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Member Since 16 Jan 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 06:01 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Fluid video tripod head

21 November 2014 - 12:20 AM

I have a Manfrotto 516 videohead plus a Manfrotto 161MK2B tripod for interactive use plus a number of smaller Manfrotto tripods for static cameras. I have not compared this against other models so I cannot say if it is "best", but, it has worked for me when needed. However, I dive mainly in waters that either have silty bottoms/ship decks or virtually no bottoms at all. Thus it is quite rare for me to haul this big rig with me. Considering the silt I cannot let my fin touch the bottom or ship deck. Consequently the fluid drag of the video head has to be set at a small value to enable panning/tilting the head whilst you are floating behind it.


Due to the above, I prefer to take a small tripod with me for opportunistic dives. The small tripod gives slightly more weight and inertia even when using the camera whilst swimming freely in water. Please notice that the TLC T/S head does not have dampening fluid in it and it is meant to be mounted on arms with 1" balls, i.e. not on a regular topside tripod.


Only for carefully preplanned shots would I consider to take a proper video tripod with me. The sea water here is far less salty than in the Atlantic, so rinsing with fresh water has been sufficient and I have not bothered to check the inside of the head.

In Topic: Fluid video tripod head

20 November 2014 - 05:36 AM

How seriously do you take your work? The level of your perfectionism will affect your choice of the head. The Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 is relatively inexpensive, so the price alone might justify trials. And the eventual corrosion will not feel so bad.


If you plan to do proper fluid pans/tilts with a tripod, you'll need to weigh it down for it to become a stable platform. You'll need more weight than without video pans/tilts. For a proper job you might consider selecting such a tripod that its legs can be spread out more than the normal 30-60 degrees. A larger/heavier tripod with add-on weights will affect your dives as well. Consider using lift sacks.


However, you might want to consider other choices as well:


A monopod would be lighter and easier to transport whilst swimming. You can perform tilts and pans even without a video head.


A dedicated small u/w tripod like the TLC tripod. Corrosion will be far less a problem.


In Topic: help ASAP...missing retainer clip on button in housing

21 July 2014 - 09:26 AM

The spare part you are looking for is called a "C clip". Some hardware stores might have them. The other temporary solution is to use thin metal wire to tie the button shaft from the inside just at the C clip groove for the C clip. In a desperate situation you might want to locate any left-over telephone cable, electrical wire or similar that would have relatively thin strands (not the hair-like wire, neither the thick single stranded wire) and strip it.

In Topic: mapping dive site

20 July 2014 - 10:49 PM

For the 21st century look, you might want to check what Word Press offers. Compared to html websites, you'll need to setup a SQL database first. But after the initial efforts, it becomes quite efficient creating new pages and especially updating them on a timely basis. Also, you can change the style afterwards as often as you wish.


Bart, I liked your idea of showing the map areas for different species. I wonder could you duplicate the same with one or more google plugins for wordpress.

In Topic: Best system setup for cave and wide angle photography

09 June 2014 - 04:39 AM

Hi Jools,

I travel with a Canon 5D Mark III (0.97 kg) with a 16-35mm f2.8L lens (0.83 kg)  and 8" dome (1.36 kg) plus a laptop (1.60 kg) in my carry-on baggage, a Tumi backpack (1.64 kg). With other bits and pieces, the total is 7.6 kg which is doable on most airlines. Additionally I carry a small (laptop size) unconspicuous hand bag that holds four LiIon batteries for my four 80W video lights, this totals 6.5 kg. For most European airlines this is way over the limit, but (knock on wood), I have managed to sneak in with 14 kg of carry-on. But Jools, I guess you could consider British Airways with their luxurious 2x20kg carry-on allowance...


I put the camera housing (3.3 kg) and the extension port (0.49) in the checked-in luggage. For a cave diving trip my checked-in luggage weighs a total of 55-64 kg. This includes everything except tanks and weights.


You can find pictures of my gear here:





and samples of cave and mine video/photo footage here:




and here:




As you can see from the samples, it is possible to illuminate fairly large spaces with 32000-100000 lumens if you have a sensitive camera. More is always better.