LIGHT

TRAYS, PIVOTS AND ARMS FOR CAMERAS, HOUSINGS, STROBES AND LIGHTS

The original arm with O-rings in the balls for ease of use. Accept no imitations.

Your quest for the best arm system is over. Once you have an Ultralight arm you will never need to upgrade.

Used by more underwater photographers than any other arm system.

Visit our website www.ulcs.com E mail: [email protected]

3,300 reg\istered photographers 1,330 articles and news Items 20r180 forum topics 139,120 fcrum posts breaking news grear reviews tutorials image critiques photo contests dive expeditions

We ¿pixel is the £>est place to learn aJbout underwater photography and videography... and it's free/

:way wet yourself if you dive with us.'

tiAsuU. ZliiiiUÂ

Come see why our sponsors and partners work with us!

NHS * f^ite flUUnilKA

DIplHI

DfltfllUfaihia

L&M Bluefin SR12

INON S-2000 strobe

Light & Motion is pleased to announce that the Bluefin SRI2 video housing is now shipping!

The Bluefin SR12 ($3,799) is a fully featured, enthusiast level, high-definition video camera. Simply put, the Bluefin makes capturing underwater video footage a breeze. With non-penetrating electronic controls there is virtually no risk of the housing leaks typical with mechanical through-hole designs. The 3.5" high-resolution monitor back gives an easy view of your subject and is included with the Bluefin SR12 housing as a standard feature! Whether you're shooting with the standard lens or one of Light & Motion's new Fathom wide-angle lenses, you'll get rich color and deep contrast. The Bluefin SR12 will enable you to create HD footage that you'll be proud to view and share.

Inon have announced a new strobe.

The new S-2000 is with dimensions of 64x83.2x106.2mm significantly smaller than its bigger brother, the D-2000. But at the same time it shall almost deliver the same power. The possibilities for adjustments are smaller though and there will be no focuslight - but there will be S-TTLand manual control. The S-2000 will be probably released in summer 2008 - a good option for compact users.

ww. u wi magi ng.com muf i TECH TALK | Tlf fiTl Mrt'JIil A | UV afi(SOLl?Jir | fiflkTftiT US

Patented Uiiiierwaler Cului CunvLliun filiyi

Patented Uiiiierwaler Cului CunvLliun filiyi

BEtLGMg CUT

!! PHilTilGAl FftV WHK H F1ITFR i. Rl.-hf FOR -.'.F> !! F I ~FFi IHiTRIJCntltlS Ji SHO? OUR FILTER'S

frhrdjnry JH/d, Jnfl7

r Determining the Correct UftPROEilter Site

► New URPFIO Ensv Order Fox Form ' URPRQ Security and Ccmmufi I cations in this issue of U HI1 UU's Icch talk News Letter, we'd like tD tQYcr ! different topks Including achieving better colors Dn your Images by Improving the performance of the frlbcri, fee I So: 11 j communkotions, and expediting URPRO filter orders.

Tsih-Taik Topics:

r Determining the Correct UftPROEilter Site

* Locotion/P-osition of URFRO Filters in Vcui Camcio/Housing r unmo Filter cKoiocs r URPRO Color Coi-i-octicn Comments

* NF1V UK PRO Filt-frSiiM

► New URPFIO Ensv Order Fox Form ' URPRQ Security and Ccmmufi I cations

Click on the link below to go to the Tech-Talk Newsletter

www.urprofilters.com

Nikon D3 & Aquatica Housing

By Charles Hood

One of the issues in this digital age of imaging is that there are a lot of so-called experts out there, all with different views, trying to convince us by using buzz words that their product is the best on the market. Technology per se is generally difficult for the layman to fully comprehend so the boffins rely on the marketing guys to create the spin and put this techno gobbldeegook into what I call gizmo speak, so the end user is convinced that a certain feature is crucial to producing better images than his fellow snappers.

