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CeeDave

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Everything posted by CeeDave

  1. Anyone tried a Nikon AF-S TC (TC14,17,or 20 II)? The beef for a while has been no current Nikon AF (only AF-S) TC's (that, and lack of achromatic diopters).
  2. Hey Guys, I had a great trip to Indonesia, but had a leak that made it so that I couldn't use the strobes. So these shots were taken with just a focus light (Fisheye halogen) and a D70. I will, if I can get some shots together, post some available light shots later. Here, a couple shots taken with just the focus light at large apertures ... Juvenile crocodile fish Swarm of stinging catfish ...both shots on night dives with a AF (no focus knob) 60mm f2.8. Queries and comments most welcome. Chris
  3. All, I have searched this site, googled and clicked away, and still can't find a good discussion of the factors to consider in choosing optical versus electrical strobe connections. I care about this because, first, I am considering moving to Inons (for weight, compactness, and AA); and, second, because I had a minor leak in a sync bulkhead (Subal/Nikonos) and it got my attention (hooray for leak detectors -- no damage after a thorough cleaning and drying!). I'd be especially interested in discussion for Subal/Nikon, as that's my setup: I have seen the external Inon converter -- what are its advantages over electric sync? Any chance of more streamlined, leak-resistant converters for Subal (e.g., something that fits on the hot shoe or in the housing)? I prefer not to Do It Myself -- I'm a modeler, not an experimentalist! Plus, I hate those fiddly Nikonos plugs... My thanks for any links or discussion here. Regards!
  4. Howdy strangers, I've been silent a while (diving a good bit), and while learning and reading I haven't had much to say. However, just got back from a trip to Indonesia. I simply used loktite blue (as before) and replaced the allen bolts on the bottom of the ultralight handles with stainless hex-head bolts, which I could tighten more than I could the allen bolts, better compressing the split-ring lock washer on the bolt shaft. The handles never loosened and disassembled easily at the end of the trip. Cheers, Chris
  5. Boy, howdy, is that ever true. And the latches around the case are very sticky. Be careful. If you do upgrade the HD, this link may be helpful.
  6. The Ike in-line TTL controller is available with Nikonos connector to housing ... though they put a Ike connector on the out side. I think. I use two 125's on a Subal hsg (Nikon D70) with dual Nikonos bulkheads on the housing -- all manual, works fine.
  7. At the Nikon USA site, OWW, but not unexpected.
  8. All, Thanks for all the helpful comments. George, you may have talked me out of it. Udo, your pictures were particularly helpful, and you may have talked me into it. Ah, gear. You'll know I'm switching if you see my 125's in the classifieds.... Chris
  9. Hello, I've used Ike strobes for many years, and I'm quite satisfied with the performance and reliability of my DS-125s. However, they are kinda big and heavy, especially when I am traveling with land as well as uw camera gear. Before I melt the credit card down, though, I have a few questions: 1. Is anyone having good luck with a Nikon-Subal-Inon setup? 2. Should 2 Z240's (or D-2000's?) cover a 10.5FE well? 3. Am I crazy to consider switching brands? 4. Is Inon service pretty good? 5. Anyone used these with the HW inline or in-housing converter, or the S&S? Thanks for any help or comments. Cheers, Chris
  10. I don't think there's much sacrifice optically, but it will be VERY easy to scratch a plastic dome port doing macro shots, especially with a relatively short lens.
  11. Loftus, You're right, the curves should be tweaked. Thanks for the comment. Chris
  12. All, I love these animals, and am struggling to get a good photo. I think I've captured a bit of their surprising intelligence here, but would be interested in comments on technique and post processing. Cropping? Saturation? Funky black water? Thanks. Cheers, Chris PS, larger image here.
  13. An excellent early effort! Now get closer!
  14. All are nice, but I love the expression in the last one.
  15. Yup. Finally growing into my Subal housing. I'm enjoying the D300 above water, but the D70 will do fine underwater for a couple more years. Taken a few weeks ago in the Bay Islands.
