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Hi Don,

 

You're certainly got a point there. Wetpixel (this thread in particular) wasn't like this until just a few weeks ago. Ask yourself what changed?

 

It's been sort of a quandry for us as we don't like to censor people.

Exactly.

 

We are going to have to take more extreme measures if these threads continue to be unproductive. We have already warned Dan Schwartz that we will delete any post of his that tries to pull a thread off topic, but now there are pissing contests going on that are pissing everyone off.

 

If this continues, I am going to lock the thread. I don't care how much information and misinformation there is being flung around about underwater medium format here; this thread isn't worth bringing down Wetpixel's culture.

 

So please -- think before you post again. This includes everyone involved.

 

Troy,

 

The "website digester" munged the URL you posted :)

 

Try using the "link" tool (the globe & chain link) to format the URL properly...

 

Else Craig will jump down your throat! :D

 

This is the kind of post that I'm not sure what to do with. You're trying to point out a problem and suggest a solution, but you are wrong about how to fix it.

 

The "website digester" whatever you think that is, does not mess up the link itself. All it does is reduce the text of the link. If you click through the original place Troy found the link, it will work. Paste a proper link as text into the post, and it does the right thing. But the original URL is what must be copied, which can be done by right/control clicking on the link and copying the link address, or by clicking through and copying it from the address bar at the top of the browser.

 

Now you have forced me to interject an off-topic post. Argh.

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hi Troy, that link you posted only contains 1280x857 pixel images. That means the poster took his originals, changed the size, possibly even cropped them, converted them to jpg, and then uploaded them to flickr, which may or may not have done something to them as well. They are completely unusable as a reference for any type of comparison because you have no idea what exactly has been done with these images.

 

I think the macro shot you posted holds great detail, maybe even better than SLRs can get at this point, although I will not get into that religious discussion. What matters more than anything else is the skill and eye of the photographer. An amazing action shot that is sharp and detailed enough, will win any time from a boring, but even sharper, image.

 

I think it's pretty obvious by now that the people that have been doing this for many years are almost all using SLRs. That must tell you something. It means that SLRs are good enough for what is being asked of them, and are economically sound. You may have made enough money from 1 shoot to recoup your MF camera, almost no one else will. As a photographer you have to balance cost and income, like any other business, and MF cameras are just not good performers in that area.

 

I really hope everyone can stop all this number madness. It is of no use in the real world. Who sits around at home number crunching their lenses and cameras and applying quantum functions to them based on if a cat is visible or not if you remove the lens cap. Most likely people that dont actually take photos with their cameras. Go and take photos and be happy with what you have, and make the best of its capabilities.

 

Cor

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Troy all those Macro (and some close-up, i definately wouldn't call any of them super-macro) shots were taken with a D200 and then resized by Flickr for the web. They have been downsized to about 33%. Now without commenting on the photographers ability himself if you were to shoot super macro .. which I have only tried a few times, it is A LOT harder than the shots I saw in that persons set on Flickr.

I don't know what comes from a 120mm lens on a MF camera but I am guessing it is not super macro, perhaps macro. Would it not return the same closeness as a 100mm macro lense on a Canon 20d for example ? (yes I understand you would have more pixels on the MF but I am talking about the actual image I am guessing the MF would not focus any closer perhaps worse so.)

The benefit I would assume with a MF is that you don't have to be as close as you can Crop the image (and if we take the given example of the diver (with stitching on his BCD we saw the 100% crop of) cropping would not be a bad thing as the edges as pointed out do look soft so why bother keeping them.

 

This then brings around the point if you are shooting with a MF camera that costs twice as much as a regular dSLR whats the point when you have to crop the image to end up with the same closeness and eliminate the soft edges of the photo ?

 

edit note .. just looked again at Troys Macro (close up) shot of a Flamingo tongue... is that really as close as you can get I know you said extreme end of mid macro .. but I would love to see an image of yours where it is uncropped and as close as you can get to a subject.

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Good morning Giles,

 

Thanks for your response. I know it's a bit lengthy but, if you go back in this thread you will have your comments and questions answered. Caymen must be nice. What would be the best month to dive there?

