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Everything posted by Nicool

  1. Hi folks, What's worse than missing that great business trip in a diving destination like Trinidad (the main island of the Trinidad & Tobago country, few miles aways from Venezuela)? Well there's getting on the trip, but having no time for even a single dive there.... However i might have 2-4 hours private time to go snorkelling on Wednesday early morning (i've brought my Oly OM-D EM-5, its Nauti housing, and a Sola 600 light, just in case...). Question to you: could you please advise where i should go for that snorkelling? Knowing my hotel will be just next to Piarco airport. Hope somebody has tips, as i understood the beaches in Tobago have very diverse quality. cheers Nicolas
  2. On a similar note, i wish sooo badly that Oly would let you select the focusing range electronically, as the lens switch isn't accessible while in a housing. I've sent them the suggestion months ago, no feedback...
  3. During your dive you could, from time to time, e.g after a significant change of depth/ambient light, shoot at a neutral object for reference. Later in lightroom, you take that reference pic, automated white balance adjustment via the picker and... you just copy-paste that WB adjustment setting to the next few RAW pictures, as simple as that :-)
  4. Any good FX lens good for CFWA? When i was shooting DX with the tokina 10-17 and nikon 10-24, i was quite happy with the ability to use small domes (4" and 6" respectively). I don't like big domes :-/
  5. Well after writing my previous posts I've been diving, and had the surprise to see both strobes were failing (either not shooting, or shooting too weak), whereas I would have expected the strobe connected with the right FO to behave well! Then later in the dive all went back to normal, meaning both strobes worked perfectly, be it in TTL or manual, even the left one (the one which failed to trigger strobe on land). Very strange! But anyways I've ordered two new FOs (35 EUR each), will shoot with them and see if I have any issues. I'll report my findings here after a few shooting dives. Thanks again for all the advice!
  6. Thanks for the saliva advice Jim! Any tips that can make this gear live longer is always welcome. I just came back home and had a chance for some (dry) testing, and i am found it quite interesting: 1/ i cut the camera ends of the two FOs with a sharp knife, and right away did a simple test to point the strobe end of the FO at sunlight, and look through the camera end. With the high overall light it wasn't ideal, but i clearly saw a difference with my right FO showing me some light, and the left one nothing. I cut the left one again but same result. Huhu, could it be the problem source? 2/ i went to a darker place, stuck the 2 FOs in my housing, with the Olympus camera inside (no strobe attached for now). I shoot the internal fash (put 1/4th of it's power to ensure i can see), and looked at the strobe ends of the 2 FOs, side-by-side. Interestingly, my left (failing) FO was still transmitting some light, but much much less than the right (OK) FO. So i detached the FO Inon strobe mount and did some cutting of the left FO on strobe end. But it didn't change anything, the left FO was still transmitting a weaker light. Here my conclusion is that my left FO needs replacement as the weak point is probably somewhere in the mid-length, and i cannot spot it by inspecting the FO. 3/ then i thought i would still do some tests with the strobes attached now. After all, the Inon Z240s light sensors are reputed extremely sensitive, and if my eyes could see a tiny bit of light through left FO, my strobe would certainly catch it. The fact that it was weaker wouldn't concern me as strobe control is done based on how long the FO transmits light, not how intense the transmitted light is. Well it turned out that whichever strobe received the left FO wouln't fire, at all! My theory out of this: I think that the light output transmitted in left FO got so weak that it reached the limits of the Inon Z240 sensitivity, and sometimes wasn't catcher at all. Remember that i had set my internal flash to fire at 1/4th of its power, so during a dive it would fire sometimes weaker (strobe wouldn't see), sometimes stronger (then it might see). I believe this could explain the "erratic" behavior i have observed, especially when shooting TTL (some of the pre-flashes not caught by one strobe). Do you think it makes sense? Anyways i'll order a new FO and will find out. It would be quite a relief as i thought "erratic strobe behavior" implies "costly internal electronics issue", but if i am right, it could be just one FO. Also regarding the post-housing assembly checks, I'd have one recommendation for any user: when you shoot to test your strobes connectivity, make sure you position them in a way that you would notice if one strobe is off, or just weaker. What happened to me was that i was happy with my checks because i was doing test-shots against my garage's wall, with camera & strobes being quite close. Therefore, it was quite difficult to notice a faulty strobe, as just 1 strobe was sufficient to perfectly lit my wall. I'll update you once i have tested with new FO. thanks again for all the advice cheers Nicolas
