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Posts posted by TimG

  1. It's here when you are ready Arnon. And WA lenses are SO over-rated.


    I can probabaly knock 5% off now as Marli (who is an agent for Pringles) clearly doesn't need her sales commission from me ;)


    Hey is it possible to eat only one Pringle out of a tube and leave the rest for another day?

  2. This is a common problem so it will be interesting to see what others do.


    I have just over 10,000 pictures and backup them up as RAW files to a hard disk - I use a 250GB external device. I also back them up to CD or, now, DVD. So I have at least two copies of all my pictures. But I don't save a .jpg copy too as I figure if I need .jpg I can produce one from the RAW.


    I use Photoshop Album to index all my pics so I have a fighting chance of finding them again whether they are on my computer hard disk, CD, DVD or external hard disk: or just a fantasy in my mind.


    But they sure do build up!

  3. Alter ego? I thought all we northerners (or near northeners) were related ;)


    I was living in Bermuda when I bought the Nixvue. There was no local dealer so I got on to Nixvue directly and they sold me two reconditioned Vistas for about $400! My dive buddy had one, I had the other - and they have been as good as gold. But that Epson P2000 looks seriously tempting.


    I checked the Epson site a few minutes ago for RAW. They certainly handle Nikon and Canon RAW......

  4. Brad's P2000 sounds really good! I must take a look at that.


    I've happily used a Nixvue Visa for the last few years. 20GB hard disk, accepts CF and micodrives without an adaptor, small-ish and highly portable; multi-voltage mains adaptor. Then only drawback is that reviewing RAW images is painfully slow. I use Brad's method: review in camera, delete the obvious garbage and then move the remainder to the Nixvue for later detailed review on a laptop.


    But there is nothig like having your laptop with you to savour the good pics - and then burn a back-up CD/DVD before you get on the plane home.

  5. Yep, I've seen the jump-in with the camera above your head method too: it brings me out in a cold sweat thinking about it.


    Most dive boats I have been on have been more than happy to pass the camera down and are usually pretty good about picking a sensible point on the camera to hold. There have been threads on Wetpixel about neat ways to secure the strobe arms together using various clips to produce a solid-ish inverted-V for carrying the camera and passing it down to the diver.


    One other method I have seen is to secure the camera on a long-ish line and lower it into the water before the diver enters. The diver then jumps in, unclips the camera off the line and heads on down. On surfacing the diver re-clips the camera on to the line and pulls it up when back on board. You might have to choose the securing point and length of line carefully depending on current, surge, waves and how many and where divers enter the water - but it seemed a good idea to me. I would also want to do a pre-entry rinse-tank dunk test too to make sure the housing had no leaks!


    A current on a drift dive does not usually make too much difference to getting an assistant to pass the camera down. Most dive operators have tag or granny lines in place when getting people in the water for drift diving - so there is usually something to hold on for the couple of seconds it takes to pass the camera down.

  6. Hmmm, well to be honest I have never used a 14mm, 15mm or 16mm prime lens, Sigma or otherwise. Many years ago I used Sigma lenses on my Olympus film cameras and they were good.


    The difference between 12mm (of the 12-24) and 14mm or 16mm may not sound very much, but it does offer that bit more - and having zoom rather then a fixed focal length is so much more flexible. The difference between the 10.5mm and a 14mm or 16mm has to be highly noticeable!


    If you can, I would suggest that you take a look at each of them at you local Nikon/Sigma store. As for which to go for: tough call. The 12-24 is certainly a lot more expensive - but it is flexible, forgiving and great topside too. I doubt you would ever regret buying it. The 10.5mm, as Joe and I have both said earlier, can produce amazing results but is a bit more specialised and takes practice. If you were long-term planning I would be tempted to suggest get a 12-24 now and think about a 10.5 for later.


    Another factor you might want to bear in mind though from the cost point of view is that both the 10.5 and 12-24 need the largest dome port (they would both use the same one) - an expensive beast. I'm not entirely sure about the 14mm or 15mm, but with a 16mm you might get away with a slightly smaller and less expensive dome - but do check!


    Hope this helps!

  7. I think Joe is probably right. I have had the 12-24 for some time; and bought a 10.5 a few months ago after seeing some of the awesome results Alex Mustard has produced.


    You can indeed produce amazing images with the 10.5. But it is a lot trickier to use than a 12-24 because of the sharp bending of straight lines. You need to find compositions where seriously bent lines do not impact too much on the picture. A classic 10.5 picture is a diver hanging alongside a wall looking at a piece of coral or a fish. The results can be spectacular. Good for wrecks too.


    The 12-24 is generally more forgiving and, as Joe says, more versatile. But the 10.5 sure is worth considering and I plan to work with it a lot more in future.


    Go mad: buy both ;)

  8. Yeah, I agree with Joe. Be careful of eBay! But the regular wetpixelers are a pretty decent bunch to buy from.


    I have had mixed results too getting stuff from the US. Some US camera companies (B&H and J&R) will not ship outside the US; and I have got hit with some fairly hefty shipping (and VAT) costs. Good luck with it though.


    If you plan to use two strobes and travel a lot, I have found the Inons pretty good. They don't take up a lot of space and I have been able to get two, the arms, the housing and ports into a Pelican box which I can take into the plane cabin with me.

