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bmemike

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Everything posted by bmemike

  1. The term "bug" is certainly not appropriate here. The lenses and bodies work totally as designed and as advertised. There's no bait and switch or other technical confusion beyond learning the terms. It is what it is and is works exactly how it's intended. I can understand if someone wants to call the EF/EF-S compatibility on full frame a "disadvantage" in the Canon line compared to Nikon -- that's more subjective and an easier opinion to justify (not that one has to "justify" opinions) in a bullet list of pros vs. cons. But it's clearly not a bug in the sense that it doesn't work as it's supposed to.
  2. I just clear my mask a lot That's all... never fussed with any remedies. I just know that water will eventually seep a bit and I'll just have to look up and blow some of the water out. Never really had an issue with it -- though I definitely clear my mask more than most people... but I don't see that as being "a problem" per se.
  3. I agree with this sentiment - it's "the way that things are" and it's fairly well documented and advertised. Canon FF bodies take EF lenses. Canon crop bodies can take EF-S and EF lenses. The benefit is clear - EF-S lenses require less glass and can be produced for less for those people buying crop bodies. Many people can get around the issue by putting an extension tube between the EF-S lens and FF body, but you lose infinity focus. Some people will put a TC between the two, but this degrades image quality and also introduces the TC factor (typically 1.4x). If you have plans on moving to FF, simply sell off the EF-S lenses and buy an EF equivalent lens. In the case of the EF-S 60mm macro, the EF 100mm f2.8 macro is a very clear and obvious upgrade path.
  4. I guess the first question I'd have is this - are you shooting TTL or manual on the strobes? For macro, I've never had a problem shooting TTL with a little +/- FEC. At or above 1:1, I can easily shoot f8-f16 without getting a black frame at speeds up to the shutter sync (on my 30D, that's 1/250). I'm not immediately sure what the problem is -- but I certainly haven't experienced the same issues and haven't had any problems with the Canon 100 f2.8 macro.
  5. While prepping for a trip I managed to "bind" the locking mechanism on one of my DS-125 battery packs. I figured I could free it up with a bit of leverage from a screwdriver but didn't want to fubar the latch a week before the trip. I placed a quick call to Ike, they grabbed a battery to make sure they knew exactly what I meant by my description and told me exactly how to free it up (in this case, adding a bit of leverage from a screwdriver ) -- but they were more than happy to spend 10-15 minutes on the phone with me while we worked through it and got everything squared. Saved me from possibly snapping the latching mechanism and being in a tight spot before a trip. Definitely a friendly and helpful lot -- and they clearly know their gear. Make the call! -M
  6. I'm selling my Ikelite Port 5503.90 aka "Special dome port for Canon 17-85 EF-S lens". I'm asking $125 w/ free shipping in the 48 lower states. I've used this port a handful of times and it's in excellent condition. No scratches, no floods, zoom gear spins freely without any issues. I recently upgraded my camera to a 5D2 and the 17-85 doesn't do me any good being an EF-S lens. I've since sold that lens off and thus don't have any need for this port any longer even on a backup body. Happy to take pictures if someone is interested. Can also throw in a B+W 67mm +4 Close-up filter (diopter) for $15. Ikelite states that you need to use a +4 diopter with the 17-85 behind this port. I forgot to put it on for one pair of dives and I could barely get focus and everything was a waste. (live and learn)
  7. The first rule of underwater photography is to get as close as you can. The second rule is to then get closer. This typically lends itself to requiring rather wide lenses to capture the entire subject in the frame. There's also considerations of minimum focus distance due to the nature of optics underwater and a lens behind a (likely dome) port. Regardless of what lens you end up shooting with, you might need a close-up filter (diopter). Do you happen to know what type of shots you'll be planning? Head shots, full body, action shots, etc.? Do you know what you're going to need for lighting - or will it all be ambient? One thing you have on your side is that shooting in a pool is nice because of the clear water. Non-pristine water is something that we fight against constantly. That said, you still don't want a ton of water between you and your subject.
  8. Given how new the 5D2 is, I'm thinking there's going to be a long wait for 2nd hand bodies becoming available. As for "less options" on full frame cameras, the main issue here is that full frame bodies only accept Canon EF lenses. The crop bodies also accept EF-S lenses. The number of EF-S lenses are still rather small and the only thing that you'd really miss out on is the Tokina 10-17 FE which is built specifically for crop sensors. While the Tok is a workhorse of UWA, there's still a number of options available to you that should make the loss an easy one to bear.