  7. Hi guys! Many thanks for all these valuable feedbacks! Let me answer to some of the comments: Strobe internal issues - source? Apart from errbrr, it seems that all of experienced reliability with your Inon strobes themselves (not mentioning the FOs here). @errbrr, do you use eneloop batteries are are you careful not to shoot too many times in a row (the Inon Z240 manual is very cautious about that)? I have always been using eneloop, and being careful with the shooting rate, so my issues shouldn't be due to strobes abuseā€¦ @bvanant/howeikwok, I am bit reluctant to open the electrical connectors caps because I have never done so (never used them), so I assume they have always been water-tight. I will open them if I face issues again. @Bob_W, Indeed I have removed the rubber thing that holds FOs on housing side, and now it's definitely clean (maybe it used to be dirty and I removed the dirt last time I switched FOs in the pool (all subsequent shoots were fine). @JimSwims, Maybe it was just obstructing dirt on housing side afterwards, but if I experience some more issues I'll definitely cut the housing-sides of the FOs. Are you saying that a sharp knife would do the trick, or scissors? Is there any partiuclar way to shape the cut for light to travel better. I am thinking this actually could be the cause, as among last weeks I have regularly removed/inserted my FOs from housing side (which I didn't do in the past), and have possibly damaged them. Battery cells were fine I presume, as I charge them regularly, and the red ready light came on quite quickly. @okuma, So I've done this check to trigger the camera's internal flash, and made sure I saw some light in the FOs, on strobes side. This was after I removed and re-installed FOs on housing side, so again, I might have removed some dirt doing so. Then if I still get issues in my next try-dive it means my FOs are erratically failing, which would really piss me off (I hate non-predictable equipment behavior, especially in diving!) @jander4454 what kind of 'erratic' did you experience with your FOs? Strobe fires fully vs. non firing at all? Or strobe fires fully vs. fires weakly? And did you manage to fix it just ripping-off the FOs end? Thanks again for all the help!
  8. One more thought: if we say that my problem was caused by fiber optics (and that my Inon dealer is very pessimistic about the products he sells), then how can i ensure that I won't have issues while diving, in terms of transmission of information via FO? My post-camera assembly check routine included testing that both strobes where firing in TTL mode, and exposing properly my garage's wall, and clearly this test doesn't suffice as this could erratically work. However, i cannot do a dozen of those tests to make sure my system is stable, because the Z240s would heat up. What about disconnecting the FOs from the strobes, look at them, and make sure i can see light from the camera's internal flash, on a few shots? Does any of you do that? Basically i am wondering if a FO that conducts light in a given position (meaning the FO plugs of my housing are clean enough) will keep conducting light (unless i twist it badly), i.e. can the FO itself be erratic?
  9. Thanks Jander! This is reassuring. By electrical connection you mean i should check the pins used to plug an electrical sync cord? I've never used them but it cannot hurt to check.
  10. Hello all, I am writing to report a problem i have encountered with my 2 Inon Z240 type IV strobes. I have done a search on this forum for similar issues, but what i found was different, people were having issues in Manual, not in TTL, and this was due to corroded ACC (auto-cancel circuitry) button. First, let me state that these 2 strobes have been purchased in April 2011, always used together, first with a Nikon D7000 setup (housed in Hugyfot), and since May 2013, with an Olympus OM-D EM-5 camera (housed in Nauticam NA-EM5). Always connected to cameras with optical fibres, produced by Inon (those which screw nicely on the strobes). I use them mostly in TTL, though occasionally i have used them in manual with my Olympus camera (in which case, i set the camera to shoot manually, 1/64th of flash power, so I should not be impacted by ACC whatsoever). I never had any trouble with these strobes, until recently: -21nd June: did 2 dives, strobes worked perfectly. In the evening, i changed the eneloop batteries in preparation for the second day. -22nd June: from the beginning of the dive, the left strobe didn't work well, either not firing, or firing very weak. I did multiple configuration changes, from TTL to manual and back, unplugged the optical fibers from the housing side and plugged back. At the end of the dive it seemed back to normal (screwed almost the full dive...), but honestly i don't remember exactly what i could have done which worked eventually (had other gear issues and tried many many things). Needless to say i checked the stobes for water leak in the evening, there wasn't any. -27th June: we go diving! and i have the unpleasant surprise to see my strobes are going mad again: first i am shooting TTL and then manual, the left strobe doesn't fire at all, the right strobe fires a tiny bit, not enough to lit. Then i switch to manual and it doesn't help, i don't manage to lit the subject... Apparently (my wife was observing) the left strobe didn't shoot, and