  16. Girelle, At Cocos, I like the Nikon 16mm FE (or Sigma 15mm FE) for most dives, and the 10.5mm FE for the night dives with whitetips. 10.5 might also work for the jacks at Dirty Rock. I've never shot macro there (4 trips). Have fun! Chris
  17. All, I'd be interested to know how other approach this. My shot count per dive have ranged from 0 (bad viz in a boring place) to 200 (the f*ing crazy whitetips in Cocos on a night dive -- kudos to the charge capacity of the Ike DS125). For me, there are five levels of culling. As I go in the water and get to the bottom, I test fire a few shots to make sure my imitial assumptions (something like f8 and 1/250 and 1/2 power on the stobes with diffuser with a base ISO of 200) aren't too bad. I trash all of these shots, as I go. As I find the range, I tune the exposure -- mainly flash power and shutter speed. I blow away obvious trash as I go, if I have time. Immersed in a shot (say, of a goby on a coral head), I chimp and try to get the shot right. The action is too fast to bother with deleting photos. I just adjust and keep the misexposed shots. When I surface and review, then a good number of the shots are clearly inferior to others -- just based on different histograms of similar subjects. I blow the crap away. Each day, get rid rid of the obvious junk before backing up to laptop or more compact (in my case, Wolverine) device. What this means for me: I keep only about half my shutter actuations, and I only bother to PP about 1/10. On a recent trip to the Bay Islands, I posted about 40 shots out of 1000 (1 in 25) -- and was thrilled about my productivity. And think of all the chemicals that were not used, for digital vs film! My 2 cents, Chris
  18. This is all very interesting ... sort of. I'm still shooting my D70 underwater, but have a D300 that I'm using for other shots (the camera only costs a third what a new Subal housing would; bought my last Subal used and expect to do the same on my next). I am a little disappointed that Apple have been so slow to get D300 raws usable in Aperture. That said, I am simply amazed at the high ISO and auto ISO performance of the D300 (I shoot mainly 14-bit, visually lossless compression; playing with both DNG->CS2 and Capture NX). The extra cropping latitude, with tolerable noise and great ergonomics of the D300, is wonderful. The MP difference is especially nice for landscape shots, where I commonly crop to 1V X 2W, and am left with far more pixels and flexibility at 12MP than with 6MP. Then again, I am amazed at how good my D70 has become, as I have gotten more experienced! Every dive trip, I squeeze better photos out of that (by now very dated) camera. Maybe its partly just choosing to love my situation: I can't buy a new housing often ... it'll be a year or three before my next upgrade. One thing I take away from the posted article, and agree with wholeheartedly: ergonomics matter. I saw a big improvement when I changed housings to something that was more convenient for my hands (for my hands; a Subal vs an Ikelite housing). The improved ergonomics allowed me to focus on exposure and strobe placement, instead of elements of camera maneuvering -- and, critically, to use focus lock more effectively. This was important on the sardine run, where mobility was key; it matters in Caribbean WA and macro, too. I do wish the Subal ND70 gave access to flash compensation; it would make the Ike and H-W iTTL convertors much more interesting to me. So what does it mean for us slow (UW) adopters? Well, for me, I will wait and see how the 14-24 fares underwater, and maybe if it does well then wait for a FF update to the D300 -- since wide is what it's about for most UW photography, for me. It is wonderful to have so many choices. Just wish I had more money.... Chris
  19. Thanks, Tigershark. The additional photo made it clear.
  20. Tigershark, This looks great ... but I confess I'm too naive to understand what you mean by (or how you did) " fine bricolage for supporting 2nd flash arm." Could you teach me a bit? Sorry to be so demanding, but that looks just like what I want. Thanks for help if you have time, or inspiration if you don't. Cheers, Chris
  21. Not nylocks yet, but the others, yes. I may also switch the easy to strip allen bolts to another type.
  22. All, Had a nice trip seeing interesting critters on the Utila Aggressor. I've posted a brief review and a gallery. One shot I like, of skulking snappers, below. Thanks for reading. Chris
  23. Hello, I've got a few dozen dives now on my (used) ND70 which came with ultralight handles. The system is strong, but I've had repeated problems with the handles loosening during dives. Anyone using dual strobes with the Subal handles? Do you mount one on the left tab, and one on the "hot shoe"? Is it secure? Anyone got an anti-loosen solution for the ulcs handles? Thanks, Chris
  24. ...and the Nikon 16mm fisheye is about the same price, used, as the Sigma, new. The lenses are very comparable. The gels for the 16mm and 10.5 are unfortunately different shapes. The 16mm will focus fine in most domes -- remove the rear filter to get it to focus if you need to. Some prefer the Sigma; I don't see much difference, and was happy to go with a minty fresh used Nikon 16.
  25. Thom Hogan evidently likes this lens ( as discussed in his what he's using column ). I like it too, and look forward to what he has to say. For those of us not contemplating the FX sensors, this is a more radical (and cheaper) alternative to the Nikon 12-24. Chris in Red Stick
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