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scubag

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Posts posted by scubag


  1. I use a Lowe Pro photo Trekker AW II. It is big enough to carry my Ikelite housing, dome, Nikon CP-5000, 19mm wide angle lens, (2) Ikelight DS-125 strobes, my 12" powerbook, ipod and speakers, and all the cords, chargers and misc adapters. The (4) 12" strobe arms go in the check in luggage. It's super heavy duty and I love it.

     

    Doug


  2. Great Images Chris!

     

    Are the Sperm Whales shots in Dominica? I (and my open water students) were buzzed by a mother and calf in St Croix back in late spring. What a great experience.

     

    Keep up the great work, I can't wait to see some higher resolution images when you get your site up.

     

    Doug


  3. Julian,

     

    What I was trying to point out (and what Herb and others also suggested) is that although these tests are a good point of reference, they are not complete nor scientificly valid. Light fall off along a horizontal and vertical reference is important, but what about hot spots, what about the quality of illumination, what about the color tempreture? This is why imaging the result is important. As a serious but amatuer u/w fine art photographer I do not have the ability to test every strobe that comes out to see if it will do something that my other gear can not, so these independent tests are important to me. Asking for more thorough and accurate information benefits us all.

     

    Many people get very opinionated about why their camera, lense, strobe etc is better than every other brand on the market but in my opinion it's all just bs. So long as the gear does what you need it to and is reliable - brand is insignificant (ask James about why he loves his S2pro and he'll probably say "because it works and does what I tell it to do". I'm glad you like your Z220's, I own and use (2) Ds125's, (2) ds-50's a SB103, and a slew of MCD slave strobes. But if something better came along that did something I couldn't otherwise do with my existing strobes I'd change in a heartbeat.

     

    Doug


  4. Gazzer,

     

    Obviously great effort went into this strobe test and I commend you for your effort. Some how these results however just don't seem right. Guide Number divided by strobe to subject distance equals Fstop. Although Ikelite claims a GN 32 u/w (GN32 divided by F8 = 4' which is very close to my results) you claim a GN of 49, or 6' stobe to subject. And this is low? If Inon claims a air GN of 70, there is no way you can end up with an u/w GN of 59. I think that either your flash meter was on drugs or there was something else skewing your results. 2nd point: light fall off of 1 Fstop from center to edge is maybe acceptable to some, but for me I'd be throwing away those images. 3rd: Most strobe tests (light falloff) are more easily visualized if you actually photograph the results ie: place the strobe at a fixed distance between the camera and wall, with a grid pattern for comparison.

     

    If we are going to publish a test, lets make it scientific and acurate.

     

    Doug

     

    EDITED: sorry guys I posted my response after reading page 1 not knowing another full page of comments existed. I agree with the comments of Alex and Herb. This is a good starting point, now lets fill in the blanks.

     

    Doug


  5. I've had one of the first Addonics burners (same as Roadstore?) for almost a year with no problems burning CF type 1 & 2, microdrive cards plus SD and Xd cards from cameras I rent out. I burn 10-20 CDs a week with it and more when on vacation. Has a small rechargable battery pack that works for 30-40 burns w/o a recharge. Great unit. Would reccommend it to anyone.

     

    Just ordered a Belkin card reader for my iPod. Will let everyone know how it works after a few uses.

     

    Doug


  6. Another option:

     

    New Olympus 5060 $600

    Extra Battery $50

    New Olympus PT-020 Housing $200

    Sandisk Ultra II 256 mb compact flash card $100

    UR-Pro color filter $80

     

    Total $1030 New, strobe will wait for latter. Upgrade to an Ikelite housing for an extra $300 including the UR-Pro filter $1250 total.

     

    Doug


  7. Kalliff,

    Not bad at all for a first timer. Just a few comments: the internal strobe on the 750UZ is not very powerfull u/w, if you can't reach out and touch your subject (2') you are too far away. External strobes (Ikelite, Inon etc) will give you a pinch more distance (3' max) before you start to loose your color, but closer is always better. For non strobe photography, use a UR-pro filter and then fine tune your color with the manual white balance controls. Your color should be great, but you may have to increase the ISO (light sensitivity) from auto or ISO 50 to ISO 100 or ISO 200 in order to get a not too slow shutter speed, as the filter absorbes 2 stops of light.

     

    The other comments above from kdietz are important too. Try to shoot fish at eye level, not from above or below, and wait for them to turn 20-40 degrees inward towards the camera so that they are not alligned perpendicular to the camera. This gives them a 3d profile, hense more personality in their faces.