the right one did (but was mostly very weak). However i randomly had some shots well lit (a bit over-exposed actually), which i presume were lit by the right strobe - it's been about 1 shot every 5, and then i got some series of 5-6 shots with right strobe firing... To conclude, the behavior of the right strobe was totally unpredictable, and the left strobe wouldn't shoot. -28th June: i am back home and take the housing in the pool for some more relaxed testing (I hadn't opened anything). Same symptoms as before, so I try to switch the optical fibers (just the strobe ends), and miracle! my left strobe is now working, and the right one doesn't work. Of course i am guessing i've got 1 optical fibre problem, but just to see, I also switch the optical fibres on housing end and... both strobe work! both in TTL and manual.. Of course before each dive i would do a dry strobe test, which passed all times. I would tend to conclude on fibre optics issues, but when I look at my fibre optics on strobe end i can clearly see the camera's flash light transmits well, on both. I can't say I am relieved because i am still not clear on the root cause, so I don't know whether my strobes will spoil my next dive or not. It seems easy to blame the optical fibres, but why would the strobe manage to lit from time to time (27th June), whereas I haven't touched the optical fibres?? Does anyone see clearer in what happened to me? Could it be that my optical fibers got sort of ill-positioned (twice) and that would explain the whole problem? Another thing that worries me is the call i gave to an Inon dealer on 27th June, to get his opinion on my problem. He's saying that it's not at all surprising that strobes stop working after 3 year of usage, because there are components which perish inside (e.g. capacitors, but also others). So he offered that i send the strobes to him for repair, and in the (likely) event that he wouldn't be able to fix them, he would ship them to Inon japan. He sais such a service has costed about 500 Euros (and one month waiting) to another customer for 2 Inon Z240s!!! I asked if there would be other strobe brand where you don't have to pay 250 EUR/strobe after 3 years, and he told me Inon were the most reliable ones in his view... 3 years of ownership for me should be about 150 dives, and i am sure there's plenty of much more active shooters around here. I am wondering if all have had failing Inon Z240s. What is your reading of the above? Is it normal to go through costly repair of your Inon Z240 after 3 years of usage? thank in advance for your help on this, i am must stay i am quite puzzled/disappointed, but maybe I am just unaware that strobes are (expensive) perishable items. cheers Nicolas
  11. Just a quick one to thank you, your advice worked like a treat. Now i need to get some buoyancy stuff to get my gear more neutral, as it gets very diffcult to autofocus hand-held otherwise :-)
  12. Thanks both for advice and explanations, much appreciated! To recap my understanding: -the Subsee+10 is a bit myopic/shortsighted -then I must get close enough to my subject, so that there's a possibility to have it in focus -then I move the housing back&forth to have it almost in focus -then I fine-tune the focus (autofocus or manual focus) -and ultimately autofocus, to get a sharp image. Another question: as soon as I am able to focus with the Subsee+10 (so between ~3 and 14cm of working distance), am I already achieving a higher magnification than with my 60mm lens alone? Or do I really have to be at the closest? Yako, I've seen plenty of gorgeous pictures on your FlickR, very inspiring
  13. Hi macro enthusiasts! I am having probably a silly problem, but cannot find the solution by myself, so I'd need some advice... My camera is an OM-D EM-5, that I use with an Olympus 60mm macro, all in Nauticam housing+port. This works brilliantly, the camera focuses very well underwater. But when I add my new Subsee+10 dioptre, attached with the Nauticam flip dioptre holder, I cannot manage to get in focus. That brilliant auto focus doesn't work at all anymore. I was expecting some degradation, but not that much. What's your experience with such a setup? Do you shoot everything in manual focus? cheers, Nicolas
  14. Hi all and thanks a lot for your advice! @Jock, I mostly use TTL and shoot via the viewfinder. I have indeed noticed that shooting manual flash will considerably save battery, but I am much less productive this way. I think my batteries are 2 genuine Olympus, from Olympus package and everything, with the shiny stick on them. @Andy, I did read about this advice on tuning the "early" warning, and i did set... -2!! So let's fix that and set +2, hopefully this will solve my concerns. And I will follow this advice to consider battery needs replacement as soon as it indicates only 2/3rds charge remain (which in my opinion should mean "2/3rds of the charge actually remain"...). I may give a try on one of these 3rd party batteries, although I didn't feel the need for an extra battery during last liveaboard: we were swapping batteries about each 3 dives, with about 50 shots a dive. For my local diving each week-end, well I'll turn on the camera at home before driving to the dive site, and check what the battery indicator says, after the camera sat for one week in its housing. @all, in your experience, with a normal OMD EM5 & normal battery, this battery indication that I would have when waking up the camera after one week, would be reliable, or not? regards, Nicolas
