review: nauticam super macro lenses diving

I recently tried the nauticam super macro lenses on the outside of my nikon 1 housing while diving.

What is super macro? it is extreme magnification under water. Normal dioptre (+5 or +10)  are limited in their magnification as the water interface reduce the effective refraction magnification. The super macro lenses is built considering the water interface in mind, with multiple lenses enclosed in sealed air chamber, allowing the magnification to not be affected by the water interface.

the lenses is a “wet” lens, allowing you to flip or screw it in under water when needed, and remove it when you want normal magnification.

PRO:

  • super clear images
  • very high magnification (almost like a microscope !)
  • less diffraction and distortions than other simple wet lenses dioptre
  • standard 67 mm size
  • auto focus is very easy even with super macro
  • working distance is around 5cm
  • relatively easy to work with

CONS:

  • heavy (almost as heavy as my housing and camera combined)
  • bulky ( takes almost the
  • expensive
  • no protection underwater against scratches ( the front cap does not fit well)

click here to see maldives super macro pictures newly added

SAMPLES of pictures taken with super macro, nikon 1 j3 30mm: CLICK on the picture to see full resolution:

supermacro diving-9630 supermacro diving-9616

 

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supermacro diving-9624

supermacro diving-9627

supermacro diving-9628

supermacro diving-9629

from nauticam brochure:

Super Macro Convertor I
Nauticam is pleased to introduce a breakthrough in underwater macro photography lens design providing higher magnification than competing systems with unprecedented image quality. The Nauticam Super Macro Converter (SMC) is the first underwater macro conversion lens that is fully optimized for in water use. This unique and innovative lens will change the way that underwater macro photography is done.

There are three key advantages to this internationally patent pending new optical design:
· Higher Magnification Than Other Popular Super Macro Tools with Increased Working Distance
· Better Edge to Edge Image Quality, Higher Contrast, and Lower Color Fringing
· Compatibility with “short” macro lenses that traditionally have not worked well with super macro accessories, like Nikon AF-S 60mm /2.8G, Canon EF-S 60mm, Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S., Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 ED M.Zuiko EZ Micro 4/3 Lens, and Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro.

Breakthrough Lens Design
Prior to the Super Macro Converter, achieving “super macro” underwater meant using tools that were designed for in air use. These tools simply do not take into account the physics of shooting in water. The SMC takes a radically different approach: treat the system – camera, lens, port, air, and water – as a whole, and account for the air-water interfaces in a conversion lens design to achieve the best image quality possible. The improvement is stunning, measurable and a new standard in underwater macro imaging has been established.

Stunning Magnification
When combined with a full frame camera and a 100mm or 105mm macro lens, the device converts the optical system to provide a maximum of 2.3X magnification factor. In other words, a subject area of 15.6mm X 10.4mm will fill the whole frame of a 36mm X 24mm sensor.

Improved Sharpness and Contrast
As the Super Macro Converter is optimized explicitly for using together with a macro lens underwater, images captured exhibit exceptional sharpness compared with conventional magnification lenses. Thanks to the broadband multi-layer anti-reflection coating on each surface of the lenses, images also exhibit higher contrast.

Superb Light Transmission
All the lens elements installed inside the SMC are optically optimized to appropriate diameters so as to provide maximum light transmission. The SMC doesn’t suffer from vignette issues under even the most extreme conditions. The broad band multi-layer anti-reflection coating on all surfaces also greatly improves light transmission.

Optimized for Autofocus
By utilizing a specially developed algorithm in the optimization process, the SMC renders superior image quality over the full focusing range of the camera lens (which becomes ~50 to ~100 mm in front of the SMC). Also benefitting from the high brightness and contrast of the image, the autofocus system of the camera usually works acceptably well within this range.