 

This then brings around the point if you are shooting with a MF camera that costs twice as much as a regular dSLR whats the point when you have to crop the image to end up with the same closeness and eliminate the soft edges of the photo ?

 

My point is it just might be possible to get a sharper image where the colors don't smudge together as much for larger printing.

 

Thanks Giles,

Troy

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Hello again giles,

 

 

edit note .. just looked again at Troys Macro (close up) shot of a Flamingo tongue... is that really as close as you can get I know you said extreme end of mid macro .. but I would love to see an image of yours where it is uncropped and as close as you can get to a subject.

 

I should be able to get twice as close. A rough estimate would be this:

 

In using my equipment so far, I can report that the end of my port can get as close as 5" from subject capturing a frame size of 1.35"x2.15" roughly.This in my opinion is only considered mid-macro or basic macro. As mentioned before I don't think it's a good super macro tool. However, to crop out a super-macro subject from this frame, size what will I get? This is what I would like to find out for myself and I will post more images as soon as I can so we can see in practical terms.

 

Thanks again,

Troy

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This thread is really getting out of hand!

 

Where is the problem to upload a uncropped/unmodified macro image to

any webspace out there and let people compare for themselves?!

I am 100% confident that DSLR shooters will do the same and anybody

will be happy.

 

Unfortunately my DSLR rig is a bit out of age and would be no match for

your machine.

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Giles, and others...

 

Troy is in a situation where he already had the Hassy H-system bodies (H1 & H3) & lenses for his above-water work; just as I have the Mamiya 645AFd system bodies & lenses, and others have Nikon, Canon, etc 35mm/dSLR systems.

 

In my case, I was considering housing one of my Mamiyas, but pretty much gave up due to cost/benefit as UW photography would be but a hobby. (Also, because of my (lack of) diving skills, the ergonomics with the larger housing killed the idea for me).

 

In Troy's case, it made economic sense because he is a professional UW photographer (he gets paid for his UW photos); he basically only needed to buy the housing; and also that he has good diving year-round due to his being in Nassau.

 

With the 2 cases for travel, Subtronic set up, housing, dome port, flat port and extension flat port cost around $13 to $14k US Dollars. Excellent build, easy to handle and everything in the right place. German built like a Mercedes. Surprisingly light except for the Subtronic Strobes but the quality of light is exceptional

 

[An analogy in my case: I haven't bought a digiback yet for my 645AFd, because I already have a color film lab & darkroom -- It doesn't (yet) make economic sense for me to go digital for my high-end work because I can do it with medium format, and on occasion, 4x5.]

 

If we put aside the H3D vs 1DsII "dancing on the head of a pin" image quality "cussin' & discussin'" for a moment and just look at the money spent, if Troy were to spend $7k for the 1DsII or 8k for the 1DsIII, he would still have to buy Canon lenses as well as the housing... So he's out the $13,000 he spent to house the camera system he already has... Or, probably more.

 

In addition, he would have to learn and get comfortable with a new camera and different shooting style, which takes time.

 

Let's all be patient for a week or so until Troy can shoot some good samples: The poor fella just got through a nasty storm and a 4 day wedding shoot :P -- Which was probably worse than anything Mother Nature could have thrown at him! :P

Edited by Dan Schwartz

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http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...st&p=145169

 

Troy in the above post .. forgetting the Flamingo Tongue as you said you were a distance away.

The Cleaning Goby and the Cardinal Fish .. how far away were you from the subjects and how much have they been cropped. I didn't see that info in the topic at all.

 

I am just trying to work out if real macro is ONLY achieved by cropping .. which in my mind makes it not really macro.

 

 

edit to reply as posts made since i started typing.

I am willing to post a 100% crop and full size image from my D60 .. 6mp camera ...(I need to go home first) my point is not about the image quality, its about i guess work flow .. whats the point in having to crop images to get the effect when there are solutions out there that allow you to have the same quality image without cropping (as the image quality drops when cropped)

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Troy, here is my suggestion for a "quick & dirty" test:

 

Fill your kitchen sink with 6-7" of water, throw in a couple shiny coins and a ruler, and point your port straight down. The ruler will give you scale; and the coins will give you fine details to verify focus.

