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  1. 3 points
    I can vouch for the WWL-1B + 28-60mm setup. It takes fantastic photos, and for pelagics (particularly when Freediving), the zoom through is really useful. Here are two galleries from recent trips using this setup: - https://www.shanesmith.photos/Recent-Adventures/Underwater-2022/Fiji-Highlights-2022/ (almost all of the wide angle shots here are with the WWL-1B, with the exception of the split shot and a few of the coral wide-angle landscapes, which were taken with the Canon 8-15mm). I used the zoom through extensively with the bull sharks on this trip. - https://www.shanesmith.photos/Recent-Adventures/Underwater-2022/Lady-Elliot-Island-August-2022/ (All shot with the 28-60 + WWL-1B, as it was the only lens I took on this trip)
  2. 2 points
    having owned and shot the wacp-1 and shot the wwl-1 for several months, if a lens could use both options, I'd not even consider the wacp-1 considering both size and price. I personally haven't seen anything compelling about the wacp over the wwl in terms of image quality, looking at images of mine side by side from both, good luck finding a difference. Perhaps wide open there is an advantage for the WACP but realistically, how often are the majority of us shooting wide angle at apertures that wide? This is not to dump on the WACP, it is a phenomenal optic, but is it worth 4 times the price of the wwl...well...
  3. 1 point
    @Matt Sullivan Am I really going to disagree with you here? (maybe just a little a bit...) Also owning both and diving both, I think there is a difference between these two, but it's not super evident where you might notice this. For me, it's fairly evident when shooting larger subjects, like people or larger pelagics. It's a subtle difference, but it's there (at least to my eyes). Having said this, I'll travel with the WWL-1B often, however I only drag along the WACP-1 for special occasions.
  4. 1 point
    So, here is the follow up to my post. I was able to get the required O-Rings from Ikelite for the battery packs. 0114 is the 2 on the toggle shaft 0128 is the larger one behind the switch 0136.04 is the very small one that goes behind the switch screw. Using some silicone grease I lubricated the O-Ring that goes behind the switch. They call this an X-Ring as it isn't round but has ridges to it like a gland. It is hard to see in the picture but you have to install the small plastic bar that engages the notches and makes for the clicks as you turn the switch. There is a little nub on it that should face in towards the shaft. Getting this to stay in while you install the knob can test your patience. One this was installed I rotated the switch a number of times to be sure I seated the X-Ring into position. Next up is the small O-ring that goes behind the screw that holds the knob on. This one was tricky and required a few tries. Once I would tighten the screw and look down in the hole I would see the O-ring had squeezed out around the screw head. It took a couple tries but I was able to get it all seated. Next up was installing new O-Rings onto the toggle lever shaft. Not too tricky. The final install requires you to put the cover plate over the back and then install the toggle. The cover plate needs to go on so that the toggle can still twist counter-clockwise. It will only fit one way. You then place the first spring on in the recess, followed by the first washer and then the second spring and second washer. The locking lugs go on last and you have to wiggle them around until it sits down over the keyed end of the toggle. Then the 1/4 nut goes on the end. You just have to work at this until it gets started and you can thread it on. Everything is all together and I just have to test them out in the water. You could do a test in a bucket of water but you would have to remove the plate to see if any water got in. Not sure if I will do this or just jump in the water and see how they do. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I'm no expert in this but I thought this might inspire someone who was on the fence.
  5. 1 point
    I will add my perspective as a long time Ikelite user. There is a lot of good information that has been given and I don't envy your decision as a budding UW photographer. My first Ikelite housing was for a Canon AE1 Program. It was a rather bulky and cumbersome housing. I never was able to actually use it much. My next was a housing for a Sony CD camera. That one I used a good bit and worked reasonably well. Next was a Canon Rebel XT. I got some good shots with that one. A bit better than the AE1 housing as far as usability. It worked just fine and I never had an issue with controls underwater. Deepest was maybe 80 or 90 feet. Next was a Canon 7D. Very similar to the XT housing and worked just fine. Next up was a 5D mark 3. The housings had evolved some at this point and had a different tray and handles. Just recently I picked up a new open box housing for my R5 from eBay for $400 US. A pretty shocking amount for a $1700 housing. So yes, resale isn't that great. But seeing as I still have my last two housings I'm not concerned about resale. The new R5 housing is advanced a bit more and comes with a vacuum port. The controls are a bit better but I still don't have controls for everything and some of them are awkwardly placed. It does have an easy to use back button focus trigger though. That is the nature of the plastic box. I find good cost to value ratio with Ikelite. They have great service although I am not sure about the UK. The TTL systems they offer work very well but that requires using their strobes, but that is ok as they are very good as well. I certainly would like a Nauticam and I have looked at them several times but as much as I enjoy taking pictures underwater I struggle to pay many thousands more for what will probably result in just slightly better photos if I could even tell. If you could find a second hand Ikelite system it may be a good way to get into the hobby and decide if you like it.
