Color Filter Test for Dive Light and Camera

Discussion in 'Reef videos' started by RSnodgrass, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Hey oh, I got really frustrated the last couple weeks getting ready for a dive trip that there is almost nothing out there on YouTube or anywhere else on the best color filters to use for night time dive photography.

    The dive community is about 10yrs behind us aquarists in terms of understanding blue lighting! That being said they want to charge a fortune for blue LED lights so instead I found a plexiglass supplier who sent me out ~20 samples for dirt cheep to test various shades of yellow on the camera and various shades of blue on my dive light. I narrowed down the yellow very quickly so the video shows the shades of blue being used with & without the yellow.

    Aside from the terrible commentary by myself I thought some of you might like to see this. I also have to say looking at actinics on full with the yellow filter in front of my eyes is CRAZY LOOKING!!! Going to try and get better and adjusting in post processing to get the image to look even more as it does in person but you'll get the idea.

    Major error in the photo, the torch is a 500 lumen light not 2000... just slightly different... slightly (o:

    https://youtu.be/5cB3ijxVX5U
     
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  2. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    DSC06963.jpg
    Teaser Pic from the frag Jlanger gave me!!! This is using the filters from the video but as still frames.
     
  3. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Cool video! And pic of the Forest Fire Digitata.
    I was just looking for a comparison pic from when Chris was over at my place, but I didn't get a good fluorescence shot of the Forest Fire Digitata with the filters.

    Here's a link to Chris' post in his build thread when he took those kind of pictures in his tank; click here. (And there's more on the next page.)
    When Chris gets back, I suggest you ask him what he remembers from the MACNA talk and maybe he has some pointers to make your night dives a success.
     
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  4. ChristopherKriens

    ChristopherKriens Xenia Lover
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    Ryan,

    Got your message and just watched through your video tests. You should have the best luck using the darkest blue filter for your torch. The light blue filters appear lighter blue because they're also letting some white light through which is contrary to your goal. Because fluoresced colors are relatively subtle, it's easy for them to get lost when there's extraneous reflected light in the image.

    An ideal situation is to light the subject with only light in the 350-450nm range which is why many people use narrow band LED. There isn't one perfect color temperature, because different pigments fluoresce best under different wavelengths; some more to the violet side and some on the royal blue side. Adding the right blue filter to your source light should accomplish the same thing.

    When you break it down, there are really two steps:

    1) Light your subject with blue light.
    2) Filter out all the blue light you can.

    A good way to find the best pairing of a set of filters would be to illuminate something that you know is white or gray with your filtered torch light and find the yellow filter that best preserves the original white or gray color. This way you know you're minimizing the amount of reflected blue light that's allowed to hit your camera sensor, which maximizes its sensitivity to what remains (fluorescence!)

    Jason referenced a talk at MACNA a couple of years ago, this is the video:
    [video=youtube;b3wVnU3kk8s]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3wVnU3kk8s[/video]
     
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  5. marty9876

    marty9876 Something funny
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    I did a night dive and the shop had UV flashlights, was kinda neat but really just reminded me of all the atinic/UV we crank on our tanks.
     
  6. ArstenA

    ArstenA I contributed!
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    So I am going diving down in roatan. We got a package for 18 day dives and 2 night dives. We didn't want to drop a lot on a camera so we picked up the nikon aw130. It has an underwater mode. Do you suggest I make a yellow filter for it instead of using the underwater mode?

    I have done a lot of acrylic work before so I could prom Amy figure something out.
     
  7. Travis Dragan

    Travis Dragan I contributed!
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    The underwater mode will work for daytime shooting if your not adding any blues to your dive, it wont get the coral pop but it will look more natural and closer to what your eye sees with sunlight. If you are adding lots of blue to see the fluorescence the underwater mode wont work well (if its similar to the TG2 from Olympus)
     
  8. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    If it's a day dive then a red filter is often preferred when going deeper. For example a bright red athletic shirt I tend to wear is completely black at 60'.

    Look on YouTube and you'll see a bunch of before and after shots with go pro's around 30'.

    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
     

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