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imacro

First WA and Macro attempt with Sony A7C Nauticam gear

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So after multiple trial and errors, I found a good strobe position for me. That is to have both strobes behind the handles and pointing straight instead of slightly outward. Many photos from my last dive came out pretty good (compared to my previous photos) without any edits. Below are some samples with mostly just auto edit button in LR. I’d recommend to try out this strobes position if anyone is facing the same issue as I was.

 

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These shots are looking much better with the flash exposure.

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5 hours ago, imacro said:

So after multiple trial and errors, I found a good strobe position for me. That is to have both strobes behind the handles and pointing straight instead of slightly outward. Many photos from my last dive came out pretty good (compared to my previous photos) without any edits. Below are some samples with mostly just auto edit button in LR. I’d recommend to try out this strobes position if anyone is facing the same issue as I was.

nice shots and the colors are very pleasing!

You are much closer to the subject than in the previous pictures you posted, this counts as much as good strobe positioning !

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Definitely being closer to the subject is key too. Thanks to you guys I dont feel too frustrated looking at my photos after the dives lol


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On 6/21/2021 at 1:52 AM, imacro said:

My third dive, the WA shots are getting a bit better. I’m still struggling with the macro shots. I figured out the right exposure with Inon manual mode for macro. However, with ISO 100, SP 1/200, F22 Sony A7C, my camera screen is pretty much black at 50ft, when I half focused, the screen shows for like 0.5s so no way I could frame the shot. What am I missing in my setting? If I set ISO to Auto, it will almost always over expose my shots. Somehow, I still managed to get some shots of the small coral in focus with black screen below lol. I could not get any fishes at all, they all ran away when I get close to them. I went with a dive tour again so I barely have any time at 1 spot. Could someone help with the black screen issue? Thanks

 

 

 

If your screen is black like that, then you would probably do well to add a focus light. Turning off Live View lets you see the subject on the LCD screen, but it doesn't help the camera to focus. I'm shooting the same setup as you, but with an a7rIV, instead of an a7c. A focus light will help your camera focus and also let you see it on the LCD screen without having to turn off Live View.

Also, for help focusing on Macro subjects, you might try using the DMF focus mode with Focus Peaking. Press the button to get initial focus on some part of the subject, then move the camera slightly back and forth and watch the focus peaking on the screen to release the shutter when the part you want is in focus.

 

 

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1 minute ago, stuartv said:

 

Also, for help focusing on Macro subjects, you might try using the DMF focus mode with Focus Peaking. Press the button to get initial focus on some part of the subject, then move the camera slightly back and forth and watch the focus peaking on the screen to release the shutter when the part you want is in focus.

 

That said, I have a thread (currently 2 down the list from this one) where I posted some photos from my last trip, where I was using my setup with the CMC-1 for the first time. All my macro shots were done using standard Auto Focus (Spot w/Tracking). I plan to experiment with DMF and Focus Peaking, as it seems like a better way to go for macro, but I haven't done it yet. 

The point being, you CAN get decent results with the 28-60 lens, CMC-1, and normal AF.

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Hey - there is a massive, and clear improvement from post to post of your photos. Well done!

Getting to know a new rig is trial and error, and lots and lots of practice so go you, you've done a brilliant job.

I shoot with an SMC-1 wet lens, man they are tricky buggers to learn. Especially in current / surge etc, focus can be razor thin. Definitely the advice of learning the macro rig without it first is a good one, or having a flip ring so you can remove it if it's frustrating you. 

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5 hours ago, stuartv said:

 

If your screen is black like that, then you would probably do well to add a focus light. Turning off Live View lets you see the subject on the LCD screen, but it doesn't help the camera to focus. I'm shooting the same setup as you, but with an a7rIV, instead of an a7c. A focus light will help your camera focus and also let you see it on the LCD screen without having to turn off Live View.

Also, for help focusing on Macro subjects, you might try using the DMF focus mode with Focus Peaking. Press the button to get initial focus on some part of the subject, then move the camera slightly back and forth and watch the focus peaking on the screen to release the shutter when the part you want is in focus.

 

The screen is showing black because there is not enough ambient light and at the chosen settings without a flash the exposure would indeed be black.  The solution is to find the menu setting to turn on live view boost or whatever your camera system calls it.  It's in the menus and it boosts the EVF brightness so you can see what you are shooting - the EVF no longer reflects the final exposure as it can't predict what the flash will do.  Most cameras will then flash up for 1/2 a second or so the actual image taken - so you can tell for example if the screen flashes to black that the strobes didn't fire for example.  This duration is usually adjustable in the menus.

A focus light will certainly help focus if it's very dark  but not always necessary in this situation.  Again this varies with the camera you are using.

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Hi... I note your are in Hawaii - is there a problem with Crown of Thorns starfish there, given there is one in your pic? They have been a real problem here in Vanuatu.

Cheers

John

 

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14 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

The screen is showing black because there is not enough ambient light and at the chosen settings without a flash the exposure would indeed be black.  The solution is to find the menu setting to turn on live view boost or whatever your camera system calls it. 

I understand all that. It was well discussed. My point was that, my experience with shooting a similar setup is that, if you use a focus light, you don't have to turn off Live View AND it helps the camera focus. Win-win.

The a7c will be somewhat different than my a7rIV, of course. But, I find that having a focus light (which I turn on and off, as needed) is very helpful, quite often. Maybe it's only the rIV and the a7c is much better, but my camera often has trouble getting a quick focus in lighting situations that SEEM like (to me) should be plenty of light. Maybe it's just low"-ish" light combined with reduced contrast from being underwater. Regardless, since I started using a focus light on my rig, I don't dive without it anymore. It comes in handy too often.

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