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Member Since 08 Nov 2005
Offline Last Active Jul 18 2016 06:15 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Octopus ID

04 April 2016 - 06:05 AM

I agree that it looks like a coconut octopus.


However, I also think that the blue color might be an artifact of post-processing of the image.  That precise shade of blue appears in the sand in each image, and in the third image you can see it clearly in the rocks and plastic behind the octopus.  This is a color that is not common in environments like that, and is unlikely to appear naturally in so many places.

In Topic: Few questions regarding lenses

22 February 2016 - 10:48 AM

I do use the Sigma 17-70 under an Aquatica 8-inch dome sometimes, though with a Canon 7DmkII rather than Nikon.  I like the lens because at its widest, it is almost as wide as my fisheye, but it can also go tighter for when expected sharks and mantas aren't getting as close as you would like.



In Topic: Aquatica for Canon 7D mk II - Your review is apreciated

07 February 2016 - 06:10 PM

We did a dive in high current, with instructions to get down to 60 feet as quickly as possible.  So I was already that deep before trying to turn on the camera and discovering water drops inside the housing.  By the time I could surface, it was already half-full of water.  I'm not sure exactly what caused the flood.  I'm suspicious that it might have been the vacuum port, but we were unable to determine for sure.  The main o-ring was damaged by the time it got back to Backscatter, but I quit taking much care with the housing following the flood and the damage easily could have happened afterwards.


This is the Aquatica vacuum system. 


Insurance paid for replacing the camera and lens, and overhauling the housing.  I'm just back from my first dive trip since the flood.  Things worked OK, but I am still unhappy with this housing. 


The strobe cables inside the housing can very easily come unplugged.  I had one dive without functioning strobes, and twice more where my pre-dive check discovered that they wouldn't fire, so I had to open the housing, fix the cables, and re-seal it.


With the door hinged so that it barely opens more than 90 degress, one time the door slammed shut while I was working on the housing, chipping the plastic latch.  It still works for now, but I can imagine that breaking it beyond repair.



In Topic: Aquatica for Canon 7D mk II - Your review is apreciated

22 January 2016 - 05:36 AM

The actual latch is fine.  I have no question that it is properly latched closed when closed, and no concern that it could pop open.  There's nothing to pinch my fingers (not that I had any problems with the previous latching system either).


I have a vacuum system in this housing, but that's actually another source of complication that could fail.  I had my first ever flood in twelve years of underwater photography with this housing.  It was shipped with a defective vacuum system, and through mis-communication with Backscatter was unable to get it fixed prior to my first trip with the housing.  So I dived without using the vacuum.


The rest of the ergonomics of the housing I like.  The shutter and knobs are easy to use.  I've had no trouble with them slipping, something that I have seen on some other housings.  The housing is about as small as possible with this camera body. 


I also got the Ikelite controller for true TTL strobe operation installed in the housing, and that works too.  It's nice to have that option, though I still work in manual most of the time because I'm familiar with that and have more control.

In Topic: Aquatica for Canon 7D mk II - Your review is apreciated

20 January 2016 - 07:06 AM

I don't like the new latching system at all.  It is no longer possible for me to do a seal check with my fingers.  I used to always run a fingertip around the o-ring, and the sealing surface, as I can more easily feel any hairs or sand grains than see them.  With the new latching system, there isn't room to do  this in several places.  And with the back always attached rather than removable while open, the camera will no longer balance lens-down on the macro port with the back open.  So I have to close the back repeatedly while working on the rig.  If I did not have an investment in ports and other accessories, I'd consider switching brands.