My favorite underwater photo gear
I started diving back in 2000 and I thought about sharing my wonderful underwater experiences from the very beginning.
My first camera was a simple compact, a Canon A2 in a tiny housing. It was good for some macro photography- without an external strobe making wide-angle photos wasn't an option.
My first DSLR camera was a Canon 350D, later I bought newer and better Canon cameras like the 5D and 5D Mark II. After these, I made a big decision and changed to a Nikon D7100. I used that for 2 years with 60mm and 105mm macro lenses, for wide-angle shots I used the very popular Tokina 10-17mm fisheye. I had a pair of Inon Z240 strobes which worked fine.
When we talked about underwater photography with my friends we complained about the lack of a user-friendly, reliable TTL controlling trigger. So I started thinking about a new solution, it was the beginning of the TURTLE story 5 years ago.
Not surprisingly, the very first TURTLE trigger was built for Nikon DSLR cameras. Later I developed the TURTLE for Canon, Sony cameras, and we introduced a trigger for Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless cameras too.
I had the chance to test the most popular DSLR and mirrorless cameras, and I regularly use them, luckily not only the entry-level models. I loved the Canon cameras' picture quality. I think the Nikon's 60 mm macro lens is fantastic. The small but powerful Olympus models are really fine cameras.
The A7Mk2 was my first Sony camera. There wasn't a big difference between the price of the full-frame and the crop models and I knew the results would be better with the full-frame. Now I use a Sony A7R2 for underwater photography.
I had Ikelite and Subal housings in the past, but I read many reviews about the Nauticam housings. As the Subal didn't have a housing for my Sony camera when I bought it, I chose a Nauticam one and it was a good decision. I bought a 90mm macro lens, and I had a 28mm F2 lens with a WWL-1. As I didn't really like the WWL-1 I tried to find a good lens for wide-angle photography. My choice is the 8-15mm Canon lens with Metabone adapter, and I love it!
In the last few years, I tested nearly all the major manufacturers' (e.g. Sea&Sea, Inon, Ikelite, Subtronic) popular underwater strobes, and I'm happy to say all of them work with the different TURTLE triggers. So I can choose any of them for my setup. I love the Ikelite DS160, I used those until I got a pair of Inon Z330. These are powerful strobes, and easy to carry so I took them to most of my diving trips.
The new Retra Pro was introduced recently and after I read the reviews I decided to buy one. I think the software of the strobe needs a little fine-tuning, but anyway, it's a great underwater strobe and works flawlessly with or without a diffuser.
So if I go for fun dives and try to shoot some exciting photos, this is my typical setup:
Sony A7R2 camera in a Nauticam housing, 90mm lens and SMC-01 for macro photography, 8-15mm Canon lens for wide-angle. Certainly, I always take my s-TURTLE SMART TTL/manual trigger too. I can use sync cord or fiber optic cable, which means I can use any strobe I like.