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davehicks

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davehicks last won the day on March 23

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About davehicks

  • Rank
    Eagle Ray
  • Birthday 04/25/1967

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Seattle, WA USA

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    D800
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Ikelite DS-161's

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  1. Shearwater is the buy it and never regret it choice. The best support, the most consistent firmware upgrades, the best features, the most reliable. If you are at all concerned about the price, buy one use on Scubaboard. You can find the Perdix consistently for 550-650 USD depending on AI support or not. You'll spend a few hundred more on the watch sized Teric. I have both and prefer the Perdix/Petrel units for their bigger screens.
  2. It looks like LensRentals will rent a calibration device for 7 days @$42. https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/colormunki This is really all you need to set up a profile and tune your monitor. It is not absolutely required to have the device connected long term. I've had a Spyder3 for many years but only ever re-calibrate if I change hardware. New monitors, video card, clean install the OS, etc.
  3. Clip off your camera. I have a little loop of bungie on my dome neoprene covers with a little SS carabiner on it. I clip it off to my waist d-ring and slip it under the waist belt. I do this for any rough conditions or difficult shore entires.
  4. A camera without a lanyard is a lost camera eventually. I don't use two attachments, just one lanyard on my harness chest d-ring. I'm always holding the camera unless I shoot an SMB, or have an incident to deal with. That's why you need to the lanyard. Safety first, and drop the camera when there is an issue with your buddy our yourself.
  5. In my experience with Cocos it was not the Rocks that were the big problem (they are a problem) but the descent lines. Many sites will have strong currents and you often descend on a barnacle encrusted permanent buoy line. The currents can be so strong that you have to pull yourself hand over hand several hundred feet horizontal down the line as the currents are too strong to swim against. So i recommend that you be prepared with some good kevlar dive gloves like these from XS Scuba. I used these at Coco's, 2 trips to Galapagos, etc over ten years before they finally fell apart. Don't mess around with tropical gloves. https://www.amazon.com/XS-Scuba-Kevlar-Grabber-Gloves/dp/B003SJYPWE As for Booties, it's best to use more robust full foot fins with booties as you may do some serious kicking. Get a few pairs of the Lycra "shark skin" socks to avoid developing blisters. Lycra socks are another essential item in my book.
  6. I only ever use single shot, but will fire rapidly when there is fast action. I doubt the strobes would keep that pace for more than a few shots, but they can do it on that rare case when you need to capture a unique moment. But I have not tested extended continuous firing at 1/2 myself.
  7. I mostly shoot my 330's at 1/2 power and they have no problems firing 3 frames in 1 second. I did a lot of Full Power shooting in Galapagos last month and was able to get good light at 1 frame per second on a few occasions when the sharks came in close.
  8. The question is less about if the creatures get close enough for your lens and more about if you can light them with your strobes. Lens choice it not going to change that outcome. You can crop the subject closer but you can't put more light on it. That said, you should use a 1.4 TC with the Tokina 10-17 or Sigma 15mm. Both are good choices for Cocos, I used those at that location when I had a D300. I recently returned from Galapagos and shot my D850FX almost exclusively with the Nikon 16-35. Long arms, near full power flash, ISO 400-800 at F10 worked well for me. I used a Sigma 15mm for Iguanas and things I knew I could get much closer too.
  9. I have one very similar that I've used for years. It work just fine, but can be a slight annoyance if you flip it off and get really close to the bottom. At more than $200 less than the Nauticam, etc models this may be worth it to you. I use mine pretty often and have not seen a good reason to replace it with a "better" more expensive model.
  10. Get a strobe. Start with one and begin to learn. You will not be happy with your photos otherwise. With a bit of practice you'll start to take some pictures that will be really great. Add a second strobe later on when you are ready for more dramatic shots.
  11. If you are buying new get the Pros. The only tradeoff is the Pro's will only be good for something like 500 recharge cycles vs 2000 for the white eneloops. The Pro's will deliver more flashes per charge which is your goal.
  12. I would not pay a premium for a D800e vs D800, especially for UW use. The difference between the two is pretty subtle anyway and I've never noticed any appreciable benefits in years of looking at the photos. Get the best condition D800 you can find and you'll be very happy. I shot my D800 for over 6 years and finally moved to a D850 in early 2019. I sold my housing but still use the D800 when the 850 is in the housing. It's a great camera even today and takes photos of similar quality to the 850. It just can't take as many photos as fast as the 850 due to a smaller, slower buffer.
  13. You can cut off the hood. I have seen on the Tokina website that they sell this a version of this same lens with no hood for FX cameras. People have successfully cut it off themselves with a dremell tool. Alternatively if you zoom out a bit to 12-13mm it should no longer vignette on FX.
  14. Couple of thoughts: Probably don't travel with fully charged lithium ion batteries. Make sure an inspector does not try open your Sola. It's not (without tools) designed to be opened. I've heard of several Sola being damaged this way. Using the safe bag is a great idea. I just bought one of these myself.
  15. Save yourself some trouble and get comfortable using manual strobe power. TTL is more trouble than it's worth and will end up limiting your creative potential. It doesn't work well at all for wide angle, and your macro shots will be uniformly bright with less shadow and definition than you might achieve with manual control.
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