  6. 1 point
    I had a ikelite housing in 1983-knobs bound up at depth-it was to buoyant -I;m sure they are better now but after 3-5 aquaticas and a the same with Subals I would never go back to plastic. Just get a used aluminum housing and you will find it does it all very well and the cost is less in the used market. I consider ikelite entry level on the way to a better housing ,save yourself this step
  7. 1 point
    For a beginner you should have al look at RX100 VA + Isotta-Housing + Inon UWL-95 C24. This is an excellent combination and gives the possibility for image quality just below the usual mirrorless or slr-cameras. below one shot with this combi from Moorea.
  8. 1 point
    Stunning pics Shane! Great to see your recent pictures in Fiji ! Alex (from Maldives)
  9. 1 point
    After using the lens a bit more, I have to say this is a very nice and solid choice for underwater. If I look in the corners, there is a bit of not sharpness but do not find it overly distracting. I have not used it with the S&S adaptor nor do I plan to. This is my go to lens. I have been using it behind a 230mm Marelux port on the R5. Here is a 16mm shot at f/5: I don't find the ice at the top distracting even if there may be some distortion from shooting so wide open. Going to 14mm is really nice too. What is remarkable is also the image stabilization. I have sharp eye's on other divers at 1/4 of a second exposure. That is ridiculous. As an example, I cropped this one to get rid of some black on top and bottom but it was F/4 at 14mm with 0.4 second exposure:
  10. 1 point
    Frankly, I think you should stick with the D7200 and Tokina. If you must upgrade, a D500 would be a better camera and you could keep using the 10-17. That lens gives you useful flexibility on crop-sensor that the 8-15 does not, on full frame. You could use the 8-15 on an APS-C camera like yours but the increase in quality is marginal and not worth the money, in my view. I switched from a D800 to an APS-C mirrorless; its more complicated (I have to remove the port and lens to remove the camera usually). It's slightly less heavy and I was keen to try water contact optics, the WWL-C, which is less than $1000. It's great, and 130 degrees sounds wide, but my Sigma 8-16 is wider and gets more use. You can't use the Tokina 10-17 with mirrorless as the AF doesn't work, so I bought an 8-15 zoom fisheye which does the same job, largely, as the Tokina on a crop sensor. Really, save your money. If you want better quality, go somewhere with clearer water. Check out Greg Lacoeur's work with the Tokina and D500...
  11. 1 point
    The graphic I provided chart shows only one cell. I did not want to take up the space to show the graphs for each slot and there were no significant differences for each slot. Links to the relevant sites and tests were provided. Please feel free to review them. If you are using the EBL iquick charger, here are notes from testing that charger by HKJ (LYGTE site): "This charger is fast, especially when only charging 1 battery, this fast charging will be hard on the batteries. It is good at terminating at the correct time, but I do not like the high trickle charge. It is a fairly good charge, if a shorter battery life can be accepted." The thread was on battery life. Some chargers shorten battery life more than other chargers. In that context, each person needs to make choices between the cost and size of a charger, the speed of charging, and the lifespan of the batteries. It is just a question of choice, assuming one has accurate information. Based on the stated price of your EBL charger, I assume you are using the iquick, and if so, I believe you have chosen a charger that shortens the life of the batteries. That is a reasonable choice to make, in return for the speed of the charger and your willingness to buy new batteries every few years, but others may wish to understand how charger choice may influence battery life. I feel there are other chargers that offer speed combined with less damage to the battery, but they do cost a few dollars more. I have neither the time nor inclination to test battery chargers. As I said, I am relying on information from others, who seem to know what they are talking about, but of course, each of us is free to rely upon and/or believe what we want.
