UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

I am currently using the equipment listed below to shoot my underwater images.
It is the first set of equipment I have bought and I do not regret any of the purchases.
I researched all the available options quite extensively. Most of the information I
collected on the internet newsgroups especially  "rec.scuba" , "rec.photo.equipment
35mm" and "rec.scuba.equipment".

I purchased the Subal housing and Sea&Sea strobe from Ocean Optics in the UK.
Their advice and service was excellent and I thoroughly recommend their
organization.
                                 

Nikon F90X [N90S in the USA]   inside a Subal Miniflex housing
Nikon 20mm AF f/2.8 with +4 dioptre                                           Subal wide-angle port
Nikon 105mm AF f/2.8 micro                                              Subal flat port manual/autofocus
Nikon 60mm AF f/2.8 micro
Nikon 16mm MF  f/2.8                                                                     Subal Fish-Eye port

                       
 Ikelite 200 Substrobe with Ikelite arms.              

 Sea&Sea YS120 duo  and YS30 duo strobes .

 Subal deluxe arm and Subal macro flexi arm.


UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUES

-Split [over-under] photography with the Nikon 16mm f/2.8 and 20mm f/2.8

-Extreme macro 2:1 using 2X teleconverter on the 105mm and 60mm lenses

-Strobes. Dual setups, macro and wide-angle, arms.[under construction]



Film types:
For macro I generally use Fuji Velvia and for wide angle Fuji Sensia II 100.



General top-side lenses
-For general photography I also use the excellent Nikon 24-120 lens which I have found
very good for most travelling situations where the weight and  bulk of carrying 3 lenses
would have been a burden. It performed flawlessly on my Kilimanjaro climb in fairly
adverse weather conditions.
-For nature photography I also use the infamous Nikon 80-200 f2.8. No need to elaborate
on the merits and capabilities of this lens.
-SB-26 flash-gun [ the Nikon remote cable has been useful for side and top lighting on
flower photography.]
-I also use a Nikon Coolpix 950 for certain hiking trips and holiday pics.


PC-Nikon interface and customized F90X settings.

I use the Cocoon Creations Hartalk interface cable and software to interface the Nikon F90X
to my PC in order to download all my shooting info. This has proved invaluable for my
underwater photography since it is difficult if not impossible to keep notes on exposures
and other shooting data underwater.

Using the Softtalk98 software I have modified the F90X functions as follows:
- lengthened the time that the meter remains on in the F90X to 16 secs.
- I have  added the beep-in-focus which is clearly audible through the  housing underwater.
-I have also enabled the easy exposure compensation function which allows you to adjust
 the exposure compensation by turning the top control knob while in Aperture priority
 mode. This compensation only remains in force while the meter is on.
 It resets itself to 0.0 when the camera's meter turns off.
Try the above settings. I find them extremely useful.



I label my slides using Avery slide labels and the free Avery software which plugs into
Microsoft Word.

Scanning and printing
-For scanning I use the HP Photosmart scanner. Near flawless performance except when
using the  HP proprietary software. On very dark and contrasty slides  banding
is sometimes visible in the darker areas, but do not despair....using Ed Hamrick's Vuesmart
software this scanner will scan in 30 bit res. There is an enormous improvement in dark
slide scanning. My Vuesmart demo has now expired so I am back to using HP's abomination.
A demo version of Vuesmart is downloadable from his site at  http://www.hamrick.com/vsm.html

I also have the HP Photosmart printer which I find gives excellent results using their
dedicated photo quality paper.                     see HP's pages on the above products



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