ADEX Singapore 2023 Protection: Half I

I lately had the pleasure of touring to Singapore to attend the Asia Dive Expo—higher often known as ADEX. Dwelling as much as its fame as Asia’s largest dive present, this 12 months’s version packed in practically 70 talks, six panel discussions, dwell judging of the Voice of the Ocean picture competitors, and—I’ve been instructed—greater than 22,000 guests over three days.

I discovered each speak that I attended attention-grabbing, and I want I may have loved extra of them, however as an underwater photographer, I wished to spend most of my time on the imaging gear exhibitors and testing as many dive operators as potential. On this first a part of my report, I am going to think about the cubicles that associated to underwater images, leaving the second half to give attention to the talks I attended and the dive operators I visited, in addition to wanting on the winners of the Voice of the Ocean contest.


ADEX Organizer John Thet opens the present—“a celebration of ladies divers”



Some of the common hangouts for underwater photographers, the Nauticam sales space had the standard spectacular show of the Hong Kong firm’s newest digicam housings and moist optics. For full-frame cameras, there have been housings for the Panasonic Lumix S5 II and S5 IIX (each of that are suitable with the NA-S5II housing), the Sony a7R V (NA-A7RV), the Canon EOS R5 (NA-R5), and the Nikon Z9 (NA-Z9).

For cropped-sensor cameras, there was a housing for the OM System OM-1 (NA-OM1), fitted with Nauticam’s devoted flat port for the brand new M.Zuiko 90mm f/3.5 Macro IS PRO lens. The port permits entry to the lens’ focus restrict change, and the optionally available knob that mounts on the port’s barrel permits guide focusing by way of the lens’ focus ring. It additionally comes with a 67mm thread for attaching moist lenses and even a spotlight gentle mount close to the entrance of the port.


Nauticam NA-OM1 housing with the N85 Macro Port 120, optionally available focus knob, focus gentle mount, and moist macro lens connected


Nauticam additionally had on show their newly introduced housing for the Canon EOS R50, a compact APS-C mirrorless digicam. For this housing, Nauticam took a minimalistic strategy and went for a set flat port. Whereas the entry-level EOS R50 is an interchangeable-lens digicam, Nauticam sees the cheap RF-S 18–45mm package lens as the one logical selection for customers. By itself, the lens is right for fish portraits, however pair it with Nauticam’s wide-angle moist lenses WWL-1B or WWL-C and you may tackle bigger animals or underwater scenes. For macro, simply connect the CMC-1 or CMC-2. Since all these attachments might be modified underwater, the NA-R50 setup just isn’t solely compact, but in addition extraordinarily versatile.


The EOS R50 matches snugly in Nauticam’s NA-R50 housing


Final however not least, Nauticam had their full vary of modern moist optics on show. It was attention-grabbing to see a side-by-side comparability of Nauticam’s broad conversion lenses for full-frame cameras. Whereas the hefty WACP-1 is designed to maximise picture high quality within the heart and on the edges of the body, the WACP-C doesn’t provide fairly the identical optical efficiency however is significantly smaller and extra travel-friendly.


From left to proper and prime to backside: WWL-1B, MWL-1 with float collar, SMC-1, SMC-2, and CMC-2 mounted on a flip holder


 Left: WACP-1 mounted on the Panasonic S5 II/S5 IIX housing. Proper: WACP-C mounted on the housing for the Sony a7R V


The NA-A7R5 and WACP-C combo felt comparatively compact and simple to carry single handed


Lastly, I checked out a variety of optics that was of explicit curiosity to me as a close-focus wide-angle/wide-angle macro addict: the Prolonged Macro Broad Lens, or EMWL. Nauticam had on show the newest additions to this modular system. First, the 160-degree entrance optic is their widest goal lens thus far: It focuses proper on the lens whereas having a really small entrance lens diameter, which ought to will let you fill the body with a one-inch tall topic. (Hold an eye fixed out for my forthcoming DPG overview after I take a look at my EMWL with this new goal lens.)


The 160-degree entrance optic mounted on the angled relay lens


Second, their angled relay lens is an optionally available alternative for the straight 150mm relay lens. This makes it simpler to border a topic towards a water background whereas that topic is crawling on the underside—thrilling! Third, and lastly, Nauticam had a reverse 45-degree viewfinder on show. The concept right here is to invert the picture in an effort to use the EMWL with out a relay lens (which often corrects the inverted picture) and nonetheless work at a distance from the topic.


