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scubadiver888
03-18-2009, 22:01
I've been reading a lot and will continue to read even more. Here is what I know so far:

- You need a wide angle lens
- Get closer
- Use a good strobe
- Get closer

I'll probably be using my Nikon P6000. The camera can focus as close as 2cm (0.8") and has a 28mm wide angle.

It is fully programmable. I can have it fully auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual. If I'm going with the Ikelite housing and a single DS-51 to start, how would you set up the programmable setting?

I'm thinking I'll start with ISO 200, shutter speed 1/125 and let the camera pick the aperture. How does that sound? I'll be taking pictures of wrecks in Lake Ontario. Viz is usually pretty bad (5' to 20').

Will 28mm be wide enough to take a picture of a 50' wreck in 20' viz? Is there a way to know how far away I need to be to get the whole 50' wreck in the frame? If the camera is not going to do it I don't want to spend all that money on a camera housing to find I need a better camera and another housing.

If I find something on land that is 50' long, can I take a picture of that and determine how close I need to be to get it framed? Or does the distortion of the water make a difference?

bversteegh
03-26-2009, 23:10
How deep is the wreck? If it is deep and vis is bad, lighting will be a huge problem. You can increase ISO to get more sensitivity, but noise goes up. 28mm is not a really wide lens (assume it is a 28mm equivalent on a 35 mm camera). You might check and see if you can add the Inon Fisheye wet lens to the Ikelike housing you are looking at - that will give you > 150 deg coverage if it is compatible (but not a cheap lens).

CompuDude
03-26-2009, 23:30
Um, wait, you want to take a photo of an entire 50' wreck in 20' vis?

Anyway I picture this there is no way to do that, short of a collage or your camera's stitch assist mode. LOL

Anyway, there's a pretty incredible new photo resource out there that my dive buddy has been working on for the past year or so, here:

Underwater Photography Guide | (http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/)

Stupendous amounts of current info, good for pros and amateurs alike.

scubadiver888
03-27-2009, 07:30
Thanks guys. The 28mm is 35mm camera equivalent.

And yes, I am wondering if I can take a picture of a 50' long wreck (the whole thing) with only 20' viz. I have seen pictures of this wreck by other people. I'll have to ask them when they took the picture. I know if you dive the wreck in the winter you can get 50' to 60' viz.

My gut tells me this is going to suck. I'm wondering if I should put off photography for another year or two and get a housing for my D300.

bversteegh
03-27-2009, 12:15
A 28 mm focal length gives you an angular FOV of 46 x 65 degrees (75 diagonal). At 20 feet away, the diagonal is 30 ft (25 feet horizontal). you will need a 14 mm focal length to get 50 feet width at 20 feet away.

Do a google search on angular field of view calculators, there are several available.

So a fisheye lens would give you some chance (they are usually between 120 and 180 degree FOV, depending on your camera - but remember, a fisheye FOV is calculated differently than a rectilinear, so the focal length to FOV calculation is different).

But as stated earlier, pretty skeptical you will get a wide angle picture you like with 20 foot vis unless it is shallow with strong sunlight. Much better chance on a 50/60 foot vis day. And remember - even a huge strobe (read expensive) only has an effective range of 10 -12 feet in water, so you will be relying upon natural light to set your exposure.

Hope this helps

scubadiver888
03-27-2009, 12:55
I have a whole new respect for the guys who shoot the wrecks near Kingston, ON, Canada. I've seen some amazing pictures and video. These wrecks are at 80' to 110' with 20' viz. I'm going to have to ask them how they did it.

I can only guess they are (a) going on days when no one else is there (so their is less kicked up in the water) and (b) when it is colder (colder = better viz).

You are all solidifying my belief that I might be able to use my Nikon P6000 for Caribbean diving but for local photography I'm going to have to get something more professional, i.e. a housing for my Nikon D300.

Mitch200
03-27-2009, 14:33
Thanks for the link to very info dense web site

CompuDude
03-27-2009, 16:23
Without overlapping multiple images, there is simply no way to photograph all of a 50' boat when you only have 20' vis. It's that simple. NOT POSSIBLE. You only get 20' at a time with 20' vis ... that should be obvious. The angle of the photo and the angle of the lens is irrelevant.

