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davehicks last won the day on March 23

davehicks had the most liked content!

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About davehicks

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    Manta Ray
  • Birthday 04/25/1967

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    Seattle, WA USA

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

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  1. I am a firm believer in limiting handling and stretching of o-rings as much as possible. Lube sliding o-rings only and avoid stretching them completely. Loose o-rings are a major cause of floods. I have the Inon-330's for about two years now. I dive almost every week one or more times. I almost never remove the o-ring from it's seat. I do very lightly lube them with every battery change. I wipe and lightly lube the inside of the battery caps as well. The only time I ever have removed the o-rings from the strobe body is after week long dive trips of 20-30 dives. Then I wipe out the groves and rinse of the o-rings in clean water. Same applies to my Nauticam port o-rings. The housing back o-ring is compression so I never lube the it at all as that will just attract grit, but wipe it with a microfiber before re-sealing.
  2. I learned a lot from Richard Salas, and his #1 mantra is "Long Arms". Having long reach means that you can get a strobe behind your subject and back or side light it easily for more dramatic effect. I pretty much use the same set up for both Macro and Wide angle, and the long arms have big advantages for both styles of shooting. My current setup is 16" + 12" + 8" on the left and 16" + 12" on the right.
  3. I've been using something like this for years now with both Inon and Ikelite (with optical trigger adapter) for years now. 2 or 3mm side/end glow cable. Available on Ebay for about $7 for 5 meters. It's tough, durable, easy to work with. The transparent sheath it's in make for an interesting look too, you can see the red led trigger glow though the cable if you look carefully. https://www.ebay.com/itm/2mm-3mm-Car-Home-12v-LED-Light-Lamp-Decoration-Side-Glow-Fiber-Optic-Cable-DIY/183502421631?hash=item2ab998be7f:g:IZcAAOSwHgRb0Vf3
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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