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New TG-6 Setup

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by skl007, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. skl007

    skl007 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: PNW
    44
    12
    8
    Hey guys,

    Getting into my first underwater camera rig! Based on the visibility in the PNW I will mostly be focused on macro. Anything I'm missing from the rig I'm thinking about?

    TG-6 and PT-059 housing
    Backscatter M52 wide angle wet lens
    Spare battery & external charger
    Kraken dual handle tray
    4 clamps ($30 each? Bwahhh?)
    5" double ball arm segment
    8" double ball arm segment
    Big Blue AL2600XWP
     
  2. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
    768
    285
    63
    Strobe? I have a rig almost identical, and the Inon S2000 is probably the nicest small strobe for the rig.
    <edit> You will probably also want more strobe arms & clamps; although I mount my S2000 on one 8in arm, and the BigBlue directly to the other handle ball. I also dive PNW and you are mostly talking about macro photography here. :)
     
    coralcruiser likes this.
  3. BalekFekete

    BalekFekete Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    123
    79
    28
    Following the thread, primarily to hear more on strobe recommendations. I'm waffling between a S2000 or a Z330 to pair up with a recently purchased TG-6 package.
     
  4. skl007

    skl007 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: PNW
    44
    12
    8
    I'm worried that I would just spend all my time doing adjustments with a strobe instead of enjoying my surroundings. Using video lights seems to make things easier, if a little less versatile. What are your thoughts on shooting with a strobe?
     
  5. cruisekingkris

    cruisekingkris Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    266
    44
    28
    I'm putting together my rig as we speak, well its put together already. It's all sitting under the Xmas tree (wife wont let me have it early).

    TG-6 and PT-059 housing
    Backscatter M52 wide angle wet lens
    Olympus Spare battery & Olympus charger
    Puluz tray, arms and clamps
    4- double ball clamps
    2- triple ball clamps
    2- 5" Arms
    2- 8" Arms
    2- Sea & Sea YS-D2J Strobes
    2- 20000 Lumen AliExpress special video lights (super bright)
    DIY closed mini cell foam for arm floats


    I will be diving it New Years Eve at Dutch Springs for the first time. I plan on having the strobe and video lights coming off the triple ball clamp this way I can shoot either.

    I'm also interested in the Backscatter mini strobe with Snoot. looks perfect for macro. Maybe put this on the cold shoe and use it as a focus light as well.
     
    skl007 likes this.
  6. BalekFekete

    BalekFekete Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    123
    79
    28
    I'll just say this...you've certainly got a twisted portion of your soul to put this upon yourself. :rofl3:
     
    cruisekingkris likes this.
  7. nippurmagnum

    nippurmagnum Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Washington DC metro
    224
    209
    43
    If you are going to be shooting mostly macro, you might want to leave the M52 wide angle wet lens on dry land. I find that the M52 makes it hard to get super close to your subject. I use the M52 when I anticipate a need for real wide angle -- namely, when shooting wrecks, or underwater landscapes, or large pelagics. But for macro, I'd suggest either shooting with no wet lens at all, or buying the Backscatter "air lens" -- which has a narrower field of view, and a smaller dome. In fact, if you are going to only buy one wet lens and you want to do mainly macro, I'd suggest the air lens over the M52.

    I also find it helpful to clip a spare mask neoprene/velcro case to my BCD, and to store my wet lenses in the bag when I don't need them for macro.

    One word of advice that may save you $$$: if you get into the water with the M52 lens on your camera, keep the neoprene cover on it until you are ready to start shooting, and put the neoprene cover back on before you get back to the shore/boat. That lens scratches easily and cannot be polished. If you nick the top of the dome, it WILL show in your photos/videos, especially when shooting into the sun/surface. When you remove the neoprene cover, just tuck it into the sleeve of your wetsuit.

    Also, be mindful if shooting macro with either of the wet lenses not to touch rocks/coral. It's tempting to get super close to your subjects, and to forget as you look through the viewfinder that you have a dome in front of your camera. If your lens makes any contract with rocks/coral, it WILL get nicked.

    If, despite all this advice, you do scratch your M52, Backscatter will replace the dome for under $150.
     
    cruisekingkris likes this.
  8. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
    768
    285
    63
    First, for the other person watching, I have a Z240 that I use on my big camera rig, and I would never put it on my Oly TG6 rig simply because of it's size. My TG6 rig is all about 'small and compact' so the small Inon S2000 strobe is perfect.

    I tried taking photos 'just video light' with less than thrilling results. The strobe freezes action at almost any lens opening, and I use the optical sync with TTL and get exactly the results I want. I use the Bigblue for video and focus, and the strobe to capture the photo.

    Because our water is pretty dark and cloudy a lot of the time, (or it's like a night dive if the day is cloudy), then macro is what I'm doing 90+% of the time. I just set the strobe a bit off center but close to the lens for macro and I'm happy. However, because of it's small size, it's easy to move it quickly to any position to remove backscatter in a longer shot.
     
  9. skl007

    skl007 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: PNW
    44
    12
    8
    Great advice for the wet wide angle! I was thinking that I would shoot little creatures without the lens, and to use the lens for stuff like GPO and wider shots while on dive trips. Are you able to have the lens on before you get into the water? I was under the impression that you had to mount the lens while submerged to get the optics right...

    Do you have any example photos with just the video light? How do you get TTL on the Olympus? How does the order of operations work with video light for focusing the strobe? Do you leave the light on as you fire the flash, or is it, focus, turn off light, flash?
     
  10. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
    768
    285
    63
    First, yea - I agree totally with the advice to ditch the wide angle. Now if you can afford it, get it now, but if it's a financial toss-up, go with one strobe.

    I bought a wide-angle lens for an earlier outfit (Canon A570 in Ikelite housing) and have used it about... twice. We just don't get enough days where I really need a wide angle shot here, but then I am a 'critter photographer' and swimming rock fish are just as good on macro. :)

    If it's a wet lens, you can put it on underwater (I did) or else get the camera & lens wet before you splash and install it. Sometimes underwater you have to remove & replace it to get a bubble of air out. You want 100% water between a wet lens and the housing glass.

    As for the strobe, TTL is as simple as a) buying a strobe that supports TTL. The Inon S2000 (and the Z330) support TTL 'out of the box'. The TG6 supports TTL, so enabling TTL with the Oly TG6 is as simple as turning on the flash on the camera (there's even a quick button for that). You do need an optical sync cord connected between camera and strobe. On my TG6 with Inon S2000, I use 'fill in flash' as it gives me the desired effect, although 'full auto' does also work.

    Backscatter actually has an awesome set of videos all about setting up a TG6 for underwater shooting, as well as video on setting up the strobe.

    As always, take test shots out of the water to ensure it's all working before you get wet. Nothing worse that messing up the setup (lens cap inside a port anyone) and finding out underwater.
     
    ajmcc and skl007 like this.

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