can hook up!

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Kasey, I'll be at Buddy dive from the evening of the 2nd through the 11th. Fly out on the 12th. Ryan will also be there along with our group. So yes, if it's possible, lets get together for at leas a beer if not some dives.

 

Drop me a PM here if you want to get specific.

 

Rand

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Sorry, I don't have any Subal-specific information, but I do have experience with the Nexus compact fisheye port FP-120-7. With the 10.5, one can focus practically to the front of the dome. With the 16, the camera is unable to achieve focus unless the rear filter is removed. With the filter removed, I estimate that it focuses to roughly 10-15 cm in front of the dome.

For c/u flower photography, some people use a wide angle lens on a short extension tube. I've tried the thinnest extension tube available (Nikon PK-11A, 8 mm) with the 16, but this brings the focus too close, about one cm from the front of the lens with focus set on infinity. A diopter that fits in the rear filter slot seems to be ideal--I would be interested if anyone has a source for these.

Bob

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Sigma 15mm Minimum focus is: 5.9" the Nikon 16mm is 10.2. Nikon 10.5 is 5.5".

 

Those are interesting numbers. I had always noted that the 10.5mm focused much closer than the 16mm - but had never seen the figures.

 

Alex

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Try the Sigma, it's a excellent lens.

And be carefull with lighting!

(practically inside the dome)

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I prefear 14 mm sigma (the old f3,5) (and nikon 17-35)

 

Gennaro

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I recommend an Olympus 5050 with an Inon dome lens. :blink:

 

KelpSnailSmall.jpg

 

I've not figured out how to get my DRebel to focus this close. Also, the lighting is harder with the bigger dome.

 

BTW Alex, when are you going to Bali. I may be in the neighborhood.

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