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peachy

Recommendations on gear for a 5d mark II?! Strobes?

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Ive been reading here for a few weeks now and I almost feel more overwhelmed with options/information than I did before coming here!! A lot of what I have read has helped a ton so thank you ahead of time.

 

My question is a simple but complicated one. Ive read so many comparisons of housings my heads still spinning. A little back ground to help is that I have a Canon 5d Mark II with a wide variety of L-series lenses. So needless to say I should have started underwater photography awhile ago. With that gear what equipment would most of you recommend?

 

 

I have been torn between Ikelite and Sea&Sea. Ikelite was a little helpful when I called to ask some questions but Sea&Sea worries me since its all via email.

 

I had ordered a 1D mark IV but Ive decided Im going to cancel it and just get underwater equipment for the 5d (since housing is hard to find for the 1d mark iv and I lose full frame).

 

Money isnt a huge barrier but I dont want to go bananas here, which is why Im asking for input. I had kind of decided on the Ikelite (a little worried about no moisture sensor though) but then got overwhelmed looking at ports, strobes, and what not. Ive gone though a lot of photos on here (which are amazing by the way!) and it seems most use a macro lens? Should I stick to just a port for my 100mm macro? If not what else is generally used or recommended? I guess Ill list the lenses I do have so that I can be told what I "need" to get.

 

100mm f/2.8

50mm f/1.2

15mm f/2.8 (fisheye)

24mm f/3.5 (tilt shift)

70-200mm f/2.8

28-300mm f/3.5-5.6

24-70mm f/2.8

16-35mm f/2.8

 

(all L series but the fisheye, if that relevant??)

 

I think I have one more but I cant recall right now! Sorry if this is a ton of information I just figured its better to include it all at the beginning and not have to scatter information around.

 

Also, I am still newish to diving, but Im trying to gear up correctly and get a ton of dives in before August because Im heading to the Red Sea, so I dont want to miss out photography wise. I have someone willing to help me learn to dive with my equipment so thats why its sort of a pressing issue that Ive hit a wall about!! I just revamped some of my diving gear, so if thats relevant at all let me know and I can list it out, or if you have any recommendations on some other gear that makes the photography easier please let me know!!

 

Again, I am sorry to ask!! I know there are threads on this and I promise I have gone through them, I just cant find the right combo of information for my "situation". Thanks again!!

 

 

I guess long story short, what gear would best suit my camera/lenses that would be starter enough for a novice but advanced enough to use as I progress? (ie. I dont want to get something cheap just to replace it down the line, etc.). And ANY advice on which strobes and ports to pair with housing would be fabulous and much appreciated since this is the area Im most confused on!!!

Edited by peachy

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Peachy,

 

i am not from the Canon world so i cant answere questions regarding this fine brand.

I just have some remarks:

 

1. Ikelite is selling a lot of housings because the have a great customer service, are good and sturdy housings and Ikelite has e very long experience of manufacturing them.

2. You don't really need a moisture meter as you will see immediatly if water enters the housing as they are transparent. Moisture sensors are particular important on aluminium housings where you can't see thru. But having one is always nice.

3. With a ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) (+/- 10-20mm ) wide angle zoom or a fisheye and a 60mm or 100mm macro your lens bag is made.

4. The only difference between a 60mm and 100mm macro lens is the working distance as both get max 1:1. The 100mm is more difficult to handle when conditions are not "dead calm" but it's better for "shooting" shy critters.

 

There is no dive gear what helps you taking photos easier, the only thing what makes it easier for you and especially for the environment around you is a perfect buoyancy. If you achieve that with a normal or a wing bcd, split or jet fins, dry, wet or none termal protection is irrelevant. Relevant is that you master your buoyancy in easy conditions but especially in complicated conditions (what you may encounter in the Red Sea). I suggest you strongly to do a Peak Performance Buoyancy Speciality course and train the learned things as much you can (also in your pool).

 

Chris

Edited by ChrigelKarrer

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So you think Ikelite is the way to go?? Or at least reliable/good enough??

 

And pick up a 60mm macro??

