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eric black

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Everything posted by eric black

  1. Because I plan on shooting this lens for land based work as well, I really dont want a fisheye lens. I would like to invest in a wide angle rectilinear zoom lens but per the Aquatica web site, I think my options are limited to the Nikon 12-24 (not really wide enough for what Id like to do) and the Sigma 10-20mm/f4-5.6. Im looking for general impressions related to the two lenses I would rather buy due to their utility on land and the great ratings they seem to recieve- they are the Tokina 11-16mm and the Nikon 10-24mm. Im also somehwhat curious about the Sigma 10-20/f3.5 which I have seen no reviews of whatsoever. Questions are to those who have owned and used either in an Aquatica housing or otherwise- is there zoom and or focus gears available for either? will the lens even fit in my Aquatica housing? is a diopter required for operation using an 8" dome port? Will a port extension be needed and if so which one works? Im also looking for general impressions with respect to which rectilinear wides work best when used for UW use- Ill take all the input I can get thanks for all replies in advance Eric btw- I am currently leaning towards the sigma with the 4-5.6 aperture range although if I was going for land only, I would opt for the Tokina
  2. They can be used in slave mode- they only have full, 1/2 and 1/4 settings if I recall correctly (Im answering from work and not looking in mycamera bag at the moment) so they wont have much of a fine-tuning ability but they recharge rapidly and offer a good number of flashes on a new set of batteries and have ample power for pics. I used to use a pair of them when I was shooting film, now I still have one and use a Sea and Sea YS-250 as my primary and the 120 as a secondary strobe.
  3. aside from the redundant gear, I bring a pair of drive backup systems to copy my cards onto- if one fails, the other is a safety. Small allen wrenches for your housing are a necesity as well just in case anything rattles loose on the plane, especially the small metric ones! Assemble all of your gear (and take test shots) prior to leaving to make sure you aren't forgetting anything- once I travelled all the way to Fiji with a lens that didnt have the correct extension port for it. I said some very bad words when I arrived.
  4. Figure out how to get them on the same list that Sharks (fins) and Bear (gall bladders) are on. they will be endangered in no time.
  5. Keith Jessops "Goldfinder" is a pretty entertaining read. I also would rank "Shadow Divers" as a light and entertaining read- likes Jessops book much better though.
  6. The ring is available used from www.backscatter.com if that helps
  7. Thanks- I might look into the 28mm- Im more of a prime lens kind of guy (I dont think fast enough to accurately compose when I have to zoom on moving critters)
  8. Here is the thing- Im not looking for a macro lens or a wide angle lens (I have several of each). Im curious as to its use as a mid-range lens capable of taking say for example schooling fish where I have found my 60mm macro (90mm with d2x which is what I shoot) to be too narrow and my 20mm to be too wide. The price and size are certainly attractive and it does seem to sit and I am wondering if anyone has given it a try.
  9. With a minimal focus distance of 1 foot it looks like it might be ideal behind an 8" dome port. Has anyone given this little (and cheap at $200) lens a try? Its apparently only a DX lens as full frame results will have dark corners.
  10. Two dive trips this last year- Grand Bahama Bank, and Turks and Caicos- saw them on at least every other dive in both locations. One of the ones we sighted in the T&C had quite a bit of damage like an eel went after it. The solution to the problem is to get a rumor started that soup made from the "fill in body part here" outdoes sharkfin soup for increasing libido- they'll disappear fast if the rumor takes hold.
  11. RaduT- check your private messages- I might have a dome port/lens shade for you
  12. thanks all and keep the recommendations coming- Im leaning towards making this an all land adventure based on what I am hearing here. A couple more questions pop us as a result of this- how difficult is it to transfer from one resort to another- were there for 12 days and I dont really want to spend all 12 at a single place- Im thinking it would be nice to stay at maybe 3 places and get a real flavor for all the types of diving the place has to offer. Are van transfers able to be arranged easily from one land based resort to another? I see some recommendations above that talk to keeping gear set up until departure (a plus considering carrying around a housing and strobes is enough of a PITA)- are there places that are set up with secure camera storage or a place where a housing can be set up and not hauled around each day (the other thing I like about liveaboards) ie a place that really caters to UW-photogs?
  13. The Aggressor fleet has cancelled their N. Sulawesi iteneraries (on which I was booked for early May) and my wife and I are in a bit of a bind. We have our airfare etc... and no place to stay. On the plus side, Aggressor will reimburse us for anything we are out, but I have been planning this trip for years and would like to know other options prior to cancelling the entire thing. I am aware of land operations, but really dont enjoy setting up and taking down my gear every day- therefore, we typically dive liveaboards. With this in mind, Im looking to tap into the collective expertise here. What are the liveaboard options departing Manado? What are the accomodations like- personally, I could sleep on a cinder block, but my wife requires something a bit nicer (gotta keep the home life happy). To put things in perspective, she enjoys the accomodations we have experienced on the Aggressor line, however, the Nekton boats were considered less desireable (and I doubt we would use them again). Can anybody here provide some guidence based on these criteria for options? Any help is appreciated.
