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y.awanohara

Canon 20D New Underwater!

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Hi, I currently have been shooting with a Canon 20D above water for over a year and a half. I love it

 

www.flickr.com/photos/y_awanohara

 

I am about to buy the Ikelite housing, as well as a DS 125 strobe (just 1 for now!), and some lens ports.

 

I am planning on getting lens ports for my 18-55mm EF-S and my 100mm USM Macro lens.

 

Does this sound like a good set-up? I also have a 70-300mm zoom lens but don't think it's the best thing to take underwater...please tell me if this isn't the case.

 

Given that I've never done any underwater photography, I am feeling pretty anxious/lost. Is there a good book/manual/guide that anyone suggests? I need to learn about everything - including strobes, general care of the products, white balancing, etc.

 

Even though I am buying my setup now, I won't be diving til end of February in Lembeh/Bangka - I'm travelling around SE Asia til then (so plenty of time to read and study)

 

Please feel free to email me direct at y.awanohara(at)gmail.com

 

Thanks very much in advance for your help!

 

Yuri

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The 100USM works nicely underwater behind a flat port. For macro, the TTL in the Ikelite housing and DS-125 works well. You should get some good shots right away. Try going manual on the camera at f8.0 or higher f stop and 1/100 or so and let TTL light the scene. If you are very close to the subject a higher F stop will give you a little more depth of field. I don't know what the 18-55 will do underwater, but it could work out ok for fish portrait type shots.

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Hi Yuri & welcome to wetpixel!

 

I've got both your lenses and a Canon 20D in Ikelite housing. I've used the DS50 strobe but just bought the DS125 and they all work well.

 

100mm Macro

I got the recommended flat port without manual focus and since it is specifically made for that lens it will fit just fine. There is also a model with manual focus option but I've so far not felt a need for it. That may be different if you are really trying to push the 1:1 magnification limit. Others will be in a better position to discuss this.

If you do decide to get a model with manual focus I wonder if it is worth getting a slightly longer port (5.5" model) because that gives you the option to add a 1.4x teleconverter and I don't think the extra 4mm will be much of a disadvantage during normal use. Is anyone using that combination?

 

18-55 EF-S

I've used if behind the short dome port, whatever is the recommended port on Ikelites compatibility table (#5303 I believe it is). That port can also be used for the Sigma 15mm fisheye which could be an interesting future lens for you. After the discussion about optical quality of zoom and prime lenses in another thread I must admit that I have been quite pleased with the images from this lowly kit lens. You want to keep the aperture closed to f8 or more but then the images are sharp and look great (at least if you're not yet spoiled by working with L class lenses too much).

 

Like bandit, most of the time I set the camera to manual with the shutter time fixed to 1/200-1/250 sec. You can then play with the aperture to control the amount of ambient light (blue versus dark/black background when shooting against water) and depth of view, letting the TTL work out the right exposure. I use shorter exposures then bandit but in reality the short burst of the flash mostly controls the exposure and (lack of) motion blur, so I've not found it to be a critical parameter.

 

Much of your success depends on being able to spot interesting critters or seascapes and mastering the skill to approach them closely without chasing them away. Try to get on eye level if that is possible without getting too close to the reef. Rocks, walls, and ledges that come up several feet or more from the substrate are often good spots because you can stay on the side and shoot objects at eye level which is hard to do on a horizontal substrate.

 

Good luck and enjoy the pleasures of UW photography!

 

Bart

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congrats on the new toy.

 

I used the 18-55mm once underwater, but don't care to again. I wouldn't recommend getting the port for it, unless of course it is the same as the port for you r50mm f1.8.

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Thanks for all the replies! Glad to hear I've made suitable choices...I'll try the 18-55 and see how I go, because it's the only lens I've got other than the 70-300 and the 100 macro which i'm housing...

 

thanks again!

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I also think there isn't much use in buying a port for the 18-55 unless it can also be used with another lens. Personally, I think the first three lenses you should acquire over time for underwater use are the 100mm Macro USM (check!) and the 60mm Macro EF-S lens with a flat port and extension rings; and (after saving up a bit!) the 10-22mm EF-S lens with a dome port (just staying with Canon's offerings for the moment). I think the 60mm may be the best "beginner" or "all around" lens because it offers the most flexibility: fish shots, buddy portraits and macro. The 100mm pretty much limits you to macro shots of things less than a few inches in size (or fish eyeballs :D ) because you'll have to get too far away from larger subjects for the strobe to be effective. The 10-22 rocks, but is a bit pricey (plus the dome port) if you are under a budget. There are many threads on this board about the pros and cons of many different lenses, but most everyone has at least the 60mm Macro and a wide angle(or equivalents) in their arsenal.

 

Stefan

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I agree with chidiver, the 60mm and 10-22mm are great lenses. The 100mm is good but rather difficult to use underwater given the smaller sensor magnification.

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