  12. 1 point
    The panasonic charger BQ-CC55 uses a combination of methods. It charges at higher current to start with and when the battery is almost full switches to a lower current this means that it achieves a good combination of speed and battery life. Charging a 2500 mAh battery at 300 mA means 8 hours to full charge which is not practical for our use I also believe that those graphs are for a single battery. When you look at 4 batteries in the charger you are not going to be able to deliver 1.25 A for all batteries in the charger. When I said leave the batteries in the charger I am talking a real life situation. You put the batteries in there and don't wait until they are charging to remove them immediately. You go away do other things and come back some hours later. At that point they may have been sitting there for a while. All current smart chargers including those I have (not panasonic I use Chinese EBL on USB average cost £9) have both -dv/dt and switch current to a lower value. The charging eventually stops and the charger tells you the batteries are ready. If you remove them when the ready signal flashes they are hot. If you wait long enough they are colder which means the charger stopped very much like the Panasonic BQ-CC55. Likewise even those relatively cheap devices charge each battery individually. The ones I just got even have an LED display per battery. I prefer to take USB chargers on a trip to reduce the need for power strips but then at home I have the professional Panasonic charger to analyse and recondition the batteries if required. I have used this approach since beginning of 2019. Generally I have seen maximum current dropping. My chargers bought in 2019 had peak current of 3.6 A for 1 AA and 0.9 for 4 AA. Now this is 0.5 A
  13. 1 point
    Everything I have read and heard on the battery nerd forums and test sites suggests that using a top-off or trickle charge method is not ideal for charging LSD batteries. I am not a battery geek, so I may have the terminology wrong, but with LSD batteries, chargers cannot easily determine when a full charge has occurred if the charge rate is too low (Below 500 - 1000 mA). When chargers rely on a top-off or trickle charge for the last 20%, there is a likelihood of overcharging, so many of these chargers have to rely on a timing mechanism instead of assessing a 100% charge. I believe the BQ-CC55 shuts off after 1 hour. LSD batteries are sensitive to overcharging and doing so will shorten their lifespan and can cause other problems. So the ideal way to charge LSD batteries is to supply a sufficient charge until the battery is at 100% and then terminate the charging. This assures a full, but not overcharged battery. That is not how all the Panasonic chargers work. The BQ-CC55 "uses a -dv/dt termination and has a 1 hour top-off charge at around 140mA.... as can be seen on the temperature the cell is full and get stuffed a bit extra with the top-off charge. " The BQ-CC17, in contrast to the B-CC55, charges to 100% and then stops. But is a much slower charger: Again, I am relying on what others have told me, including testing and opinions (and the attached graphics) found at https://lygte-info.dk/ On this page (https://lygte-info.dk/info/batteryChargingNiMH UK.html ) is one of the clearer explanations of what I am saying: "AA/AAA NiMH batteries are usual rated for charging up to 1C, i.e. same current as their capacity. This means that a charge current of 2000mA (or 2A) for a 2000mAh battery, most chargers will charge with a lower current, but there is also some chargers that uses higher current. A high charge current will usual reduce the number of charge cycles a battery can last, i.e. using a lower charge current will mean longer battery life. But using a low charge current has its own problems, detecting when a NiMH battery is full can be problematic and overcharging will also reduce the life of the battery, especially LSD (Low Self Discharge) types. One way around this problem is using the battery voltage for termination, it works, but has a few problems because it varies with temperature and actual chemical composition of the battery, i.e. not all brands needs exactly the same termination voltage. If the termination voltage in the charger is a too high the charger may never terminate and will overcharge the battery in a serious way. If the termination voltage is too low, the charger will stop premature and you will get a battery with a bit less than full capacity. This can be fixed with a top-off charge, i.e. a lower current charge for a fixed time (like 1-2 hours), this will probably overcharge the battery, but with a low current and for a limited time, i.e. damage will be minor." His concluding statement includes "To get a good charger look for one with individual cell termination, i.e. it must be able to charger one cell at a time. It must terminate when the battery is full and preferable not use trickle charge. For chargers with voltage termination a top-off charge is acceptable and secures that the cell is full, for chargers with -dv/dt termination it is not needed." So, I prefer a charger that charges to 100% at a reasonable rate of charge, and then terminates, but a charger like the BQ-CC55 is a good alternative due to its speed, and for most of us, a possible slight reduction in battery life is an acceptable trade-off. I would not hesitate to use them on a dive trip. However, the thread topic is lifespan of eneloops, so the point of increased lifespan is germane. Note: I also obtained some information from a very close family member who, as it happens, is an engineer for Panasonic Energy. Oh, and one last point. NIMH LSD batteries should not be "left in the charger." This may explain some of your lifespan issues. Take them out when they are done and store them out of the charger.
  14. 1 point
    I shoot both the 8-15 (which for me means 15 since I'm not keen to the circular fisheye look) and the 16-35 both behind a 230mm domeport. Rectilinear lenses gives a different look compared to the extreme distortion caused by the fisheye and I think they are very useful for sharks and pelagics in general. However, in my opinion a fisheye is lens that every WA shooter should own. Reef scenes with the rectilinear doesn't give me the "right feel". Another route, as Craig mentioned, could be the inexpensive Nikon AF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 behind a Nauticam WACP. The new WACP-C sounds interesting and could be a solution that offers both optical quality, similar costs and a reduced size and weight compared to a 230mm domeport, plus flexibility with a great zoom capability. I don't know how the final product performs but I'm also considering to take the plunge.
