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maractwin

Member Since 08 Nov 2005
Offline Last Active Aug 28 2016 03:48 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Travel with a back up camera body?

28 August 2016 - 03:45 PM

I carry a Panasonic Lumix as a backup camera.  Without a housing it is rated to 48 feet, but I've had it down to 100 feet.  It's useful having a waterproof point-n-shoot on the boat deck.  I've used it on dives where there were both macro and wide angle subjects expected: my SLR system setup for macro, and the Lumix in my BCD pocket for the occasional wide angle shot.  It can't get me closeups of moving subjects because of shutter lag, and the onboard flash produces backscatter sometimes, but it is surprisingly capable.  When I flooded my SLR on day 11 of 14, I was able to take photos the last three days with the point-n-shoot.

 

-Mark


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.

 

-Mark


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.

 

-Mark


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.