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vchiline

Above water Prof. Photographer, wanting to start underwater :)

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Hey everybody,

 

I'm currently trying to figure out what exactly I will need for my underwater foray. I'm a professional photographer (product photographer), and use Canon cameras. I'm thinking of using my 5D Mark II body as "THE" camera because it can do both photo/video.

 

Now, this is going to be a hobby (living in Montreal, Canada limits to subject matter a little more than say Cayman), and I don't want to break my piggy bank too much, though I can afford more if I "need" to. Because this is going to be my first underwater experience with a camera, I'm curious to know what I should get and what I should expect on the first dives? I read that some ppl can't believe how hard it is to control everything underwater (size, weight, flash, etc).

 

I've been swimming through your various posts, and will be going with Ikelite products. Quality/price is sounding great. Some ppl appear to love 2 strobes, some say start with 1, you'll have your hands full. I'm thinking should I go all out - get 2 strobes? But that starts making me think I'm digging into my piggy again.

 

So:

 

Ikelite 5D mII housing

8" dome + matching port for 17-40mm lens.

My reg zoom lens is a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 (for work I use the 90mm tilt-shift exclusively hehe, try fitting that!).

1 or 2 DS160 strobes.

 

What are things to be aware of? Any stories of your first times? How did you start? Jumped in with DSLRs? 1-2 strobes? Curious to hear your stories.

 

Thanks in advance, great posts by most of you!

 

-Vadim

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What do you want to shoot? Your Tamron isn't widely used underwater, as far as I know, where the best lenses are those that get you really close - much, much closer than you think you should need to be - to your subject.

 

Ikelite housings tend to big, heavy on the surface and light underwater, and I've seen more jammed or leaky Ikelite ports than any other single manufacturer's (though Ike's gear is that much more common, and perhaps that just means that there a lot of Ikelite ports about).

 

I'd start with a fixed focal length and one strobe. Lots of people start with a macro lens of about 60mm focal length. It's easy enough to add another strobe after a few dives, when you are happy with manoeuvring about with all the clutter.

 

Tim

 

:)

Edited by tdpriest

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Hi :)

 

I would recommend you (my point of view of course) to go for a wider lense (let say sigma 15mm) as the visibility in Canadais pretty low.

Then I would say 2 Inon z240 instead of ikelite for 1- the weight, 2- the light color (colder is better for green water) and 3- you don't really need ultra powered strobes wich a 5D2 going far in ISO.

 

This will bring you to exactly the stuff I had, and I'm really happy of this. I did a lot with one ikelite strobe in the past, and I'm glad I switched, even if Ikelite ones are very good. (photo of the stuff underwater here : http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2676/402989..._dfb1355ff0.jpg )

 

you'll loose TTL, but really, it doesn't matter :)

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Hi :)

 

I would recommend you (my point of view of course) to go for a wider lense (let say sigma 15mm) as the visibility in Canadais pretty low.

Then I would say 2 Inon z240 instead of ikelite for 1- the weight, 2- the light color (colder is better for green water) and 3- you don't really need ultra powered strobes wich a 5D2 going far in ISO.

 

This will bring you to exactly the stuff I had, and I'm really happy of this. I did a lot with one ikelite strobe in the past, and I'm glad I switched, even if Ikelite ones are very good. (photo of the stuff underwater here : http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2676/402989..._dfb1355ff0.jpg )

 

you'll loose TTL, but really, it doesn't matter :)

 

 

Thanks 2 you both for your replies. I would like to do wide angle, as there's many wrecks around here, more so than colorful fish and such (hehe). But Macro wouldn't hurt. I was planning on getting a 100mm macro, but the 60 macro would be nicer? So the 15mm is that much more different than 17 underwater? (dang, I have no idea about the water factor on optics!).

 

Do most of underwater photographers use Manual or is TTL preferred? I guess this is in regards to the Inon. They do sound nice. I shoot manual at work... but TTL when doing any action work. Curious.

