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eric black

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Everything posted by eric black

  1. I use a Lowepro Nature Trekker for airline carry-on gear hauling-its a tight fit in overhead bins but I havent been stopped with it yet. I also have a Domke shoulder bag, an F-7 which has even more room, but is a bit more uncomfortable for long trips between gates. both are indestructable and versatile.
  2. My primary concern is that I have seen several of these on flea-bay lately and the depreciation has not been flattering- I saw one go for $750 or so and there are several on there at any point in time which leads me to believe that they are not that great. My secondary concern is that after getting used to and liking low volume masks- these would be a step away from that and might prove to be hard to deal with from a vision and viewing standpoint.
  3. The lick test works too well with my Aquatica alarm- I have reverted to using a small piece of metal to short out the two leads which saves me the aggrivation of listening to the alarm well after the lick test has been completed while waiting for every last bit of moisture to dry out. My batteries are cheap as well and I replace them once a year if they need it or not.
  4. Most of the people that I know that are unhappy with their shooting dont spend enough time working a shot. Some of the really good stuff you see is the result of spending many shots, if not many dives with a vision in mind of what is ultimately desired. The same is true for top-side photography. Most of the great shots you see in magazines etc... had an awful lot of flops that were taken leading up to the good one. Lighting, composition, camera settings can all be bracketed on a subject to achieve slightly different results that under review should be carefully evaluated to select the absolute best or most pleasing to your eye. If you find yourself in a great situation, work it to death and then discard the losers- doing this Im sure you'll find that you are much happier with the winners.
  5. ideally you want a target light that is seperate from your strobes- target lights on strobes unnecissarily use battery power that is better reserved for flashes- the target lights on the market range from regular celled UW flashlights to more expensive LED and HID lights- if cost isnt an issue go for those, the light is more natural and they come with more features like beam and level controls. Most who dive with them have a means of attaching the light to either a strobe arm or a camera or housing body. Camera body and housing dealers can help you with your choices there- again you can get as sophisticated as your wallet allows and have a similar system to your strobe arm with a light attched.
  6. I have spent quite a bit of time on Roatan between AKR and Coco View- The amenities are nicer at AKR but if you can I would recommend the island. I have stayed on the mainland part there only once and had my room broken into (I dont think it is the norm and not much was taken as I assume they were looking for cash). I felt the diving on the Coco view side of the island was nicer but AKR has the ability with a bit longer trip to get over to that side of the island (Marys Place is the most famous of the sites over there). Take macro gear, the big fish are pretty much limited to rays and groupers. for the non-dive stuff, zip-lining is a blast if you go for that type of thing and there is plenty availble on the island. West End has some nice restaurants and local merchants and is a $2 cab ride away. the coffee is STRONG (and I typically like espresso) If you dont like it that strength, you might want to consider bringing your own supplies. for the bar, the beer is really cheap but the mixed drinks are not. You will see people that spent their time with umbrella drinks having a heart attack at the end of the week when they see their bar bills. The no-see-ums are lethal- DEET is needed immediately after getting back off the dive boat or your ankles will be raw. Last of what I can recall, the rental gear isnt great there and gets gobbled up by the people who flew TACA and had their luggage delayed. Have a blast, the diving is great there (it must be Ive been there 5 times)
  7. Fire off a test shot or two before leaving the boat to make sure everything is on/operational- its really hard to open up a housing under water and make something right. Get an ankle weight 1 lb or so to help keep you feet under control and also aid in getting shots pointing up as recommended above- floaty feet are a shot killer. Last, concentrate on good diving skills- good bouyancy will help you get better shots
  8. I use manual focussing approximately 50% of the time and about 100% of the time on night dives and when going in for 1:1 type shots as I dont want the autofocus hunting around. I dont have the 60mm, so this experience is only with the 105mm.
  9. Check out the Maravu Plantation resort on Tavauni Island in Fiji- that is where I spent a 10 day honeymoon- dive operators 2 of them are nearby (easy walk) and the resort has all of the amenities to keep somebody who might not want to dive every day occupied- food was good, bures were very nice- the island also has lots of nice hikes. There is another more dive related set of accomodations there called Garden Island, but the place looked a little less Honeymoon like and I was glad we didnt choose it.
  10. go to www.aquatica.ca and look for the price list on the catalog tab- and if that doesnt work-custom work etc..., give Norma a call and she will tell you what you need- she is very helpful. If you are lucky it might be one of the extensions that are up for sale in the classified section here. Also, at the end of the price sheet is infor for custom ordering port extensions from them.
  11. For the price and range, the sigma 10-20 also gets good ratings and is worth considering
  12. if this is an experimental ownership you might be better off getting a used housing with a camera that has recently been made "yesterdays news" by the introduction of a newer and better model. do some web searches of the housing manufacturers and you ought to be able to come up with a great preowned system that likely has fewer than 20 dives on it. Every time Nikon or Canon puts out a new camera body, the used market place sees the prior version being desperately sold by people that have to have the latest and greatest. Good luck
  13. Ive never been happy with mid-range lenses underwater, they let you think you can get away with longer camera to subject distances and you end up with sub-par results- go wide.
  14. There are so many types of silicon-based o-rings that you would be hard pressed to match what Sea&Sea is using. Different co-polymers with a variety of different rubber materials were probably tested during product development and they came up with IMHO a superior product to the older Nikonos style rings. I third the opinions above, why risk a $900 strobe with a $5 savings in rings.
  15. Everything listed here is in excellent condition unless noted otherwise- some of it used on only a single dive to two. You can check my feedback at the auction site under eman37. Conditions of sale are you pay for item plus shipping by USPS cashiers checks or money orders or paypal if you pick up half the 3% fee. PM me if you have questions. US sales only please. Up for sale is several pieces of Aquatica related equipment that I have not used and or dont own the lenses to use it anymore. All prices are less than 1/2 of what the items go for new. If the items have not sold in a few weeks, I consider offers and possibly overseas sales. I have the following Port Extensions: 18454 for the 200mm f4 AF Micro (97.5mm) in Ex cond $100 18455 for the 15mm f3.5 non AF, 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 D AF,28-85mm f3.4-4.5 AF 24-50mm f3.3-4.5 D AF lenses (it is about 1 inch or so if interested for other uses PM me and I get exact measurements) Ex- condition $80 18458 for the 105mm f2.8 AF micro lens (old non-VR) with a 2:1 kenko pro teleconverter (76.2 mm) Ex cond $120 I also have the following Gears in Ex cond for $20 each 18656 for the 200mm f4 AF Micro-demo version made for me by Aquatica (non-anodized) 18672 for either the 15mm or 18mm manual focus AIS lenses I also have an 18619 aperture gear for an Aquatica F5 housing- make an offer if iterested or if you buy anything else and want it, let me know. Last, I have an Aquatica F5 housing that I am considering stripping parts off of as needed but if you are interested in the housing less the strobe bulkheads it is in 8 condition (it has seen 200 dives) and Ill take offers on it and can email pics as necessary.
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