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SONY RX100 Mark VII set up for photography - please advise

Discussion in 'Strobes and Lighting' started by mako24, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. mako24

    mako24 Angel Fish

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    Hello all, please I write here cause I would like to kindly ask for your expertise. I want to start setting up my camera, especially for underwater photos (mostly for sharks and big stuff, not macro), for now I have the following:

    - Sony RX100 Mark VII
    - Ikelite housing #6116.15
    (/www.ikelite.com/products/underwater-housing-for-sony-cyber-shot-rx100-mark-iii-mark-iv-mark-v?_pos=2&_sid=814655a78&_ss=r)

    - Ikelite 9523.64 Tray with Dual Quick Release Handles for Compact and Mirrorless Housings
    (www.ikelite.com/products/tray-with-dual-quick-release-handles-for-compact-and-mirrorless-housings)

    Please, can someone help me and indicate what I need to add? which strobes do you suggest? Between what can i choose? I will also need something for buoyancy for the whole thing? and to trigger the strobes? do i need this correct?

    - Ikelite Fiber Optic Coiled Cord # 4501
    (www.ikelite.com/products/fiber-optic-coiled-cord?_pos=1&_sid=88d55126c&_ss=r)

    - Fiber Optic Converter # 4401.3
    (www.ikelite.com/products/fiber-optic-converter-for-ds-strobes-3rd-gen?_pos=1&_sid=eab55a150&_ss=r)

    I am a beginner so please any advice will help, thanks! :)
     
  2. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
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    The housing you linked is for RX100 marks III through V(A); it is not suitable for RX100 Mark VI and VII. These have a longer lens that requires a specialized port setup.

    Ikelite DS strobes are a poor match for RX100 series, because they're built for electrical triggering. If you were to use one, you will have the extra expense of fiber optic converters, and you will be restricted to manual mode. Inon S-2000 and Sea & Sea YS-01 are the most popular strobes for compact cameras; both have native fiber-optic triggering and will give you manual and TTL modes.
     
  3. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    629
    220
    43
    The YS-01 or S-2000 strobes will be fine with an RX-100, shooting at f5.6 is adequate with the small sensor so flash power requirements are less. If you are shooting big stuff you'll probably want some sort of wet lens to get a wide angle of view. The 24mm equivalent wide end reduces to about 31mm equivalent with a flat port and you need to back up a lot to fit large animals in the frame. You have fibre optic ports on the housing already so you just need the fibre optic cables. 31mm is not very wide at all in UW photography terms.

    You will want the 6116.18 for the RX100VII and if you are using a wet lens to get wider the wideangle port - this port limits how far you can zoom the lens as it is quite short. This is needed to keep the wet lens close to the lens when it is zoomed right out (at it's shortest) and get the maximum angle of view without vignetting.

    Buoyancy I would suggest you try the setup out to see what the UW weight is like. The YS-01 and S-2000 only weigh 100 gr or so underwater so don't add much to the weight. Ikelite's specs say it is slightly negatively buoyant, so you may not need buoyancy or at least not very much depending on the weight of the wet lens in use.
     
  4. mako24

    mako24 Angel Fish

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    Hello guys thanks for the input, :) sorry that I answer only now but due to tough times I was totally focused on other things. I have been reading a lot about UW photography lately to get back on track and checked the advice you gave here, now I want finally move on and buy the remaining equipment.

    I wanted to add some important info to the above, because I think it might change the cards in the game. I want mainly to shoot photos of sharks and big stuff, dolphins, mantas, sharks and big groups of hammerheads, whale sharks, reefscapes...I don't really care much about macro. I understand that from what I now wrote I need a wet lens/fisheye, is this one a good choice?
    - W-30 Wide Angle Wet Lens
    (W-30 Wide Angle Wet Lens)

    any other options and how to choose the wet lens for my housing/camera in particular?

    Regarding the strobes...I understand I need 2 of them for the type of photos I want to do...

    which one should be a good choice? I understood that recycle time and underwater angle coverage are important aside from power. I don't need the best strobe at all costs, but if the cost difference between a mid-range option to a top range option is 300 USD and the specs of the more expensive one are really a game changer then i prefer invest in the better option.

