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Everything posted by mauidoug

  1. Aloha, Glad you liked the write up. I post more articles you may like on my blog. www.douglasjhoffman.com Happy imaging!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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
  6. The housing has sold. Happy photos everyone.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Aloha everyone, In two weeks I will head to Tonga to spend some quality time swimming with humpbacks. I will be leading a group of photographers but since my camera will shoot video, I want to I've it a try. I have a Nikon D810 in a nexus housing and will be using a 16 mm fish eye lens. I have been thinking about setting the camera in manual and using fast shutter speed and F-8 with a floating ISO. Do any of you have experience shooting video with this camera. Any and all insight is appreciated. Mahalo Douglas Hoffman
  10. I have put together a small group of whale enthusiasts that have experienced Humpbacks in Tonga, and wanted to be in the water with Sperm Whales. Due to a sudden cancelation there is an opportunity to join the charter. The boat is reserved for 10 days, Dec 3-12th, 2015. I have been at sea before with this captain and whale swim guide and am very happy with their skills, dedication, and track record. There will be a maximum of 4-5 people on the boat as this charter. The accommodations will be first class and include 11 nights ocean view accommodations at the Ft. Young Hotel. Cost is $8,500 Includes Fisheries Dept permit and fees, permitted whale swim guide, boat, captain, & accommodations. Does not include flights, transfers, meals, gratuities. This is not a cheap trip. I tried that last time and the hotel was ok, but nothing special. This time the accommodations and overall experience will be much much better.
  11. This is an exclusive adventure limited to four people. Right now there is one space open. This will be my tenth season organizing photo tours to Tonga, and over the years I've have learned a lot about whale behavior and photography. This charter has the right boat, takes place at the peak of the season, and will be epic. We will be looking for whales that are displaying particular behavior that we know based on past experience may lead to an extended mutual interaction. When this happens we are accepted into the pod and float along with the whales for hours at a time. I will help participants with camera concerns, techniques, settings, in water positioning, and offer daily review and critique sessions. The adventure includes 11 full days of whale swimming with lunch on the boat, 12 nights accommodation with breakfast and internet. Flights, layover expenses, & dinners are not included. Click here for more details
  12. Really nice images. Thanks for your response. The 15 does look like a great lens. Since I lead whale swimming trips to Tonga each year, I need a good wide angle lens. The 10-17 served me well but now its time to move on..... I did like the idea of 12-28 with the Tokina. But its as big as my 14-24 and about as heavy.
  13. For years my trusty Nikon D300 in a nexus housing has served me well. It works great but I recently upgraded to a Nikon D810 and am planning on getting another Nexus housing. That was the easy decision. I've gone from DX to FX and from 12 megapixel to 36. But, the transition means my trusty Tokina 10-17 with its dedicated port won't fit the new housing. So, since I will have to get a new port I am thinking of which lens. I have a 14-24 that I use for landscape photography and love it. But I don't want to to take it underwater. I have a 16 mm fish eye which is an old lens but a good one. I have also considered the 16-35, the older 17-35, nikon 20mm, & Sigma 15 mm fisheye. I just learned Tokina makes a 16-28 2.8 FX. Does anyone use this lens and if so is it as good as the Tokina 10-17 DX. Since most of my underwater work these days is with whales, this lens could work well. Would love to hear about experiences with this lens.... Aloha!
  14. There is nothing like swimming with whales. The feeling you get when a whale looks you in the eye is surreal and humbling. I have traveled to Tonga ten times to swim with these gental giants, and hope to do it for another ten years. Dont get me wrong I am a die hard diver, and never thought I would look forward to snorkel trips but being in the presence of giants is the most fun I have had with a mask on....
  15. This image was created during a recent landscape photography workshop in Maui.
  16. Join Mark Strickland and Douglas Hoffman on an incredible adventure dedicated to swimming with Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whales in Ha'apai Tonga. The dates are Sept 12-23, 2014. Includes 11 nights accommodation, 9 days whale swimming, lunch on the boat, & airport transfer to hotel. This is Douglas' 10th season organizing small groups dedicated to whale photography, and Marks fourth time co-hosting. Limited to five participants this is going to be an incredible expereince. We will not swim with every whale we see. Expereince has taught us to look for specific behaviors that might lead to extended interaction. We know that by being selective in which whales we swim with we could well be rewarded with swims that last for hours rather than seconds.... Please send an email to dhimages@maui.net if interested in joining this adventure. If not able to join in 2014 but are interested, there are sapces avaialbe for the 2015 season. Dates are Sept 4-14th, 2015.