Ample Working Distance
Even at the maximum 2.3X magnification, there is still more than 50mm of working distance between the front element and the subject with 100/105mm macro lenses. This working distance is crucial when capturing behavior with skittish subjects.

maui hawaii dive trip planner, aerial view of westin and fairmont maui

HOTEL: earlier this year we received a letter from starwood vacations, selling a time share view of westin ocean villas resort at mauii:

  • 5 nights for $750 usd
  • get $180usd off for avis car rental (free car)
  • get 5000 spg points

typically that hotel is all mini suites or villas, costing minimum $500 usd per night. So for five night stay ,free car, and points worth min $180 usd, while paying only $750 ? well they got me.

the best part is that you are not obligated to be at the time share presentation. they encouraged, but it is not forced, at no time you feel they are selling you anything. we did not even show up at this one or the last palm springs presentation.

so i got 5 nights booked. But 5 nights is too short for a proper dive trip. So i booked fairmont mauii kea lani (all suite hotels),  using my platinum fpc free night certificate and applying a suite upgrades to ocean view suite. cost for 2 night = $600 (one night free).

total 7 nights in mauii at top hotels, all suites for $1300

WESTIN OCEAN RESORT MAUI VIEW FROM AIR:

click to see full resolution aerial pictures

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FAIRMONT KEA LANI VIEW FROM THE AIR ABOVE:

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DCIM100MEDIA

FLIGHTS:since hawaii is one of the hardest award redemptions, no seat was available in biz to hawaii ( award in economy is not worth it, the cost of miles is more than the cost of paying tickets)

i was going to book economy flights from NA canada to mauii, knowing the business seats are not worth the price (not lie flat). At last minute, before payment, i saw united want to charge almost $200- $400 each way just for luggage, and maybe even more if overweight (more than 50 lbs).

when travelling with golf clubs, drone, complete dive gear, the weight limits of 50 lbs per bag is not much. we expect to pay min $300- $400 each way just for luggage (even if we are star gold)

then i saw the difference of price of first class united to mauii, returning from honolulu on B767 lie flat is marginally more than economy tickets. essentially it cost $150 more per person  to fly first class, (since first class have 2 free check bag per person up to 70 lbs per bag) compared to economy and paying luggage fees!

worth it? yeah! especially first class have double the status miles (more points for flying), so the actual costs is maybe $75 per way per person for flying first class.

DIVING: since our condo is located at kaanapali, lahaina divers at lahaina is the closest. They leave at 7:15am ! each morning. Their boat is one of the best one i have seen for diving, equipped with emergency beacon, lifevests, life raft. Their rental equipments are mostly aqualung.

remember to bring soft drinks or bottle water, as they only provide water in a cooler. Bring towel.

CAR RENTAL: even if the condo resort package have a credit of $180 for car at avis, i still found it was cheaper to book rental car with costcotravel.com, as avis rates is bundled with so many taxes and fees.

LUNCH: we kept eating at lahaina STAR NOODLE all the time after diving, cheap, fast, good comfort food

 

 

Sample video of montreal, viewed from dji phantom vision 2 plus quadropter

I love the dji phantom quadropter. Flying it is super addictive, super stable, it is like a tripod in the sky. If photography is viewing from different angles and perpectives, then this drone aerial photography is fun.

images and pictures taken with the dji stock camera produce pretty good pictures and video. I will upload some pictures and video later.

in the mean time, enjoy Some sample video found the web (not done by me)

 

Sample dji video showcase of different video aerial across the world: www.dji.com/showcase

 

precautions:

  • Always start the drone with the proper sequence, to make sure the gps lock is at least 8 or more gps.
  • the more gps lock sat the better, the stable the drone is.
  • do not fly over 400 feet, as per regulations.
  • always keep in line of sight, as per regulations in NA.
  • Install mod a gps shield, with simple aluminium paper to minimize interference from wifi and go pro
  • take precautions and care with the gimbal and the stock camera. They are the most likely to fail in a crash, and the most expensive and annoying repair.
  • make sure the compass and home point is set and properly calibrated. If not the drone will fly away!
  • do not fly over people’s yard, invading their aerial space. If you use it to invade people privacy, it can be used in police prosecutions. If you do, you just contribute to the misconceptions below:

misconceptions about drone camera:

1. The drone camera cannot see inside windows, due to reflections during the day. Even you cannot see inside your window properly during the day, unless you stand 1-3 feet away.