 

I pre-ordered the new version of "The Underwater Photographer", so looking forward to reading that up.

 

 

-Vadim

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I was planning on getting a 100mm macro, but the 60 macro would be nicer?

 

well, if you are aware that the 60 macro won't fit on your 5D2 as a full frame, exept if you use some teleconverters, then you might suspect that the 100mm will be more simple to use.

I tried both (60 on a aps-c and 100on a ff) and I prefer the 100 so far, but it can be as well because of the camera change :) )

the 60 is easier to use, while the 100 can give you the same frame from further away, which is good for scared fish.

plus, Ikelite have a flat port with focus for the 100mm, and manual focus is fun to use sometimes.

 

So the 15mm is that much more different than 17 underwater? (dang, I have no idea about the water factor on optics!).

The 15mm is a fisheye, meaning it have even a wider angle than the Canon 14mm. and so, it have the 2mm factor + the fisheye factor compared to the 17 :) tried both, there is a difference, especially when you shoot huge animals sticking to you such as in shark-feeding activities.

 

Be carefull, the 17 WON'T fit in the 15mm 8" dome (too long). maybe you want to try your 17mm first, and then buy another shorter base for the 15mm on your same 8" dome (I guess it's around 150 usd more?).

 

The 15 is an extreme wide angle, meaning you'll have a hard time with not-so-big but too-big-for-macro stuff. :)

Edited by Autopsea

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well, if you are aware that the 60 macro won't fit on your 5D2 as a full frame, exept if you use some teleconverters, then you might suspect that the 100mm will be more simple to use.

I tried both (60 on a aps-c and 100on a ff) and I prefer the 100 so far, but it can be as well because of the camera change :) )

the 60 is easier to use, while the 100 can give you the same frame from further away, which is good for scared fish.

plus, Ikelite have a flat port with focus for the 100mm, and manual focus is fun to use sometimes.

 

 

The 15mm is a fisheye, meaning it have even a wider angle than the Canon 14mm. and so, it have the 2mm factor + the fisheye factor compared to the 17 :) tried both, there is a difference, especially when you shoot huge animals sticking to you such as in shark-feeding activities.

 

Be carefull, the 17 WON'T fit in the 15mm 8" dome (too long). maybe you want to try your 17mm first, and then buy another shorter base for the 15mm on your same 8" dome (I guess it's around 150 usd more?).

 

The 15 is an extreme wide angle, meaning you'll have a hard time with not-so-big but too-big-for-macro stuff. :)

 

Salut Autopsea :)

 

I never looked at the 60, so it's a crop-camera oriented lens... will stick to the 100mm then. I think for the time being I'll save the money and use the 17.... because wow, you can easily spend $5k on this stuff in a blink of an eye.

 

The Inon's are looking quite nice (checked them out). Which arms did you use for your Inon's & ikelite housing? Is manual rather easy with them?

 

Merci bien encore,

 

Vadim

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I never looked at the 60, so it's a crop-camera oriented lens... will stick to the 100mm then.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that 1:1 with a 60mm lens gets the subject much closer to the port than 1:1 with a 100mm lens. In cloudy water, you want as little water between your port and your subject as possible, which is why a lot of people recommend the 60mm for beginning underwater macro photographers.

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stick with your 17-40mm for now, though for super wide people very often turn to full frame fisheyes for coverage and minimizing subject distance in the light and sharpness robbing murky water. you will likely need 2 strobes to cover the whole frame.

 

macro is way easier to start (i had no idea the 60mm canon macro was crop sensor) i do think the 60mm on crop sensor is a brilliant macro combo, so that would be about 90mm on full frame, so go for the 100mm.

 

Ikelite make good affordable housings and are very popular. the drawback is weight, bulk, ergonomics & lack of accessories (large viewfinder, large glass dome etc). i do suggest you at least look at some aluminum housings. even though they get pricey, as a pro you'll appreciate the subtle differences.