You either need multiple images stitched together, or get lucky on a day with better vis. No other way to do it, no matter how much your camera and lens costs.

bversteegh
03-27-2009, 16:51
Without overlapping multiple images, there is simply no way to photograph all of a 50' boat when you only have 20' vis. It's that simple. NOT POSSIBLE. You only get 20' at a time with 20' vis ... that should be obvious. The angle of the photo and the angle of the lens is irrelevant.

You either need multiple images stitched together, or get lucky on a day with better vis. No other way to do it, no matter how much your camera and lens costs.

Can't agree with that. for one thing, do the geometry - a 50 foot wide wreck you are taking from the side doesn't increase the path length 50 feet, the edges are a little more than the square root of 2 farther than the middle. Plus we all know visibility isn't digital - what does 20 foot vis even mean??? Doesn't mean you can see something 20 feet away, and something 21 feet away is gone. Ask 10 divers, get 10 answers. You make a valid point it is an issue to consider, but not an absolute as you state.

CompuDude
03-27-2009, 17:07
Without overlapping multiple images, there is simply no way to photograph all of a 50' boat when you only have 20' vis. It's that simple. NOT POSSIBLE. You only get 20' at a time with 20' vis ... that should be obvious. The angle of the photo and the angle of the lens is irrelevant.

You either need multiple images stitched together, or get lucky on a day with better vis. No other way to do it, no matter how much your camera and lens costs.

Can't agree with that. for one thing, do the geometry - a 50 foot wide wreck you are taking from the side doesn't increase the path length 50 feet, the edges are a little more than the square root of 2 farther than the middle. Plus we all know visibility isn't digital - what does 20 foot vis even mean??? Doesn't mean you can see something 20 feet away, and something 21 feet away is gone. Ask 10 divers, get 10 answers. You make a valid point it is an issue to consider, but not an absolute as you state.

Unless you want barely visible photos (assuming a camera could ever actually capture as much info as the human eye), you're going to be getting ~20' chunks of a wreck, unless you have an incredible skewed definition of "vis". Even if, by your definition it's 30' and by my definition it's 15', you're NOT going to get a clear photo of an entire 50' wreck in "20' vis".

Geometry is pretty irrelevant in this situation, because any way you look at it, you're only getting 20' (or let's say 30'?) across. That's not the whole wreck any way you shake it.

scubadiver888
03-27-2009, 17:33
CompuDude is right. I haven't been on the wrecks since September. Now that he is point things out I'm remembering... I couldn't see the front and back of the wreck at the same time. Even when I was 3' from the wreck. By the time the bow came into view I couldn't make out the stern. :smiley29:

The pictures I've seen from other people HAD to be taken with better viz.

:smilie39: I'm an idiot.

Thanks again CompuDude. Hopefully I won't need you to point out my stupidity too many more times.

This means that maybe my camera might be worth getting a housing for.

So I'm back to, I pick something 50' long on land and take a picture of it. If I have to be 31' from the object in order to get the whole thing in my frame, does it mean I can get a 50' wreck in the frame by being 31' away? Or does shooting underwater change the angles? If it changes things, does it change them for better or worse?

Nemrod
03-27-2009, 19:39
I've been reading a lot and will continue to read even more.

Will 28mm be wide enough to take a picture of a 50' wreck in 20' viz? Is there a way to know how far away I need to be to get the whole 50' wreck in the frame? If the camera is not going to do it I don't want to spend all that money on a camera housing to find I need a better camera and another housing.

Or does the distortion of the water make a difference?

Hate to break this to you but underwater a 28mm is not wide angle. The P6000 is a poor choice. No wet mount lenses will work with it and the houisng currently availalbe for it, sorry.

Underwater, a wide angle lens would be something like an 18mm or smaller or a semi fisheye lens with at least 120 degree FOV.

Underwater through the flat port a 28mm lens will barely get you a 50 degree FOV, pitiful. Even with a dome corrector a 28mm lens is about 65 degrees FOV underwater, far from enough to photograph an entire wreck even in 100 foot viz.

The lens you need in a point and shoot is the Inon 165AD fisheye or the Inon 100WAL plus dome port corrector, these lenses will provide a FOV of 130 to 165 degrees, now you can photograph large objects from only a few feet away. That is wide angle.

Now you just have to find a camera that will operate with those lenses, one such camera is the Canon A590 with Ikelite housing. Unfortunately, at this moment, there just are not many good camera/houisng combos out there to utilize these amazing lenses. Get the Inon 100WAL Tyle II lens and dome corrector, FOV greater than 130 degrees, amazing piece of equipment.

