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Everything posted by GoinDown

  1. Does anyone have any recommendations or advice for truck rental on Bonaire? We are going in June, have read lots of stories about thefts and breakdowns, good trucks/bad trucks etc, but can't really make our minds up where to spend our cash, we are diving independently not with a resort. Thanks.
  2. Hey all, I'm sure this isn't much of a concern, it doesn't appear to be a hassle anywhere else on the planet, but just in case........I'm arriving in Thailand next week and took a look at the customs allowances here http://internet1.customs.go.th/wps/wcm/con...ivinginthailand and here http://internet1.customs.go.th/wps/wcm/con...arnet/atacarnet Now, I've traveled all over on holiday and not bothered with Carnets (not paid any attention to them before because my old equipment wasn't worth that much!) but my setup now must be getting on for around £10K sterling new. So I'm wondering if a Carnet might be needed to avoid import duties and such like. I am on holiday and not business and the list of Carnet equipment includes professional equipment for the press and cinematographic equipment (it's a 5DM2 + lenses + Subal etc) Given the low 10,000BHT (£200 sterling) of allowance before declaration for combined personal effects I would have thought that almost every tourist with a camera would need a Carnet ! Would I need a Carnet, does anyone bother? Am I missing something here and worrying for no reason?
  3. Thanks for the comments guys, we are off to take our chances on Koh Tao on Saturday combining a relaxing break with diving and some UW photography, so this isn't specifically a full on diving photography type trip. Will check out Golden Divers also I'm posting a question about customs and bringing in my equipment in another thread if anyone has experience..
  4. Can anyone recommend good dive operators away from the maddening crowd on Koh Tao? Cheers, Tim.
  5. If only I could dive deeper...... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10817284
  6. +1 for Kevin at Aquaphot. It's where I'll be sending my out of warranty Ike for repair, he deals with just about anything underwater and is very knowledgeable and helpful.
  7. This is an interesting take on an environmental issue that some of us must be concerned about: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/ri...ive_in_the.html
  8. It's an interesting scene, I like the way the sponges 'pop' out from the background then you notice the clown fish. Not sure about the distracting part sunball in the top left, personally I might have cropped this or dodged it.
  9. I'm using the 100mm L IS USM Mk2 with a 5D Mk2 in Subal CD5 II. Its easily housed with the Subal flat port for this lens on this housing, I'm guessing not much will have changed between the 5D Mk1 and Mk2 so it should be the same but checkout the Subal ports listed for the CD5 housing with this lens to be safe. It's a lovely lens but I've not used it extensively yet and have no experience of the Mk1 version.
  10. And how would divers be penalised if they were subject to strict weight limits when they did have the sports allowance ? They would just pay excess baggage at check in time!! I suspect Thomson just decided to do it, because they know it would make them more money. And why would they be penalised for taking golf clubs in a golf bag that was well packed with holiday gear, when a golf bag with golf clubs is a legitimate paid for piece of sports equipment and I could have taken 20Kg? So my total at 42Kg included 7Kg's for the golf bag empty, 2 kilos for the four clubs and 8 Kilos of gear (in addition to my 25Kg standard allowance), so my actual weight excluding the empty golf bag and clubs would have been 33Kg's (not far off your 32Kg's)! Because of the bag configuration and weight limits, how would you have arranged to take 32Kg on this particular flight, because the extra baggage charge would have been £49 (£25 for 5Kg extra plus 2Kg x £12 excess baggage charge) vs my £15 !? Would you have just paid £49 or done your research and looked at your options if you had a spare golf bag lying around??
  11. Just a quick update on my trip to Marsa Alam, Egypt from Gatwick, UK. I paid £15 (return) for a golf bag (sports allowance) that ended up weighing 17Kg. My two hold luggage came to the max 25Kg (12Kg and 13Kg) and my hand luggage was 8Kg but was never weighed. I changed all my luggage before the trip to Sub Zero G, cheap as chips from Argos http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/s...ds|Sub+Zero+G|1 (2 x 73cm cases and one roll-on total £85, 10 year guarantee), this was the most lightweight I could find , so saved 8Kg's just on empty luggage alone. Packed strobes, ports and laptop in cardboard boxes with bubble wrap protected with BCD, wetsuit, fins etc and lightweight foam to take up dead space in the bags. Housing, camera body and lenses went into my Sub Zero G roll-on. Clothes, shoes, batteries, chargers, cables, toiletries, sun tan lotion went into the golf bag (and a couple of clubs for good measure). Top trip, top packing, nothing bent or broken, no check in hassles (I should add I'm not a pro and don't need spare everything).