Nauticam had arrange a toy nudibranch in a water bucket, and you possibly can see the attitude produced by the lens by way of an Atomos Ninja V monitor mounted on the NA-R5 housing for the Canon EOS R5


Nauticam’s reverse 45-degree viewfinder to be used with the EMWL



My second cease was the Backscatter sales space, manned by proprietor Berkley White and Media Producer Robin Dodd. They had been displaying the corporate’s full vary of underwater imaging merchandise, which you possibly can buy in the course of the present by way of their Singapore reseller DiveSea.


I used to be handled to a tour of Backscatter’s product line by Media Producer Robin Dodd (left)


Getting plenty of curiosity was the lately launched Mini Flash 2 (MF-2) compact strobe, with its aiming gentle exhibiting precisely the place the strobe beam will land when snooting with the matching Optical Snoot (OS-1). You would play with the spherical and oval masks, and see how the sunshine falls round some plastic nudibranchs and frogfish.

The upgraded strobe can now be triggered remotely by one other Mini Flash 2 by the use of their small Mild Pipe accent. In the event you don’t need the primary strobe’s gentle to be seen, you may connect Backscatter’s infrared filter. The MF-2 is able to excessive velocity sync (HSS), permitting you to extend the shutter velocity past the digicam’s most flash synchronization velocity—with suitable housings/flash triggers. The strobe additionally helps TTL with Olympus/OM System cameras by way of the RC TTL protocol.


Two Backscatter Mini Flash 2 strobes with Optical Snoots (OS-1) mounted on Distant Lighting Muck Sticks


To make off-camera lighting simpler when diving on sand, Backscatter got here up with a easy however very helpful product: the Distant Lighting Muck Stick, which has a regular 1-inch ball mount and a sand anchor to stop the stick from falling over or rotating. It’s a sublime resolution for an issue going through those who love artistic muck diving images—and I instantly bought one to attempt in Sydney’s waters!

Subsequent to take a look at was the Backscatter Macro Broad 4300, a video gentle boasting a 4,300-lumen 85-degree broad beam in addition to a 1,400-lumen spot beam. The sunshine is suitable with the identical equipment because the Mini Flash, that means you may mount the Optical Snoot, and use its spherical and oval masks, and Backscatter’s Color Filter System.


Robin Dodd places on a light-weight present—courtesy of the Backscatter Macro Broad 4300 video gentle


Lastly, we appeared on the Backscatter equipment obtainable for GoPros, together with the FLIP filter system, moist lenses, and trays. On show was their FLIP10+ One Filter Kit, FLIP10+ Two Filter Kit, and FLIP10+ Pro Package, that are suitable with GoPro “waterproof instances” all the way in which from the HERO5 to the newest mannequin, the HERO11, in addition to Isotta’s GoPro housing. These filters are designed to carry again heat colours when taking pictures at totally different depths.

Backscatter additionally showcased their Wide Double Handle Tray for GoPro with optionally available Arch Plate, which doubles as a carry deal with and comes with further mounting factors for underwater lights. Usefully, this tray can work with compact or mirrorless cameras—all you want is a distinct tray mount.


Backscatter FLIP10+ filters mounted on housings by GoPro and Isotta (bottom-right nook)


Backscatter’s Broad Double Deal with Tray with Arch Plate



Subsequent to Backscatter was the AOI sales space, which had on show a variety of housings for Olympus/OM System cameras, but in addition moist optics, strobes, and lighting equipment, in addition to a variety of arms, clamps and different {hardware} to enrich their housings.

They had been showcasing housings for the next cameras: OM System OM-1, OM System OM-5/Olympus OM-D E-M5 III, Olympus OM-D E-M1 III, and Olympus PEN E-PL10/E-PL9. All of those housings have interchangeable ports (flat ports and dome ports are on provide), twin fiber-optic connectivity for strobes, and built-in vacuum verify and leak detection programs. All of them have a depth ranking of 45 meters (~150 ft), aside from the OM-5 III/E-M5 III housing, which is rated to 60 meters (~200 ft). The housings are suitable with the Olympus RC TTL protocol for strobe triggering—extra on that beneath.

