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woody

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Posts posted by woody


  1. My inquiries is about Malta and diving there, any link or info about the diving there you could PM me. I hear a lot of good thing about this place, lots of action in WWII and thus lots of wrecks. I am contemplating heading this way one of theses days.

     

    I'm happy to see you enjoyed our products !

    Regards

     

    Viz'art, I've PM'd you.

     

    I then found out were I could go & handle to see which one felt the best in

    the hand & the controls felt the most comfortable to use. I managed

    to cut my list down to two Subal & Seacam I found both of these to

    have the best build quality, then it was down to what fitted my hands

    better & what I perfered.....By the way the diving in Malta is exellent, I have been their diving for the last 4 years in Bugibba, diving with divedeepblue they are

    exellent & you carn,t fault them.

    Happy hunting,

    Andy.

     

    Thanks Andy, but the trouble is that in Malta places where one can get a feel of these products do not exist. Having been here (and thanks for the nice comments!) I'm sure you understand the limitations of our small island ;)

     

    quote=MikeVeitch,Jun 26 2005, 12:00 PM]

    ANd therefore must point out a large error in your post....Aquatica is from Canada not US!!!!! Never make that mistake again please..... :):):)

    Like calling a Kiwi an Aussie, or an Irishman English or perhaps someone from Malta Italian.....

     

    Mike

     

    Sorry Mike - no offence intended ;) I am of course aware that Canada and US are different countries - but I should have referred specifically to import/export tariffs etc and to my knowledge it is pretty much a free market between US and Canada.


  2. Hi all,

     

    I bought a D70 some 9 months ago and I’m finally considering the move to a housed dSLR from my trusty Aquatica A5000 setup. There a really wide choice of housings in the market for D70, so this makes a decision that much more difficult.

     

    For comparison purposes, I have narrowed down the selection to 4 brands which I feel are fairly representative of the market – Subal, Aquatica, Sealux and Ikelite. Again for comparison purposes, I have drawn up a price comparison (although price is of course not the only consideration) for these 4 brands for a “starter†setup with a 60mm Nikkor-Micro and a 15mm Sigma FE. I’ve read some fantastic things on this forum about both these lenses and their underwater application, so may as well take expert advice :) (I can’t afford the Nikon 12-24 anyway for now)

     

    Looking at price (including an estimate of the duties and taxes I would have to pay on import into Europe) the ranking in order of cost for the “starter†setup is

     

    1. Subal

    2. Aquatica

    3. Sealux (a close third)

    4. Ikelite

     

    The Ikelite is just over 50% of the cost of the Subal, and the other two are roughly half way in between. (Of course things are different in the US because I expect you would pay relatively less for the 2 US housings and relatively more for the 2 European housings)

     

    Other considerations:

    1. Ikelite has iTTL (but this requires using Ikelite strobes, and I will probably use Sea & Sea or Inon). I'm not that bothered about TTL - it's a nice-to-have as far as I am concerned

    2. The Subal and the Sealux are in Europe so it will probably be easier and cheaper to get after-sales support and to get them serviced

    3. The Subal and the Sealux both have the option of the Grand Viewfinder which I find extremely enticing (but which I have not included in my price comparison)

    4. Ports for the Aquatica and Ikelite are cheaper then their Subal and Sealux equivalent, so this should make it incrementally cheaper as I add on more lenses etc (depending on how many different ports I will need)

    5. Subal, Ikelite and Aquatica seem really popular and excellent housings. I personally have experienced Aquatica and I have nothing but good things to say about them. There’s not much information out there about Sealux.

    6. Depth ratings – Ikelite 60m; Subal 70m; Sealux and Aquatica; 90m. Not that I’m likely to dive to 90m for now, but I’m doing a tech diving course so 70m is likely in the near future.

     

    On the balance, I’m inclined to go for the Sealux, but apart from one review there’s very little mention of this brand (compared to the others) on this forum (by far my main source of info). While I know that for example the ergonomics of the Subal are top-notch, I have much less of a “comfort factor†for the Sealux. Same goes for after-sales service. Is there anyone on this forum who owns this housing and can share their experiences on Sealux?

     

    Any advice would be most welcome! Fantastic forum by the way!


  3. Hi All,

     

    Having finally decided to join the "big boys" and move up from my CP5000 setup to a dSLR, I bit the bullet and purchased a D70. So far I have not purchased a housing for this camera, however I am working on getting to grips with it topside.

     

    Having always shot JPG, I decided to start playing around with RAW. I am so far using Nikon Capture and Photoshop CS, and I came across this suggestion for a processing workflow - http://members.aol.com/bhaber/D70/setup.html

     

    It seems simple enough and makes sense, and I feel I have learned quite a bit through applying in on a couple of shots. But what threw me was the final step of using Photoshop Unsharp Mask to "restore blackness" (http://members.aol.com/bhaber/D70/processing/process.html).

