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Synthesizer Patel

enlighten a luddite

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Hi - still shooting on wet film at the moment - currently use a housed eos10, a housed F90, (both ike housin gs) and a nikV -using twinned ike 100a's on each.

 

I'm finally thinking about going over to digital, but as a student my budget is limited - I was thinking of maybe getting a used eos350d or nikon d70, and getting another ike housing for them as I can keep my ports.

 

Lens Questions

 

for each of my slr's I have the a 20mm wide angle (sigma) and a 90mm macro (also sigma) - now I know my canon lenses won't work on the 350d as I've tried them on a friend's camera - will I fare any better with the Nikon lenses or will I have to shell out again for new lenses?

 

with the cropping factor on both the DSLR's, the 20mm will be relegated to a less wide 24mm-ish equivalent so I'll probably have to go for a new wide angle at least - I was thinking about the sigma 15mm as this will still be a good close wide lens even with cropping - I have a 5503 dome port that Ike say is compatible - but they recomend the 8" dome - will I be able to get away with the 5003 for the time being until funds allow, or will it vignette horribly?

 

Strobe questions

 

My 100a's are in great shape and as strobes are generally one of the more expensive parts of the set-up they are the one thing holding back my purchase - will my 100a's and cables still be compatible? - I'm guessing TTL would be out of the question, but how important is TTL when I can check exposure after every shot and adjust strobes accordingly?

 

thanks in advance people

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Hi Toby,

 

Welcome to WP. Great to have another marine biologiist around the traps. You aren't a luddite mate.

 

I was in an almost identical position to you around 18 months ago and might be able to offer some advice.

 

You are already thinking along the right track...

 

The good news is, you'll still be able to use your 100a's, sync cords and wide ports on whatever ikelite digital housing you decide to choose. You won't get TTL flash anymore, but with digital, that isn't really a huge issue as you guessed. In fact you'll find most shooters actually prefer the repeatability and reliability of manual flash, particularly for wide angle shooting. This thread TTL Anonymous provides more insight. Only thing you might find is it is handy to get some diffusers so you have more strobe output choices.

 

The other good news is that your 90 macro (provided it is AF) should work ok on a D70. If it was a Nikon 105 AF I could guarantee it would work on the D70, but there have been a few quirks with Sigma's and the newer digitals, so best to run down to a store and try it out. To be fair though, I have an older Sigma 70-200 HSM which works fine on my D70. If you find it doesn't work, look out for a used 60 mm - they can be had for good prices and are equiv in focal length to what you are used to. They make a great topside lens for portraits too.

 

Unfortunately, you are spot on regarding the loss of wide angle with whichever system you elect to move towards. Both systems result in a 'crop factor' of either 1.5 (Nikon) or 1.6 (Canon). So your lovely 20 is now a less useful 30 mm lens.

 

The Sigma 15 is very well regarded as an underwater lens, both because its fisheye design tends improve corners behind a dome, and because it focuses very close (which is handy when focusing on the 'virtual image' projected by the dome underwater). In short, it is a great choice and will actually provide a similar (slightly wider view) than your 20.

 

The one significant advantage that Nikon has in the price range you are considering is the superb 10.5 fisheye which, in addition to the points discussed, is significantly wider still - 180 degrees in fact. To get equivalent width in other systems, you have to buy a 'full frame' body (5D or 1D series) and fisheye, or someone might get the Tokina 10-17 fisheye to work underwater - which would be another alternative. As you have probably discovered, primes are generally sharper underwater and this influenced personal my choices.

 

So as you predicted, my recommendations would simply be to endorse your d70 or 350d in an Ike housing. You may be fortunate and find one in the classifieds here. There have been some appearing as other folks jump on the D200/D80/400D bandwagon...

 

If you actually win the lotto (I seem to keep getting emails saying I have) you might consider looking at the D80 as well. It has slighly better AF and more megapixels than the D70. To be honest though, it is great time to be looking for D70s with everyone else upgrading. Plenty of great shots have been made with D70. Mike Veitch's cover on Australisian Scuba Diver of a mantis shrimp is a classic.

 

Good luck and I look forward to hearing how you go and seeing some of your shots.

Edited by anthp

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Anthony has answered pretty effectively but I'll add a couple of comments to keep you thinking!

 

I'd like to add that Canon's 60mm EFS lens is very, very good and its focus is fast and I've found (admitted I use it oddly on a 1DS) accurate. If you don't want to go down to the 10.5 fisheye and do a lot of macro I would thoroughly recommend it on a 400D as being a good value set-up. Add in the Sigma 15mm and you will have a great deal of versatility.

 

All that said, I'd think twice before ditching the 20mm lens you have. If you go down a Nikon route it can make a very useful 'habitat' lens.

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Thanks for the replies so far - I'm still a little unsure about strobes - thanks to Cameras Underwater - I emailed them the other day and they just got back to me to tell me that in order for my Ike 100a's to work even in manual mode on an Ike 350d housing, I would have to have to have the housing specially modified - considering that in time I would probably upgrade to iTTL compatible strobes anyway this seems like a lot of faffing around as presumably I'd then have to get the housing modified back again.

 

 

Perhaps this is something particular to the 350D and is not a problem with a Nikon?????

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can't agree with that statement. any strobe should work with the dig camera. All it needs is the right synch cord to go from Ike to the synch socket on your chosen housing and you will get manual control of the strobe, no problem. (i could be wrong but i don't think i am)

 

Anthony gives great advice.

 

 

oh and anthony... you would think with almost 3000 posts you could spell my name..

 

but thanks for the kudos!! ;)

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Strobe questions

 

My 100a's are in great shape and as strobes are generally one of the more expensive parts of the set-up they are the one thing holding back my purchase - will my 100a's and cables still be compatible?

 

From Ikelite (regarding D70~SS100 combination):

 

(2) TTL SubStrobe models Ai, MV, 50, 100, 200, and 400 operate only as manual strobes when connected with #4103.51 sync cord, but housing back may still need to be returned to us for conversion circuitry modification to utilize these older pre-digital era strobes

 

Found by following this link:

 

http://www.ikelite.com/web_pages/camnikchart.html#see1

 

And regarding the Canon 350D route, a similar advisory:

 

(2) Old SubStrobe Ai, MV, 50, 100, 200, and 400 models can be used, but operate only as manual strobes. The housing back may still need to be returned to us for conversion circuitry modification to utilize these older pre-digital era strobes.

 

Suggestion:

 

A quick email to ike@ikelite will result in definitive answer regarding if more than just the appropriate sync cord is necessary...........

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oh and anthony... you would think with almost 3000 posts you could spell my name..

:(;) oooops....Sorry Mike.

 

Fixed now....

Edited by anthp

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From Ikelite (regarding D70~SS100 combination):

"(2) TTL SubStrobe models Ai, MV, 50, 100, 200, and 400 operate only as manual strobes when connected with #4103.51 sync cord, but housing back may still need to be returned to us for conversion circuitry modification to utilize these older pre-digital era strobes."

Found by following this link:

http://www.ikelite.com/web_pages/camnikchart.html#see1

Definitely email Ike as suggested by Bob.

 

This statement is ambiguous and suggests that you might be able to use the housing's manual strobe output control buttons/dial to drive the strobes. This would be extremely cool, but may just be wishful thinking on my part. It can proove very handy and is certainly something I love about my dual DS125 and Ikelite housing combo. Only one dial adjustment on the housing is required to control both strobes - sweeeet. ;)

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