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Everything posted by TimG

  1. Two Bigs Thumbs Up - like everyone else says. I enjoyed Bunaken: there is quite a bit of variety: macro, walls, coral gardens. But for sheer, hell's-teeth-what's-that macro stuff, Lembeh is just awesome. I can heartily recommend Tasik Ria Resort at Bunaken: relaxed, comfortable liveaboard-sized day boats and very good DMs; and Kungungan Bay Resort at Lembeh. The DMs at KBR must have hyper-vision as, on occasion, I was struggling to see the micromillimetre long thing they were pointing out. Just amazing stuff. The 5 days I spent there was just not enough. Curiously both are manged by Jim and Cary Yanny who also have dive operations in the Red Sea. An excellent couple who know who how to run a dive operation and resorts. They do it with a nice mix of style and friendliness.
  2. I've been delighted with the Premium version of RAWshooter. On top of Essentials it has, amongst other things, the ability to crop, straighten horizons, compare pics side by side, batch re-number - and just more tweak tools. I find that I don't go in to PS now as often as I did - and this saves a step and time. It is very good at processing large number of pics, sorting and selecting, tweaking - then producing JPGs or TIFFs as necessary for more serious work or to email to someone. Just a neat package - and I do use it for commercial pics (admitedly topside stuff at the moment). I figure it is well worth the difference in cost: $0 v ?$99 I think I paid. And I thought the guys at Pixmantec deserved some reward for providing a program I really like. But Essentials is good for sure.
  3. Hi Erika Welcome aboard! A nice start with a D2X... I've only got as far as Capture 3.0 so am bit behind on that - but I always felt that Capture was very good for tweaking RAW files - and then use PS for the clever manipulating techniques. However PSCS/PCCS2 will let you do most of both in one go. I've been very happy using Rawshooter Premium for the last few months. That does most things I need in one go - and has a very good workflow system too.
  4. I've just ordered one - so should be able to tell you in a couple of weeks. But check out http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18200.htm
  5. Yeah, I agree. They make quite a difference. And don't have to be expensive. I've just bought a $50 Mini Q40 which uses LEDs and 4 rechargable NiMh AA batteries. It works really well fitted to my housing with a couple of ULCS clamps and an arm.
  6. Yep, its got to be dividers. Initially more expensive, they last longer and are more flexible. So the message now is DON'T wear cargo pants. Eeee, life, just when you think you have it sorted......
  7. Hi! Sorry, I'm not familiar with the Fuji e900 but I'm assuming it fits in a housing. You would normally screw the filter onto a thread on the end of the lens - whch would then be inside the housing. Or possibly, you can use a push-on filter which grips on to the lens port on the housing. This would then be a "wet" filter as it would be outside the housing. With the Fuji being a P&S you probably have a lens which moves in and out of the camera - and it may not have a filter thread. I'm not sure how Fuji deals with this (if they offer filters for the camera). In the case of eg some of the Nikon Coolpix cameras, it was possible to buy an adaptor which screwed over the lens and held a filter in front of the lens - but wasn't fastened to the lens. Someone else may be able to help more than I, but I suggest you check if filters are an option on the camera; then see how they are attached and compare that to the URPro options. If that doesn't work you need to check the size of the port and find a push-on filter which would grip on. And use a lanyard to secure it!
  8. TimG