     

    Trying this out on an image I shot, I ended up with a load of "oversharpened" specks - cannot really explain it better! Is this technique a normal use of USM - I had never come across it before, in my limited experience. Maybe I simply used the technique poorly.

     

    Grateful for any comments and opinions.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Woody


  4. Not more than a couple of thousand, at most. Though one battery might be older than that, coming from my previous CP995.

     

    But I am beginning to suspect that I may have an intermittent problem with the charger. I may purchase a new, more "intelligent" one (multi voltage, trickle current etc) and see how it goes.

     

    John


  5. On the subject of battery performance, I have run a bit of a test.

     

    The same battery (original Nikon) that gave me 30 shots underwater before showing the "low" indicator, gave me more than 70 shots on land, many of which using both red-eye and internal flash, before showing the low battery warning! For the test I tried to "simulate" the same underwater usage profile....basically a 30 sec LCD timeout, and shots in quick succession followed by no shots for a few minutes, over a period of an hour or so.

     

    The only reason I can think of for this is that somehow the external strobe is draining the battery. Does this make sense to anyone?

     

    I use a single YS-90DX and an Aquatica housing, by the way.


  6. Talking about batteries and the CP5000,I have been having really poor performance with my Nikon CP5000 batteries and I wonder if anyone can shed any light. I always dive on a full charge,and usually get some 30 shots before the LCD starts to show a low battery indicator. This seems to me to be an anomaly. I still need to do some proper tests, but I was wondering whether my charger might be faulty and not charging the batteries fully!

     

    Any opinions welcome.


  7. Something like that. Have not given it any time yet, apart from actually obtaining a piece of thick noprene with the torch in mind.

     

    The Gilan is double O-ring sealed at both ends and rated for 80 metres. So far, no floods.

     

    The on-off is a collar switch - the red collar you can see on the photos I have posted rotates roughly 90 degrees, and I think it is a magnetic switch so no chance of water ingress there. However, please confirm this with Steven from Gilan!


  8. You bet I do! Hoping for Cuba in December!

     

    I was going to go for the Sunray also, which seems to be as close to the perfect solution as you can get, but the price put me off.

     

    The main downside I find with the Gilan is the weight. The bulk compared to a Aquatica CP5000 is quite significant, but I guess compared to a dSLR housing will be less so. It is the weight mostly, and I will be trying to use some neoprene to get it as close to neutral as possible.

     

    Since I use it as a spotting torch for macro shots only, the burn time does not really bother me, as I would tend to switch it off when not using it.

     

    The price you quote is roughly what I paid - much less than the Sunray.

     

    John


  9. Hi Gloria,

     

    Here are some shots of my housing with the Gilan torch attached. http://woody.smugmug.com/gallery/95544

     

    I used the Aquatica (TLC) cradle to mount the torch. Sorry, I don't have the part number

     

    All in all I am happy with the torch. Some advantages and disadvantages, IMO, are:

     

    ADVANTAGES

    1. Cheap next to some purpose-made spotting torches

    2. Takes standard AA batteries

    3. Option of diffusing nose (gives beam angle of approx 100 degrees)

    4. Beautifully made

    5. Steve at Gilan is an absolute pleasure to deal with

     

    DISADVANTAGES

    1. Heavy, bulky and negatively buoyant

    2. Burn time with 8x2100 NiMH is roughly 45 mins

    3. Spare bulbs only obtainable from Gilan

     

    I have not tried the torch as a night light, but purely as a spotting light for my camera and as such have only used the diffusing nosecone, so I cannot really comment on this aspect.

     

    I have also still not used it at night, which is when any hot spots are likely to appear. Not diving as much as I hoped, unfortunately :D

     

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any further information.

     

    John


  10. Hi all,

     

    A lot of us, myself included, have had an problem with having enough light for the autofocus mechanisms of our "consumer" digicams to focus quickly and accurately, of course especally at night :D. I think I've found a great solution!

     

    In the past I used an Ikelite PCa as a spotting light, but in certain cases this generated a "hot spot" visible in the final picture. I was on the verge of buying a really expensive purpose made spotting light, when I came across a review of a torch made by a very small Dutch outfit called Gilan. The torch is the Gilan Pocket. Here's a review http://www.divernet.com/equipment/lamps2003/lampsintro.shtml

     

    So I went and bought one! When used together with their optional wide angle diffuser, you get a (not too bright, but bright enough) 100 degree beam with zero hot spot. The torch uses 8 x AA batteries, so that's an additional bonus. It looks great, is superbly made, has double O rings and rated to 80 metres. On the downside it is a bit large, especially relative to my Aquatica 5000 housing, but works fine for me.

     

    I have not tried it out during a night dive yet, which is when any hot spots are likely to show up, but will let you know my experiences.

     

    Total cost is MUCH LESS than a purpose made spotting light, and Steven is a real pleasure to do business with!

     

    I'll post a photo of my rig as soon as I get a moment.

     

    John

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