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About Benthic7

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    Nikon D300
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  1. Thanks. I'll definitely try that. Cheers, Tom
  2. Ryan: Could you elaborate on "back focus lock & rock technique"? Shooting with a 105 mm has frustrated me to the point where I'm thinking of switching to a 60 mm with a diopter. If I do I'd probably go with the port that doesn't have manual focus. Thanks.
  3. I agree with Larry's comment about not getting worked up about the current. You have to swim a bit to get down to rock ledges but once you're there - just wedge yourself into the rocks and watch the fish swim by. Its great, you don't need to burn up energy and air swimming around - everything pretty much comes to you. I did shred the knees on my wetsuit keeping myself wedged in while taking pictures. After about 40 minutes or so, you'll just head to the surface and go where the current takes you. We usually had pods of dolphins follow us up to the surface. Of course, if a whale shark swims by - everyone just rushes out to get as many shots in a possible. You'll have a great time.
  4. There are still spots open on the Billikiki - maybe they are offering discounts now. Should be a quick flight from Brisbane. Certainly a lot closer than Florida. We are overnighting in Brisbane on the way back to the U.S. Any good pubs in downtown Brisbane? As I recall, the local Fijian beer was pretty lousy and lord knows what you can get in Honiara. I'm sure by the time we land in Brisbane, I'll be in dire need of a proper pint. And thanks for the comments, guys. I appreciate it. Sounds like taking care getting in and out of the boat is the main thing.
  5. I recently purchased a Subal ND30 along with a dome port and a port for my 105. The ports are, as most of you know, bayonet mounted. I've read several post here about Subals flooding because the ports rotated 90 degrees and came off. I've also read post from others (like Dr. Mustard) indicating that this has not been a problem. Ryan at Reef Photo (where I bought the Subal) also indicated that this really wasn't much of an issue. But after working in the engineering field for more than 25 years, I'm a firm believer in Murphy's Law. So I was wondering if there are any things that fellow Subal users do as an added measure of security. The wife and I are heading to the Solomons in a few weeks, so any input or suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks. Tom
  6. Well, here is the new rig: a Subal ND-30 with a pair of Inon 240s. Ports for my 105 mm and 12-24 mm, a Fisheye focus light, plus a bucket-load of miscellaneous parts (arms, sync cords, diopters, etc.). Ryan at Reef Photo was great to work with (as a lot of you fine folks here have said). My wife and I drove down from Tampa on a Friday back in July and spent about 4- 5 hours with Ryan looking at the Subal, Sea & Sea, and SeaTool. My original plan was to get the Sea & Sea since it had gotten good reviews and was more in line with my budget. It is a nice rig but it is rather large and my hands couldn't get around it. The SeaTool was actually the right size for my hands. However, the Subal was pretty much the same size as the SeaTool and I was able to work all the controls easily. I liked the locking mechanism on the Subal better and it came with a viewfinder whereas the SeaTool would need an Inon viewfinder. When everything was added up the full Subal system was maybe a $1,000 more than the system with a SeaTool, so I decided to go with the Subal. It did take awhile for my credit card to cool down enough to put it back in my wallet. I'd recommend to anyone planning on purchasing a system to get hands-on time before you buy, if at all possible. Word of warning, though. If you plan on driving to Fort Lauderdale to see Ryan, bring a bunch of quarters because the meter maids down there are brutal.... I've had it the pool a few times with both the 105 port and the dome port. Neither port had a locking mechanism and I am a bit concerned particularly with the dome port. Ryan said he never had a problem with the dome coming off but I'm a true believer in Murphy's Law and was wondering if there is any thing that you guys do or use to ensure that the dome stays in place. Any input would be greatly appreciated. We are heading to the Solomons in about 2.5 weeks for a cruise on the Billikiki. I hoping its a good place for the Subal to get its first dunk in saltwater - but I'd like to keep the D300 dry. And thanks to everyone that posts here. I learned quite a lot since I joined this site.
  7. I dove with 5 mm wetsuit over a 2 mm vest with a hood and I was pretty comfortable. I had gloves but that was mostly for protection from the barnacle encrusted rocks we held onto. Nobody else on the boat wore a drysuit. The water at Wolf and Darwin are generally quite a bit warmer than the southern islands.
  8. Thanks so much, Ellen. I'll be shooting manual so I'll need to use them. Each strobe came with two plates so I'll have three as backups. I'm going to put everything in the pool tomorrow and play around abit.
  9. Real newb question: I have two Inon Z-240s that will connect to a Subal ND-30 via a Sea&Sea 5-pin dual sync cord. The Inon manual says to insert the TTL insulating plates "when using a Nikon D100 in a Nexus D100". So, do I need these insulating plates for a Subal with a Nikon D-300? Thanks in advance.
  10. I just bought a Subal with Inon strobes from Reef Photo about a month ago. I drove there from Tampa and spent about 4 to 5 hours with Ryan looking at pretty much everything he had for a D300. I originally was planning on getting a Sea & Sea (mainly because of the price) but I found it was too big a rig for my hands. So I had to decide between the Seatool and the Subal. The Seatool is a very nice piece of equipment and it was easy for me to get my hands around but the Subal was about the same size and when everything was added up, a Subal rig was about $1 K more than the Seatool so I went for the Subal. Like everyone else here has said, service at Reef is outstanding. I would, based on my experience, recommend that you put your hands on whatever you are thinking about buying before you decide. Underwater photo gear is a major monetary investment (heck I don't think I've spent so much money on something that wasn't a car or a house or a major vacation) and I would say the time/money spent in going to a shop (rather than just buying online) is worthwhile.
  11. And Americans happily pay $2 for a small bottle of "spring water" and $5 for a cup of coffee that has been cleverly renamed as a "latte". People in this country have gotten spoiled - spending money that they don't have and then they moan and bitch about interest rates on their credit cards.
  12. Here is another alternative: http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/SellYourGear.aspx A buddy told me about this place. He's sold his old gear to them and I just sent them my F-100 and a bunch of Nikonos gear. You may not get as much as on ebay but its more convenient.
  13. Welcome. Like everyone else has mentioned - glad you are both safe. I'd say the IQ of the folks that post here is significantly greater than the general population and we take what we read in the media with a grain of salt. And given that Austrialia dive operations seem to have a disturbing habit of leaving people behind - I don't put a whole lot of stock in what they say.
  14. Thats strange since my D300 came with a full version of Capture NX.
  15. Another option is these training videos that Vincent Versace has for NX and now NX2. http://acmeeducational.com/index.html I bought Jason Odell's ebook also but found these videos to be more helpful, especially being able to see the process rather than just read it. I'm new to digital and I'll tell you, some of the things that Versace could do with his images with NX made my jaw drop - it really allows for artistic creativity - which was somewhat of an epiphany for me. One of the coolest things from a tech perspective (in my opinion) is that every camera setting other than ISO can be changed in NX. To me that means I can concentrate underwater on the image and composition and not have to fuss around with settings too much. Being that I'm new to all this digital stuff, I never used Photoshop so I can't say that one is easier or better than another. But NX2 costs less than Lightroom and a lot less than CS3.
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