    - the newest Sea and Sea YS-D3??
    - the INON Z330 ??
    - what about INON D200 ?? is there a big difference with Z330?

    I guess I also need this to connect the strobes:

    - Ikelite Fiber Optic Coiled Cord # 4501
    (www.ikelite.com/products/fiber-optic-coiled-cord?_pos=1&_sid=88d55126c&_ss=r)


    ..and let's not forget the arms for the strobes...still have not checked these...


    THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP! :)
     
  5. mako24

    mako24 Angel Fish

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    Yeah, the case I posted is for my old RX100 IV but the RX100 mark VII fit as well, the only thing is you can't totally zoom out :) but i am considering buying the case for the RX100 mark VII anyway.
     
  6. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    629
    220
    43
    Wet wide lenses are tricky and it depends on the characteristics of the housing you have. The one you link is designed for the lens to be at 28mm and give the field of view of a a 17mm lens - at this setting. It is limited by vignetting- the problem with the mkVII is the lens zooms a lot and extends physically, but at the widest setting it's short so the lens is a long way from the port. This means you need to zoom in to avoid vignetting - or if you are looking at the ikelite housing buy the short port which means you can't zoom in that much. If you use the standard port and zoom in your angle of view reduces. If you get the short port it limits how much you can zoom in. It also causes an error on the camera if you zoom to far and the lens hits the port glass and requires shut down and restart. It is not clear if the w30 lens you linked is designed for zoom through, many wide lenses are not. This means it works well at the widest setting but is not so good when zoomed in.

    Be aware that you need to remove the lens underwater and burp it to get air bubbles off the surfaces so having a bayonet for easy removal is a plus - you don't want to be fiddling with a filter thread in the water. Also 17mm is wide - but not that wide, other lenses have options to get you wider and even with the short port you may need to zoom in a little losing angle of view to avoid vignetting so may not achieve 17mm field of view??. This thread has an extensive discussion on wet lenses and coverage they might achieve in various ports. RX100 VI or A7 III

    The Fantasea housing discussed allows zooming to 66mm about what the ikelite short port does so the comments on those lenses would apply to your setup.

    On strobes, the RX-100 has a 1" sensor and generally you don't need to stop so far on these compared to full frame cameras and you can get away with less power - but you will be operating closer to full power and recycle times might be longer- the other consideration is some of the more expensive units will be almost bigger and heavier than your housing.
     
    mako24 likes this.
  7. mako24

    mako24 Angel Fish

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    thanks for the feedback! :) regarding the wide angle and the lenses, ....what do you think about this ?? would this be the best choice? it is a fish eye dome port and not wet lens, also would be usable for split shots, do you think it could be a solution?

    DC2 6 Inch Dome for Compact Housings

    or this one (in case I buy the new housing for the VII --> #6116.18):
    DC3 6 Inch Dome for Compact Housings


    Currently I have the housing for the older models, even if the page says its not for Mark VII, it fits quite well:
    - Ikelite housing #6116.15
    (/www.ikelite.com/products/underwater-housing-for-sony-cyber-shot-rx100-mark-iii-mark-iv-mark-v?_pos=2&_sid=814655a78&_ss=r)

    for the strobes exaclty that's the point, if i have to buy more economic but with longer recycle time and always to full power I prefer to buy better ones with better performance, even if they are heavier :-/

    anyway, let's work with what we have, please what would you buy if you were adn were trying to get the maximum out of the rx100 VII for wide angle shots/split shots (half in and out water) with the ikelite housing i currently have?
     
  8. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    629
    220
    43
    The dome port gets you an 84° diagonal field of view , basically all it does is restore the in air field of view (the flat port reduces field of view by about 33%) This is wide but not that wide and you will be backing up for large subjects wide in UW is something in the 14-18mm range as it allows you to get in very close. You could use it for split shots I guess but 6" is a little on the small side so would need to fairly flat. The new model housing is a backward step for wide angle work with wet lenses because the port is longer and further from the lens so the field of view is less. The dry dome will work but it is a compromise between splits and other subjects. Being an acrylic dome it will be fairly floaty.

