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About scubaguyjohn

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    United States
  • Camera Housing
    D3, D300
  1. thanks. Yes, I was using the 105mm for all the macro images...then I either used a +1/+2 diopter in the daytime or +4 at night...I did this because the +2 (or was it +1?), could still focus 3 or 4 feet away and retain my ability to light larger subjects at that distance with the added flexibility of doing macro...with the +4, I could get very close but not focus on stuff more than a foot away (or so)...I really liked the 105mm...but be very careful not to knock it into M mode when putting the port on! Also, with the +4, you have to be very still...depth of field is very tough...I don't think you could do it drift diving. I used the AF button to focus and then the shutter press to only take the picture...that way I could trap focus on occasion. John.
  2. \ yes...when my strobes went off, he let go...I wasn't sure if he was just trying to figure out what it was or if he wanted to eat it...do octopus eat snakes? Actually, it was an eel...
  3. Here's a link to my recent Belize trip pictures: http://underwaterphotographer.momentskept....tographers.html Housing details, etc. are in that forum. I was on the Sun Dancer II for 2 weeks. John.
  4. oh - the toad fish were only around one or two of the islands, you could hear them especially at night...
  5. thanks for the kind words Steve...You're correct, I was on the Sun Dancer II for two weeks...no more island barbecues though - we did stop on the island to see the frigate birds and boobies (birds!) but returned to the boat for lunch. John.
  6. I'm a pro photographer topside so I wanted to try some different stuff with lighting underwater...it sure is a totally different animal trying to shoot things that never stop moving! This was my first diving in over 7 years and first with underwater digital photos...what a difference from film! Several of you helped me buy all the gear I needed on another thread and, in general, it all came together nicely. There wasn't a lot of big stuff to shoot - sharks were non-existent and if they were around stayed about 100 feet away. I loved the macro stuff...used the 105mm with the +2 and even +4 diopters to get very close. The list of lenses used is on my site but the one lens that I'm not sure worked so well was the 12-24mm with the +2 diopter...even with the diopter, my initial thoughts are that the images are soft at the edges. I'll need to look more closely. TTL with the DS-160 strobes was terrific...I didn't think it would be a big deal but let me say it was a huge help and I could just shoot what I wanted when I wanted. Based on what I read elsewhere about flash ttl only being "nice to have", I wasn't expecting much - but my opinion is that its great to have. I did dial in about -1.5 stops of ttl flash compensation (in camera) when shooting wide with a lot of blue water and only about 1/2 stop with macro....overall, I'd highly recommend the DS-160 strobes and the ttl benefits. Definitely adjust the flash compensation in camera and not on the back of the housing as there isn't enough latitude with the dial on the back of the housing - use that for fine-tuning ttl exposure only as its added to the flash compensation in camera. The Ikelite D300 housing performed flawlessly - the one big change I made to my topside shooting style is that I moved the autofocus from the shutter release to the focus lock button. I will move my topside shooting style to the same method. It's really not possible to use the shutter release button to focus and then recompose the shot as it's just too sensitive underwater with the housing. Some of the controls can be a little difficult to use underwater like the C/S/M switch...its doable but I wouldn't even attempt it in murky water. All the other controls are easy to access. My biggest mistakes involved the 105mm and putting the port body back on the housing. You have to be very, very careful not to hit the M button on the 105mm! I had a dive wasted entirely because I hit the M button, had a +4 diopter on, and couldn't focus manually due to some surge! Also, I changed the focus lock setting from normal to short as I found the D300 wouldn't change focus quickly enough for me. The majority of the time I was in C focus mode from what I recall. Always test your autofocus prior to jumping in the water! Here's a link to the pictures: http://underwaterphotographer.momentskept....tographers.html Feedback is always appreciated .... and thanks again for all your help. John.
  7. thanks for your feedback...can you tell me how tight do I have to screw the ports into one another? until they stop moving? or like an oil filter, until I meet resistance? also, anybody have a good idea on how to tether the strobe diffusers to the strobe body so they won't float away if accidentally dislodged? thanks, John
  8. got the gear today...here are a few observations: 1. ikelite stuff is well made and the controls for the D300 work well at least on land...ttl is nice. 2. the 2 low profile port locks are a bit scary - they seem to be the weak link in the port design...I don't like the idea of 2 small screws screwed into plastic holding these two locks. I wonder if they will loosen over time... 3. getting the 105mm through the housing is a very tight fit...you have to be very careful not to move the focus switch on the lens into manual focus as you insert the camera...I guess I could insert the lens through the port after the fact but didn't check if that would work better. 4. I bought +1, +2, +4 diopters for the 105mm ... they certainly let you focus close and get objects greater than 1:1. Downside is that once you put a diopter on, you can no longer focus from any other distance which greatly limits the use of the lens. Perhaps in use I'll see this differently underwater. 5. Even though i'm set up for the 12-24mm and the 10.5mm, i have the feeling that the tokina 10-17mm will see that bulk of the action as I'll be too lazy to switch. Questions: 1. How tight do I have to screw the ports into one another? until they stop moving? or like an oil filter, until I meet resistance? 2. Anything I should look for during the predive tomorrow - other than leaks? thanks.
