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Member Since 29 Jul 2008
Offline Last Active Jan 14 2015 01:20 PM

Topics I've Started

Retra LSD optical snoot for Ikelite DS125/Ds161 strobes

07 December 2014 - 08:49 AM

For sale: a Retra LSD PRO (light shaping device) optical snoot. This is designed to fit on Ikelite DS125 / DS160 / DS161 strobes. It is the silver model. here is a link for a review of the Retra LSD PRO is below


A review of the Retra LSD PRIME (the bargain version) by Alex Mustard is here


Condition is like new but my last name is written on the body of the snoot.

This snoot is one of my favorite toys, but I switched to Sea&Sea strobes so I had to buy a new Retra to fit the D1 strobes.

Retail price is 649 Euros, I am selling for $350 USD plus the cost of shipping from Sarasota Florida, payable to Paypal.

Please PM me if you would like me to email you pictures of the Retra.

Increase in Indonesian Visa on Arrival fee

24 September 2014 - 07:56 AM

In July, Indonesia increased the Visa on Arrival fee from $25 USD to $35 USD. Good to know so that you can have some crisp money that the officials will not give you a hard time about.

Nikon 14mm f/2.8 prime

25 February 2014 - 10:24 AM

I did not find any results when searching for this lens on Wetpixel.  I was wondering if anyone had tried it.  I have not shot any wide rectilinear primes, and I was curious about their performance.  I have a D800 in an Aquatica housing and a 9.25" dome.  I am currently shooting a 16mm fisheye, and a 16-35 zoom for my W/A lenses.


Thanks, Doug

Quick open letter to liveaboard operators

11 February 2014 - 04:17 PM

Dear liveaboard operators.  I am lucky that I spend around 6 weeks a year on liveaboard dive boats, and it gives me some insight on some recurrent themes.  I thought it might be helpful to you to read some views from a "frequent flier".


-We appreciate when you take care of your crew.  We can tell when a crew is happy or miserable, and it does influence the overall guest experience.


-We notice when things change (good and bad).  We notice when you spruce up your boat or do something to improve your guest comfort.  We also notice when you are starting to go on the cheap (stop airport pick-ups, decrease food budget, decreased maintenance, ect.)


-A/C is important to us!  We are not used to living in a small hot space, and when the A/C does not work adequately or for only part of the trip, it makes us unhappy.


-Nitrox matters.  We spent a lot of money to spend precious little time underwater.  Cutting into that time because you can't get your act together with respect to your nitrox system is a BIG deal.  Some boats seem to frequently have nitrox breakdowns, while others rarely have problems.  Whatever the reason, if your boat has frequent nitrox breakdowns, you are doing a dis-service to your customers, and we resent it.  And no, a refund or discount for low nitrox oxygen percentage does not make up for this!  If you offer nitrox on your boat, get a quality system and maintain it.  I can tell you that I have done 14 trips on the Aquacat and NEVER got a nitrox fill below 29%.  I wish this quality was seen on most of the liveaboards that I travel on.


- If you don't want us to charge batteries in our rooms on the sly then give us a viable alternative.  We all want to be safe, but I will not leave my batteries outside on an outside camera table charging after ruining all my chargers during a sudden windy rain storm.  Designate an area with plugs INSIDE for charging (no, I won't put my charger in my room sink..DUH).


-Using the same snotty dive deck towels for multiple days between laundering is nasty.  Using dive deck towels that have been used by other divers and then thrown in a drier without laundering and then distributed at random is nasty.  I do not want to dry my face with another guest's baked snot.  Even worse, these towels are used to dry UNDER some guests swimsuits (front and back) YUCK!  Launder dive deck towels EVERY day, and number them.


-We appreciate flexibility in schedule.  We notice when the Captain is trying to adapt the dive site schedule to keep the guests safe and comfortable.  We appreciate it when you modify the usual weekly rote to the wants of each group of passengers.  Yes, thank you very much for not wasting half a day of diving going to Cayman Brac or the Belize Blue Hole when everyone is repeating guests, and  all know that those dives pretty much suck. 


In short, we notice if you really are doing your best for us or if you are just going through the motions.  And yes, it influences how much we dive with you in the future.  Even if we are a returning guest, you might get even more business from us if you continually strive to improve.


Thanks for reading, your customer.

Bottom of image underexposed when using TTL

03 February 2014 - 08:51 AM

I am using a D800 and dual or triple opticaly triggered YS-D1 strobes.  I have been using this set-up successfully using manual strobe seting.  I thought I would play with TTL settings and I noticed that when using TTL, for macro, a strip on the bottom of the image, comprising about 10% of the total image appears to have no flash.  When setting the strobes to TTL I did remember to switch both my camera on-board flash and the strobes to the TTL setting, and batteries are fully charged.   When I switch both back to manual, the issue resolves.  Also, if I leave my on-board camera flash on TTL, and set the strobes to manual with a pre-flash, there is no issue.  I tried slowing my shutter speed from 1/200 to 1/160, but the bottom is still underexposed.    I usually don't use TTL , but am still surious what could be causing this issue.