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Nicool

Member Since 08 Aug 2008
Offline Last Active Jun 26 2016 10:55 PM
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Topics I've Started

Inon Z240 cannot "see" red light signal from Nauticam LED flash trigger?

27 May 2016 - 11:24 PM

Hello Wetpixel!

 

Initially I posted my question on this thread but it would probably deserve a dedicated discussion. 

 

My setup:

  • Two Inon Z240 Type IV strobes, setup to be triggered via fiber optic cables (cables attached, working on previous Nauticam DSLR housing).
  • Shooting fully in Manual mode, strobe outputs controlled manually via the strob knobs (not using TTL).
  • Nikon D500 camera, in Nauticam housing. Because D500 doesn't have internal flash, Nauticam's new external flash triggering system is used, and connected to the D500 via a hot shoe. See here under section "External Flash Triggering" - i am NOT using the optional TTL circuitry, just the baseline one, which works in manual mode only.

 

The problem:

Inons don't fire :(

My investigations so far:

  • I am pretty sure the Inons are setup properly (i've switched from TTL shooting to Manual a while ago), and in fact i have been switching the fiber optics from the D500 housing to the D300s housing which i still have, and with the D300s Nauticam housing both strobes fire properly. So clearly the communication between NA-D500 housing and the Inons is not right.
  • I made sure the NA-D500 emits a light signal: i unplugged the fiber optics and looked through the 2 "windows" and, surprise, they both emit a (strong) red light. So i confirmed the housing produces some light.
  • Now i checked on the other end of the fiber optic cables (strobe side), and i do see the red light properly coming through the optical cable, so for me the fiber optic cables are fine - anyways they work perfectly with NA-D300s housing (triggered by the D300s' internal flash.

My theories/open question so far:

  • is it normal that the Nauticam LED flash triggering system emits red light? As far as i know LEDs consume fewer power when emitting white/blueish light.
  • are Inon Z240 type 4 strobes supposed to work with a red light when using fiber optics as a trigger? I would be surprised that this very popular strobe model isn't compatible with the new Nauticam LED flash triggering system, but i just don't know.

 

Can anybody help me figure out why it is not working, and how to fix this?

I believe the NA-D5 housing uses the exact same strobe triggering system, so maybe some D5 shooters could advice?

 

Some would say RTFM, but in fact the NA-D500 manual is still being written, that's one of the funny aspects of being a very early adopter :)

 

cheers

Nicolas

 


which brand(s) for reliable clamps

24 May 2016 - 10:59 AM

hello Wetpixel!

 

I think my trusty Ultralight clamps (AC CSF model, those with 15 degrees side movement flexibility) now deserve to retire, as they've become a little tough to use, after about 300-400 photo dives, over... 7 years!

 

By "tough to use" i mean i need to screw harder to get the arms steady, and i am often not fully happy with the steadiness.

 

Looking at photo dealers not too far from home, i am given a number of choices as far as manufacturers are concerned:

-ULCS (the same AC CSF ones which i have)

-Nauticam (same manufacturer as my housing)

-I-Das clamps, offering apparently 60 degrees side movement flexibility

-a number of carbondive.com clamps, some with very peculiar shapes

 

Those are the 4 brands within easy reach for me which i have down-selected.

 

Could you share feedbacks on the easiness to use, quality, and durability of these clamps?

 

thanks!

Nicolas


Tiny shrimp from the Mediterranean

13 May 2016 - 06:18 AM

Hi folks!

 

I'd be very interested in your help to identify this tiny shrimp which i met for the first time some weeks ago, in Antibes waters (South of France).

 

To give you an idea of scale, she sits on some sort of gastropod (the yellow guy in the shell) which itself was climing a posedonia seaweed, which was around 1.5 cm, max 2 cm in width i'd say.

 

Encounter was during a night dive, about 10 meters deep.

 

Photographed with a Nikon D300s, some cropping but not too much.

 

cheers

Nicolas

 

Remark: i've reduced the picture size to upload it, but you can find a bit larger file here:

https://picasaweb.go...feat=directlink


float arms and getting your gear neutral

27 March 2016 - 01:08 PM

Hi there,

 

I am writing in regards to getting underwater photography gear neutral underwater.

 

 

After a recent housing change i find my current set of arms and arms accessories unadequate, and before i order anything else, i'd like to give all this a decent thought, and hear some advice from others.

 

I started shooting in 2008 with regular ULCS strobe arms (2x 8" and 2x4"), which i completed with 4x large Stix floats and 4x jumbo Stix floats.

My feedback on this setup: obviously getting closer to housing neutrality made my whole shooting experience much better. Only painpoint was that those Stix floats take a lot of time to dry, but that's minor.

 

Moving to another housing in 2013 (NA-EM5 + 45 degrees Nauticam viewvinder + subsee +10 diopter), these weren't sufficient anymore, so i put the Stix floats aside, and replaced the 2x 8" ULCS arms by 2x Nauticam carbon fiber float arms (200mm x 60mm). 

My feedback on this setup: benefits were getting the right amount of buoyancy & arms drying easily, but i wasn't totally satisfied as i felt strobe arms manipulation to be trickier than with the Stix floats: i had to screw the clamps very tight to avoid the float arms from going up, and then strobe repositioning got unpractical. Also, i must say my gear wasn't symetric: i had a flexitray left handle, but no right handle (handstrap), meaning the right arm was closer to the optical axis than the left one. I believe this contributed to the un-practicality.

 

Now (2016) i am moving to a Nauticam DSLR housing (NA-D300s), complemented by my 45 degrees viewfinder. 

Photo here:

Attached File  IMG_0326.jpg   221.12KB   31 downloads

When shooting with 60mm macro + focus light, i don't have adequate equipment to make my rig neutral:

-my 2008 setup with Stix floats doesn't provide sufficient buoyancy, but i felt it provided great comfort in strobes repositioning. I tested it yesterday. Here's how it looks like one one arm:

Attached File  IMG_0327.jpg   299.94KB   31 downloads

-my 2013 nauticam float arms make the housing (too much) positive 

 

One idea i have is to buy 4 extra jumbo Stix floats, and add them to my ULCS strobe arms (2x 8" and 2x4"), replacing some of the large floats possibly. I tested (on land) that i could squeeze 4 jumbo Stix floats on a 8" ULCS arm + 1 jumbo & 1 large Stix floats on the adjacent 4" ULCS arms, and this would bring extra buoyancy, hopefully enough! Here's how it would look like on one arm:

Attached File  IMG_0328.jpg   295.8KB   33 downloads

 

Thinking/questions:

Have any of you got the same feeling that very large float arms (like my 200mm x 60mm Nauticam carbon float arms) make strobes re-positioning too cumbersome, because they are just too buoyant?

Would i workaround this problem and get a more user-friendly gear by spreading lots of Stix floats over the 4 arms sections?

Any other solution(s) to offset the weight of a large DSLR rig while keeping strobe arms easy to re-position?

 

thanks!!

Nicolas

 


Tokina 10-17mm on 24 MP APS-C sensors?

19 December 2015 - 06:39 AM

hi folks!

 

I am wondering whether somebody has analyzed how the venerable Tokina 10-17mm behaves on 24 MP APS-C sensors? 

Of course this won't be worse than the previous 16 MP generation (referring to Nikon's D7000), but i am wondering to which extent it takes advantage of the extra 8 MP of resolution?

 

DxO marks is a good source of information but unfortunately they didn't test this lens (at least on D7100/D7200).

Alexander Mustard's reviews are also a great information base, but during his D7100 review he didn't have a chance to shoot the 10-17mm.

 

Any experience to share?

 

thanks in advance

Nicolas