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Everything posted by TimG

  1. Hey guys Although not strictly an underwater question, y'all have so much equipment knowledge I thought I'd ask here. I'm looking for a medium-wide to medium-telephoto zoom to use with my D100s. I already have the Nikkor 28-200 which is pretty good - but I need something faster that I can use indoors in low-light situations where I cannot use a flash or tripod. The Nikkor 70-200 sounds good but is a ton of cash and appears to be big/heavy - and almost unobtainable it seems in the UK! I had thought the Nikkor 24-120 VR would be ideal with the VR making up for the relatively small apertures. But Thom Hagan's review is less than enthusiastic about the lens. I can't see anything suitable either on the Sigma or Tamron websites and DPReview hasn't given me any inspiration. Does anyone have any experience of the Nikkor 24-120? Or any other suggestions for something suitable? I want to cover roughly the 80-150 range with anything wide making the lens more useful. Thanks
  2. Wow! You must have looked back over your shoulder once or twice swimming away from that dive site. Cue Jaws music?
  3. Hi Mike A couple of other thoughts which you might know already: its worth bearing in mind the rule of thirds. Objects generally look better if the main point of the subject (a fish eye perhaps) is located where two lines (one vertical, one horizontal) of third cross (I hope that makes sense!). Also, pictures can look more dramatic if you shoot the subject on a diagonal rather than vertical or horizontal. Sometimes with u/w pics you can get away with holding the camera at 45 degrees to make the subject look on a diagonal -rather than actually having to position yourself to achieve this. But beware of making a background look distorted, eg a 45 degree reef. If you can combine the rule of thirds and the diagonal you should find your picture composition improves. And, as others have said, get as close as you can. And then get closer. Your last pic of the hawkfish is a good example of this. And then have fun!
  4. Hmmm, not sure about that. I do find my system writes more quickly to a Lexar x80 2GB than it does to a 1GB microdrive. But I guess that is not surprising. I suspect it depends on the card.
  5. OK, you guys with the beautiful diver wives: do they have sisters? Who own vineyards that produce an enjoyable Beaujolais? Oh, and an Aston Martin. As for for finding subjects, yep, talk to the DMs, do a bit of research before you go on what the critters you can expect in an area - and where they tend to live (under rocks, mid-water, only come out at night: that sort of stuff), plan a lens to do it. TAKE YOUR TIME. As I take more pics underwater I find I travel less and less distance on the bottom. I suggest finding a nice patch of coral and watching it carefully for a while and see what emerges. Let them come to you. Watch for movement giving away a well-concealed little guy. Being calm helps your buoyancy too and is less likely to scare the field away. If all that doesn't work, yep, go the gorgeous dive buddy route and take pics of her. On buddies, I think it REALLY helps to have a regular photo dive buddy. You then both know your dive styles. And you can keep each other vaguely in sight (depending on depths etc) If you can't manage that, ask the DM to pair you up with another serious photographer. There is nothing worse than being paired with someone determined to explore miles of reef on one dive. A rebreather? Wouldn't that be nice. As the saying goes, if you got 'em, smoke 'em. But if you stay cool, calm and collected, a gently breathing scuba set is the next best thing. Good luck. The Rhone is a fun dive. Say hi to Jacqui B if she is still down there.
  6. Yep, count me in too: Nikkor 10.5, 12-24 and a 60mm for macro. If you decide you hate the D2X, do give me a yell......
  7. Maybe I'm being a bit of a wuss, but I've been using Photoshop Album since v1.0. I've got just over 10,000 pics sorted and organised. Its simple to use and backs up pretty easily to DVDs, CDs or my external hard disk. No real problems so far; and I can locate an eg, wrasse, blue-head variety shot in err, Bonaire.
  8. Hi Ellen Ahh, the science of milk bottle bottoms....... You might find at times that the output from the SB105 is too much for the picture you are trying to create. I found this especially with macro - even with the strobe on its lowest power setting and the plastic diffuser in place. I heard about inserting an extra piece of translucent white plastic between the strobe and its diffuser. I'm not sure where you live, but I have been in places where milk bottles are made of plastic - and the diameter of the bottom is, when sliced off with a knife, about the right size to fit behind the SB105 diffuser. But things like yoghurt carton bottoms would probably work too. I don't think the flavour of the yoghurt makes a difference. I found it handy to have one of these home-made super-diffusers in my BC pocket which I could fit into the strobe when necessary.
  9. Welcome aboard Ellen! No problem using a SB105 with digital - although you might find you need a slightly thicker diffuser. A yogurt cartoon or plastic milk bottle bottom works well. And I agree with James, a couple of dodgey exposures with the first pic or two till you get the strobes set up. But after that digital without TTL is no problem.
