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Not a huge fan of my GoPro

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography' started by bvbellomo, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. bvbellomo

    bvbellomo Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: United States
    233
    27
    Do I have this right?

    Canon EOS M6 Mark II $850
    10-18 mm Canon EF-S f/4.5-5.6 $300
    DLM 6 inch Dome Port with Zoom $350
    ikelite housing $750
    Vacuum Kit $185
    Z330x2 $1300
    Total $3735

    Canon EOS M6 Mark II $850
    Seafrogs Housing $600
    Vacuum $107
    Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM $150
    Z330x2 $1300
    Total $3007

    PEN E-PL10 backscatter kit $1,274
    Innon WWL $300
    S2000x2 $730
    Total $2304

    Canon G7 X Mark III $750
    Fantasy Housing $460
    S2000x2 $730
    Total $1940

    Price is even closer if I upgrade my S2000 to Z330 in the future.

    I know I need a few more accessories, such as to mount the lights, batteries, chargers, memory, etc. But this is likely not a huge part of the cost and similar cost between setups.
     
  2. bvbellomo

    bvbellomo Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: United States
    233
    27
    Backscatter Canon Rebel SL3 Camera Kit $2130
    Z330x2 $1300
    $3440
     
  3. Degenerate

    Degenerate DIR Practitioner

    495
    401
    Arms, clamps and floatstix or even floaty arms still rack up quite a bit of costs too and should not be neglected from the budget as "cheap" accessories.
    It is true that the cost for them will be similiar or even the exact same despite which setup you end up going for, but IMO you should still add it to the budget.

    I paid roughly 200 bucks (converted) for four clamps and two 1' foot arms for my setup.
    Granted I'm in Sweden and things may be more expensive over here as it usually is, but still.
    I know you can get away really cheap with vendors on aliexpress, alibaba and similiar and I've seen a lot of people being happy with their products from there, to each their own.
     
  4. sea_ledford

    sea_ledford Captain

    665
    474
    Arms and clamps are stupid expensive. In the grand scheme it isn't that much, but you are probably looking at $150-200 minimum for each side for 2 section arms.

    Also make sure you actually get hands on an ikelite housing before deciding to go that way. Their smaller housings are great, not a fan of the SLR housings though. Looks like the new gray ones might be better, but the zoom ring adapters I have used are utter garbage. I have no idea how their zoom/focus rings are for the mirrorless lines are.

    But if they are theses...
    Screen Shot 2021-03-19 at 2.15.43 PM.png

    they suck.
     
  5. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    11,376
    9,273
    Do NOT get the Ikelite housing for the TG-x. You can't fire a strobe, no optical port.
     
  6. bvbellomo

    bvbellomo Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: United States
    233
    27
    Take a look at Paul Bentzen's Bonaire photos:
    Bonaire 2017 underwater

    This is one of the better E-M5II galleries, but I had another question besides camera comparison.

    There are exceptions, but most of these reefscapes have the darkest shadows in the foreground, often in the part of the image illuminated by the strobe. The background fades to blue, often not dark blue but medium-light blue.

    I don't like this, I don't understand it, and wondered if it was the sync speed issue mentioned earlier. The only sources of light are the strobe and the sun. Without a strobe, I'd assume everything would be heavily ambiently lit, somewhat washed out, but evenly lit nearby to far away. Adding strobe just lightens parts of the scene - a strobe is physically incapable of making anything darker. We might make things darker changing exposure or white balance, but the shadows far away should stay as dark as the ones close up - but they don't.

    I am not sure brighter lights help or hurt - they might help as this pushes the naturally lit washed out shadows further back, or they might hurt as we should be evenly lit to begin with.

    Have you ever seen small aquariums, with a photo print behind the back glass? This gives a cheesy look like your fish are swimming in front of a real reef, but it is obviously 2d and the lighting doesn't match your tank. In the more extreme cases, this is what it looks like.

    This is not to be critical of Paul Bentzen - I picked his gallery based on looking for the best images - but to understand what is going on.
     
  7. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Israel
    904
    395
    I'm not sure Canon EOS M series is a good choice; Canon seems to have pretty much abandoned that line in favor of the R series, which use a different lens mount. There were few lenses released for it, and the 10-18mm lens that you listed won't mount without an adapter. I can't say anything about Ikelite without consulting their port chart, but with SeaFrogs, you will only get zoom gears for a few most common lenses, and an adapted 10-18mm is not one of those. SeaFrogs' best efforts appear to be aimed at supporting Sony cameras.

    FWIW, I use a Sony A6300 with 10-18mm, 16-50mm and 90mm macro lenses, in a SeaFrogs housing with their 8" dome port and long macro port. Lights are a pair of Retra Pro strobes and an Archon D15VP focus light. Here is an album from my last week's trip to North Andaman Sea (10 dives on Richelieu Rock, 2 on Koh Tachai, 1 on Koh Bon and 2 blackwater dives) on The Smiling Seahorse: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Dt9qXrktr7t2dMYv9 - some of them still need to be cleaned up a bit, particularly the blackwater ones, but you can get the general idea of what it does.
     
    TTPaws likes this.
  8. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    676
    243
    I had a look at the EXIF on the first few shots in the gallery, he is not using a strobe on the reefscapes - they are ambient shots in shallow water. He is using what looks to be a single strobe on the fishportraits. The shadows are because ambient light really only comes from above. The strobes can also "darken" things in effect - if you lower ISO and stop down you reduce ambient light so effectively underexpose on ambient light this darkens the background, but for your foreground you increase strobe power. This gives you the darker blues in your background water.

    The thing to realise with strobes is they not only provide light but they provide daylight balanced light so they bring up the reds/yellows/oranges which would not be there in UW shots. Second their range is very limited, mostly less than 1m - 2m at a real stretch. This was shot with an Em-5II - I had one before I got my EM-1 and with the 12-40 lens at f8": Australian Natural Images It was a few years ago now, today I'd reduce ISO by one stop and turn up the strobes, it doesn't sound like a big change but can be very effective. They also need to be position right to get your even illumination.
     
  9. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    676
    243
    The Sea Frogs and ikelite housings are cheap for a reason, they get your camera UW but there are more compromises. For one thing the 6"dome is really a bit too small for a 10mm lens in APS-C, they offer an 8"dome but it doesn't support zoom. If you wanted to add a fisheye like the 10-17 Tokina or Canon 8-15 later on, there's a dome but zoom is not supported. Have a look through the port chart: https://docs.ikelite.com/reference/port-chart-dlm-a-system.pdf On your Sea frogs system the 22mm f2 is not very useful UW - it's a 35mm equivalent lens which is neither wide nor macro. Same comments apply to the ikelite SL3 system as the EOS M system. Ikelite you also have to use sync cords which is one more set of O-rings to maintain - they can be quite fussy sometimes. Fibre optic is so much easier.

    Also to be fair the G7X should also use the INON wet wide lens, it's a wee bit wider than the Olympus 14-42 but not that much.
     
  10. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    11,376
    9,273
    I was going to provide the same info that @Chris Ross did, but he beat me to it. The link you provide to Flickr was of reefscapes that did not use a strobe.
    Look at https://flic.kr/p/SRWJAY, also taken with an Olympus 4/3, but an older M10 Mk 1. The foreground is illuminated by the strobes to give color and exposure, the shutter speed is not the fastest the M10 can sync at (1/160) but close to, and the ISO is low. All that is left to adjust is the f-stop, which was apparently chosen to allow the diver to be a silhouette, the sun to not be too burned out, and the water deep blue. Without the strobes, the coral head in the foreground would be nearly black and without color.
     

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