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randapex

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Posts posted by randapex


  1. No doubt, the best Port Hardy trip to date for me. We saw all the usual suspects and a few unusual ones as well. Always fun to dive with my Canadian friend John. Thanks Todd for putting such a great trip together. Getting to dive and talk with Alex was a real treat and very educational.

     

    Alex let me borrow a 150mm lens for a couple of dives. Really liked how it performed and I'll be adding it to my arsenal just as soon as I can.

     

    Sculpin

    sulpin_f.jpg

     

    Mosshead Warbonett

    is_it_still_raining_f.jpg

     

    The rest of the week, I shot the 60mm...

     

    _RWM4656_crabonkelpps-01_f.jpg

     

    Grunt Sculpin

    gruntsculpinf.jpg

     

    My main goal for this trip was to get a shot of a shrimp on one of the orange Seapens. The only one I'd found several years before escaped me because my strobes were dead. Finally got it (and left room for improvement...lol):

     

    Shrimp_on_seapen.jpg

     

    Rand


  2. Thanks for the link Larry. I'd wondered where this story went after the initial break.

    I'm still conflicted about the whole issue of shark diving with bait in the water. Personally, it was thrilling to see them up close and without the cage, in some ways, its a foolish thing to do. But its my choice and I'm glad I had it to make.

    Rand


  3. Its really hard to come up with anything fresh on this subject. Its frustrating to see what I consider a random act generate so much controversy.

    I'm tired of being "protected" by big brother. Jimmy provides a true life changing experience. And its the huge risk associated with it that makes it so cool. My prayers go out to Mr. Groh's family.

     

    Rand


  4. Hi Marli,

    The one time I tried my 2x on the 60mm, the working distance, racked all the way out, was waaaaay too short. With the correct extension ring on my Subal port, the focus gear lines up.

    I did some testing a while back and found that if you cheat back just a little with the focus, you're almost at 1-1 anyway so, I'd say rack it out all the way and leave it for the dive or just shoot the 60 without the TC.

    Rand


  5. Hi Alex,

    Kind of a FWIW:

     

    Most of the interest/comments generated on my website are from sharks and eagle rays. Younger people seem very keen on the Dolphins. I've no idea what would sell myself.

     

    This one was requested for Tshirt:

     

    eagleray640.jpg

     

    Rand


  6. I've done this route several times, latest was in January this year. I carry on my laptop in it's case. There is a side pocket that I shove 3 lenses in. I pack my camera, dome, housing, 1 strobe, 1 arm, 1 sync cord in a hard sided carry on. The reason for the hard side is, the flight from P.R. to Bonaire is on a small jet and they take the carry on from you as you board and put it in the storage locker.

    The laptop goes in the overhead but it's much smaller than normal.

     

    I pack the rest of my camera gear in a Pelican case then put that in a non-descript softsided case to avoid arousing the baggage handlers. This bag is checked at departure from home. So far, no problem.

     

    Unless American has lowered it's weight limit recently, it's 50 lbs. per checked bag. But once you're in P.R. no one will bother you about your bags. They will grab and stow the carry on as you board and leave you with the smaller personal one to carry on.

     

    Rand


  7. Never thought of it but I guess maybe I'm the poster child for Alex's observations. Was certified in 2002, never held a camera until I'd rented one for a dive and was hooked right away.

    My technical knowledge is sadly lacking but I've still managed to grab a decent shot or two along the way.

    And realizing, as I frame each subject, that it's usually been done before. I'm starting to swim more and shoot less. Looking for that "special" situation that hasn't been done a bazillion times. And failing that, spending way too much time thinking about shooting common subjects in an uncommon way. It's a nice thing to say, but a flounder is still a flounder. ;-)

     

    Rand


  8. LOL! Well, I've actually stayed twice at Hotel 81. Not sure how many there are but at least the two.

    When you arrive, you'll be greeted by several, Uh interesting sights shall we say. The rooms are very small and walls are thin. Lots of traffic in the halls. Apparently, they rent rooms by the hour as well as the night...In any case, keeping with the U/W photogs creedo, I took only pictures and left only bubbles...and tried not to touch anything...

     

    Rand


  9. I was happy with the results the Sigma 15mmfe gave me shooting sharks in the Bahamas. It forces me to be a bit patient and lucky (Waiting for subjects to get in close) but it also results in sharper pics with the reduced amount of water between port and subject. Of course, easy to fill a frame with the larger Tigers. :lol:

     

    Rand


  10. I find the tail of the chromis distracting because it is a small detail that is strongly saturated and therefore distracts the eye.