     

    Good Luck,

     

    Doug


  8. We recieved our first shipment of PT23 housings today, it fits your hands like a glove, but man oh man this thing is huge, nearly double the size of the PT20 or PT15 housings. It's so big the flat front port cover could be used as a frisbee. I would strongly reccommend looking at the Ikelite housing when it hits the market, I hope they can improve on the port situation. All it really needs is a conpact dome port and an Ikelite, Sea & Sea or Nikonos ttl flash conector.


  9. Thanks for the comments, Yes I know that summer brings in the whale sharks but I have other plans during that time.

     

    Gofigure:

    When were you in Galapagos? Obviosly crew turnover is not easily discussed when talking to the ships booking offices, for all I know the guides from agressor now work on another boat. I was more interested in how they treated you as an experienced diver / photographer? Did you have to dive with the guide or is solo or buddy diving ok? How much time did you spend at the northern islands? (Wolf/Darwin). How is the food, service on board? How many dives did you get in etc etc.

     

    Thanks again,

     

    Doug


  10. Sorry but I am going to be vague here, as I am unfamiliar with the YS50 as this is not a current model, nor is it cord compatible with your housing. Obviously you need to either connect the strobe to housing via cord or use as a slave in manual power. Since the Olympus PT-020 housing uses a proprietary cord connector, I have to assume your strobe is a slave. Does it have any manual power settings other than full? My guess is that you may be better of with a newer strobe model from Ikelite or Inon that will work better with your 5060. Perhaps someone else out there in wetpixel can help you better than I on this one.

     

    Doug


  11. Adam,

    Picture quality depends alot on the diving abilities of the diver. Picking up a bulky camera / housing system and taking it underwater forces the diver to relearn and re-evaluate his balance and buoyancy control, breathing, body positioning, and movement u/w. Experienced divers seem to to better, and when I evaluate a divers photos I do not compare them to a pros shots. The Olympus is a great camera and has all the features an advanced ameture needs, plus some. In auto mode (and built in flash) you are forced to either shoot wide angle natural light with a ur-pro filter and manual white balance or close up fish portrait or macro shots with the flash on and no filter. You will definately improve your images with an external strobe (Ikelite, Sea & Sea or Inon are the major brands), more light (and more control of the quality of light), better color, and less backscatter are the major advantages of an external strobe.

     

    Doug


  12. Mike,

     

    There is no perfect 1 setting does everything for every shot. If you are serious about learning u/w photography, find a photo class from a local photo pro who specializes in digital, and even better your Olympus camera. I always reccommend learning to shoot in the manual exposure mode if you already have a basic understanding of shutter speeds and f-stops. Find a non moving subject, sit in the sand and start shooting images, varying the exposure between shot and writting down what you are doing. Try out the different metering modes and autofocus modes. When you think you've got it, turn on the strobe and start all over. With flash you now have 2 completely separate exposures: background with ambiant light and forground with flash. Shoot lots and write down your exposures and distance to subject for each image. Review your images on land and then try again. The more familiar you are with the controls on your camera and what they can do for you, the easier everything gets. Last but not least... shoot lots and lots of images, and then shoot some more. If you want some unbiased critique, post a few shots here on wetpixel and get some feedback from Eric, James, Craig, Peter and the other photo gurus. What hurts your ego now will make you a stronger photographer later.

     

    Doug


  13. Thanks James,

    The review helped me alot, I'm getting ready to upgrade from a Nikon CP-5000 and have been waiting to decide Nikon D70 vs Canon A300. All my Nikkor lenses are older so either camera will force me to upgrade lenses. I think I'll wait for a few more D70 housings to be on the market to make a final decission but I'm swaying towards the D70.

     

    Thanks Again,

     

    Doug


  14. rhumbustion,

    It depends on the experience of the user as to the setting I preset for them. Example: a novice diver wanting to point and shoot I'll set P program automatic exposure mode, iso 200 to boost the shutter speed, and a UR-pro filter. I also turn off the auto reset so that when the camera is turned off it will not reset my setting. For a novice / intermediate diver wanting to shoot fish pictures: I set A aperature priority F 5.6, iso 100, set flash to ON not auto, macro ON, no filter, and tell the customer to pop up the flash ONLY when 2' away and closer. For a more experience diver / photographer manual exposure is the way to go with a external Ikelite DS-50 strobe and manual controller, Start your exposures at 1/125 sec at F 5.6, flash at 1/2 power for a 3' strobe to subject distance and work from there. The reality is that for someone renting a camera I try to keep it simple for them, I do not give them a free $300 photo course with a $35 camera rental.

     

    I hope I was able to help,

     

    Doug

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