  12. I'm sure that Martin will sort you out :-) I'm not sure about the +3, I don't know enough about the virtual image of this dome, but I'm sure that Subal will have tested it and calculated that a +2 is needed, it will be interesting to see how you get on with it and how the lens performs. Is your diopter a flush fit with the end of the lens or is it wider than the lens diameter ? My housing, FE2 & GS180 is used kit (nearly new housing) and imported from the States at easily less than half the UK price, I waited nearly 18 months before I found it and purchased it through Wetpixel, so I am very grateful to this site for that and all the other advice it provides in this specialised area. New purchases of flat port and extension has been from Ocean Optics.
  13. Give the guys at Ocean Optics a call http://www.oceanoptics.co.uk/ they deal with Subal in the UK. I haven't got my kit in front of me but the lens is pretty much level with the end of the extension and gives me scant room to screw on the diopter, so you would be right that the lens does not poke into the dome. If the dome does not fit onto the extension or the housing body directly then it could be that you have an older dome. Ocean Optics will be able to give you some more advice on this over the phone. You might also need an O-ring upgrade if Subal have changed the spec. Another thing to think about is the diopter, Subal recommend a +2. At 82mm these are rare beasts especially in the UK. I've dived only once with my setup so I've no idea how this lens performs without a diopter. However, I currently have a prototype diopter supplied by Kevin at aquaphot http://www.aquaphot.com/ I am trying to drum up enough UW photographers that need this diopter so that he can put in an order (I think he needs around 6 to make it worthwhile), the cost should be less than £100. So if you are interested in this let me know, maybe I'll make a separate post about this on the site. An alternative is to order these from the US, I think backscatter do them for $200+ dollars (yep here you go http://www.backscatter.com/HostedStore.Las...&ftn=&). The problem I have found with screwing on the diopter is that it needs to be done once the extension is fixed on as the diopter is wider than the end of the lens. The aquaphot one has lugs on the inside to give some purchase. I wonder of the backscatter one is a flusher fit as it looks to be more of a standard size, I'll ask Kevin about this !?!
  14. Hi Dee - I have the same setup as yours and the extension you are describing looks to be the same as the one on the Subal website http://subal.com/en/portauswahl/canon_portauswahl_neu.php to answer your questions, the lens just pokes through into the dome and the extension fits very snugly around the body. I don't have the zoom gear for this lens yet but I'm assuming there is enough room for it as Subal also list it. I have a +2 diopter that I screw on once the lens and extension are fitted, but before the dome is fitted otherwise the filter is too wide for the extension to fit over. There is some info on the website about earlier FE2 (pre-2003 I think) being too narrow for this lens but I'm assuming yours is the later version. Sometimes it's difficult to turn the ports onto the body, I am new to Subal myself but there is a knack, when the port is aligned ready to turn then push it into the body slightly and turn at the same time, it will move easily, if it is not moving easily do not force it and try re-aligning and pushing then turn again. I think this is because Subal moved to slightly bigger O-rings on newer ports which make the baynot fixing stand a little proud so you need to push down to locate the bayonet locking mechanism before turning. Hope this helps - no doubt someone with more knowledge than me will be along shortly.... Tim.
  15. Spare a thought for these guys http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8727869.stm
  16. 1. Good buoyancy control 2. Approach slowly 3. Don't breathe 4. Good buoyancy 5. Years of patience and practice 6. Never scare wildlife into a picture 7. Dive on quiet sites where few divers venture (or where divers dive responsibly (the fish are less scared)) 8. Did I mention good buoyancy control ?
  17. So first week out with the 5D MkII, for me photography is not a problem as I use Lightroom, but video is a whole new ball game! I've got a load of video that I need to edit down to around 5-10 mins add a soundtrack, colour correct, maybe correct some camera shake etc, there is a a bewildering choice of software from the top end pro of FC studio or Adobe premiere pro at around £lots to the express versions at £reasonable. I'm running a Macbook Pro but also run a quad core PC (I prefer the MBP though). Would iMovie suit my needs or do I need to spend a bit more on FCE or will I outgrow FCE and should I go the whole hog and buy FCP or the Adobe equivalents or any other editors that I should also look at? Cheers for the help. Tim.
