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mauidoug

Industry
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About mauidoug

  • Rank
    Triggerfish

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.koholagallery.com
  • Yahoo
    douglasfishhoffman

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Maui, Hi
  • Interests
    scuba diving, photography, travel

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    --
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D850, Z7II
  • Camera Housing
    Nexus & Sea and Sea
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Sea and Sea D3
  • Accessories
    Ultra lite arms, seconic light meter,
  • Industry Affiliation
    PADI

Recent Profile Visitors

8943 profile views
  1. I am a landscape and underwater photographer, and have used the Nikon D850, since it came on the market. The camera immediately set itself apart with its large files, fast processor, high dynamic range, two card slots, and sturdy build. While nothing is wrong with the D850, I decided to embrace the new mirrorless revolution and purchased a Nikon Z7II. I've used it for almost a year now, and like that it is I smaller than the D850. Ergonomically speaking, the camera body naturally fits my hand, and it feels good. I love that camera body is weather sealed, as I work on, near, or underwater. After using both cameras for a year now I have concluded that for me, The D850 is better for underwater use and the Z7II, is better for landscape, people portraits, and night sky imaging. Let start with the what is better about the D850. It has no camera lag time. From the moment I press shutter half way down the camera is awake and I can make photographs. With the Z7II there is a noticeable lag time. The second or two it takes, could mean the difference between getting the whale in Frame or not. The second reason. is the shutter speed sync speed in regard to flash. The maximum on the Nikon D850 is 1/250th of a second and on the Z7II, it is 1/200th. It is a small difference but 1/250 blocks ambient from being recorded. The electronic view finder and monitor on the back, works different on the Z7II than the D850. This has to do with live view. With the D850, I used the view finder to compose and shoot, and the monitor on the back to review and check histograms. With the Z7II, I have the choice of using the electronic viewfinder or the monitor in the back to compose, shoot, and review. the electronic view finder and monitor on the back, works different than the D850. This has to do with live view. With the D850, I used the view finder to compose and shoot and when I wanted to review or check a histogram used the back monitor. The Z7II, shows live view in the monitor. That needs to be turned off prior. Here is why, the live view shows you the F-stop and Shutter speed. As underwater photographers typically use a shutter speed of 1/250th, 1/200, or 1/320th the live view is dark and the photographer cannot see the composition is shoots blind. To the left of the viewfinder on the Nikon Z7II is a button. Pressing it allows you to select the electronic view finder or back monitor. This took me hours to figure out as I thought controlling the monitor would be in one of the menus. My bad. It’s actually really easy to switch. Now, I can set the camera up to shoot and review in the electronic view finder. I find that this allows me to keep my head in position and not need to move to review images. So, if I need to change a setting other than strobe power, I can make the change and keep shooting. The less I move the better, as sometimes the subjects can be skittish and move. When I feel the need to see an image bigger I can press the monitor button and and see it on the back. There is one feature about the Nikon Z7II, which I really love. The camera will allow me to set a shutter speed as long as 15 minutes. That means no more bulb exposures. This is huge. I also like the dual processors as I can shoot fast and never till my buffer. In conclusion, I am not ready to say aloha to my D850, and am happy about my decision to take the leap and get a Z7II.
  2. Since 2006, I have chartered a boat in Tonga to swim with whales. Over the years I have learned that a small group has more success in terms of quality whale encounters than large groups. One reason is noise. New mothers like it quiet, and boats with a small number of people that swim quietly and stay together in the water behave in a manner that puts the female at ease. Once a female with new calf is comfortable with the swimmers presence, the baby is allowed to play and check out the humans. This kind of organic mutual interaction can last an hour or more. Words are hard to find to describe the joyous feelings in ones heart when a baby whale makes direct eye contact. It is absolutely life changing. I booked accommodations and chartered a private boat on Sept 6-20, 2023, and again August 21-Sept 4, 2024 in Vavau' Tonga. The goal is to take four people so everyone gets the most time in the water with whales. The 2023 trip was full until recently when a married couple canceled. So, as of now both trips have two spaces open. Since the trip is exclusive in terms of number of people, everyone on the boat will get the most time with the whales as possible. Exclusivity however does have its price and part of it is sharing the cost of the boat. Most of the whale swim boats in 2023, will charge between $2,000 and $2,500 US per day. Part of the reason is inflation. since the pandemic the price for gas has gone from $2 per liter to over $6. The adventure includes 14 nights accommodation, breakfast, 11 days of private charter with lunch on the boat, and final night dinner. Flights and meals not mentioned, are not included. Those interested in joining need only send a message. If you know someone that might be interested please share this information.
