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Everything posted by JDeighton

  1. I also shoot a D700 topside, and wanted to make the transition from Compact camera to DSLR underwater. I ended up getting a refurbished D90 + Nauticam housing for the same cost as the D700 housing alone would have been. Combined with the Tokina 10-17 it was an awesome combination. Having made the jump to DSLR, and even while I'm still paying off the credit card, I would not switch back to the compact camera if I had to make the choice again. You CAN create some fantastic images with a compact camera, especially something that shoots RAW like the S90, the process of making the pictures is so much more enjoyable with a DSLR.
  2. Glad it's working for you! Enjoy the housing.
  3. I suspect there will be a "magic-point" where both front and rear controls will work - can you try putting a small piece of paper at the front of the tray, to control how much the tray is held back. You can fold the paper to make it thicker as needed. You may also want to try putting the paper on one one side of the tray (left or right) to see if the plastic mount is not quite square relative to the camera controls. Also, I found that the controls matched up better when I followed the user-guide and closed the 2 bottom latches together before the top one. Not sure if you're already doing this? James.
  4. I had a similar problem with my Mode dial when I first put it into the housing (Nauticam). I found that if I didn't push the camera on the tray all the way into the housing before locking it in place, all of the controls worked. It only needed to be about 0.5mm difference. When the camera was correctly seated for all of the controls to work, the back of the tray lined up smoothly with the base of the housing. If I pushed the tray all the way in, there was a slight bump between the tray and the housing. Good luck - Let us know if this sorts your problems. James.
  5. Second vote for the SmugMug suggestion. The site is a lot more customizable than the standard gallery pages, if you select the "Journal" style for a page, you can add a pile of text along with the images. The real reason I like them is that the images just look better there. They apply a carefully worked out set of sharpening etc by default (which you can adjust or switch it off), and it really helps the way the images look online. I uploaded the same set of pictures to SmugMug, Flickr, MobileMe, A wordpress blog, a blogger blog, Posterous, Tumblr and an Apache web server running on my mac to compare them all. The images on the SmugMug site simply looked better. James.
  6. Not sure about one for sale, but you can rent one from borrowlenses.com http://www.borrowlenses.com/product/canon_...ina_10-17_canon Seem to be in stock at the moment. James.
  7. It's not "holding your breath" as much as "not breathing in and out at that time". I know of several scuba training agencies that would have kittens if they saw anyone recommending to a new diver that they ever "hold their breath". To the original question of improving the center of gravity - it's going to depend on your personal build, your kit, where you're diving etc. One thing that make a huge difference is to get your weighting right in the water. A lot of people have too much weight, which means that they have to add more air to the BCD to offset this. That makes it harder to have a nice, simple, stable center of gravity. The only way to dial this in is to try it out over the course of several dives, adding or removing weight as needed. Do a weight check at the end of the dive during your safety stop. With your tank relatively empty (500-700 psi left) you'll be at your most buoyant. A lot of people learned to do their weight check at the beginning of the dive. While that can give you a good starting point, I find that if I have a wetsuit on that it can hold a lot of small bubbles on the surface when it first gets into the water, and this adds a fair amount of lift. If you can have 1-2 lbs of weight that you can remove and hand to a dive buddy at during the safety stop while hanging near the line, you'll quickly find out if you really need it or not. James.
  8. Excellent - thanks for the reminder. Just ordered the Blu-Ray version so I can put it up on the big screen for my 19 month old daughter to look at the "Fishieeeeesssss!!!" Hey, at least someone likes looking at my underwater photos, and she doesn't seem to care if 60% of them are of fishes backsides... James.
  9. The only issue I had with my Apple monitor turned out to be down to a problem with the power supply. Although it hadn't failed completely, it screwed with what the diplay was showing and when it would go to sleep etc. It was also out of warrantee so I ordered a replacement power supply and tried it - worked a charm. Had to order it from a supplier I found on eBay, as I couldn't find one on the Apple site. Not sure if the 23" and 30" screens use the same power brick - check the model numbers. If they match, try switching them. Zero guarantee that this would be any help to you, but it's the only experience I've had solving these sorts of problems. Good luck - James.
  10. Unless you have a better way than I do to bend the rules of physics, you still need a smaller aperture to get the greater DoF. If you want the background to be the shade you have here, you'd need to keep the shutter open for longer to balance the smaller aperture... The strobes should still be able to freeze the fish, as they should be the major contributor to the lighting on the foreground subject. Or you could ask the Sturgeon to hold still while you take the picture. :-)
  11. Thanks for all of the advice so far. I think now that I will need the 2nd strobe, so I'm just considering my arm options. A quick trawl of the lighting forum seems to have 5x8 as the most popular arm length combination - which is good as I already have that on my Z240, so could get another set of those to balance out the system. I'm guessing that this setup would be fairly negatively buoyant underwater - Jack was recommending a set of arms with some buoyancy to offset some of this (which seems like sound advice) - I was looking at possibly getting another set of the ULCS 5x8 and then adding some Stix type floats - but then I realized that I could buy 2 pairs of buoyant arms for about the same price as getting the single matching pair and adding the floats, so now I'm back in the land of the undecided. Finally, if anyone has any sage advice on how to explain all of this to the wife when I finally pull the trigger and it hits the credit card - please share!
