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About just_for_fun

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    Sea Nettle
  1. Just a new spin on this - for me - very important thread. I am following the discussion 5D vs. D200 with great interest and will hopefully be able to purchase one of the two next year One of the reasons I waited for so long buying into dSLR was the crop-factor and the lack of real wide angle lenses. This, of course, is not a real problem nowadays with Nikon's really nice 10.5mm lenses and the upcome of designated crop-factor lenses. On the other hand it makes the decision somewhat harder for me (my reasoning was to wait for a full frame sensor to be able to use the wide end to its full potential). I was tending towards the 5D (the FF was always such a lure for me) but the D200 is also a very nice alternative. Since I don't have any investement in exisiting lenses, I am "free" to decide what I want (bummer). Unfortunately, I am also not a believer in "brand loyalty" and usually go instead by with what's best at the time. This really doesn't help in deciding for one system or the other. As many others have already stated, there are now more important factors than just the sensor - and that's where I would really appreciate some good advice. I will use the camera mostly for underwater and that's where the other points come into consideration: -- viewfinder: I always thought that FF would be the best for UW because of the size of the VF and cropped sensor cameras really lack in this respect. The D200 seems to be very close in terms of dimensions and I don't know if there is really so much difference left. -- ergonomics: which system is better suited for UW? In terms of button placements, direct access to essential functions etc. Which camera will have more/better features? -- 2nd curtain sync (something I would love to toy with) -- compatibility to strobes (I especially like the Inon strobes and would love to keep my Z220. If the camera would support the focus laser - now that would be something). -- TTL compatibility: I know a lot of people will do manual, but I think that it shouldn;t be such a problem to support the protocols properly. Which camera system is more likely to be supported (either natively or via adapter)? -- picture quality and details -- Autofocus and focus tracking. Which of the two systems would be better suited for, say the famous coming right at you or the seal zipping in and out? -- dynamic range: I thought that the FF sensor would give a real boos in DR, but from looking at some tests, it doesn't seem to be that much better. It'd be really nice to get these sunballs without the need of additional tricks and tweaks. -- reliability: I expect both cameras to hold up a number of years. But there might be something to general build quality and handling that's inherent to the respective system. -- finally price and investment: The 5D is more than twice as expensive as the D200. However, I am considering this as a long time investment (I don't think I will be able to make a huge amount of money from my pictures but I LOVE being under water and taking them. I also really like my daytime job (ha - who can say that??) and don't want to give it up either) and am willing to put alot of time and effort into learning how to handle and use the system (I am not easily put off by failure and since this will be my first dSLR - NOT my first UW system - I fully expect to have a long and hard learning experience ). If I decide for the 5D and it means the lenses are more expensive (housing and ports of course as well), then I will just slowly get into it, learning how to use each lens properly, find it's limits and generally wait a year or so until I can convince myself to get another one. Of course if I can afford several lenses with the D200 from start, I would not complain and just have to get into the water more often So what it boils down to is what camera would be the better UW system? Which camera will take the better pictures (I know that 90% of the picture will be in my hands, but it certainly helps if the camera provides the last 10%) in terms of color, clarity, detail, etc? Or does it really not matter that much and the housing and its support are much more cucial? This has been a rather long post, but for someone like me who's sitting on the fence trying to make up his mind which system to get (no matter what, it'll be a real chunk of money I have to part from) it's rather painful to decide and getting some sound advice would really help. Thanks and happy new year to all of you! Eric
  2. I am selling my setup for two reasons: we are moving in a few week overseas so we have to downsize a bit and I want to upgrade to dSLR in the mid-term future. I have taken a lot of good pictures with this setup and I am sure you will have a lot of fun with it. The Amphibico housing is oputstanding - superb build quality and lenses have great optics. Here's the camera setup: Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-F717 (lens 2.0 - 2.8) 1 GB Memory stick (room for 400 pictures) 3 batteries plus charger Set of +2,+4, and +6 closeup lenses Carrying bag, ND filter +2 and +4 UV filter (sits on the camera as default filter to protect lens) 58mm linear Polarizer Housing: Amphibico Surveyor II, modified so that Macro button is accessible underwater - great for fishportaits, because the camera has a much faster AF in regular mode. Marco mode is needed for, well Macro and the Wide angle lens. Marine grade Aluminum housing, double O-rings, Flatport Amphibico Light Sensor Device, emulates TTL Amphibico 80 degree wide-angle lens. This lens is really nice. Wet mount, nearly fully zoom-able, incredible DOF, and its made from a massive block of glass. Custom WA lens holder for under water. Custom Macro port. Can take any 72mm filter, currently equipped with +10 macro lens. 58 mm Redfilter for available light photography, screws on the camera and goes in the housing Custom made buoyance compensation system. Very flexible - great to make the camera neutrally buoyant for extreme macro shots. ULCS strobe arm system: Base tray Handle 8 inch arm 2 clamps strobe adapter Ikelite substrobe MV (got it used, works great, battery compartment shows some signs of wear) Ikelite slave strobe adapter (for use with Substrobe MV) Ikelite slave strobe (throwing in for free - may run as optical slave) Pelican 1550 case with plugfoam (OK as carry-on) 2 layers of unused foam Tools, grease, replacement O-rings, and other small stuff one needs All piece show little or no sign of wear, glass port, lenses and add-on filters have no scratches. Housing was NEVER flooded and is in excellent condition. For more details on the Amphibico parts, just visit their website. Camera just came back from factory and received a complete overhaul and re-calibration. Asking US$2.500 plus shipping for the complete set. PM me and I will send you pictures of the system and sample pics. I am located in NC, USA - in case you prefer local pickup vs. shipping. Cheers Eric
  3. WOW - great pictures! That's what I was looking for B) Already searching on ebay for some diopters! Now I just have to built myself a frame that'll fit my rectangular port - that's what the weekend is for - right?
