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About bjf123

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    Sea Nettle

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  1. Most of the UW shots were taken with the shutter set at 1/80. That was the closest to the 1/90 setting I was used to with my Nikonos. The strobe was set to full power. The f-stop varied depending on the focal length / zoom. The land shots were taken using the built in landscape mode. I did nothing with the white balance.
  2. I'm assuming you're referring to my taking pictures with the camera in a manual mode. Since I was used to doing this with my Nikonos, I don't see this as a big negative. Even in full auto, I didn't really have much trouble with shots being in focus. The exposure was more the issue. I never really had to use manual focus for anything. Any built in strobe or pop up flash is not a good idea for UW photography. You really need a separate strobe on an extension arm. Which version of iPhoto are you using? The movies show up in my iPhoto (Version 6.0.4). When I double click on them, QuickTime starts to actually play them. I don't use any special software to transfer the images to my Mac. I just put the memory card in a card reader I have and iPhoto starts right up. I've never tried transferring directly from the camera. I use the same card reader to transfer images from my Nikon D70, too. I never really noticed having to wait for the strobe. Now, I never tried taking multiple shots in Continuous Mode. I was able to take 2 or 3 in a row fairly quickly without needing to wait. I used standard Duracells in the strobe, and replaced them every two dives.
  3. Here's a link to a gallery I've posted showing some of the shots from the DX-8000G system. These are all unedited, straight from the camera. The reason is the dive shop where my wife works is having a sale / show this weekend, and I wanted to create a gallery they could use to show people the capabilities of the system before post processing. The last image is me.
  4. I never thought of that. I'll have to remember it for my next dive trip.
  5. I just got back from a week of diving in St. Lucia. We stayed at Anse Chastanet and dove with Scuba St. Lucia. After almost 20 years of diving with my trusty Nikonos V and Ikelite Substrobe 150, I had my first trip with a digital setup, the Sea & Sea DX-8000G, and the Sea & Sea YS-25 Auto strobe. I'm still downloading the photos (over 500), but wanted to post my thoughts on the system while it's fresh in my mind. The first thing that I noticed is obviously the smaller size. The Ikelite strobe alone was almost as big as the entire Sea & Sea set up! My preferred lens with the Nikonos was the 20mm. With the S&S, I found I used the standard zoom feature most of the time. I do have the 0.6x wide angle converter for the S&S, too. I only used this for people shots or scenics (coral formations, sponges, etc.). The first few days, I shot everything with the camera set on Auto. I figured it made sense to see how the system handled things without my help. While the images looked OK on the screen, when downloaded to a friend's PC, I found the colors to be lacking and the exposures to be rather washed out. Everything was in focus, and the colors were there most of the time. They just looked blah. I then went to fully manual for the rest of the week. I found setting the apeture to 4.7 at the wide end, which corresponded to 8.0 when zoomed in all the way, and the shutter at 1/100 seemed to work best. When we downloaded some of these images, the colors looked much better. This was what I was used to seeing with my Nikonos! With this setup, there were a few new things I had to remember, but with the system being digital, I knew as soon as I took the picture that I forgot something. I needed to remember to adjust the strobe to match the apeture on the camera. If I had the camera at wide, but left the strobe at f8, the image would be way over exposed. At the same time, if I was shooting zoomed in, but still had the strobe at f4.7, the image would be mostly black. The other thing I forgot to set sometimes was the macro setting. I would quickly realize it when the camera wouldn't focus on the subject. Night dives were certainly a challenge. With my Nikonos setup, the Ikelite strobe had a built in modeling light. That was my dive light on night dives. Clearly that wasn't an option now, so I had to keep the camera in one hand and a dive light in the other. If I was close enough to my wife and her UK1200 light, I'd turn mine off and use the huge light output from the UK. However, I quickly discovered that I had to have a light pointed on the subject to see it in order to aim and focus the camera. With the old Ikelite strobe, it simply overpowered any lights that might be on the subject when I took the picture. The YS-25 strobe was not strong enough to overcome the light output from my wife's UK1200, so on a few shots, there's a hot spot where her light was shining. We finally worked out that if she was lighting the subject, she'd do so until I had the shot composed, at which time I'd nod and she'd move the light off the subject. If I was by myself, I'd aim my smaller light on the subject to compose the shot and then move the light away before hitting the shutter release. This introduced a new issue. Even though I was trying to keep the camera pointed at the same spot, once the light is moved off, I'd sometimes change my aim just enough to get the subject not quite where I wanted. Oh well. One last thing on the YS-25 strobe. On some of the shots using the wide angle converter, the strobe didn't have enough coverage to fully light some of the larger coral / sponge formations. Of course, the strobe is so small, I might just get a second and shoot with two. I've got 515 images to go through. When I get some of the better ones posted to one of my web sites, I'll post a link so you can see the results. I'll post the images unedited, so you'll see them as they came off the card. The water had a lot of particulate matter in it due to some heavy rains, so I'm going to have to learn how to edit those things out of some of the images. If I think of anything I forgot to mention, I'll add to this thread. If you have any questions, fire away!
  6. I stopped by Circuit City at lunch and picked up a Monster Ultra 2100 recharger with 4 AA 2100 mAh capacity batteries. You said you get 100 shots with high mAh batteries in the camera. How many shots do you get with regular AAs in the YS-25?
  7. Thanks for the ideas. I'll look into getting some high mah rechargable batteries for the camera. I'll still with Duracells for the strobe.
  8. For Christmas, my wife got me the full Sea and Sea DX-8000 setup with the YS-25 flash. She also got me the Sea and Sea housing for my Nikon D-70. Have I said how much I love her? We've got a trip to St. Lucia in July and I'm planning on taking the DX-8000. I think I'll save the D-70 housing for live aboards where I won't have to carry it around. This will be my first foray into UW digital. I've been using my Nikonos V for 10+ years. Anyway, I'm confused over the setup of the strobe. I understand that it's a fiber optic cable that fires the strobe as a slave, using the internal flash as the master. The pictures on the Sea and Sea web site seem to show a little adapter with two connections attached to the top of the housing that hangs in front of the flash. It doesn't look like it will totally block the flash. I'm thinking I don't want any light from the internal flash getting beyond the housing. Do most of you just put black electrical tape over the front of the housing to block the flash and attach the fiber optic cable to one of the connectors on the top? With my Nikonos, I usually shot everything on full manual and would bracket whenever I could. How do those of you using the DX-8000 shoot most of your images?
  9. Well, after many years of service, my Ikelite Substrobe 150 decided to give up the ghost. It worked fine when I tested it last Wednesday before leaving for a Memorial Day Weekend trip diving Bimini and the cays to the south aboard the SV Juliet. However, once on board, it wouldn't work at all. The battery pack was showing a charge, but when dropped into the flash housing, the contacts to the flash head showed no juice. Anyway, I recently got a Nikon D70 and plan to eventually get a housing for it. Does anyone have any recommendations for a strobe that will work with my Nikonos V and also with the D70 once I get the housing?
  10. Actually, I don't have a scanner. I have a couple of friends who do the scanning for me. I'd been thinking of getting a scanner, but now I might use that money towards a DSLR and housing. I mostly shoot with a Sea & Sea 20mm. I see what you mean about the white background. I'll play around with some light colors as a background and see what happens.
  11. Here's a link to my web site. The site is still under construction, so any suggestions as to layout, etc., are welcome. Also, the images are scans of slides, not digital originals (hope that's OK, if not feel free to delete this post). I'm looking to switch to digital, though, especially since, after more than 10 years of use, I totally flooded my Nikonos V last month.
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