  14. The answer really depends on how the film is processed by whomever is developing the film. I shoot large format velvia on a regular basis and do my own processing. Fuji films require a longer first developing step in the E-6 process than Kodak films. The time recommended for the first developer bath for fuji films is 7:30 vs 6:30 for Kodak films If the developing process used is tailored to kodak requirements, the result is an underexposed transparency by about 1/2-2/3 stop, thus the reason alot of people shoot the film at 40. If the processer you are using knows what they are doing and develops fuji films using fuji requirements, iso 50 works great as the first developer step is longer than that used for kodak. If you shoot at 40 and fuji development timing is used during processing, the result will be overexposed transparencies. You will be best off shooting some objects around the house and yard and seeing what the results look like prior to doing anything important. You can always ask the people who process your film what recipe they are using as well- 9 out of 10 times, it is the kodak process that is used in my experience- thus my switch to developing my own stuff.
  15. 50 dives on mine so far with no problems- I dont find that I have any use for TTL converters- I typically keep the strobe set a 1/4 power and adjust with the dial as needed as I hone in on the subject- last week I nailed about 6 shots on a fast moving octopus with it!
  16. Medio Reef- spend a whole card on this guy (seems strange saying that since my roll-film to digital conversion this last year!) D2x with a 105mm macro and a pair of strobes.
  17. I wouldnt- it is a silicone based product and I suspect that once its on it is going to be very difficult to remove- also, it will have a different refractive index from the glass and will likely affect photos even if present in a thin (likely non-uniform) layer.
  18. I have 3 of these and only need one now that I have a focus light- Im offering two light saddles complete with Pelican Super Sabrelights and a spare bulb for someone who might need a backup flash light. Items are used but in great condition- never flooded and the TLC clamps etc... are rust free and dont even have any scratches or rub marks- all of the velcro is in good shape as well- these are the two best I have- the other more used on, Ill keep. The lights take C-cell batteries (3 each). Even if you dont need both of them, by two and sell the other or give it as a gift to a diving friend. Price is $85 for everything including shipping to the continuous US. If interested, email eblack@akonni.com.
  19. I have for sale a 62mm +3 close up lens- the item is like new in original packaging and is $32 (shipping included) to any continuous US address. The lens is a B+W lens which are the finest quality lenses available. I have minimized my gear due to airline regs and no longer need this filter which is used to help bring zoom lenses into focus behind a dome port. Send questions or inquiries to eblack@akonni.com. My auction site handle is eman37 if you need feedback assurety.
  20. the first is the better image IMHO- good background which despite being busy doesnt detract much and provides some context to where this type of fish lives. I would prefer the black hole not exist under the fish, but that is a nit pick on where the image could be improved if you get another shot at it. One or two of the hotspots on the coral could gbe toned down a touch in PS so the eye doesnt gravitate towards them and you could play around with a crop that brings the fish up from the corner at a bit more of an angle and see how that looks vs what you have now- there is nothing in this shot that really calls for perfect alignment. The second shot seems too much of a bullseye approach and one that would find a home in a fish ID book. Hope this helps
  21. I use a 80 GB Digital Foci Photosafe as a secondary backup to my P-5000. They are relatively cheap ($100 for the unit I have) and are very compact. They dont have a viewing screen though- all you get on their screen is an indication of how much memory has been used and is left as well as how far along your backup is going.
  22. make me an offer on either or both and if it interests me enough to drive to the post office- they are yours. This could be a best offer listing where Ill wait about a week and then contact whomever has the best offer with a still interested inquiry- if any offer makes me instantly happy, I wont wait the week. the 18454 is for the nikon 200mm macro lens and is 97.5mm long with Aquaticas current bayonet style mount the 18458 is 76.5mm long and is designed for using a 2:1 teleconverter and the 105mm macro lens- same type of mount I have neither of these lenses any more so these are just occupying space in my drawer at home. I paid over $250 for each item, barely used either (maybe a dive or two each)- they are in like new condition and come with the original o-ring shipped from Frederick, Maryland USA. If you are inquiring about international sales, prompt payment and taking into account extra shipping is all I ask.
  23. I have been using Sea&Sea strobes for the last 10 years and have never had to use my redundant cords (I have tested them however but agree with you that the testing should be done prior to the manufacturer selling the item as any return is a PITA)
  24. items like camera lenses seem to be able to get 75-80% of their "purchased new" value back on auction sites- anything too much above that and ther though of just getting it new and avoiding hassles associated with the possibility of an unscrubpulous seller starts to enter the buyers mind. Dig cameras on the other hand are difficult to predict- it really depends on whats new or soon to be new from the manufacturer and how eager the seller is to get rid of what they have (usually to upgrade). Deals can be had to the tune of 20% of new costs for a dig camera body that is only 2-3 years old. UW gear, if unused and currently in demand seems to me to get about 70-80% or so of what an item would cost new. Older stuff that I have tried to sell I ultimately decided that the 20 cents on the dollar that I could get for it werent worth it- I opted to keep it for misc parts since gears and external knobs dont change that much if you stick with one manufacturer. One additional note: to get the top dollar, the gear must be pristene and ideally come with all boxes and original goodies that accompanied the item- if not expect prices to drop preciptously.
  25. I cant comment on your first question as I have no experience with the two element diopters and that lens (or any wide angle lens for that matter). I personally use the related 3T and 4T on the older 105mm macro lens and have had great success with both filters. I prefer the 3T as it has a bit more working room and really only take the 4T down if Im doing the same dive a second time and know exactly what Im after as well as knowing the very close working distance is not going to be a problem. Often Ill shoot the images with the 3T and then if I feel I can get closer for a better composition, Ill change out to the 4T and have a go with it on the next dive.
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