A possiblity is the G10 with the Fisheye housing and Fisheye 15mm which will get you a FOV around 100 degrees, not so good but not to bad either.

You will never get that kind of photograph in 20 ft viz. I have been trying now for several years to shoot a deep wreck in 30 foot viz using stitch and my Inon 165AD fisheye lens without success.

One strobe, nah, I been trying that, for ultrawide lenses you need two strobes really.

N

Nemrod
03-27-2009, 19:56
When Ikelite releases their housing for the Fuji F200 and iF--if--if--the camera and housing are compatible with either of, or both of, the Inon ultrawide wet mount lenses then we P&S guys will be cooking with gas. This camera has high ISO (comparitively) capability. We shall see.

The Nikon P6000 and the Canon G10 are problematic for wide angle photogrpahy in that neither have housings and lens geometries that work well with wet mount wide angle lenses.

If you can find a Canon G9 and the Ikelite housing with the SHORT port that will accept to some advantage the Inon 67mm thread on 100WAL Type II with dome corrector. BTW, the Inon 100WAL Type II with dome is over 700 dollars alone.

This summer I will try again to photograph my wreck I have been attempting, I will again use my single Inon D2000 but this year will use two Intova strobes slaved to it. The Inon D2000 will fire straight ahead and on each side I will have an Intova slaved strobe. I will be using my Canon 570IS with either the Inon 100WAL Type II and dome or my Inon 165AD fisheye. I will shoot at ISO400 which is useable but bordering on noisy. BUT, I am not looking for pro quality, I just want a useable pic.

N

CompuDude
03-30-2009, 18:28
FWIW, there's an interesting camera out now, the Canon SD990is. It's NOT a 28mm lens, and it WILL work with Inon wide angle lenses. Ikelite makes a housing for it, even.

There are some drawbacks but it may be better than dealing with the compromises and work-arounds other current models are demanding, and it's definitely going to be cheaper to buy and house than the G10 and DSLR-class cameras.

Food for thought, and fodder for more research... not saying it's something you should run out and buy, but I'm just starting to do some real research as I look for a reasonable replacement to my S80, and it's looking good so far.

scubadiver888
03-30-2009, 18:49
Thanks for pointing out the Canon SD990is. The question becomes, can I get it and all the necessary underwater housing/strobes cheaper than a good underwater housing/strobes for a Nikon D300? I already have access to a Nikon D300 with a few thousand dollars worth of lens.

I definitely check it out.

CompuDude
03-30-2009, 18:58
Thanks for pointing out the Canon SD990is. The question becomes, can I get it and all the necessary underwater housing/strobes cheaper than a good underwater housing/strobes for a Nikon D300? I already have access to a Nikon D300 with a few thousand dollars worth of lens.

I definitely check it out.

Are you kidding? You can get EVERYTHING for less that just the housing for the D300.

You cannot compare prices (or features) between an extremely high end DSLR and a point and shoot camera. So far in this thread we've been talking about P&S cameras, not DSLRs.

You can use the same strobe with a P&S as with the DSLR (assuming you buy a good one), but none of the lenses, housings, ports, etc. will be able to cross over.

I would LOVE to have a D300. But that's an entirely different cost category, even when you already have the camera body and appropriate lenses.

scubadiver888
03-30-2009, 19:26
:smiley5: I just had a look at the Ikelite housing for the D300.

:smiley29: $1500 USD for just the housing. :smiley29:

I was thinking it might be $600 to $800. I never imaged the housing could be so much. The camera body with a good wide angle/macro len is $1500 USD.

I have noticed though that my P6000 kind of sucks. It looked pretty good on paper but compared to the D300 it is a little disappointing. I wondering if I should just suck it up, wait another year or two and get equipment for the D300.

I think my options now are:

1) Get the housing for the P6000 and a good strobe I can use when I upgrade.
2) Get a new camera, housing and strobe for around the same price or slightly more than the housing/strobe for P6000.
3) Wait and get gear for my D300.

Rainer
03-30-2009, 19:32
CD, break it down for me. What's the all in cost for an underwater rig built around the Canon SD990is you mentioned above (assume one pretty decent strobe, something I could use if I ever moved to a DSLR setup)?

Rainer
03-30-2009, 19:33
:smiley5: I just had a look at the Ikelite housing for the D300.

