Jump to content


Member Since 05 Mar 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 04:24 AM

#345075 Strobe recomendations for a Nikon D90 in an Iklelite housing - HELP PLEASE

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 26 March 2014 - 07:37 AM

The strobe what is working with virtually every camera optical or electrically triggered is the INON Z-240.

Powerful, rugged, able to work with almost any camera/housing combination and very fine output regulation.


#342133 Fin choice, etc.

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 20 January 2014 - 07:35 AM


there is a long tread regarding fins and what beople belive they are the right ons here:


As i wrote already in the tread above, it is my personal belive deriving from my experience wit several types of fins that:
- split fins dont work good for hovering and7or micro adjustments as they need some kicks to gain power
- long fins are generally better but will most likely destroy marinelife as they get banged to the bottom/rocks/reef
- rubber fins like the Bat/Turtle/jet fins are heavy (in your luggage and underwater, they can drag your legs down if you have heavy legs)

- if you use a drysuit with rubber fins, their weight is not a issue as you can modify your buoyancy introducing mor or less air in your legs

- Turtle and jet fins fins are very stiff and can lead to knee pain (at least for me)

- I personally use Mares Superchannel, Mares Avanti Quattrol+ and Jet fins for photographing

- i belive that shorter but wider fins are the best solution, for example: Dive Rite XP, Tusa Imprex, Zeagle Talon,


#339530 Are buoyancy arms generally needed with a setup?

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 16 November 2013 - 01:46 AM

Hi Christine,

with your (heavy) Ikelite strobes you will most likely need floats.

You can use it without floats but it is very uncomfortable to dive and photograph with a camera rig beeing

negative and having the tendency to tip over. When i changed to floats and got my rig perfectly neutral i discovered that

my hand joints dont' necessary have to hurt after a dive with my camera.
Also using the big dome port or a plan port will change the buoyancy and you should be able to add or remove floats

to keep your rig neutral.
My solution is that the rig is always floating and if i should change port i just add some small weights to compensate the different buoyancy.


#338054 Recommended New Laptop choices for editing RAW files

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 12 October 2013 - 09:47 AM

As i travel a lot i don't have a PC anymore, i just use a powerful Laptop - a Lenovo W510 high-end Model - for all my business and private jobs, including editing 75mb D800 files and video editing for GoPro 4K and D800 video files abou 25'000 pictures and videos

managed in a massive Lightroom database.

After several brands like Dell, Toshiba and HP i choosed 2008 a IBM T61 laptop and from then on i stick with IBM/Lenovo

as i belive that:
- they are sturdy, in all my travels including thousands of miles in bonebreaking and dusty pothole roads or on humid, salty boats or shores
- they survive several misshaps like dropping (yesterday f.e.) and minor spills
- have a excelent non-glare screen to work/play outdoors
- offer high-end graphic cards
- have the best laptop keyboard
- have the possibility to use 2 hard disks (i just got a new 1TB SSD and have another 1GB 7200 Hard Disk in it)
- they offer true workstation power as far a Laptop can do

- some models have built in colormeter


I use a Intel Core7 1.73 Ghz quad processor and 8GB ram and 2 1TB disks (+ SSD and one 7200rpm hard disk)


I will soon change to the new Lenovo W540 model with the latest and fastes processor and GPU.


Yes, a carefully choosen and assembled PC is probably faster than a Notebook, but it simply don't fit my needs as a gipsy.


#337361 Asking for your views on strobes for Nikon D7000 in Nauticam Housing

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 22 September 2013 - 11:44 PM

Due to their small size and a very close working distance, a couple of inches at most, I thought that twin Ikelite 161's delivering "super even 500 lumen video light" would supply more than enough light?

Yes, they will provide enough light for illuminating pygmy sea horses and all other macro stuff from very near,

but sooner or later you will get real video lights as the power is simply far away from doing more than close focus macro.
The DS-161 has a video angle coverage of 45° similar to a torch and not like a video light and this lead you to need to position

your DS-161 micrometric to avoid ugly hotspots and/or shadows.


A L&M Sola 1200 for example (or any wide beam and dimmable dive torch) will be a much better and flexible option for macro video.




P.S. Have also a look here: http://www.scubaboar...s161-movie.html

#337296 Asking for your views on strobes for Nikon D7000 in Nauticam Housing

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 21 September 2013 - 10:04 PM

I use 2-3 INON Z-240 strobes on my Hugyfot D7000 and D800 rig and trigger them optically.

They have a rather sensible sensor so they can be used to trigger from distance without cables

if the sensor will receive the light from the main strobe. 

Usually i leave them in s-TTL and adjust output with the right dial if needed, but they have a lot

of options for automatic, semi-automatic and manual exposure control.

I would non change them with any other strobe as they:
are powerful - small - light but sturdy - adapt to almost any camera - simply work - well priced


I still have a Ikelite DS-125 strobe and it is a nice strobe but bulky and heavy and when i bought it new

the strobe tube was not working ans so i had to ship it on my expenses back to the USA and back to Roatan.


