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Member Since 26 Jun 2006
Offline Last Active Aug 10 2014 02:07 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Bad idea to go to Galapagos this summer? (El Nino)

07 August 2014 - 06:23 PM

I was at Cocos a couple weeks ago and it was definitively El Niño conditions. Water temps were in the 81-82 F range for the entire trip.

Can't comment on the effects at Galapagos, but it looks like El Niño is here for a while.

In Topic: Strobes not firering. Nikon D70 with Ikelite case and DS125 and DS50 strobes

06 August 2014 - 11:05 AM


Buy The Underwater Photographer, by Martin Edge. I believe that the 4th edition is the current one, but there may be a fifth by now. Many consider this the bible for UW photos, esp. when starting.


In Topic: Strobes not firering. Nikon D70 with Ikelite case and DS125 and DS50 strobes

30 July 2014 - 04:18 PM

It's been a while since I shot with a D70, but I believe that you can turn the internal flash off IF you are using M, A or S modes. Or it will not pop up at all. The comment on bad sync cords is very true. That's why I left Ike strobes and went to S&S YS-D1s for FO connection. I always carried a couple extra sync cords on trips. I think FO is more reliable, but that's another discussion I don't want to start.


Sounds to me like you're shooting in Auto mode which is not the way to go UW. The flash will pop up in most cases if you are in Auto or any of the Program modes. Stick with M, A or S modes.

In Topic: Hammerheads

30 July 2014 - 04:06 PM

Just got back from Cocos on Sea Hunter and I can affirm what matt215 said above. It was el nino conditions and the water was warm. Around 82F. The guides said that the hammer action was down due to el nino. We saw a good number of scalloped hammers, white tips, black tips, a couple silver tips, 5-10 tigers and a whale shark at Dos Amigos (Small). Diving from the rigid pangas makes a big difference for an old guy like me. Definitely easier that a zodiac. The water was kind of murky and good photos were tough unless they came right to you, which did happen. Diving is deep, generally starting at 100-110 feet, definitely on nitrox 32. Three dives a day. Watch your nitrogen loading. We had a couple folks end up on oxygen due to symptoms of skin bends. They were diving within the NDL limits of their computers, but got mild hits anyway. No long term effects.


It's 36 hours each way from the mainland. Fortunately we had mild conditions both ways. Not always the case.


Crew is excellent and boat is very comfortable. They are running the Sea Hunter and Argo to Cocos. I don't believe that they are using the Undersea Hunter for that itinerary any longer. Combination of older vessel and lower demand for the trip.


If you're planning on 2015, you need to get moving. These trips book up early. At least the Undersea Group does.

In Topic: Upgrade to YS-D1 or Z240-Questions

23 July 2014 - 04:04 PM

I started this thread a couple months ago. Just completed a trip to Cocos Is. with my new YS-D1s and am quite pleased with the result. No problem with the FO cable coming loose from the strobe-concern was obviously unwarranted.


Minor problem with the FO cable coming loose from the bulkhead. This occurred mostly when handling in the zodiac. Simply reinserted it into the bulkhead connection. I plan to engineer a small clip to hold the FO cable at the bulkhead in place before my next trip.


The one nit that I experienced was that the rotary switches were too easy to rotate. They frequently got knocked out of position while being handled by the boat crew. The detent positions just are not strong enough for the intended use. I had to check and reset the switches when entering the water on every dive once I figured out why the strobes were not firing.


Batteries were changed every two dives with no sign of reduced capacity. Camera battery lasted the entire day. 


These are powerful strobes, more than my old DS-125s or at least it appeared so to me. Plus they are somewhat lighter. Made my rig a bit easier to handle above water.


And using AA batteries rather than a proprietary battery pack makes things a bit easier. One less charger to carry since I carry a AA charger anyway.


Shot with manual strobes the entire trip. Lots of flexibility with 11 power settings. No problem with syncing up with my D7000.


Very happy with this strobe.


Thanks to all who posted to this thread.