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More Underwater Photos With Nauticam NA-D800 by Keri Wilk
By Keri Wilk, May 6, 2012 @ 07:22 PM (EST)

By Keri Wilk

Just got back from Mexico a few days ago, and got a chance to go through another 2 days of images, but check out the first set of images if you missed it. Here are some more thoughts on the Nikon D800 and Nauticam NA-D800 housing.

The housing and camera kept up with my 40-60GB of shooting each day, but my  250GB hard drives would've exploded if we stayed another couple of days - they got fill very fast! I'll be taking this system to Fiji and Curacao for the rest of May, so will definitely need to grab a couple of bigger hard drives to keep me safe.

These shots are much different than the last set of elaborate caves, but they're still taken in cenotes (specifically, in the Aktun Ha cenote, also known as Carwash. The lilies, turtles, and small resident crocodile were all very photogenic, so I temporarily put aside the platoon of remote strobes that we brought, and shot the mini-ecosystem instead.

Here are some shots from the 2 days we had there:


The entrance to Nahoch Nah Chich cenote. After 5 hours in the water, there was no one left to model for me, so I had to set up the camera/housing on a tripod, set the self-timer, and pose for myself. Despite looking bright and sunny, it was actually 5pm, with very dim and diffuse available light. Thankfully, the high ISO performance of the D800 is incredible, so I was able to confidently enter quadruple digit values without worrying about degrading image quality.
f/11, 1/1.3, ISO1000
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye
No strobes

Backlit lily pads.

f/11, 1/250, ISO320
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm
2 YS-D1 strobes on camera at minimum power, 2 Ikelite DS-160 strobes with homemade slave triggers

A small Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) resides in one end of the cenote called "Carwash". Although it was very small (4ft long) and shy, a few hours of persistence was all it took to get some decent shots of it.

f/9, 1/125, ISO400
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @18mm
2 YS-D1 strobes

A silhouette of a Slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) against a clear blue sky... would've looked more interesting with some clouds! These turtles swim surprisingly fast, so when it made a break for the other side of the cenote over my head, I had to adjust exposure settings as fast as possible. The large thumb-controls for aperture and shutter speed on the NA-D800 made this quick and easy, and a lever just above the eyepiece was used to put down the the pop-up flash (essentially "turning off" the strobes, using fiber optic sync cables).

f/14, 1/125, ISO200
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @35mm
No strobes

 Matt Weiss posing at the entrance of a cenote.


f/8, 1/250, ISO200
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye
No strobes

Lilies in the Carwash cenote extend to within inches of the surface, but never seems to reach it.

f/9, 1/125, ISO400
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm
No strobes

Matt Weiss, shooting a Slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) swimming over a lily patch.

f/8, 1/160, ISO200
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm
2 YS-D1 strobes

The lily pads are a drab orange/yellow on top, but brilliant purple/pink from below. I cranked the shutter speed to the max, and the aperture was narrowed as far as possible while still allowing the pair of YS-D1s to sufficiently illuminate the undersides of the pads.

f/14, 1/320, ISO200
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm
2 YS-D1 strobes



A Slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) cruising through midwater. Every photographer that I show this to says that the animal looks superimposed. (it wasn't!)


f/10, 1/125, ISO400
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm
2 YS-D1 strobes


Trying to evade me, this mohawk-wearing turtle made a kamikaze dive into an algae bed. A few seconds later, it poked its head out to see if the coast was clear. It was not.

f/14, 1/50, ISO200
Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @35mm
2 YS-D1 strobes

 


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Alvin Arzaga
May 7, 2012 4:14 AM
Alvin Arzaga wrote:
awesome!
Wilfried Niedermayr
May 28, 2012 4:24 AM
Wilfried Niedermayr wrote:
Did you use Auto ISO with the D800 underwater ?
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