Digital Photography - Page 10
Digital U/W New Jersey

I have had the opportunity to use my Nikon D100 in a Nexus housing for a few dives off the New Jersey coast. I consider underwater photography in New Jersey as challenging as any that I have done. My initial impression was that I was not impressed. My favorite old stand by lens is the 60mm macro. With the smaller digital sensor, my 60mm lens now gave me a field of view of a 90mm lens. This is great for really small subjects but in New Jersey, I need to get close to bigger subjects like fish and skates. I also want to shoot some of the smaller subjects like anemones, sea stars and scallops. I want to do this with one lens. Okay, so I have a lens problem. Is that enough of a reason not to be pleased with digital? The answer is no! I found that there were things about digital that I really liked. First, with a 1 mb compact flash card, I can shoot 103 shoots per dive (if I can find subjects, stay down long enough and not run the battery down on my strobe). Second, I like the flexibility of shooting in the Raw mode. This allows me to make adjustments to exposure, white balance, color and contrast in the computer after the dive.

The more that I used the equipment - the more I liked it. And thanks to Woody Mayhew of Nexus America, I solved my lens problem. To make the lens problem sweeter, I solved the problem for less than $100.00. My solution is the Sigma 28-80mm f3.5/f5.6 Aspherical macro HF lens. When used on my D100, this lens is a 35mm equivalent to a 42-120mm lens. I can use it with my Nexus 60mm flat port and it works like a dream. Before I could use it, I had to make a modification to it. The modification is not for squeamish people and I will describe the modification to you only by Contact Us . If I get enough requests, I will add the modification to this section.  Remember, that I take no responsibility for any damage that you do to the lens. Once I started, I prepared myself to have a $100 paperweight.

The photos below were taken during the summer of 2003 off the coast of New Jersey. In all cases, visibility did not exceed 15'. All photos were taken with the Sigma lens. I shot in Aperture priority mode with a single Ikelite 200 strobe in manual mode. The strobe setting varied between 1/8 and 1/2 power. F-stops were in the f11 to f22 range.

Frilled Anemones and Blue Mussels

Summer Flounder aka Fluke

Winter Flounder

Forbes Sea Stars (Asterias forbesi)

Common Sand Dollar

Tubularian Hydroids

You can see many more of my New Jersey images in the Stock Gallery. Click here