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Everything posted by errbrr

  1. I took my Aquatica 5D2 to 100m multiple times, and to a maximum of 120m. I installed the deep spring kit myself beforehand. I found that the tolerances were not the same across the whole housing and some buttons didn't work with the deep springs. So I changed half a dozen buttons back to regular springs and it all worked perfectly at depth on the next dive. I have just bought a Nauticam 5D4 housing and I looked into getting the deep housing (150m instead of a 100m rating). I was told by the dealer that the buttons on the deep housing are the same in the Nauticam, but they reinforce the housing body itself. The deeper housings are correspondingly heavier. Nauticam aren't making a deep housing for the 5D4, apparently because they believe the normal housing body is fine. I know Gemma was using a Nauticam (with a Nikon I think) past 100m, and Damien Siviero in Sydney has taken one to depth recently. If the weather is good I will test my Nauticam out at depth this weekend. So far I've had no problems with the housing down to 60m. On the port front, you want an acrylic dome. I've seen people moving to smaller domes but I'm not sure what evidence there is for this beyond nerves.
  2. The US is not the gold standard in border crossings, it's a nightmare. Three and a half hours in line is less than I spent in the line at LAX and the only reason I was there was to immediately leave the country on a connecting flight. At least you hadn't come off a 14 hour flight and were in approximately the same time zone you'd (presumably) just left. The USA is the only country that forces passengers in transit to pass through immigration. I avoid it whenever possible and have done very little diving in the Caribbean as a result. I'm sure un-aware travelers feel the same way about Australia's quarantine inspections when they get hauled out over the apple they picked up on the plane, or the wooden souvenirs that get confiscated, or the way gear used overseas in freshwater gets gently boiled for an hour before being returned. Each country can do what they want to you and your stuff including refusing entry and deporting you. It's a hazard of international travel and the only available defenses are a positive attitude and comfortable shoes for standing in lines.
  3. There's one other option - leave it in the shed for a month, no batteries, no cables. Forget which strobe is the broken one, take them all diving and see if it works again. My six Z240s have always been buggy. Being able to fix tubes has been a huge improvement, but they still play up on occasion for no diagnosable reason. At least one of mine only works on S-TTL and the other settings refuse to fire. Another does this temporarily and then swaps and has to be back on Full instead of S-TTL to work. One had a melted capacitor after dry cave shooting. One looks like something got loose inside and shorted across the circuit board - that one is currently cactus. Another won't do a full dump under any circumstances, just a weird little half-fire. I put the most reliable two on the camera and distribute the other four on the dive. If half of them work at full power and one more at some kind of output, the photos normally work. All six working at full power is a good day. I'm looking forward to a pair of retras arriving in June to see if it's me or the strobes that is the problem. I suspect overheating from full power shooting is the underlying cause of the periodic electronic weirdness with the inons.
  4. If it's tubes, send it to Steve at TFM in Melbourne for replacement. They start to look slightly brown on the ends and obviously different to a brand new strobe. For me I have burnt out both tubes (easily replaced) and capacitor (harder to fix). Have you been doing any dry cave photography? It was Camooweal that did my capacitor. If you send it to inon via a dealer they don't replace parts and will only replace the entire internal unit of the strobe. Might be worth it if you can get it done under warranty but otherwise it's expensive.
  5. Yes, I've had exactly the same problem. They've changed the locking ring over to a much lighter metal and it corrodes a lot faster. Not an issue in freshwater, and then I went diving in the sea for a week and had to use multi-grips to get my triggerfish off the sync cords. I was unimpressed. I have no solution beyond undoing them after every salt water dive. It's annoying and not good for the pins. Maybe I'll try some Tef-Gel or similar.
  6. I haven't done it in a pool, but yes you will need one strobe above water to trigger optically. Watch out for overheating with it out of the water. Otherwise I think you are into custom-cable territory - something from camera underwater to floating wireless trigger, or something really long from camera to first studio strobe. Alternatively consider using big video lights instead, or all underwater strobes. Also make sure your studio strobes don't fall in and electrocute your models.
  7. Are you near the surface in sunny conditions? Sunlight twinkling through a calm-ish surface can flash enough to trigger the strobe sensor (which I believe is in the face for all common models, but I have only dived with inons and very old substrobes so could be wrong). Low power LED dive lights can flicker at the right frequency to trigger strobes when held close as well.
  8. Put some Z240s on it instead :-) Or metal strobe arms. My Nauticam 5D4 is just about neutral in salt water and negative in fresh. Or weights. The advantage of adding weight is that you can put it in the right place to balance the housing into the upright position.