 

Any advice on strobe set ups or manual vs auto ability ports?? Some ports I saw for the same lenses were either manual or autofocus, etc.? This is the area Im the most confused/lost in? What do the majority of people use UW (manual/auto)?

 

And also when is a dome going to be more beneficial than a flat?? For wider shoots only?? The port body, extension, focus extension, dome, flat, etc. all have my head twirling at which one is right with what. And the filters people talk about here that I have no idea which are "must haves"??

 

From what Im understanding, flats work better for macro stuff and then use domes for my wide angles and fish eyes??

 

I also recall reading that the canon 16-35mm f/2.8 didnt fit into ikelite housing?? Boo, any recommendations on an equivalent range that yall find works??

 

Thank you SO much!!

Edited by peachy

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Hi Mer,

Chris is right on except for a couple of points. The 10-22 and the 60mm are both EF-S lenses and will only work with the crop frame Canon's. I'm hoping you read Drew's review of some of the housings for the 5D MkII, if you missed it it's here; http://wetpixel.com/i.php/full/canon-5d-ma...using-shootout/

 

There are some great articles on the Backscatter web site discussing the camera's video capabilities and housings . As you've noted there are a lot of posts describing the benefits and options of Ikelite vs Aluminum housings.

 

My best advise is to call up one of the Wetpixel sponsors and really talk to them. Get to a dive show and look at all the options. It really helps to handle the equipment to help you decide. In some ways the answer to your strobe set up question will be driven by your housing choice. The best way is to look at your choice as a system, housing, ports, strobes, etc. to make sure you have a tool to help you make the images you want to make. You're way ahead of the curve with your glass lineup. The 15mm fisheye and 16-35mm are both very popular lenses with the 5D folks. The new version of the 16-35 is very wide, I don't think fit in an Ikelite port but check with the guys at Reef Photo (Fl) or Backscatter (NH).

 

Domes are typially used for Wide angle photos, lenses wider than 28mm or so.

 

There is a great site that will help with some of your questions at http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/

 

There are lots of paths to the treasure, have fun with it.

Steve

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Thank you so much, that all is helpful and makes me feel better! I had read the first article but since Ikelite wasnt reviewed it didnt help me there, but the Sea&Sea stuff had. The 2nd link I hadnt seen and that was wonderful!! Tons of helpful information that I wasnt even to the stage of needing yet so Im glad to know ahead of time!

 

Since my 16-35 is obsolete in the Ikelite housing would you suggest me purchasing the 17-40 f/4.0? Ive stayed away from 2.8+ f-stops with the glass I already have, but if its a lens commonly used in UW photography Id glady purchase it as well. I feel like Im missing a gap between my 15mm fisheye and my 100mm macro that probably needs to be addressed with a new wide angle for my full frame.

 

From calling around and research it seems like the 5505.45 will cover my 100mm fully?? (I dont need to get separate pieces?). It seems like my fisheye will need a 5510.11 port and the 5510.45 dome. And if I get the 17-40 Ill need the 5510.24. If any of this sounds off to people with these correct me!!

 

It was kinda gut wrenching talking to people about it and finding out ALL my L-series lenses are unusable with Ikelite ports, etc. minus the 100mm and a 17-40mm (which is the only one I dont own!!). Should I start looking at Sea&Sea, do they support a wider range of lenses, mainly can I use more of my L-series with their port system? I emailed them last week but still have not heard anything back, so that alone makes me shy away from the company!

 

Also Im still at a total loss on the strobe issue. I called and got some recommendations, and most have said go for the DS161, getting the 3945.01 and 3945.02 combo. Is this overkill for someone just starting out or is that my best option? Im sure there is going to be a bit of a learning curve anyway, the research process before getting the equipment has been mind boggling enough!!

 

And I guess I also need to get some Magic filters? This is something I saw mentioned once on here and then saw in the 2nd article so I guess its time to do more research into those! If anyone has an input on that let me know!

 

Also if Im forgetting some component to all this please feel free to tell me even the most trivial things!!

