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!!
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: