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Everything posted by simonmittag

  1. Hi Everyone, I read Eric's article and share some of his pain. My library is also a LOT smaller but I experienced some corruption, preview issues, etc. Biggest pain is plugins overwriting originals, that destroys the whole idea of non-destructive editing. The only reason I sleep well is my regular time capsule backup. The question is does Lightroom do any of this better? While I appreciate a good rant, I'm curious how Adobe compares. Where are the lightroom users? Eric, since you switched how is it? Cheers, Simon
  2. Hi, I have done some work on the site to generally improve it - used Google page speed and followed most of the recommendations in there to make things faster, such as using GZIP filter, minify Javascript, cache expiry for images. For all webmasters among you, this is definitely worth a look. If there are any eager beta testers in here please let me know 1) search results for posts now have thumbnail images, so do tag search results. 2) Crunched everything to 300k for the main page, should make this a LOT faster. Converted all png images to small jpgs. 3) Started a photo tips section with articles. 4) Added post tagging and a tag cloud. 5) Added timeline of recently updated pages, so you can see what's new. 6) improved search engine in the backend, now finds alot more posts. Feedback is most welcome, Cheers, Simon
  3. very impressive underwater photos Randall, keep up the good work. I loved the ray disappearing into the blue!
  4. Nice work Matti, I also went there in late december. We got a little luckier with the visibility, but still experienced strong currents on the dive site. I can only recommend this dive to anyone, it's a large pelagic fest. Cheers, Simon P.S: really like your compositions what lens did you use?
  5. just to confirm, I'm using this with the 12-24mm zoom ring and works without any issues.
  6. Hi, one thing I've never considered before buying is durability, and I am glad now I have an aluminium housing. I had no idea how much the housing would get banged around in it's first year of housing despite me being careful with it. Busy dive boats, surge, boat hulls, other divers, etc, it took a few beatings. That's just my $0.02 Cheers, Simon
  7. Hi Damien, this may sound obvious, but have you tried rear curtain flash sync on your camera? You should be able to get longer exposures with only short flash bursts when the shutter closes. I use this on land all the time to achieve the same results: flashed foreground with longer background exposure. Also this is where a TTL controller comes in handy that just shuts off your strobe once it has emitted enough light. Cheers, Simon
  8. Hi Alex, in Sydney we dive 5mm wetsuits year round though I prefer dry in the winter when it drops to about 14deg., Tassie to the south is a fair bit cooler than us - I have stuck my foot in the water down at Eaglehawk Neck in summer (December) and would say between 15-17deg (though I haven't dived it). Oh and don't forget to visit the penal colony down there. Cheers, Simon
  9. Hi Everyone, I recently returned from an 11 day trip to Wakatobi which was nothing less than stellar. Trip report and photos online here. Photography opportunities both macro and wide angle are plentyful, with the emphasis on macro. This has been said in quite a few threads and I can confirm it. Trip highlight: an eagle ray at full moon jumping out of the water, backflipping (sorry no photos, gotta take my word for it). Cheers, Simon
  10. thanks everyone, lots of good hints here. I picked up the Canon 500D and the step up ring from the store today.
  11. Hi, I have been reading through the Wetpixel threads on diopters and am trying to make up my mind what to buy. My main objective is greater magnification and closer focus distance and I decided against extension rings. From the older posts on here, dating back to 2005 many people recommend the Nikon 5T, 6T diopters, however those are not available for sale anymore and have end-of-lifed at Nikon. I have found a Hoya Nikon 62mm diopter set +1, +2, +4 at Marinevisions, but am unsure whether these are the cheaper '1 element' or better quality '2 element' diopters? Does anyone have experience using this set underwater and is able to tell me something about image quality? There doesn't seem to be a great deal of recent information on diopters... What would you buy today for the 60mm and 105mm VR Nikon lenses? Both have 62mm filters and I'm using them on a Nikon D300 camera. Thanks, Simon
  12. I am using the Heinrichs Weikamp converter. There is a huge difference in using TTL for UW (especially macro), I find the experience liberating as it gives you alot of safety in not overexposing your images. Biggest plus is the time savings when you aim, without scaring fish away. When I did research on this forum last year some people reported the sea&sea converter had flooded and eventually the manufacturer took it off the market. I'm not sure if the current one is a replacment model, but I decided against Sea&Sea and for the Heinrichs at the time. Maybe someone with a sea&sea converter can comment on this.
