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Member Since 23 Apr 2003
Offline Last Active Jul 06 2009 03:31 PM

Topics I've Started

Fantasea FSB-800 Flash Housing for Nikon SB800

24 November 2008 - 10:25 AM

For years, I've been shooting a housed Nikon SB800 flash underwater. In my opinion, it works extremely well and provides great TTL exposures. Last year I decided to try shooting a second SB800, so I bought another SB800, plus a Fantasea FSB-800 Flash Housing. I was planning to fire the second SB800 with a fiber optics link.

Later, I decided to just stay with the one housed flash, so the Fantasea housing has never been used. Fantasea recently stopped making these housings, so they're getting harder to find in new condition. Dealers who still have them are asking around $300 for the housing and sync cord.

I'm offering mine for $175 (no sync cord), which includes shipping to US addresses. Please note that this is the housing only and does not include the SB800 flash. I prefer payment by PayPal.

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For Sale: Complete E900/Ikelite/Inon Rig

17 November 2008 - 02:08 PM


Fuji E900 9 MP camera (purchased new in October 2007).
1 - Fuji 2GB xD card, type H
1 - Olympus 512MB xD card, type H
Ikelite housing, tray, and handle
Inon D2000 Strobe (optically fired in manual or S-TTL) with screw-on diffuser
Inon optical cable
Ikelite lens port adapter for add-on lenses
Inon UCL-165AD close-up lens
2 ULCS 8" arms (one of the arms has a lens caddy for add-on lenses)
1 ULCS clamp

This is a complete ready-to-dive rig except that you'll need to get two of the clamps (about $25 each) that connect the arms together (I had to cannibalize them for another rig), and I've lost the little piece of dark film that is taped over the E900 flash (other things can be used, or don't use the film at all). Everything above is in like-new condition. This equipment has only been underwater for about 20 dives. I bought it for a backup for my DSLR, but I hardly ever used it.

All equipment will be shipped in the original boxes with original manuals and documentation, and all the auxiliary pieces.

Additional pieces for topside photography:
Fujifilm AR-FXE02 Adapter Ring
43mm to 52mm step-up ring
Tiffen circular polarizer
Set of Nikkor (Nikon) Diopters (0, +1, +2) - these are ancient. Nikon hasn't made these in decades, and you'll never find them on eBay, but they're some of the finest diopters ever made. These fit the 52mm threads on the step-up ring.

Price includes shipping in the US, but foreign shipping will be additional.

Please PM me if you have any questions or want more photos.


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Published in Popular Photography

15 November 2008 - 06:05 PM

If you get Popular Photography magazine, check out page 22 in the December issue. They picked one of my Philippines photos for the 2nd Place "Your Best Shot." I got $200 for it, but I'll probably spend most of that buying extra copies for my family and friends. :)

My subscription copy came Friday, and I imagine they'll be on the newsstands soon.

For copyright reasons, I can't show a scanned image of the page, but here is the photo:

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I think they eventually put these online, but I don't know how long that takes.

naumakos on NatGeo

30 July 2008 - 04:30 AM

Giuseppe Piccioli (naumakos), for the 2nd time, has a "Daily Dozen" photo on NatGeo online. It's an amazing photo. Crossing my fingers that this one will make it into the magazine!


See July - Week 4 - 2nd image.

El Dorado Dive Center in Dauin report

25 July 2008 - 03:32 AM

You haven't said anything about Dauin, is that because you didn't like it there or have you simply forgotten you went there. :blink:

Dauin was a bust compared to PG and Anilao. We stayed at El Dorado, which wasn't a great experience, and the dive operation there was a disaster.

Apparently El Dorado was overbooked, so they put two of our people in tiny un-airconditioned staff rooms. The resort was the most fly-infested place I've ever seen in my life. The best thing I can say about El Dorado is that the food was good, but it's hard to get enthusiastic about the food when your plate is covered with flies all the time.

But the dive operation was worse than a catastrophe. Of the three places our group travelled in the Philippines (Puerto Galera and Anilao were the other two), Dive Society was the only dive operation that was not well run and enjoyable. In fact, we would never stay at El Dorado again because of issues with their dive operation, the Dive Society. Unlike the other Philippine dive operations that were operated and staffed by Filipinos, Dive Society is owned by Europeans, and the divemasters were Europeans. Dive Society had promised a big boat that our group of 16 could dive on together, but the big boat was broke and they didn't seem too interested in fixing it. They advertised free nitrox, but their nitrox compressor was broken, and after a couple of days even their air compressor broke and they had to bring in tanks from another resort.

The dive boats were monstrosities that, despite their size, were uncomfortably cramped and difficult to enter the water from. I have a bad back and mobility problems, and when I explained this to the divemaster and asked for some help, he said okay, but he didn't really help very much. It wasn't until I exited that I realized that I could have entered the water from a ladder, which the divemaster apparently never thought of.

Boat dives were strictly limited to 60 minutes because they had to have the boat back for the next dive. I'm not making this up - they insisted on limiting dives to 60 minutes. During much of the time we were in Dauin, the weather was bad, so boat dives were limited, and most of us did shore dives on most days. There is a great dive at a nearby pier, but they take you there on a little jitney-type vehicle, where you then have to gear up and make a long walk with all your gear and cameras over broken terrain to make a shore entry.

Note: Dauin is 100% muck diving. To see coral reefs, you have to make boat dives to Apo Island several miles away. There is a protected marine sanctuary directly in front of the dive operation that offers great muck diving, but it also causes a problem. The dive boats can't enter the sanctuary, so they have to pull up on the beach about 100 meters north or south of the dive shop. After our first boat dive, the boat crew said they would bring our dive gear back. They did - by floating our tanks/BCs and dragging them through the water by the 2nd stage regulator and hose. When we noticed this, we ran out in the water and grabbed our gear and brought it back ourselves. There's no telling how many regulator hoses these guys have ruined by doing this.

A major irritant: The local politicians charge hefty fees for every dive, plus fees for taking a camera underwater, and they get a whopping $100 a dive for a video camera. The dive operators collect these fees when you check out. They are NOT included in your prepaid dive package, so be prepared for sticker shock when you check out.

The bottom line 1: my wife and I have dived with many dive operators over the 21 years we've been certified, and Dive Society is as bad as we've seen. We would love to return to Dauin for the great muck diving, but we will certainly not waste our money with the Dive Society.

UW Photography Comments: The dive shop had rinse tanks, but no rinse tanks on boats. We were there with a group of 16 underwater photographers, and the boat crews seemed perplexed at how to handle cameras.

We were told later by Filipino friends that there are much better dive resorts in Dauin. I wish we had stayed at one of these.