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DocTock

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DocTock last won the day on November 18

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About DocTock

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    Wolf Eel

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  • Website URL
    http://www.rkburtonphotography.com
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    Male

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D800
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Inon Z240.4 (x2)
  • Accessories
    Nikon 105 & Nikonus RS 13mm
  1. I had the fortunate opportunity to try a set of pre-production Retra Pros on a recent trip in Raja Ampat. As part of a rotation of eager test-divers I used them on 2 consecutive wide angle dives. (Other equipment: D800 and Nikon RS13) My impression, similarly to other's is as follows: - WOW - what a lot of light! And nice quality light too (with the softening filters in place) - Much more powerful, even at 50%, than my trusty Inon Z240s - That power comes at a cost of eating batteries rapidly; to be "safe" the batteries were changed after every dive as one dive (~ 200 shots using 25%-100% strobe power setting) brought fresh off the charger Eneloop "Black" batteries from 100% (full green) to yellow advisory charge state. - The led color indicator is a useful way to get rapid info on the state of the strobe/ batteries/ readiness - I appreciate the ability to program for custom settings and gain info about the strobe via an app, but wonder how useful those functions would really be in the future. With few reference points for comparison what does the number of strobe activations "mean"? Do I want a set? Absolutely! Do I want to be an early adopter? At nearly $1000 USD/ strobe it's a big investment. I would certainly want any/ all the "bugs" worked out especially as service from the USA adds a level of difficulty/ expense.
  2. @phxazcraig - I too used to want the Nikon 70-180mm zoom macro for the same reasons. I sourced one and then learned how difficult it is to house - basically you need to get a custom port made by your manufacturer - only Sea&Sea (I think) made an actual port specific to the lens. In addition, when shot on land, the lens proved to be quite "soft" on my D800. To decrease any further frustrations, I sold the Nikon zoom lens and picked up an SMC wet diopter. I also recall having conversations at the time (~2015) with the folk at Reef Photo about trying to house the Sigma 150 - not certain what the exact issues were, but there may have been some mentioned (size?).
  3. As Algwyn just pointed out there is no universal answer and the "best" suggestion is to experiment with what works for you and your rig. As an example, when I shoot WA my arms are basically the same length, but the ones mounted closest are buoyancy arms, providing lift "centrally" to the rig.When shooting macro, I switch the second section to short arms.
  4. Another vote for www.prescriptiondivemasks.com - HIGHLY recommend them. I'm on my second mask with near vision lenses lower aspect of the mask. The version I have now has both corrective for near lower and far upper. The initial setting of the lens put the "line" right at my pupil - they took the mask back and re-did the positioning.
  5. Interesting images on your website. Are you shooting all natural light? If so, I can definitely see where you find limitation in the D800. I agree that at greater than ISO800, grain definitely is visible. Everything shot wide angle in "Bonaire 2019" was done using an RS 13mm I had converted to communicate in full auto mode, and adapted to attach to a Nauticam housing by Andrej Belic. [Wetpixel article]
  6. If you are using the RS 13mm lens, get that converted for DSLR use and use your D800. A D800 quality housing where you can use the RS13mm (Nauticam, Seacam, Aquatica) should not be horrendously expensive at this point (honestly, I don't see that I would get much for my N800 and D800). Your composition is very nice, think about the results you could get with housed DSLR and the same RS lens.
  7. I've had really great workshops (I learned a LOT) on trips with Alex Mustard and with Erin Quigley. Granted, they both had their cameras in the water, but I found both to be almost infinitely available and teaching non-stop.
  8. Dove with Cortez Divers when on an Alex Mustard La Paz trip in 2017. They were very nice to us and straightforward - although my experience may be colored by the fact that our group took over 2 boats for 5 days consecutively, so they may have been more flexible/ accommodating for us. Of note: Like other Caribbean and Mexican dive operations, expect minimal assistance with gear except for tanks. They were careful with our camera gear from the dock to return, but no camera room, etc. The end of the dock/ entry to the boats also has the winch to lift boats out of the water immediately overhead (Watch your head!).
  9. The question I ask myself when I pack carry-on vs checked is "what is the minimum I need for this trip"? This usually leads me to put: camera, batteries, strobes, macro glass, WA glass, macro port in a ThinkTank backpack (no wheels!) and my housing, octo, dive computer, and a dive skin in a tiny roller. All this gets carried into the plane with me. Everything else (including big dome, arms, snoot, clothes, fins, dive gear etc) goes in checked bags. This way, if my checked bags never make it to whatever destination I'll be able to have a trip. It'll be spare and I'll depend on the kindness of strangers for arms and charger space, and I'll need to rent all the dive stuff minus my octo, but I'll not have a total "loss".
  10. Another question to ask (the one in my head) is when is Nikon going to revamp the 850? I waited on getting an 800 - the 810 was released about a month later. Checking on NikonRumors.com, it sounds like the D6 is in development pathway with a suggested release end 2019.
  11. I just got off the phone with a really nice person at Reef Photo who explained that the 70mm was the original recommendation (circa ~2013). The suggested extension for best results with the Nikon 16-35 f/4 VR lens is now 90mm.
  12. @ReefPhoto @Ryan @Nauticam Anyone care to reply to this question about an apparent Nauticam change in recommendation for extension tube with a 230mm optical glass dome from 70mm to 90mm?
  13. Interesting! I found this thread when I was searching for information/ discussions on this exact topic. When I bought my NA-D800 I was sold a 70mm extension to go with a Zen 230mm glass dome. I remember that the port chart at the time indicated that to be the "right" extension. I just saw the new port charts from Nauticam that now show a 90mm extension as recommended. Is this why my 16-35 images are always slightly blurry????
  14. When I went to Fiji I brought - Macro: 105, wet lenses x2 WA: RS 13mm, Sigma 15, Nikon 16-35, 230mm dome Fiji was (except for some bad weather that limited vis) more WA than macro. That said, I achieved one of my best anemonefish images with a 105 on that trip... From other folk on my trip who went to Beqa - the water is loaded with particulate and not requiring the "best" of corner sharpness. Why not the Tokina 10-17 with the Kenko, etc and the 8.5" dome? [sorry - not an expert if this will work.) It would seem like this would give you the most opportunities.
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