2. The drone camera is wide angle, with limited resolution. So they cannot zoom in or make anything clearer inside other people’s home

3. It is hobby grade drone and camera, not military.  Fear of spying are overblown.

4. Night time spying: not possible with the stock camera. It vibrates too much, and the iso and stock lense is not as good as an dslr. It is not infrared night time camera. If you choose to leave your blinds open at night, with lights on, other people can spy more easily on you with a proper camera or a binocular. It is not possible to spy with a drone stock camera at night, even flying only at a few meters away.

 

review of 3d passive 4k tv: Sony 65″ 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D LED Smart TV (XBR65X850B)

 

1. why 4k 3d passive? if you are really serious about 3d, and want to get 4k tvs, you have to get 4k passive for its 3d: it is simply the best.

PROS of passive 3d on 4k tv:

(passive 3d use polarized filters, instead of active shutters in active 3d)

  • with passive 3d polarized glasses, it will utilize all the pixels available on a 4k tv to display 1080p to each eye,  Before 4k TV 3d passive, the maximum resolution of 3d passive was limited to 540p (half the lines) on an 1080p tv (regular HD).
  • 3d passive is better, Unlike an active 3d glasses, there are no flickers, no ghost effect, no blur, no crosstalk.
  • 3d passive is the same technology as your imax movie theatres.
  • extended 3d viewing is more comfortable in passive 3d
  • images are clearer, more stable. Motion are more fluid
  •   Extra 3d passive glasses are cheaper than active 3d.
  •   With 4k active 3d, max resolution that you get is still only 1080p. Between passive or active 3d on all 4k tv, there is no difference of resolution. It will still only display maximum resolution of 1080p.

on 3d passive 4k tv you get the best of 3d in a 4k tv passive 3d :  full HD 1080p without all the downsides of active 3d.

downside with 3d passive 4k tv:

  • due to the polarized nature of 3d, vertical view angles in 3d are limited. If you are sitting or viewing the 4k 3d passive too high or too low, you will have problems viewing 3d properly.
  • you need to turn down ambient lights and reduce reflections from other lights sources to fully appreciate passive 3d.

click to know difference of passive 3d and active 3d, and why 4k passive 3d is better:

the pictures in 3d on a 4k tv are:

  • sharper
  • clearer, more brightness
  • more lifelike, look more like real 3d, as if you are there.

even the netflix hd and hd shows looks better on a 4k tv, as it is extrapolated and enhanced in 4k resolution. I tried normal HD netflix on an 1080p tv, compared to the sony 4k, it is like day and night.

Pictures of full frame sony a7 on a 4k tv: looks sharper, more contrast due to quadruple resolution of 4k tv. If you are shooting full frame pictures DSLR, you need to view it in 4k to appreciate it fully.

4k computer: you gain 4 times the real estate spae of a computer desktop. most nvidia graphics cards 700 series and up and easily display full 4k  desktop. I can easily view 3d mpo pictures on my 4k tv and computer. You do need a good high speed hdmi cable. ( bought the 25 feet red mere hdmi high speed cable at monoprice.com: they are thin, small, unidirectional hdmi high speed cable, capable of rendereing and transferring my 4k signal though wall and display it on my 4k tv in another room)

specs of sony 65 4k tv:Sony 65″ 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D LED Smart TV (XBR65X850B)

4K Ultra HD resolution of 3840×2160 pixels
3D capable, and includes 3D glasses
Triluminous LED display
Featuring Motionflow XR 240 technology
Sound Booster audio enhancement
WiFi-enabled to let you enjoy instant streaming video
Built-in camera lets you Skype with friends and family

One-Flick remote makes it easy to find something to watch

 

 

 