 

In using my equipment so far, I can report that the end of my port can get as close as 5" from subject capturing a frame size of 1.35"x2.15" roughly.This in my opinion is only considered mid-macro or basic macro. As mentioned before I don't think it's a good super macro tool. However, to crop out a super-macro subject from this frame, size what will I get? This is what I would like to find out for myself and I will post more images as soon as I can so we can see in practical terms.

Edit: You have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run: I think this thread started to get out of hand because Troy hadn't really put his rig (or, his software, for that matter) through all the paces. Let's all take a step back, let the poor fella get a few shooting and editing sessions under his belt, and then we'll have more information to evaluate his image quality.

 

This pause will also allow others time to post dSLR images, so we can all make evaluations on a level playing field.

Edited by Dan Schwartz

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In Troy's case, it made economic sense because he is a professional UW photographer...
Hehe, the hyperbole never ends. As had been said already, the term "underwater photo pro" is meaningless now. Regardless, there's no evidence that his purchase made economic sense. For that to be true, there has to be some realizable value in the extra cost of the rig. He hasn't demonstrated that yet.

 

...if Troy were to spend $7k for the 1DsII or 8k for the 1DsIII, he would still have to buy Canon lenses as well as the housing... So he's out the $13,000 he spent to house the camera system he already has... Or, probably more.
Troy said he'd taken a 1Ds underwater before. I'm sure a photographer of Troy's earning power already has such equipment at his disposal. Furthermore, if $35K is not too much for an impulse purchase after a single photo shoot, I doubt the meager expense of a 1Ds and lenses matters much.

 

I find it interesting the gyrations being made to hide the fact that this H3D rig is so expensive. Those who consider this rig will have to face the costs. How they justify it isn't relevant.

 

In addition, he would have to learn and get comfortable with a new camera and different shooting style, which takes time.
He has to do that now anyway. Shooting a camera underwater is a new experience regardless of your land-based experience because you are operating a housing. You'll learn that too, Dan, if you ever take an underwater image.

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I have been reading this thread with some interest. It is quite unlikely that I will ever have a housed MF camera. I currently shoot a D200 (sub 35 mm sensor.) The next UW setup will likely be a d300. I am sure that the posters discussing pictures from flicker must understand that only low resolution pictures are available there. For example here is one of mine, http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=511968522&size=l this was shot with the 105mm distance about 12 inches. I had this exact picture printed 16X20 and donated it to my friend who owns a dive shop www.dipndive.com while I do not hang out there much I am told that many of my friends customers are stunned or inspired by this image. Surely all of the posters to this thread understand that the copy of the same image posted to flicker is but the merest hint of the print.

 

And yet in terms of what this image is a knowledgeable photographer can discuss Focus, Aperture, shutter speed, ect. that in the second a photograph is made the photographer freezes many choices for all time. Had I the opportunity to shoot this image over I would like to try shooting it at smaller aperture. We can easily see the impact of all of those factors on the image. Given an equivalent focal length, and camera setup how would you expect this image to be different had it been shot in MF?

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(cut)

And yet in terms of what this image is a knowledgeable photographer can discuss Focus, Aperture, shutter speed, ect. that in the second a photograph is made the photographer freezes many choices for all time. Had I the opportunity to shoot this image over I would like to try shooting it at smaller aperture. We can easily see the impact of all of those factors on the image.

And, in underwater photography, when film is shot, the ISO is also frozen! :P

 

Given an equivalent focal length, and camera setup how would you expect this image to be different had it been shot in MF?

 

This goes back to The Circle of Confusion, which is (basically) the acceptable limit of defocus (blurring) from the plane of focus, for a given print size & viewing distance.

 

If you were shooting your (great!) photo with medium format, then you would be able to reduce your aperture about 2 more stops with the same apparent fuzziness from diffraction, i.e. if you shot your photo at f/8 (the sweet spot for DX & APS), then you would be able to shoot it at f/16 with medium format, and gain the additional DOF (with concomitant loss of light transmission, of course; which leads to longer shutter times/motion blur, noise from higher ISO, yada yada yada...).

