Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by wydeangle

  1. bubffm, Maybe you and I have different models of the Gates AX100 housing I just looked again - the housing was just returned after a rehab by Gates, and it definitely has 3D printed levers for the Record, zoom and ND controls. Also if you look carefully at my screen "finger" it too is clearly plastic. If you have machined metal levers and finger, I'll go back to Gates and ask for some too! Diving starting Saturday so I can try the SAGA/+10 combination among other things - looking forward to that! Tom
  2. I guess I'm too hard on equipment - the ReefNet 3D printed diopter adapter broke before I got into the water; I was tightening it and before it got completely tight on the lens shade, it snapped. So no macro from Fiji. Ugh... Now I have the machined aluminum Saga adapter installed on the GP34A. Headed for "the bridge" (Phil Foster State Park, Riviera Beach Florida) next week for a photo course with Reef Photo. The Saga is an interesting piece - it doesn't clamp on. It uses an O-ring to slide over the lens's sunshade. No instructions came with it. It was so tight I had to put it on from the rear. I'll hope it lasts (grin) long enough for me to get some video with it and report back later. Fingers crossed. BTW, just got the AX100 housing back from Gates. Guess what was broken? The 3D printed ND filter switch, along with one other similar piece whose function I can't recall. So far, 3D printed parts -3, Tom 0. Not ready for my hands, anyway. Tom
  3. This adventure and the movie made from it explains in great detail why I have no desire to do any cave diving! http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36097300 These guys live on a different planet to the one I inhabit LOL Tom
  4. etc, I'd never travel with the camera inside a mechanically operated housing because a bump to one of the controls might damage the camera. It could break a button on the camera itself or crack the touch screen. Electronic controls don't have this problem, although my experience is that electronics have other problems On the other hand, as you point out, putting the housing inside a carry-on may cause it to be overweight and oversize. Gates housings are tough enough, and can be padded inside the checked bag with a wetsuit. Maybe the future will bring 8K videocameras with superb white balance etc. that are smaller than the GoPro including the housing Tom
  5. kc, I put my AX100 Gates housing in checked baggage after padding it with at least one wetsuit. I put the camera and ports in my backpack along with all the batteries, padding the ports with neoprene covers on the lens sides and the plastic port caps on the housing sides. Of course, with a mechanical housing, NEVER travel with the camera inside - but you already knew that. A few fluffy things (speedos(?)) can be inside the housing to save some space. So far, all the gear has made it... Tom
  6. I use the ReefNet 3D printed adapter for the Gates FP34A flat port. I was surprised to learn it also physically fits the GP34A wide port! Thank you Burkhard! I hadn't even thought to try that. I must admit I'd prefer the aluminum version from SAGA if I didn't already have the ReefNet one which is 3D printed (nylon?) and not as strong as a properly made aluminum holder. I've already broken one - perhaps my fault? I'll try this combo with a +5 and maybe the +10 since I have both. I know the +10 works amazingly with the flat port. I've put up a still from the AX100/flat port/+10 of Flabellina Dushia eggs somewhere on this site and you can easily count the eggs which were not really visible underwater. Going to Fiji in May, so my bag will have those diopters in it, thanks. Tom
  7. bubffm, Very nice. What did you do for white balance, lighting and color correction in post? Tom
  8. Pete, Thanks! I didn't get the magenta filter until after I returned, but think it may have helped - I'll try it next time. Here's a minute (however bad) of what I did get - no filter, one-push and the red tape spot trick you suggested: https://youtu.be/EZPhf1wku3o In the first clip my wife is trying to get the manatee to stay so she could back up - it was a bit too close to let her focus. Tom
  9. I do like mine. At "the Bridge" (Phil Foster State Park) I can flip from manatee or eagle ray to bumblebee shrimp in a few seconds. Really handy.