  9. you're right it does read that way...I also bought the 5510.35 for the 105mm...the 8" dome is for the 10.5, 12-24, and 10-17mm....I also bought dipters for the 12-24mm and the 105mm...I'll report back on results... it's a very quiet liveaboard the first week...just me and one other person plus crew on a 120 foot boat....yikes, hope i'm not bored!
  10. I ordered the 5510.75, 5510.35, and 5510.22 for the 105mm which gives me manual focus control. Yup, bought a bunch of o-rings different sizes...for the lenses, cords, lights, etc....
  11. thanks for all your help...I ordered the ikelite d300 housing, the 8" dome, ports, etc for the 105mm, 35mm, 12-24mm and the tokina 10-17mm...got my bases covered....also bought two ds-160 strobes...total outlay about $6K... anybody interested in renting this stuff, drop me a note! I'll post my feedback after my trip or more questions when i pool test it early next week..let's hope it all works! John.
  12. cool...thanks Lou... 1. I do own the Nikon 1.7x TC...should I just size a port extension for that or will the 1.7x be too powerful? 2. If I buy the ikelite strobes, will I have reasonable portability to other housings later if I want to move away from ikelite? I'm looking at another $2,200 to buy 2 DS-160's with extra cords and stuff and am wondering if I shouldn't just use the existing strobes in manual...also will the new DS strobes require a unique bolt attachement to attach to the ultralight arms? I found the attachment for them to the ikelite housing but not to the strobes... just money I guess... thanks, John.
  13. thanks again guys... things are getting more clear! 1. With weight restrictions these days, I'm thinking Inon strobes would be a good choice vs ikelite...thoughts on this? is there a strobe sync cord to use Inon direct on the ikelite housing without an adaptor? I hear you about more failure points! 2. If I buy 2 new ikelite strobes, would you get the most powerful model or something in the middle like the DS-125 - I guess more powerful would be better to light stuff against the bright sky backdrop. 3. When using the DS series in TTL mode, do you make ttl exposure compensation adjustments on the strobe or on the camera body with the flash compensation button? It's hard to tell whether that button is accessible looking at the housing pictures. 4. Are my concerns about being locked into proprietary battery systems with ikelite valid? Recharge times seem to be reasonable and would let me do it between dives on a liveaboard. 5. anybody use the nexus cl-100 wet mount diopter? image quality with it? Still reading up on the diopter info...
  14. wow...thank you so much for the detailed help! I've got the housing figured out now and am ready to order it... I have a few more questions: 1. is the ikelite strobe housing connector a standard connector or proprietary...I have plenty of nikonos to my sea and sea strobes connectors...will they work? 2. does the ikelite housing assume autofocus use only on lenses (except the 105mm) and that's why there are no focus rings? 3. I have 2 YS-110 and 1 YS-90DX sea and sea strobes...can I get ttl functionality out of any of these? these strobes are still pretty new so i'd like to use them if i can unless that makes no sense...I don't mind buying new strobes but if I buy S&S can I use the ttl with the ikelite housing? I don't like the battery module concept of the ikelite strobes...I prefer to use AA batteries for flexibility. 4. I own a lot of ultralight clamps and stobe arms...will these typically work with the ikelite setup? 5. Is there a large quality trade off in going with the ikelite housing vs sea and sea for example? 6. What are the low profile port locks? 7. Given that I have the 10.5mm and the 12-24mm already...on a scale of 1-10, how important is the Tokina 10-17mm ... warm water diving, no wrecks...Belize... 8. Are there any buttons on the D300 that the ikelite housing won't give me access to? 9. Will I need any diopters? (using 12-24, 10.5, 35mm, 105mm, and perhaps 10-17mm) I'm at $2,600 for my setup not including new strobes or cords...
  15. I'm leaving on a trip in 10 days and need to buy my housing asap! I'm going to use the D300 with the following lenses: Nikon 105mm macro, Nikon 35mm f2, and will probably buy the tokina 10-16mm or use my Nikon 10.5 mm fisheye plus Nikon 12-24mm. ....it's been 5 years since I've been underwater with a camera so I'm not familiar at all with the new stuff. I've decided on the Ikelite housing as I can't justify spending 2x on a sea &sea or others when I may want to switch to my D3 in the future. Here are my questions:: 1. I'll buy the Ikelite Housing plus various ports...trying to figure out the port charts requires a masters in engineering! The charts seem to refer to ikelite having an 8" dome but when I look up the part number (#5510.45 Dome Assembly) listed under the required part under "8" port body" on the port page it describes 5510.45 as a 4" port...so i'm really confused.... can I buy the 8" dome to use with all wide angle lenses and then just get the proper length port body? Ikelite says the 6" dome is adequate, is it an emotional issue to go with 8"? 2. I have sync cords from my nikonos 5 setups to the strobes I already own (two YS-110 strobes and one YS 90 DX strobe). I'd like to use these sync cords with the new housing...are they standard pin connections and reusable or? what about ttl with these existing strobes and the ikelite housing? Elsewhere, people have indicated it won't work with my YS-110's...what about the Ys90DX? TTl isn't critical for me but it would be nice to have if its easy and cheap to implement. 3. It seems that Ikelite doesn't use focus rings like other brands....is that because Ikelite housings assume everything is auto focus (except the manual focus 105mm focus extension)? I appreciate any and all help you can toss my way...on land, i'm a wiz with the camera...in water, not so much right now! thanks, John.
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