  18. I've just returned from a week in Marsa Shagra (Gatwick-Marsa Alam) via Thomson. Hold baggage with PADI card is 25Kg plus 5Kg hand luggage. Thomson very cleverly exclude diving equipment from their sports baggage allowance meaning I have to put everything in the hold allowance. I normally require 38-45Kg's. They gave me the option of purchasing an extra 5Kg for £25 which is a total rip-off therefore I used 2 strategies for the outbound journey: 1. Booked my golf bag (I gave up golf 10 years ago but still have the bag and a golf travel bag) for a return trip as sports equipment, total return cost £15, with a max weight allowance of 20Kg's. This bag weighed 17Kg on top of my 25Kg hold allowance. I packed this bag with 4 golf clubs (just in case it was checked - see below *) plus strobe batteries, other batteries, cables, chargers, filters etc, clothes, toiletries, shoes. 2. Used the option of checking in hold allowance the night before thereby avoiding having my hand luggage weighed (weight 8Kg containing housing, camera body and 3 lenses) at check-in. All went smoothly and it meant I could take all my dive gear, underwater camera gear and still had weight to spare for just an extra £15. The return journey is no problem as the Egyptians are never as bothered about hand baggage, or bottles of liquid for that matter! * At the evening check-in, the jobs-worth on the desk asked to see if my golf clubs had been packed properly, so I quickly unzipped the top of the bag and showed him how well padded the clubs were with my clothing, I almost laughed out loud when he said 'OK' (Lucky for me I had decided to take a few clubs along to justify the bag). Given that a normal set of dive equipment weighs between 10-15Kg, I think that Thomson are just trying to make money out of divers to Egypt (or anywhere) by excluding it from sports equipment, when you can still go with a set of golf clubs, a bicycle or surfboard etc with a weight allowance of 20Kg extra. So play them at their own game.
  19. Bumping this thread as I need insurance, I'm based in the UK. I've worked out that the potential value of equipment that could be in the water at anyone time could top £11,000. This value is based on new prices of DSLR Camera, Lens, Housing, Port, Strobes, Ancilliaries such as cables, filters, arms etc then add regulator, computer, dive suit and BCD. I am already insured with Westfield for dive travel insurance and have been for a few years now, they provide really good cover, but I've not yet had to claim. So naturally I looked at their equipment cover which is good cover again but the premium will be around £800/year !!! One aspect that they do not seem to cover is flooding through manufacturers fault, i.e. a seal goes, they will cover you for flooding through impact though! I spoke to them and explained that most floodings are probably either through user error or a faulty seal ! So I would need to hit it on a rock to make a legitimate claim! So I am looking around - any ideas?
  20. Two of us are heading out to Marsa Shagra in a couple of weeks from the UK with Thompson. So the free allowances are 20Kg hold + 5Kg diver allowance (total 25Kg hold which must be split across 2 bags) plus 5Kg carry on. What really annoys me is that this is a diving destination and yet their sports baggage policy specifically excludes diving gear, nothing to do with security or weight, just pure money making. An extra 10Kg's between the 2 of us will cost £50 pre-booked. I've worked out two strategies for this trip. Firstly, if the flight is before 12 midday, then you can check-in hold luggage up to 10pm the day before, you get the boarding card at that time so that you bypass the checkin desk on the day, just go through security. They may stop you as you board the plane if it looks like you are carrying too much, but with a rucsack carry-on weighing 20Kg's I doubt they would bother to look twice! Secondly a set of golf clubs costs £15 return, therefore pay for a set then pack 2 or 3 clubs and fill the rest of the space with holiday stuff and non breakable camera equipment such as cables, chargers etc). Employ both strategies and I guess we could get away with an extra 25-30Kg's, giving a total of up to 90Kg's for 2 people for only £15 all in!
  21. Orchid was my first liveaboard about 6 years ago, brings back some good memories. Email on it's way
  22. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/...erd-hippos.html
  23. I've used (b) lots of times when entering from a rib - no problems.
  24. There are plug-ins available for LR, PS and GIMP that emulate Kodachrome, Velvia etc ? Surely?
  25. A 30 second show of a trip to Cozumel earlier in the year, enjoy... http://animoto.com/play/voKRDXhowyX80COH2InAzw
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