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cvitter

Member Since 18 Dec 2003
Offline Last Active Apr 09 2009 12:17 PM
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Topics I've Started

RSS News Reader/Aggregator

21 March 2005 - 06:21 AM

I have not been able to keep up with Wetpixel lately due to work and life constraints but the new design is quite cool. The feature I really like are the RSS feeds which help me keep up with the latest headlines on the site.

Anyway, if any of you other users are looking for a simple, free RSS Reader application I thought I might plug one that I just released called cRSSReader 2.0. It is free and has no adware/spyware in it as it is something I do just for fun. It will run on Win 2000/XP (98 and ME as well) if you have the .Net Framework v1.1 installed.

You can download the application from my site at:
http://www.vitter.com/crssreader

Ikelite 6870.1 (300D) Housing First Impressions

06 January 2005 - 12:46 PM

My family and I just got back from our holiday trip to Florida. Although the weather was hardly cooperative I did get a few chances to finally shoot underwater with my new Ikelite 6870.1 housing for the Digital Rebel. While there have been several good reviews of the Ikelite housing I thought I would throw my two cents in and give some first impressions of the housing.

First off, assembling the housing and installing the camera into the housing could not be much easier. The instructions provided with the housing and port are not the best but are more than sufficient to get started. Upon receiving the housing and port I sat down, read through the instructions (much to my wife’s surprise) and put everything together except for the camera. I must say that I love the design of rear o-ring and latches. Once everything is closed up tight inspecting the o-ring through the housing is a breeze and quite a confidence builder. I am less of a fan of the lens port. Although the two latches snap into place and you can check the o-ring through the housing, it doesn’t quite leave me with the same feeling of confidence as the housing’s rear latching system. That said, the port mounting system obviously works as I haven’t flooded the housing yet!

After installing the camera into the housing for the first time I impressed by the access to the camera’s controls afforded by the Ikelite housing. During my dry testing and in the water I found that I was able to use all of the Digital Rebel’s controls that I normally use on land with ease, even while wearing 2mm gloves. There are two items related to the Ikelite controls that did take some time for me to get used to when installing the camera and while shooting.

First, when installing the camera into the housing you must move the AE Lock control down into the ready position before latching the housing. Once you latch the housing the control will not move down as the rear of the housing will block its movement. Since I do not use AE Lock on any regular basis this was not a problem for me. As an alternative you could use the rear mounted AE/FE Lock control if you forget to properly position the AE Lock control before closing the housing.

Second, the Shutter Release control takes some practice to get comfortable with its use. I found the Shutter Release control very well placed in relation to the stock Ikelite handles. The problem I encountered was that it was quite easy to trigger the shutter due to the additional leverage provided by the Shutter Release control. It took some practice to learn to feel the halfway point on the release to activate the auto focus.

The housing with handles, port, and camera are quite large and not a ton of fun to haul around on land (please excuse the pun). I threw in the supplied lead weight uncertain of the camera’s buoyancy without strobes and the housing was just slightly negative in the ocean (which is the way I like it). The housing does have a tendency to try and turn port up (using a 5503 dome port) but not enough to cause any strain on your forearms. Overall, the housing handles really well underwater and I found it pleasantly easy to use both while snorkeling and while diving in the strong currents of West Palm Beach.

As a former Sea & Sea MMII-EX user I do miss having a large viewfinder to compose pictures. The Ikelite housing does a good job at making the full Rebel viewfinder available to you while diving but it isn’t perfect. I found it tough at times to view exposure information at the bottom of the viewfinder and found myself having to reposition the housing from time to time. Overall though using the viewfinder through the housing is not too difficult.

Unfortunately the weather gods were not really in my favor during our trip. I was scheduled to go out five days with Pura Vida in West Palm Beach but constant 15 – 20 knot winds and seas over 6 foot kept their boat tied up to the dock the entire trip. Fortunately this gave me the opportunity to go out on three manatee snorkeling trips with Jim Abernethy’s dive operation and one dive trip with them (in 6-7 foot seas). I even had the pleasure of diving with Jim Abernethy in the flesh and after we completed our two dives Jim took the time to show me some of his very cool shark and dolphin videos. Jim is a great person to dive and his operation and personnel are top notch.

Here are a couple of images shot with the Ikelite housing in the pool, snorkeling, and diving off of West Palm Beach…

Christmas Time In Florida

27 December 2004 - 05:52 AM

My wife, daughter and I traveled down to Florida for Christmas and New Years to visit with family and go diving after a 1 year hiatus (due to baby). I was particularly excited because I just got a housing for my digital Rebel and cannot wait to get in the water...

So here we are in Florida, all ready to go diving, and winds are 15+ kts with waves up to 10 feet perdicted at least through the end of the week. Well, at least the hotel has a swimming pool and Florida is warmer than Virginia...

:>

Anyway, here is one of my first pictures with the Ikelite housing and 300D.

Hope everyone is having a great holiday.

Craig

Packing a Housing for Carryon Travel (?)

10 December 2004 - 10:23 AM

Having been able to get my hands on an Ikelite housing for my 300D I am now trying to figure out the best way to get from here (Virginia) to Florida (West Palm Beach) in two weeks.

My plan right now is to pack the housing, port, camera and misc. small supplies into my Lowepro Nova 4 bag. From my testing the housing and port fit nicely into the main section of the bag with one divider separating the two. This does not leave room for anything else large (like the camera) in the bag though.

So, my question is, do any of you put your body in the housing when traveling? The manual suggests not shipping the camera inside the housing but I think that the housing/camera wouldn't be in much danger traveling carryon inside a heavily padded camera bag.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Craig

Help Finding Ikelite 300D Housing

07 December 2004 - 03:03 PM

I am finally ready to buy the Ikelite 300D housing (i.e. I can afford it and have permission from my wife) but can't find one in stock anywhere. I have gone to all of the sources I know of (including sponsors of this site) but can't find anyone who has them in stock of will have them soon.

I am headed to Florida on the 23rd and was hoping to have the housing with at least a few days to spare before the trip so that I can figure it out.

So, anyone out there know of a source for either the 6870 or 6870.1?

Thanks,
Craig