 

just so happens that one of the cheaper of these is Aquatica (what i use) and they're based in montreal. having the company in your own town could save you a bundle on maintenance down the road (like a reg, a housing should be serviced each year). definitely worth a look for their proximity. www.aquatica.ca

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stick with your 17-40mm for now, though for super wide people very often turn to full frame fisheyes for coverage and minimizing subject distance in the light and sharpness robbing murky water. you will likely need 2 strobes to cover the whole frame.

 

macro is way easier to start (i had no idea the 60mm canon macro was crop sensor) i do think the 60mm on crop sensor is a brilliant macro combo, so that would be about 90mm on full frame, so go for the 100mm.

 

Ikelite make good affordable housings and are very popular. the drawback is weight, bulk, ergonomics & lack of accessories (large viewfinder, large glass dome etc). i do suggest you at least look at some aluminum housings. even though they get pricey, as a pro you'll appreciate the subtle differences.

 

just so happens that one of the cheaper of these is Aquatica (what i use) and they're based in montreal. having the company in your own town could save you a bundle on maintenance down the road (like a reg, a housing should be serviced each year). definitely worth a look for their proximity. www.aquatica.ca

 

 

 

Yeah, I did look at Aquatica, and I couldn't believe it was Montreal based - of all places hahaha. Just somehow wish pricing would be a litlte softer for local guys :) What lighting is good with that housing? Are the Inon strobes TTL with it? Or manual like the Ikelite? I agree, local company can be quite awesome if there's ANY problems. What lighting to do you use? Anything I should be aware of with going that line? I guess I'll have to surf a few more hours about that. I'm not going to jump and buy on a hot head.... better take my time and get the right thing on the first try. I'm just feeling that everything with Aquatica will be much more $$$ in the end, sure better quality, but this is a hobby (ports, strobe connectors, etc)?

 

How would you describe your first dive with your housing?

 

Thanks again!

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How would you describe your first dive with your housing?

 

Your first dive with your housing may surprise you, especially since you're an accomplished topside photographer. Depending on your housing and the controls it offers, you may find that controls you regularly use topside simply aren't available to you underwater. Another area that may surprise you is that when shooting underwater and using a mask, that seeing the viewfinder clearly and easily isn't always possible. This is not a concern topside, but it is something uw photographers talk about a lot. Although they are expensive, you might want to consider a magnifying viewfinder. I did and I'll never go back to shooting uw without one.

 

Your first dives underwater may get you thinking that you are close enough to your subject to take the shot. But, think again! It's likely that you are not close enough. Get even closer! And you still may not be close enough! What I'm trying to say is to get as close as possible, even if it seems like you are close enough.

 

And, always take the housing underwater first, without your camera inside the housing. This enables you to test and make sure there are no leaks before you risk getting your camera wet inside a leaky housing.

 

My first dive with my new housing was made while taking an underwater photography workshop with instructors who could help me. If at all possible, you may want to consider attending such a workshop for your first dives with your camera + housing.

 

I'm not sure whether you're a certified diver or not, but, if you're a new diver, be sure you get some dives under your belt to learn good buoyancy control before you tackle diving with a camera.

 

For me, my first dive with my housing wasn't a completely new experience as I'd used a Nikonos V camera before. Although I was familiar with using a camera without a housing, the sheer bulk of what I was carrying and the additional weight was an eye opener compared to the Nikonos. There were a lot of new things to learn, but it was a very enjoyable process.

 

If additional questions come up, please feel free to post them here. You came to the right place, Wetpixel, a great community and source of help for uw photographers.

 

Ellen

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Your first dive with your housing may surprise you, especially since you're an accomplished topside photographer. Depending on your housing and the controls it offers, you may find that controls you regularly use topside simply aren't available to you underwater. Another area that may surprise you is that when shooting underwater and using a mask, that seeing the viewfinder clearly and easily isn't always possible. This is not a concern topside, but it is something uw photographers talk about a lot. Although they are expensive, you might want to consider a magnifying viewfinder. I did and I'll never go back to shooting uw without one.

