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Everything posted by reubencahn

  1. FWIW: I've made one trip to PNG in 2004, several to Indo and Malaysia, but I have not been to RE. I was on the GD on a trip from Wewak to Madang. My recollection is that the reefs were more pristine with more impressive hard corals than I've seen in Indonesia. Wrecks were really quite amazing, and I'm no lover of wreck diving. Macro life was very good but nothing like Lembeh--which seems to me unique. The trip also had a different vibe. PNG feels far more remote than the places I've been in Indo. On the other hand, the cost is high. Flights to Australia are bad enough but Air New Guinea really sticks it to you. Once there, I think the cost of boats and resorts is comparable to the more expensive Indo options, but there are no real budget or even moderate options. That said, there's something about PNG that calls to me, and I'm going back this summer, a week in Walindi and 10 days on the Stardancer. Couldn't get things sqared away with GD. If I could travel in my winter, I would jump at a chance to do one of the Eastern Fields trips. P.S. I'd also rate the diving superior to the Solomons.
  2. For a number of reasons, including the other items he's selling, I'm nearly certain that this is my housing. At this point, I don't care much about the housing which I've replaced, but my laptop was in the same bag. I'm wondering if ebay will provide any cooperation on something like this.
  3. Housing was stolen but the handles were in a different bag. So free to a good home. You pay postage.
  4. What are their excess bag charges? I can't find them anywhere on their website.
  5. We're travelling to PNG this coming summer, Cairns/Port Moresby/Hoskins returning Rabaul/Port Moresby/Cairns. I can book on Air Niugini's website saving about $600 USD for the three of us. Travel agent says webfares aren't changeable whereas tickets booked by agents would be and using the agents would give us the 2pc/70lbs baggage limitation whereas the webfare would be subject to Air Niugini's normal 30 kg limit. (We normally carry with one 30 kg checked bag each, and one carryon plus "personal item" each. Of course, the camera bag "carryon" exceeds any allowed limits. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with Air Niugini's webfares and any recommendations.
  6. I thought I'd revive this thread rather than start a new one. I'm planning a trip to PNG in July. We're looking for mix of some pelagic action with good reefs, and maybe a bit of muck/critter hunting. Right now, my plan is to do a week at Walindi followed by a trip on the Star Dancer to minimize the time and cost of flying around PNG. But we could substitute Tawali for Walindi (and/or Spirit of Nugini for Star Dancer.) So, I'm wondering, has anyone been to Walindi lately? Also, Arcatus, how was your September trip?
  7. Agreed that there is plenty of blame to go around for Republicans and Democrates alike, but Fannie and Freddie should receive a relatively small part of it and the CRA none at all. Fannie and Freddie's problems, especially now that they've been taken over by the U.S. gov't, did not freeze worldwide credit markets or destroy the banking system's capital. And the CRA became law in 1977. The subprime lending boom began in 2001. Unless, it leapt through some wormhole in time, it's hard to see how the CRA had anything to do with today's mess. Minorities and poor people did not bring down Lehman and Bear, Stearns.
  8. Jeremy, I'd note a couple of points. First, my understanding is that CDOs in particular were valued largely on models, and the extremely thin markets were willing to accept the models' valuations while everything was going well. Once things were going badly and default rates began to exceed those predicted for any given tranch, the models fell apart. Now, the market doesn't know how to value these, so there really is no market. This opacity is a big part of the problem. No one can really figure out what this stuff might be worth. Vulture investors will pay 20 cents on the dollar, but banks still think it's worth 60 cents. And the markets have dried up. When there's no market for a security, it's market value is $ 0. And when you're leveraged 13 to 1 or 17 to 1, even a small decline in the value of securities can take you down pretty quickly. Second, bankruptcy is a way around the trust problem. An individual can't negotiate with a trust but, with a change in the law, a bankruptcy judge could cram down the debt. This actually happened occasionally before the new bankruptcy act.
  9. I don't know when you're leaving for Wakatobi, but FWIW I moved from an Oly 5050 to a used D200 with Aquatica housing immediately before an August trip to Lembeh and Komodo. I read a guidebook to the camera and Martin Edge's book before leaving and practiced with the camera on land. The first day or so of photos were sketchy but from then on, I got many very good shots, mostly superior to what I could have gotten with my Oly. Especially with macro, it's possible to get up to speed fairly quickly. I found wide angle much more difficult. Incidentally, I chose the D200 because there are good deals on them from people upgrading and because the Oly 520 housing wasn't yet available.
  10. Thanks for the information. If I stick with the D200, I think my plan will be to take advantage of its declining price and buy an extra body rather than plan on an upgrade. But Nexus is one of the housings I'm considering. Are you happy with yours? Anything you don't like about it?
  11. I don't know that I would agree with this. I just made the switch from a 5050 to a used D200 before a trip to Indonesia. The fast autofocus and lack of shutter lag together with the ability to take multiple shots quickly which results from this allowed me to get any number of shots I couldn't have taken with my 5050. They just weren't possible. That's not to say these shots are all brilliant or that they are better than anything I shot with my 5050, but they are shots I wanted and couldn't have gotten without the DSLR.
  12. The thread title sort of says it all. In July, I made the switch from P&S to DSLR by purchasing a used D200 with Aquatica housing. I used the camera over a several week trip to Lembeh and Komodo only to have the taxi driver take off with my camera bag as I returned home. The D200 was in a separate camera bag, so I've still got the camera w/ 18-200 and 10-17 lenses (my 60mm was taken). Homeowners insurance will cover and pay replacement cost for all items. I think I can get a Sea & Sea housing for the D200. Nexus may still have D200 housings available as well. Alternatively, I could ebay the D200 body and buy a D90 probably spending $300 or $400 and then wait for housings to come out. (I've got a year to purchase replacements.) From what I can see, the main advantage of the D90 would be improved high ISO performance. The main disadvantages would seem to be the loss of some controls and lesser build quality. But I'm sure I'm missing other important issues. Having just switched to DSLR, I just don't know what they are. Other than diving, my main use of the camera, once I buy a longer lense, would be shooting my son's surfing competitions. Would the high ISO performance of the D90 be a big factor there?
