Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Aquatica D100 Housing


  • Please log in to reply
51 replies to this topic

#1 Kasey

Kasey

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 709 posts
  • Location:USVI

Posted 19 March 2003 - 02:33 PM

Both my D100 and Aquatica housing delivered today. I haven't had the opportunity to put either though its paces, but I'm charging my batteries right now.

Holding the D100 for the 1st time, I was impressed by the physical design of the camera. A truly beautiful tool. Its body doesn't have the heft of the E-20 I've been shooting,though, and feels a bit plasticy.

The Aquatica housing is way cool. Rigging the base and handles, I was impressed by their substance - not the flimsy Titan handles I've been whining about. Nice surface finish as well, but I'm not sure how well it will hold up - I've always preferred polished housings.

Mating surfaces seem solid - nice bayonet mounts for the ports. Very nice overall size and weight.

Mounting of the camera is the easiest Ive ever seen - even for the 1st time. Screw in the tripod mount and everything else just lines up.

Brilliant simplicity! More in the next few days...
Seacam F100;D2x; 60mm;105mm;16mm;17-35; 10.5mm;12-24mm
Sea & Sea strobes
www.underthecaribbean.com

#2 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9968 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 19 March 2003 - 05:18 PM

Woohoo! Welcome to the "year of the digital slr" Kasey! We're all looking forward to seeing some shots.

Sincerely,
James Wiseman
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#3 Kasey

Kasey

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 709 posts
  • Location:USVI

Posted 22 March 2003 - 03:33 AM

First dive was last night - I loved it. The focus ability of this D100 blows away my E-20. The camera is FAR less succesptible to blowouts - so I really didn't miss the ROC system. Battery life seems to be at least 10X as long as my E-20 with 1800MA nimh. I hate to say it, but James was right.

The camera is FAST. I don't know how it compares in this regard to the S2 or Canon, but I was able to shoot shoot shoot and only had to wait for the buffer once in 2 dives.

I shot wide angle in the late evening, and was impressed at how the camera handled the dark blue water - very little noise. The following shot was taken with the 16mm Nikon lens.

One downside - The raw images processed through Adobe's PS plugin seemed exceptionally soft - I thought all my shots were out of focus! I have to re-adjust to depth of field issues - my E-20 got nearly infinite depth at F5.6.

One other cool thing is that iphoto downloads thumbnails from the camera so I can review my pics before converting from raw - do all cameras embed a small jpeg in the raw. I never tried this with my E-20, but I don't think it would work.

Any Bids on an E-20/Titan?!?
Seacam F100;D2x; 60mm;105mm;16mm;17-35; 10.5mm;12-24mm
Sea & Sea strobes
www.underthecaribbean.com

#4 davephdv

davephdv

    Doc Eyeballs

  • Senior Moderator
  • 2275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Goleta CA

Posted 22 March 2003 - 02:17 PM

What lens and diameter dome port? Have you tried the 60 mm lens yet? I could have made all the same comments on how much better the D100 is than the 5000. As far as the autofocus I don't notice any difference with it compared to the F100 I use to shoot with. I know there is some but practically speaking I don't see it. As far as the battery; I once left mine in so long that I forgot you had to recharge it.
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

Life is a beach and then you dive.

My Website


#5 Kasey

Kasey

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 709 posts
  • Location:USVI

Posted 22 March 2003 - 03:16 PM

This was shot using the 16mm fisheye and 8" dome port. The 60mm is backordered for a few more weeks. I did try the 105 last night but set the lens up incorrectly so I really can't comment - only that the lens is a bit too telephoto for my taste. 60mm should be just right.
Seacam F100;D2x; 60mm;105mm;16mm;17-35; 10.5mm;12-24mm
Sea & Sea strobes
www.underthecaribbean.com

#6 Kasey

Kasey

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 709 posts
  • Location:USVI

Posted 23 March 2003 - 04:47 PM

I love this camera! I know James - you've been trying to tell me...
Seacam F100;D2x; 60mm;105mm;16mm;17-35; 10.5mm;12-24mm
Sea & Sea strobes
www.underthecaribbean.com

#7 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9968 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 23 March 2003 - 06:43 PM

Hi Kasey,

No need to thank me, I mean it. I'm glad you like your new setup!

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#8 davephdv

davephdv

    Doc Eyeballs

  • Senior Moderator
  • 2275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Goleta CA

Posted 23 March 2003 - 08:01 PM

Kasey, your going to love the 60 mm lens.
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

Life is a beach and then you dive.