  3. Thank you Tim, I will do that. Mahalo!
  4. Aloha, this is correct, the sentinel does not have an audio moisture alarm. The audible alarm is separate.
  5. Aloha everyone, and thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it. The housing has an audible moisture alarm and while I have heard it go off, my concern is about the intermittent red light flashing on the sentinel vacuum unit. Maybe the sensor has an issue and I am getting false alarms. I went diving with housing yesterday and it did not leak but the red light flashed. I did maintenance and put camera and lens inside. The sentinel vacuum has held green for 24 hours. I am taking it diving tomorrow. The irony is this is the first housing I've used in 28 years of underwater photography that has a vacuum alarm. I switched from Nexus when I got the Z7II, and the vacuum was part of the new system.
  6. Aloha! Thanks for fast responses. I do give it a few extra pumps. I am pretty sure it is V4. I have put a moisture pack under camera tray for moisture and am aware and careful about temp changes. I try to keep camera and housing at ambient temp, but on Liveaboards have gone from an a/c environment to the dingy, and then a boat ride to site. I set ups fora dive the night before and do a vacuum check. In the morning I hope for green light, and go diving. Several times now the red light flashes in the morning indicating a leak. When I open, I need to vent air and that tells me the housing did not leak air. Several times while out on a day boat, the red light starts blinking. I have aborted dives and checked housing to find it dry.
  7. Forgive me if this has been brought up recently. I am wondering how many photographers have had issues with faulty alarms with their Sentinal vacuum alarm. I never used one until I upgraded to a mirrorless camera and new housing. The housing manufacturer sold the vacuum unit and installed it. I have had a lot of false alarms where sensor would go red during a dive but no water got in housing.
  8. Aloha, Glad you liked the write up. I post more articles you may like on my blog. www.douglasjhoffman.com Happy imaging!
  9. Aloha, Happy to announce that morrow I will do a live presentation on whales for Ocean Geographic. Here are the details. 6 November at OG LIVE https://www.facebook.com/OceanGeographic at 11am (SYD), 8 am (SG) / 5 November, 8pm EST (NY), 2pm HST. The event will be recorded.
  10. As I wrote in the post there is nothing wrong worth with the D850. It is an awesome camera. I get what your saying about the lenses as I have a lot of older Nikon glass. The new Z lenses are great but cost a lot. Going mirrorless requires a substantial investment. Going from the D800 to the D850 is a real step up. I guess it comes down to what you do with the images created and your budget. I am glad I made the switch buts going to take a while to replace my lenses.
  11. I am a landscape and underwater photographer, and have used the Nikon D850, since it came on the market. The camera immediately set itself apart with its large files, fast processor, high dynamic range, two card slots, and sturdy build. Images I created with the D850 have been displayed in art galleries and published in books. Sperm Whale This camera has been my most trusted tool and I hesitate to say goodbye. After all, if ain’t broke, why fix it. But, here we are with mirrorless technology. There is no doubt that this is the future of photography. So many camera companies have already shifted their production and marketing, that in reality the future is already here. Over the last two years many of my workshop clients have switched. Of course, I had a bit of camera envy, but wanted to wait for the second generation of Nikons Z line. I figured Nikon would have some advancements and that it would be worth the wait Cauldron I have has the Z7II, for several months now, and it much smaller and lighter than the D850. From an ergonomic point of view, the body naturally fits my hand. The camera body is weather sealed, which is great when working in harsh elements like near the ocean. For landscape and night sky imaging, I like it more than the D850. As the Z7II, is new, I had to wait for underwater housing manufacturers to make a housing. I ordered the Sea and Sea MDX housing, and arrived about a month ago. So far I have done about a dozen dives with it. Surprisingly, the housing is pretty straight forward in terms of set up. It will take some time to build up muscle memory in terms of where my fingers need to go to adjust different settings on the camera. I waited to compare the D850 to the Z7II, until I gained experience with the camera on land and underwater. Right out of the box the Z7II, was easy and intuitive to use on land. However, there was a noticeable learning curve using the Z7II