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Member Since 02 Apr 2009
Offline Last Active Oct 11 2009 08:56 AM

Topics I've Started

Configuring my first system

06 April 2009 - 10:10 PM


I'm just beginning to explore my options to house my new 5D II for underwater photography. I've been diving since '75 and become a serious amateur digital photographer over the last six years. I've decided to marry my two hobbies to what I feel will become a true passion. (Please forgive the melodramatics, I turn 50 next month.) I'm starting to formulate my thought around the system I should buy. I'm asking a lot of questions, so don't feel like you have to answer them all, just the one's you want.

Current lenses I own and will buy ports for, both Canon: 35 1.4 L and 100 2.8 macro.
Wide angle suggestions: I would have purchased a Canon 15 2.8 fisheye but everyone is out of stock right now. Other thoughts for wide angle are welcome. Is anyone using the 14 2.8 L? Looks like a great lens, but out of my price range at the moment. I own a 16-35 2.8, but it's too big for the Ikelite system. The 17-40 4.0 is an option, but I like the DOF options that 2.8 gives you.

My key objectives are: 1) higher keeper rate, 2) high quality image, 3) reasonable cost, 4) system reliability.

1. Housing brand: I am predisposed to Ikelite at this point: 1) right price range, 2) I like the idea of see through, 3) positive feedback from my dive store (they are a dealer). It seems from a reliability standpoint, this is a good choice.

- What are your thoughts on Ike vs. the other brands, plastic vs. aluminum housing, glass vs. plastic ports?

2. Strobes (assuming an Ikelite decision): My current thinking is to purchase 2 DS 160s vs the high end 200. This newer model has 20% less power, but slightly faster recycle times, 30% more flashes per full charge, minimally less angle of coverage (which with two strobes shouldn't be a big deal) and LED modeling light vs. halogen.

- Do you need to go with the Ikelite strobe to get TTL support?
- Will two strobes help me meet my objectives over one? Is the weight balance of two over one really that big of a deal?
- Anyone using the 160, feedback would be appreciated.

3. Arm supports: my dive shop is recommending the Ultralight brand for three main reasons: 1) flexibility in light positioning, 2) buoyancy arm parts for added buoyancy of the system, 3) support strength.

Lot's to consider, so any input will be appreciated.