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tcmb99

Am I crazy for spending this much money for being so new to this

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Hi,

 

This is my first post and as such I am sure many things here have been said here before. Please forgive and excuse me if I am being repetitive.

 

I have started diving after 15 years, did a Maldives trip and I was hooked again. I am very comfortable underwater, been around water all my life, never felt unsafe under. I got my advanced underwater and enriched while in Maldives and did about 10 dives. I probably had 100 dives when I was diving 15 years ago. I used a gopro camera during these dives with the filters and dive housing and a constant light source, and while the video was good the pictures were terrible.

 

I am a pretty good photographer, have a nikon 7200 with lots of wide angle, fisheye and macro lenses, as well as a d750 and sony a 7 ii.

 

Now I want to get the kinds of shots I can get above the water underwater, but I feel crazy spending the amounts of money I need to spend with this much experience.

 

I am committed, and I have the means, but is it just crazy for a guy with almost 0 underwater photography experience to start of with ikelite d7200 housing, 2 ds160 strobes and all the extras. I felt good with strong currents on my dives, but doing challenging dives with so much equipment seems a bit crazy. Is this as hard as it looks? Is it crazy to spend all this money so early? I am reading and learned everything in theory but practice is not the same and I am wondering if I should wait around. I just know a point and shoot underwater kit will not satisfy me artistically.

 

All comments from anyone who went through the same process is welcome.

 

 

Thanks.

 

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The worst thing is to buy something too cheap that frustrates to the point of turning you off on what could have become a great hobby. The next worst thing is to buy something so expensive and elaborate that it turns you off, or simply confuses with too many choices to figure out on a short diving holiday. Fortunately there is a whole lot in the middle. I would consider getting just the housing, one strobe and no macro-converters, snoots, and what have you. You can add a second strobe on the next trip for better wide-angle and macro converters if that becomes your passion. The Nikon D7200 has been around awhile so you can also look for second hand housings and use the savings to add a focus/video light.

 

PS: welcome to wetpixel

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What are the pictures you want? Macro is more than possible, you can get very good shots with one strobe, though many shooters still prefer two for more lighting options. True wide angle is generally not possible as no strobe has the coverage for it. CFWA, where you balance a strobe lit (small) subject in the foreground with an ambient background, could be possible once you figure it out.

 

Is it crazy? As long as you have the means, only you can tell. My gear is a bargain for the ~100 dives I do in a year, but if I only could do 10 dives a year then I might rethink it.

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Disagree, you can shoot wide angle with one strobe.

 

You have to position the strobe more carefully, but with two you are more likely to get unwanted backscatter or to blow out one side of your image.

 

With one strobe you are more likely to not illuminate all of your image properly.

 

Both can work.

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I used to use two strobes in the past but prefer the simplicity of a single strobe. A more honest interpretation is that it takes more skill, thinking and "aesthetic awareness" and I simply don't dive enough to master all of that. It may be different for WA where just have a wider beam angle itself is helpful. If you are on your first UW photography trip I think you will find there are too many things to experiment with already. No need to get all the gadgets all at once. Another tip, if you can find a place with a house reef where you, with or without buddy, can dive without dive guide you can much more easily experiment with camera setting, strobes etc.

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I agree.

 

I bought two z240's and ended up selling one and just concentrating on one - much happier with the results.

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I agree with @Glasseye snapper, i have seen plenty of 2nd hand housings for the 7200 around. I have used a D7200 in a nauticam housing for work and i love it!! Personally i would steer clear of ikelite housings. Sure theyre robust, but theyre very cumbersome and bulky. Id reccommend the nauticam AD7200, its a very ergonomically engineered housing and comes standard with the vacuum valve leak system installed. As a beginner in underwater photography, the worst part is the stress of wondering whether your housing will flood on each dive. Especially if you want to change lenses regularly. Sure theyre a little more expensive, but you can probably find one for around $2000-2500 US mark second hand. Accessories can be a little on the steep side, but the quality is fantastic.

As for strobes, again i agree, just start out with one. Get a feel for positioning and then decide if you want a second. It can be difficult with two if you like to shoot portrait.

I would also reccommend buying your strobes brand new. As apposed to housi gs which are almost purely mechanical, strobes can be tempremental, and have a shorter lifespan. At least if you have a new one with warranty you can track its performance history and also rely on the warranty. Id stay away from buying them online though, i have heard of people having issues with warranty. Buy online from a reputable shop of course, but not an say ebay for example.