  15. 1 point
    I shot a D850 (Nauticam housing) for a few years, until August when I started using a Z9. I used a D810 underwater before the D850. Wide angle options are limited, for sure. I see it as a choice between fisheye (8-15), rectilinear (16-35), and specialty optics (see various expensive Nauticam options). As I do not like fisheye, the choice of 16-35 was pretty clear to me back in 2015 when I first bought a housing for my D810. At least with the zooms, you have competing tradeoffs. The 16-35 requires a huge dome that is difficult to ... well, everything, really. AND it needs a Sea and Sea Internal Corrections Lens on it to make the corners acceptable. The 8-15 is easier to travel with - but it's a fisheye. I can't see a wide prime. I think I'd be sick of the same viewing angle after a few dives. Probably crop even more than ever. As for extension, I use a 90mm extension with my 230mm dome. I find it just holds 6 arm clamps, plus the one for the focus light, so it becomes less an issue when packing. The 230mm dome port? Nothing but issues there. Can't put anything inside it. Have to really pad around it. And it's huge.
  16. 1 point
    Interestingly Panasonic recommends charging the battery between 0.5 and 1C which means 1250 to 2500 mA a fairly high current. However their own charger works at 600 mA The trickle charge mechanism is actually good as it avoids overcharging the batteries when they are left in the charger and also avoids heating them up more than required In terms of storage eneloop recommendation is actually to store the batteries fully charged if you are not going to use them for a while. This is different from lithium batteries that are stored at 20-25% Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. 1 point
    @hoekma, I use the EPL10 both the Pana8mm FE and the Oly 60mm macro. I recently got the Oly30mm macro to try out but haven't been able to get out to use it yet. I prefer to put one lens on in a port so that I can focus o one kind of photography per day of diving be it WA/CFWA or Macro. Here (link #1) is an album captured with the 8mm fisheye, there are some original and cropped photos in the album. Here (Link #2) is a second album with some photos captured with the 8mm fisheye. If I remember correctly I tries to get my dome port within 3-4 inches of the subject, except for the octopus, it was sleeping so I stayed back a bit. If you have questions feel free to ask.
  18. 1 point
    Very nice, thanks for sharing.
  19. 1 point
    SineTwo: That is going to be a tight budget for Anilao but it can be done. First do your calculations based on total cost. Food is normally included in the room rate as there are no other options, and diving might be cheaper than you think, as most places charge USD 50-60 per person per dive and some charge a bit less. Resorts on the budget end of the spectrum include Arthur’s Place, Anilao Beach Club, Anilao Scuba Dive Center, Philpan, Planet Dive, maybe Eagle Point. All are very close to dive sites. The first five are small, Eagle Point is huge. Quality varies a lot so look online for photos and reviews. From this list I’d choose Arthur’s, ABC, or Planet. Depending on how many people will be on your trip, ask about group rooms, as some places work out to cost much less that way. All of them contract with freelance boat operators, none have their own - this is standard practice in Anilao, and I rarely had a very good spotter. Tim: I’m still very glad Bruce’s worked out for you! You might be interested to know that they’ve recently completed a big post-pandemic refresh and renovation. I’d love to go back myself.
  20. 1 point
    Please read the other thread on eneloop pro to get some details on that discussion In general I believe that failure of DS strobes is related to heat lock ups My manual says If the product emits 20 continuous flashes an internal protective circuit will be activated to prevent the reflector in the strobe from overheating and the strobe will be placed in standby mode(with the ready ttl light out) for at least 20 seconds. If this occurs allow the product to cool naturally for 10 minutes. I see the same in the YS-D3 suggesting that cooling the product down will sort out the issue. Obviously if you continue to fire the strobe may be damaged permanently which I believe was the issue on the first release of the strobe that had a burned light bulb Unfortunately the design of the Sea and Sea strobes with a flat front does not help the heat dissipation that other strobes with a curver or dome front have. Retra and seacam that are made of metal will also conduct heat into the water better compared to the plastic construction of Japanese strobes I have never experienced this issue but I am curious if this happened to others
  21. 1 point
    I have been in correspondence with Panasonic energy and I have asked them about the production date The answer has been the batteries themselves last around 10 years so you should not worry too much about the production date. The life is influenced by the number of cycles which are 500 for the Pro and 2100 for the standard ones So as long as you do not drain them a standard eneloop has more than 4x the life of a Pro. Generally I doubt that someone doing 4 trips per year with two strobes say around 100 dives will do more than 100 cycles in the two battery sets it has. So each battery should have 50 cycles and last for a long period of time including the pro So any premature death is either extensive use or bad practices
  22. 1 point
    @fruehaufsteher2 I've been in the water with the humpbacks in French Polynesia on several occasions... never was I told you can't leave the surface to get a shot. Agreed, no one is free diving down 10-15 meters to shoot, but going down 3-5 meters from the surface was never an issue. A matter of fact: here's a quote from one of the local operator's site: "We will only be snorkeling and freediving with the whales." If you were told you could not leave the surface that sounds like an operator restriction, not a general rule engaging with the whales. @Samhp - don't underestimate the amount of swimming you will need to do, as @fruehaufsteher2 suggests, boats remain 100+ meters away from the whales, it will be up to you to swim to close the distance (and the whales are moving as well). For me, it ended up being at least 3x-4x more swimming that I initially expected... on the calm days this was fine, but on the days there was chop, it was tiring.