  10. l.babcock, I got John Ellerbrock to electronically send the port drawing to Kris Wilk at ReefNet. It was simpler to do by e-mail (for me, anyway) than physically shipping the port, although that should be a good way to get it done also. I have a feeling the ports may be different - mine is an FP34A for the AX100 housing. I took a quick look and there seems to be at least six different flat ports for Gates housings. Tom
  11. l.babcock, Sorry - forgot about which port. I have the adapter for the flat port. Not sure they make one for the WA. If they do, let me know! Tom
  12. l.babcock,I use the ReefNet macro adapter on my Gates AX100 housing and really like it. They likely make one to fit yours: http://reefnet.ca/products/subsee/#adapter It is a swing-away adapter meaning you can use your rig normally or macro on the same dive - your choice. Mostly I use their SubSee +10 and like it a lot. You could keep your present rig and do macro too. Tom
  13. I have two Sola 4000 lights which were giving decreasing burn times. I e-mailed Light & Motion (L&M) asking about replacement batteries and was told the Sola 4000 lights are obsolete and no more batteries or printed circuit boards are available. They then offered a trade-in against their new 8000 lumen light. I asked if I could trade both 4000s on one 8000 and was told OK you can do that, so I shipped the lights, chargers and filters to them. When my lights arrived at L&M I got a phone call saying they would not trade two lights against one - a major disappointment; they would see what they could do about repairing the 4000s at no charge. So I said if you can't do the trade you promised, I need the 4000s back by next Saturday the 22nd to take on a dive trip. They shipped the lights on the 14th as near as I can tell from their e-mails. The 4000s arrived two days after I left town, on the 24th. These are at least two really unnerving "don't care" or "can't figure out how to do customer service" errors stacked together. In addition, every time I replied to an e-mail, I received back their trade-in letter in triplicate, sometimes addressed to me, most times to someone else; a heavy confusion factor from what seems to be a broken web site. Since I had similar problems last year with faulty service on housings, I quit. No more L&M for me. I started with their Stingray housing in the 90s, so this isn't a short-term decision. Had to be said. End of rant. Tom
  14. Ahmed, Forgot about this: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=43078&hl=%2Bsyntactic+%2Bfoam Tom
  15. Ahmed, I have forgotten which of these works, but here's a good source: http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/cm/foam.html The Divinycell looks pretty good. Googling for "syntactic foam" might get you some other sources. I've made floats out of similar stuff; it doesn't compress at all at recreational depths. Tom
  16. Ciro, No autofocus data yet. Probably in about three weeks - after my next dive trip. Leading theory now is operator error... I will report results. Tom
  17. Drew, Thanks. I think I may have identified the problem: the operator. Let me publicly embarrass myself by saying it could have been in MF when I thought I had it switched to AF Not sure - going diving at the bridge next month so I can test the theory. I need a monitor that has no whiteout when glare hits it, and has a few vital bits of info that blink. I sure miss my Pentamirror. More next month, or Aug for sure, Tom
  18. kc_moses, I understand the hunting focus when contrast is low. That does happen. My real concern is that the camera focuses on the background - perfectly sharp - when a fairly good contrasting subject occupies the center third of the frame. The camera does not focus on the subject, but instead focuses on the background at the edges of the frame. This happens with the flat port and with the macro lens flipped in front of the flat port. Frustrating... Tom
  19. Sometimes when I am using autofocus with the Sony FDR-AX100 and a flat port on the Gates housing, autofocus doesn't work! When looking at the clips after the dive, the subject can occupy 1/3 of the screen, and be nicely centered, and it is out of focus; the background is in focus even if it is relatively far away! The contrast seems to be sufficient; the camera apparently does not respond. This seems to have happened after the latest firmware update to V3.0. There seems to be more focus "hunting" underwater since the update. Topside, the problem does not seem to happen... Anyone have any thoughts about this? All help appreciated, Tom
  20. kc_moses, Thanks for the embedding - I was just coming back to learn how to do it. The flickering is sunlight and waves ten feet above. I don't know what to do about that except maybe bring down an umbrella and use lights LOL I have lights but did not use them. I was zoomed in, but not quite far enough as you can see from the vignetting. I'm in maximum learning mode as it was the very first time I've ever tried to use a diopter. One thing that kept me from zooming more was the loss of focus if I zoomed in more. If I moved back a bit I might have done better - I'll try that next time. There's a pretty narrow depth of field with the +10, so distances are kind of touchy; a little more zoom, or a little more distance and things get out of focus in a hurry! I also have a +5 which hasn't been tried yet. Not to mention the surge... Nudibranchs abound at "the bridge." If you look for Caribbean Sea Slugs at Amazon, you'll see there are quite a few there. One co-author is my source for the ID above. Not sure but I am under the impression there are more than 100 species of slugs and nudis at the bridge. More than 300 species of undersea critters have been documented there including seahorses, frogfish (we saw seven there last week) blennies of all descriptions and and and I predict you'll like it! Tom
  21. Here's a screen capture of nudis and their eggs from the Blue Heron Bridge, Phil Foster State Park, Riviera Beach, Florida USA: The Nudibranchs are Flabellina Dushia (thanks to Anne D. for the ID!) and are about 5/8" (1.6cm) in length. I used the new ReefNet diopter adapter and a +10 SubSee diopter on the Gates AX100 housing. The Sony AX100 has firmware v3. The tiny spiral of eggs is clearly visible, making the individual sand grains look like large boulders! Ask me if I'm sold on 4K LOL Tom PS: The (absolutely horrible) video is on Youtube at https://youtu.be/1NtMt7f0CjU I will get better, I promise - it was my first try at using a diopter...
  22. I just updated my AX100 to Sony firmware release V3.00 I will test it sometime next month I hope. The major updates Sony claims are an increase in the data rate from 60mbps to 100mbps and improved autofocus. When I put the camera into the 100mbps data rate setting it informed me stills are not available. Not a big deal to me... If you want to update, go here: http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-download.pl?mdl=FDRAX100&upd_id=10303&os_group_id=3#prepcam Here's Sony's short list of the firmware V3.00 update contents: After the update I switched to a new, blank SD card - there's no mention that there's any incompatibility between the old and new file formats, but I didn't want to take a chance on losing anything already on the previous card. The new data rate definitely eats the card space quicker. Enjoy, Tom
  23. Roger, I second (or third) the idea that shooting with red light at night is problematic, so I've arrived at a compromise that I believe works more often than not. I use red filters on my video lights, keeping them on low power while I am looking for critters. This seems to spook them less than the white lights. I have previously white balanced with my lights on medium power (or whatever power I intend to use) without the filters. When I find a subject, I remove or rotate the filters out of the way and do the shooting. Whether this really helps, or just makes my life more complicated I couldn't say - I do think it helps sometimes. Tom
  • Create New...