underwater. I am referring to camera settings and how the mirrorless camera operates. The electronic view finder and monitor on the back, works different than the D850. This has to do with live view. With the D850, I used the view finder to compose and shoot, and the monitor on the back to review. With the Z7II, I have the choice of using the electronic viewfinder or the monitor in the back to compose, shoot, and review. But since the camera is in a housing and I cant touch the screen to fine tune focus or fire the camera. The housing allows me to press on all the controls on the back so if needed I can toggle through options, menus, and move focus points. Using live view on land you can see how the exposure brightens and darkens as settings are changed. But let’s say I’m underwater and set an exposure of F-22 at 1/250th. ASs a result the light meter in the camera is pegged. On the D850 no problem seeing through the view finder with those settings. However with the Z7II, seeing through the camera using live view does not work. The remedy is to simply turn off live view when underwater. To the left of the viewfinder on the Nikon Z7II is a button. Pressing it allows you to select the electronic view finder or back monitor. This took me hours to figure out as I thought controlling the monitor would be in one of the menus. My bad. It’s actually really easy to switch. Here, is a big shout out to my friend Mark Strickland, who told me to look for the button. Now, I can set the camera up to shoot and review in the electronic view finder. I find that this allows me to keep my head in position and not need to move to review images. So, if I need to change a setting other than strobe power, I can make the change and keep shooting. The less I move the better, as sometimes the subjects can be skittish and move. When I feel the need to see an image bigger I can press the monitor button and and see it on the back. Biggest con. The Nikon Z7II has a short but short but noticeable lag time when camera wakes up. The D850 responds immediately upon pressing shutter halfway down. The reason this is important is that as an underwater photographer I am swimming in a foreign world and from out of the blue, a whale or shark can appear. The Nikon Z7II it takes a second to respond. With the D850, there is no pause. That could be the difference between getting the shot or not. That being said, this kind of reactionary picture does not happen frequently and is not a deal breaker. Biggest advantage. With one menu setting it is possible to set the Nikon Z7II shutter to as long as 15 minutes. Now, I can easily shoot slow shutter landscapes and not have to use bulb setting or cable release. This is wonderful as I create a lot of seascapes and use motion as part of my composition. Now, I can use filters and set the camera to whatever slow shutter speed I want. This lets me exercise my creativity while doing landscape by the, the night sky, and even light painting. Looking at the settings on the back you can see a 6 second shutter has been selected for the sake of this example. You can’t do that on the D850. Subtle differences I cant tell you why, but for me the D850 creates a softer feeling, and the Z7II creates a crisper feeling. I realize this is an emotional not technical observation. Perhaps this is because of the incredible focus that happens when using live view, & when touching the back monitor on the Z7II, to focus and fire. I really don’t know. In a way the difference between the two for me is reminiscent of the film days as it reminds me of the slight differences between slide films. Below is a macro portrait of a Leaf Fish, Beautiful sunrise image of the north shore, and wide angle image of a school of fish. Can you tell the which camera was used? Can you see a difference. If you guessed the middle image was created with the D850 and the other two with the Nikon Z7II you would be correct! Both cameras produce incredible images yet each works differently. So which is right for you? I am glad I made the switch to mirrorless, but having second thoughts about selling the D850. After all, if it ain’t broke why fix it. So, it seems for a while I will use both!
  12. I love this system but have upgraded to mirrorless. The camera has 35K shutter actuations. The housing is in very good condition. Included is a mini Anthis dome for 10-17 and fisheye, 20 mm Nexus dome, & 60 mm flat nexus port. Also included is a combination of extension rings that would allow for a 105 or 70-180 macro lens configuration, and an adapter ring. The Tokina 10-17 lens and Nikon 60 mm lens is also included. The price is firm at $4995 and is a great value for whats included. I will include shipping within the USA but international shipping will cost an extra $100. Best way to reach me for questions is douglashoffman007@gmail.com
  13. The housing has sold. Happy photos everyone.
  14. Upgrading to Nikon D850 and selling my Nikon D810 housing. It was just serviced and is in perfect condition. It cost $3,250 and I have had it 18 months. It has not seen a lot of use. Comes with two strobe mounting balls on handles. $2,350.
  15. Thanks. I will set camera to f-8 @ 60 FPS and auto ISO to maintain. I am really looking forward to using my D810 for still and video. I will post upon my return.
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