PDA

View Full Version : Reviews on Ikelite AF35 and nikon coolpix package



Scotttyd
05-30-2008, 05:27
Has anyone used this package, I have it and used it on two dives, and was curious as to others results.

DevilDiver
05-30-2008, 06:52
Post a couple of pics and let us see.....

Scotttyd
06-01-2008, 15:55
Here in the link
Scotttyd/maui diving - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting (http://s257.photobucket.com/albums/hh203/Scotttyd/maui%20diving/)

you can see some before and after photoshop, first time out, so be forgiving!!! I take all critizism

DevilDiver
06-01-2008, 17:22
Very nice. I believe the camera will work very well for you. If this was the first time shooting UW you did an excellent job....

If you would like some suggestions I believe you should change to the highest quality setting and try the metering with "spot" (You can always change it back if you don't like) to help make sure the subject is the focal point.

Make sure to practice getting as close as possible and to try to frame your subject from slightly below at an upward angle if possible and learn to anticipate the focus lag to make sure capture the picture you want not a tail shot.

If you do not have manual settings for WB or are not comfortable with them yet set the exposure to "cloudy".

There are lots of great books out that will help with your future U/W photography. Practice the basics and remember composition....

Good Luck!!

Scotttyd
06-09-2008, 09:11
After my second time out to some NC coastal dives I have some questions.

I Even when I dial the exposure down to 1, I can overexpose many of my pictures. There is another setting that I have always set to auto, I cannot remember what the actual name is to the setting, but I was wondering if I turn that down, willl that possibly help out? I think it is refererd to as the selector dial. What exactly is the difference between these two settings. In the manual for the strobe, they suggest a way to test the exposure and then leave it there all the time for that camera (I ended up with a 3.5 as the ideal setting using their method)

Here is the link to the package

IKELITE AutoFlash Kit AF-35 Specifications (http://www.ikelite.com/af35/autoflash.html)

jugglematt
06-22-2008, 08:20
hi scotttyd

when u say your using the coolpix , what model coolpix are you using??

if your using the coolpix P5000 or p5100 i can offer some advice re camera settings and suggested ad on lenses as im using the coolpix P5000 in a Ikelite housing . i have also combined this package with 2 inon strobes and various inon wide angle and close up lenses .

i have shot some nice images with this setup .here is a link to my flickr page , all photos were taken with the coolpix P5000.

favourite underwater - a set on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/8825200@N08/sets/72157603563164695/)
regards
Matt

DevilDiver
06-22-2008, 08:58
"dial the exposure down to 1"- Is this the exposure comp on the camera or is this the dial on the back of the flash?

The dial is a manual control for intensity of the flash. Depending on how close you are to the subject and how reflective it is the lower end will be used most of the time for portrait and close up. You don't want to point the strobe directly at the subject most of the time but more of a 45 degree angle away from the camera. This lights the subject with the side of the beam and will help reduce backscatter in the water column.

The camera should have an exposure compensation control as well. Try setting -1 for most shots (depending) and see how this works. Keep the strobe head behind the camera or there could be a hot spot visible in the pics.

Read the users manual for the camera and pick up a couple of books on digital and U/W photography and practice, practice, practice above and below......

Scotttyd
06-22-2008, 14:08
It is the coolpix L11, a point and shoot camera.

I was dialing the exposure down to one and the strobe (on a scale of 1-10). There is also auto setting for the F-stop, or down to -2 in 1/2 stop increments (I think). Again I only have 4 dives with the camera/strobe. So my terminology is likely way off !!

You mention I do not wan to have the strobe right on the subject, that is different than what another photographer (who is very good) had told me when I was practicing with him in the pool. He even mentioned putting a small pen light on the stobe to help guide my placement. When you say to point it 45 degrees AWAY from the camera, if that is the case, would any light get to the subject?? Should I use the diffuser on the strobe?

DevilDiver
06-22-2008, 15:55
If you are happy with some snapshots of all the great memories diving just have fun with it.

If you believe you have the fever and want underwater photos....

A diffuser will spread the beam out and drop it by 1 F/stop. I prefer using a diffuser in most cases. The trick is to get as close as possible so the flash can bring out the color by reducing the amount of water between the camera and subject you have clearer more colorful photos.