AOI had a number of of their moist lenses on show: three close-up lenses (+12.5, +18.5 and +23.5 diopters), and two wide-angle 0.45x conversion lenses (UWL-09 and UWL-09 PRO), that are designed to offer a 28mm lens a 130-degree diagonal area of view.


AOI Managing Director Victor Tsui (left) and myself, subsequent to the corporate’s numerous merchandise


AOI had their UCS strobes on show. “UCS” stands for extremely compact strobe, and so they definitely have a small kind issue! I noticed each the Q1, AOI’s first strobe, which gained a Pink Dot Design Award in 2022, and the Q1RC, their latest strobe, which is progressively being rolled out worldwide.

Waterproof to 60 meters (~200 ft), the Q1RC strobe has a information variety of 22 and a coloration temperature of 5,600K, and encompasses a 700-lumen gentle of the identical coloration temperature with 4 energy ranges. It weighs solely 550 grams (beneath 20oz) with batteries included. With diffusers, the colour temperature reduces to five,000K and the beam angle is 85 levels (each vertical and horizontal). Impressively, at full energy, the strobe can hearth 1,500 instances and recycles in solely 0.85 seconds. AOI additionally sells a snoot suitable with the strobe.


AOI’s housing for the OM System OM-1 fitted with two AOI Q1RC strobes with diffusers


The primary distinction between the unique Q1 strobe and the brand new Q1RC is the latter’s assist for the Olympus/OM System RC TTL mode. This TTL protocol is supposed to be very correct and works for each on-camera strobes and off-camera strobes triggered by way of the on-board flash. To show the know-how, AOI had arrange two cameras, related by way of HDMI to a TV display screen, the place you possibly can take a look at the distant TTL strobe management and see the outcomes right away. This was enjoyable and academic, and guarantees to make artistic lighting simpler for macro photographers.

AOI Director of Advertising and marketing Nick Khoo, an expert underwater photographer, gave me a demo of a number of lighting setups. Apparently, the inner flash of the TG-6 might be used as a distant set off for the Q1RC, whereas not being seen on the picture. It seems {that a} very faint strobe gentle suffices to set off the distant strobe, which overpowers the digicam flash, making it invisible, as desired. This looks as if a really elegant, minimalistic setup, and I’d like to attempt it underwater sometime.


The inner flash of an Olympus Robust TG-6 triggering a Q1RC strobe wirelessly


The AOI Q1RC strobe getting used to create a backlighting impact on a plastic nudibranch



On the Seacam sales space, I met Seacam ambassador and reseller Imran Ahmad, who took me by way of the vary of merchandise on show. I had by no means picked up a Seacam housing earlier than, and so they had been a lot lighter than I had anticipated. Imran defined {that a} full Seacam rig—housing with exterior viewfinder, port, arms, clamps and strobes—is designed to be neutrally buoyant within the water. Further floats are not often wanted. One other attention-grabbing function of Seacam housings is the padded black cloth inside, which is ready to take up some water to restrict any affect to the electronics and optics ought to a gradual leak happen.


Imran reveals me the Seacam housing for the Nikon D6


The padded cloth inside a Seacam housing


The Seaflash 160Digital, Seacam’s flagship strobe, was proudly on show on the sales space. Boasting a 130-degree beam with a heat coloration temperature of 4,500K, the strobe encompasses a 250-lumen aiming gentle, helps excessive velocity sync (HSS), and delivers 250 flashes at most energy. It’s depth-rated to 80 meters (~260 ft), however this may be elevated to a powerful 200 meters (~650 ft). We additionally checked out Seacam’s flash arm system, their novel strategy to arms and clamps, the place the ball mounts don’t have any O-rings. In line with Imran, these usually are not solely light-weight however very sturdy, too.


The Seacam flash arm system


Seacam’s flip adapter and new Achromat 4.0 close-up lens


The light-weight snoot for the Seaflash 160D strobe


Scubalamp (SUPE)

My subsequent victims had been Steven Lim and Raymond Bao, the crew in command of Scubalamp, who had strobes, video lights and lighting equipment on show. We centered on the D-Pro strobe and OSD snoot.

The D-Professional replaces the D-Max as the highest Scubalamp strobe—whereas being smaller and lighter. The D-Professional strobe, which is depth-rated to 100 meters (~330 ft), provides a 150-degree beam, a coloration temperature of 4,800K, and 500 flashes at full energy. The strobe has a 500-lumen aiming gentle, positioned on the heart of the strobe beam. The strobe runs off three 18650 lithium batteries.