  15. Hi all, Sorry for this extra OMD EM5 thread, but I have a precise area of concern that i think may be relevant to many, and it would be easier to find than in the 39 pages of the thread started by Alex Mustard! So I have 2 battery issues with my camera: 1/ the battery indicator displays only when it's getting low. There's a workaround to get it displayed permanently in the EVF, but that's only if you enable the auto-switch, which you don't when the camera is in a housing... => so it's hard to predict when my camera is getting low on battery 2/ when battery is low, the indicator is not consistent in the information displayed. Simple example: i do a dive and check that the camera doesn't give me any battery warning before turning on. Since I am going to shoot the same config the week after, i just leave everything in the housing, with camera off, of course. The week after, in the water, when I turn on the camera, it gives me a 'low battery' indicator, and turns off after a few shots... This is very annoying for underwater photography! Have you guys faced the same problems (can't believe my 2 olympus battery are lemons)? Have you found workarounds? I miss my Nikon batteries which kept precise track of remaining power (2 digits percentage), and history of the number of shots taken since last charge. With Olympus it's like a surprise each time I turn my camera on! cheers Nicolas
  16. Hi there, For those who have dived both Zavora and Tofo, can you tell me how these locations compare? I'd like to go diving Mozambique in 2015, but I am not sure I will have time to try both places. Zavora is attracting to me as they support Rebreathers, and Tofo has this reputation for mega fauna (X-ray article dating back to 2011). Sadly, I have also seen some posts referring to increased shark finning there So I'm wondering if Tofo is still as nice as the X-ray article described? thanks for your advice guys, Nicolas
  17. Hi all, Now that I have changed to a more compact gear (Nauticam housing for OM-D EM-5), I find my Stix large&jumbo floats unsufficient: I am still far from neutral, and I don't have much remaining room on my ULCS basic arms. Several brands now offer buoyancy arms that are empty on the inside (ULCS, Inon, Nauticam...), and I'd need your advice to pick the right one. What I've read on the Nauticams sounded good: made of carbon fibre for even smaller density, very robust etc. etc. Your advice on quality & cost effectiveness would be very welcome cheers Nicolas
  18. But for a given sensor size, I thought lenses would be smaller because the sensor is closer to the glass (thanks to the absence of mirror). This is why Olympus micro 4/3 lenses are smaller than olympus 4/3 lenses, whereas sensor size doesn't change.
  19. hi all, the cameras look sexy, and their price reasonable... but the lenses!?!? The 28-70mm f/4 is almost the price of my Nikon 24--70mm f/2.8... Aren't mirorless lenses supposed to be smaller, and then cheaper?
  20. Indeed, I discovered this option recently by experimenting. However I found out that my flashes didn't bring sufficient colour on the subjects then... I must say I shoot TTL, so probably the camera considered ambient light was quite sufficient (I slowed down shutter speed), and did not put much power in the flashes. Does it sound like a realistic explanation? Then I'll probably have to go manual on the flashes, in such circumstances.
  21. Hi Folks, I used to be more tempted by electronic vacuum checks, I mean the ones with a LED like Hugycheck, Leak Sentinel, Airlock electronic. However I got troubling situations with my Leak Sentinel several times: the LED was green on land, and after a dive was no more (and it didn't return to green later). In another occasion I left the housing ready at home for a few hours, it was still green, and when arriving on the dive site, no more green. This did not sound logical to me so both times I did dive (closely watching the moisture alarm), and the housing didn't flood. From above discussions it seems those "fake warnings" could be due to temperature changes. Maybe, but I am missing the purpose of feeling calmer when taking my gear underwater... If I understood well the above talks, if I get a stable pressure after 30 minutes of vacuum, then it won't move no more, a leak would have been detected. Then I don't need any LED, right? Actually there's one situation where I'm in doubt: what if your vaccuumed housing gets a shock, e.g. in the dive boat, let's say on your macro port. Any risk the vacuum between port and housing gets jeopardized? Then I'd see a clear interest for continuous feedback LED. cheers Nicolas
  22. Close to my dream setup, just misses: -a higher depth rating, let's say 60m -an included vacuum check: soon everyone will have one on underwater housing, it will become difficult to accept a setup that is not protected by this ah wait, even better setup: -same thing with a full frame camera. After all, my Nauticam housing for Olympus OM-D is about the same size of my Nikon D3...
  23. hi there! any news on the Nauticam vaccuum system (price/availability)?
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