When you are close and the strobe pointed directly at the subject the light reflected back to the lens could over expose the photo.(If the subject is dark toned like a green moray one setting might work, if the subject is light colored or reflective like a tarpon or on a white sand bottom the same setting will be too much) If you are shooting wide angle you may need to move the flash further away from the housing and turn it all the way up to get the lighting you need.

You really can't just keep your rig set up one way and be able to take different photos. You can and will learn to have basic settings that will most likely work in each situation that you can fall back on and then tweak as needed.

A couple of things I have not mentioned besides practice and practice that can help a whole lot if you use them are the LCD (One of the best tools you have) and the histogram (really, really can help with exposure).

The beauty of digital and the LCD is you can take, review (change as needed) and take again and again. If you find a subject you like take as many shots while making changes for corrections and review after and you will increase your keepers dramatically. (If I take 50 shots on a dive I might keep 10) This is why digital rocks!!

The histogram basically meters what the camera is seeing and displays it so you can make corrections. The graph shows shadows, mid-tones and highlights. You want to shoot somewhere in the middle, you can work with shadows some what but blown out highlights are lost. Some cameras can show the histogram in the normal LCD screen view and on the review of the photo. (I do not know the specifics of your camera)

The light your friend is referring to is called a focus or modeling light and yes this is a great tool especially for digitals. Digitals need light to focus and in water or low light they can struggle. This is a big factor with lag and sharpness. The model/focus light should help the camera focus better and faster.

All of this of course is subject to situation and preference. Take some time with the camera and it's manual, pick up a U/W photography book and practice. I am no expert but these are things I wish I got more comfortable with starting out.........and alot of money ago.

Scotttyd
06-22-2008, 19:17
another question, on a lot of my pics, I will get one really bright spot where the subject is overexposed, yet the surround background is very dark. What causes this? If I put a diffuser on the strobe, will this help "spread out" the light to avoid this?

I need a simple course on F-stop, what exactly does this mean? If F-1 "brighter or more intense" than f-2?

DevilDiver
06-22-2008, 21:59
another question, on a lot of my pics, I will get one really bright spot where the subject is overexposed, yet the surround background is very dark. What causes this? If I put a diffuser on the strobe, will this help "spread out" the light to avoid this?

I need a simple course on F-stop, what exactly does this mean? If F-1 "brighter or more intense" than f-2?



According to the specs it shoots a pretty tight beam. I would definitely use a diffuser with this. Here is how your stacks up against what I am shooting right now. You can see the beam is much tighter......



Sea & Sea YS-27

Guide Number 20 (air) - n/a (u/w)
Color Temperature 5200 Kelvin
Coverage 84 H x 105 V

AF 35

Guide Number 9 (air) - 5 (u/w)
Color Temperature 5700 Kelvin
Coverage 70 H x 70 V

F-Stop- indicates the relationship between the size af the aperture opening and the focal length of the lens. so a setting of F-8 means the diameter of the aperture is 1/8 of the focal length of the lens.
Aperture- the circular iris that opens end closes to determine the amount of light falling on the sensor. (Film cameras would have film not a sensor)

Aperture (F-stop) is how much the iris opens and how much light is let in, shutter speeds regulate how fast the light is let in. Sooo F-stop higher (F-22) is less light and lower is more light (F-8). The higher the number the smaller the opening (aperture).

What this controls for the camera is the brightness and depth between the foreground and background and freezing the action for the camera.

Right now set up a test above water with a couple of objects at the house and take pictures making small changes in the power of the flash (dial on back) and then with the exposure compensation control (button or menu button on camera) in different lighting conditions. It is really about what you like so find some basic settings that work and go from there.

Oh yea, you will have to practice this in the water as well but it should go allot faster the more you work with the camera.

Anyway.... While you are learning start with one thing and work on it until you are comfortable. (Like now I would learn the strobe and your exposure compensation) Then take on something else like F-stops and shutter speeds and it will be allot easier. Don't get frustrated, it's a journey not a destination.......

Scotttyd
06-23-2008, 11:38
another question, on a lot of my pics, I will get one really bright spot where the subject is overexposed, yet the surround background is very dark. What causes this? If I put a diffuser on the strobe, will this help "spread out" the light to avoid this?

I need a simple course on F-stop, what exactly does this mean? If F-1 "brighter or more intense" than f-2?



According to the specs it shoots a pretty tight beam. I would definitely use a diffuser with this. Here is how your stacks up against what I am shooting right now. You can see the beam is much tighter......



