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Old Sep 15, 2002, 3:21 PM   #1
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Default Underwater available light levels?

Hello, all,

I'm interested in getting into underwater digital to photograph the wrecks I so like to dive. I expect many of the pictures I would take would be wide-angle wreckscapes of one sort or another, and therefore woould be dependent on available light, with possible flash fill for the foreground. I'm a little hampered in planning the gear I will need by not knowing the "normal" light levels I may encounter. Can anyone give me some idea of the existing light exposures for, say, 100-foot depth in clear tropical water on a sunny day? For those of you that shoot wreckscapes, what sorts of exposures are yoiu using?

Thanks,

Jim Powers
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Old Sep 16, 2002, 9:46 AM   #2
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100' is pretty deep. For available light w/ no fill flash maybe f2.8 to f5.6 at 1/60th. For silouettes maybe to f8 at 1/125th.

Consumer digital cameras are pretty sensitive to light so you may find you get up to 2 stops better low light performance at ISO100 from a digicam as compared to provia or sensia. It takes some getting used to.

HTH
James
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Old Sep 21, 2002, 6:14 PM   #3
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James,

Thanks for the info. I've been wondering if I could get by on the wide-angle front with a higher-end point and shoot digital and one of the add-on lenses from Sea & Sea or Inon. For two reasons, it seems like this may not be the ideal solution: the two stops of light loss and the parallax problem viewing through an optical rangefinder. I'm a professional photographer by trade and already have the Canon lenses I would need for a housed system (Sigma 14mm, Canon 20-35/2.8), so maybe I would be better going that route. I use the Canon D-30 at work, though I don't own one of my own yet, so I'm familiar with them.

Jim
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Old Sep 23, 2002, 10:43 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have the canon glass - so why not go with the D30 or D60?

Ike makes an "affordable" housing - and they are coming out with a new back that will make all the controls on the back and viewing of the LCD no problem.

My opinion only,
James
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