My Website


#9 Kasey

Kasey

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 709 posts
  • Location:USVI

Posted 25 March 2003 - 02:52 AM

Please check out my printing issues with files from the new camera. I posted in the post-processing forum. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Seacam F100;D2x; 60mm;105mm;16mm;17-35; 10.5mm;12-24mm
Sea & Sea strobes
www.underthecaribbean.com

#10 Ryan

Ryan

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Lauderdale, FL

Posted 26 March 2003 - 10:21 AM

Kasey,

Are you still using your YS-120's? How do you feel about the limited manual control they offer?

I would think going from 12 power settings in ROC to 2 with no TTL would be tough...

founder of Reef Photo & Video
manufacturer of Zen Domes

distributor of Nauticam in the Americas

 

n2theblue at reefphoto.com


#11 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9968 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 26 March 2003 - 12:19 PM

I shoot manual strobes for wideangle and find that I always use full or 1/2 power. If it's a shiny school of jacks, I might use 1/8th power.

For macro, a manual controller might be necessary, but it's hard to say. At f22, and Ike DS125 or YS120 will want to almost fire a full dump at 18 inches. So full or 1/2 power may be plenty of adjustment latitude. That is a one stop difference. Half stop increments might be nice but not necessary.

Remember, the D100 goes to f32 when using the 60mm lens - whereas the E20 won't go to that high of an f-stop...

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#12 craig

craig

    Full Moon Rising

  • Super Mod
  • 2826 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 26 March 2003 - 01:28 PM

On my last trip, my first with the D100 and macro, I shot almost all macro on full power and f22 - f32. I used dual Inon Z220's with the 1/2 stop diffusers. As I learn how to actually shoot macro, I expect I'll want to uses apertures more open than f22 at times, and I'd find the lack of manual strobe control range pretty limiting. I'd think 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 would be the minimum you'd like to have.

Before the trip I was very concerned that the 105mm would be too long. I tested it with a dome rather than a flat port, but I thought the 105 was great with the D100, so if you haven't tried the combination underwater you should consider it. The wetpixel review of this housing was done using the 105 with a flat port AND a 2x teleconverter. I will continue to use the 60mm with a dome for larger stuff but I don't find it powerful enough for macro.
I love it when a plan comes together.
- Col. John "Hannibal" Smith

------
Nikon, Seatool, Nexus, Inon
My Galleries

#13 Kasey

Kasey

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 709 posts
  • Location:USVI

Posted 26 March 2003 - 03:58 PM

Ryan -
I do miss the adjustable strobe control and being able to easily bracket using strobe power. The D100 allows greater lattitude on both end of optimal exposure, though, and that has made the ROC less critical. The camera handles highlights far better, and gives far less visible noise in the shadows, so optimal exposure is not as critical as it was with the E20.

I''ve been shooting 2 YS120s - and I use combos of full and 1/2 power with and without diffusers (mostly with). ROC would be really nice, but I hated the light and motion handles as strobe bases - they were designed for 1/2 lb. video light heads - not 8lb strobes. Mine failed repeatedly. LMI must acknowledge this problem and design appropriate handles for their still housings. This, and the delayed release, were the reasons I chose to forego the Titan D100 in favor of the Aquatica.

The fit and finish of my Titan were superior to this housing, but the strobe handles were awful.

As far as lens choice - I felt I was pushed too far away with the 105, and I really look forward to the 60mm. Anyone know a company with that lens in stock?
Seacam F100;D2x; 60mm;105mm;16mm;17-35; 10.5mm;12-24mm
Sea & Sea strobes
www.underthecaribbean.com

#14 Craig Ruaux

Craig Ruaux

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 788 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon, USA

Posted 26 March 2003 - 04:41 PM

  Anyone know a company with that lens in stock?

KEH lists it as available new:

KEH new AF Nikkor lenses
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
D300, D200, D70, 12-24 f4 AFS DX, 60mm f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 AF-S VR, 105 f2.8 AF-S VR, Tokina Wunderlens.

Photo galleries @ Ruaux.net

#15 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8366 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:La Maddalena

Posted 27 March 2003 - 05:47 AM

Hey guys,

I am a big fan of using DTTL for macro with my SB80DX. The pool tests I posted recently showed that DTTL reliably quenched the flash exposure over a range of apertures from f4 uptp f32 from the same shooting distance.

Click here to see the DTTL tests

This setup means I have more time to think about composition and how I want to control depth of field to enhance the image. In otherwords it gives me more time for my photography (... and I need all the time I can get!) rather than technical issues.

For me this setup was very inexpensive to achieve because I already had an old flash housing, and traded in my old SB28 plus a bit of money for the SB80DX. Old tubular flash housings are now very cheap on the 2nd hand market. They were popular about 10 years ago for 35 mm macro photography but are now a bit out of fashion (in the UK, anyway) because everyone is using ring or quad flashes for macro.

