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Alex_Mustard

D2X Underwater Images

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I am sorry for yet another post of my D2X images. This is the last one. I will of course post more images from this camera - but this is the last thread I will start solely about the camera. In the future I will be back to talking about photography. So please excuse this final indulgence.

 

Anyway I have two excuses. First I get emails each day asking me about this camera underwater and second I am now back in the UK from Cayman and can gather my thoughts & some of my favourite shots from my first two trips.

 

So here are 25 images from my first month or so with the camera. They are from both Egypt and Grand Cayman. I have tried to present a range of images, although the subject choice is naturally biased by the projects I am working on. About half of them haven't been online before.

 

Sorry that the gallery layout (autogenerated in Photoshop) has some issues in Internet Explorer, but seems fine in other browsers.

 

The link: http://www.amustard.com/d2x/

 

Alex

 

D2_bw1.jpg

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Let me be the first (probably) to say "wow". In this thread at least...

 

 

Really liked the first freediver shot. You sure do get the goods from that 10.5mm fisheye. Stunning work as usual.

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Really enjoyed all the photographs Alex - I'm always delighted when you make another thread like this :D

 

Is there a story behind the freedivers?

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Hi Alex,

As usual, great work. So nice to see Vancouverites MandyRae and Kirk successful again...I knew they were going to make the attempt, but I was in Europe and missed the news.

Cheers,

Marli

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Amazing images... must be the camera. :D

 

I absolutely love the picture of the two peacock flounders mating... what a shot!

 

For those interested in more info about the freediving record attempts tune into http://www.performancefreediving.com

Those guys (and girl) are amazing.

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Truely Beautiful images, my favorite is the shot of the mating Hamlets.

 

Photography is never about the equipment.

 

Doug

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The two flounders pic is un-believable!

 

Thanks, that shot brought me out of my funk on my feeble efforts. Just an amazing capture.

 

Rand

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I wasn't serious about the pictures being about the camera... just wanted to make that clear. :D

 

That shot of the mating fish in front the diver is really cool.

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Great stuff Alex! It's alway a pleasure to see your work. I love all your fish portraits.

 

Since you stated that this is a thread about the camera, I'll put in a camera question. I noticed that you only have one sun ball shot in the collection. What do you think of the D2x vs the D70 for those type of shots?

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Great question Herb

 

Nice work Alex, thanks for the lens info on the shots.

 

Second question about camera: Does it have a B&W setting or are you doing that post process?

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Thank you for the positive feedback, its especially gratifying when people like different images. While it is nice of you to say it is nothing to do with the kit, you are wrong. Certainly many of the fish spawning pictures were only possible because the D2X AF could lock on the fish in the low light. They are shots I've never been able to take before.

 

I lucked in a bit with the flounders. Most of my fish mating photography is planned in great detail, but on that occasion Giles and I had jumped in early so he could test his camera - and we had agreed to stay in the shallows for a bit before going down to see the hamlets. And there we bumped into the flounders. Attached is a shot of the start of the spawning rise - good for behaviour, less good graphically, I think.

 

-------

 

The sunburst question is harder to answer. And I'm still not sure how good the D2X is. Sometimes it exceeds my expectations in this area, other times it underperforms. Attached are two images (Basic JPGs) straight from the camera - both are fine - neither is perfect. I think in summary I would say its not perfect, but I don't fear pointing it at the sun.

 

-------

 

Finally the freediving. I have always been a bit skeptical about freediving. Never saw the point, I guess. That was until I went and watched it live. It is amazing. WOW. I'd encourage anyone to go and see it. Plus Kirk and his team are really nice people - even to a random camera monkey flapping about on SCUBA!

I feel pretty lucky to have been able to go along - as I have 2 projects at the moment that needed freediving images and I had no idea where I was going to get them. It also gave me the chance for some banter with wetpixel member Chris Brandson and to go wow at the Hi Def Sony camera he was using in a Gates housing.

 

Alex

 

p.s. Mike, I am doing B&W in post processing - but very much thinking in black and white when taking the images.

post-713-1113554002_thumb.jpg

post-713-1113554017_thumb.jpg

post-713-1113554152_thumb.jpg

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Hi Alex,

 

Like everyone else I am in awe of your pictures. I particularly like the wide angle ones.

 

I see that for some of the shots in your gallery you have used a midrange zoom 28-70. I find this interesting as all the chat on wetpixel about lenses seems to focus on wideangle and macro lenses. No one seems to really recommend/favour this sort of midrange lens.

 

Do you think that you could give your thoughts on this sort of lens, when you use it and why ?

