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About PaulM

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  1. Sorry no help, but I wish that were the least of my problems with that housing. This time, nothing to do with "that damn Ike" :wink: though! Ordered mine as soon as available from B&H. Shipped on 3rd March to the U.K. 24th of April and still no housing thanks to USPS Airmail parcel post. :x Interestingly the sync cord turned up in a separate parcel on the March 8th. B&H are finally now going to file a claim against USPS but have yet to ship a replacement, and I fly out to South Africa on the the evening of the 29th. I wish fitting the camera were the least of my troubles. I really want the Ike housing, based on my previous experiences with them, but at this rate the only guaranteed chance I have of getting a housing is to pick up an Oly housing in the UK. And then, no sync cord to my DS-50.. :evil: ... arrrrrgh! :evil: It's not easy going Ike over here - the one UK distibutor wants the equivalent of nearly 800 USD :shock: - go figure? Ok, so I am green with envy :mrgreen: Just digging for a little sympathy...
  2. Glad to hear you're happier with the new camera. Don't know if the low light autofocus is an issue with 5050s also, but I'm sure they'll tell us about the fantastic advantages of f1.8 super fast night vision lenses for indoor use :roll: Don't get too excited about firmware versions :oops: - I meant v81 or whichever was on the Olympus site . I 'm sure mine is v79 but I haven't updated yet, simply because I haven't gotten around to it though I did download the firmware in case Olympus have a change of heart and remove it! :wink: On the subject of firmware enhancements, v81 may not list focusing enhancements, but the much publicised beta v80b software that was released before Olympus formally went public did greatly improve autofocus especially in macro / supermacro according to anecdotal evidence posted on dpreview, yahoo 405060 list etc. I can't speak from experience because I haven't bothered to upgrade yet. :| You housed yet? My Ike housing is somewhere between USPS, Her Majestys Customs, and The Royal Mail at the moment. Teasingly B&H shipped the sync cord in a different box (same day) which arrived this Monday, so I'm hoping the housing isn't too far behind as I'm diving this Sunday. 8)
  3. Anders, I wouldn't be too quick to ship the camera back to Olympus. 1. Has your camera always behaved this way, or is this a new symptom. 2. What is your definition of "slow" autofocus. >1 sec, >2 sec? 3. What lighting are you testing in? I notice very quick autofocus in good light, but much slower in low light. 4. It does make a (quiet) noise, sounds like a stepper motor hunting around to obtain the correct focus. Nothing that has alarmed me. 5. Autofocus->MF - yes I have noticed on rare occasion conflicting readings, but I find these are typically indoor low light when the focus is struggling anyway, and I find it hard to hold the camera pointing at exactly the same part of an object. In any case the readings are never way out, and give acceptable pictures in all but the extreme cases. Have you updated your firmware? I thing I have v79 or maybe v80 - I don't remember, but the V82 firmware is available for user install at the olympus website. I did read somewhere that users were reporting better AF performance, particularly in macro. That may help. Paul.
  4. Very nice. I do like the WCON-07. Miles better than in quality than the TCON. On domes generally. Does anyone know if it would be possible to use the standard lens behind that dome to improve distortion @ 27mm? Is there enough lattitude in dome/lens design or is it critical to have lens and dome matched? Reason for asking is I've seen some shots of the standard lens behind the flat port with quite bad distortion at full wide. So when is the Athena shipping, I thought it was only in prototype?
  5. Well, what do you know. Pictures and details of Ikes' cryptically ingenious dome solution... http://tinyurl.com/3yp6p Very clever, so who wants to by a CLA-7? :wink: The WCON-07C is very nice lens, I'm impressed with it above water, but 18-19mm effective focal length underwater with low distortion. Bring it on. Not sure if this is as much as the Inon wet lens & dome on your 5050s, but I'd bet the quality of the dry WCON vs. the Wet Inon may give better results. I guess we'll have to wait. Does anyone know if it would be possible to use the standard lens behind that dome to improve distortion @ 27mm? Is there enough lattitude in dome/lens design or is it critical to have lens and dome matched? (I'm only assuming here that distortion @ 27mm is as bad as the Olympus housing - maybe Ikelite have sorted that on their standard port.) Final thought - do you think the TCON would fit in behind there. Now that would be funny.