  9. Most of the time when people are saying that you "need" a diopter it's to reduce the min focusing distance for lenses to work properly behind a dome port. Macro lenses typically focus close enough to make this issue moot - plus they're behind flat ports which work a little differently than dome ports. You don't "need" any additional accessories (TCs, diopters, tubes, etc.) for the vast, vast majority of macro lenses to take good macro shots underwater. Smaller is not "better". There's always a compromise when you add TCs, tubes or diopters. Personally, your setup should always be dictated by what you intend on shooting. If you don't know what subjects are available (such as the first day diving in a new site/location), go for versatility to best cope with whatever you might come across. I'm not familiar with the Aquatica line, but you should take a look at the wet diopters, which allows you to use and remove them underwater - so you're not locked into using it for the entire dive if you need to swap it out. Anything that goes on the lens directly obviously can't be swapped out until you're topside! Here's the wet diopter that I got for my Canon 100mm macro inside an Ike port: http://reefphoto.com/index.php?main_page=p...products_id=857 It just gets pushed onto the end of the flat port and that's that. Nothing fancy, but it really does the trick - and if something somewhat larger comes along, it's a piece of cake to just remove it and shoot per normal. I shoot a lot of macro topside and feel that most people are better served at practicing their skills up to shooting life sized until they have the techniques down in their sleep. After you have some experience there, only then worry about shooting at greater than life sized (such as with tubes, TCs, diopters or with speciality lenses like the Canon MP-E 65). Any macro lens that can shoot up to 1:1 should be able to get good results for the majority of subjects you'll encounter.
  10. I'm still shooting my 30D in an Ike housing, so hopefully I can shed some light on some of your questions. 1) I have a DS-125 with ULCS arms and you have to tighten them "super tight" for them not to move. This shouldn't be a problem when you're in the water the strobes will be a lot closer to neutral than topside, so it's MUCH less of an issue. I always have to loosen my arms when I get in so that I can position them underwater. 2) This took me some getting used to as well - but considering that in the summer I'm diving with 7mm gloves and it hasn't been a big deal with a little bit of practice. 3) I haven't noticed any real TTL issues - but I tend to only use it when shooting macro, which offers a lot less guesswork for the cam. Good luck & have fun! PS - don't forget to put a +4 diopter on the 17-85. When I used to shoot with that lens in the dedicated housing, I forgot it once and basically threw every shot away from that dive.
  11. On lenses that have a "macro mode" (a really bad name that's just marketing juice), it has a rather long focus range and some of that range is "very close" to the lens. It's this close focus that the lens manufacturers use to sell the lens as "macro". That all said, the switch is just a focus limiter. When you know you won't be focusing on things close to the lens, it's absolutely in your best interest to not to have the macro mode enabled. When it is enabled, the AF range is increased and this can certainly contribute to more hunting (as the lens goes through a much larger range while looking for something that's in sharp focus). Personally, I think most people are way better off getting a (real/dedicated) macro lens if they want to shoot macro. At the very least, use MF if shooting on the sort of lenses that have a "macro mode".
  12. Topside I shoot with diopters and tubes on the 100mm macro. What I choose depends on what I'm shooting and how flexible I need to be. Underwater, I have a wet diopter and don't want to muck around with tubes. I'm shooting with Ikelite, so I naturally went with the dedicated port for the 100 macro. I didn't want to have to deal with multiple port extensions for different degrees of tubes. Also, I like having the flexibility of being able to remove the diopter underwater. There's a lanyard on it so I can put it over a handle or my wrist when I don't want to shoot at >=1:1... but when I get a good subject and want to get some more punch, I like having the wet diopter to really dial in.
  13. Macro shooting once you start approaching 1:1 is really best thought of as a specialized form of stop-action photography. The slightest movement is going to be amplified and very obvious when you're filling the frame with such a small part of the subject. The gear should be more than adequate for what you're doing. As such, external light is especially important. If you're shooting TTL, the easiest way to approach this sort of shooting is to A) shoot manual and use a fast shutter speed that will give you the exposure you want and also minimize any camera shake or subject movement B ) be sure you're choosing a aperture that will give you the depth of field that you're looking for C) get your lights as close to your subject as feasible - this reduces the flash time which is effectively a "virtual shutter" Usually you'll be using manual focus, which is that much harder to use underwater when your entire body might be moving by even the most minute current - but tip C really helps reduce this a lot. When I started to approach my macro shooting with this train of thought, a lot really started to come together for me. Good luck!
  14. Quickdraws! The arm that holds my handles has a few slots/holes. I put one carabiner through there and the other snaps to one of the D-Rings on my BC. Great for safety stops, long descents or sitting in the sand waiting for ppl to get their butts in gear. Also handy if I just need to let it dangle while doing something else that might be important (such as adjusting gear with both hands in the middle of the water column).
