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Thread: Getting ready to start underwater photography... HELP!

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompuDude View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scubadiver888 View Post
    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.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
    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, of course. $320

    You need the housing. (Canon -$180 or Ikelite - $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, which is where I'd go to buy everything, personally.

  3. #23
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by CompuDude View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
    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, of course. $320

    You need the housing. (Canon -$180 or Ikelite - $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, which is where I'd go to buy everything, personally.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
    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.

  5. #25
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    Lots of useful info here to get me started looking. Thanks.

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

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
    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.

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    What kinds of lenses would you buy? I've never coupled lenses to a P&S. How does it work?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
    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 for super-close macro work, and then the Inon UFL-165AD Underwater Fisheye Conversion Lens for wideangle work.

    The lenses use a bayonet connector, so they're easy to pop on and pop off underwater, and then snap into a caddy 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.
    Last edited by CompuDude; 03-30-2009 at 22:43. Reason: add links

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