  13. Lost/stolen in San Diego upon return from a trip to Indonesia (taxicab drove off before bag was removed, and, when reached, driver claimed to never have seen bag): Suunto Vytec Dive Computer with DSS boot, Serial # 807911 Sea & Sea TTL Converter III for Nikon, Serial # 065300590 2 Sea & Sea YS-90DX strobes, Serial # 006003435 &006000122 Aquatica A200 housing, Serial # 2756 w/ port opening plug $ 60.00 Fisheye LED48DX Focus Light, Serial # AD0087162 Nikkor 60mm AF-S Micro Lens, Serial # US224966 Also in bag were 2 Sea & Sea Nikonos to YS synch cords, dome port, macro port, dome port extensions, zoom gear, etc.--all contained in black ThinkTank Airport Acceleration bag.
  14. The travel doctors I've seen always recommend taking it twice a day for 3 to 4 days, if and only if Immodium or other measures don't work adequately. Incidentally, I've always understood that hep B is primarily a blood borne virus--as opposed to hep A which can be water borne--so vaccination wasn't really a necessity. Here's the CDC page on hep B. http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/yellowBookCh4-HepB.aspx
  15. I believe you're thinking of the Hep A with the shot and booster. Typhoid vaccine is a single shot that lasts 2yrs or you can take an oral vaccine that's good for either 3 or 5 years (one week of pills that must be kept refrigerated). I've also always been vaccinated for typhoid whenever traveling to Indo.
  16. My understanding is that Bali has no malaria risk. Information available in US is that there is malaria risk in Sulawesi but nothing to really pare it down to specific areas. So maybe there is or there isn't any risk in Lembeh. I did take Malarone for travel to Lembeh. I've taken it for numerous trips to various locations without any side effects.
  17. I have a related question, hopefully not too off-topic. What arrangement of arms do you use? Is there any reason not to use a single longer arm per side rather than two sections?
  18. Is there any reason for preferring two segments per side over one? Is there any reason not to use say a single 6" arm per side for macro and a single 12" per side for wide angle?
  19. Hi Marli, Thanks for the reply. Marna forwarded me the link to you Solomons' pictures. Beautiful work. They brought back good memories. I was wondering if you could answer a few more questions about manual strobe settings. I'm interested in the possibility but a bit concerned as well. On my 5050, I had a ttl converter. When it worked it was wonderful. When it didn't, it was a tremendous pain. My usual practice was to choose my shutter speed based on how light or dark I wanted the background and whether the subject was moving, then set my aperture so that the camera's meter would show around - 2 and then let the ttl pick the strobe duration. This seemed to work reasonably well as long as I stayed within the limits of my strobe's power. Of course, some things, like shooting a dark subject on white sand, just didn't work without reworking the flash compensation. My problem is that when I was forced to use manual power settings, my choices always seemed like complete guesses. Sometimes I made good choices and got good exposures and sometimes I got really bad exposures. Of course, I could look at the screen and adjust. But is there some systematic way to make choices about strobe settings? Or is my approach in choosing shutter speed and aperture the problem?
  20. After several years using an Oly 5050, I've just purchased a used D200 with an Aquatica housing. The housing has one Ikelite ttl bulkhead and one nikonos non-ttl bulkhead. I'll be using my S&S YS 90DX strobes. I'm trying to figure out my options if I want ttl. I think I can replace the Ikelite bulkhead with a nikonos ttl bulkhead, purchase a Sea & Sea ttl converter and will have working ttl. Is this right? Do I have any other options? Assuming I purchase an Ike to S&S synch cord, will the Heinrichs-Weikamp internal ttl converter http://reefphoto.com/index.php?main_page=p...352cd0ff690d6d2 work with the Ikelite bulkhead and the S& S strobes? Are there any other possibilities?
  21. Wananavu is nice, not as luxurious as say Taveuni Island Resort, but still very nice. Spend the extra for an ocean view bure or one of the beach bures. The food is good if not fantastic. Ra divers will not take you to the Bligh Waters. They dive the fringing reefs which are decent but pale in comparison to the sites farther out. I haven't dived with Kaiviti but have heard good things. I know that they employ many of the people who made Crystal Divers great. The only problem with the diving is that the norm is two tanks per day. Sometimes you can arrange for three but not always. And no real night diving. Afternoons were mostly for snorkeling or relaxing.
  22. We were in Taveuni in 2003. We had booked space at Maravu Plantation, a very nice place, but they put us in a bure that seemed about 2 miles from the water and had no others available. We moved across the street to Taveuni Island Resort. This resort is beautiful, sitting on a cliff overlooking the straits. Very romantic. The infinity edge pool also overlooks the straits. Food is excellent. I believe they have a bar as well. No shopping. I don't think anyplace on Taveuni has any. You can always shop in Nadi on your way back home. As far as diving, while the straits are good, we found them disappointing after a week of diving in the Bligh Waters and left to return there. We stayed at Wananavu and dove with Crystal Divers, which no longer exists. However, Kaiviti Divers does the same sites.
  23. An email to Olympus USA received the following response: "We appreciate you interest in the PTE-05 Underwater Housing for the E-520 that was announced today. The preliminary word from Tokyo is that Olympus America will having the housings available for sale late July to early August. I will make a note to update you should the delivery time change." I guess I'll wait and see how this plays out. Perhaps they'll be available from Japan a bit earlier.
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