  15. Whenever the topic of shark attacks come up I always say the same thing: if you don't make yourself prey, you won't become prey. I'm assuming that as fairly informed divers that love all things ocean that we all know a nice little list of how to avoid being attacked by sharks. The simplest way of describe this is to simply not look like shark food in an area or time in which a shark might be feeding. If someone runs around Kruger National Park at night with a bucket of antelope blood and gets attacked by lions, they don't say "need to kill more lions". They say, "that guy was a fool and got what he had coming". Everything in life is calculated risk. Some people seem especially bad at determining this risk when it comes to the sea and even worse at accepting responsibility for their actions.
  16. I wouldn't be so PO'ed about it if it wasn't for the fact that I buy TSA-approved locks so they won't have to do that! I'm trying to play by the rules to avoid headache (and loss of gear) but they could give a 'F' less about any of the people that pay their inflated salaries.
  17. My dive buddy - my girlfriend - is amazingly patient with me and knows that I'm a "neglectful buddy" while shooting. When we're on vacations I'm a bit more neglectful since we'll usually be on guided dives at least 1/2 the time and I know she's around a lot of people. I tend to take more time picking shots and setting them up. When we're solo on vacation, I try to be a bit more mindful, but there's typically a lot more going on in a small area and we can go at a slower pace. At home (Boston) in the darker waters, we tend to stay a lot closer since vis can get really low. I'm usually shooting close-up or macro at that point so I could easily be laying in the sand shooting a crab or small fish - so I'm right where she leaves me if she ventures a little bit. I think our system works - just because it's organically evolved between us and we understand it. When vis gets particularly low we'll signal each other to stay close and we're just more mindful. It helps that she's into my photography and encourages me. I could definitely see this sort of situation not working with everyone - especially those people not interested in photography at all!
  18. bmemike

    strobes

    I was fine with one strobe starting out, but my "wide" shooting wasn't really all that wide and I mostly did macro stuff. During my first real wide outing with only one strobe, it became clear that I definitely needed a 2nd and I would have made good use of it. I think a lot of it comes down to how much you work with light in your normal photography. I mostly shoot macro and use the MT-24 EX macro flash - which gives me two positionable flash heads. So it was a natural extension for me to want to balance two strobes underwater. If you haven't really had to juggle more than one light source, there's nothing wrong with cutting your teeth on a single strobe and upgraded once you're comfortable. Merit can certainly be given to both approaches. Just know that there'll be certain limitations with a one-strobe approach with a really wide lens. Try to leverage what and how you shoot topside with what you think your intended subjects and style will be underwater.
  19. Remember that live view for dSLRs is a rather new feature- so the majority of dSLRs in the water today don't even _have_ a live view feature. So to say that "everyone" uses it is beyond silly. Plus, there's certain tradeoffs in using it (particularly around AF) on some models. I use the viewfinder on my 30D and I've never had a problem with it. When I house my 5D2, I'll continue using the viewfinder without hesitation.
  20. Ditto - this is just for the "larger" stuff that I'm not really able to check. My housing and related gear travels in a pelican, but it's an unbranded one that just looks like a beat up grey hard case. I put locks on it, but the TSA monkeys frequently fail to lock it back up and I tend to get the case back sans lock... which pisses me off to no end. "Normal" scuba gear goes in a generic roller bag. All computers (dive & laptop), camera equipment and strobes travel with me in a carry-on bag (ThinkTank Airport International - great bag!). One more reason why I'm a fan of quick-release connections for dive computers.
  21. I'd possibly be interested in one or both strobes & sync cord pending price.
  22. I believe there's a typo in the link you posted - the "v" and "i" are transposed.
  23. Ikelite has a dedicated port for the Canon 100mm f2.8 USM macro. I have it and like it. It gives you a nice focus knob right on the port. You can easily pick up a web diopter if you want more magnification. The dedicated port attaches directly to the housing body. If you get the 8" dome port, you'll need to get a port body to fit between the dome and the housing. Per the Ikelite Port Chart, you'll need the 5510.16 body.
  24. Did you happen take any shots at 10mm? I'm just wondering if 11.5 is the the lowest-usable FL. Also, did you encounter any significant I recently got a Sigma 15mm FE for my 30D for some wide angle shooting I did. I opted to avoid the 10-17 because I also have a 5D2 and know I'll eventually upgrade my housing and didn't want to lose out on the FF options... now I'm wondering if I'm missing out!
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