  17. Aloha While I teach photography workshops in Maui lead small groups on adventures in Tonga to snorkel with whales, this Indonesia trip is my vacation. I am really looking forward to diving, and enjoying myself. I have always wanted to go on the Damai I but the boat is so popular I have not been able to. Just by luck I checked the schedule and saw that there was an opening after a scheduled maintenance break in 2012. SO , I signed up. The adventure starts in Raja Ampat, then goes to Manakwari for some great wreck diving. It continues to Chandrawasih Bay for whale sharks and coral reefs. The dates are July 30-Aug 9th 2012. The reason I made the post is that I thought there might be a few underwater photographers out there that might like to join. Check out the Damai website and sign up.Dive Damai
  18. In the world of adventure travel Tonga is one of those destinations that has yet to be discovered by the mainstream. While the diving is good this remote destination is one of the only places in the world where the government issues a set number of permits allowing charter companies to take people snorkeling with Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whales. 2011, was my sixth season in Tonga, and based on 3 days in Tongatapu, 2 weeks in Ha'apai, and 3 weeks in vavau' Tonga, I'd have to say it was a very good season. Among all the incredible encounters this year, a few stand out. One one day, I saw males head butting and fluke slapping in an attempt to show dominance in a heat run, males bubbling each other and lunging on top of each other from underwater. It was like the discovery channel but happening 30-40 feet away. I could watch but with a 10-17 lens could not get close enough to make quality photographs. This season it also seemed like there were a lot of males around. This observation is based only on the number of heat runs I observed as well as the number of groups of young whales not yet sexually active playing and pretending to do behaviors they would be doing for sure perhaps as soon as next season. Read the entire report here2011 Tonga report
  19. Over the years I have supported Whale Trust, and the Whale Dolphin Conservation Society because I believe these organizations make a difference. When I found out the WDCS wanted to use one of my images for the cover of their 50th anniversary magazine I felt quite humbled. There are a lot of really good photographers that are passionate about supporting conservation. It is an honor to be among this group and support organizations that use compelling portraits of nature in order to evoke emotional response to help sway public opinion.
  20. The body comes with original box, battery, charger. The camera was used for topside and has never been underwater. It works perfectly and has roughly 70K shutter actuations and the shutter is rated for 250000 actuations. THe price is $1,750 plus shipping.
  21. The gear has been sold Thank you!
  22. Ikelite housing and Nikon D200 body for sale. This camera & housing has been on 24 dives and two blue water snorkel trips for humpback whales. The equipment is in excellent condition. I am including two ultra lite ball arms for the ikelite housing, one battery/charger for D200, and D200 body. Paid $3,000 and will sell it for $2,100. I will cover S&H charges. If interested please contact me at dhimages@maui.net Thank you, Maui Doug
  23. Aloha Mike I have made 17 trips to Indonesia, most to Manado and the Lembeh Strait. In the early 90's I found Murex dive resort, to be the safest and most reliable dive resort in manado, and have done countess trips on their liveabords & at the land based dive resort. The live aboard is a great value and takes 10 divers for a weeks trip. The cost is less than $200 a day. Murex also has an excelllent land based resort that costs about $125 per day & includes a nice room, meals, and two boat dives a day. You can add a shore dive, or extra boat dive for just a little more. Not like the $50 you mentioned. The resort is owned by the Batuna family, and they were among the first to dive Bunaken, Sangir Taloud, And Lembeh. Murex operates the diving for Lembe Resort. I stayed at the resort a year ago, and loved it. Whiile not owned by the Batuna family and a bit expensive, it was worth it. The atmoshphere, and view was great. The room was huge, and the tub was outside like in the expensive Bali hotels. It was very nice. I did as many as five a dives a day, and photographed several species of frog fish, pygmy seahorse, sea moths, mimic octopus, incredible nudibranches, rhinopious and so much more. I cant wait to go back. The diving was organized with the same attention to detail, small groups, and respect for the marine life. My delima has been that I like Manado and Lembeh so much that I have yet to explore Raja Empat, Komodo, or wakatobi. Here is some info that might help you Aloha Murex Resort & Live Aboards murexdive.com lembehresort.com and danny@murexdive.com
  24. I have orgainzed a small speed boat that takes a small group to swim with and photograph humpback whales. I went last year and had such a good time, I organized the return trip while there. Unfortunatley two of my friends just canceled and now two spots are open. The boat takes 3-4 people, and is dedicated to photographing and swimming with whales. The boat fee is $300 per person per day. The trip is 5 days. We will snorkel only, so leave the scuba gear at home. Hotel, airfaire, and meals not inlcuded. Tonga is one of the only places in the world where under strickt guidelines it is possible to swim with whales. The friendly isles are not the easiest place in the world to get to and that is part of its charm and allure. Being in a boat with such few people is a good thing when it comes to interaction with whales. Indeed, the fewer the people the better the whale interaction. Please go to my website to see sample photographs from last years trip or contact me for more information. www.douglasjhoffman.com
  25. 1) Sea and Sea YS90 TTL/Duo with sinc cord. Excellent condition, less than 20 dives. $425 1) Sea and Sea YS90 DX/Duo with sinc cord. Excellent condition, less than 20 dives. $425 2) YS300 flashes with 2 brand new battery packs, 2 multi volt chargers, and one reconditioning charger. These flashes are great for film as well as digital but offer TTL with film cameras only. If using with a digital system, the flashes must be used on manual. $1200 for the pair or $625 each. Interested photographers are invited to email for more information.
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