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reefmaster mini suggestions for iso, shooting with 960 strobe

Discussion in 'SeaLife' started by rayaslin, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. rayaslin

    rayaslin Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oklahoma
    147
    59
    Hello,

    I have a reefmaster mini that I've done a little diving with. Recently I got a great deal on a older sealife strobe (sl960)...so I'm making my first trip with the camera, with the new strobe next week.

    I'll be going to cozumel, diving in 70-100ft viz, in 50-100ft depth. I was wondering if anyone could make any suggestion to me about some settings.

    obviously I need to be set for external flash - however, what should I set for iso? I'm not much more than a point and shoot photographer, but I'de like my pics to turn out a little nicer (less blues, more colors, but not over flashed and washed out) - and any advice is appreciated.

    I've heard that the 960 can create too much flash for the reefmaster in many situations (light/sandy backgrounds)

    any advice appreciated, particurlary with iso settings with this combo of camera/strobe in this type of viz/conditions.

    thanks,

    Ray
     
  2. SeaLife Joe

    SeaLife Joe Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    301
    2
    Hello Rayaslin,

    I recommend just letting the camera do the settings for you as that is part of the programming we do to best synchronize the camera and flash. the flash will help your pictures come out with the natural clolors instead of a blueish tint.

    I would also recommend reading your manual again for the explaination on the Far Flash and Macro Flash settings which are very helpful when using the External Flash. This will help any washout you may get.

    A flash diffuser, SL968 will aslo help "tone" down the flash as well.

    Hope this helps out.

    Joe
     
  3. rayaslin

    rayaslin Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oklahoma
    147
    59
    Thanks for the reply!


    So i was looking at those settings...

    In order to achieve proper image exposure, it may be necessary to select from one of
    the following three flash modes:
    [Blank] - This is the default setting ideal for proper exposure from 1 yd
    (1m) to 2 yd (2m).
    [ ] - Macro Flash This flash setting is ideal for shooting distances inside of 1 yd.
    (1m).
    [ ] - Far Flash Select this flash mode for best exposure beyond 2 yds(2m)
    shooting distance.

    What exactly is it changing? Shutter speed? I know - I should just trust it - but I like knowing what's going on under the hood - helps me learn.

    thanks for any info you can provide.

    Ray
     
  4. SeaLife Joe

    SeaLife Joe Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    301
    2
    Ray, in the external flash modes we set a minimum shutter speed so that you can stop action. it then will choose the shutter speed and aperature as well as the ISO. This is where we do all the research and testing to set this program so it works with the flash.
     
  5. rayaslin

    rayaslin Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oklahoma
    147
    59
    ok - so I did my first trip using the strobe and WA lense...boy the strobe really helps bring out the colors.

    I found I had to do alot of manual diffusing - usually with my hand over the lense...especially in a photo closer than say 3ft, even if I use the 'macro strobe' setting.

    Ray Aslin's Photos - Cozumel - underwater | Facebook

    There's a link to my photos - I took about 225, and about 160 were keepers....the only real problems I had were either too much flash (and this is why people should buy the newer flash that you can adjust down the power level, and buy the diffuser) or learning to wait a few seconds for cycle time.

    As far as battery life on the strobe - I used enerthizer lithium batteries and was still going strong with 225 strobes - the camera (on the same batteries) died at 225 pictures...but I'll post about that experience in another thread about battery life indicator.

    So - this is what I noticed about the 3 different strobe external settings normal, far, macro

    In almost all of my pictures ISO was 32, in a few cases it went up to 80...but I'm not sure which setting pushed it up to 80...as I only adjusted the strobe setting.

    Apeture on this camera is 3.3 - non-adjustable so that didn't change.

    Shutter time however was the other variable - in some shots it was less than 1/100 sec, in some shots as much as 1/500 sec.

    So I'm guessing changing the settings makes the camera adjust shutter speed and iso - but I haven't figured out what it makes it's 'guess' based on. I took many photos with the same 'far away' external strobe setting and got different results for the shutter speed (though the ISO rarely changes from 32) likewise for other settings.

    At any rate - overall I was very satisfied with the pictures - a diffuser is in my near future.
     

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