Good luck.

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Yeah, I know that feeling of the craziness of it all - I suspect we all do.

 

The problem seems to be - to me at least - that if you are serious about the images you want to get, it is going to cost you money. There is no getting away from that proposition. You can get good images with a P/S if you persist and understand what the camera can deliver. But they are limiting. So for many of us - well, me anyway, the limitations soon become a frustration: for example, slowness in gaining focus, the lack of an optical viewfinder and the impact of that, short battery life.....

 

There is good advice here about buying with the future in mind: strobes and arms especially. If you are a serious photographer I suspect you would get frustrated pretty quickly if the gear does not allow you the freedom of action that you want. So spending a relatively larger amount of money is not so crazy. What would be crazy - to me anyway - would be buying "cheap" and then regretting it. Buy cheap, buy twice?

 

I'd agree with the guys too on the view of going for an aluminium housing.

 

As for the one strobe, two strobe argument: why not start with one and then add a second when you are ready? Only having one isn't going to slow you down as you progress and adding another is easy if you have the cash. But, as people suggest, get the gear that will grow with you. You mention DS160 strobes. I have no experience of them. But when I launched into buying my gear I was recommended to the Inon Z series - at the time it was the Z220 - and I have used them ever since (although now on the Z240) and they have never let me down - after 17 years. They have been a great investment and have easily kept pace with my own photo skills.

 

So crazy? Yeah well we are all crazy combining diving and photography......

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Hi,
starting is not so easy, as we all know ;-))

If you plan to buy a housing, plan on buying the ports as well...
Its nice to get a housing cheap, but afterwards spend a lot of money for the ports...
So maybe buying a complete setup makes more sense, even if you have to pay more in the moment...
Strobes are the same...
I use a pair of S&S 250 as long i can go there by car, if i fly to asia i use Inon D2000s.
If i could only afford one pair of strobes, i would take Ikelite D160 / 161 as a good mix of weight, output and recycle time.
Starting with just one strobe, is what the most of us have done ;-))

Where are you going to shot the most time?
Can you go by car or do you have to fly all the time?
If flying ist he answer, i would get a mirrowless setup.
If it is going by car / flying 50:50 maybe a Dslr
If you are lucky and life by the sea, for sure a Dslr.....

Regards,
Wolfgang

Who got his new Dslr housing yesterday ;-)))))))

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Hi,
yes ;-))
https://www.google.at/search?q=m43+vs+1+inch&tbm=isch&imgil=DTrvGe3RQRZP5M%253A%253BePQWVRtc8dmFJM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.cameradebate.com%25252F2014%25252Fpanasonic-lumix-lx100-vs-canon-powershot-g7-x-vs-sony-cyber-shot-rx100-iii-vs-canon-powershot-g1-x-mark-ii%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=DTrvGe3RQRZP5M%253A%252CePQWVRtc8dmFJM%252C_&usg=__J1tS05fPzzSyUZliN1j6FDsxwtw%3D&biw=1280&bih=699&ved=0ahUKEwjC9ZrfsO_PAhXCcBoKHewXCcEQyjcIPQ&ei=dN0LWMLrLcLhaeyvpIgM#imgrc=DTrvGe3RQRZP5M%3A


And there is not included the possibility in changing lenses ;-))

My girl friend is using a Rx100 in a Recsea housing.
Makes great shots,
but: offers a much smaller aperture variety, much less choose able varieties like time / aperture / strobe
Is fixed on a great depth in field, what you would not allways like
Smaller sensor but more mpixels, means less low light possibilities, more grain.....

Plus: small, small housing, just add 2 wetlenses, one for wide / fisheye and one for macro

I have used the m43 Oly OMD 5e in a Nautiucam housing for the last three years.
Great for macro, super macro, but weak in wide or ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel)...
Very weak in low light...

In earlier years, my girl friend was using a Canon G9 and i a Nikon D300, easy to choose who did which picture.
When we switched to Oly and Sony, the different was getting much less, but still noticeable.
Now i got my new houing for the D500 and we will see...
Regards,
Wolfgang

Edited by trimix125

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thank you all so much for taking the time to help and reply.