:smiley29: $1500 USD for just the housing. :smiley29:

I was thinking it might be $600 to $800. I never imaged the housing could be so much. The camera body with a good wide angle/macro len is $1500 USD.

I have noticed though that my P6000 kind of sucks. It looked pretty good on paper but compared to the D300 it is a little disappointing. I wondering if I should just suck it up, wait another year or two and get equipment for the D300.

I think my options now are:

1) Get the housing for the P6000 and a good strobe I can use when I upgrade.
2) Get a new camera, housing and strobe for around the same price or slightly more than the housing/strobe for P6000.
3) Wait and get gear for my D300.

And most people would prefer a much nicer (and more expensive) housing for a D300.

CompuDude
03-30-2009, 19:35
Don't forget, it's more than just the $1500 housing (that's where they start, btw... you can easily spend $3k on a better housing, like a SUBAL, or Sea & Sea, or others). With a DSLR, you need various ports (one for macro, a different one, probably a dome, for wide angle), and you MUST have a strobe unless you're doing strictly ambient light shooting in VERY shallow water.

Plan on several thousand. Since you already have the camera.

hooligan
03-30-2009, 19:35
Thanks for pointing out the Canon SD990is. The question becomes, can I get it and all the necessary underwater housing/strobes cheaper than a good underwater housing/strobes for a Nikon D300? I already have access to a Nikon D300 with a few thousand dollars worth of lens.

I definitely check it out.

Are you kidding? You can get EVERYTHING for less that just the housing for the D300.

You cannot compare prices (or features) between an extremely high end DSLR and a point and shoot camera. So far in this thread we've been talking about P&S cameras, not DSLRs.

You can use the same strobe with a P&S as with the DSLR (assuming you buy a good one), but none of the lenses, housings, ports, etc. will be able to cross over.

I would LOVE to have a D300. But that's an entirely different cost category, even when you already have the camera body and appropriate lenses.

Tell me about it... I've been looking into a housing for my D90... but I can't justify the price right now... Makes the price of the camera seem insignificant. Even adding lenses to my collection is low on the priority list at this point in time.

CompuDude
03-30-2009, 19:45
CD, break it down for me. What's the all in cost for an underwater rig built around the Canon SD990is you mentioned above (assume one pretty decent strobe, something I could use if I ever moved to a DSLR setup)?

Canon housing or Ikelite?

You need the camera (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Powershot-SD990IS-Stabilized-Black/dp/B001G5ZTWM/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238461000&sr=8-1), of course. $320

You need the housing. (Canon (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-WP-DC27-Waterproof-PowerShot-SD990IS/dp/B001G5ZTYA/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238461000&sr=8-14) -$180 or Ikelite (http://www.amazon.com/Ikelite-Underwater-Housing-Powershot-IXY-3000/dp/B001MT4YLO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238461084&sr=8-1) - $246?)

You probably want a handle/base plate, since you're adding a strobe. Figure a couple hundred more, minimum.

Then, of course, you need the strobe and all the various connecting bits. $600-800 for anything decent you may want to take to a DSLR later.

There are a lot of choices to be made... it can be done pretty cheaply (Canon housing, basic strobe that includes handle like the Bonica) or you can spend quite a bit (Ikelite housing, ULCS tray, handle, joints and arms, Inon Z240 strobe (http://reefphoto.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=135_84&products_id=1189), fiber optic connectors for the Inon strobe, perhaps bayonet mount adapter for the Ike case so you can use Inon wide angle and macro lenses, etc.)

The strobe and housing will be the biggest costs, though, and vary the cost the most, so it's pretty hard to say without that info.

Should be able to price it all out at Reef Photo (http://www.reefphoto.com/), which is where I'd go to buy everything, personally.

Rainer
03-30-2009, 19:51
130' wouldn't cut it, so I guess the Ike housing.

Can you link an example of a handle/base plate that would accommodate a decent strobe?

I'll take a look at the site you linked.

Definitely sounds like the strobe is the biggest cost. Is one enough for decent shots in local (CA) waters?

What would YOU add to such a rig?

Thanks.



CD, break it down for me. What's the all in cost for an underwater rig built around the Canon SD990is you mentioned above (assume one pretty decent strobe, something I could use if I ever moved to a DSLR setup)?

Canon housing or Ikelite?

