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Fuji S2 Pro - UW Samples Posted

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Underwater S2 Pix

 

Cheers

James

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On the macro shots that you posted - are you getting this quality of exposure on ALL your macro shots, or are you showing us your best. Is the TTL good enough that you can get perfect exposures on the 1st try, or do you have to manipulate strobe power and distance to get it right? I've not seen a digital camera yet that does a good job of TTL underwater.

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I'm getting TTL exposures about like I used to get w/ my NikV and 1:1 extension tube. Not perfect but it's hitting about 80% of them. I can literally post dozens of pix but that will take time - I just got back yesterday. I asked Sarah to pick 3 or four good shots for me to post ASAP and that's what you all are seeing.

 

I'm pretty new to SLR photography so I also made some mistakes. I was getting good exposures at 1' and f16 with the 60mm but I tried shooting fish portraits at F16 at 2-3 feet away and forgot to open the aperture to f5.6 or so (I was in manual) so I got a bunch of crappy shots too.

 

My strobes were in "classic macro position - about 4" out and 4" up from the lens port and slightly behind the end of the port to avoid flare.

 

The shots I posted are straight from the camera - after opening them in photoshop tonight, I'd say they are about 1/2 stop underexposed. Next trip, I will try using Flash +/- at +.5 or +1

 

I can only do so much on each trip without going insane.

 

My assessment: I have seen a camera that does good TTL exposure underwater...:P

 

Cheers

James

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Slight underexposure is my preference, and it is very unique that a digicam underexposes when using TTL. Most that I've seen tend to blow out images. Underexposure can be repaired in photoshop much more easily than overexposure.

 

Sounds like Fuji may have finally nailed dTTL down to a useful tool where in the past I found it a useless sales gimmick.

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I agree with you Kasey, dTTL is not superior to true TTL - it's just a stopgap measure in my opinion until Nikon can figure out how to measure the reflectivity of a CCD as opposed to a film plane.

 

If you take a look at the pictures again today, you'll see that I have left the originals but also posted some of the photos after a quick run through photoshop. They came through pretty well...:P I also posted a crop of that red shrimp's eyeball. It's PLAID patterned!

 

Cheers

James

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HI James,

 

Could you tell use what strobe did you used?

 

Thanks

 

Gwangi

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I have a Nikon SB102 on the left and a Sea and Sea YS90DX on the right. Both fire in TTL.

 

Cheers

James

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James,

 

Just to clarify.

 

You are shooting with Fuji S2 Pro (set in Manual Mode presume 1/125th @ what ever fstop you decide), with two flashes (S&S90X and Nikon SB102) set in TTL mode and synching via Nikon fit connector link to camera hotshoe, 'protected' in an Ikelite housing.

 

I used to have a Subal 801 with Nikon F801/N8008 with a pair of Ikelite MV50s synching via Nikon fit cord to hoteshoe and this worked fine for me.

I have now moved digital and am still struggling with Olympus 4040 as it is no where as fast at focusing as my old Nikon.

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FYI to all:

 

The TTL in the Fuji S2 Pro works differently to the Nikon D1 series and D100. I'm not sure about Canon D30/60 and 1D.

 

The Fuji uses TTL flash and works in the same way as the old film TTL flashes. It takes it TTL measurement from (I think ) the black rebate around the CCD.

Hence James' glorious results.

 

 

 

The Nikon uses D-TTL which relies on a preflash.

Also when it is measuring the light prior to quenching it does not use the old TTL system that measured reflected light from film plane but calculates from the pre-flash.

Who thought of this. It really sucks and kill us U/W photogs.These are without doubt certainly the best results that I have seen from a digital camera.

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Hi Jonothan,

 

I'm glad you like the results - but I have to say that I have seen results better than mine from Eric Cheng and Jim Watt. I have to have something to aspire to, right? :P

 

You are pretty much spot on about my setup. Except I use Ike's Tee cord to connect the strobes to the housing.

 

The TTL on the S2 is true TTL. It meters while the shutter is open. The Nikon does not and uses a preflash = bad. (The last word there is my opinion only - maybe D-TTL has some advantages but I just don't know what they are).

 

Cheers

James

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James,

I would definitely agree with you on the TTL/D-TTL .

 

I think D-TTL is one of those things that seemed like a really good idea and works most of the time on land, u/w it really sucks.

 

Also I think that it is another ploy to sell new digital compatible strobes.