 

Thanks very much,

 

Regards,

 

Mark

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Bravo!

 

Great collection. I really can't say which one I like best as I like different shots for different reasons.

 

As usual, top notch!

 

Todd

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Hi Alex,

Great pictures, please keep them coming and post more.

 

Your comment...“Certainly many of the fish spawning pictures were only possible because the D2X AF could lock on the fish in the low light. They are shots I've never been able to take before.â€

 

What focus mode were you using and do you keep it in that mode ?

 

Marc

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Hi Alex,

Technical question:

For the Photo: YAA! (which is great; I love these guys as a subject)

Why the +4 dioptre with the 105mm???

Cheers,

Marli

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Hi Marli, just a quick reply. I have been using the + dioptres on my macro stuff a lot lately, you'd be amazed how much closer you can focus, even with the 105mm, really helps to fill the frame better for tiny little weeeee fishies

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I see that for some of the shots in your gallery you have used a midrange zoom 28-70. I find this interesting as all the chat on wetpixel about lenses seems to focus on wideangle and macro lenses. Do you think that you could give your thoughts on this sort of lens, when you use it and why ?

 

Quite a few people will start off using their mid-range zoom kit lens (that came with their camera) underwater but tend to dump it once they get a decent macro prime - like a 60mm. Basically because they see pretty quickly that kit lenses are optically inferior. What few people then do is go out and buy a good quality mid range zoom. Both Nikon and Canon make very good (and expensive) 28-70mm, but I use a Sigma 28-70mm f2.8-f2.8 (which is very good). (Having a constant aperture is also very helpful when shooting in manual as you can zoom without having to change your exposures.)

The second problem is that not all housing manufacturer's will support a lens like this - in terms of ports and gears. Which stops a lot of people using it - luckily my Sigma lens fits perfectly in my Subal 105mm port, and Subal make a gear that fits it.

 

A mid range zoom is a useful lens underwater for large reef life. But it is too tight for shooting people. I also find that I sometimes fall into the trap of just shooting Fish ID type shots with this lens! If you go too much wider than 28mm with the zoom then you will need to use it with a dioptre behind a dome port to preserve optical performance.

 

D2_turtle.jpg

This turtle was shot with the 28-70mm at 34mm (1/125th at f6.3).

 

Alex

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Your comment...“Certainly many of the fish spawning pictures were only possible because the D2X AF could lock on the fish in the low light. They are shots I've never been able to take before.†What focus mode were you using and do you keep it in that mode ?

 

Hi Marc,

 

AF choices are to some extent personal. But here is what I use on the D2X. Every image I have shot with the D2X has been in AF and in AF-C. For fish I tend to use grouped dynamic with closest subject priority. I often use the left and right groups, rather than the centres. I often leave grouped AF on for wide angle too. For split levels, and shots like the single off centre freedivers in the blue, I use single area AF - the position set by me. In low light behaviour photography I use the AF in single most of the time. This is because the camera will not lock that well onto the side of the fish, but you can help the AF by putting the AF sensor over a point on contrast (edge of the fish or and eye etc) - once its found the subject it tends to be able to keep AF and you can recompose and shoot.

 

Technical question:

For the Photo: YAA! (which is great; I love these guys as a subject)

Why the +4 dioptre with the 105mm???

 

Just as Mike says - for the extra magnification. That particular shot I could have probably done without the +4 because the magnification is not that high. This next secretary blenny is shot very close to the maximum magnification possible with the +4.

D2_macro2.jpg

 

I don't use the +4 that much - and never without a plan of what I know is on the site that I want to photograph (e.g. pygmies or something). It is quite inflexible - but can produce some useful shots and is hardly that expensive to buy - nor does it take up much space in the suitcase! The main downside is the lack of depth of field at high magnification - which means that many shots thath look great on the LCD screen go straight in the bin (because the focus is just out) when you see them on the computer!

 

Alex

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Hi Alex.

 

Happy to hear that finaly you like Freediving. Freediving is for me a way of life

 

If you need more Freediving photos go to Dahab there is always plenty of freedivers and, I think, between the 9-15 juni is a National records competition there.

 

I am amazing of the quality of the D2-free1 - D2-free2 -D2-free3 shoots.

I whant to ask you have you dome some postprocessing? What a BLUE Color!!!!

If you remember my email .. pictures like D2-free2 & D2-free3 are what I 90% take. Do you ahve some exif data for this pictures? I see that on the last one you use strobes... but the freediver is very far away.. are the dtrobes so powerfull

 

keep the Great Work and if you whant to shoot freedivers email me .. plenty of competitions and meetings in Europe & Egypt

 

Lambis

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