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Wednesday, January 04, 2006 

Tips for Inon External Lenses & Ikelite Housings

Some tips from my experiences using the Fuji F810 and Ikelite housing/strobes with Inon W/A and macro lenses. The same applies to other Fuji cameras like the newer E900.

1. Have a wonderful time first of all. Enjoy the great walls and drift diving, don't let the camera distract you.

2. Shooting while drift diving is difficult as you must shoot quickly while drifting with the currents. Use back-eddies downstream from rocks, etc. to slow down and shoot.

3. Forget about the black circle thing that comes with the lenses, doesn't really apply to the F810, IMHO.

4. I would use some tape to black out the front of the Ike housing, except for a little slit on the upper left corner for the adapter to see. The flash blocker just gets in the way.

5. One tip is to buy some steel fish leaders at Big 5. Using some wire ties on the groove in the lens you can attach the leader to make a leash for the lens and attach it to the tray. I also used some double back sticker tape to glue on a rear Inon lens cover to the top of the housing to hold my macro or WA lens vertically when not in use.

6. As far as using the W/A lens. I was a little less than pleased with some of my attempts in Nov. If you use ISO 100 and try to use a large aperture (f2.8) to get a reef scenic with the available light, you tend to get a lot of chromatic aberration. Try to stop down as much as possible, use a slower shutter speed if necessary. You may just have to forget a more sweeping shot or light the background more dramatically darker with a larger aperture setting. When using it I used shutter or aperture priority to speed up taking my shots. Shoot RAW and use the color picker to adjust the white balance later for truer colors.

I actually almost preferred the stock Fuji lens for W/A as I could get fish a little larger and have less chromatic aberration.

7. Using the macro lens I use the camera in normal, not macro, mode and shoot in manual at 1/2000th at f8. Get the strobe head as close as possible to the subject for more color saturation.

Update
When shopping for media be sure to buy the new type"H" xD cards. Testing by friends is showing the 1GB to be about 40%+ faster, so RAW write times for a 12MB file on an F810 were at around 4-5 secs! Not sure if the 512MB cards are proportionately faster yet. See also: Ike Housing for F810 and Writer's Cramp

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  • Adventurer, diver, sailor, photographer, writer and sometimes graphic designer. Proprietor of Optical Ocean Sales, LLC. Enjoy the blog, check back and please leave comments!
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