 

These are the tradeoffs professional photographers make every day on dry land.

 

That being said, Dr. Mustard -- Who has shot the old Hasselblad medium format gear -- counsels against medium format for underwater, due to ergonomics...

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Nice shot, don. You don't get a chance for that shot very often. Love the color.

 

Most would agree the D200 is easily capable of 16x20. What's interesting is that Troy, the person who challenges that, claims that the H3D can do 60x96 (5'x8'). Considering that the H3D and D200 have similar pixel density and the H3D is 4.5x larger, I'm curious how it can do an enlargement 23x bigger than what Troy says the D200 can't do. In reality, Troy says even the 1Ds series cameras can't do 16x20 so it's even worse.

 

I would say that since Troy is now an underwater photo pro, his competitors are likely delighted with his approach. ;-)

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Hello Everyone,

 

Keeping in step with positive and informative posting, I continue. Firstly, I want to appologize for making a mistake on the frame size and distance of focus. In fact, it's smaller and closer. Being that I was not able to find any specs on this, I will continue with my practical findings.

 

The focus distance is in fact 4" from lens and 31/2" from port. The difference being the gap inside between the lens and port.

 

The frame size at the extreme end is in fact 46mm x 33mm give or take 1mm.

 

The sample below was shot between f22-f45 @ 1/125 and iso 400. There was no quality loss what-so-ever. The Flexcolor software did an excellent job in handling the lens data.

 

All I can do for now,

 

Best Regards,

Troy

 

Crop

post-14199-1194294353_thumb.jpg

post-14199-1194294512_thumb.jpg

Edited by Troy Aitken

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Hello Diverdon,

 

Would you be kind enough to mention how big your frame size was and your settings? Also would you take your 16x20 file and crop a portion of the sharp area until you get a 7x9 @72dpi natively and post that. It should be under 500kb for this site?

 

Also I want to thank you for joining in and showing us a sample. The coin sample is all I have right now and a far distanced shot of a juvy Flamingo Tongue. Please be patient util I am able to post something new w/o speculating based on theory or spec sheets. Nice shot and good eye candy. One side note, if at all possible, when you anticipate the shot try and avoid bright areas that distract the eye from the subject. The bright areas being at bottom left and upper right quadrant. Again, nice shot though and thank you for sharing.

 

Please post sample, I would appreciate it.

 

All the best,

Troy

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Nice coin shots Troy. They show the potential of a MF camera, but in this case in a very controlled environment. To me this issue seems pretty clear. If you can get a frame filling shot with a MF camera then there is no doubt in my mind that it will rival, and most likely surpass, anything that an SLR can do now when it comes to overall image quality (I do not mean content quality). But this does limit you a in your choices of subjects. As said before, and I fully support that view, why bother with a MF camera if half the time you have to crop to such a degree that your final image will not benefit from the quality of your MF camera. In practice I think you're going to have a difficult time getting great shots with your rig. Not only are you limited in your subject sizes (or pay the crop penalty), it's also quite cumbersome due to its size. Hell, I think my D2x is too big! But if you feel it's worth a try, then by all means, go for it. You're obviously motivated enough. I personally think it's a step too far to actually recommend this to anyone else though. The costs are insanely prohibitive, the benefits questionable in practice when you're out there under water, and the jury is still out on the content of the images we've seen. They're not compelling images, and no matter what camera you have, that has to come first. But that can still come, and I hope to see more images in time.

 

I'll add a 100% crop of an image my wife took recently. It's taken with a Nikon D2x, which is only 12 mp, compared to your 39mp. a 105mm lens, f8, 1/250s. This image shows two small shrimp, that live on an urchin. I would like to say though that my wife and I are going through a shallow depth of field phase :P We could have easily used f22 and probably have a bit larger area in focus. But this was meant to be shallow. This is not meant to show in any way that 'slr is better'. I dont like that kind of discussion. I just think that slr's are 'good enough', and are getting better and better in great strides. I have made and sold 24x36 prints and canvas prints from my d2x images, and the customers seemed happy enough. If you could get this same image full frame with your camera, Id probably drool, but for our purpose this will do for now.

