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OK decision Made

Discussion in 'Sony Snappers' started by Smudger, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: UK
    38
    4
    8
    OK i've made the decision and bought a Sony A6500 mirrorless camera. I've only ever used a compact underwater, so this probably won't be my only request for advice. I'm now looking at the Fantasea fa6500 housing and flat port and zoom gear for the 16 to 50mm lens. My first question is, if this is a power zoom why do I need manual lens gear or am I misunderstanding the system ie does the wheel operate a zoom function on the camera? my next question is could I get some recommendations for a macro wet lens and some hints on how to use it. Is it difficult to focus with a diopter in place. Any advice greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Ian
     
  2. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
    573
    215
    43
    While the lens zoom is actuated by an internal motor, the controls are still on the lens, not the camera body (unlike, say, Olympus where you can customize camera body buttons to operate E-Zoom with the appropriate lenses). The 16-50mm lens has two controls: a rocker switch on its left side which always operates the zoom but is not accessible in any housing that I know of, and a ring that controls zoom while the camera is in autofocus mode and focus while the camera is in manual focus mode. In DMF mode, it controls zoom until you half-press the shutter to engage AF, at which point it starts controlling focus while the shutter is half-pressed. Aperture is controlled by your choice of a dial on the camera body.

    Can't say much regarding wet macro lenses; I only recently got a Weefine WFL05S and haven't yet had a chance to take it underwater. From playing around with it on land, it seems to give a very thin (like, several millimeters) window in which it allows the camera to focus - i.e. no closer and no further, so if that's your only macro solution, you'll have a kind of 'dead space' which is too far away to focus with diopter on and too close to focus with diopter off.
     
    Smudger likes this.
  3. Smudger

    Smudger Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: UK
    38
    4
    8
    Thanks for that Barmaglot. Also interesting about the focus range of your lens. I just had a look on line at the one you have I see it’s a +13. I think initially I will go for something like a +6 which may be easier to use.
    Cheers
     
  4. BFRedrocks

    BFRedrocks Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
    384
    104
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    I have been shooting the a6500 for a couple of years now and love it. I pair the 16-50 mm "kit" lens (and yes, you need the gear to operate the zoom function using the housing) with the Nauticam CMC-2 (and flip diopter) and it gets pretty good macro shots. I've since upgraded to a true macro lens (Sony 90 mm), but for quick macro shots while using a mid angle lens, the CMC-2 works great. I think that one is only 2.4x, but even at that level, it takes a bit to learn to use the diopter properly.

    Oh, and the best trick I was taught while using the a6500 and diopter focusing with the 16-50 mm lens is to use the DMF focus mode with focus peaking...that'll show you in the viewfinder exactly where the camera is focusing. This little "trick" changed the way I shoot macro. You're welcome. ;-)
     
    CZS likes this.
  5. Smudger

    Smudger Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: UK
    38
    4
    8
    I won't Lie I had to google DMF to see what it was. and I'll still have to look at how to use it (What is focus highlighting). I've now bought a Inon UCL-165 for the set up but haven't received it yet. We are off to Lembeh in September so would like to get some practice first. Could you talk me through the focus process you use. Ive read that you should zoom in about 75% and then adjust the camera position to obtain clear focus
    Cheers
     
  6. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
    573
    215
    43
    Focus highlighting is called 'Focus peaking' in the camera menus. It highlights high-contrast areas with a color of your choice (red, yellow or white), letting you know that this part of the image is in focus. If the image is out of focus, then this sharp transition between different colors will become diffuse, and the camera won't highlight it.

    DMF, I believe, stands for 'Designated Manual Focusing' - it's basically AF-S (Autofocus - Single) that obtains focus, locks it, and then lets you fine-tune it using the control ring on the lens. As the focus plane moves back and forth across the image, you will see different areas light up with focus peaking. The camera can also zoom the picture in when you start adjusting the focus (there are two zoom levels that you can cycle between) so that a small part of the image (you can move this window up/down/left/right using the click wheel on the back of the camera, although underwater, it is fairly difficult so a good pre-set is advised) is blown up on the entire screen/viewfinder, allowing you to see small features and focus on those.

    You can also move the camera back and forth a bit while focus is locked (either via half-press shutter or back-button focusing) and watch the peaking highlights to see what's going to be in focus and what isn't.
     
  7. BFRedrocks

    BFRedrocks Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Phoenix, AZ
    384
    104
    43
    Yes, I couldn't think of the correct term, but that's right...focus peaking. I fixed my previous post. :)

    I believe Sony defines DMF as actually Direct Manual Focus, and to be honest, it's still a bit of a mystery to me. However, this camera setting allows you to use autofocus (I use back button focus instead of the shutter button because with my Nauticam housing it's so much easier) AND focus peaking at the same time. If you only use AF-S or AF-C, focus peaking isn't available on the a6500.

    You don't have to use focus peaking, but with my eyesight the way it is, it allows me to know exactly what part of the shot the camera is focused on, especially on subjects that are so small. YMMV.
     

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