    Strobe arms

    Yep, ULCS: light-weight, tough, flexible, easy to position, lots of options and fittings, easy to clip lanyards etc to them......
  9. Hi - and welcome to this fast-draining bank account , fun experience. I moved from one strobe to two stobes about 18 months ago. It does make quite a difference in terms of lighting balance and versatility. It also provides some u/w redundancy: if one goes down you always have a second. But, yep, it costs a lot more and there are more things to deal with. I'd suggest starting with one strobe, see how you get on - and then perhaps invest in a second. On arms, I've always been happy with my ULCS 5" and 8" arm sets. I now have two sets of them - one for each strobe. I put the 8" arm on the housing; with the 5" attached to the strobe - and everything tied together with clamps. It seems to work well enough and copes with macro and w/a. I do find that two arms for macro gives greater flexibilty in getting stobes closer to the subject which can, of course, be close to the port. Hope this helps......
  10. Yep: Manual shutter/aperture; RAW; Auto White Balance; Single shot Autofocus; autoreview with histogram; ISO200. And I agree with CeeDave - Bonaire is ace!
  11. Hi Ted My first line of defence - or is it attack? - is to chat up the check-in clerk so that by the time we come to the weigh-in, we have exchanged life history, favourite movies and, most importantly, the fact that I fly with airline x regularly to scuba photography locations. If that fails, plead and whimper.
  12. Plus the DP-FE2 has the advantage of handling the Nikkor 10.5mm. You can't go wrong with it.....
  13. I don't know Whites but DUI are excellent. I bought one two years ago to replace my aging Polar Bear and have been delighted with it. It is very comfortable, easy to get in and out of - and, even better, keeps me dry. As Brian says, DUI service is very good.
  14. Just an addition on the issue of Nitrox and regulators following on from Brian's comments: It was Scubapro who told me they advised against using a titanium reg with Nitrox when I asked the specific question probably two years ago after hearing about several fires caused by the titanium/enriched air mix. By a strange coincidence I visited Scuba Dubai yesterday afternoon and talked to their Scubpro technician. He said that there had been problems with titanium regulators combusting with Nitrox due to the heat created by high pressure gases on the piston and the flamability of titanium. However he thought there was no problem using a Scubapro titanium reg with enriched air mixes of 32 or 36. He thought it wise to have a reg cleaned and serviced however and not to use titanium with mixes above 40%. He also advised checking to see whether the first stage filter showed any signs of rust - and not to use Nitrox if this was the case.
  15. Hi Alsaka Yep, I agree with Mat. I did Bunaken a month ago (I was working in Indonesia for a few weeks) and it was pretty darned good - if the viz was not especially fantastic. I'm currently en route to KBR so can let you know about that soon.
  16. Yeah I agree, it is fast and efficient. I think Premier is well worth the cost. Off the top of my head (I'm about to run for a plane!) in addition to the features of Essentials it has: ability to straighten horizons; re-numbering; cropping; compare images side-by-side; lots more tweaking features; faster and smoother. I think you can get a trial download of Premier. Worth checking out. I've been using Premier now for about 4 months and have found I'm using CS less and less! It is so nice to use.
  17. I reckon cost, ease of access, the type of gear you own and the type of diving you are doing are major contributors to the answer. I don't use it very much - and I'm a PADI Enriched Air Instructor. With its extended bottom times, Nitrox is ideal for flat profile dives in the 25m+ range. It's a good wreck divers gas. But if you dive right up to the NDLs all the time, you have absorbed, as others have said, a great deal of nitrogen and the safety advantages which Nitrox might offer are lost. You've just had longer dives. - which is nice of course. I would always suggest, particularly with multiple dive days - as on liveaboards - keeping well within any NDL whether on Nitrox or air. My own preference is, on extended day diving, never to get within 10 minutes of an NDL on my Uwatec computer. And I still regularly clock 60 minute dives. But I find most of my photo diving is in relatively shallow depths. Although I might take a dip down to have a look in the 30m area, most of the pics I take are around 15m or above. Profiles are gently sloping upwards with, quite often, long-ish periods at the end of the dive in the 10m+ range. I always try to spend an extended period at 5-8m at the end of a dive - taking pics but also as a long safety stop - especially on live-aboard trips. For these types of dives I would argue that Nitrox is of marginal value: and brings its own issues which you have to consider - checking mix, keeping the MOD in mind and a closer eye on depth etc. One other issue to bear in mind: you can't dive Nitrox on most (all?) titanium regs. I bought a titanium Scuapro reg some years ago as it is so light for travelling - and I can carry more camera gear! But I understand there is a risk of a regulator fire from using higher oxygen content gases with titanium. So that puts me off using Nitrox! So, if its cheap and you are doing the sort of diving that requires longer periods below 20m, then, yeah, Nitrox. Otherwise I'd stick with air. But watch those NDLs!
  18. Hi Larry Sorry, I didn't hoist aboard the Athlon/Rawshooter issue. Sounds like its time to spring for a new PC...... I doubt you'll regret it.
  19. Hi I would think that you are not so much pushing the envelope using 256MB of RAM (not 256k eh?) but ripping it apart. Photoshop will really choke on anything less than 512MB (1GB is much better). I've used both RawShooter Essentials (which is free) and Premium and like them both. Essentials ran pretty well on my old 256MB Vaio laptop but, again, it's vastly better on 1GB. I'm not sure what the story is on Athelon chips but have you thought about adding more memory? Its usually pretty cheap.
  20. Nice pics! I like your captions too: simple but effective. I'm off to Lembeh next week
  21. Hey!! Perhaps we can start a new forum: Zero Viz Photography; or maybe Great UK Clay Pit Photography......
  22. Hey Dave Welcome aboard! You sure have some fantastic topside scenery in Northern Irleand. Poor viz aside, what's the underwater scenery like?
  23. Hey Dave! Its tempting to say "move"..... but then I live in Macclesfield. It is tough in the UK where there are not too many life form readings underwater, but you might like to try getting yourself into a position where you are not shooting down on the subject. An up-angle often produces an image with a bit more impact. But tough, I know, in the UK.
  24. Yeah, I've had that for sure. My Pelican weighs in at about 12kgs and my camera bag at 10. I have had the airline check-in staff weigh them once and mutter about them being overweight for cabin bags. But, so far at least, my smooth British charm has talked them through.....
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