  12. The D90 supports the SDHC spec for the cards, so should support up to 32Gb. Have you tested the card to see if it works in another device (e.g. a card reader on on the computer)? James.
  13. I think I'll probably add the 60mm later on. To begin with I'll concentrate on learning how to use one lens and style of shooting at a time!
  14. Hi, The time has come for me to take the plunge and upgrade to a DSLR rig. Need some help picking the right bits before I commit the cash. I have a D700 that I use above water, but I'm thinking I'd be happier buying a new D90 and housing than taking the D700 under with me. Seems that the D700 housings are considerably more expensive than the D90 ones, to the point that a D90 camera + housing cost the same as the D700 housing alone. Having the ability to fire the strobe(s) via the fibre optics instead of the electrical systems is appealing, and am leaning towards a Nauticam housing for this reason. Looking at lenses it seems that none of my above water lenses are particularly well suited to underwater use, so I was planning on picking up the Tokina 10-17 as I think I'll get more use from the CFWA than a macro lens initially (first trip with the rig will probably be to Grand Cayman later this year). For ports I like the look of the Zen 100mm dome - especially as it is so much smaller and lighter to travel with. I know that there is a risk of slightly softer edges compared to a larger dome, and that split over/under shots won't be practical, but the small size and ability to get close seem to be a good trade-off. The final decision is whether I need a second strobe? I have an Inon Z240 already, would the 10-17 lens need a 2nd strobe to light evenly, or will I be OK if I use the one strobe to light the foreground and let the ambient light the rest? Would probably pick an Inon S-2000 as the 2nd strobe if necessary. Anything I've missed from the list? Am I missing the mark with any of these choices? It's a lot of money to spend without being fairly certain you're doing the right thing! D90 Nauticam housing Tonkina 10-17mm lens Zen 100mm dome Focus/Zoom gears 2nd strobe (and arms) Insurance Many thanks in advance for your help. James.
  15. Not sure where the supply constraint is, but you can rent one from BorrowLenses.com - they are expecting one back in stock on Feb 22nd. http://www.borrowlenses.com/product/canon_...ina_10-17_canon James.
  16. I think it was dry when it was handed down to me from the boat, I remember waking up the screen before swimming to the front of the boat, where I then noticed the camera had restarted and was prompting me to reset the date/time. That's when I headed back to the boat with it. It was a Canon housing - worked fine in the pool when I re-tested it later (without the camera!).
  17. I'll have to see if I can find that sponge again next year and see how it's doing! Thanks for your input. James.
  18. I didn't see them move, and I couldn't see any visible legs - they did appear to be attached to the sponge, but I wasn't poking at them, so can't be 100% sure.
  19. Well it had to happen one day, I flooded a camera last week down in Cayman First time I've flooded one in about 5 years, but it had to be the almost brand new G10 didn't it? Used it OK on 2 dives and in the pool on day 1. Day 2, had it passed to me in the water at the start of the second dive and by the time I got to the front of the boat (on the surface), it was half full of water. Got it straight back onto the boat, out of the housing, battery removed and dried it off. O-ring looked OK, no tears or twists - housing not cracked, can only put it down to user error and not checking closely enough before getting into the water. Housing seems watertight, have tested it since the fateful incident. Current status is that of a paperweight - refuses to power on with a new/fresh battery. Has been left to dry for a week now, no obvious corrosion on any of the visible areas. Anyone got any last-minute bright ideas to try before I consign it to the trash? Cheers, James.
  20. Saw these guys on a sponge while diving in Grand Cayman last week - anyone know what they are? They were about 2-3mm long. In context Close up: Thanks, James.
  21. I've printed 16x20 canvas "Gallery Wraps" from mpix.com, the detail was excellent, and the specular highights came out just fine. I was very happy with the result. Cheers, James.
  22. Having lost hard drives in the past (but no data as it was just the backup drive), I like to have an off-site backup of all of my pics. Here's what I have. I'm using a Mac, and keep my pictures in Aperture. I delete the ones that are obviously out of focus or so badly exposed that nothing could be recovered. I keep everything else. Most of the images form the last few years are RAW, the very early ones were JPG. Within Aperture I have it set to create another vault on an 2nd internal drive. This vault contains the master images, edits, metadata, albums settings, smart album settings etc - everything that is in the full library except the preview jpgs that are generated on demand as required. I have Jungle Disk set up to back up this vault to Amazon's S3 disk service. I've got about 120Gb of data up there, and it costs me about USD 18 per month (there are some costs for upload and download bandwidth, plus the number of request made). To make this work in a reasonable time you need a good, fast internet connection In addition to this I have the Mac OSX Time Machine set up to back up to a 1Tb Time Capsule. This gives me my data on 4 separate hard drives (if you count Amazon's S3 service as as 1 drive, which it isn't). Now that I've written this I'm fairly certain that something will die and cause me to have to recover that data One drawback of this system is that I'd have to pull down the whole Aperture vault if I needed to recover anything on my local machine - that would be slow. It took me roughly 4 days to do the initial upload, I'd expect the downloads to be a little faster - but still not much use if you needed to recover anything in a rush from offsite. Recovery from my local sources would be faster. Even if you don't have everything online, you should definitely have a backup drive kept offsite and updated every month or so - fire or flood in a house would likely take out both your main computer and any backup drives in the same place. Cheers, James.
  23. Happened to me too - have to change the settings on each computer that I read from. Seems to stick once changed through. James.
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