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Everything posted by danschmitt

  1. So, I'm glad everybody else has never had a problem with grey sharks. My experence was one one dive (out of about 40 that trip) where we were on the ocean side of the lagoon of Kwajelien atoll. It was farther north than most folks go diving, and fishing is common. The sharks are known to hit the gamefish on the way in (so you end up with 1/2 of a 150lb tuna in the boat.) I suspect they followed the boat when it stopped, with hopes of finding a big fish on a line being landed, but instead found 5 divers dropping into the water. Some of the grey sharks were aggressive (as in, groups that would circle a diver and bump you in the back of the head) even before the flash. More of them dropped the fins and arched the back afterwords. I had a good 10 other dives in more frequented areas with 10+ sharks around, and the sharks acted as described by others (flash and they flee, minor inquisitivness) but this was an off the beaten path site, and the predators were not acting in a post meal fat and happy manner. Odds are good that you can fire away on a normal trip and have no trouble. It would be very lame to always blast the strobes and not know what to look for and end a dive with a trip to the hospital. As for dazed animals, just watch the eels on a night dive in Hawaii. They follow the divers and wait for some poor cardinal fish to get caught in the light cannon and "slurp" free meal. Dan
  2. Yes, strobes cause behavioral changes. I've seen octopus and cuttlfish go from smooth skinned to bristle bumped display, and sea snakes tend to be very curious (although that's more of a problem here in Japan than you will have in the Caribbean.) Damsels and clownfish tend to strike more (probably because the strobe is large and gets close, compared to a normal diver's face.) All those are relativily harmless. Grey sharks on the other hand, can get sort of annoyed. http://lionfish.us/shark-oops I thought I had a nice head on shot, but when the preflash fired, the shark twitched a lot. The fins down, back arched, twitchiness is not a good thing. We came back alive, but didn't do a second dive at that locataion once we had about 15 5 to 6ft greys circling us. Dan
  3. Inon. Use the link to your right or: http://inonamerica.com/products.php?produc...dcat=3&subcat=1 The macro lenses stack, and the fisheye lens rocks. Dan
  4. I'd want more than the loop of cord depicted in the first picture. Had a buddy and his big dolphin housing for his sony dv cam and hid lights look over the edge of the boat after lowering it on a tag line and watching it slowly drift away. It was the first dive of the day, going down to a wreck with the deck at 110'. My buddy and our guide were both half suited up and watching, and I though "I can catch that". I wasn't geared up, but I could, the swim down was really really easy; then when I had the big yellow box I noted that I had the weight belt on, as the swim back up was much more effort (especially without fins or mask.) So, the moral of the story is, don't dive using one of the cushioned hand lanyards that normally hang on the end of a flashlight (unless you invite me along.) If I was David, I'd look to add a tiewrap to hook the webbing and camera together.
  5. I've had good experience with rain-x (windshield anti-beading agent) available at your local auto-zone. It washes off after 2 or 3 dives.
  6. If small and shallow are good http://www.ewa-marine.de/english/cameras/e-dli2.htm like James said on the optio/exilim. I had an ewa marine bag for a mavica back in 99 and it worked well for me near the surface. You could also look into getting shorts with a different pocket http://tinyurl.com/5qqkt and just pick whatever camera is on sale. (Of course I'd be careful with shorts that have installation instructions.)
  7. Yes, I have and am using one. See http://lionfishd.tripod.com You can us the Inon 180ds or the new D2000. I also use the Inon fisheye lens. If you are about to purchase the camera I'd reccomed the Cannon Powershot A95 instead (it takes AA batteries, and gives you control over shutter speed and apeture and manual focus, the S500 doesn't.) If you still really want the S500 for some other magical reason, make me an offer, and I'll buy the A95. Dan dan@computer.org
  8. Yes, it's hard to fill the range of the dome with a single Inon 180. See the lionfish in the 9th dive, and the cave pictures in the 5th through 8th dives. http://lionfishd.tripod.com/ Don't know about quality improvement with two flashes, yet. Dan S.
  9. danschmitt

    RSS feed?

