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Member Since 04 Jan 2009
Offline Last Active Apr 21 2015 02:18 AM

#360071 Ikelite battery capacity NiMH for DS 125/160/161

Posted by Aussiebyron on 15 April 2015 - 02:12 AM

If your looking at getting new battery packs I suggest the Ikelite Li-Ion packs as they are lighter, quicker to recycle, and hold more charge.  The are 3900mAh.  The only downside are they take longer to recharge when flat and you have to buy a new recharger as the older Ikelite chargers dont recharge the Li-Ion.


Regards Mark

#340166 Ikelite DS-161 - How does it work for video?

Posted by Aussiebyron on 02 December 2013 - 03:48 AM

Larry simple answer.........No.


The Ikelite Ds161 movie "video" lights are underpowered and dont have enough width in their beam.  The output of the LED "movie" light is 500lumens and is only really suitable for a focusing light for macro stills or possibly macro video. I use two iTorch video pro 6 video lights with my Ikelite Ds161's as they have 2400 lumens, red, and UQ light outputs.  I would personally buy the DS160 and used the saved money towards a pair of good video lights instead. 


If your doing alot of travelling the Ikelites can be a pain but I prefer them for shooting wideangle which is what I mostly do. On the other hand if your travelling alot and shooting macro I suggest you have a look at the Inon z240 as they are cheaper and much lighter strobe and more suited for macro work. The money you save on the inon's can go towards again a set of good video lights.


Hope this answers your question.


Regards Mark

#337621 Asking for your views on strobes for Nikon D7000 in Nauticam Housing

Posted by Aussiebyron on 30 September 2013 - 04:23 AM

Hi Nick,


I have been using Ikelite DS161"Movie" strobes with my Aquatica AD7000 housing for sometime now.  I mainly shoot wide angle and prefer the hard wired Ikelites as they are powerful, have a warmer light output, and I think they are slightly quicker between shots than opitcal fibre connected Inon's Z240's which my friends use.  My Ds161's have now had the new Li-Ion battery packs which make the setup slightly lighter but has also increased the amount of shots you can take with a battery pack (often didnt have to change the battery pack for the day). The "Movie" LED light in the Ds161 is a joke and isnt worth using and I use 2x I-torch video pro 6 as my video lights as these little lights pump out 2400 lumens each. I like my DS161 as they are hard wired in and can shoot at 1/320th which you cant with opitcal fibre connected strobes like Inons.


The downside to Ikelite DS161 are:

  • Cost......they are more expensive to buy new than Inon Z240
  • Batteries require dedicated battery packs from ikelite and not normal AA batteries for the Inon Z240's
  • Size and weight of the Ds161 are alot more than the smaller and lighter Z240's which will be an isue if your travelling alot.
  • cost more to get them optically connected than the Inon Z240's as you have to buy the new opitcal connection for iIkelite strobes.

So Honestly if your doing mainly macro I would suggest the Inon Z240's and a good video light over the Ikelite DS161.


Regards Mark

#337619 Housing rinsing techniques

Posted by Aussiebyron on 30 September 2013 - 03:49 AM

I carry my rig in a cooler bag on the boat and between dives and just after the dives,  I dunk my setup in a fresh water tub and press all the buttons. Maybe after a week or two of heavy diving I soak my setup without camera and lens in a tub of warm water with a small amount of white vinegar for a hour or so. After that I dry the housing and use some Silicon spray (hand pump style) and spray into the notches of the control buttons and manually work the buttons. I then pull apart the ports and domes and give everything a good clean and replace any o-rings which look dodgey.  After that I vaccum the housing again and leave it over night to double check that I have good seal.


I never leave my rig in a rinse tub on liveaboards and most times I just quick rinse and fold my setup and put in my cooler bag out of the way, in the shade and on the floor so it wont fall if the boat takes one over the front.


Regards Mark

#336280 Nikon 10-24 af-s. Worth the bucks ?

Posted by Aussiebyron on 26 August 2013 - 04:35 AM

For me personally the Nikon 10-24 isnt wide enough. The angle of view of the Nikon is 109 degrees @ 10mm and 61 degrees @ 24mm. Compared to the Tokina 10-17mm which has an angle of view of 180 degrees @ 10mm and 100 degrees @ 17mm. 


Unfortunately the D3200 doesnt have a builtin focusing motor which rules out most of the AF fisheye's so all you limited to is rectangular wide angle. I believe when you get a camera which supports a Fisheye you will be using that more often than a rectangular wide (unless your doing alot of wreck photos). So I would save money and compare the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 and put the savings towards the Tokina 10-17mm at a later date.


Regards Mark

#336258 Nikon 10-24 af-s. Worth the bucks ?

Posted by Aussiebyron on 25 August 2013 - 03:09 PM

I be also looking at the Tokina 11-16mm II. Its a great wide lens and its about half the price of the Nikon 10-24 and it has its own built in motor.


Have you housed your D3200 yet...?


Regards Mark

#334863 Grey Nurse Shark Rescue

Posted by Aussiebyron on 26 July 2013 - 03:28 AM




It basically started out as what I do almost everyday and that is go out and take photos/video for myself and for the Diveshop I also work for (Sundive, Byron Bay).  In recent weeks we started to see you annual aggregation of Grey Nurse Shark which move into Julian Rocks Marine park over the Winter and Spring months.  With the Grey Nurse Shark here on the East Coast of Australia being classsed as a Critically endangered species we are fortunate enough to get close interaction with good numbers of the Sharks in a small area around Julian Rocks. I have seen how even in recent years the numbers of sharks that visit increase from only a handful to numbers which are hard to count  (as you can see with the video clip posted above showing the amount of Sharks in a un cropped 5minute clip). From my posting of Video and stills on Sundives Facebook page which also included shots of GNS which had large stainless steel circle hooks:




From these stills and video above the staff from Sea World on the Gold Coast decided that they would come down and check if the animals are still in the area. Couplr of dives later and we confirmed that the two GNS where infact still in the area and the rescue mission was given the go ahead for the next day.  Here is a few photos of that event taken from my iphone as I had my camera housed as a backup camera.



