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r4e

Member Since 16 Jan 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 03:44 AM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: DIY rebuild

07 January 2015 - 04:30 AM

I have some own experience of doing overhauls "semi-professionally". Considering the hours required vs a reasonable price for the overhaul, this is more in order to support my local (european) clientele than actually earning anything.

 

Whilst pondering whether to do a full overhaul yourself or not, consider:

- how good you are at fine mechanics

- that you should be prepared to use several hours, or more, on the overhaul

- that it is wiser to document the bits and pieces before you tear them down

- that different housing models (even under same brand) vary in internal complexity

- that although most parts are relatively straight forward, some might be surprising difficult to reassemble in close quarters

- that at the middle of the overhaul you might realize you need an additional tool or spare part, thus leaving the project on the bench for a while

- that eventhough all the sealing surfaces and shafts might be clean, there might be corrosion elsewhere, e.g. preventing removing a knob or an external lever

- that despite best efforts the newly reconstructed housing might develop a minor leak that might be difficult to locate

- that after reassembly some of the controls might become stiff/jam at depth depending on a number of factors and that you'll need to analyze and solve the problem(s)

 

The points above originate from actual cases, i.e. this is not a service sales pitch.

 

Finally, you wouldn't believe how much peace of mind you get by performing a proper hydrotest to the rated depth.


In Topic: Deep spring kit installed

04 January 2015 - 12:44 AM

I hope you noticed that the buttons have shafts of different length. Thus it is quite important to make notes of which button belonged where, especially if you washed them altogether. For example, some of the Aquatica housings have a series of top buttons each being slightly longer than the others.

 

For buttons not quite reaching the corresponding camera button, please note that you can "fine tune" the buttons by utilizing some of the old button O-rings. Just place one (or two) beneath the rubber cap at the end of the button shaft (but above the C-clip holding the button in place).

 

However, if you have buttons sticking at depths greater than 60m, you might want to contact Aquatica directly.


In Topic: GoPro/still camera combo?

02 January 2015 - 04:48 AM

I have done something similar by attaching a GoPro on my Aquatica housings for Canon 5D III and Sony MC50E eventhough I use the main camera for shooting video!

 

Benefits:

- The GoPro has a slightly wider angle of view so occasionally there might be better composition

- Whilst shooting continuously with GoPro, one might catch an event that otherwise might have been missed with the main camera

- I can film myself. For example in caves and wreck corridors you can get additional continuity and variety this way

- It is easier to take sneaky sideviews of accompanying divers

- The GoPro footage acts as additional insurance in case I manage to have a mishap focusing the main camera (see further below)

 

Drawbacks:

- One additional u/w casing to take care of. The GoPro is actually so cheap, that it is easy to become a bit complacent with it. I flooded one due to my own error

- The GoPro always runs out of battery before end of dive. My typical dive is 90-100 minutes in cold water.

- The image quality is not very good in low light and consequently the additional GoPro footage is rarely used

- Hundreds of GB of additional storage requirement.

- The hassle of charging additional batteries

 

Due to these drawbacks, I eventually gave up shooting with the add-on GoPro.

 

However, recently I really regretted this when I was the video shooter for an unknown submarine and I managed to shoot almost all of the footage slightly out of focus!


In Topic: Aquatica D7000 Housing issues with new camera

28 December 2014 - 06:27 AM

If you forgot to remove the rubber eyecup from the camera before installing the camera into the housing, you would get similar symptoms...


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.