  23. 1 point
    Freediving is usually not allowed, and swimming towards the whales neither. Boats have to keep a distance of at least 100m. usually you see the whales in about 30-50m depth and then wait for coming up You can make a guess where are going to come up but it will be a 50/50. no fun without zoom capability. but the encounters are incredible
  24. 1 point
    Do not forget to add the fiber optic cable (pair) and flash trigger. And of course a new handbag or backpack for packing the rig on travels.
  25. 1 point
    I have some new information that I have gathered directly from Panasonic website which I think is rather worrying for some underwater users https://www.panasonic-eneloop.eu/en/faq/how-increase-battery-life https://www.panasonic-eneloop.eu/en/faq/how-use-battery-properly https://www.panasonic-eneloop.eu/en/faq/how-discharge-battery The last point is bothersome Another way is to put a battery in a flashlight or other device and let it stay on until the battery is empty. Do note that we do not recommend this method, as it may cause over discharge and shorter battery life. My interpretation of the last point is that draining the batteries is not helping their life. Note also the suggestion of not mixing batteries purchased on different dates The other interesting part is that Panasonic sells their own charger that can refresh and diagnose the eneloop https://www.panasonic-eneloop.eu/en/chargers/bq-cc65-plastic-free-charger-pack Although taking this on a trip can be bulky it is an item to have to check your batteries before the trip I just bought one myself
  26. 1 point
    Final post for a bit. Here are a couple of shots from last weekend on the wreck of the Manasoo in Georgian Bay. I've included a link to the Wikipedia Page about the wreck which is mostly correct. In any case, hope you enjoy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Manasoo https://imgur.com/a/hB7Sqzw
  27. 1 point
    So I guess my theory holds Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  28. 1 point
    Here's a video of a recent trip to Halmahera and Lembeh in Indonesia from June. It was nice to finally get out and travel again. And, I didn't catch covid in the process. :-) The trip was onboard the MSY Seahorse, a 12 day liveaboard departing from Bitung. Visibility deteriorated as the trip went on making it a challenge to shoot. The highlight was a wall of about 1,000 barracudas at Tifore Island.
  29. 1 point
    I can barely justify the micro4/3 kit I have as a hobbyist. I couldn't imagine trying to justify anything larger.
  30. 1 point
    I had a good mentor when I worked for a small town newspaper back in the early-1970's. The editor of the newspaper noticed I was interested in photography and worked with me. The newspaper used medium format twin lens reflex cameras. Development of film and prints was all done in-house and expectations to produce usable images were very high. I would often be given camera with one roll of twelve exposure film and sent off to photograph events at the high school I attended. Expectations were that an exposed roll of film would have a minimum of six usable images. Not only did my boss expect to see well composed images, exposures had to be correct as well. The metering system on those old twin lens reflex cameras were pretty primitive compared to what we have available with a modern DSLR. Before I graduated from high school, the newspaper switched to 35mm SLR cameras. I was issued a Canon Ftb QL with a Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens. I ended-up switching to a Nikon F2 when I could afford to purchase my own camera. One of the downsides to pushing film above its intended ISO is grainy images. Of course, we can get the same thing nowadays by shooting digitally at high ISO's. Now, we call it noise. Images captured with film have a different texture than those produced digitally. When I published a book about California sea lions a few years ago, I used some film images in one of the chapters. Shortly after submitting the chapter to my publishing editor for review, she called me and told me she noticed I had used film for several of the images. I didn't even have to tell her which ones. It's hard to resist the urge to do the point & spray thing when we're using digital cameras with high capacity memory cards. Check my website: www.cortezbluephotography.com if you're interested in looking at my work. -Tinman

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