Raymond Bao, Steven Lim, and their flagship Scubalamp D-Professional strobe


Subsequent, we appeared on the Scubalamp Optical Shaping Gadget—or OSD. For sure, this snoot is suitable with the D-Professional and D-Max strobes, however utilizing optionally available adapters, it will also be fitted to a number of Ikelite, Inon, Sea&Sea, and Seacam strobes. What stood out to me was the built-in aperture, which lets you cut back the scale of the snoot beam by turning the crimson dial.


Snoot like a D-Professional: The Scubalamp Optical Shaping Gadget (OSD) with its huge crimson dial


Raymond Bao demonstrates the Scubalamp OSD’s adjustable snoot aperture



The ultimate imaging gear sales space on my ADEX tour was, the place I met with Pauline Wong, who was presenting a variety of imaging merchandise by Weefine.

First, we appeared on the Weefine Smart Housing, which is designed to accommodate most iOS and Android smartphones. It’s depth-rated to 80 meters (~260 ft) and has a built-in vacuum verify to assist guarantee the one that you love smartphone is protected. A significant problem of utilizing a smartphone underwater stems from the touchscreen interface, however the Good Housing overcomes this with a proprietary app (iOS or Android) that communicates with the housing by way of Bluetooth. Consequently, the housing options bodily buttons for the shutter launch and different controls, and doesn’t look so totally different from a typical point-and-shoot digicam housing! Weefine provides two variations of the housing: one with a depth sensor (WFH05), permitting you to retailer depth and placement information on the telephone, and one with out (WFH06).

Second, we checked out Weefine’s aluminum housing for the favored Olympus Robust TG-6 compact digicam. Just like the Good Housing, the WFH TG-6 is depth-rated to 80 meters (~260 ft) and comes with a built-in vacuum verify system for further peace of thoughts.


A spread of Weefine housings, strobes, video lights, and lighting equipment


Pauline Wong holding the Weefine Good Housing for smartphones


Weefine’s housing for the Olympus TG-6, full with WFA03 distant management (prime left), which permits the person to regulate the ability of two video lights


Weefine produces a variety of video lights, a lot of which had been on show. Most notable of those was the brand new WF075 Solar Flare 25000, which provides a 160-degree beam and a range-topping brightness of 25,000 lumens! Apparently, Weefine provides quite a lot of video lights that even have a strobe functionality. We appeared on the WF079 Smart Focus 1200, a small (148mm/6in lengthy) and light-weight (195g/6.9oz, together with battery) gentle that I discovered surprisingly versatile. It has a 1,200-lumen 60-degree beam, which positions it as a spotlight gentle, however it could additionally act like a strobe—triggered by way of a fiber-optic cable—for macro images functions. What’s extra, a tiny optionally available snoot permits the person to slim down the sunshine beam, whereas a multicolored filter accent might be mounted together with the snoot to increase your artistic potentialities even additional.

Weefine’s 1,800-lumen WF058 Ring Light 3000 was additionally on show. Designed to make topic illumination simpler at very shut working distances, the sunshine provides white, crimson and blue modes. Just like the Good Focus 1200, the sunshine has a fiber-optic port for flash triggering in strobe mode, providing you with a 3,000-lumen pop of sunshine.


The Good Focus 1200, mounted with the multicolored filter (left) and the snoot (proper). Within the background is the Ring Mild 3000


Lastly, there have been two of Weefine’s newest “common” strobes on show: the WFS05, launched in 2021, and the WFS07, unveiled only a few weeks earlier than ADEX. The WFS07 strobe provides 60Ws of flash energy and a 140-degree broad beam with a coloration temperature of 5,500K. Different claimed specs embrace a full energy recycle time of 0.9 seconds and greater than 600 flashes at full energy on a set of batteries. Nonetheless, probably the most attention-grabbing function of the WFS07 is its built-in 3,000-lumen video gentle, which has a coloration temperature of 5,000K and a coloration rendering index (CRI) of 90. Weefine says you’ll get 50 minutes of burn time at full brightness between prices.

Half II of this report focuses on the talks I attended and the dive operators I visited, along with revealing the winners of the ADEX Voice of the Ocean picture competitors.


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