  13. I run all apps and devices I ran on 10.5 Photoshop CS4 Aperture 2.1.3, including SilverEfex, ColorEfex. Fisheye Hemi worked after reinstallation (crashed before). Iphoto 09 works, no surprises here. Camera RAW detection with D300 as always USB CF card reader, tick. CoolIris for Firefox also works here. now at 10.6.1
  14. Andrew, I just tried this again with the YS-250 flash attached (via TTL Converter). What I previously didn't get to work was metering (not manual white balance, that always worked). Funny enough this also works now. What happens is that if you hit "WB" for metering it gives you "PRE" (at D-0 WB setting), then if you release shutter it takes one test image including flash and stores the preset (gives "GD" feedback on OSD). Second shutter release takes the actual image. I have no idea why I didn't get this to work previously but my WB button never reacted when I had flash attached. I obviously stand corrected (and happy I can use this feature from now on). Cheers, Simon
  15. Guys, out of curiousity: does anyone here still use Internet Explorer 6? Browser stats for this are still around 20% (8 years after it was released), I sometimes find that hard to believe. Are there one in five amongst you who use this? Cheers, Simon
  16. Hi CADiver, manual white balance helps to adjust the color temperature with constant, i.e. natural light. I meter and set this when I don't use a strobe, mostly in clear tropical waters and shallow depths to remove a slight color cast and get more natural looking colors. That being said I rarely ever don't use a strobe under water. When connecting a strobe most SLR cameras will automatically set their internal white balance to flash to match its color temperature and won't allow you to use manual WB metering (actually my Nikon D300 does, I suspect others will be similar). While it is true that you can adjust white balance / color temp. in raw photos on the computer easily, this is not a failsafe device against not getting good color to begin with. You can just as easily ruin any photo by adjusting white balance in post processing, just max out the sliders in photoshop/aperture and see how you get color fringes and bleeding. manual wb = natural light auto wb = flash i stick to this simple approach, but it works for me.
  17. +1 on using Micro Mesh NC-78-1. Polished my Sea&Sea NX dome port which had 2 nasty 3cm long scratches with it. Aside from the big ones, the sanding process removed all the tiny scratches. The result looks indistinguishable from a factory new product to me. I used all sandpapers wet, each step at a 90 degree angle to the previous one, and washed and dried the port between each step. Drying is not essential to the sanding process but it helps you see what you missed. You can also easily wash the micro mesh papers at the end for later reuse. This was $50 well spent and the kit is small enough to travel if need be.
  18. Big cards are good when you can't/don't want to download inbetween dives. I love the new Sandisk 32GB Extreme III cards, they work well with the D300. Flash memory these days is getting cheap enough to favor it over external drives really.
  19. also own both and prefer the 60mm for ease of use. The 105mm is more a special purpose lens, reduced dof, hard to shoot on a DX for general macro use. biggest downside it limits how close you can get to your subject because everything gets really big easily and you have to stay away to frame properly (your experience may vary based on your photographic preferences). 60mm general purpose macro. 105mm Nudibranchs and other tiny critters
  20. simonmittag


    Hi Everyone, thought i'd add something else to the actual subject. I shoot a D300. At the very beginning i predominantly used ISO 800, sometimes 400 to get better shutter times. I found the noise visible at 800, and disturbing at anything more than that, except when shooting black and white. These days i mostly shoot ISO 200 and try to use the flash properly for both wide angle and macro instead. My use of high ISO has dropped to almost zero. I want to try some natural light shots with Alex's filter at ISO 400, but that involves travelling to the tropics and will have to wait until October. ISO 1000 and above...i don't go there with my camera. Curious to hear other people's experiences. Cheers, Simon
  21. Tim, did you find your magnet? I'm in the same situation. I don't think my package included one, first time see that piece in the photo. Cheers, Simon
  22. A good point indeed. I removed everything I could get my hands on without prying the case open, but not the plexiglass seal of the rear window, etc. Never thought of it this way. Anyone else in favour of leaving them in the housing assembled?
  23. I think I'm going away from daily to weekly after reading all of your posts. One other thing. When storing gear during longer periods of not shooting, do you take the o-rings out of housings and ports? So far I took mine out, but I have discovered something new when assembling on Friday. I was under the assumption, the stress (constant sealing pressure) of having them in a closed housing is not good for them, so I removed them for storage and put them in a little plastic zip bag that is lubricated with some grease on the inside. Some o-rings, like the one between my Sea&Sea macro port base and the macro port extension 50 are pressed together very tightly when assembled. Thing is when you store them outside of the housing, they start having other deformations. They obviously will have deformations when kept in the housing, but at least it is the very deformation that will make the ring fit into the groove. Now this got me wondering if it's better to keep them in the housing or outside? I suppose either way it's time for a complete change here, it's been 9 months on one set. What does everyone do with theirs? Cheers, Simon P.S: am i paranoid to the core about a flood? You bet!
  24. thanks for all the replies guys! I feel much better about leaving it in one piece at the end of the day now. Also Eric, interesting on the sand issue, I had never heard about fine enough sand actually creeping into a housing. Did this happen to closed housings, or do you mean it got into the o-ring groove when you opened for memory card change?
  25. Hi Everyone, I just finished setting up my entire housing after a bit of absence from shooting to be ready for tomorrow's daytrip on the boat. It took me 90 minutes to check all my o-rings, cables, and assemble the entire unit, strip down my camera to fit into the housing, including adjusting all presets, doing the testflashes, ttl adjustments, etc, etc. That's a fair bit of time and some of it may be just me getting a bit rusty between dives. I'm not usually doing this for one day diving on a weekend only, because i have to obviously wash everything on Sunday, so I was wondering how often everyone disassembles their kit? On a single day of diving you obviously don't have much choice but do take everything apart after diving for washing, then storage. On my last liveaboard in January, I remember doing at least partial disassembly every night to be able to take the camera out and download pictures at night, also to recharge the batteries. I didn't fully disassemble the housing (ports) until I left the boat four days later. What i mean by full disassembly is taking each and every o-ring out for cleaning, housing drying and o-ring greasing. How many days do you guys dive with an assembled camera housing, without opening it, provided you can soak/wash the unit in fresh water after diving of course? When is it "time" to take it apart for complete drying / reassembly on a multi day trip of diving? Curious, Simon
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