So while I agree that manual is easy for the D100 and macro, DTTL is easier! Are S2 users shooting manual flash for macro?

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (waiting for housing).


#16 marriard

marriard

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 295 posts
  • Location:Somewhere with Diving, Asia-Pacific

Posted 27 March 2003 - 05:58 AM

Hey guys,

I am a big fan of using DTTL for macro with my SB80DX. The pool tests I posted recently showed that DTTL reliably quenched the flash exposure over a range of apertures from f4 uptp f32 from the same shooting distance.

Click here to see the DTTL tests

This setup means I have more time to think about composition and how I want to control depth of field to enhance the image. In otherwords it gives me more time for my photography (... and I need all the time I can get!) rather than technical issues.

For me this setup was very inexpensive to achieve because I already had an old flash housing, and traded in my old SB28 plus a bit of money for the SB80DX. Old tubular flash housings are now very cheap on the 2nd hand market. They were popular about 10 years ago for 35 mm macro photography but are now a bit out of fashion (in the UK, anyway) because everyone is using ring or quad flashes for macro.

So while I agree that manual is easy for the D100 and macro, DTTL is easier! Are S2 users shooting manual flash for macro?

Alex

As an S2 owner I rarely use TTL for anything - and TTL does work well on the S2. Occasionaly if I am having difficulty with a lighting situation with a shot I really want, I will also take a TTL shot, just as a backup to see what the camera would do. Worth wasting a shot on TTL for that. Even then I'll only have one strobe on TTL, not both.

However this is the same as with film - I left using TTL a long time ago. You as a photographer need to understand lighting and lighting intensity. You need to be able to paint with light. TTL doesn't give you this.

[[Sopabox on]]

I started to view TTL the same way people view the Program/Auto mode. You should control the camera, not the other way around. Anything I let the camera decide for itself, is one more thing I am not controlling. The further away from the 'I am a monkey pushing a button' photographer I am, the closer to art I get, and the further from 'snapshots' I achieve.

[[Soapbox off]]

My opinion only. I have TTL - but I don't NEED (or use) TTL

Marriard

#17 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9968 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 27 March 2003 - 06:16 AM

Up until my last trip I used TTL exclusively for all my macro shots and found that it gave me reliably good exposures. I find it a lot easier to use than manual flash.

I haven't yet gotten a shot this way where I said to myself "Boy, I sure wish I had shot that in manual flash" but that's because I have been using the 60mm as opposed to a "super macro" lens. I'm sure that day will come though. I find that I am much happier with my wideangle shots now that I am shooting manual flash for all of my wideangle.

Recently, I shot in full power for fish portraits - when I heard my strobes beeping - indicating they were firing a full dump. I can see firing some manual flash for macro, but that might just mean turning my left strobe from TTL to 1/2 power.

HTH
James Wiseman
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#18 Kasey

Kasey

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 709 posts
  • Location:USVI

Posted 06 April 2003 - 02:46 AM

I must apologize not posting more samples. This camera has been a joy to shoot, and I've been in the water with it as much as possible. Here is an example of the macro capability. I used a 105mm plus kenko 2X teleconverter to capture this image. This is the full frame - no cropping. I was amazed at the depth and detail that I couldn't see with the naked eye.
Seacam F100;D2x; 60mm;105mm;16mm;17-35; 10.5mm;12-24mm
Sea & Sea strobes
www.underthecaribbean.com

#19 craig

craig

    Full Moon Rising

  • Super Mod
  • 2826 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 06 April 2003 - 05:29 AM

How did you feel about the 105 with the 2x? That's the same setup M. Handler used in the review and I'm curious how difficult it was to compose with. It offers an apparent magnification of 3:1! Did you try the 105 alone?
I love it when a plan comes together.
- Col. John "Hannibal" Smith

------
Nikon, Seatool, Nexus, Inon
My Galleries

#20 davephdv

davephdv

    Doc Eyeballs

  • Senior Moderator
  • 2275 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Goleta CA

Posted 06 April 2003 - 12:50 PM

How difficult was it to focus with the 2x tele-converter? How difficult was it to get a proper exposure? I bought the same Kenko 2x converter some time ago intending to use it the same way. But I found that in land tests it was difficult to use and hence have never tried to use it UW.

Indeed I find the 105 somewhat limiting and always seem to gravitate back to the 60 mm lens. I find the 105 great for small or skittish subjects, but that you have a lot of trouble if you want to shoot anything larger. To be specific I find when I go for the long focal length or high mag. that it is too restricted in the range of subjects for my type of shooting. I've considered trying the 70 to 180 macro lens to give me more flexibility.
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

Life is a beach and then you dive.

My Website