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Member Since 28 Jun 2005
Offline Last Active Dec 23 2011 10:49 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Sensor cleaning

06 December 2011 - 09:34 AM

A really easy way to clean sensors, assuming you have some kind of mirror lock up, is with clean air under light (light!) pressure. You can usually blow the sensor clean before needing to try using isopropyl. Find a scuba tank and add a small nozzle to it to act as a blower, don't use full pressure obviously since you might damage the sensor, but something modulated down works fairly well.


In Topic: Discussion about 8" dome of ikelite DSLR housing

28 November 2011 - 08:04 AM

I have used both the 2-lock and 4-lock system with the Ike 8" dome. I was initially worried about the integrity of the system but once you get the housing completely submergered the dome-housing seal is generally fairly good. I've also used it snorkeling and chasing whale sharks without problem, and on long surface kicks from shore entries. I have twice had water drops get into the dome, both times during safety stops while hanging at ~15ft without any obvious reason; drops just started to enter the dome as I watched. I have to assume that either the dome was not seated 100% correctly (even though this was the end of the dive and there had been no drops earlier during the dive) or something like fin wash or contact (from me or a buddy) caused the problem. I now pray slightly each time I use it but it has not yet flooded, I just assume that it may happpen one unhappy day.

In Topic: Ultimate Indonesia 2011 official trip thread

23 November 2011 - 07:44 AM

Some stunning and wonderful images, looks like everyone had a great trip.

In Topic: AARGH or Insert Curse Word Here

22 November 2011 - 12:18 PM

This has been a touchy subject since we started with digital. I agree with Alex, you need to see the RAW files first to eliminate anyone who didn't follow the rules and determine who is eligible for the final judging. One reason I don't enter any of these contests anymore because it's impossible to know exactly what manipulation will fall within the rules.

Taking the current LAUPS General Rules for manipulation (for monthly comps):

"Complex manipulations requiring masks, advanced elements like the healing tool or clone tool, and precise brushes are not allowed. Burning simple backscatter out of a black background with a coarse brush is allowable; precisely healing backscatter in a complex background is not."

One person's precison on healing backscatter might be far better than someone else's so they don't think it's a problem. Also, would this would cover fixing of sensor dust problems, I don't know but that's not backscatter, right?

If I use a complex filter such as Viveza or Noiseware is that allowed, no masks, very simple slider controls? What about creating a digital version of a "contrast mask", it's just three or four simple steps in Photoshop and not a mask but a layer, so the old "film" phrase for it suggests it wouldn't be allowed, but I call/think of these as "contrast layers" myself.

My biggest problem is going from RAW to a final JPG file to submit or use for printing. You have to do all kinds of adjustment layers after dealing with the RAW conversion to get the "look" you want and I assume if it's too far from the RAW file (and I do not know how to determine if I've reach the "too far" point) it'll be disqualified. I know my final images from a RAW file are nothing close to the RAW file, same with the jpg files that my camera produces. Just changing the light temp a few 100 Kelvin in RAW can have a big effect on the final output but sometimes that makes things work well. Adding saturation, vividness, brightness, hue, contrast and so on are all required to post-process RAW but when do these sucessive steps become excessive and break the competition rules?

It really needs to be up to each competion judging board to set their rules, convey them as well as possible, and then review RAW files to decide which are eligible ( say the top 15-20 in each category).

One possible idea, have a post-mortem to show why certain entries were discounted (although I can see other problems with that such as folks getting upset with being exposed [sorry, had to say it :wacko: ] or having winning entries from other competitions disqualified). Maybe you can create an examples page to show approximately were you draw the line - a lot of work of course but then it gives people an idea of what is considered acceptable (and, of course, the judge's have the final say).


In Topic: Dioptre recommendations for Nikon 105mm Macro

21 April 2011 - 07:41 AM

The T3/T4 Nikon diopters (no longer made but available in places) are 52mm which fit the Nik 105 AF. The T5/T6 are 62mm and can be used with adapter rings. A wet diopter that you can add as needed in front of the port is a good solution as well (as mentioned already).