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davehicks

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davehicks last won the day on September 28

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About davehicks

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    Tiger Shark
  • 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. I agree with you about S&S. But to be fair i just had to send in one of my 5 year old / 600 dive Inon 330 strobes. The power switch started acting flaky last year not turning off. During my recent trip to Fiji it stopped working all together. Reef Photo will send it to Inon for a $450 complete makeover. All new internal parts including the bulbs i am told. I bought another 330 to use while that one is being repaired, and will now have a spare.
  2. Have you tried a number of different fiber optic cables? S&S strobes are notorious for refusing to trigger on anything less than a perfect fiber optic connection with a strong signal. Try replacing your FO with a new one and try again. Maybe try and see if you can trigger it with a bright flashlight. My Inon 330's with trigger on my phone flashlight for example.
  3. GPO's are not particularly skittish. 95% of the time when you see one, they are in a den, and they generally stay there. If you are lucky enough to see one in the open, they are not skittish, but they will only approach you if they are in the mood. Sometimes it seems like they don't even acknowledge your presence at all. Other times they are very curious and will reach out to touch you with a single tentacle. However, it's the divers should be skittish when encountering a really big one, as they can grab on to something like a camera or regulator and decide they want to keep it. I once saw a 20 foot GPO near God's Pocket and I was properly cautious around that monster. Sometimes they are very curious and will give you a hug as did the one seen below. To get well-lit photos of a big GPO you need to be within 2-3 feet of the subject. The water in these parts is typically pretty full of particulate even on a good day, so proper strobe positioning to minimize backscatter has to be mastered.
  4. Here is another recent photo that I took in my home waters of Puget Sound, which is cold green and full of particulate on the best of days. I took this photo with the same setup as with the Fiji photo, but with lower strobe power as it is dark and very silty. This would be 1/4 power on the left and 1/8th on the right. You can get plenty of good light with an Inon 330, and without creating a lot of flare or backscatter.
  5. The sample photo was a close in diver. When using a very wide lens like a 15mm FE you don't take many photos that are far away. Here is a photo I took last week using the technique i described.
  6. I have three suggestions that will largely solve this problem. 1) Get longer arms. For very wide angle work I use 3 arm segments. 12"+16"+16" (30cm+40cm+40cm) 2) Angle your strobes inward, pointing toward the dome, inline or behind the dome. Slightly rotate outward as needed. This will reduce backscatter by reducing illumination behind the subject just like pointing outward. However, you may get more core (vs edge) light on your subject. 3) Turn down the strobe power and turn up the ISO. I usually set ISO 250-320 and 1/4 to 1/2 power for shots like you posted.
  7. You can solder the tabs on, but it is not very pretty, at least when I did it. I rebuilt 3 or 4 batteries years ago, and if I knew about availability of spot welders, I would have bought one. The soldered battery packs worked just fine, no issues with them for the couple of years I used them.
  8. Thanks for the advice. MPB had better prices on used 105mm vr's than B&H. I bought the $500 "like new" lens. I'll update one what Nikon has to say about repairing my lens.
  9. I was one a liveaboard so we covered quite a variety of dive sites. To be sure the big attractions in Fiji are the colorful soft and hard corals. But we did night dives and some sites that didn't have a much soft coral. Those were pretty good locations for shooting macro. Small critters included pygmy seahorses, pipefish, nudibranchs, tiny hairy shrimp, etc. I only brought along my Sigma 15mm with a 170mm Zen dome, at 1.4tc & 20mm extension for better CFWA, and the 105mm with a +5 diopter for macro. This was a pretty good selection and worked out well.
  10. Fortunately a friend had a spare strobe i could borrow after the Inon died. Did i mention the part where i dropped my camera after my wife had a BC strap come loose? It was later recovered after a search and recovery dive...
  11. I have been diving in Fiji for the last week and i used just to two lenses. The Sigma 15mm for WA and a Nikon 105vr on a D850. My 105vr is over tens years old and well used but is in good physical condition. At some point while using it this week it would just up and fail to Autofocus anymore. The motor would not activate at all. Turning the camera off for 5-10 seconds would revive it again for a while. But eventually it would fail again. The sigma had no issues with autofocus. I tried to clean the contacts on the lens and body, but this did not help. Has anyone had this issue before? I've never had a lens serviced before. The 105vr sells used for about $450. Is service even worth the cost?
  12. One of my Inon 330 strobes failed on me while in Fiji this week. While that gets repaired, I want to buy a backup strobe before heading off on another dive trip on October 1st. I am open to any good condition optically triggered strobe that uses AA batteries. Shipping to Seattle.
  13. I'm a big fan of the lavacore hooded vests as they don't change your buoyancy. They are not neoprene but a synthetic with fleece material inside. They add a lot of warmth and are very comfortable. It folds and packs very small as well.
  14. Just get a 5mm suit if you get cold. I don't get particularly cold but I have worn a 5mm suit on several trips to Indonesia and the south pacific. I am about to go to Fiji with water temps of 77-80f and will bring a new 5mm suit. But if you only have a 3mm suit, get something like a Lavacore hooded vest. You can put it on under the wetsuit when you start getting cold.
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