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Castillo

Going for UW equipment starting from zero. Advice appreciated.

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Hi!

 

I posted before asking about compacts but after googling a lot I'm still none the wiser.

 

I'm going on a trip in a while that will involve quite a bit of diving as well as some backpacking and I would like to get some UW photography done.

 

I'm not very experienced with photography, but I know the basics of a DSLR. I have about 180 dives and am a DM though, so I can move relatively well underwarter.

 

I have some questions and some decisions to make.

 

1. What camera? G7X mkII, rx100 (which model?), Lx10, Tg5, mirrorless (why tho?). It's hard to decide.

2. What lenses should I get? I would love to shoot nudies and such, but also be able to shoot wide.

3. What kind of light, I've gathered that it is very important to have that.

4. Easy questions maybe if money was not an issue, but unfortunately it is. I have a budget of about 2500 EUR. Not a lot but hopefully I can get some help here to identify what I need for my start setup.

 

Thank you in advance!

Edited by Castillo

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Hi,

I have just bought a new setup after flooding the first.

 

I did go for the canon g7x mk ii and a nauticam housing.

Did also bought a sea and sea ys-03, a fully ttl flash, whit no option for manual mode.

Did end up around 2000 Eur that with the flexitray and vacuum valve for the housing.

 

The plan is to use the ds 03 as a secondary flash, when i can afford to buy an ys-D2.

 

I had the g7x mk I first and therefore ended up with mk ii.

Very happy with the setup, but I've kind of a newbie in the uw photo

 

Best regard

 

Sent fra min SM-G965F via Tapatalk

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Hi,

I have just bought a new setup after flooding the first.

 

I did go for the canon g7x mk ii and a nauticam housing.

Did also bought a sea and sea ys-03, a fully ttl flash, whit no option for manual mode.

Did end up around 2000 Eur that with the flexitray and vacuum valve for the housing.

 

The plan is to use the ds 03 as a secondary flash, when i can afford to buy an ys-D2.

 

I had the g7x mk I first and therefore ended up with mk ii.

Very happy with the setup, but I've kind of a newbie in the uw photo

 

Best regard

 

Sent fra min SM-G965F via Tapatalk

 

I've been looking at the MkII as well and with all that I need to start it seems affordable as well. Could I check out some pf the pictures you habe taken with it?

Edited by Castillo

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Check this topic on my take for the lx15 - for all parts from housing to flashes and wet lenses. :

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=63116&do=findComment&comment=400847

 

I checked it out, what light and lenses do you use (wide and macro)? How much did that setup run you?

 

Also is the Lx10 and Lx15 the same? , I've read that is just another name in some markets and Lx10 is not sold where I live only Lx15.

 

You wrote as well that you can't change from macro to wide uw, I thought that was the advantage with wet lenses? Is that a problem with the other cameras and housings as well?

 

Also could I check out some of your pictures with your setup? 🙂

 

Thanks!

Edited by Castillo

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I've been looking at the MkII as well and with all that I need to start it seems affordable as well. Could I check out some pf the pictures you habe taken with it?

Have just a few on my phone, transferd trough the wifi on cam. This is straight out of camera :)

So the raw convert is not the best.

 

Can see later when I get on a better connection that I have some that is not compromised that much.

d0d2f276be1e9d40e9565b2f43343613.jpg4f982bd6f8ce80a8c0ff8dab51943104.jpg021657852cde5e3975a71e23e6873677.jpgf4291ded0026e1b57200abee452ddb29.jpga1744fe33ca9c737b2cfdc04f88f6537.jpg014e368a3b982a0f40a279455ed62ba4.jpg

 

Sent fra min SM-G965F via Tapatalk

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Have just a few on my phone, transferd trough the wifi on cam. This is straight out of camera :)

So the raw convert is not the best.

 

Can see later when I get on a better connection that I have some that is not compromised that much.

 

Sent fra min SM-G965F via Tapatalk

 

Nice, what lenses do you use for the camera?

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Nice, what lenses do you use for the camera?

Just the original,

Haven't bought any wetlenses yet, not sure of what I want first, wide angle or a macro/diopter or a second flash and focus light :)

 

 

Sent fra min SM-G965F via Tapatalk

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I checked it out, what light and lenses do you use (wide and macro)? How much did that setup run you? --- last post explains the wet lenses, as for how much is difficult to say, I prefer not calculate it, too much for sure, but the most important thing beyond the housing are the flashes, and then you can slowly buy the other things like lenses, bayonet, etc.

 

Also is the Lx10 and Lx15 the same? , I've read that is just another name in some markets and Lx10 is not sold where I live only Lx15. ---lx15 is the european version of lx10

 

You wrote as well that you can't change from macro to wide uw, I thought that was the advantage with wet lenses? Is that a problem with the other cameras and housings as well? ---you can using bayonet, though the wide angle is really impaired this way, read all my posts there for details, basically the best working conditions i found for hte moment are only wide angle directly screwed to the housing, or with bayonet switching between macro and normal use. As for other cameras, on theory there are working versions, though i have my concerns, as when you add a macro on bayonet you have to really zoom to the end so the macro wet lens should work without problem. the issue is mainly with the wide angle, if you use a bayonet there will space between the camera lens and the wide angle lens, so vignetting appears and you have to zoom in, in that case you lose some of the wide angle quality. hence mounting the wide on the housing directly improves compared to a bayonet, and in my case i still have to zoom in order to remove vignetting from the angles, but it is just a little bit - as lx10 is 24mm and the wide angle lens is also made for 24mm, zooming to 28mm i have good working conditions

 

Also could I check out some of your pictures with your setup? ---yes of course, there should be links in my profile - i have posted here the link for selection of the pictures and also a video, but some of the latest macro and wide angle are not there, send me a private message and i will try to share them, or better check my instagram - www.instagram.com/sbonev mostly all the latest pics are with the lx10, all the underwater especially, including the best of the macro and wide angle, though i had the wide only on 2 dives in total, same with the macro wet lens.

