Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


DocTock last won the day on November 18 2019

DocTock had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

6 Neutral

About DocTock

  • Rank
    Wolf Eel

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D800
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Inon Z240.4 (x2)
  • Accessories
    Nikon 105 & Nikonus RS 13mm

Recent Profile Visitors

8496 profile views
  1. This is a very timely discussion for me. While the capabilities of my D800 surpass my abilities, jealousy regarding many of the D850 improvements has me looking to upgrade. However, the biggest issue for me with the Z series is the lack of ability to control and communicate with older lenses using the current Nikon FTZ adapter. If the rumored FTZ2 allows several of my lenses to work, I'm ready to make the change. Otherwise, I'll keep hoping for a D880/900 DSLR
  2. I've been diving with plenty of photo folk with DIR systems. I've also personally assisted another diver in an out of air situation where both of us had DSLR rigs equipped for wide angle and a standard hose length octo rig. It would have been "more comfortable" if I had a DIR length for my second - but comfort not what I was thinking about at that moment. Fundamentals of diving are just that. Emergencies are not "planned events" so rescue situations need to be handled with equipment you are comfortable and familiar with.
  3. I've had a chance to use the set of pre production Retra Pros. Difficult to say if they are "four times better" but they put out an amazing amount of high quality light. Once the Pro series proves stable, I will certainly put them on a wish list to replace a set of Inon Z240.
  4. I shoot with a D800 in Nauticam, having upgraded from a D90 in Nauticam. I'll stay with Nauticam and Nikon DSLR as my favorite lens is my converted RS13. I upgraded to the D800 late in the cycle, and it was not worth the expense to jump to the 850. Should an 850 replacement ever arise, and be an exponential improvement over the 800, I'll probably make an upgrade then.
  5. @fifthjoker - I've been shooting a D800 since 2013 when I moved from a D90. Macro - awesome with the 105mm Nikon micro lens and add fun/ frustration with wet lenses (SubSee +5, +10, Nauticam SMC, etc) - note: a flip adapter on the front makes life much easier for me than trying to un/screw diopter on/ off. Wide Angle - limited only by ability and strobe power. I personally shoot Sigma 15 behind a 230mm, Nikon 16-35 with the Sea&Sea corrector dry lens/diopter, and my favorite, a Nikonus 13mm RS converted for use with modern DSLR/ Nauticam housing. Noted re: 90mm extension: I had several conversations with @phxazcraig and ended up contacting the folk at Reef Photo about this, as initially I only had 70mm extension. The earlier Nauticam lens/port charts suggested 70mm with the 230mm dome (when using the 16-35) - testing over the years now suggests improvement with 90mm extension. I feel comfortable dropping to ISO 640 before really starting to notice artifact when enlarging.
  6. 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.
  7. @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?).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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]
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!).
  14. 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".
  15. 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.
  • Create New...