Edited by peachy

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Hey Peachy -

It's a good problem to have - the problem of deciding how to get into one of the greatest hobbies in the universe... and with such great equipment too!

 

I was in the same place - with the 5d mkii and trying to figure out what housing to choose.

 

I went to a scuba diving convention and handled all of the different housings and eventually chose what felt the best to me. I was looking at the ikelite because of the price... but then when I held it in my hands and compared the quality of the Nauticams and Sea&Sea... it was no contest. The Sea&Sea feels so much better and more quality in your hands and I think you will feel the same way. This makes a big difference... especially when you want to protect the $3000 worth of electronics inside the housing.

 

As far as the strobes go - I would go for the Inon z-240's. I got one and it performs great. It also has a really great spotting light on it that is really bright - even brighter than the dive light I was using. If you are just starting - go for just one. If you are going for Macro, there is really little need for an extra strobe. I think dual strobes are better for wide angle.

 

Also - if you are just starting, Macro will be easier than wide angle. Good wide angle shots are tougher, IMHO. So if you want go in one direction and save some money, I would think about which place you want to go.

 

Those are my ideas on the subject. Good luck and have fun.

Edited by Slashmagurk

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Well the ports for my macro and zoom are the least of the costs so Id probably get both no problem since I already have the glass!! I am assuming the Sea&Sea ports support the 16-35m L series? Ikelite doesnt, so that was a huge EKK for me! Im so glad you said that about Sea&Sea though, Ill restart my research tomorrow on them!! I know I seem impatient but Im just trying to get the UW gear together as fast as I can since I will be diving in the Red Sea in August, so I need as much time as I can to get used to the set up as possible (Im already pushing it)...even in my pond and the lake everyday if I have to!!!

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Hi Peachy,

 

I'm a Canon shooter but use a different housing than either of those.

That said, I have used S&S (with a Nikon F5) in the past and was

pleased with the rig. The only issue I had was some scratches on the

dome that happened when I bumped a 7' Blue shark that was a bit too

close for comfort at one point.

I use the 5DMKII UW and my best results have been with the 15mmFE

and the 100mm Macro lenses. I was unhappy with the sharpness results

I was getting with the 16-35.

The 17-40 may be a better choice (tho I have no experience with it UW).

You can always purchase S&S ports used too as an option.

I use both Inon Z240's and S&S YS-250's and have been mostly happy.

The 250's are heavy....

 

Cary

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Yall make me feel so much better, thank you Cary! I feel like Im at least heading in the right direction now.

 

Was your 16-35 losing sharpness (soft) outside of water too or just in water? If just in the water then that will make me sad because I was looking forward to using it UW.

 

Anyone used both the 16-35 and the 17-40 before? Opinions vs each other UW? I know in my normal photography my 16-35 blows the 17-40 out of the water (no pun intended), so Im pretty interested in the differences UW?

 

Thanks!

Edited by peachy

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Yall make me feel so much better, thank you Cary! I feel like Im at least heading in the right direction now.

 

Was your 16-35 losing sharpness (soft) outside of water too or just in water? If just in the water then that will make me sad because I was looking forward to using it UW.

 

Anyone used both the 16-35 and the 17-40 before? Opinions vs each other UW? I know in my normal photography my 16-35 blows the 17-40 out of the water, so Im pretty interested in the differences UW?

 

Thanks!

 

16-35 is razor topside.

It's a bad combo of +2 dioptre and too small (8") dome.

I think it needs a +3 dioptre or a larger dome. (strictly based off opinion not testing or scientific fact)

Though I have heard many complaints about the 16-35 uw.

I just got my larger dome today but haven't had it in the water yet.

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16-35 is razor topside.

It's a bad combo of +2 dioptre and too small (8") dome.

I think it needs a +3 dioptre or a larger dome. (strictly based off opinion not testing or scientific fact)

Though I have heard many complaints about the 16-35 uw.

I just got my larger dome today but haven't had it in the water yet.

 

 

 

I "think" I know what you mean, Ill try and research it some more so that I dont end up with worthless options! I hope it works with your larger dome!

