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Everything posted by Nicool

  1. But lightroom used to work so well! I’ll get you some more stringent examples Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  2. hi guys, Many of my fish portraits don't look so good because of the "red eye" effect which also affects fishes. I am talking about relatively close-up shots, typically shot with a 60mm macro lens (APS-C DSLR), 2 strobes in manual mode, shooting scorpionfishes, pipe fishes, etc. Here's an example i have handy, although on this particular shot it's not too bad (i wouldn't have published it otherwise ), it can get much worse: https://flic.kr/p/YNpWa3 When i started underwater photography, i was shooting with a 105mm macro in TTL, got some red eyes, but the Lightroom version i used at that time (v3?) was capable to remove the red eyes the same feature as for humans did work brilliantly. Now on Lightroom 6 it doesn't work. I thought about using the camera's onboard red eye reduction mode, but it actually relies on the AF assistance light, which is of no use in an undrwater housing. So question to the crowd: how are you preventing red eyes from ruining your fish portraits? cheers Nicolas
  3. hi Greg, this happened to me with various fisheye/wide angle lenses and various acrylic domes however i haven't faced the problem since i moved to a crystal Zen dome (i use the 100mm version on the same Tokina lens as you). I've been told the Zen dome has some anti-reflective coating, so looks like it works
  4. Hi guys, sorry for the late replies, work has kept me busy... Thanks for that Luko, indeed i was confused about PNG, it's now back on my list The limited biodiversity of FP doesn't bother me, it's funny you're quoting Maldives because i actually wanted to dive there and focus a dive trip on "big stuff" encounters and FP would have been along those lines. However i see the prices now... to keep for later, or if a friend of mine goes back to dive there and is still ok for me to stay over a few nights Thanks for the explanations on Beqa lagoon and Fidjian relationships to sharks, that's definitely comforting. Thanks again for those very precious advices on Oz diving Matt!! Your comparative feedbacks on the various places really helps driving my choices. Byron Bay / Julian Rocks looks like a very nice place and accessible for me to go. From what i saw in various photos it has some sort of "Maldives taste": mantas, leopard sharks... Just below Byron bay i've heard good things about North Solitary islands, but a local here told me he preferred Byron Bay for big stuff - have you tried both? The Yongala seems amazing to, both a wreck, and very very lively... so much choices around, i feel lucky! But so little time... I am now thinking i could combine Byron Bay + North Solitary Islands as one trip, or Yongala + Wolf Rock... The caravan diving sounds cool, probably something i'll try with whole family when kids grow older. I've heard about the leafies in South Australia indeed, but i am not that excited as i am lucky to see weedies in any dive i do here in Kurnell, and they are (almost) as beautiful as weedies I'll email Uepi resort for a quote. Their website is very nice... but i haven't seen prices, which to me isn't good news on that space The 2 dives/day limit may not be a concern if it's just for decompression concerns -> with our rebreathers (provided the Uepi is RB-friendly) we can do 3 hours at 20 meters still in no-deco. Thanks for the Ningaloo recommendations Chris, it's also an option on my list though for the first 1 week trip if Australia i may focus on the east coast. thanks for the experience sharing Crayfish, that sounds reasonably safe
  5. Guys, i want to thank you very much for your advice, it's been a pleasure to read as i am returning from Easter weekend! Indeed i forgot to say with whom i'll be travelling: this time it will be just wifey (my favourite buddy) and myself, this is our rare occasion to travel without kids, just for diving Many thanks troporobo You truly have visited loads of these places and it's great to get your comparative feedbacks. From your reviews it looks like Solomons could be a very good match. Or maybe Fidji, i still can't decide whether i'd be keen to go to a shark feeding place. Whilst i am totally OK for dive operators arranging it and their customers enjoying it (after all, in some ways it protects the sharks) i am wondering whether i'd have that artificial aquarium feeling... or whether i might be uncomfortable to get around me lots of shark coming close just because the smelt food PNG i thought about it but didn't include it because i can picture myself living in South East Asia for some time in my life, and then it will be in easy reach. I am really looking to try one of those far-away destinations which would be tough to do when i am back in Europe or still far from central APAC. Thanks for the tip on Yap, i didn't know and am penciling