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Member Since 29 Dec 2001
Offline Last Active Jun 17 2016 05:33 PM

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Trip Report: Egypt & The Red Sea Aggressor Photo Expedition

30 March 2016 - 11:33 AM

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Trip Report: Egypt & The Red Sea Aggressor Photo Expedition

The last time I saw the Egyptian Pyramids was 18 years ago. A lot has changed, and a lot hasn’t, having already all ready lasted 5,000 years. One of the things that was new is the lack of tourists, mostly due to misplaced fear. Fear of different cultures, and fear of the unknown. Some is founded on media hype, and some is due to mistrust, but most of it is misplaced.

Divers, however, are a strange breed. When somebody yells “shark”, most people run away, but divers say “Where?” and jump in the water. Underwater photographers are even worse. They’re experienced divers who want to take shots of the most unusual animals and situations. They may be apprehensive and careful - that’s a good thing - but never so scared that they miss a great opportunity.

Our Optical Ocean Sales Photo Expedition was for two weeks; Feb. 22 to March 7th, 2016. Twenty people had signed up, but as usual we had a few drop out due to work conflicts or health reasons, and a few join in. Several dropped out, however, because they were afraid of the political situation or for their safety. And I’ve had several inquiries since we’ve been back asking if we had problems, or if the Egyptian people were hostile to us. We all found that the answer was quite the opposite. We had a great time. We felt quite safe. People were extremely warm and friendly, just as they were on my last trip to Egypt, 18 years ago. Some things in Egypt, like the Pyramids, don’t change. It’s all a matter of perspective.

We started out our land tour in crazy, raucous Cairo (“why use your turn signal, when you can use your horn?”). This is a terribly over crowded city, with heavy, 24/7 traffic. Cairo is the very definition of urban sprawl with 24 million people. It now surrounds the Giza plateau, which was once well out into the desert.... Continued


Flickr albums:

(all photos with a Nikon D800)


Cairo & Giza







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Correcting Lens Distortion in Underwater Photos

18 February 2016 - 09:59 PM

New blog article:
Correcting Lens Distortion in Underwater Photos


Fisheye lenses are generally the preferred wide angle lens underwater due to their close focusing ability, sharp corners and wide field of view. Divers can get very close to their subjects, filling the frame, and eliminating water which makes their photos lack sharpness, color and definition.

But there is a drawback to fisheye lenses; when shooting the straight lines, commonly of a pier or wreck, models or other similar subjects - optical distortion is introduced.

It's easy to correct in Lightroom with most lenses, and micro four-thirds lenses have some base correction built in, but it's usually not enough. For them a quick trip to Photoshop does the trick.

This new blog article shows you how to correct these problems in Lightroom and or Photoshop.



FS: Fisheye Fix UWL 28M52R Wet Mount Lens

11 February 2016 - 03:17 PM

FS: Fisheye Fix UWL 28M52R Wet Mount Lens


I have one Fisheye Fix UWL28M52R wet mountable lens for sale. Demo unit, has been lightly used on a trip or two and some shop dives.


Comes 52mm, but an adapter is available to convert to 67mm. Full price offer will include this adapter, normally $13. Works great on compact cameras and many housings including Nauticam, Fantasea (RX100III & IV), Olympus and others. Very good FOV.


Has one very tiny pinpoint nick that doesn't show when underwater. Otherwise in excellent shape. In box, with cover, manual, etc.


Normally $400.


Now $225, includes cc/PayPal and free ground shipping in cont. US.


Email: Jack@opticaloceansales.com


FS: Nauticam LX100 housing System & Camera - Demo, as new

11 February 2016 - 03:07 PM

Nauticam LX100 housing System & Camera - Demo, as new


We have one Nauticam LX100 demo system for sale, very lightly used on one trip and a couple of shop dives (probably a total of 10 dives). As new, in boxes, full 1 year warranty. Has all the latest features including the remote trigger and vacuum valve. Included as well is the LX100 camera in very good shape with box, etc.



#17710 NA-LX100 Housing with standard port

#25612 M16 Vacuum Valve

#38702 N50 Acrylic dome port

#71204 Nauticam Flexitray Wide, with left handle

#71204 Nauticam Flexitray Right Handle

#71311 Flexitray Strobe Mount Balls (2)

Above has full 1 year warranty.


Panasonic LX100 Camera,

boxes, manuals, flash, charger, etc.

Spare battery


New this system is $2800

Now Only $2100

Including paypal/cc and free ground shipping in the cont. US.


I will consider selling it without the Flexitray system for -$200.

Email: Jack@opticaloceansales.com


Olympus E-M1 & New MZ 8mm Fisheye PRO Lens

12 August 2015 - 10:26 AM

One Camera, One Lens - An Ascent from Desperation.

I’m just back from a 10 day live aboard dive trip to the Solomon Islands. I had packed 5 different cameras and systems to do a round table of testing and comparing in order to write some practical reviews.


As usual, I spent time going over each camera system making sure I had packed all the necessary batteries, chargers, lenses and attachments. All was reasonably packed into two cases. One was carried aboard and my Seahorse hard case and dive bag/clothes checked. With everything spread out the day before, I tried to balance their weights, airline requirements for lith-ion batteries etc. What I didn’t do was to make sure that essential chargers, batteries and mounts were all packed together with each camera. Oops.

I got to the airport only to see that my LA flight was delayed 3 hours. What’s up? Thunderstorms in LA I was told. Lighting had closed LAX on and off all day…Thunderstorms? Lighting? In a 3 year drought? Why me?…

Things improved as time went on and my flight was only 2 hours late getting in. I ran to the International Terminal and made it to the flight to Fiji just in time. But my checked luggage didn’t. I was told I could go without my bags or not go. No choice, I had the M/V Solomon Star to meet in Honiara.

So the next time I saw my bags was a week later on a dock in Tulagi. Groan.

When I landed, we hit a thrift store for a few clothes and the boat had great new rental dive gear they outfitted me with (Thanks SIDE!; so that was all good. My backpack had essentials. I had the one camera bag poorly packed with strobes and no mounts, cameras without housings or chargers. But I did have the Olympus E-M1 body, PT-EP11 housing, new mz 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO lens and matching small glass dome port, along with an iTorch v25 1800 lumen video/focus light. So there was hope.

And as luck would have it, friend and customer Bruce Versteegh was on the same boat with his wife Diane. They had brought way too much gear and lent me a strobe, sync cord and arms. So I had the one camera and wide angle lens and for the next 5 days (along with a small TG-4 compact). Thanks Bruce, you saved me!!

battery-1.jpg  One problem; no charger. Bruce only had the charger for his PM-1 system. So we had to “hotwire” leads from his charger to my E-M1 battery in a feat worthy of Rube Goldberg. Most of time it worked with lots of gaffer tape, but sometimes it didn’t; as we were in high wind and fairly heavy seas. Oh well, frustrating.

The Olympus 8mm lens saved the day. Light? Who needs light? I was able to easily shoot available light at 45 meters deep at f/2.2 or even f/4. ... continued on my blog article.


Here's a few pics: