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Member Since 16 Jan 2011
Offline Last Active May 15 2015 05:19 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Car wax for your camera housing??? Whaaaa

16 April 2015 - 11:32 PM

I would not use "any old silicone" on the metal parts either. It might be incompatible with the O-rings, both the visible ones and the ones hidden inside the button and shaft holes of the housing.


If you want to keep your Aquatica (or any other) housing in pristine condition, I recommend the following:


Soak and rinse your housing after every dive even if you did not dive in salt water. Soak the housing for atleast half an hour in fresh water. In the beginning, at the middle and at the end, remember to operate all the pushbuttons, knobs and levers. The idea is to get rid of any sand grit, fine silt and salt water/crystals. I can tell that these cumulate in the various holes if you do not rinse the housing properly.


Take care of the main and dome port O-rings according to manufacturer's instructions. You should regularly observe the condition of the O-rings for any signs of decay, softening/hardening, cracks or other flaws and replace these O-rings when needed.


Unless you are really confident in DIY fine mechanics, be prepared to send the housing to a proper service center for a complete overhaul and replacing of all internal O-rings if you are experiencing repeatedly jamming or excessive friction of any of the controls. From a risk management perspective, it is better to replace the internal O-rings before they leak.

In Topic: Tenerife, Canary Islands

23 March 2015 - 11:26 AM

Like Mr. Benitez pointed out, much of the sea areas west of Tenerife are protected areas for whales and dolphins. However, if you are lucky, you might see individual dolphins or groups of dolphins occasionally near some of the fish farms. Many of the Los Cristianos and Playa Americas based dive companies pass the fish farms south of Los Cristianos daily. However, these companies might not accomodate your needs, if you need longer dive times etc. There are also fish farms further north.


There are some dive companies who are more flexible for the needs of photographers, e.g. Solo Buceo and La Morena Diving, but their regular routes do not pass the fish farms.

In Topic: Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

10 February 2015 - 02:14 AM

I respect Jonathan's views as a professional who needs to rely on the production process - i.e. efficient work and less missed shots.


However, I personally moved from a video camera (Sony MC50E for semipro use) to a DSLR (Canon 5DIII) for the following reasons:

- Overall better image quality

- Less noise

- Better colors (but only after learning how to do it properly)

- Sharper video


Yes, I occasionally make the mistake of shooting out of focus footage due to the clumsiness of focusing. However, I plan to solve this By a) back button focus, b) external monitor and c) perhaps Magic Lantern.


I DO miss the optical image stabilization of my previous video camera. It is more difficult to avoid shake with a DLSR housing even it is almost perfectly balanced.


Even though the 5DIII is quite sensitive, I am still bothered by noise in the darker areas of the image, especially since I prefer to shoot with lights off-camera. Denoisers do help a bit though.


Since Jonathan recommends a video camera for the "advanced" user, I wonder what options are there between the image quality of a DSLR and a RED, and, have an ergonomic housing available - not just a piece of plastic pipe. In this forum there has been some concern about FS100 suitability in deeper/darker waters. There is not much information about FS700. And cropping factors and limited battery life eliminate some other choices.


Conclusion/question: is there any good video camera available for "advanced" u/w use?

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.