 

Your first dives underwater may get you thinking that you are close enough to your subject to take the shot. But, think again! It's likely that you are not close enough. Get even closer! And you still may not be close enough! What I'm trying to say is to get as close as possible, even if it seems like you are close enough.

 

And, always take the housing underwater first, without your camera inside the housing. This enables you to test and make sure there are no leaks before you risk getting your camera wet inside a leaky housing.

 

My first dive with my new housing was made while taking an underwater photography workshop with instructors who could help me. If at all possible, you may want to consider attending such a workshop for your first dives with your camera + housing.

 

I'm not sure whether you're a certified diver or not, but, if you're a new diver, be sure you get some dives under your belt to learn good buoyancy control before you tackle diving with a camera.

 

For me, my first dive with my housing wasn't a completely new experience as I'd used a Nikonos V camera before. Although I was familiar with using a camera without a housing, the sheer bulk of what I was carrying and the additional weight was an eye opener compared to the Nikonos. There were a lot of new things to learn, but it was a very enjoyable process.

 

If additional questions come up, please feel free to post them here. You came to the right place, Wetpixel, a great community and source of help for uw photographers.

 

Ellen

 

 

Hi Ellen, and thanks for the wonderful reply. I'm certified PADI advanced, but unfortunately, haven't dived much lately because a health issue that's over and done with. I'm heading out to Antigua in a couple months, and I finally want to get the equipment I need to start underwater photography. It would almost pain me not to get the equipment before that trip, but I'm worried it will spoil the dives because I might be tinkering with my gear and using up my air (not to mention, fiddling around with buoyancy because I'll be in salt waters with new gear).

 

One new question, snorkeling with the housing, how hard is that? Do all of you always bring lights? Or can the Magic Filter + sun behind you work nicely in relatively shallow depths? I ask because I read that there are many close-by reefs snorkel distances away.

 

The Aquatica housing does look phenomenal - being a gear nut it's hard to resist the lovely housing - but adding all the various part up is starting to look quite expensive, but not "insane" though. Are ergonomics that much better on it?

 

Alright, too many questions still.... sorry :) But you've all been a great asset, thanks so much in advance again.

 

-Vadim

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One new question, snorkeling with the housing, how hard is that? Do all of you always bring lights? Or can the Magic Filter + sun behind you work nicely in relatively shallow depths? I ask because I read that there are many close-by reefs snorkel distances away.

 

Freediving can be really nice because, if you're good at it, some animals don't fear you as much as in scuba. If you don't freedive deep (less than 20m) than having only a filter should be fine, exept for big animal closeup against the sun, but that's kind or rare and you'll still get a silhouette :)

for reef scenic and stuff, it's fine, just raw and white balance it later if the filter didn't do all the job.

have fun anyway, and please come back to show us your first uw photos :)

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Some really goo info from Ellen!

 

<<Your first dive with your housing may surprise you,

Another area that may surprise you is that when shooting underwater and using a mask, that seeing the viewfinder clearly and easily isn't always possible. This is not a concern topside, but it is something uw photographers talk about a lot. Although they are expensive, you might want to consider a magnifying viewfinder. I did and I'll never go back to shooting uw without one.>>

 

I bought a used system that had a 180 degree viewfinder. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to shoot without a viewfinder. For megafauna, it is the way to go. FOr macro, it may be better to use a 90 degree viewfinder ... again, more money. Is the Aquatica capable of taking a viewfinder? Again, "The Pro" was using an Aquatica, and I think he said it would not take a viewfinder. But, perhaps he did not get one yet?