Heading down to Julian rocks onboard the Sea World research and rescue boat.



Back of the boat waiting for divers to return after the first attempt of capture.



2.4m Male captured after a 10 minute fight from being lassoed



Shark with a stainless circle hook from commerical long line fishers



The size of the hook removed after bolt cutters where used



It was actually an amazing story to have one of your photos start something like this rescue and to be able to be there through the whole event. 


Regards Mark


#334182 Zen minidome for Aquatica - advice required

Posted by Aussiebyron on 11 July 2013 - 06:14 PM

Simon I believe you wont see many Aquatica users with the Zen mini dome as they normally, like myself buy the Aquatica mini dome because its basically the same thing but $200 cheaper and its made for your housing. 


I had a quick look at the zen website and there are different models for the Zen 100mm for each manufacture and also lens combination http://www.zenunderw...ts.php?prodID=4


Aquatica mount:

  • DP-100-HCR for the Canon 8-15 FE
  • DP-100-AN for the Nikkor 10.5mm FE
  • DP-100-AT for the Tokina 10-17mm FE

Maybe double check to see if you have the correct dome for the setup your using?


Regards Mark

#332533 D7000 shooting video; AF settings??

Posted by Aussiebyron on 07 June 2013 - 08:02 PM

I do a bit of video on my Nikon D7000, mainly with the Tokina 10-17mm.  The Tokina is very forgiving with focusing especially if you shooting in at 10mm.  I leave the AF on AF-S and what I do is focus through the viewfinder first and then turn on liveview for the video. Trying to use AF through liveview will make it hunt and it bascially isnt worth bothering with. 


Here is a video I knocked up with the Tokina 10-17mm and the D7000 using the same method........(watch in HD so you can see how sharp it is)



Regards Mark

#332139 Wobbegongs

Posted by Aussiebyron on 31 May 2013 - 01:51 AM



We get 3 species of Wobbegongs here at Byron (Ornate, spotted and Hale's Wobbegongs) and respect must be given to them.  I think Jim is correct regarding the comment that Wobbegongs bite more people than any other Shark species in Australia.  Several of my friends and myself included have been bitten over the years and my case was with a 3m Hale's Wobby.  The Wobbegong are famous for biting and locking their Jaws onto their victim, even to the point where I have seen spearfishermen walk up the beach with a Wobbegong still attached to some part of their body.  Its been suggested that fresh water flushed down a Wobby's throat soon gets the animal to release.  I also beleive that most attacks are from people not seeing the Wobby and putting their hands/feet/bum on the animal with it biting as a defence. Yes you heard right, a couple fo my mates have been bitten on the bum. Also the size of a Wobby doesnt put them off as I have seen foot long Wobby's come up and bite full grown man.


Having said that I still dive with these sharks on a very regular basis and you soon get to know when a Wobby isnt in the mood for its photo to be taken.  I take it for granted that Julian Rocks Byron Bay is cover with Wobbegongs and not as much attention is placed on this interesting and unique shark.


Here is a shot on the fly at small area which I counted 20 Wobbegongs of different Species.  You can see the bigger Hale's Wobbegong in the middle top of the shot.




Regards Mark

#331944 Byron Bay Macro

Posted by Aussiebyron on 27 May 2013 - 04:21 AM

Alastair when all the wide angle action slows down I will take you on a Macro dive and show you all the cool stuff.  Hugo's trench is the best place for Nudi's at Julian Rocks. Its common to find 15-20 different species on a single dive.


Regards Mark

#331943 Housing Sentry Vacuum Seal

Posted by Aussiebyron on 27 May 2013 - 04:05 AM

Did you press every control button on your vacuum housing on the surface before the dive?


If I leave my manual pump connected to my vacuum housing on dry land and test every control button wouldn't this also find out potential control button o-ring failures.  One could also find it easy to located which control button o-ring is failing and doing so in a much safer environment (outside of water).


Regards Mark

#331927 Housing Sentry Vacuum Seal

Posted by Aussiebyron on 26 May 2013 - 10:10 PM

One feedback on the Housing Sentry is that many people prefer to remove the hydrophone since they don't use it anyway (and complain that the cord gets in the way).  The Housing Sentry uses a differenct port.  I personally like the option of having a mic available but honestly have not used it yet.  I will when I get into experimenting with video this year. 
I use my housing sentry on my Hydrophone port of my Aquatica AD7000 as you can see by the pics on the first post.  Honestly with Video there isnt much difference between using the Hydrophone and not using it.
Here is a video without using the Hydrophone.


Honestly I would much prefer a vacuum seal as standard housing part than a Hydrophone....


Regards Mark



#331887 Byron Bay Macro

Posted by Aussiebyron on 26 May 2013 - 03:58 AM

haven't tried macro in Byrons bay yet but i will do... didn't see as many Nudibranchs as i was hoping for.....


Just need to know where to look Alastair ;-)

#331753 Old wives of Sydney

Posted by Aussiebyron on 22 May 2013 - 07:35 PM

Just use your Iphone panorama Matt ;-)