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Everything posted by oneyellowtang

  1. @Akoni Two comments... Background: I still shoot with 2 high end DSLR's, but my kids shoot with Sony mirrorless now. 1. Although I enjoy shooting using an OVF today, AI-driven augmented vision with make EVFs the future in the next several years. It's already true in optical medical equipment and it will be true in photography equipment "soon." The reality is that integrating enhanced AI-driven optics is just easier in EVF, and that will drive the change. If the DSLR format survives, I expect it to do do with EVF augmentation. 2. As an avid reader I've switched almost entirely to consuming written content on my Kindle. Much more flexibility, more portable, can manage multiple sources at once, better in all lighting conditions, more weather resistant, etc. The only type of content left worth consuming on paper are books with numerous scientific (or other) illustrations or older, collectable books.
  2. Diving around Sydney is good to very good, depending on the day. Spent 4 years living there a few decades ago and dove every little cove we thought we could get into (including a couple that we had to rope down into just North of Bondi).Been diving around Sydney on a number of trips back there as well. However, the dive trips up to Byron Bay (esp. Julian Rocks) bordered on world class. ~8 hr drive up from Sydney or short trip down after flying into Brisbane. Mantas, turtles, grey nurse sharks, cuttlefish, nudi's, etc. I would not complain if that was the only diving available during a pandemic... We've been back a number of times - easily better than many typical dives in most places in the Pacific.
  3. How hard did you pull to get the viewfinder out? Mine would take significant force to both unseat the internal o-ring and then pull out the viewfinder. I did check mine, you cannot pull out the viewfinder without physically unseating the inner o-ring. The o-ring looks like it will unseat if the viewfinder is pulled hard enough. I actually forget to seal my housing with a vacuum on a number of dives so it's just the o-rings protecting that particular seal. Having said this, I think the recommendation would be - don't pick up your rig by your viewfinder Also worth mentioning - most of the controls that breach the housing (to connect to a control levers inside) are also only protected by 2 o-rings.
  4. @Ministryofgiraffes Rotating the 45 degree Nauticam viewfinder is actually a design point of the viewfinder. Without this capability it would be virtually impossible to shoot vertically on walls, etc. So having the viewfinder being able to rotate isn't an issue (it would be if it didn't rotate) - the viewfinder itself rotates between the eye piece and the mounting piece (not between the viewfinder and the housing). However, pulling the viewfinder completely out seems like there may be something wrong. There is an O-ring that holds the viewfinder in place (seated at the end of the threads of either the standard viewfinder or the 45 degree viewfinder). You need to take this O-ring off before pushing the standard viewfinder out (to replace it with the 45 degree one), and then reseat this O-ring to hold in the 45 degree viewfinder. For reference (not promoting Blue Water, however their "how to" videos are useful):
  5. @jordango You will not be disappointed with the D500 underwater. It is now my favorite camera to shoot with u/w in almost every situation. Even the weight (compared to an Oly-based system) is not really an issue (esp. when I compare it to my housed D850). On the Aquatica choice - you can't go wrong. I shot with an Aquatica both for film and early digital, and loved their housings. The only reason I switched to Nauticam was because Aquatica was a tiny bit slow moving to optical connections for strobes - and I was tired of the occasional damage to my electronic strobe connections if I didn't seat them properly. Clearly not an issue now. I will also say that Aquatica service was world class (vs Nauticam), being located in Canada was a significant advantage for those of us in the US, and they were just nice as well. No complaints w/Nauticam, just not "legendary" like Aquatica.
  6. @jordango - another vote for the D500. I have both the D500 & D850 (both in Nauticam housings). The D500 has slightly better AF in low light situations, and is a more flexible system. D850 has a few advantages, but none that would ever stop me from enjoying shooting with the D500. FF/mirrorless is the future, but we are not quite there yet. As for housings - you'll find a number of folks who really like Subal - having used both Subal and Nauticam, I prefer Nauticam (partially for the small price savings, and then the number of dealers available in the US). You will not go wrong with either housing. Subal has the reputation for quality, Nauticam is currently leading in innovation (mostly around their increasing number of new ports).
  7. @newdiver I don't think people are necessarily recommending different strobes, I think you are getting recommendations based on what kind of shooting you may do, and what gear you can use today, and what may allow to grow with in the future. It actually ends up being pretty simple: if you think there is any chance you end up moving to a larger system or want to shoot true wide angle scenics, then (as @Andrej Oblak suggests) get the strongest strobe you can afford right now, because you will be able to continue to use it as you grow. Two smaller strobes (now) might be more manageable, but you will potentially outgrow them.
  8. If you are going to focus primarily on macro I can highly recommend the Backscatter mini flash (which I use for snooting macro shots). Easy to use, bright, narrow beam, and compact. As others have suggested, it will be underpowered for most w/a situations, even with 2 mini flashes (except for some CFWA shots). If you want a strobe that can do both, a single Z330 is great start - not going to outgrow this strobe.
  9. My daughter (18 yrs old) shoots with a Sony A7III in a Nauticam housing. She also uses 1 strobe (an older Z240, triggered by an optical connection). She's very happy shooting macro with the 90mm, and then last summer added a wet lens so she could shoot w/a (when using the 28mm). It's a big step up from a compact system, and although heavier (out of water), and takes up more room when packing, the results (for her) have been worth the trade-off. For reference, she started out with an Olympus system, but she grew out of it.
  10. @bvanant There were a few comments on one of the threads about this previously. It seems that this may be the case (requiring the need to dial in more light output when utilizing the snoot). I've switched to the Backscatter mini-flash & snoot combination specifically for snooting, with the added advantage of being able to bring it along as a 3rd strobe when I'm shooting macro with my two Retra Pros.
  11. @KwajHeather Welcome. Would love to see some of your images from the wrecks in Kwajalein. I've landed there several times, but never allowed to get off the plane
  12. Been diving up in the Baa Atoll on 4 different occasions. Agreed that the majority of the subjects are larger (used to have many [many] sharks up in that area, now more focused on mantas, turtles, the occasional whale shark). There are macro subjects, but to take full advantage you do need to talk to the dive staff and be clear what you're looking for. With just 2 dives a day at many resorts it's tough to dedicate an entire dive to macro (given the potential number of divers on a boat, etc.), however if you have a good relationship with the dive staff it is possible. Now with many Maldives resorts moving to 3 dives a day (or even 4 a day, if you include a night dive on a house reef), it is getting easier to dedicate an entire dive to macro. I've found that committing an afternoon dive (sometimes with a private guide) to macro is the way to go. We are (hopefully) headed back to the Maldives next June to head to the South. I'll likely commit the afternoon dive most days to macro, and we've made sure the dive team can accommodate this before booking (2 morning dives each day will likely be focused on wide angle).
  13. From the above thread... The out of water weight was mentioned of the WACP (version 1). From a packing & traveling perspective I found that a large dome was much harder to protect & pack than the WACP (which was one of the reasons I switched to the WACP for my D850). The padded case the WACP comes with fits well in a rollaboard suitcase, with a little room for clothes, etc. to fit around it. The case is protective enough that I check it now when I travel with it. Although it is absolutely heavy enough that I will think twice before taking it on a shore dive, underwater it is very well balanced, and much easier to manage than a large dome during a dive (it's not even a real comparison).
  14. A few small additions: I have a D850 in a Nauticam housing (along with a D500 in a Nauticam housing). I've shot pretty extensively with the D850. I initially bought it as a possible FF replacement for my D500 - with a focus on wide angle, but even though I've found that the D850 is excellent in a number of areas, the D500 is as good in some areas (and in a very small number of cases, better), so I've kept both. The D850 with the 105vr is a really good combination for macro. Given that I've shot both the D850 and the D500 with the 105vr, for almost any set of conditions the D850 will outperform the D500 w/this lens (although the combination of working distance & subject size does take some adjustment coming from the cropped sensor perspective). There have been some folks that have suggested that something like an 85 or 90mm lens as fast as the 105vr might offer a small amount of additional improvement, however I haven't seen anyone suggest a recommended/tested alternative. However, the one area I've found that the D500 clearly outperforms the D850 is in autofocus in low light. This becomes clear on a blackwater dive - the D500+60mm combination outperforms the D850 in any config. Autofocus characteristics between the cameras are different enough that the D500 retains some advantages in this area. This is has been verified (and written about) by others on this forum previously. Having said this - the D850 shooting wide angle outperforms any results I've gotten shooting a D500 (any lens, any port). For dedicated wide angle I invested in the WACP, and the results have been excellent. The WACP is an investment in both $ and travel logistics, but the results have been worth it (so far). Others have achieved great results with the 16-35 (+ Sea & Sea internal correction lens). It might be worth adding that comparing the 230mm dome and the WACP provides some interesting trade-offs to be made in packing weight, volume and maneuverability u/w. The WACP is much heavier to pack (and heavier out of water), but also much easier to maneuver with underwater (not even a close comparison). I've also found that the WACP is pretty resilient when carried in it's (padded) travel pack, I now regularly travel with it in my checked luggage (in a carry-on roller suitcase that I check). I can usually get a few days of clothes packed around it as well. I certainly don't take it everywhere, but if there will a strong focus on wide angle, I bring it along. Other details: I've shot at ISO 64, but tend to "live" at ISO 100 for most conditions. Shoot with either 2 Inon Z330's or 2 Retra Pro's When shooting with the 105vr I also attach a Light & Motion Sola 1200 light Last - one of the (more subtle) advantages of shooting with the D850 (specifically in raw mode) is the huge amount of flexibility you have in the post processing phase of working with images. For D850 generated images, it feels like you have more flexibility than with previous (Nikon-generated) files. This goes beyond just image size - after playing with D500 raw images and D850 raw images it becomes fairly apparent that you have more ability to adjust images in post that are shot with the D850. This will be a subtle difference for most photographers, but for those who are willing to invest time in post, there is a large amount of flexibility to be taken advantage of.