  10. I switched from an LCD-composed system (a Coolpix 5000) to a viewfinder DSLR about a year ago. The adjustment did take a while but the effort was well worth it.
  11. Yeah, I agree with Dave: size is everything and the bigger the better. 2GB is good; 4GB probably better. I've only got as far as 2GB yet which, on my D100, gives me 206 RAW pics. I normally find this is good for 3-4 dives (once the duff ones are weeded out) which means I only open the housing once when the dive day is over to change battery and download the card. Like Dave I reckon the fewer housing openings the better. I'm not so sure about write speed though. I'm no techie but it seems to me that the quicker the buffer is written to the card, the more pictures you can take in rapid succession. And I can think of occasions where I have shot 3-4 pics quickly and the camera/card kept up. My 2GB card is a Lexar Pro x80 and it seems to cope pretty well.
  12. I agree with Joel: I don't think there is a right answer. Instinct tells me that it is better to leave the batteries out - so connected batteries don't show up up on x-ray machine. But I doubt it makes much difference. So much seems to depend on the experience of the x-ray operator: if he or she has seen lots of strobes, dive computers (or whatever) they are less inclined to open the case - they know what they are seeing.
  13. For carrying my system around and on and off boats, I find a soft, folding coolbag very useful. It takes up no space in my dive bag - and provides padded protection for the camera/strobes when not in the water. $20 from a camping shop. Like other posters, I reckon folding the arms to form a triangle with the apex at the top is a pretty good way to make it easier for it to passed to you in the water. Its possible to use some Fastex clips to secure the arms together.
  14. I was in Mabul/Kapalai in late May. The macro potential is certainly amazing although I have to admit I thought the dive site awful on my first dive - on Mabul. Then my eyes adjusted to the murk and muck. Bingo. It is certainly very soupy and I was very happy to use a 60mm. But then I don't own a 105mm. Yet. What about using a 60mm with TC?
  15. Hi James I agree with Steve's Bommie: excellent. I have never in my life been so sick as on the night crossing back from Osprey. It was VERY rough - and from all the comments I heard, that is not so unusual. The Taka captain warned us before we left Osprey that it was going to be a bad night: bless, him, he was not wrong. The dull, grey sunless conditions did not help either and, for me, Osprey was not worthwhile. If you decide however to go to Osprey, you might want to invest in seasickness medication. I was told Quells was the thing to use. Cod Hole is interesting if you enjoy fish-feed diving.
  16. If it fits in a D100 housing? Yeah right........ in my dreams.
  17. Or has he spent all his cash on equipment and needs a new jumper? We could maybe have a whip round for him.... how about the Magic Filter Jumper Fund?
  18. I agree with the guys: I too started off heavily into macro underwater. But the more I use a WA underwater, the more I get WOW photos. I started with the Nikkor 12-24 but have just added the amazing Nikkor 10.5. I also do a lot of topside photography and for that the Nikkor 12-24 is perhaps my most used lens. Seems to me you just can't go wrong with a good WA zoom.
  19. TimG


    Welcome! Addiction is something we are all horriby used to. And it gets worse. One thing perhaps worth thinking about: you will indeed get some great pictures out of a good prosumer digital and housing. I know from my own experience - and reading that of others on these pages - that it doesn't take too long before the drawbacks of prosumer cameras kick-in: battery life, shutter delay, fixed lenses.... and you feel the need to go to DSLR. And that means a new housing and, chances are, losing a lot of money on the housing you bought for your prosumer. I'm not suggesting you dash out a buy a DSLR and housing. But you might like to bear this in mind. Arnon suggested taking a look at the CP8400. I was very happy with my CP5000/Subal for a couple of years and got some great pics. I'm not familiar with the CP8400 but you might like to keep an eye on the prosumer issues that I have highlighted and be sure you will be happy with how the CP8400 measures up. Good luck with it - and post some pics here when you have got them.
  20. Sadly I'm not among the D2Xers, but I can agree on Subal's dome port cover. What is it with that little Velcro-e thing? Seaoptics have a cracker purpose-made one which offers significantly more protection - and can ever double as a tea cozy.
  21. Sounds terrific Vandit! You may well be hearing from us...... Good luck with the decision: and apologies for calling film "obsolete". It's not, of course. Well, errr, not yet anyway
  22. Check out the Epson P-2000 which looks pretty good and can handle RAW. I have had a Nixvue Vista for a couple of years which has proved very good - although there are probably better things around now.
  23. That is a super pic of that ray! It does look like natural light fall-off rather than a technical problem. Thanks for the additional advice Alex on using the filters.
  24. Yeah, I agree with the guys. Because of the nature of floods, you are not going to learn how to avoid them by using a film SLR; you are just going to spend a lot of money on something which is obsolete - and which will give you a much longer and steeper leaning curve. Go digital and find a company which will insure you - they do exist.
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