     

    The bokeh of the new 105mm is best exploited to smooth relatively solid backgrounds.

     

    I think that in the example you have chosen the tail would look distracting on either lens.

     

    Here is an example of the bokeh of the new 105mm that I find very pleasing. This is shot with a dioptre too.

     

    post-713-1170834566_thumb.jpg

     

    Alex

     

    Thanks Alex, that's what I was thinking on it as well. Not all that impressed with the way the tail is displayed. Didn't want to lead the discussion off with my negative opinion on it. But I think you're on to something with that photo. Port Hardy has some of the best negative space you could ask for. I'll look forward to shooting it there later this year. And I must use the slower shutter speeds and get away from that BB.


  11. Sorry Rand, I have a debilitating case on Man-Flu.. I didn't specify my question properly, i meant the AF-S in the lens. Those little Damsels are very jumpy and hard to shoot! I haven't dared to try one of these lenses in a shop as i know it will result in a large bill!

     

    Ok, now I get it. LOL! My technical side is a bit lacking anyway. If I'd shot more with the lens, then I'd be more inclined to make a statement on that aspect. Only one dive didn't give me that much experience. But I will say the focus was fast enough to where it wasn't an issue that I noticed.

     

    Rand


  12. Thanks Alex. Now I remember your thoughts. Guess my real question, not asked well initially, is: Do you find the rendering of the OOF tail pleasing? The effect seems very different. Almost like it was a Photoshop trick of some sort. It certainly opens up to me a whole new area of shooting experiments. I keep looking at it and getting the feeling there is something really cool to be done with the effect, but not sure what...

     

    Hi Scuba_SI. If you're referring to the focus mode, I don't use AF-S but only AF-C. The AF-S seems too picky for me. Plus I'd rather get an OOF shot here and there than let the camera decide it's not in focus, causing much cursing and gnashing of teeth.

     

    Rand


  13. I recently had a chance to shoot the new 105VR. Just a single dive so, I'm not ready to comment in depth. But I did find a couple of things of interest, (Well, at least I found it so :D ) and was looking for any feedback you all might have.

    Firstly, the sharpness is definitely better than the old 105. But it's the OOF area that has me intrigued. It's quite different in it's rendering. I'd like to understand what people feel is happening that's as I've no clue why it looks so different...

    post-299-1170786644_thumb.jpg


  14. Rand-

    Thanks for your thoughts. Certainly the long burn time is what caught my eye... Was wondering about the color, and the beam width? Soft and white enough not to show in pictures??? And wide enough to be useful?

    Holiday best,

    brandon

     

    Brandon,

    Definitely does not show in the picture. And is very soft. Probably better for shy critters. And I was using it doing some super macro stuff. 105mm with the 2x TC so the lens to subject distance was so close the beam from the light was just a few inches away. Working with just the beginning of the light beam cone. That's why it was difficult to get the beam on the subject. The lens is about 1" diameter vs maybe 3" for the Fix light. Being further back, say with just the 60mm would allow the beam to grow larger I'm sure.

     

    They do seem to burn for ever. ULCS has a nice little U shaped holder with a velcro strap and a ball on the end. Makes it quick to un-clamp the Fix light if it dies and put that one on. And I must confess at this point that the reason I was using it, and glad I had it, was because I flooded two Fix lights and my Mod light... :wacko:

     

    Happy Holidays.

     

    Rand


  15. Rand uses the first one (LL7457). I picked one up for a backup to my Fix Light but have never used it.

     

    Dave

     

    Hi Brandon,

     

    For the money, it's a great buy and, it's a handy backup. I keep it in my BC pocket for that reason. The beam width is narrow requiring more precise target adjustment than the Fix light. I found it more useable on night dives. I guess for the price, you could band 3 or 4 of them together for a larger beam...And, with a 50 hr. burn time, it's nice to have as a backup dive light as well. They are well made too.

     

    Rand


  16. Great topic.

    My best moments shooting U/W are when I'm trying something new. It intrigues me no end that the camera can capture something that isn't seen with the naked eye. Extremely shallow DOF, motion blur w/ rear curtain etc. Alex's new filter holds hope for a whole new look to my W/A pics. Off to California this weekend with thoughts of magic kelp shots dancing in my head.

     

    Rand

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