Model Year 2014
Video
Screen Size 64.5 in
Display Technology LED LCD
Backlight Type Triluminous LED
Backlight Configuration Edge-Lit
Backlight Local Dimming No
Resolution 4K Ultra HD
Native Resolution (Pixels) 3840 x 2160
4K Display Method Native
1080p Display Method Upscaled
Refresh Rate 120 Hz
Motion Enhancement Technology Motionflow XR 240
Dynamic Contrast Ratio 1000000:1
3:2 Pulldown Detection Yes
Colour Enhancement Triluminous Display
Viewing Angle 178ø
TV Tuner NTSC
Picture-In-Picture No
Game Mode Yes
Sports Mode Yes
Cinema Mode Yes
Other Modes Photo; Animation; Music
3D
3D Video Support Yes
3D Signal Transmitter Built-In Yes
3D Glasses Included Yes
Audio
Audio Enhancement Sound Booster
Auto Volume Correction Yes
Speakers Included
Speaker Configuration Bottom
Speaker Output Power 10 W + 10 W
Inputs/Outputs
HDMI Inputs 4 (Side)
Component Video Inputs 1 – Rear
S-Video Inputs No
A/V (Composite) Inputs 2 – Rear
Coaxial Cable Inputs No
IEEE 1394 (Firewire) Inputs No
Optical Digital Audio Outputs 1 – Rear
Stereo Audio Outputs 1 – Bottom
Headphone Jack 1 – Bottom
PC VGA Inputs No
PC Audio Inputs No
USB Media Port 3 – Side
Ethernet Port 1 – Rear
Wi-Fi Connectivity Yes
Bluetooth No
DLNA Certified Yes
Other Inputs/Outputs RS232
Media Card Slots None
Convenience
Media Port Compatible Photo Types WMA; JPEG
Media Port Compatible Music Types MP3; WMA; WAV
Media Port Compatible Movie Types MPEG1; MPEG2PS; MPEG2TS; AVCHD; MP4Part1; MP4Part 2; AVI(XCID); WMV9; MKV
Smart TV Yes
Full Web Browsing Yes
Instant Content Youtube; Netflix; Skype; Sony Entertainment Network;
Remote Control Compatibility Dedicated
Touchscreen Remote Control Yes
QWERTY Remote Control No
Built-In Camera Yes
Closed Captioning Yes
Channel Labeling Yes
Last Channel Recall Yes
Language Options English; Spanish; French
Parental Control Yes
Built-In Program Guide No
Sleep/Alarm Timer Yes
Video Input Labeling Yes
Power
Typical Consumption 285 W
Stand-By Consumption 0.3 W
Auto Off Yes
Energy Saving Mode Yes
Energy Star Qualified No
Physical Features
Cabinet Colour Black
Pedestal Stand Included
Wall Mount Optional
Wall Mount Specification 400 mm x 300 mm
Width with Stand 145.1 cm
Height with Stand 91.1 cm
Depth with Stand 28.6 cm
Width with Stand (Inches) 57.13 in
Height with Stand (Inches) 35.88 in
Depth with Stand (Inches) 11.25 in
Weight with Stand 33.3 kg
Width without Stand 145.1 cm
Height without Stand 86.7 cm
Depth without Stand 6.7 cm
Width without Stand (Inches) 57.13 in
Height without Stand (Inches) 34.13 in
Depth without Stand (Inches) 2.63 in
Weight without Stand 32.7 kg
Warranty Labour 1 Year(s)
Warranty Parts 1 Year(s)

3d pictures of machu picchu

3 d photos pictures of machu picchu.

once again, it showcase the true power of 3d photos: it is as if you are really there.. especially viewed with 3d passive on a 4k tv.

click here to download mpo 3d photos

 

how to view 3d? you need to download the files, put in in usd stick, upload to playstation 3 or 4, or plug the usb stick into a 3d blue ray player, or 3d tv. It should detect the format MPO file and play 3d accordingly.

for PS3, and other sony blu ray (sony is weird that way, only files put in specific folders name, in order can be read by sony devices) you need to download the ps3 app from sony: playmemories studio.

Then put the MPO files in the usb stick in this order: (create DCIM folder, Create 123_RAJA subfolder)

DCIM/123_RAJA/sample.mpo