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D-TTL is niether good or bad. It's just another way of automatically controlling flash output. It actually works quite well. The seires of pre-flashes are analyzed by 5 TTL sensors in the camera body. It also utilizes information about lens, aperture and assumed subject distance.

 

In no way is it better than TTL on a film camera. It is only worse when lighting may change between pre-flash and opened shutter.

 

What sucks is that there is no D-TTL compatible strobe. Nor is there likely to be one.

 

The question I have is whether TTL really does work well on the Fuji S2. You must go out and shoot several thousand more images and report back.

 

How well TTL works usually depends on how much negative space exists. One reason I believe TTL on prosumer digicams doesn't work too well is that framed scene is often beyond macro and contains too much negative space to properly expose the entire image.

 

Curious, why manual mode for macro? Just shove it into aperture priority and f/22 and fire away. If your strobes can't generate enough power, just open up to f/16.

 

Now, on those 2-3' shots, I'll let you in on a little secret. I shot plenty of properly exposed fish portrait shots from that distance with my two Ike SS200s at f/22. Then I got some better arms to make it easier to re-position the strobes for every shot. I now shoot macro with the strobes way forward and near the port. It works great, but those fish portraits from 2-5' started coming out pretty weak. It finally dawned on me that strobe position wasn't working for anything near that far away. Stobes were set to cross each other at about 1-1.5 ft. By the time the light reached 3 ft., it was scattered across the ocean. I needed to re-position strobes back, up and out for those fish portraits.

 

Parting thought. Maybe we can get Nikon to make SB-105DX for D-SLR. Maybe they will share their proprietary information with the underwater department?

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Scorpio:

 

You nailed it! I didn't reposition my strobes for the fish portraits!!! They were placed next to the port and a little behind because I was sometimes getting flare. They were about 3" above the port and 4 inches out to the side - pointing to a position 8 inches from the front of the port! Duh on my part! My strobe light wasn't hitting the subject.

 

I did take a bunch of macro shots in aperture priority btw - I'll show them to you guys, but you might either a) laugh or B) get really dizzy! I was shooting at f22 or f16 and the camera was metering the shots for a "proper exposure" meaning what I have is a bunch of 1 to 2 second exposures with rear curtain sync!!!!! The camera wassn't defaulting the shutter speed to the max sync speed for the flash for some reason!!!??? The fish shots sure look cool though. :) I need to "learn up" on setting the flash mode so that the cam doesn't do this in the future - it's my fault.

 

On to TTL - I don't think we need to rehash the TTL vs Manual discussion here as we're all on the same page. We know that there are some situations where TTL works well and there are some where it doesn't. The nice thing is that the TTL sytem on the S2 works just like the TTL system on the N80 or the N90s for example - so if you're an experienced film shooter you already know when you can and can't use TTL on the S2. With D-TTL, this "knowledge base" gleaned from years of film shooting doesn't apply and people get stuck in a confusing morass. Believe me, I know as I've already had a bunch of people ask me if the YS90DX is made to work with the D100 :P - people think that because it has DX in the name, it can do the D-TTL protocol. :D

 

I can assure you of one thing - the TTL system on the S2 DOES work for underwater shooting with a wide variety (read every) of strobes. I've shot 450 pictures underwater with my S2 in a variety of conditions and I intend to shoot ~1,000 more on my Hawaii trip in 2 weeks.

 

Last thought - I bet Nikon could _easily_ put D-TTL into the SB105 - it's probably just a question of putting another circuit into the electronics. But will they? I wouldn't even bet $1 on that. :( What's wrong w/ Nikon lately????

 

Cheers

James Wiseman

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James,

 

Looking forward to seeing some more pictures from your Hawaii trip.

 

I've just got back from Red Sea and my pictures with Oly4040 on static subjects were OK.

But on anything thing that moved the autofocus just cant cope and it refuses to take a picture or takes when fish is out of frame !!:P

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James,

 

The pictures that you took under the oil rig platform (barracuda and sharks). Were these taken with your S2 or something else.

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Short answer - If it's in the file that's called "S2 - Flowergardens" then it was taken with the S2...:blink:

 

For wideangle I've been using the Sigma 14mm F2.8 EX lens. It's sharp with good contrast but watch out for flare - the front element sticks out about a foot.

 

I'm back and working on sorting through my photos from Hawaii - I'll get some online asap.

 

HTH

James Wiseman

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