it (for later). For the good places whale-wise, i am guessing my target time (Feb-March) isn't good, and i can't change it. Australian diving: giving it some thoughts too. For instance North Solitary islands or Lord Howe Island caught my attention, but not sure how these compare to Solomons or Tahiti for big wildlife. First of all, kdgonzalez you have some cracking pictures in your Fidji album mate!!! Like i said above, i need to make up my mind on whether i am ok to dive on shark feeding. Any safety concern to have with these? Really appreciate the comparative feedback between Bligh Water and Beqa Lagoon, i've been in such places where you "see" but can't photograph the big ones, good to know. Unexpected advice on the Great Barrier Reef: we dove there 11 years ago over a 3 days liveaboard (pro-dive) and love it. However it was our first warm water/coral reef experience so i honestly wouldn't be capable to rate it against memories we got in the following years (komodo, sodwana bay, sipadan, egypt). But my first question would be: what about the coral bleaching? Isn't it affecting the diving on places you've recommended? If not, can you recommend liveaboard duration & operators to get there? Thanks Crayfish, we did dive South West Rocks recently and LOVED the experience. Feb-march won't be right for humpbacks i reckon, but i am penciling in Poor Knights Islands which i didn't know about. Again, wondering about the shark fed in Beqa lagoon. Keen to know more about how the diving is organized, how long, how do the shark behave, whether you feel in danger. Schooling sharks in french polynesia sounds interesting, getting close enough for photos? My preference would be un-shy big animals that come reasonably close for photos without being fed. Yes i am asking a lot, but hey only 1 dive-dedicated vacation over ~2 years, gotta get it right! Thanks TimG! I did snorkel with mantas 11 years ago (not yet a diver) at Coral bay and it was a magic experience. How is the diving from Exmouth? Day trips? Liveaboards? Any good shore dives? I remember (11 years ago...) seeing small reef sharks and turtles swimming in 1 meter deep water by the shore, at Coral bay. That's the kind of experience i'd love to get again (and now i have underwater photo equipment...). Thanks A LOT Matt for your comprehensive advice, especially about the nannies in Fidji! When others were referring to great resorts for families in Fidji i had pictured just the Mariott-like swimming pool focuses places, but there are ways to travel there together with our kids & get them looked after while we do a few dives, that's heaven!! In that case, i'll probably rule out Fidji from my short list for that particular parents-only trip, just because it means we can go there as family, this is great. 1/ Solomons really look interesting! When you're referring to snorkelling with reef sharks off the dock, you mean like by a pier, on the shore? Which place was that in Solomons? That's the kind of photographer-friendly place i am looking for (already picturing those split-shots with sharks ). 2/ PNG - certainly one day, and same applies to places you've mentioned like Bali (we've been twice), that i'd consider very doable from south east Asia or even Europe. Here i want to shoot for what's hard to touch when going back to good old Europe. 3/ French polynesia really looks like a good match for shark action (without feeding). I am picturing passes with lots of current (never dived one), is it still manageable to get close to these sharks? Were you saying Pohnpei was better than French Polynesia for sharks? Looks like you've really made the most of your time in Sydney, I envy you and can't wait to take my kids diving when they get of age! How does Lord Howe island compare to the above for approaching sharks/big stuff? Is it shore-based diving or boat? When it comes to long weekends, i'll tend to favor places accessible by car (e.g. South West Rocks) just because we both dive rebreathers, if we're to bring kids along too, the airfrare becomes a killer... that's unless Lord Howe island really has something special. However i've just watched the video on Wolf Rock... thanks for the tip, it looks amazing, i am seriously considering going there Hi Luko, Actually i write quicker in English than in French, and i thought i'd dive in the Wetpixel pool of knowledge when it comes to South Pacific diving. In the French forum i see lots of people diving South East Asia, Red Sea and Carribean, whereas it seems to me that Wetpixelers go further East (or West, depending on where you are). Anycase, i'll definitely ask that community for French Polynesia specifics, as i know there are experts there. Back to this topic, lucky you for growing up in Vanuatu!! I am interested to know about B.A.D: in the way they operate, what would you say impresses people who are against shark feeding? On Vanuatu and beef: i was today barbecueing next to a family from Vanuatu -> super friendly, we've exchanged food and beers (and they did plan to BBQ a lot!). I see here lots of people planning dive vacation in Vanuatu, i guess it's only around the President Coolidge then, and i wouldn't mind focusing on 1 wreck for creative photo projects, but i am wondering how crowded it gets? are there times of the day when its gets less busy? Maybe your Papeete experience is why you're not keen on French Polynesia - all the divers i know who've been there were soooo happy. @all, if i may continue asking i'd like to complement my research with 2 questions: 1/ still in south pacific, can you advise any place where sharks/big stuff (rays, turtles, groupers...) can be seen in shore dives / unlimited diving? There's nothing we love more than a good shore dive, especially when we can decide by ourselves how long we stay (we dive rebreathers, so in Bali we did 3+ hours dives and loved it, but it missed big approachable animals). 2/ for those who dived Australia, on the criteria i've noted before i'd like to know how those places i've noted rank: Lord Howe island, North Solitary Islands, Byron bay, Yongala wreck (Townsville), Ningaloo reef (+ Wolf Rock where i already have information from Matt ). again, thanks a lot for your advices cheers Nicolas
  6. Hi photographers, Now that I have relocated to Sydney, I am a few hours flight away from some dive destinations which I wouldn’t have considered travelling to, when living in Europe. Needless to say I am not so familiar with what the South Pacific region has to offer, so I am coming for advice. Besides, I won’t have much opportunities to travel for diving (young kids) so looking to pickup the right place for probably my unique trip over next 2 years. I am planning for Feb/March 2019, a 1 week vacation Keen to stay at the same place (or liveaboard) – I don’t want to fly from one island to the other as it will restrict days of diving. Here is what i am looking for during this future trip: -Priority 1: Large and approachable sea life: sharks, mantas, dolphins, huge groupers are kind of things I am after… but they must be approachable within photographic distance (1 meter, 2 meters big max). I am saying so because there are destinations where you may see lots, but the animals are very difficult to approach. For example, difficult to come close to hammerheads in Sudan, whereas I understand they are easier to approach in the carribean). Another example is reef sharks that are shy and difficult to approach, whereas in places like Maldives sharks wouldn’t mind being very close to divers. -Priority 2: little currents – I don’t mind some currents, as long as they are not so strong that approaching a subject gets very difficult. Obviously currents attact wildlife, but if it’s so strong that I cannot photograph, I won’t go. -nice to haves: outstanding wrecks, water warmer than 28 degrees C, great visibility, self-timed shore dive option. Destinations I have penciled so far (not knowing any - just looked at google maps): New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fidji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa, Niue, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Pohnpei (Micronesia), Truk, Bikini, Rongelap Atoll (Marshall islands), Tahiti (French Polynesia), Tahiti, Rangiroa, Bora Bora, Moorea, Mahini. Now I’d be very happy to get your advice on where to go Cheers Nicolas Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  7. One article among others: https://m.facebook.com/australianmarine/posts/10158166984766959 https://www.marineconservation.org.au/news.php/981/media-release-australias-marine-parks-network-means-loss-of-protection-unequalled-in-australian-hist Very sad news but has to pass parliament, hoping there will be sufficient push back there... Fishing industry currently has a certain level of activity in non protected zones, which i would hope are sustainable Clearly if they were, they wouldn’t need to tap into exisitng marine parks So is it about consciously extending a destructive, non-sustainable practice? Or does the australian government think people should eat more fish (wtf)? Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  8. Hi Matt,I use same housing and camera/lens combo, you’ll love it! With the subjects you mentioned i guess corner sharpness won’t be a concern, so what about a mini dome, like zen’s 100mm? It’s crystal so high quality, and you can get the one that had the exact right lenght for the tokina (better than using extentions to just get approx right). I have recently shot a full 3 days trip with that exact combo, and since i am happy with the results you might want to take a look (lots of sharks involved ): https://flickr.com/photos/145317586@N07/sets/72157666838287588 Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  9. Exact same experience as Mikey’s: i love my D500 and tokina 10-17mm combo, and it’s autofocus. Love particularly its ability to focus in very dark environments withoutthe spooky focus light. Clear enhancement vs D300s and D7000. Our latest album shot entirely with this setup is here: https://flickr.com/photos/145317586@N07/sets/72157666838287588 (2000px images are visible) On the strobe cable part, i am lucky to use a nauticam housing where their strobe trigger is baseline, so shooting up to 10 fps if needed. Now on macro with 60mm afs funnily i sometimes am not getting focus where i think it should be, so probably i’ll have to research how to properly use the self AF adjustment feature (which i find tricky on a macro lens). Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  10. Thanks Adam for involving yoursefl so visually Yes since then i have reached out to Inon and got the faulty strobe serviced, it was a flash tube that started to blacken, and now works fine. This was however on Type 4 z240. But i had clearly gone beyond the Inon recommended repetitive shooting limits when this happened. Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  11. Thanks for this interesting test Adam!Can you confirm the Z330s are as powerful as before after such a treatment? The risk i see is the light bulbs not tolerating well: what happened to one of my Z240s is (after repetitive flashing) is that it got less powerful than the other strobe. Its light output would still vary when playing with the knob, so not a problem of corroded magnet, but it had became around 2 stops less powerful than the other strobe. Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  12. And interesting use, but if i am buying retras i’ll be using everytime the wide angle or shark diffusers, so taking time to swap diffusers just for the sake of stabilizing strobe while changing batteries... for me not the most time efficient But different usages mean different solutions Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  13. It would be grear if the battery drain could be reduced when not in use.That being said, IMHO it’s not that a big deal considering how easier/quicker i find it to open/close the battery compartment on the retra vs on my Inon Z240. And easier to inspect oring too. Some people have complained that the retra flash won’t stand still if put facing down (since the lighting surface is curved) but i consider this being a non-issue for me, as i always carry a micro-fiber towel with my spare batteries / spare kits, so i just put the retra on it and that does the trick of stabilizing it during battery swap. Nicolas Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  14. In fact, thinking twice about it i am not too sure what would be my favorite strobe behavior in regards to capacitor not fully charged, but i'd still like to know how the Retra and Inon are supposed to behave in that regards. cheers Nicolas
  15. Thanks again Oskar for answering questions of the community here! Based on our earlier emails exchanges plus discussion here, i guess a good way to find out more precisely if the batteries are still good for 1 more dive is to do 2 - 3 test shots on-land and check again the battery indicator. If it still shows the same, good. In fact, i was doing something similar with my Inons z240: turning them on, doing 2 shots at full power - 1.5 stops (just because it’s a power level i often use) and make sure each time that the red ready light would come back instantaneously. If taking time, i would change batteries. Back to the comparison between the new strobes on the market, there is one element of behavior that is for me important: if the capacitor didn’t have sufficient time to charge, at the next shooting attempt i am expecting the strobe wouldn’t produce any light, giving priority to producing the exact amount of light required as opposed to producing « something ». The benefit in such a behavior (at least what i see on the Z240s) is that during action and when i don’t have time to look at strobes ready light, i’ll quickly find out if some of my photos are unlit when reviewing on the screen, and then i’ll reduce flash output if i see the strobes aren’t keeping up the pace. Adam or anyone, can you confirm that the strobes tested behave like that? Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  16. Since Adam was asking for personal experience i’ll shared mine with a pair of Retras which i borrowed for about 1700 shots over 6 dives (some dives 2h40 long with action, i am not shooting that crazy ) My current strobes being Inon z240 x2, here is my subjective take on the Retras: Pros for retras: -maintenance: much quicker to swap batteries as i am leaving the oring in and grease it every 10 openings only -simplicity of usage -no acc button/magnet that can get stuck/corroded and mess-up my photos -fiber optics routing (rear mounting ball easier i find) -battery indicator... though i like in principle the idea, in reality it didn’t turn too reliable, and after exchanges with Retra it appeared it was due to me using very old batteries (1st gen eneloop). I bought