  15. I think both Nikon and Canon have already signaled that their future is mirrorless. The only question is - how long do they maintain a pro line of DSLRs for professionals? The Olympics next year and the World Cup in 2022 will provide an interesting view into the pace at which this transition may/may not happen.
  16. @Interceptor121 I think you might be misjudging the motivation of some of these new photographers... My daughter made a little more than $6k (USD) online by documenting her trip to dive Komodo last summer. In my previous post I used the number "10k" for a very specific purpose - at that level of viewing/sharing commercial success starts to turn significant. Our daughter only dabbles in this - she has one friend who documents 3-4 trips a year (all adventure travel) and has made more than $35k through advertising and product representation. I think you are colored by the type of shooting you've done in the past. I'm similarly biased, yet by watching how this next generation approaches the space it hints at a very different future. If nothing else, they are finding ways to offset costs so they can explore and experience more (our daughter is paying for her own DM training & international travel (next summer) because she wants the experience). I think this will lead to different types of innovation focused on image capture and processing, well beyond what we see with phones today.
  17. @Phil Rudin & @adamhanlon I think you are both on to something. Let me add the following - my daughter (18 yrs old) has a set of friends that are all certified to dive (and a majority of them shoot somewhat regularly u/w - with the express purpose of telling the stories of their trips & dives). The challenge is that in addition to diving, many of them enjoy hiking, surfing, kite boarding, etc. and they seem to equally enjoy capturing images from those activities. Many of the images are simple "action shots" but there is constant conversation about how to capture the essence of the activity, and how to process that one unique image to best show some unique aspect (or the environment) that might get 10k likes or shares. I think there are significantly more people that will try to capture their experiences underwater - they just may not put up with all the idiosyncrasies that we have - which puts the onus on the manufacturers to innovate. Both my kids shoot with housed systems in (fairly large) Nauticam housings. I can almost guarantee that neither of them will upgrade beyond the systems they have (in this form factor) without significant innovation being offered. They both want to continue to capture images underwater, but will be looking for a better form-factor and capabilities in the future.
  18. @Interceptor121 I don't know you so why would I have something against you? However I do know what is happening in the online influencer space, and specifically with travel, and I have seen first hand how this generation are capturing images (both terrestrial and u/w) and sharing them (while making $ doing it). I think your view is both somewhat narrow and short-sighted, however I do agree that u/w photography (as we currently practice it) is becoming more reflective of how we see the hobby, whereas my teenage kids shoot much differently that we would (but with no with less impact in capturing the beauty underwater, and on many occasions with more of a focus on story telling and experience sharing).
  19. @Interceptor121 And that's where I believe your argument breaks down... There are more young people trying to capture their experiences as they explore the world than any previous generation. That includes underwater... There will continue to be more people wanting to capture these experiences (using whatever can out innovate GoPros, phones, etc.) than not. One clear difference is that many will try to capture these experiences in video, as this medium translates better for casual viewers. the world is changing... so is how people want to capture their experiences.
  20. I regularly shoot non-rechargeable AA's (Energizer or Duracell) in my Inons (Z330's, and previously, Z240's). I get 4 dives easily from fresh batteries, and have pushed it to 5 or 6 depending mostly on if I remember to swap out the batteries at the beginning of the day or not. Stopped traveling with battery chargers several years ago - always pack my batteries in & out (recycle at home), due to reliability issues with rechargeable batteries, and the need to recharge frequently.
