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Storker

Strobe positioning with fisheye lens

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I've had my fisheye lens for about a year now, and I did anticipate a bit of a learning curve going from a rectilinear WA zoom to FE. But now I'm getting a little annoyed. My CFWAs turn out decently after a few tries to position the strobes correctly (arms tucked a bit in, strobes behind the housing and angled a bit outwards). However, I struggle to find a good position for the strobes for WA shots at a little distance. Most shots come out with very visible backscatter on the sides, like the beam of a flashlight in heavy fog.

 

My diving is generally in half-decent to poor-ish viz (typically 4 to 8 meters), so it might just be that the water is too murky for that kind of shots, but I'm not quite ready to give up. Tips are appreciated.

 

BTW, my setup is:

Olympus OM-D E-M5 in a Nauticam NA-EM5 housing, Flexitray with two handles

Panasonic 8mm/3.5 in the Nauticam 4.33" dome port

Two Inon Z240 with stock diffusers on 5" + 7" arms

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Hey, I dive in viz of between 1 to 8m and I wouldn't shoot any WA that wasn't very close to the dome. It can be very difficult, try to minimise strobe power though. This was taken in 6m viz

 

06af8e95355a09a0aaafc80644d6e8f3.jpg

 

 

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Oh my what IS that?

 

 

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A Wolf Fish surrounded by Atlantic Cod. Taken on the very Northern tip of Iceland

 

 

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Wow that is a neat shot. Scary looking!

 

 

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Hey, I dive in viz of between 1 to 8m and I wouldn't shoot any WA that wasn't very close to the dome. It can be very difficult, try to minimise strobe power though.

 

Hm, OK. I guess it's hard to beat physics. I'll try looking into that, cheers!

 

Cool pic, BTW.

 

 

Scary looking!

 

 

The wolffish is usually rather docile, particularly the larger specimens. It's not uncommon that divers can pet them as the lie on the bottom.

 

Unless you're into spearfishing, that is. They don't particularly appreciate being speared and can become a bit PO'd about that :)

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As BC83 pointed out, apart from positioning, consider dialing back the power in your strobes to the bare minimum to do the job. If you can still expose properly, then the amount of backscatter and visible ligt reflecting off of stuff in the water can be minimized...

 

If you are essentially shooting CFWA, then you can angle the stobes inward, more like you would shooting macro, then the backscatter is minimized die to the short strobe/subject/lens distance...

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In murky water I find virtually impossible to shoot with the strobes pointing inward as the backscatter prevails. With a fisheye lens you are looking at shooting distances of less than one foot from the dome. If you go further away and there are particles you have a good chance of having lots of backscatter on the edges of the picture even with the strobes pointing forward unless you have very very long arms

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With a fisheye lens you are looking at shooting distances of less than one foot from the dome. If you go further away and there are particles you have a good chance of having lots of backscatter on the edges of the picture even with the strobes pointing forward unless you have very very long arms

 

That's basically what I was afraid of.

 

I've been using the 8/3.5 almost exclusively since I bought it, but I guess I'll just have to go back to using the 9-18 when the viz really sucks and I want WA instead of CFWA and semi-CFWA. 8+8" arms are out of the question; the main reason I chose a micro four thirds system was because it's noticeably more compact than a dSLR system.

Edited by Storker

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The distance you can shoot without backscatter is determines by the length of your arms. Some people aim the strobes outwards for subjects further away however this reduces the area illuminated by the strobes. With two segments 5+8 you are looking at one foot from the mini dome with less it reduces further. Unfortunately this is just a physical limitation. In very clear water you can get away with shorter segments and the backscatter will be very little anyway

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I mainly shoot with my strobes pulled in behind and angled away from the dome and use dome diffusers to increase strobe coverage and soften the output light. Each strobe has its own light angle and dome diffusers extend that a fraction further so you can angle the strobes further away. The down side is if you have the strobes angled too far away you miss lighing up the subject if gets really close and you get this darken area right in the middle. Dome shades also help with fisheye lenses.

 

Cheers Mark

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Pulling out the strobes makes the area where the two strobes beam meet more sharp and pointy so if you illuminate a flat spot it is easier to get dark edges

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Dome shades also help with fisheye lenses.

 

My dome port has built-in shades. I actually believed that that was standard...

 

p_186.jpg

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Storker, post a photo of your complete setup showing the strobe position your using. Might give us a better idea of how to give you advice to solve your problem.

 

Regards Mark

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