 

<<And, always take the housing underwater first, without your camera inside the housing. This enables you to test and make sure there are no leaks before you risk getting your camera wet inside a leaky housing.>>

 

Please do this! I young Candian showed up in Tonga to shoot whales, his Ike housing flooded the first time he entered the water. He used his "other" camera with no problems. I did some free dives after a week of snorkeling and was nervous about diving, but the Pro that was with us said these rigs tighten up with depth. We laughed and I said "you remember when you said ..." But it was fine.

 

<<My first dive with my new housing was made while taking an underwater photography workshop with instructors who could help me. If at all possible, you may want to consider attending such a workshop for your first dives with your camera + housing.>>

 

I wish I was able to make this happen for me as it took me 2 days of mistakes to get dialed in on the camera. Then two days to get used to shooting the subjects ...

 

<<I'm not sure whether you're a certified diver or not, but, if you're a new diver, be sure you get some dives under your belt to learn good buoyancy control before you tackle diving with a camera.>>

 

This is huge in currents, especially surges! I spent a week in Fiji diving and some days the swell was so big that you could just forget about photographing. I learned to just enjoy the dive ... but of course was always a bit wary about the Dome getting smashed.

 

<<You came to the right place, Wetpixel, a great community and source of help for uw photographers.>>

 

Yes, it is ... This Place Rocks!

 

Good Luck

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Some really goo info from Ellen!

 

<<Your first dive with your housing may surprise you,

Another area that may surprise you is that when shooting underwater and using a mask, that seeing the viewfinder clearly and easily isn't always possible. This is not a concern topside, but it is something uw photographers talk about a lot. Although they are expensive, you might want to consider a magnifying viewfinder. I did and I'll never go back to shooting uw without one.>>

 

I bought a used system that had a 180 degree viewfinder. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to shoot without a viewfinder. For megafauna, it is the way to go. FOr macro, it may be better to use a 90 degree viewfinder ... again, more money. Is the Aquatica capable of taking a viewfinder? Again, "The Pro" was using an Aquatica, and I think he said it would not take a viewfinder. But, perhaps he did not get one yet?

 

<<And, always take the housing underwater first, without your camera inside the housing. This enables you to test and make sure there are no leaks before you risk getting your camera wet inside a leaky housing.>>

 

Please do this! I young Candian showed up in Tonga to shoot whales, his Ike housing flooded the first time he entered the water. He used his "other" camera with no problems. I did some free dives after a week of snorkeling and was nervous about diving, but the Pro that was with us said these rigs tighten up with depth. We laughed and I said "you remember when you said ..." But it was fine.

 

<<My first dive with my new housing was made while taking an underwater photography workshop with instructors who could help me. If at all possible, you may want to consider attending such a workshop for your first dives with your camera + housing.>>

 

I wish I was able to make this happen for me as it took me 2 days of mistakes to get dialed in on the camera. Then two days to get used to shooting the subjects ...

 

<<I'm not sure whether you're a certified diver or not, but, if you're a new diver, be sure you get some dives under your belt to learn good buoyancy control before you tackle diving with a camera.>>

 

This is huge in currents, especially surges! I spent a week in Fiji diving and some days the swell was so big that you could just forget about photographing. I learned to just enjoy the dive ... but of course was always a bit wary about the Dome getting smashed.

 

<<You came to the right place, Wetpixel, a great community and source of help for uw photographers.>>

 

Yes, it is ... This Place Rocks!

 

Good Luck

 

 

Thanks Bob. I will MOST DEFINITELY test the housing w/o my camera inside - that would make me kick myself hard all week long :)

 

Now I'm debating the cost of Aquatica equipment vs Ikelite : I probably won't be able to dive weekly, but that housing from Aquatica just looks so nice. The Ikelite route is looking quite a bit cheaper, but ergonomics aren't as nice. I'm doing a comparison and Ikelite is $1500 less for a similar setup... hmmm.

 

 

Regarding lighting, many appear to like the Inon Z240s, and they are a little cheaper. I also read that they appear to have REALLY bad instruction manuals with them? hehe As I await the underwater photography book, do many of you just opt to shoot Manual? Is TTL just that much more awesome? Or Macro = TTL better, Wide = Manual?