You need the camera (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Powershot-SD990IS-Stabilized-Black/dp/B001G5ZTWM/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238461000&sr=8-1), of course. $320

You need the housing. (Canon (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-WP-DC27-Waterproof-PowerShot-SD990IS/dp/B001G5ZTYA/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238461000&sr=8-14) -$180 or Ikelite (http://www.amazon.com/Ikelite-Underwater-Housing-Powershot-IXY-3000/dp/B001MT4YLO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238461084&sr=8-1) - $246?)

You probably want a handle/base plate, since you're adding a strobe. Figure a couple hundred more, minimum.

Then, of course, you need the strobe and all the various connecting bits. $600-800 for anything decent you may want to take to a DSLR later.

There are a lot of choices to be made... it can be done pretty cheaply (Canon housing, basic strobe that includes handle like the Bonica) or you can spend quite a bit (Ikelite housing, ULCS tray, handle, joints and arms, Inon Z240 strobe, fiber optic connectors for the Inon strobe, perhaps bayonet mount adapter for the Ike case so you can use Inon wide angle and macro lenses, etc.)

The strobe and housing will be the biggest costs, though, and vary the cost the most, so it's pretty hard to say without that info.

Should be able to price it all out at Reef Photo (http://www.reefphoto.com/), which is where I'd go to buy everything, personally.

CompuDude
03-30-2009, 19:58
130' wouldn't cut it, so I guess the Ike housing.

Can you link an example of a handle/base plate that would accommodate a decent strobe?

I'll take a look at the site you linked.

Definitely sounds like the strobe is the biggest cost. Is one enough for decent shots in local (CA) waters?

What would YOU add to such a rig?

Thanks.

I pretty much laid out what I would get. I'd get the Ike housing (at $246 it seems well worth the upgrade), and a ULCS tray and arm (about $90 for both), or perhaps the Ikelite tray (I'm assuming they make one), although then you need a bit of money for the ball adapter to hook into the ULCS arms. I already have ULCS arms and a Inon D2000 strobe. I've toyed with the idea of getting a second strobe, but may wait until I go full DSLR (it's gotta happen some day). I wouldn't mind adding a focus light to my kit at some point but I've been ok without it so far... light spill from my can light usually works well enough.

I do fairly well with one strobe, as do most people with P&S cameras, although I've reached the point where I can see the situations where a second would be nice. Took me a while to get there, though... I'd stick with one for now. With a DSLR it's pretty normal to have two strobes... I can't recall the last time I saw someone with only one.

If I was buying a strobe new I'd probably get the Z240, just because I know I'll be going DSLR sometime in the next couple years. For P&S cameras, though, a hot shoe for TTL is pretty rare, so the extra things the Z240 buys me aren't really worth the money until I can really take advantage of them. So for someone planning to stick with P&S cameras, the D2000 (or its new replacement) is fine, else I wouldn't waste money on something that doesn't have true TTL inputs (read: non-optical).

Edit: Also: Optical fiber connection kit runs about $100.

Rainer
03-30-2009, 20:05
Lots of useful info here to get me started looking. Thanks.

Other than RP, any other good sites to look at for info?

CompuDude
03-30-2009, 20:21
Lots of useful info here to get me started looking. Thanks.

Other than RP, any other good sites to look at for info?

For pure info, there's always WetPixel.

For buying and such, there's BackScatter to consider also, and the new guy H2OPhotoPro's, but Reef Photo is one of the best. Shoot a list to Ryan and he'll set you up with a quote and let you know if you left anything important out.

The only things I'd add to the above, buying for myself, are the wide angle and macro lenses, the AD bayonet adapter needed to attach them to the Ikelite housing, and the lens caddy to attach them to the strobe arms when not in use.

Rainer
03-30-2009, 21:18
What kinds of lenses would you buy? I've never coupled lenses to a P&S. How does it work?

CompuDude
03-30-2009, 22:09
What kinds of lenses would you buy? I've never coupled lenses to a P&S. How does it work?

Two stacked Inon UCL-165AD Close-up Lens (http://reefphoto.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=43) for super-close macro work, and then the Inon UFL-165AD Underwater Fisheye Conversion Lens (http://reefphoto.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=46) for wideangle work.

The lenses use a bayonet connector (http://ikelite.com/web_pages/ulensmount.html), so they're easy to pop on and pop off underwater, and then snap into a caddy (http://reefphoto.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=532) mounted on the strobe arms to keep them safe and out of the way.

Very straightforward. Only takes a moment to pop them on and off.