Let me give you a simple analogy My Landcruiser has a 4.2 litre engine, a Porsche Boxer by comparison has only a mere 2.7 litre engine, both deliver around 240 horse power so which one is quicker? We all know the answer but perhaps to someone who knows nothing about cars given only the engine size as information they would probably pick the vehicle with the larger engine. So to some extent features and specifications need further investigation. Yes, you have to be somewhere in the right area with pixel count, high quality sensor and good quality glass, but at the end of the day it is how the image looks that is of the utmost importance. The quality of light capture, processing of the resulting electronic bits and bytes and final output is what counts.

When Nikon decided to go 'full frame' they made a big deal out of the whole issue. But what they did was concentrate on showing their potential punters the images the D3 produced rather than on hyping up the bells and whistles. Technology was largely left to one side, instead their website was full of high resolution images that one could download and feast one's pork pies on at home on one's computer. The results were simply outstanding. With the camera set at high ISO's, which would be simply not useable on previous cameras, the D3 was razor sharp with not a hint of grain. This single feature alone convinced me the D2x had to go (which successfully sold through UWP magazine) to be replaced by the D3.

At this stage let me point out some of the downsides of using full frame. For those reading who used to shoot on 35mm film you'll be familiar with some of these issues

but for those who have only known digital they may come as a good reason to remain with smaller sensors. Full frame reduces depth of field, so for macro photography it's back to using f22 or even higher. Also a much greater accuracy from the housing manufacturers is required, particularly with domes. If you try to simply insert a spacer - that happens to be physically about the right size, so you can use a wide-angle zoom with a conventional port, it will result in blurred edges and at certain focal lengths a soft image.

Finally lenses are what they say they are and not 1.5x longer, this again will mainly affects slug shooters, their 90mm (effective) macro lens returns to being a 60mm (true) macro. But for me all these issues are largely irrelevant and I could return to using my Nikkor 16mm fullframe fisheye. The DX 10.5mm fisheye is good, but the legendry 16mm is in a league of its own. Also for diver shots my old Nikkor 20mm was dusted off and brought out of retirement, as too was the incredibly sharp (abnormally so) Nikkor 28mm for diver portraits. It is like going back in time, I can now use all my good old-fashioned optics that I know gave me superb results using film but now with digital. The downside is that now I have no excuses!

I'll elaborate a bit more later

on about some of the D3's features that clearly put it in the premier league but before I do, a bit about the Aquatica housing. For me the choice of housing was relatively straight forward, I already had a D2x Aquatica housing, I liked it, knew all the quirky adjustments you have to make to it and I could retain the same ports.

When the new D3 housing eventually arrived, Aquatica can be a bit over optimistic with their delivery schedule, it looked quite similar to the old D2x housing. All the controls are roughly laid out the same with a few additions. Yes additions -1 thought the old housing had too many controls! However, you do need more to drive the D3. The most important of which is the twin dials that let you change from single to continuous

With a touch of a single button all tlie shooting information can be displayed on the rear view screen shooting - hardly important you may think, but if you keep rotating it gets you into 'Live View' (see on). Another extra feature added is a lever on the lower front of the housing that locks the port in position. This is a bit fiddly to use - especially with the large dome as it covers the button, but it does mean there is no way the port can be accidentally removed.

All other controls work well, including the focus select lever - I could never get it to work consistently with the old D2x housing. Disappointingly the top viewing window, although large and in the only position I could think of putting it, isn't great. It is virtually impossible see the shooting mode as it's right in the corner. Fortunately Nikon have the solution to this irritation. With a touch of a single button all the shooting information can be displayed on the rear view screen - this is a feature to die for, especially when shooting in dark and/or deep conditions, furthermore the display is backlit and the digits quite large making it easy to read at arms length.

Externally the housing has a tough and scratch resistant black coating contrary to the silver one pictured on their website, and at the back and underneath are two sacrificial anodes that reduce the chance of corrosion in other areas. All buttons have large drain holes either side of them allowing easy access for fresh water in the rinse tank and quick drying.

Underwater it felt very similar to the D2x variant and it took me a

0 0

Post a comment