  6. Yes, me too. Look slike a nasty bug. Noticed it when browsing the Feb photo competition entries. Clicking "next" or "2" always redirects to page 1. Very frustrating.
  7. Thanks for the info Peter, I'm already familiar with your excellent site. I realise there aren't many 5060's out there now, but I was hoping for some general photography advice rather than camera specific stuff. I will probably go with the Ike housing if I can get one soon enough, as that would give me Olympus TTL with my DS-50. I already have the WCON, and its a nice lens so an Ike dome could also be on the cards if its any good. As for more strobes, my budget doesn't stretch that far just yet Compromise Compromise. So, I realise that the single strobe is not ideal for good WA but thats all I have. I note some of your WA shots used a single strobe (albeit a DS-125). As for the sharks, this is open water diving, NO CAGE :shock: :shock: Fortunately, they say they don't see too many great whites (unless you're really lucky ). Only the Tiger sharks and Zambezis (Bull sharks) to worry about then! :twisted: Will probably be shooting in about 15-25m of water, in near the reef slightly below the sharks. I'm hoping there may be some cunning tricks to get reasonable pics with a single strobe. What are the best strobe positions for WA? Far out to the side, or high above camera facing dead ahead? I read somewhere, that the strobe will be completely ineffective at more than 2m, right? Anyone got any general advice on TTL for sharks & barracuda type subjects? I'm sure I've read that these can typically trick TTL systems into over/under exposing? In that case, should I use Flash compensation, Exposure compensation, or both? On available light, I also think I read one of the dSLR boys talking about using the smallest apperture possible to get decent sharp sillhouettes. Would this apply to me? Also, I understand the concept of a balanced light exposure by metering background water, using flash for fill. But had also heard that selecting a fast shutter speed has a 'freezeing' effect on the light rays as they penetrate the water. :? I can't see how this could work. So, true or false? Any other tips, gratefully received!
  8. Well looks like Ikes' boys have been busy. Website has been updated again, now with a teasingly small picture of the C5060 dome port. :shock: Can we have a bigger piccy? I take it, tests were encouraging then? Not being drawn into posting any test shots then? No, thought not. Bad boy - rude to ask! :evil: Now.... how does it go. :? Ah, thats it: i want i want i want i want i want i want i want :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: adfinitum...
  9. Thanks for the update. Look forward to the release. That little snippet about fitting to all new 5050 housings will please the 5050 crowd I guess. Cheers, Paul.
  10. I'm off out to South Africa in May, and hope to dive Protea Banks to visit the sharks! I would be interested to hear on suggested techniques for trying to get some decent shark shots. If anyone has dived there before and knows what to expect, I'd be very grateful for your advice. I want to try and practice the techniques and get used to kit/procedures before I go as I'm just in the middle of switching from a fully automatic pocket P&S to a C5060. I have yet to house the 5060, but already have the Olympus WAL adapter, so Wide angle could be a possiblilty depending on the housing I end up with. I only have a single DS-50 strobe though. So I'd like to know what I should try and do strobe, and what to stick to available light on. Any suggestions or tips & tricks with the sharks? I guess I'll need to have a well practiced set-up to get those quick shots, otherwise it'll be back to a memory card full of big fishes bums! (or butts depending on your locale of English :wink: )
  11. I too am starting to get impatient as PT-20's are starting to become easily available in the UK now. Ike - Any update on how the testing is going, photos of housing, or just general thoughts on what kind of system you will offer (e.g. fixed or removable ports)? Is the Feb shipping date still looking good? I really would like to stick with Ikelite, as I've been impressed with the toughness and simplicity (and reliability!!) of my previous housing, but as the weather is improving and it looks like we might actually dive in the sea again - I'm getting the urge! Appreciate that you guys are probably really busy, and maybe you can't/won't tell us for commercial reasons, but if that's the case - tell us you can't, and when you expect to release more info. Now get back to work, and get the damn housings out!