 

You can click on the left image to see a larger version.

 

217913318-S.jpg 217912658-M.jpg

 

[edit]: One of the images in the series was actually shot at f22. So here is the f22 version.

 

218180880-M.jpg

 

Cor

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Troy, notice in the cropped photo the dots from the conventional 4-color halftone screening, probably at 85 LPI: You accidentally placed a calibrated example in your scene! :P (more...)

 

Nice coin shots Troy. They show the potential of a MF camera, but in this case in a very controlled environment.

 

Cor, as I wrote above, Troy needs to crawl before he walks, yada yada... And his taking time to get his arms around his new rig, to discover its limits, even in a controlled environment, is important. As I also wrote, let's pause, take a deep breath, and give it a week or two for him to accumulate more samples.

 

For example, I assume that the penny test was on a tabletop, not in the kitchen sink. I believe it was Paul who stated that the limiting factor for MF is the optics of the port, so let's see how these tests progress once he repeats it in the sink.

 

AFAIK, Troy is one of only three people in the world shooting MF digital; with the other two being the guy in the South Pacific UK-Germany built a twin to Troy's housing for, and Kim Lundshøj, who is using a PhaseOne P25 on a `blad 503CX.

 

So, let's all calm down: The Atlantic Ocean isn't going anywhere in a hurry! :P

 

Edit: What I meant to say about seeing in-water results through the port has to do with loss of contrast; and alterations in chromatic aberration to what is preprogrammed for his lens in Flexcolor (soon to be Phocus) software -- And how (or even if) the distortion from the port can be compensated for.

Edited by Dan Schwartz

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Troy,

 

Thank you for sharing some wonderful images and knowledge!

 

I really hate to jump in, but Don has really captured what's going on here....very, very sad.....

 

Thank you James and Eric for your summary, something must be done...

 

I will not respond to posts from Dan or Craig, would rather be at 400' on air!

 

Best,

 

Tom

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What I meant to say about seeing in-water results through the port has to do with loss of contrast...
...and we all know how well that will be simulated in a sink shot. :P

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Good Morning Cor,

 

Thank you for posting illustrations to show dof etc at f.8. As we continue to see more using different settings, we will see practical samples of how much more of the image can be in focus. Remember, the closer you get to your subject even at high f.stops, dof will still be an issue and increasingly so. Also, very critically, a good contrast line is best to find to lock in focus and you better not budge or subject not move. Difficult for both formats.

 

I must say sincerely that I am not finding my set-up cumbersome. My view through the viewfinder is so bright and HD-looking, I can zero in on my subject w/o guessing anf get the shot. Now, if there's movement by the critter or me at the extreme end of my macro, then therein lies the difficulty.

 

In my H3D, I have the option to dial in "near scan" as opposed to "full scan" to give specific info to Flexcolor.

Now, at this point I am interested to find out if a cropped portion of my frame would work out better since the image might be sharper and have better separation between colors. This is to be seen and proven by me and I will be sure to posts samples to show results either way. Once all is found out, both formats can determine how to maximize their strengths.

 

This is great stuff, I feel that I can learn new things,

Thanks Cor,

All the best,

Troy.

Edited by Troy Aitken

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Good morning Dan,

 

I didn't know there was a third. I think the H-series is on a different level though. Does he have contact info to the public?

 

Thanks,

Troy

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Good morning Tom,

 

Thank you and I hope to improve. I am really practicing now until the weather gets better. Many shots will come before April, but summer time is best. When the water is like glass and clear I like to go early in the morning and late in the day shooting HD video u/w with my XL-H1 housed by Gates. I can't wait to do the same with stills.

 

Stay tuned,

Troy

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Hi Troy, I added an image to the previous post I made. My wife reminded me that one of the images in the series was shot at f22. The difference is definitely notable. I put it in the previous post so it's easier to compare.

 

Id love to see a shot with your MF camera of a subject that is about the same size as this small shrimp, and then cropped to about the same area as I have. Im fairly certain this photo was taken with a 1.4 teleconverter, and with a nikon 1.5 factor. If you hold significantly more detail on such a tiny area, then you'd better get stunning images the coming year :P

 

Cor

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