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John Bantin

Member Since 24 Mar 2005
Offline Last Active Feb 27 2017 11:54 PM

#381827 Vindication!

Posted by John Bantin on 27 February 2017 - 11:52 PM

Around ten years ago I posted on these forums extolling the virtues of vacuum leak tests. At that time only one manufacturer offered that feature (Hugyfot) and I attracted the ire of those who owned housings from different manufacturers, insisting their housings didn't leak so didn't need them.

It got nasty when I was accused of being in the pay of Hugyfot, or at least getting a housing for no charge. It even resulted with me sending copies of the invoice for my housing to an administrator here. Now, I'm not saying that no others have been sponsored with free housings from other manufacturers (selling them afterwards for a tidy profit) but now that vacuum leak tests have become appreciated and are installed on many different makes of housing so that they are almost commonplace, it would have been nice to have got an apology!

#381406 Stolen Nauticam Housings - Buyer Beware

Posted by John Bantin on 10 February 2017 - 11:22 PM

Stolen from Ocean Leisure (London):
Nauticam underwater housings
NA-RX 100IV Serial No: A118003
NA-RX 100V Pro Package Serial No: A237881
If you are offered these for sale (without packaging),
please contact Ocean Leisure +44 (0)20943 5050/1
email: info@oceanleisure.com
Let's catch the thieves.


#367666 Pictures are now devalued.

Posted by John Bantin on 29 November 2015 - 01:05 PM

Between 1970 and 1992 I turned over around $3million in fees for commissioned photographs but during that time I rarely got much of a fee for a picture that already existed. I got paid for creating the picture that previously had not existed. The advent of computer-retouching meant that me skills were no longer needed and I went into the diving industry and used my photographs to support my writing. Despite retiring from actively being a diving journalist I still get requests to use my pictures in return for a credit only but feel that at my time of life a photo credit doesn't contribute to my pension! Since then, it has become so easy to get good pictures underwater that very few are 'special'. In recent years, even if I was the first to shoot some subject, very soon the world and his wife were doing the same. So the only use I can see for my pictures now is to illustrate any books I choose to author - and the writing had better be top quality!

So enjoy taking pictures but consider yourself the only client. You can give away their usage but remember, as NYC photographer Lou Long would have said, "If it's free, it ain't worth nuthin', kid!"

#337910 Strobe "Shutter speed"

Posted by John Bantin on 08 October 2013 - 10:02 AM

The flash makes a burst of light. Its duration is dependent upon the size of the flashtube and the power output of the flash. For example, I have a studio flash at full-power (2000j) that has a long duration of about 1/150 sec. The duration of a little flashtube at low power is very fast indeed. So as long as the pulse of light can fit into the time the camera shutter is open, it will be effective. I suggest it was so dark that the ambient light on the tentacles was so little as to be negliable. (By the way, Bob, I was just thinking I should get rid of my Subtronic strobes too - if they still work!)

#337408 New Housing "Airlock" Vacuum from Backscatter

Posted by John Bantin on 24 September 2013 - 02:59 AM


#334087 New Housing "Airlock" Vacuum from Backscatter

Posted by John Bantin on 10 July 2013 - 03:43 AM

When I first saw an SPG I thought it a good idea and got one - despite those who didn't have them telling me it could explode and kill me.

When I first saw an ABLJ (the original equivalent of a BC)  I thought it a good idea and got one - despite those who didn't have them telling me it could send me hurtling to the surface with my lungs hanging out of my nose.

When I first saw a diving computer I thought it a good idea and got one - despite those who didn't have them telling me it could kill me and that I should use tables.

When I first saw a drysuit I thought it a good idea and got one - despite those who didn't have one telling me it could leave me inverted and drowned.

When I first saw a BC and thought it a good idea and I got one - despite those who didn't have them telling me BCs could leave an unconscious diver floating face-down at the surface.


Why do divers hate ideas that are obviously good? You will ALL be using vacuum leak tests (complete with flashing green lights) within a decade, apart from the dinosaurs among you!

#332317 diving with a camera

Posted by John Bantin on 03 June 2013 - 09:57 AM

As far as air consumption goes, after 20 years of making thousands of dives with a camera, I know that my air consumption far exceeds those few times that I dive without one. I put this down to the brainpower needed and the oxygen metabolised whilst thinking about the picture and readjusting fine pitched buoyancy.

#332277 Great Hammerhead Dive

Posted by John Bantin on 02 June 2013 - 11:56 AM

How it's done. JB with Hugyfot photographed by Bob Semple. (Thanks Bob.) Frazier Nivens with the Epic, Charlie F. chumming by scraping a dead barracuda!

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#331511 Spare Body or not

Posted by John Bantin on 17 May 2013 - 10:07 AM

Get a spare body but if you flood the first, I can tell you that you won't want to risk the second!

#330697 5D Mark III Nauticam or Aquatica?

Posted by John Bantin on 01 May 2013 - 11:16 PM

Jean, I know about that... I bought one for the safety of my cameras and lenses during tests. :) I was referring to 2 extension rings combined, which as far as I know, isn't possible with Aquatica.

 Fit a vacuum leak test, apply the pump and everything is locked on any housing. Rely of physics not mechanics!

#330588 Boat Water Entry with Camera Gear Methods

Posted by John Bantin on 30 April 2013 - 06:38 AM

I am well known for my with-camera rig entry. I put the camera into the water and follow it in head-first. Works for up to 2ft of free-board.

#330450 Vacuum Leak Test Update

Posted by John Bantin on 28 April 2013 - 06:08 AM


that is one reason to NOT open the housing on the boat.



After a few days, my camera battery needs charging. It's a bit expensive to ask the captain to put into land to do that!  :)

#330441 Vacuum Leak Test Update

Posted by John Bantin on 28 April 2013 - 04:23 AM

People who live in the UK are very familiar with low-pressure conditions and precipitation.

#329511 What's wrong with harassment?

Posted by John Bantin on 10 April 2013 - 10:20 AM

Was that the fish version of Pavlov's dogs :-)

Probably correct - but it lived a long life! Like the Napolean wrasses at Ras Mohammed that, when they died, people said they got cancer from the food divers had been giving them. When I researched an article about it, David Frape, the distinguished animal nutritionist, pointed out that they had lived much longer than normal because they were so well-fed and they got cancer because that's what happens when you get very old.

It's never as simple as we think and we should not ascribe human characteristics and feelings to other species of animal!

#329259 Fastest fins for sailfish

Posted by John Bantin on 06 April 2013 - 11:04 AM

If you want to swim fast and maintain that speed, I recommend one of these:

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