 

i figured I am already at a disadvantage being new to all this, why try to take good pictures with less than perfect equipment and make the learning curve even longer. With the best equipment I have a better chance at learning this right and getting the right pictures. So I went with two DS160 strobes, a d7200 and an ikelite housing.

 

i had already ordered the housing so thought it is best to get the strobes from the same guys. i fly to dive, so it will be some heavy carrying, but I guess I will have to get used to it at some point anyway.

 

now looking at all the strobes, arms, and o-rings, lens covers (i got a wide angle and macro), I ask myself what I have gotten myself into:). i hope those youtube assembly videos are helpful.

 

next stop: maldives.

Edited by tcmb99

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Hi,

"wellcome to the real world"

;-)))))))

Dont let yourself be overloaded with the stuff!
Hope you have some time to try and play in a pool before you jump into real water ;-))

Yes, its a load of equipment and of new problems / possibilities ;-))

Enjoy it, have to live with it, deal with it....

Try it easy, go straight, and you will see that the learning curve is steep!

Regards, and lots of patience,Wolfgang

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I would say it comes down to how much you'll be in the water and the cost/benefit etc. What are you going to do with the images etc. I have a Nikon D750 and spent close to 3K on my water housing and accessories. After only doing 4 swims with it in a year, I would say it was probably a complete waste of investment. I haven't done anything much with the images either. Also, the Nikon D750 I found is not such an efficient camera to shoot in the water if shooting manual, or I just haven't shot enough to get efficient.

 

You do have to start somewhere. Once you get over the initial investment, just get out there and have fun with it. But like someone else mentioned, if you do under 10 swims a year, I'd avoid the investment in SLR rigs and look for much cheaper options than SLR water photography (cheaper but still pro level point and shoots etc., action cameras etc)

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Just what I needed to read. My GoPro is going belly up and I have a Canon S90 so I was debating on whether or not to take the GoPro folk's offer for 20% off a new camera or buy a housing and all the gear for my Canon 40D. I dive locally (very nice, spring fed, clear lake) but my only "real" diving is about once a year somewhere in the Caribbean. I just posted under Classifieds my concern about buying from individuals online and I also didn't think the amount of use would justify the expense. I think I'll get a new GoPro. The whole travel thing is another concern. Don't want to lug a bunch of stuff around while traveling.

 

Thanks!


why is that post showing me as Guest?

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why is that post showing me as Guest?

 

Hey Brad

 

It does this sometimes when you upload the actual post. It should right itself when you look next time.

 

Enjoy the new toys - whatever you get!

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Hey Brad

 

It does this sometimes when you upload the actual post. It should right itself when you look next time.

 

Enjoy the new toys - whatever you get!

 

Yes it did, thanks!

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Yes it did, thanks!

 

Phew :good:

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Hi Hermit Crab,

 

This was exactly my dilemma recently. I have been taking topside photos for years and concentrate mainly on airshows and motorport events. I have a Nikon D300s that is getting a bit dated now but have a few excellent telephoto lens's. I looked at housings available for the D300 but felt that I would be making a significant investment for a camera that is a bit old now.

 

I have been taking photos underwater for two years with a Nikon AW 130 compact, no housing, no strobes, just point and shoot but with a great macro setting.

 

I have been very pleased with some of my results and just felt that I wanted to go a step further and be able to shoot in manual as I do topside. I spent months researching my options. The cost of replacing the D300, plus housing, lens's, strobes etc was just a bot to far out of budget.

 

So, I decided to keep the Nikon D300 for topside and went for the Olympus OMD E 1 MkII. As a 4/3 not quite as good as a fullI DSLR but significantly cheaper. I went for a Nauticam housing and a pair of Inon Z240 strobes.

 

I only got all this last Wednesday. I have managed 5 dives last week (3 on a Underwater Photo Workshop) and each dive was a big improvement on the previous. My first dive I felt like a new diver. Buoyancy all over the place and not very comfortable with all the gear. My second dive I removed my normal trim weights from high up in my BCD and that made a huge difference to balance.

 

Photos got better and better, I have a macro lens but mainly concentrated on close up wide angle. To be honest I have a long way to go to produce photos that are of a high standard but I am now confident that I will get there. Handling the camera underwater is now ok.

 

I feel that I can justify the investment as I love taking underwater photos but was just so limited with what I could achieve with a compact.

 

Whatever you decide, have fun and enjoy.

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