For doing nice video work under water you need power, and a lot of it. I have 2 Mangrove 4300 lumen lights 

and the illuminate not more than 3 feet far under ambient light condition and we are testing now 2 9000 lumen lights

and they seem to have enough power for every situation use.
Be careful comparing lumen value, depending on the concentration of the beam the lumen value increase and decrease,

but as you probably want a at least 100° beam you will need a massive amount of lumen to illuminate a reef scene at 30 ft

at 11 in the morning.



#336727 DIY float using metal bottle flask

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 06 September 2013 - 04:42 AM

a 1 liter/quart bottle give a very good lift, do some tests with 3/4 quart bottles,

one on each arm/strobe and one under the tray, add bigger bottles to gain buoyancy and if too buoyant

add some weights to render the rig neutral.

You should not put too much lift on the bottom, if you do so the camera will flip over and you need power to hold it in position.

Floats on the arms or strobes give you a stable position in the water and moving th arms for- and backwards you can adjust

the tendency of the housing to pitch differently with various ports.


#336539 Zen 200mm vs 230mm on Nauticam D800

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 01 September 2013 - 09:42 PM

I used the Athena 170mm vario dome and now the original Hugyfot Minidome with my Sigma 15mm on my Hugyfot D800 housing.

Both domes worked fine with the Sigma 15mm with f/sops above 7, BUT the Athena dome was vignetting so badly to render the Athena dome useless.
As the Sigma is a very short lens you should verify that your housing/port combination will be short enough to take pictures without vignetting.

regarding the ZEN dome, ask thy directly, Ryan is always very helpful and up to date.


#336347 Kona Blob

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 27 August 2013 - 06:53 AM

We have similar ones everywhere here in shady cavities or caverns,
the only difference is the color as here they are blood red or orange.

The name for the species in the mediterranean sea is: Spirastrella Cuncatrix
You may have a look here: http://www.spongegui....php?species=65





Spirastrella Cuncatrix.jpg


#330816 Went with Backscatter's Airlock

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 04 May 2013 - 05:13 AM

some come already and this from a long time ago ....

#327603 How many floats do you need?

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 10 March 2013 - 06:11 AM

I have some special, Italian floats on my D800 rig and i went with the try and error system to have the rig neutral.

As Steve said, there will be a difference between your dome and macromport so i found the - for me - practical solution

that i add approx 200 grams of lead on my handles when i use the mini dome port, 400 grams when i use the big dome port

and none when i use the macro port.
I fine tune my housing so perfect that i can just put it in front of me and it hovers there, this sometimes comes handy when 

i need my hands free for something, but i use the rope from the handle to avoid that she floats away.

#325196 D800 Crisis!

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 27 January 2013 - 07:38 AM

Just don't use Nikon ViewNX or other Nikon transfer software.
I copy and past my files from the card to the had disk and open them then with Lightroom.

#320076 A VERY good reason to buy equipment insurance!

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 07 November 2012 - 06:40 AM

Maybe i am a idiot,
as i just paid about 1800$ to insure my 20'000$ photo and dive gear ...
I belive - and was taught when i was a kid - that when i destroy things i will need to replace it by my self or pay for a insurance.

#319880 Opening scuba tanks for cleaning/visual inspection

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 04 November 2012 - 11:43 PM

i agree with jahjahwarrior
You close them too tight or you have a serious issue with galvanic corrosion between the tank and the valve.
When opening the tank you should use a round brass brush to clean the tank treads and a special sanding disk tool
to clean the o-ring seat.
Apply a very thin film of cristolube and screw them down hand tight and then "a bit more"
You should use only christolube or other oxygen safe grease on any tank parts as you never know if they get filled - for whatever reason - with Enriched Air or even worst with pure oxygen.
The additional price for oxygen safe grease will be only a few tenths of dollars more.

#319367 Choosing the light - Great video light with option to make good photos

Posted by ChrigelKarrer on 28 October 2012 - 11:15 PM

Keep one thing in mind:
1000 Lumen is not necessary the same bright as 1000 lumen of another lamp or used with another reflector.
I see that some manufacturers use the lumen of the LED and not of the light emitted by the lamp.
My 180 Lumen 10° focus light on the Z-240 is - because of it's 10° beam - brighter than my 4000 lumen 120° Mangrove video ligh.
Unfortunately there is no standard test for dive or video lights to provide a valid and useful tool for comparing the effective light output,
like th GN for strobes, even if some manufacturers use their own values like Watt/Seconds or Jule.
The German dive magazine "Unterwasser" made a big test of dive lights with staggering results:
- only L&M Sola 1200 reached their advertised power, well 2% lesser
- Hartenberger did not advertised the power, thus not a liar and their lamps are of legendary quality and engineering
- the rest had between 40-66 % lesser lumen than advertised
For any German speaking persons, the test can be found here: http://www.lightando...m/wattluege.pdf


In any case, a video light may work for macro and/or night dive or low light ambients,
but a strobe is always much more powerful.