    With the dry dome the horizontal field is 74° so a 3m subject with an extra 1m to give some space front and back you are 2.7m away, that's a fair bit of water and at the limit or beyond the range of strobes. With a fisheye lens you would be 0.8m away - a big difference. Wet lenses will get you out to the 14mm equivalent focal length +/- and you would be maybe 1.5m away.

    The point I was trying to make on strobes is you probably don't need the power with the RX100 and will only make use of it with a bigger sensor where you are stopping down more. With the 1" sensor f5.6 is adequate and is equivalent to f16 in full frame, you might need to stop down a little more for splits though and will need plenty of power to balance exposure above and below water. The big strobes are a problem with a small light housing as they will want to be below the housing so will be trying twist down as you are framing, a flotation arm will help offset this. If you really doing a lot of split shots ( as opposed to wide angle work on big animals which you first mentioned), then I would look at getting the Z330 strobes they are a solid reliable choice.

    As far as domes go the 6" would be "OK" for splits I am thinking but not the best or easiest to use and would not be a good solution for big animals. I would look into some of the wet wide options with zoom through perhaps. Sharks for example don't always come close and you want to be able to zoom in a little. Things like the WWL-1 or WWL-C would be great if expensive options. Otherwise the Fantasea wide lens UWL-09 might be a good choice. The INON lenses with or without the dome are a possible option as well, but they are not zoom through so leaving them on and zooming right in degrades the image.
     
  9. mako24

    mako24 Angel Fish

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    Thanks Chris! I start to understand, I really appreciate your precious feedback. Regarding the strobes I either will go with Z330 or YS-D3; let's see also based on the pricing, and yes I will probably need some flotation arms.

    BTW when you say "where you are stopping down more"; sorry but what you mean with "stopping more"? :)

    Reagrding the wet lenses, please what is the difference between UWL-09F and UWL-09? I find the UWL-09 is associated more with the AOI, is it the same product but it has been rebranded under Fantasea? or is there any difference?

    UWL-09F
    AOI UWL-09 Wide Angle Lens
    UWL-09
    Fantasea AOI UWL-09F Wide Angle Lens

    BTW, in case in the future I would like to upgrade to a mirrorless like Sony a6500 or a6400 will the UWL-09 wet lens be possible to apply on an Ikelite or Fantasia housing? Are these lenses and also the Nauticam lenses good match with these houses and cameras ?

    Here are the hosungs:

    200DLM/A Underwater Housing for Sony Alpha a6100, a6300, a6400, a6500 Mirrorless Cameras
    Fantasea Line Water Sports Photo Products & Accessories- FA6400 Housing for Sony a6400 Mirrorless Digital Camera

    thanks!! :)
     
  10. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    629
    220
    43
    stopping down more means closing the aperture for example going from f5.6 to f8. On The Fantasea lenses I'm not sure but I assume that is the case as they are the same lens.

    On using the Fantasea lens later the compatibility table is here: http://www.fantasea.com/downloads/WetLensesCompatibilityTable.pdf

    Any housing taking an m67 port can use the wet lens if they have an appropriate lens and port in the lineup. The lens needs to be close to the port glass at the wide setting and this can present issues for some lenses. As you get into bigger sensors wet lenses are less useful as the quality at the edge of frame starts to suffer for many of the lenses (Nauticam WWL series being an exception) and you have dome ports and various wide angle and fisheye options which work much better. I don't have direct experience with the Fantasea lens so don't know how it performs on APS-C sensors.

    On strobes if you ever plan to use an LED trigger later on the S&S strobes often have problems, the forums often have people posting they can't get the strobes to trigger. INON strobes have a very sensitive trigger and you don't generally see reports of problems with them.

    On future upgrades - Sony seems to be a go to upgrade path people mention - there are some downsides to the Sony cameras - the lens lineup is limited, especially on cropped sensor, - no native fisheye for example and limited macro options - the 90mm macro is probably too long UW on cropped sensors - unless you are into really tiny stuff and if you are wanting to do ambient light and video colour balance presents some real challenges. The camera is only a small part of the equation - the availability of suitable lenses and housings/ports - the total system is the best indicator of what system to choose.
     

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