 

I feel like I can keep on asking too many questions..... :)

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Thanks Bob.

 

<<Now I'm debating the cost of Aquatica equipment vs Ikelite : I probably won't be able to dive weekly, but that housing from Aquatica just looks so nice. >>

 

I'm a gear head too. If I lived where the Aquatica was made, there'd be no question for me, provided it will, in fact, take a viewfinder. Sea and Sea is another option, with perhaps "better" global service (so I hear, no personal contact). But you live there. I happen to own a (used) Subal which is very nice, but heavy and not neutrally buoyant like many others. Makes me pretty nervous snorkeling in the open ocean.

 

<<Regarding lighting, many appear to like the Inon Z240s, and they are a little cheaper. I also read that they appear to have REALLY bad instruction manuals with them? hehe As I await the underwater photography book, do many of you just opt to shoot Manual? Is TTL just that much more awesome? Or Macro = TTL better, Wide = Manual? >>

 

I am interested in this question too. As I have only done two trips, the first where flash was not allowed, but was the main reason I traveled. On the second part of my trip I was diving in Fiji with only a single manual lens. I was over powered on that one side and wished I had purchased the dual strobes that would offer TTL metering. But I have a budget too. I hope to have them before my next trip, but still looking into them.

 

:) The story goes, I was on a shark dive, and was set up for bull sharks that stay on the bottom in the dark and move fast, (mostly where I was) and then a tiger showed up, slower moving and much lighter in color and off the bootom. Many of my images were blown out. Of course some experience with the single strobe and viewing histograms at depth would have been smart! :) I was concentrating on composition and didn't think bout the technical end! Doh!

 

Here an attachment, my first attempt. I hope it works. post-23829-1256499677.jpg 4 meter tiger just befor she bumped my dome, ever so slightly.

 

<<I feel like I can keep on asking too many questions..... :( >>

 

LOL! I don't thin these guys set limits!

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OMG!?! Bumped your dome? Geez, that's a little close - hahaha. A 4m object can easily startle me.

 

I've contacted Aquatica with regards to a local dealer they can recommend me. We'll see. I wish these Underwater housing manufacturers offered better and more comprehensive websites. Ikelite's is rather confusing with regards to port selections and details (click here, click there, click here for that, etc). Aquatica's doesn't speak much about strobes or recommendations, etc.... it's just download price list and guess what you'll need. I guess it's part of the learning process. Hence find a dealer.

 

Right now, water's are getting pretty cold around here, don't have a dry suit cert, and I read dry suit + underwater photo/video is even harder... ugh.... might just jump in my in-ground pool, a little warmer still in there... sadly, murky cuz it's to be shut this week for next year. LOL.... will have to get some for of dives, might tag along some swimming pool dives I guess.

 

I can see how composing a pleasant photo + looking at exposure, histograms, etc can take away some fun from the diving. When I go to Antigua, I'll be doing quite a bit of snorkeling, probably w/o lights (going to buy that magic filter for blue water). I do want to buy 2 lights.... but should be careful about being gun-ho! lol :) Ahh... technology...

 

Does anybody know what TTL works best with Aquatica/Canon housings? The Ikelite bulkhead has only 1 connector, and you need some sort of integrated circuit to be made? Why does it feel like I have too much lead on my belt now :)

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Hi, having the right gear means nothing if you are concentrating on your bouyancy. Many people come to me wanting to take better underwater pictures and I have to say that 90% need to improve their bouyancy first for two main reasons: their own personal safety and the damage that an inexperienced and uncontrolled diver can do to the environmet in their pursuit of the picture.

I would say that you shouldn't overburden yourself with too complex a set up initially, make it easy for yourself ie start with one strobe (maybe TTL) on a relatively short to medium length arm, set the rig up so that it is as close to neutral as possible and go for the easier shots, for example a turtle may be wedged under a ledge making it hard to get close to so don't spend too much time trying to get that perfect shot because there may well be another turtle sitting in bright sunlight on a coral head with easy access 20m further on in the dive.

