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Aquatica AD100 Review Posted


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#1 james

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 11:01 AM

A thorough review and sample photos taken with the Aquatica AD100 has been posted:

http://wetpixel.com/...s/d100_handler/

The review is by professional photographer Mauricio Handler, and the reviewer also includes some sample photos. Of particular interest are the super-macro shots taken with the Nikkor 105mm and 2x teleconverter!!! On the D100, that equates to 300mm!!!!

There is also information in the review about use of this housing design for the Fuji S2pro.

A warm thank you to Aquatica and Mauricio for the photos and review.

James
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#2 wetpixel

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 05:13 PM

I have revised the review concerning information about D100 and TTL. Apologies for the temporary misinformation! There may be more to the story than we know. Perhaps the strobes just fire at full power when in TTL mode?
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#3 scorpio_fish

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:38 PM

The assumption is correct. If you set the strobes to TTL they will do a full dump.
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#4 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 01:41 AM

This looks like a good housing. A serious contender with the Subal and Light and Motion.

For people in the market for one of these housings it is important to think about backup and dealer support. All underwater systems can go wrong and in many ways how easily you can get your kit fixed is as important as how good it is in the first place.

That's why hardly anybody in the UK/Europe uses Ikelite flash guns because the customer support for them is so poor compared with North America.

Alex

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#5 wetpixel

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 08:20 AM

That's why hardly anybody in the UK/Europe uses Ikelite flash guns because the customer support for them is so poor compared with North America.

In hindsight this is really why I switched from UK Germany to Sea & Sea (although I'm not yet convinced that Sea & Sea has good service in the U.S.). Hopefully someone over there in Europa will buy my old housing.

Hey, Alex -- the Brits on the last trip I went on had good things to say about you! (John McIntyre, and Dive Magazine folk Simon Rogerson and Charlie Hood). :)
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#6 Ryan

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 09:47 PM

I am impressed by Mauricio's pictures, they are definately some of the best I have seen (I liked some of Berkely's on Backscatter as well) from this camera. The sun rays are really, really nice.

The 2x teleconverter shows amazing detail on the macros, and probably the best thing about the aquatica is the price.

From the stuff I have seen so far, I am leaning toward a Canon, after all its my last name. That being said, a couple of nice Nikon galleries could swing me (along with the Titan D100).

Does Mauricio post here? I would really like to hear more about the weaknesses he found...

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#7 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 02:04 AM

Eric, I checked out your '03 shark trip galleries yesterday. Stunning stuff. The Mokarron hammerhead shots are particularly impressive. I also enjoyed seeing the people pix - especially because I know the Brit subject matter.

I agree with Ryan that the D100 shots are nice, but I disagree with Ryan about the sunrays. As a D100 owner I am worried by how poorly the camera has dealt with the sun, producing large white sunbursts/sun spots (both in my own tests and in Mauricio's pix). I do realise that the medusae were shot in shallow water, which always makes it difficult to keep the sun spot small (because you are closer to the surface). A smaller aperture would also have helped to make the sun smaller (the info does not say what aperture was used) plus possibly a slight underexposure of the background.

I am sure that in Berkley White's D100 article at Backscatter.com he had some sun burst shots with better results - but I can't find them now.

But I am concerned that this is a difference between film and CCD - in they way that each respond to the massive overexposure caused by including the sun in a scene.

I do think that sun spot size is also a result of the 1.5 times reduction in lens coverage with the smaller (than film) chips in the D1, D100 and S2. This means that the sun will always be bigger in the frame for any given lens that it would be on 35mm film.

I guess I will know the answer to all this when I finally get my D100 into tropical water (Grand Cayman) in April and can see how it performs with shots I have taken many times on film.

My tests with backgrounds in UK have been inconclusive (see image below). Viz has been about 1 metre so I have had to do everything just below the surface. This shot below is the full image taken with D100 and 16mm at about 1 foot (30cm) below the surface (f14 @ 1/1/250th - no exposure compensation Aperture Priority - Matrix metering). I think that the sun spot is reasonably controlled here - but I still find it a bit large and unsightly. I think that I have got away with it to some extent because part of the sun is obscured by the edge of Snell's window.

