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DocTock

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Everything posted by DocTock

  1. @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.
  2. 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.
  3. @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?).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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]
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!).
  10. 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".
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. @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?
  14. 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????
  15. 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.
  16. $425 with Shipping in USA and PayPal Included (International Sales fine - actual additional cost for shipping and money fees) Happy to hear offers.
  17. $500 + shipping Liquivision Lynx Dive Computer + Liquivision U2 AI Transmitter - linked with this Lynx Dive Computer - included: adapter to allow same size battery as computer unit - included: extra o-rings for battery case - included: 3 disposable transmitter batteries of unknown charge Also included: - Liquivision computer interface and USB cable - Charger for rechargeable batteries - 2 padded rigid carry cases (I used one for Computer + Transmitter, the other for charger, etc) - 6 rechargeable batteries that work in both computer and transmitter - multiple packs of extra o-rings for battery compartment This was my personal dive computer for the past few years. It's been all over the world and functioned well for Recreational Diving. There are 77 recorded dives on this computer and it was serviced at the original Liquivision in Canada prior to my last dive trip 11/2017. Information from the internet: Liquivision Lynx Dive Computer with Transmitter Features Liquivision Lynx Dive Wrist Computer with Transmitter Maximum Readability, Ergonomic Comfort Patented Tap-Interface Bright Full-Color OLED Display Disposable 3.6 Volt, ER17335M User-Replaceable Battery (included) 2-Mounting Options: High Quality Strap or Bungee-Cord Algorithm: Buhlmann ZH-L16C Maximum Depth Rating: 660' (200 meters) Optional Gradient Factors, Gauge Mode OLED Screen is Readable in Complete Darkness Imperial/Metric Settings 3 Gases (air and nitrox 21-100%) Built-In Dive Planner and Dive Simulator Dive Logging Dive Time and Visual Alarms Liquivision Lynx Transmitter Get Streamlined, Ditch Your High-Pressure Hose Easy Installation and Connection Threads to 1'st-Stage Regulator 7/6" HP Port Adds Unique Functions to Computer Monitor Buddy Air, or Group Air of Up to 9 Other Divers Air Time Value: Based on Breathing Rate and Current Depth Value: Reaches Zero at 700 psi (48 bar) Includes: Disposable 3200mAh ER26300M Battery Spacer for Use of 1700mAh ER17335M Batteries (Optional) Transmitter Uses Ultrasonic Waves Range of 330' (100 meters) No "Pairing" of Computer and Transmitter Required Ultrasonic Rather than Radiofrequency Waves Signal Never Affected by Electromagnetic Interference from: HID Dive Lights Camera Strobes
  18. The new iPad Pro uses USB-C connector. There's an interesting discussion about the connectivity via the USB-C and the iPad Pro here: https://9to5mac.com/2018/11/07/ipad-pro-usb-c-accessories/ @Davephd - FYI your link to "MyWebsite" in your signature only goes to https://www.icloud.com/
  19. Eitan - sounds like a good idea, however I'd be concerned that the bulk of a device on the back of a DSLR would then make it difficult to use a viewfinder/ eyepiece. That said, as mentioned I'd really like a larger view of the back LCD on my camera!
  20. I will be very interested to read your review. I find my 45degree to be fine for the ttl view/ composition. What I would like the external monitor for is for the information I cannot see well on the small back camera LCD (strobe positioning & power/ exposure adjustments/ histograms/ etc). Are you planning on using "live view" or equivalent for composition/ focus?
  21. I was wondering what you learned while at Reef Photo. This sounds like an interesting addition for still photography and might solve some of the issues I have using the back LCD.
  22. I would suggest paying for the Retra snoot holder that Oskar sells when you buy the snoot. It's expensive for a sack, but it allows one to clip the holder to your BCD so you can bring your snoot with you but not have to have it installed on your strobe at all times. I've had and used the 10bar snoot (and was able to borrow a Retra on the same macro trip I was using the 10bar) The 10bar laser sight, when lined up correctly (a bit of an issue on the original version), makes the snoot super easy to use. The tube pieces for altering the size of the snoot "spot" however were clumsy for me to alter during a dive. Now I own a Retra snoot.
  23. The following is personal experience only. I was an early adopter of a vacuum system on a Nauticam housing. I had a leak/ vac sensor in my original NA-D90 housing (and now a NA-D800 with leak/vac sensor) so I added a Housing Sentry vacuum plug which came with a MiniVac manual pump with a gauge. While this is (I believe) a brake fluid tool originally, and I do not know how accurate the exact readings are, the following "data" points have been noticed from the Nauticam leak/ vac sensor indicator light: 1. Red state until at least 3mmHg vacuum pressure 2. Yellow indicator between ~3mmHg - ~5mmHg 3. Solid green light at a point beyond ~5mmHg My practice has been to do battery/ memory card/ o-ring maintenance at the end of every day of diving. I then seal, initiate vacuum, set-up and check function under ~8mmHg vacuum pressure. It takes me approximately 3-5 squeezes of the MiniVac handle to get from ~5mmHg to ~8mmHg. (More squeezes needed with a 230mm dome, fewer with a 105 port.) Once complete, I let my whole system sit (under vacuum) until the next day of diving. If there is still a green light showing in the morning, I feel comfortable that my risk of a leak is low and I proceed with the dive. I used to check the "reading" in the morning, but found, even in tropical climates with high variations in overnight temps (sometimes kept in over AC camera rooms, some open air) there was usually zero to <~1mm variation in 8hrs. What I did find is I was more likely to lose vacuum by checking the reading, and the reason I no longer "verify" the green light with a reading.
  24. The SubSee +10 is nice - optics are good. The SMC is even better - optics are excellent. I kept the SMC and sold the SubSee +10, but only because I felt there was too much overlap in the magnification between the 2 lenses. If I had not been able to pick up an SMC as a pre-owned (virtually unused) piece of equipment at a great price, I might still be shooting the SubSee +10... I think the locking Nauticam flip (or Saga flip) is invaluable. I totally respect anyone who can add/switch wet lenses underwater by just using the port/lens threaded attachment - I just find it cumbersome and a good way to drop/ loose the lens. Don't forget, shooting with the magnification provided with either is not easy (and if there is any current ), and on a FF Nikon D800, the DOF is extremely small. If you are not familiar with shooting macro with add-on wet lenses, you may wish to start with the SubSee +5 and a flip lens holder. Often in Lembeh there are other guests who have hauled their entire photography kit and may be willing to let you try their higher power wet lenses.
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