  21. @Interceptor121 You missed the point. There are 00's of young(er) travel-oriented individuals that are post-processing their images before posting them. Recently there was a survey published within the travel industry that showed that upwards of 85% of images posted to "influencer" instagram accounts were post-processed before posting. In device and out of device processing is not going away - it will only grow... the challenge is the evolution of the devices that take the initial images will continue to move away from what we are used to (or likely want).
  22. Parts of the Caribbean are opening up (as are the Bahamas). French Polynesia is also opening up on July 15th. Hawaii is also opening up for external visitors starting at the beginning of August. The bigger question isn't where will you be able to dive, but rather - are you really willing to sit on a plane with a bunch of other people for numerous hours, risking infection from people you don't know? Doc friend of mine has seen severe scarring of the lungs in several (younger, <45 yrs old) patients that were hospitalized. Risk getting infected now and you might not be able to dive for months (if not years).
  23. Been to the Mergui Archipelago twice for diving (first time was 17 years ago). Both times the boat left out of Phuket. Easy to access as a starting point - Phuket can be reached from a number of the major S.E. Asian flight hubs. Both trips started with easy diving in the Similan Islands then both times made entry just over the Myanmar border where they checked passports and then added a Myanmar "host" (who spent the entire time on the boat drunk drinking cheap Thai beer). Diving was good to very good, however there were signs of fish bombing in a number of areas. The dive spot covered with carpet anemones was one of those locations - big fish will float up when their swim bladders are ruptured, but many of the smaller fish sink, and we found dozens of anemones feeding on smaller fish that fell into their grasp. Silvertip Point didn't disappoint but I've heard most of the sharks are gone now, however the large cuttlefish should still be there. The region is worth a visit, but there are now 5-6 boats making the trip (in season) every week, so not quite as "undiscovered" as it once was.
  24. @Interceptor121 The reason for "more seasoned" people initially getting into U/W photography was because of the startup cost. Outside of a GoPro, why would someone who dives 10-20+ dives/year commit $ to capturing a few images of their dives? I don't think it's an age or experience thing, I think it's a lifestyle choice. Having said this, both my teenage children now shoot underwater (one with a Sony A7III and the other with my backup D500, just recently upgraded from an Olympus). Their primary goal on most occasions is to capture images of the experience of diving so they can share with their friends on social media. They've expanded this from u/w shots of "diving" (where they started) to the "cool critters" they see, behavioral shots, and shots that they think can help educate their peer groups on the health of the oceans and the challenges we face. My daughter is one of about 20 teen divers in an extended social group she belongs to - at least 3/4 of them take some kind of camera underwater a majority of their dives to help capture their experiences (again, mostly for sharing on social media). There are literally millions more (terrestrial) images taken today then even 10 years ago, the challenge is virtually all these images are taken by phones, not dedicated cameras. Underwater is no different - this same generation wants to capture their experiences while swimming, snorkeling, surfing, paddle boarding, and diving - and don't have the same requirements we have on image quality, capabilities, etc. There is a *huge* economic opportunity for the company that gets the casual, water-capable camera platform correct. Some think that a protective case is the answer, others think it will be a more environmentally robust phone platform, and even others think a new device category (waterproof wearables) that wirelessly tether to your phone (post dive) might be the answer. None of this will help us keep our current u/w camera systems current, but I do think we are within 5 years (or less) of seeing capabilities from some of these other platforms that will challenge a number of us to figure out if we should keep shooting with these larger, more expensive, harder to maintain, u/w camera systems. I think the next generation will find ways to express themselves photographically that we can't even imagine at the moment. It just won't be with the limiting systems that we dive with today.
  25. Hmm... you may not be looking closely at those around you I've been shooting for years and still have a gauge mounted computer (with integrated SPG) - as do many that I know that have been shooting for a while. I also carry a (non air-integrated) wrist mount computer that I attach to my housing. I subscribe to the "as lean and streamlined as possible" philosophy - large wrist mounts (worn on the wrist) tend to just get caught on various bits of gear, boat lines, etc. Console is rigged on a retractor to keep it streamlined. And to answer the original post - both are Suunto's - they are definitely more conservative on repetitive dives, but doing 3-5 dives/day for a week+, I want conservative.
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