I am interested to hear how others have been getting on with sun bursts? Looking through various people's online galleries shots with the sun in are quite rare.

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#8 yahsemtough

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 05:19 AM

Ryan email him with any questions he was extremely helpful when I had some questions on his shooting of the A5000.
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#9 Ryan

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 05:14 PM

The Sunray comment is relative. I am coming from the side of Olympus digicams, which do a really crappy job with them. All you get are color bands. Film is probably still the best for freezing sun rays, but it is ok to dream, right?

I have seen some promise from D60's, and will be trying a 5050 next week (Laz caught some with his turtle shots).

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#10 Kasey

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 02:42 PM

Just ordered my Aquatica housing!!!!

Noone noticed what I thought was the most exciting thing about the Aquatica - Mauricio suggest that the housing will be adaptable to the S2 with a different back. Sounds like it may adapt to other N80 based cameras as well - how cool would that be!!! Could it be true - are the shutter and control knobs on the S2 and D100 in the same place - what about the 14N? Future iterations of the N80 based digital cams may retain enough characteristics to be used in the housing. Aquatica is the first manufacturer to even discuss this possibility! Good enough sell for me. Even if it doesn't work out that way - I'm saving $1500 off the Subal I was about to order, to house a camera with a 1-2 yr life span. I'll take it!

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#11 james

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 02:49 PM

Hi Kasey,

Yes, it's official - Aquatica is also going to use this housing for the Fuji S2pro.

There are slight differences between the S2pro and the D100 but they make a difference. The S2pro has some extra "meat" under the lens mount. It is also almost EXACTLY based on the N80. I have held both cameras. Actually, I've held all THREE cameras - but not the fourth - the "Dark Horse" the 14n

The D100 buttons may be in slightly different locations than the S2 - I have never done a "housing to housing" comparison - although I'd like to.

Glad to hear you've ordered one! I'm sure we will have some more information from Aquatica that we can post on Wetpixel soon.

Cheers
James
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Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#12 handlerphoto

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 02:56 PM

Hi to all.
It is nice to finally begin posting on this site.
there is much to talk about.
I hope that I can contribute to all both technically as well as artistically.
These are exciting times in underwater photography.
I would like to congratulate the team at wetpixels for such an outstanding
up to date site!.
Alright.......lets do it!

Mauricio Handler
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#13 doubleblue

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 06:02 PM

Hi Folks,

I really like the AD100 so far but I am having trouble getting it to fire with an Ike dual cord (D125 strobes).

Is this a glitch in the D100? Is there a way around this as I did not have Aquatica put dual sync sockets on my housing.

I have heard the Nikon suggests that a dual cord not be used with a D100 but I didn't hear it wouldn't allow me to fire in manual.

Any feedback appreciated.

Other than that, the AD100 is accepting my old ports and all the functions are working. Happily shooting UW digital with a smooth transition.

Best,

Tim
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#14 james

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 05:52 PM

There is a similar thread to this running in the DSLR forum now Doubleblue. You will need to make your TTL cord into a "manual" cord by covering some of the contacts on the hotshoe.

Check the forum posts for the last week for details - it was posted by Alex Mustard.

HTH
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#15 handlerphoto

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 06:05 AM

Hi,
I just spoke to Tim regarding his dual sync problem with the AD100.
I shoot with a dual TTl bulkhead and wirth regular Ike to Nik TTl cables. I do not cover the contacts and both fire perfectly, on manual mode only of course.
I think that Tims problem may be a bad double TTL ike cord as it seem to work with single strobe.

All the best.

Mauricio
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#16 ikelite

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 11:44 AM

Answer depends on how the hot shoe in the housing is wired. With our new Manual Controller for example, it makes no difference because it only connects the sync circuit. When all else fails see following URL:

http://www.ikelite.c...c_cord_d1x.html