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Hobbes382

Go for strobe or UWA lens?

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I'm shooting with a Canon RebelXT (1.6 crop factor) in an Ike housing. I currently only have the Canon 17-40L lens for underwater use in the 6" dome. My preferred subjects tend to be the bigger stuff, like sharks, sea lions, dolphins, mantas, turtles, rays, etc. This coming March I'm going after humpback whales!

 

So I'm trying to decide whether I would benefit more from my first strobe, like the Ike DS-125, or a wider lens, like the Canon 10-22 (which also means getting the 8" dome too). Any thoughts or shared experiences on which would help more for these kinds of subjects would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance!

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For humpback whales? Forget the strobes and go with the wider lens. Also, consider adding a filter like Alex' magic filter...

 

Luiz

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Yeah, you're never going to paint a humpback with strobe light. Give yourself enough ISO to keep the shutter speed reasonably high. As Luiz says, try a magic filter if there is enough light to be able to suffer losing just over a stop.

 

The wider lens will let you get closer and may be the look you are after. Only you really know. The larger port will help the quality for any WA lens, including your 17-40mm.

 

Of course a strobe is a useful tool, but it sounds like its not one that will match your favoured subjects.

 

Have fun,

 

Martyn

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I've just got the sigma 15mm F2.8 DG for my 5D. It's so wide I keep photographing my shoes!

 

:)

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Tip of the day...

 

... get some better shoes :)

 

The Sigma fisheye is a peach mate, you are going to love what it can do. It'll be interesting to see if we can see any advantages to the DG coatings. I'm guessing it'll be only a tiny benefit, but it's basically free.

 

 

Actually that reminds me, going back to the original post, if you fancy a bit of that lovely diagonal fisheye action, Hobbes, you could try out one of the new Tokina 10-17mm fisheye zooms. One benefit is better corners straight out of the box. See a selection of recent threads on corners sharpness, etc. A fisheye is the best adapted lens type for use in a dome, so if I were in your situation I'd probably go for the Tokina over the Canon 10-22mm. The Canon is a nice lens but I favour fisheye aesthetics underwater.

 

Martyn

Edited by Rattus

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. See a selection of recent threads on corners sharpness, etc. A fisheye is the best adapted lens type for use in a dome, so if I were in your situation I'd probably go for the Tokina over the Canon 10-22mm. The Canon is a nice lens but I favour fisheye aesthetics underwater.

 

I agree. You don't want strobes for whales. If you really want to shoot the big stuff only then get a wide angle lens and a magic filter.

 

I would go for a fisheye. The Tokina FE Zoom looks interesting and it may be your only option on Canon. Two disadvantages though. I don't think there is any way to attach a filter to this lens. It is also not as fast as the primes so you loose some light that you could use with a filter.

 

All in all the 10-22 with a screw-in magic filter would be a good bet.

 

For normal shooting however I would normally recommend getting the strobe first. Because for macro and CFWA there is nothing that improves your photos more than the color that you get from a strobe.

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When shooting ambient light only:

-stay shallow, get close, get low, shoot up (you should be at the subject's eye level or lower)

-have the sun at your back (which puts light on the front of your subject)

-get your buddy to carry a 8x10 18% gray card, take pictures of your buddy holding the gray card at a few distances (and maybe a few different depths) You can use the 18% gray card to quickly adjust color in Photoshop.

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