  9. Congratulations Ken!


    I agree with scubadru: Sipadan is really for diving only. I've just been to Sipadan/Mabul, Cairns, Fiji and Moorea (French Polynesia) - see my trip report on the visits forum.


    Moorea in French Polynesia is neat. Not masses to do but certainly spas and good French food. But not much night life. Diving is pretty enjoyable. There are other islands in French Polynesia (such as Bora Bora) which are very much honeymoon locations.

  10. Hey Adam


    Have you thought of using filters rather than a strobe? The URPro range of filters come very close to the colour compensation that a strobe provides. And Alex's Magic Filters sound good too. I don't know if your Digital Elph can cope with filters, but it might be worth a look.

  11. Hi Anthony


    Sorry only just seen your enquiry about diving in Afghanistan - one of the joys of being out there was the difficulties of accessing the Internet.


    For practical purposes there is no diving in Afghanistan. I toyed with diving the only lakes that looked reasonably safe - Band-e Mir. But these lakes are at over 11,000 feet, and three hours very tough drive from the nearest town which, believe me, barely approches civilisation. The logistics were over-whelming and frankly just not worth the risks involved. Tempting though! I had heard of a Frenchman who, according to legend, had scuba'd the lake but had been unable to find the bottom!


    People do indeed dive off Karachi. But most of us Afghan hands (?hounds) headed out to either the UAE (2 hour flight), or even better, the Maldives (2+4 hours).

  12. Hey Fishhunter - welcome to the road to ruin........


    Lenses: you should find the 18-70mm lens useful for general "fish pictures". You won't get very close focus, nor very wide but it will give you the ability to get some decent fish portraits.


    After that it depends on whether you fancy a crack at macro - a good place to start u/w photog as you can take pictures of things that don't move quite as much and work on lighting etc. If you get the D70, a Nikkor 60mm is the natural way to go.


    Then you could take a look at a wide-angle. I would suggest either the 10.5mm or 12-24 Nikkor. Both produce good results. The 10.5 is a bit more of a challenge to use but can produce some awesome images and is terrific for wrecks and divers-near-coral/fish pics. The 12-24 is a bit more general purpose-wide.


    As for a housing: like most of u/w photgraphy, it depends on your budget. I agree with tdpriest that Subal is the best. But not cheap. One thing to bear in mind is that the housing is only half the equation. You need the ports too.


    A port that will take the 10.5 and the 12-24 for Subal is the DP-FE2 and this is not a cheap piece of glass. Its big too and travelling with it requires a bit of thought. You would need a different port for the 60mm macro - but happily this is cheaper! Then you need a zoom adaptor ring for the 12-24 and extension rings for the port for the 18-70 and the 12-24. And a diopter for the 18-70. It all adds up - and hence welcoming you to the road to ruin. And to huge amounts of pleasure.

  13. Fascinating physcology that you D2X guys are hesitating slightly because of the cost of the gear. I can well understand the feeling. Even my D100/Subal/strobes makes me gulp a bit. But taking a camera underwater that cost more than my car would really make me think twice. Well that's my excuse for not dashing out and buying one.


    I had a play though with a D2X at Grays of Westminster a few days ago. The focussing is awesome: and I know I am going to crack and buy one for topside use (at least) before too long. Well, when I have sold a kidney anyway.

  14. Yep, I have had that scary 1/4 turn Subal port experience too. I now check periodically that the plastic Subal logo on the port is at the 0 degree position.


    The problem normally seems to arise between setting equipment up and getting to depth - typically on entry: the gear getting nudged at some stage. Once at depth pressure seems to lock the port in place.


    The command dial issue must be a bit annoying though for you D2X Gods. All that money and a twitchy dial....... (I'm just jealous)

  15. Hey Brad


    I think this was discussed a week or two ago.


    For me, the answer is "yes". I bought a second D100 both as a top-side camera for exactly the reasons you set out; and as an underwater backup. Why take several thousand dollars worth of gear on holiday and have to rely on one camera body not breaking-down or getting flooded? It seemed a no-brainer.


    Mind you, I shudder to think of doing this with a D2X. But then I can't afford the first one yet!


    Good luck on the Palau trip and have a great time. Please write up a trip report afterwards. I hope to go there next year.

  16. You are right, ReefRoamer.


    I have just experimented with my Nikon D100, shooting on RAW and JPG with the Apple Photo Connector and a 60GB Photo iPod.


    Connections and operation were very easy. However to move 10 RAW files (just under 100MB) to the iPod took a little over 3.25 minutes. So that's around 30 minutes for 1GB. Yoiks.


    Not surprisingly, the iPod Photo handled small JPGs well and would display them too. However when loaded, RAW files were labelled "RAW" and when selected a warning was displayed that such files would have to be viewed through a PC.


    So, yep, very slow - but doable as a RAW storage device if you have the patience - and I suspect, the iPod plugged into mains power as well as the camera.

  17. Bonaire for relaxed divng where you can really concentrate on taking pictures

    Grand Cayman's Babylon dive site for awesome coral structures; or Bloody Bay wall on Little Cayman.

    Jackson Reef off Sharm El-Sheikh (Egyptian Red Sea) for sunny, well fish-populated reef.

    Sipadan for turtles

    Moorea for blacktips

    and Steve is right about South Ari Atoll

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