Where ever you go there may well be a photo pro working at the shop/resort so speak to them, and if they look like they know what they are talking about book some time with them to walk you through the initial testing after unpacking, setting up etc etc, if they can accompany you on dives and give you instant feedback via a slate all the better.

 

All the best with your new hobby and keep practicing!

 

Cheers

Richard

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Hi, having the right gear means nothing if you are concentrating on your bouyancy. Many people come to me wanting to take better underwater pictures and I have to say that 90% need to improve their bouyancy first for two main reasons: their own personal safety and the damage that an inexperienced and uncontrolled diver can do to the environmet in their pursuit of the picture.

I would say that you shouldn't overburden yourself with too complex a set up initially, make it easy for yourself ie start with one strobe (maybe TTL) on a relatively short to medium length arm, set the rig up so that it is as close to neutral as possible and go for the easier shots, for example a turtle may be wedged under a ledge making it hard to get close to so don't spend too much time trying to get that perfect shot because there may well be another turtle sitting in bright sunlight on a coral head with easy access 20m further on in the dive.

Where ever you go there may well be a photo pro working at the shop/resort so speak to them, and if they look like they know what they are talking about book some time with them to walk you through the initial testing after unpacking, setting up etc etc, if they can accompany you on dives and give you instant feedback via a slate all the better.

 

All the best with your new hobby and keep practicing!

 

Cheers

Richard

 

 

I will have to check with some help I'm pretty sure about that. I know I will be doing some snorkeling beforehand, might give me a little taste of what's to come.

 

I've decided to go the Aquatica route. Jean and the team at Aquatica were awesome to me with their help and my many MANY questions. I'm truly impressed by their housing's build quality/workmanship. For the price tag, it's a great deal when compared to some competitors out there. They're selling like hot cakes, just hope I can get one from their last batch from their "oven" before they head on over to DEMA. I will be plunking down some cash later this week.

 

Can't wait! Thanks for your feedback and I look forward to sharing my success and failures and additional questions with you :) hahaha

 

Vadim

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I too am an above water / land photographer (an amateur one that is) trying to transition to underwater photography.

 

I've shot underwater using digicam setups but not DSLRs.

Being 23, with only part-time job, no scuba gear and underwater system, my odds are against me.

 

Despite the shortcomings I still hope to be an accomplished underwater photographer.

Goodluck to us both vchiline! ;)

 

Hey everybody,

 

I'm currently trying to figure out what exactly I will need for my underwater foray. I'm a professional photographer (product photographer), and use Canon cameras. I'm thinking of using my 5D Mark II body as "THE" camera because it can do both photo/video.

 

Now, this is going to be a hobby (living in Montreal, Canada limits to subject matter a little more than say Cayman), and I don't want to break my piggy bank too much, though I can afford more if I "need" to. Because this is going to be my first underwater experience with a camera, I'm curious to know what I should get and what I should expect on the first dives? I read that some ppl can't believe how hard it is to control everything underwater (size, weight, flash, etc).

 

I've been swimming through your various posts, and will be going with Ikelite products. Quality/price is sounding great. Some ppl appear to love 2 strobes, some say start with 1, you'll have your hands full. I'm thinking should I go all out - get 2 strobes? But that starts making me think I'm digging into my piggy again.

 

So:

 

Ikelite 5D mII housing

8" dome + matching port for 17-40mm lens.

My reg zoom lens is a Tamron 28-75 f2.8 (for work I use the 90mm tilt-shift exclusively hehe, try fitting that!).

1 or 2 DS160 strobes.

 

What are things to be aware of? Any stories of your first times? How did you start? Jumped in with DSLRs? 1-2 strobes? Curious to hear your stories.

 

Thanks in advance, great posts by most of you!

 

-Vadim

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