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nathanm

Member Since 04 Feb 2007
Offline Last Active Aug 13 2013 07:43 AM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Leak Sentinel from Vivid Housings

10 August 2013 - 09:59 AM

Any word on whether the Nauticam vacuum product is on the market yet?


In Topic: Sigma 150 macro

29 June 2013 - 06:47 PM

I have the sigma 180 macro - also f/2.8 and with OS (image stabilization), and I am planning to use it underwater but have not done so yet - I need to get a port extender first. 

 

I tried it with a Nauticam outfit and while I had the right extender, the internal diameter of the front part of the port would not fit the lens. 

 

I will try it with my Seacam system when I get the right port extender.

 

I want it for working distance and/or higher magnification at the same working distance. 


In Topic: Spare Body or not

31 May 2013 - 06:04 PM

The cost of a housing for DSLR is generally about again as much as the camera  (ranges from say 50% of cost of camera for Ikelite, 150% for Seacam).  By the time you add ports, strobes and lenses, the camera is actually one of the cheaper parts of the system.   It is also one of the least reliable.  For example, I have had many more camera problems than lens problems over the years.  

 

So I always travel with two identical bodies - one is nominally dedicated to topside use, the other goes in the housing.  I also tend to have multiple lenses - not duplicates, but as a post above suggested the 50 and 100 macro lens, and 20mm and 15mm lenses.   I have had a lens fail (diaphragm stuck) and was glad to have a more or less comparable lens along.  I mostly use the 100 mm and 15mm but the 50mm macro is small and cheap.  A 20mm lens is pretty small too.

 

I also try to travel with an extra set of strobes - in my case a pair of DS 125 manual strobes that I've had forever.   I have had to use them a couple times when my much fancier strobes crap out.  Note that this means bringing along an adapter or other cables so I can use them.

 

Obviously if you can't afford two bodies that is a different story, but you have to figure that bad things can happen and dive trips are very expensive too.


In Topic: Surf or dive housing for galapagos snorkeling, what's best?

31 May 2013 - 09:03 AM

Well, I misread you then!

 

Last time I was in the Galapagos (many years ago) I used a full UW housing set up for snorkeling, so of course it works.  I had penguins all around me on more than one snorkel.  A bunch of baitfish tried to hide near me, and the penguins zipped past me within a foot or so like a bunch of torpedoes.    It's yet another example of you why you don't want to be a baitfish.

 

However, maybe that was unbelievable luck....

 

The surf angle is that if there is a shore swell you can get sea lions that play in the surf.   And the full housing is very heavy if you try to do much in the way of over/unders.   So I might get one to try things like that.  It surely isn't necessary.

 

They now allow you to do kayaking in the Galapagos (used to be banned), and that would be another reason for a surf housing - i.e. basically for topside shooting, but you don't want to dunk the camera.

 

I already use carbon fiber arms to add buoyancy.  With the Inon popeye arms you can actually add too much and make my existing Seacam set up very positive.

 

The 1DX Seacam is NOT out yet that I know of.   I have had one on order for quite some time, and there does not seem to be a firm commitment to date.   My guess is June, but it might be July.  Fortunately, I don't have any trips for a few months so it doesn't matter that much to me.

 

The only technical detail that I have at the moment is that the 1DX remote port option can do either shutter only (as with the current remote port) or full Ethernet.  I would love to come up with a use for that - for example, UW time-lapse.   It is a very special case that I may never use, but it does sound cool....


In Topic: Housing for Canon 1DX Nauticam or SeaCam? Other options?

31 May 2013 - 08:46 AM

Some further thoughts - I use the Canon 8-15mm and the 16-35 II, but I also use the 15mm and 20mm quite a bit.  The 100 macro is a good macro choice, but I also have the Sigma 50mm which has the advantage over Canon 50 macro in that it will go all the way to 1:1.    

 

Seacam has some advantages in really exotic stuff.  I have the polecam outfit with the remote video viewfinder for example.  I have used that with the 1D3 to shoot high fps shots at the surface of billfish, for example.   1DX would be good for that too.

 

For the 1DX housing the remote trigger cable is going to have Ethernet capability.  I don't have a use for that yet, but it is pretty cool.

 

Service for Seacam is always very good - Stephen Frink and Liz seem to be on call pretty much 7x24.  They have fielded email or phone calls from me over the years.   However, in general very little has gone wrong with the housing.   Once I had to repack the O-rings on one of the pushbuttons, which was a bit tough on a dive boat without all the right tools but I got it done.

 

Reef Photo has also given me good service for Nauticam.   I also have a Nauticam 7D housing that one of my sons uses.   It has not been as reliable as Seacam.  Twice we have had problems with a plastic gear that controls the shutter button.  The plastic gear teeth bend and then strip.    It has also had problems with the rubber wheel that engages the control dial.    I have had to do improvised surgery with gaffers tape and had to disassemble parts of the Nauticam to rotate the stripped gear to a spot where it still had teeth.   I didn't have these problems with the Nauticam 1DX housing, but I only used it for one trip.

 

You mentioned the joystick.  Nauticam 1DX housing has "arrow keys" that let you use it.   I don't know if Seacam will do this or not, because I don't have the housing yet.   I am pretty use to changing the focus point using the dials (i.e. on 1Ds3 or 1D3) but joystick is faster/better.

 

The Seacam 5D3 housing does not have joystick controls, but I don't know the status on the 1DX housing.   On the 5D3 I miss the joystick a bit, not critically.