  9. I've ordered two. Key points of difference for me (compared to my current inon Z240s): - Battery light charge indicator - Aluminium casing - Slightly easier manual controls - Overheating protection, hopefully. I have burnt out too many Z240s at this point and I'm a bit sick of it. All while still being: - Powerful - Light weight - Small - AA battery driven
  10. It only works on international Garuda! Learnt that lesson the hard way.
  11. Roller bags for carry on are a bit of a problem at the gate in Australia - much more likely to be targeted for a weigh in before boarding. Jetstar not only forces you to check overweight carry on if they catch it but also charges $150 for the privilege. Backpacks are more likely to slip through the net at the gate, if you make it past the check in desk safely. Regarding your Garuda Indonesia legs, international flights with Garuda include 20kg of "sports allowance" for dive gear. Smiling and saying "camera" repeatedly can help across SE Asia if you run into resistance. If your checked luggage is over with Garuda domestically, the fees are not too bad but they take a loooong time to process. You may need up to an extra hour at the airport while the check in desk and then the billing desk and then the check in desk again play with the calculator and poke numbers into the computer.
  12. I shipped gear home (Australia) from France with French Post and it nearly made it home before I did. I've also shipped gear from Canada (where I landed) to Florida (where I was going diving after a couple of weeks of backpacking around South America). Flying without the gear was much easier in both cases. Things to consider: - Insurance in case the postal services loses the whole lot - Dangerous goods. They might not want to ship knives, batteries, etc, and they might not tell you until you get there. - Customs. Be clear on the goods description that this is your own excess baggage being shipped home, otherwise you might end up with 10% GST and 5% import duty applied at the Australian end. - Quarantine. Make sure everything is clean and dry. If AQIS hold it up for inspection and washing, you won't get it back for six months or so. - Timing. Make sure they don't put it on a boat, cause then you won't see it for 6 months or so. - Packing. Mine was in heavy duty plastic tubs both times and traveled well. Aside from that I have no idea what the postal options are in Ecuador. Good luck with it!
  13. Local is definitely cheaper but the market is smaller. There's a facebook group or two but they seem to be more focussed on dive gear or compact camera setups. Or just not very active. Of course there's always Gumtree.
  14. I started with Instagram last year but I've mostly given up on it because I can't post from my laptop. My instagram workflow was post to Facebook, save to mobile, post to Instagram. If there was an export out of Lightroom desktop option I'd give it another go.
  15. I've seen the doco before and thought it was great. The attitudes of the models/friends/other skiers mirrored very closely the feedback I get from my buddies/models/friends on a cave diving expedition
  16. Price drop! Now looking at $3,700 AUD for the package plus international shipping if needed. Gear is in Melbourne, Australia. Individual component pricing in Australian dollars as follows: Canon 5D2 body with battery, charger, 16gb card: $900 AUD Aquatica housing with deep spring kit, two Nikonos bulkheads, hydrophone, handles with balls attached, spare kit with springs, o-rings and c-clips and leak detector: $1500 AUD 8" dome port with dome shade, port locking device and extension for 14mm lens, lightly scratched: $800 AUD 8" dome port with dome shade, heavily scratched (ok as long as you don't try and shoot into the sun, maybe some more polishing would help): $200 AUD AF macro port with rear port cover and extension for 100mm lens: $550 AUD Close up of the scratch on the lightly scratched dome:
  17. One entertaining test is to put a little bit of o-ring grease on the internal side of the buttons in the housing. Then carefully insert camera, take it for a dive without pressing buttons, surface and very carefully remove. If one of your housing buttons is making contact, there will be a grease spot on the camera button. I used this test to identify that one of my housing levers had become misaligned and needed replacement.
  18. And responded. An additional note to say I am happy to split the domes and the macro port with extensions out from the camera body and housing, if someone is interested in one or the other.
  19. Bump - still for sale. And the USD price is looking better by the day thanks to exchange rate movements.
  20. You're not interested in the same type of "quality" that most videographers are, so I would base this decision much more on whether you can successfully extract stills from the footage. The action cam may have problems with rolling shutter, lack of control over settings, and inconsistency in footage. If any of that is going to kill your comparison between images then the Canon may be a better bet. What happens when you bump the ISO on the Canon - are grainy images usable for your research?
  21. I dived Tulamben and surrounds over Xmas/New Years two years ago and it was ok. The vis is not as good in the shallows as the rain washes a lot more sediment into the water around the reefs accessed as shore dives. The vis was good below 40m but it was dark - partly clouds, partly poor vis up top. There's a couple of photos here to give you an idea. The second one was taken at about 25m from memory. http://lizrogersphotography.com/2015/01/mod2-course-taking-the-revo-to-60m/
  22. You can also get spring straps with various rubber mouldings on them to spread the pressure out. Springs are great. Tying a bit of bungee cord from the hardware store across the back of the fin also works in a pinch. Or you can repurpose the bungee that comes with most sidemount harnesses these days.
  23. My 5D2 housing is for sale in Melbourne with camera body and ports (including macro setup for 100mm) if that's of interest. What's broken on your housing?
  24. Bump and price drop - now $4,000 AUD for the package deal. The aussie dollar has also dropped this week so this should come out at just under $3,000 USD. Free Australian postage, international buyers pay shipping.
  25. Very nice! I like the Christmas tree worm. As someone who only dabbles in macro occasionally, I get much better results with one strobe. I usually position it out to the side to get a few shadows and rarely feel the need to turn the second one on.
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