And thank you for explaining since Im so knew to all this and the terms.

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I was in quite similar situation last summer. I went with the Ikelite solution, mostly based on cost. My major gripe with it is not lack of ergonomics (though to be fair I haven't tried any other housing out), but with the weight. Since I do all my diving abroad, and want to bring in in the carry on, its a major factor for me. Still, there is something irky paying more for the housing then the camera you are protecting, especially since housings come out new about every 1½ year. Ports and strobes can be carried over, but housing you need to get a new one, if you want to upgrade.

 

Ikelite also has TTL, which for me was very nice. Still, when shooting wide you almost have to use manual anyway, but in macro its very nice. I got a DS161 to complement my DS160, mainly for the video lighting. (again, these strobes are heavier then most others, but fires fast and you only have one thing to charge).

 

I also had to stop using my 16-35 2.8mkII, since the mkII was too wide for ikelites ports. The original should work though. I currently only use a 15mm FE and a 100mm 2.8USM macro. With this I don't use any diopters. I find the 15mm good for big stuff, and filming. I yet haven't got the hand of great wideangle shots yet.

 

Regarding Ikelite service, I had my housing send in for service and upgrade, and it took less then 2 weeks to fix my strobe (for free!) service the back of the housing and changing the front of the housing with the new 4 locks system. This including shipping back and forth from Sweden.

 

/Björn

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Peachy,

 

I am able to use the 16-35 L II with my Ikelite 5d II setup. Its just a matter of how you assemble it. Mount the camera on the plate, insert it in the housing. Then install the port body, but make sure you put a few rubber bands around it (more on that in a sec). Then I mount the 16-35 lens and zoom ring. At that point, I screw on the 8" dome port, but its importand to have those rubber bands on the port body so you can get a good grip on the port body ans you screw/unscrew the 8" dome. The problem with the 16-35 II is that the lens face flares out and cannot pass through the port body. Solution simple: Mount the port body before the lens!

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I just upgraded to a 5D mII and a ikelite housing from my 10D. I have used the 17-40mm with both cameras and I'm happy with the result.

 

I recently bought the 8 inch dome but I'm a bit bothered that the corners seem slightly blurry or out of focus (for example bottom right corner here):

http://www.hvitabirnir.is/Underwater/Silfr...16_RVhzC-X2.jpg

 

Besides the 17-40 I have a 100mm 2.8 and the 15mm FE so if you have any questions I might be able to add some experience...

 

hreggi

http://www.hvitabirnir.is

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Peachy,

 

Nothing against Ikelite as company, but I would opt for the S&S (Aluminum and better ergonomics)....It's in the lower price range of the AL housings if "money is not a a huge barrier" and it sounds like you have all the lenses to do the job....15mm FE, 16-35, and 100mm. Talk to REEF and BACKSCATTER about appropriate ports and extension rings. I used the +2 diopter on the 16-35 and found the results pretty poor...I won't throw any company under the bus, but as I found out the proper mm extension ring did the trick (can't remember what ext. ring). Go handle the housings and decide which feels best.

 

Best of luck!

 

Mike

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Peachy, I was in the same boat as you a couple of years back but had a 5Dm not the MkII. I use a 17-40 f4 and the 15mm for my wide shots, bt bear in mind that the 17-40 or 16-35 will need a dipoter, not a bank breaker, but it does improve corner sharpness.

 

The only way to choose housings is to get your hands on them you will know pretty quickly which one you want to go for. I know a fair few divers who wanted to take their SLRs underwater, and looked for the cheapest option, which was usually Ikelite. They are great housings and get the job done well, but take into account the type of diving that you will be doing. If you are into tech/ deeper diving then I would reconsider the Ike choice as the metal housings are/ can be good for 90m + and I have heard of severe creaking of the polycarbonate on the Ikelite housings etc.

 

Regarding strobes,I went for YS 250 Pro but the weight and power is not always necessary so I ended up getting a couple of 110 Alphas as well as they are small and light. If I had my time again I would probably have gone for the Z240s though :)

Hope this helps

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