Sea & Sea YS-27

Guide Number 20 (air) - n/a (u/w)
Color Temperature 5200 Kelvin
Coverage 84 H x 105 V

AF 35

Guide Number 9 (air) - 5 (u/w)
Color Temperature 5700 Kelvin
Coverage 70 H x 70 V

F-Stop- indicates the relationship between the size af the aperture opening and the focal length of the lens. so a setting of F-8 means the diameter of the aperture is 1/8 of the focal length of the lens.
Aperture- the circular iris that opens end closes to determine the amount of light falling on the sensor. (Film cameras would have film not a sensor)

Aperture (F-stop) is how much the iris opens and how much light is let in, shutter speeds regulate how fast the light is let in. Sooo F-stop higher (F-22) is less light and lower is more light (F-8). The higher the number the smaller the opening (aperture).

What this controls for the camera is the brightness and depth between the foreground and background and freezing the action for the camera.

Right now set up a test above water with a couple of objects at the house and take pictures making small changes in the power of the flash (dial on back) and then with the exposure compensation control (button or menu button on camera) in different lighting conditions. It is really about what you like so find some basic settings that work and go from there.

Oh yea, you will have to practice this in the water as well but it should go allot faster the more you work with the camera.

Anyway.... While you are learning start with one thing and work on it until you are comfortable. (Like now I would learn the strobe and your exposure compensation) Then take on something else like F-stops and shutter speeds and it will be allot easier. Don't get frustrated, it's a journey not a destination.......
thanks for all the help, I will definately need to practice. But I am a tad bit confused. I have an exposure control dial, I now what that does, but what does this refer to


For advanced users, the selector dial can be used as exposure compensation while remaining in automatic mode. The flash also features six manual power settings for full control over exposure.


I thought that was the F-stop, but by your posting I am obviously wrong. (I think:smiley29:) What is the difference between these two adjustments?

DevilDiver
06-23-2008, 19:36
Your strobe does have a EV control on the sensor in addition to the manual control on the stobe head. Your camera should have a exposure control as well.

(I have not used your set up) I would set the EV control on the sensor and leave it (I am about 90% sure what this does is adjust how much light it takes to make the flash fire based on the cameras flash and mimics it's intensity), this meters the output of the cameras on board flash.

I would set the cameras EV to -1 (= to droping 1 F/Stop-personal preference) and practice adjusting the manual control on the strobe head depending on distance and how reflective your subject might be.

Once you get the feel for this if you need to tweak the EV on the camera because of low light or shallow bright situations here is where you can experiment and dial in your preferences for different oppertunities.

"For advanced users, the selector dial can be used as exposure compensation while remaining in automatic mode. The flash also features six manual power settings for full control over exposure."

Some strobes have be designed with an integrated 'auto sensor' to aid the user in determining appropriate strobe output. This type of auto strobe is combined with the ability to fine tune the strobes intensity through an exposure compensation (EV) control.

Optically fired strobes are triggered by an impulse of light from an external source, known as the 'master'. The master source of light may either be the on board flash of the camera, or another external strobe. Optically fired strobes are known as 'slave' strobes. The 'slave signal' is the light impulse from the master strobe that commands the slave strobe to fire.

Optically fired strobes have some advantages over cable fired strobes, in that they do not rely on electrical connections which are susceptible to corrosion and/or failure if exposed to water. Since optically fired strobes to not require and electrical 'bulkhead' through the wall of the camera housing, they eliminate one possible source of leaks in the housing.

The actual optical monitoring apparatus utilized by the slave strobe may also vary. One option is a light sensor built directly into the strobe head of the slave. A fiber optic cable from the master to the slave is used in some applications to help 'feed' the light from the master to the sensor of the slave.

Some applications create a hybrid triggering mechanism by utilizing either an external optical sensor (Ikelite and Matthias Heinrichs' Digital Adapter), or an optical sensor mounted within the housing (Light & Motion), which then convert the optical signal into an electrical signal which is transmitted to the strobe via a conventional synch cable.

Bottom line here is you have alot of control based on different sources (camera and personal). You deal with alot of different obsticles underwater but the basic advise is still the best...

Get close and then get closer and practice. If no one has mentioned it, if your camera has digital zoom... turn it off! Never use the digital zoom. Really try to get close and use the optical zoom only if you can't get closer.
(The zoom changes you F-stop and apeture :smiley29: )

I need a beer now......... Good luck!! Let me know how it goes and post some pics!