Macro Coral Videography - The start of my journey
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Macro Coral Videography – The start of my journey

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5 mins read
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101 views
5 mins read

Today I made my first step to becoming a reef  videographer!

I talked to a real artist – photographer, Mark Riley, about what I want and here’s what I understood:

What I want to do is take videos of corals. Closeups and extreme closeups. Some pictures too, for sure, but mainly vids.

I asked him about varifocus manual cams. They seem to be ok, but all the work done by a good machine is done by you at the Adobe Premiere — no!, absolutely to much hassle!

I can buy used and it is ok, IF I get them from a reputable reseller, he mentioned Galeos

It is more important to buy a great lens, than a great camera, and this must be reflected in my budgeting.

In particular, for the camera I should choose only one of the 6 main brands, fuji nikon canon olympus sony panasonic. After some looking around I am setting Canon aside (they have some weird numbering in macro lenses) and focusing on Nikon (possible better pricing).

For the lens I can use a branded one (there are some more than the 6 that I should consider branded) mostly because or the warranty (noname Chinese might be ok if they are ok from the start and I take care of them – he told me not to reject samyong outright).

Mirrorless cameras are slightly better than DSLRs – their pricing and variety is lacking though.

Shutter Speed, especially for me who focuses on videos, is simple, just twice as much as I want the framerate to be. The lower the shutter speed, the better you can use the light to capture great things. generally not to fall below 25 framerates with 50 shutter speed.

For photography with low shutter speed I should use a timer so that it does not come out shaky (this if I need more light, in corals that have movement is not convenient).

Converters are a very good solution if what you need is just more zoom. They change the zoom from minimum to full, and it is a hassle to put on and off. After working a little with the lens then I can decide if I want the converter. – The drawback is that converters always increase Fstop

The fstop … or the “f” should be between 4 and 8 (at most between 2.8 and 10), and stable (though this might be too expensive for me). If it is not fixed, then in video, I can not zoom in without changing the shadows/lighting significantly, will look weird. For photos the  f is not as important. With f bigger, towards 8, I need more light, but I can have more of the coral in focus. With a lower f, towards 4, I can shoot darker stuff, and I have more  blurred surroundings.

“mm” is related to zoom. Best for what I want to be from “Χ”mm to “Υ”mm. This way I can zoom in during the video (I should be able to operate the zoom with a remote control so that it does not come out shaken – otherwise the F being stable is unimportant.)
mm is more efficient with full frame sensor than in cropped or medium (lower mm have higher zoom if full frame). This increases the price of everything – not really worth it.
Double mm is double zoom … approximately … roughly … depending on the camera ….

For the use I want it is ok instead of a macro lens to get a telephoto lens, especially if I pay attention to the minimum focus distance.

After making any purchase I have to check the frequency of my reef lights so that I do not have flickers in the videos.

Before making any purchase I should:

  • see reviews,
  • talk to him, and
  • maybe rent it from rentphotovideo .gr to see if it works for me.
  • Galeos also gets good advice.

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