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Kari Post

What gear does a beginner need?

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I am an experienced nature photographer that would love to start shooting underwater (see my website at www.karipost.com). I'd like to purchase a 5D and underwater gear to get started.

 

What do I need exactly to start shooting. I would like to use an Ikelite system, as I feel like it would be most affordable and I know they work rather well. If I end up doing a lot of shooting I can always upgrade later, but right now I don't imagine getting a ton of regular use out of it.

 

Let's say I have a Canon 5D, 17-40mm zoom, and Sigma 150 Macro. I am considering purchasing a 15mm fisheye lens and shorter macro for underwater. What ports and port accessories do I need? What would a basic strobe setup consist of?

 

Thanks for your help.

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Hi Kari,

 

Those are great lens choices - I use them often w/ my 1D and 5D bodies. You'll want to make sure you get the biggest port possible for the 17-40 and also use a +2 diopter. For the Sigma 150, you'll need a different housing because I don't believe it's compatible w/ Ikelite but you should check with them.

 

If you go w/ an Ikelite housing I HIGHLY recommend you use their strobes too as they work really well w/ Ikelite's TTL converter. Perhaps the new DS160 would be a good choice. You'll also want a dual strobe cord or two.

 

Cheers

James

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Thanks for the suggestions James. I really appreciate your help!

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Hi Kari, i've had a look at your website, you have some great pictures. I am/was in the same boat as you, see link http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=26792 and have just bought a 5d and Aquatica housing as I managed to pick up a second hand one at a reasonable price. I went for Aquatica in the end because, as James points out in his post, it will accept more lenses than the Ikelite i.e. 16-35mm II and also because it is a little more solid construction wise. This is however to the detriment of ETTL or TTL for the flashes which is the big bonus for Canon shooters using Ikelite housings if you don't like shooting manual flash. A good browse of the forums here will give you some ideas and a good grounding in the whole underwater thing, well it did for me anyway :).

 

Tristan

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Tristan,

 

You should get the Ikelite external TTL converter. It's fully compatible w/ the Aquatica housing - talk to Aquatica about it.

 

Cheers

James

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PS: wow nice skimmer photos Kari! Where is that massive colony found?

 

Cheers

James

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Tristan,

 

You should get the Ikelite external TTL converter. It's fully compatible w/ the Aquatica housing - talk to Aquatica about it.

 

Cheers

James

 

Thanks James, I'll look into it, although I have kind of resigned myself into the whole manual thing and am quite looking forward to the challenge :) Plus the fact that i am off to Egypt next week and still have no strobes :blush: everyone is out of stock at the moment.......

 

Tristan

Edited by Tjsnapper

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Tristan,

 

You should get the Ikelite external TTL converter. It's fully compatible w/ the Aquatica housing - talk to Aquatica about it.

 

Cheers

James

 

 

I had been looking at various options for TTL of my Canon in a Aquatica Housing and I had seen the Heinrichs convertor, the Ike Cords for non-Ike housings shooting Nikon and bulkhead options for Ike connections on Aquatica Housings, but did not see an Ikelite External TTL Convertor for Ike/Canon in non-Ike Housings. Which one are you speaking about? Sounds like I missed something that is very cool.

 

Thanks

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if you decide on the Sigma be aware of significant quality variation lens-lens and be sure to test it before you keep it - the photozone tests of samples in Canon and Nikon mounts is informative

 

also consider renting on from lensrentals.com (which has interestingly enough started to publish their reliability data, Sigma reliability in general is pretty bad)

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James, the skimmer colony was found last year at Nickerson Beach, part of Jones Beach State Park on Long Island, New York.

 

I already have the 17-40 and Sigma 150 macro, but have yet to purchase a 5D (I plan to soon). I would probably pick up a shorter macro for underwater work as well as a 15mm fisheye, but right now the 5D and housing is a significant enough investment that the other lenses would have to wait.

 

Thanks for all the input so far!

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Sorry - I mis-spoke. Ike only makes the external converter cord for Nikon. What's up with that???

 

Cheers

James

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I'm in the same boat. After 35 years of faithful Nikon use, I am considering jumping ship to the new Canon 5D Mark II. It's surely pricier than the 5D -- and of course, in addition to not yet shipping, it has no housings yet. If your budget stretches to the 5D Mark II and you can wait a bit, the 21 meg file size, water resistant housing, full size CMOS sensor (36 x 24) and HD movie capability may be worth it. I haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm sure tempted. I was waffling between the Nikon D90 and D300 and then the Canon came along and blew them all away (including the Nikon D700). Just a thought.

Edited by Phoenix1

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Sorry - I mis-spoke. Ike only makes the external converter cord for Nikon. What's up with that???

 

Cheers

James

 

 

Bummer I got excited :)

 

When I spoke with Ikelite at BTS last year I begged for one for Canon, but do not think it will come out. It has to do (so it seems) with the 5 Pin/6 Pin issues and trying to get the Canon to work properly.

 

Plan to beg again this year just in case.

 

I would like to have TTL though my first P&S and my current dSLR did not have it and I am not sure I truly miss it though I would like to have it just as another tool.

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For the Sigma 150, you'll need a different housing because I don't believe it's compatible w/ Ikelite but you should check with them.

 

I've used the Sigma 150 with an Ikelite housing and their 5505.58 port. For me, the 100mm macro works better underwater due to quicker focus lock, but the 150 fits the above port just fine.

Edited by dmoss

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