Todays Lesson: Bring Extra Batteries

I had a go at flash fisheye photography with my Sony a6000 for the first time the other day, I spent a good part of my evening preparing my set-up, I had to work around the limitations of the Sony a6000’s pop up flash and it involved a lot of trial and error.

The physical set-up wasn’t too hard to put together, but the settings on the flash and camera had to be tweaked to try and minimise the reflections of the dome, it’s something I had fixed with my Canon cameras and their pop up flashes, but the same solution is not possible with the Sony.

So I tested and tested until I thought I’d got it working in the best way possible, then I went to bed and set my alarm for well before dawn so I could get to the beach while it was still dark enough to use the flash effectively.

This is what flat batteries in your flash look like, luckily I had my recently modified pin tail quad soft board to surf on in the dark
This is what flat batteries in your flash look like, luckily I had my recently modified pin tail quad soft board to surf on in the dark

Unfortunately I’d forgotten to take my flash out of the housing and turn it off, so when I got to the waters edge with my housing the batteries were dead in the flash and I couldn’t get it to fire.

The sun was on it’s way up though so I surfed for a bit then shot some photo’s with a long shutter speed that I didn’t like very much.

Not the results I was hoping for, the Samyang 8mm fisheye and Sony a6000 combo are very capable of making excellent photo's, but my DIY flash rig needs work before I can get rid of the reflections from the inside of the dome
Not the results I was hoping for, the Samyang 8mm fisheye and Sony a6000 combo are very capable of making excellent photo’s, but my DIY flash rig needs work before I can get rid of the reflections from the inside of the dome

The next day I remembered fresh batteries and managed to get some shots, but I’m still not happy with the results, I’ve got a couple of bits ordered from Amazon which should be with me soon and I’m sure I can get it working much more effectively in the future.

Comments

  1. How are you liking the rokinon? Looks like its pretty sharp and relatively cheap too. Although I heard it has a bit of a long min focal distance, any issues with that?

    1. The Rokinon (called Samyang in Europe) is working really well, I haven’t had to test the minimum focus distance yet as I’ve only shot a couple of times in my housing, I find focusing at around 1.5m and stopping down to f4 gives me pretty good results in poor light (the only conditions I’ve shot in so far).

      I will be trying it out for underwater shots when the water warms up and calms down a bit in the UK, at which point I’ll have to focus much closer, so I’ll do some real tests at that point.

      My initial land based tests suggest that I should be able to get some decent results underwater, if I’m stopped down a bit, I have an 8″ dome port though so that’s a big advantage over a smaller dome.

      For the money though it’s a fantastic lens and I love the even wider angle I can get, perfect for shorebreaks.

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