Thanks!

Edited by sbonev

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I'm a full advocate of get your best bang-for-buck and I find it hard to beat the G7Xii packages out there...

 

I shoot with a Fantasea or Ikelite housing and find they fit the purpose perfectly.

 

I only shoot with 1x Inon Z-240 and find it gives me a decent amount of light (I got it on the cheap - so no complaints) and I only recently (last 2 months got a Fantasea ucl-09 Macro lens)

 

You can see instagram for some reference images: https://www.instagram.com/divealot_za/

 

and here's one of my favorite ever with no lenses :)

2zggj80.jpg

 

And here's some nice macro with the lens:

 

28jw2rm.jpg

 

2j44pae.jpg

Edited by DivealotZA
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Can anyone give a basic breakdown of all the components you need for a UW setup? Lots of jargon on here and I'm a little lost. Cheers

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over the last 12 months i have been building my camera set up. i went for

 

1) camera- canon GX7 mark ii

2) nauticam housing with tray and handle setup

3) just got my first ever strobe Inon D200.

4) next purchase will be a wide angle lense in a couple on months though.

 

i got the camera and housing first and got familiar with the setup and playing with the camera settings, i then started to look at strobes and after much research went for the inon D200. i now want to get in the water and get familiar and used to using my strobe as i have never used one before. now saving up for a wide andgle lens.

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Hi Sophia - and welcome to Wetpixel

 

That's quite a question as it depends on so many parameters and personal preferences. But for starters - you need:

 

- A camera: DSLR, compact or mirrorless

- Lenses: generally this amounts to two of them: macro for shooting little critters and wide-angle. Lens choices underwater are much more extreme than are used for land photography.

- A housing: to fit the camera body in - usually the most expensive bit of the setup.

- A Port or ports to house the lens. The port attaches to the housing in a similar way to the lens fits on to the camera. It's essentially a tube with glass at the business end which bayonets on to the housing. A macro port has flat glass at the end; a wide-angle port has glass which is dome shaped and this kind of port is usually referred to as a "dome port".

- Strobes - (flash guns as they are called above water): specialist ones for underwater. You can start with one and, when you are ready, can buy and use a second one to give more balanced and flexible lighting setups.

- Either electric cables or fibre optic cables to fire the strobes

- Arms/clamps to attach the strobes to the housing and to allow you to move the strobes around to light whatever is your subject.

 

After that there are myriad aids and bits and bobs to help make systems more buoyant, provide better focussing light, help prevent potential leaks etc. The "investment": you can put into a system is endless.

 

I'd suggest getting your hands on a couple of books which will explain things in a bit more detail: "The Underwater Photographer" by Martin Edge and/or "Underwater Photography Masterclass" by Alex Mustard. Both are available through Amazon and will walk you through the basics.

 

So much depends on how serious you are, how much you want to spend, how much you dive and how experienced you are. Unfortunately most routes are expensive and the loss on moving from one level of system to the next up can be quite hefty.

 

if you are used to using a DSLR type camera or compact camera above water we might be able to give you a better steer.

 

Hope that helps a bit!

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I ended up with the following to start.

 

 

- Camera and housing for the rx100 V, I felt that a compact was a good starting point.

- Wide and a +10 macro lenses.

- an arm and tray for the strobe

- a Ys 01 strobe to begin with.

 

 

I will test everything in a few weeks, very exited. All of that was about 3000 euros

Edited by Castillo

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Camera

Housing

Let’s assume a compact camera. If you are going for mirrorless or DSLR, you will need an assortment of lenses, with a different port for each.

 

The better compact cameras have decent “kit” lenses so that will give you a good start. One thing about mirrorless and DSLR cameras is you have to choose a macro or wide angle lens before the dive and you can’t change it. The irony is you always see some large pelagic when you have a macro lens, and some great macro subject when u have your wide angle Lens mounted . With the compact camera the kit lens is pretty good for both shots.But you can mount a wet lens on the housing. This lens is attached while under water, and can be removed. Two types: wide angle and macro. You can also get a flip holder into which you can screw the lens to hold it if you decide to remove it underwater. The holder can be used to hold filters you might want to use also.

Two keys to better photos are 1) get closer to your subject. And if you think you are close, get closer.

And 2)you need lights. Two kinds of lights: a video or focus light which is always on; and strobe lights (sometimes called flash). One strobe is good, two are better.

To hold the lights you need a tray and arms.

Then you need extra batteries, chargers, SD cards.

The better cameras allow you to shoot in RAW format as well as JPEG. You need a software program to process RAW files. Most people use LightRoom and PhotoShop, but SONY has a free competitor called CaptureOne. The basic functions are pretty easy, but there are more things you can do in postproduction.

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I have a canon 7d setup I'm looking at selling put the collection together a few months ago and life happened and didn't even get to use it yet. Not sure what you are looking into getting but it's a complete set with everything except diopters. It also have dichroic filters for the stones ds161 for flouro diving.

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I use a g16 in fantasea housing with two YS01 strobes. Never a problem and pretty easy rig to get to know. A lot of my friends have the Sony rx100 and G7x both which are newer.

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I have a canon 7d setup I'm looking at selling put the collection together a few months ago and life happened and didn't even get to use it yet. Not sure what you are looking into getting but it's a complete set with everything except diopters. It also have dichroic filters for the stones ds161 for flouro diving.

 

 

Sounds like it could be good, have you posted your ad on the classifieds section?

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I have a similar set up to Castillo (RX100 series).

 

Not to hijack the thread, but curious-- what kind of video lights would go best?

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