Discussion in 'Photography Forum' started by JuniorMC8704, Mar 3, 2008.

Junior's Aquatic Photography How-To (The Basics)

Over the last year I have become overwhelmed with the amount photographic opportunities that this hobby provides. I have upgraded my hardware 3...
  1. gparr

    gparr Waterbox Keeper R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    I use whatever lens does the job, but most often find myself using the 24-70. I manually focus because too often autofocus is fooled. Make sure the glass is clean, inside and out. Yes, the flash head is angled as I described in a previous post.

    I'm also a firm believer in L glass. My macro lenses and my 24-70 are Sigma EX lenses, which I find to be an excellent value. The rest of my collection is L glass. By far, my favorite is my 135L. As much as I like my Sigmas, it's unlikely I'll ever buy anything other than L glass in the future. Buying new camera bodies to get better pictures is chasing a ghost. Put your money into the best glass you can afford. You'll always have the lenses and, over time, will find yourself replacing bodies. Remember, for the most part, a DSLR body is nothing more than a recording device. The quality of what it records is determined by the lens. Crappy lens, crappy image. Quality lens-- sharp, well-saturated, good contrast image that, if exposed correctly, will take minimal post-processing work.

    gary
     

  2. Mr.Firemouth

    Mr.Firemouth FIREMOUTH WIZARD

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    How do you know a lens has L-glass?
     
  3. Poseidon

    Poseidon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Because you have to take a 2nd mortgage to buy it! LOL!!!

    In all seriousness, Canon L glass is expensive, and it will have a RED stripe around the lens barrel.
     
  4. gparr

    gparr Waterbox Keeper R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    LOL!!! Much truth to that statement. The last time I did an inventory for the insurance company and my wife saw the the total value, I got "one of those looks."

    Gary
     
  5. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Bret

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    do you guys know if canon makes a remote for the flashes? i've got a 580EX, and I'd like to get one of those gadgets that junior has, where he can hold the flash in one hand, and the camera remotely triggers it.

    still don't understand why that (off-camera flash) would make for a better fish picture. can't wrap my stupid, big head around it
     
  6. JuniorMC8704

    JuniorMC8704 Super Moderator R2R Supporter

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    yeah my next lens is the 70-200 2.8....for a cheap 1700 or so...

    i only wish i bought the 85mm in the 1.4 instead of the 1.8...but i got an additional lens and a carbon fiber monopod for the cost of the 1.4 alone...

    you really do get what you pay for in this hobby
     
  7. JuniorMC8704

    JuniorMC8704 Super Moderator R2R Supporter

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    its giving out a ton of light, and not the glare off the glass you would get if i had it mounted on the camera body.


     
  8. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Bret

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    oh. i guess not as difficult as i thought it was :D

    thanks, jr
     
  9. Mr.Firemouth

    Mr.Firemouth FIREMOUTH WIZARD

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  10. Poseidon

    Poseidon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Bret- ST-E2 transmitter.

    If you get that, then you can hold the flash on the side glass, and fire into the tank from the side= no glare.
     
  11. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Bret

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    SWEET! Thanks, Mike!
     
  12. gparr

    gparr Waterbox Keeper R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    Yes, there is a remote cord that connects to your hot shoe and to your flash. Gives you about 3 ft. of reach. The other option is to put the flash on a tripod in slave mode and use a second flash on the camera to trigger the remote flash. That's what I did with the image below.

    Remote flashes give a different angle to the light, i.e., eliminate that direct flash look. However, on-camera flash that is diffused, as I described above, will also eliminate that "flash" look. Using a remote flash takes a little more practice/work. When Poseidon talks about using remote flash, I assume he's talking about using his studio lights, which is a whole other world of lighting and not at all practical for the everyday hobbyist.

    Gary

    [​IMG]
     
  13. gparr

    gparr Waterbox Keeper R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    Oops, didn't see the fourth page of posts. Oh, well. I took the time to write my last post, so I'm leaving it.
    Gary
     
  14. Poseidon

    Poseidon Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    You got that right! It was a PITA, AND not practical at all, even for me!
     
  15. gparr

    gparr Waterbox Keeper R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    Rich, L glass is Canon's designation for "professional level" lenses. Nikon has some designation for its professional lenses, but I don't know what it is and I'm sure the same is true for Minolta.

    Most lens manufacturers have two levels of lenses--professional and consumer. That's why you see lenses at two very different price points. Canon's 100 mm macro is not designated L glass, but it offers equivalent quality. Their 180 mm macro is an L lens.

    Professional-level lenses have better construction, are usually waterproof, use much better glass and lens construction. They also have widest apertures in the f/1.8 to f/2 range, allowing them to give a very shallow DOF and/or give high shutter speeds in low-light situations. In general, they deliver the best possible images and will withstand heavy use for many years. In other words, they're build like a tank and produce sharpness, saturation, and contrast that consumer lenses can't match.

    Consumer-level lenses are usually built with plastic bodies and use lower-grade glass. They will hold up well under moderate use and deliver good images in most settings. There will be a noticeable difference between the same images taken with the consumer and professional lenses. Consumer lenses usually have much smaller apertures at the wide end.

    Third-party lenses, such as those manufactured by Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron, can vary widely in quality. Most of what they make are consumer-level lenses. I only have experience with Sigma's EX lenses and, of those, only three of their macro lenses and the 24-70. EX lenses are Sigma's "professional" line of lenses. The 24-70 does an excellent job and in comparisons I've done with Canon's 24-70L lens, produces images that are as good as those from Canon's lens. It does have shortcomings in that the autofocus is slower, the lens gets longer as you move to the wider end of the zoom range, and changing from manual to auto focus takes two steps. I've had the lens for many years and have no complaints about the image quality. Sigma's EX macro lenses are easily as good as Canon's macro lenses. I can't speak for any other Sigma lenses. I would be even more skeptical about Tokina and Tamron lenses, though the Tamron 90 macro has had very good reviews.

    Hope this helps,
    Gary
     
  16. knockout

    knockout Active Member

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    WOW, good info thread.

    what will be a good amateur macro lens I could use with a Nikon D40 to get "similar" results as those portrait in the photos shown here?
     
  17. JuniorMC8704

    JuniorMC8704 Super Moderator R2R Supporter

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    Tamron 90mm would be a great lens. Nikon 105mm is even better, but twice the price.
     
  18. Ladipyg

    Ladipyg Saltwater Diva

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    I have got to find a place to take some lessons with my Canon Power Shot Pro1 camera. I read this stuff and start to mess around with it but eventually everything I hear and I'm reading starts to blur together and I get frustrated. I guess I'm just going to have to take it slower, setting by setting and see what happens. Thanks so much for the info...I feel like Saltysteele...sometimes I just can't get my mind around it. I think some of you that take such great photos are truly blessed with talent...much like any singer or painter would be. I commend you and yep...I envy you a little too...
     
  19. gparr

    gparr Waterbox Keeper R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    Nina,
    I think there's still a slot open in one of my workshops next Sunday at Midwest Fragfest. My presentation on Saturday might help, too. ;)

    I can offer that, as with most things, developing skills comes with practice. For whatever skill level I've attained, I can credit it to many thousands of shots throughout many years. I'm sure Junior and Poseidon will tell you the same. If you want to get better, take your camera with you frequently and make yourself do at least some photography each day. It will make a difference.
    Gary
     
  20. JuniorMC8704

    JuniorMC8704 Super Moderator R2R Supporter

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    Over the past three years alone ive probably taken several hundred thousand pics...its that puts it into perspective.
     
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