    If it's any help http://mods.postnuke.com/Article1167.html Seems to be a starting point.
  10. Hi, The general reccomendation here will be the Oly 5050z. If you can find one, get it (the super macro is good, it holds 2 types of flash card at once and takes batteries you can buy in a convience store.) That being said I think the UFL 165AD from Inon is a way cool fisheye lens (for $370 or so, it's much cheaper than the wide angle and dome port combinations for the 5050z) and would be a factor in favor of the cannon or sony if you were thinking that juggling adapter lenses underwater would be attemptable but your budget was limited. Dan
  11. I can answer 3. A gel filter is more like a frame that holds a transparent film. Lots of stage lights use gels. The gels (rectangles of film) tend to be cheaper than replacing a whole threaded filter (if you get a scratch) , and with some of them you can stack gels to get combinations to do custom things (or you can have a set of gels for deeper or shallower use for lower cost than a bunch fixed filters.) I guess I should have been specific in that I could answer number 3, not 3 of the questions. Dan S
  12. Slave strobe fires off of light it sees. Yes (it can also fire off the light of another external flash.) Depends on if the sensor exists, but mostly yes. No (if the camera housing is clear, a slave strobe can fire from the light of the internal flash, so you don't need a hole through the housing and a mount on the camera (and there are a couple of solutions for fiber opitc cables pushing the light just to the strobe sensor and not generating a bunch of backscatter.) Not really. And like Richard says, if you mention the type of camera and housing you have, people will give you more specific information. Dan
  13. Excellent! Just making sure I'm master of the 4th place entry when I compete. Dan
  14. Did the vote tally on the picture of the week contest go away intentionally?
  15. The back of my dive slate does pretty well for me (sand tends to have too much variation). Although, I'm thinking of painting my fins white so I don't have to juggle the slate and camera. Dan
  16. I've used the S300 and the S500. I got the Inon Fisheye and D 180s for the S500. Sample pictures at http://lionfish.us/ I really like the custom white balance on the S500 (the S410 will have that) but if I had it to do over I'd get the A80 so I didn't need the funny canon batteries and could do manual control for focus f/stop and apetrure (or maybe the G5 just for the manual control stuff.) If you do get the S410, go to http://www.eforcity.com to get spare batteries. {I got 2 and they are working well.} My purchase descision was a little flawed (I really wanted the Inon Fisheye lens and they were out of stock for the A80 AD mount adapter and I changed to the S500 on the fly without double checking the camera reviews.)
  17. Would the flash at front be nifty for retracting critters? E. g. an eel or goby backing into a hole. Dan
  18. I'm pretty sure it wasn't use. It broke when I hooked up an Inon D-180s, and at a setting with significantlly less tension than the other clamp used. I'm pretty sure the bubble did it in. By the way, don't google for "ball clamp" at work (some of those sites are not doing underwater photography.)
  19. The Epoque arms have a metal bar running through them ~0.5cm in diameter. I can wedge it in a door jam and hang from it (~215lbs) so I'm not sure what heavy use is, but it will work for me. The Epoque clamps are another thing. I hope I just got a bad one, it looks like the nifty polycarbonate had a bubble in it: but it sort of scares me.
  20. As always, there are a zillion ways to get to every option in the Gimp. On the main gimp (V2) window, the clone tool is the rubber stamp (fourth from the last item between draw in ink and blur or sharpen.) You can also hit it through the menu in the image editing window, go Tools -> Paint Tools -> Clone For the brush, the black dot next to the gradient selection will do it, or from the image editing menu Dialogs -> Brushes Or ctrl shift B So, set the brush (big fuzzy circle.) Select the clone tool, your cursor will be a rubber stamp and a busters (circle with a slash) indicating you don't have anything to clone. Then control left click on the spot to copy from (the busters thing will become a dotted circle showing where it's going to clone), and left click to drop it in.
  21. I use the gimp. For backscatter I pick a round fuzzy brush, and then use the clone tool to pick up a chunk of the water at the same level on the gradient. It gives a similar pattern to what the digitization did for the color change. The fuzzy brush hides where the edges of the clone are (so it doesn't look like a hard cut and paste) and you don't have to mask/blur everything away and fight with blurs at the edge of subjects. Dan
  22. Two of the epoque strobes or one of the Inon 180s? I'm shooting an S500, sometimes with the Inon fisheye lens. I think doubling up on the epoque strobes would give me better wide coverage, and more options for weird lighting attempts, but I think I'd rather have quicker cycle time and more flashes per dive from the Inon strobe. Unfortunatlly, money is a concern right now.
  23. I think the custom white balance does a lot more for you than the auto if you are more than 15 feet under, mostly because nothing is really white anymore, it has that blue tinge to it, so the auto balance doesn't have much of a chance.
  24. I think the custom white balance stuff helps a bunch. I recentlly got the S500 to go with the new Inon fisheye lens. The fisheye lens means no internal strobe anymore. The stuff at http://lionfish.us/nc were shooting with AWB set, and the stuff at http://lionfish.us/20040725/ http://lionfish.us/20040726/ were done with the custom white balance on the back of my slate reset every 15 feet or so. The custom white balance reduces the overall light that the sensor sees (so stuff starts to blur faster.) I have trouble sometimes doing the post-process color correction where the red channel is too narrow, and instead of getting a nice gradient of brown or grey (where the narrow red channel is being streched) I get splochy jumps.
  25. If you have close to no money, the Gnu Image Manipulation Program at http://www.gimp.org is free, and does ok color stuff with levels, contrast, filters etc., and the clone tool is especially nice for blending out backscatter.
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