some new eneloop pros but couldn’t try them as i had to return the strobes before. -ease to mount various diffusers -resistance to overheating - though i haven’t tested it that much but trust that aluminium housing helps cooling strobes down Cons: -batteries drain if left in strobe turned off! Again this may not happen with my fresh eneloop pros, but with my inons i had the habit to leave batteries in between dives (usually i dive once a week on weekend only) and that wasn’t a problem with inons -strobe angle: probably just subjective, but i was shooting with shark diffusers (didn’t get the wide angle diffusers) which are supposed to preserve the retra’s original 110deg, but i felt like the coverage was lower than with my Z240s and diffuser (although 110 degrees). Now i am left to choose between Retra and Inons and still not sure what to do :-) The over-heating issue of the Inons was big concern for me but Adam’s review indicates this is solved... although i wish Inon didn’t keep that statement on letting strobe cool down if the problem really got addressed! Also, not sure how useful the rotating Inon shade is. Thinking... thinking... Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  17. Thanks for the extensive review Adam! On the methodology can you confirm how you’ve done the extensive battery test in water bucket? Shooting lots of continuous full power flashes wouldn’t have been possible (well, depending on the frequency) on the Z240 due to heating, so it looks like Inon did address well the heating issue on Z330? Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  18. Thanks for these explanations Oskar, i didn’t get the instructions but it’s all clear now. On my current Inon z240 i have always 0.5 stops increments, so i know by how much i’ll add/decrease the strobe output when manipulating the knob, even without looking. Out of curiosity, what’s the reason for not offering 0.5 stops increments below 25%? Is it because you’re assuming most people would use these low powers only when getting very close to subject, and at these distances strobe power needs to be decreased quicker? Regards Nicolas
  19. One more question to you Oskar if i may, but i guess i won't be the only one wondering: on the Retra flashes i've borrowed i see the following power levels: 100, 50, 25, 6, 1, and corresponding: +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, which i guess are in EV. For the 1st scale i am confused: from 100 to 50 and 50 to 25 that's -1 EV (division by 2 if i am not wrong), but i don't understand the jump from 25 to 6 and then 6 to 1, which are also spaced by 1 EV if i am reading well. cheers Nicolas
  20. Hi guys, what sort of routine do you apply for the retra o-rings: -Lubricating each time you open battery compartment? -taking out the orings to do so? -with which lube? I have hips of inon grease... Cheers Nicolas Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  21. Thanks Bill so just by handAnd if corroded indeed can i do anything about it?
  22. Hi Alison,I didn’t, though after a night soaking in soapy water the button now operates very smoothly. Still it doesn’t work: my strobe produced the same amount of light no mattrt the power i set and no matter if the ACCS is pushed down or not. Does it look like the symptoms you’ve exprienced in the past? I am not sure i have the tools (tiny screDriver needed i guess) to take the button off, but if i could, any chance it’s self repairable? Cheers Nicolas
  23. Hi folks, Good and bad news Good news: i got a great service from Carey Harmer (http://www.underwaterhousingservicing.com.au/) based in South Australia, for a good price. Carey was quick, responsive, clearly knows his stuff, and even got me a reduced price by salvaging parts on a faulty strobe he had aside. Turns out the magnet was corroded AND the tubes were done. I tried the strobe at home tonight (preparing for tomorrow’s dive) and all seems fine. What’s not call at all: now it’s my second strobe - the one which kept working fine - which is faulty now! Whatever the strobe output level (even in full power) it triggers the same very low output! If i understand ACCS well it doesn’t look like it, still i have no other idea so i am letting it soak for the night in soapy water and crossing fingers... Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  24. Great that you're testing the strobes Adam! I was planning to quietly wait for the review and probably not invest in new strobes before 1-2 years... but one my my Z240s now needs serious repairs and i have a long-awaited dive trip upcoming... So very interested to hear back :-) One request if i may - to you as reviewer or to Oskar as manufacturer: how robust are the Retras vs over-heating? I believe my Inon didn't like how excited i got in a recent dive where there was good photo action... but i still want to be able to photograph these things :-) cheers Nicolas
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