  12. To be quite honest, If you've never used an underwater camera before. Forget the underwater strobe to start with. It will add too much task loading to your diving. Even a fully auto TTL strobe will necessitate aiming etc. I started playing about 2 years ago with my old Olympus C-830L (D-330 statestide I think) in an Ike housing. Camera was totally point and shoot no manual settings. I was thrilled with the pictures taken. Eventually I outgrew the set and added a strobe later and am now waiting to house my 5060. You can take excellent pictures with the internal flash, maybe not to pro/semi-pro standard, but good nonetheless. Remember to force the flash (you should see the lightning bolt on the camera display continuously) on in all conditions so it fires even in bright light. Try to get close to the subject you are taking, or stick to sillhouetes. TO get started try sticking to closeups using Macro mode which should give you the best results initially. I did have some success in the Red Sea & Thailand using a color correcting filter such as those sold by UR-Pro. You need the orange one for blue water. You need bright light for best results and the colour correction is a compromise (the actual level of compensation required depends on depth), but it gave me nice results and put off a strobe purchase for a little longer. I got best results using a filter by disabling internal flash. The DS-50 is a good choice and I think more powerful than the FL-20. Though the FL-20 can be used topside. If you're using the PT-20 the DS-50 will not be hard wired, you'll need an additional optical sensor that reads the cameras internal flash output either TTL or Manual. Manual is reported to give best results, but if you shoot in P mode go TTL. Don't forget to consider the cost of strobe arms & tray as well. You need something to mount the strobe on. All of the other advice is valid, but I would say start easy and don't try and do too much. On the other hand if Bonaire is the trip of a lifetime and you want the greatest shots, tool up with the best strobe or strobes you can afford, learn manual mode, and get loads of practice dives in with the new kit. Otherwise, for snapshots (people will hate me for saying this) just point & shoot in P mode! If you can afford it, try a filter. It's hassle free and requires no extra brainpower to operate. I used to take it on/off during the dive to alternate between wide angle shots using no flash and closeup Macros with flash. Above all, don't let camera & kit get in the way of enjoying the diving!
  13. Absolutely, as a 5060 owner the menus seem largely unchanged. You still need to hold down the small button on the left to change aperture in Manual mode. Though when shooting in Aperture (or Shutter) priority it is smart enough to just let you twirl the jog dial to adjust the relevant parameter. This may be the same as the 5050 - I don't know I never had one. Personally If I had a 5050 with all the bits, I wouldn't change. It may be a bit less shutter lag, and faster autofocus, but it doesn't seem that fast to me - no where like DSLR. Your wet WAL lenses don't work well with the 5060. A wet WAL with dome on the 5050 will get you better than possible on the 5060 right now. The housed FL20 looks pants - not enough grunt. Oly WAL under a flat port = bad distortion and takes you from a potential 19mm domed to 26mm equiv. True the max aperture is f2.8. But look around that is not really slow. You 5050 users have had it too good. How often do you use wide open under water. (yes yes indoor low light benefits - woo hoo. The 5060 seems to have a lot less noise at higher ISOs so what we lose on the lens we gain elsewhere.) The batteries though proprietary Li-Ion are FANTASTIC. Don't look just at the specs, this battery is amazing. 200+ shots and still firing, no sign of a battery low symbol. Personally I'm still not sure If I made the right choice, I'd like to see the Ike housing though..... Check out these links for sample pictures: Cameras Underwater DigitalDiver forum
  14. Thanks a lot for the link Bob. Promising photos. Feel a lot better about that now. I knew pool shots of test cards would be dodgy.. Decisions decisions. The PT-20 is available now and cheap, but my past experience of Ike housings has been solid with good service... Do we know if Ikelite are planning anything radical with their housing such as dome ports to house the Oly WCON? This cameras burning a hole in my pocket - I may just get the PT-20, strap on my Ike tray (after a little drilling!) and DS-50 and go get wet.... If the Ikelite release date slips again I won't be up to speed with my new gear before my trip to South Africa in Spring?!?!?
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