  4. Hi Lyn, that sounds like a really good alternative. Although, I am surprised that this works - I would have thought that air-lenses would have a different cut than water (wet) lenses (?). - I assume you used them as wet "mount" lenses? The bigger thread would certainly help with abberations... I'll look around and see if I can find a +4 or +10 to toy around
  5. Hi James, thanks for the info. I saw some earlier threads regarding the customized caps. Unfortunately Amphibico decided to use a rather unusual square mount. An accessory lens sits in a frame that snaps into place. So I guess my only chance is to somehow place the lens element into a plastic framework that fits into this square mount. Hmm - this sounds much more like a winter project than one you would want to do when the season starts kicking in
  6. Hi, I was wondering if someone would happen to know if there are any large (in diameter) wetmount diopters out there. I use a Sony 717 in an Amphibico housing (58 mm lens threat) - unfortunately Amphibico discontinued this housing, so I am on my own to "improve" it further on. On of the things I wish I had, is a wetmount diopter for macro shots. I can fit a single-element +4 diopter into the housing, however, the lens distortion is quite significant, plus I am bound to use the +4 for the whole dive. My idea is to get a wetmount diopter lens and built a frame around, so that it will fit to the housing mount. I just read about Woody's diopter, but I couldn't find any reliable specs on it (some say it's +2, others think it's +3 or +4, or the diameter of the lens). Are there any alternatives out there? Any help or ideas how to build your own would be highly appreciated Thanks Eric
  7. Hi Detonate, I am extending my own system a bit and am interested in the ULCS components of your post. Please let me know if / when you are willing to break up the package. Also, are the "@" prices per item (i.e. $47 for each arm) or for all of them together (i.e. $47 total for both arms)? Thanks Eric
  8. I am selling a used Suunto COBRA dive computer. This air integrated NITROX dive computer comes with the Suunto SK7 compass. The dive computer is in a very good condition and has only a few minor marks on the housing due to regular usage. PM me for questions or pictures and close-ups. It has a brand new battery with less than 10 dives on it and the protective screen has also been replaced not too long ago. The unit is fully functional and has been last used in January/February this year. This setup sells for nearly $800 at your local dive shop and is an excellent recreational and advanced dive computer. Get it now for the new diving season! I was treating myself to a technical dive computer and have to sell this one to make up for the costs. Asking price for Cobra alone $430 and Cobra plus SK7 $470 (obo). Eric
  9. Hey Dan, thanks for the tip - I tried it out during the weekend - but it had the same results as before. The camera just wouldnt set the WB under less than optimal (shallow) conditions. I tried to set WB with some white/gray slates from the distance to really close-up. Guess I have live with it - oh well :roll: BTW - painting the fins whits is certainly a neat idea - not sure though how the color would hold on the fins over time.....
  10. Hi there, I am using a Sony F-717 in an Amphibico housing for a while now and am quite pleased with (some of) the pictures. However, I found it very difficult to set the manual white balance at greater depths (below 5m, actually <sigh>). I tried to point to the white sand or grey rock (as grey card replacement), but the camera would just not set the white balance. No problems at the surface or at very shallow depths. I reverted back to using the default settings, but the tonal balance is often less than optimal. Does anybody know a procedure to "trick" the camera in setting WB at greater depths? Is it just because of the lack of ambient light or rather the dominance of blue and green hues that prevent the camera from setting WB? Or is it just one of those limitations I have to live with until I can afford to upgrade to fullframe DSLR ? Thanks for you help, Eric
  11. Thanks for your input - it is just somewhat frustrating to see how restrictions occor that are obviously unjust and - as said - dictated by sponsor interests. Guess I have to select future contests and their rules with some care and wait a little while until digital pictures and their "darkroom" techniques become more accepted. Eric
  12. Hi yall This is my first post to this forum, and I hope I am in the right section. I just recently started taking underwater pictures and I yet have to complete my equipment. One of the things I am dearly missing is an underwater strobe, so all the pictures I am taking right now are with natural light. My camera allows for manual white balance and this helps quite a bit, but to get some of the colors back I rely on post-processing my pictures (manually adjusting the color channels). In my opinion I am doing basically the same thing as the Kodak Sea Processing (for film) or when working with RAW files. Encouraged by some friends I wanted to submit some of my pictures to a local scuba show to participate in a contest. When I read their rules, I was surprised to find out that they wouldn't allow any changes to digital pictures (except croping) "after the shutter is pressed". I wrote an email to them and explained how I adjust my pictures (I surely do NOT change the content) and - in the lights of the above mentioned techniques - if they would still be eligible to participate. I got a very clear NO - with no real explanation why Kodak Sea Processing and digital RAW was allowed and mine weren't (they said something about industry standard, but this can hardly count for RAW and I know that the film labs have a great influence on how underwater pictrures come out). That said, my question is, whether this is standard procedure and every contest imposes these (IMHO silly) rules or if this is rather an expection and you are generally allowed to optimize your pictures (again - I am not talking about changing the content or overall composition) before submitting them? Thanks for any comments, Eric
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