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troporobo

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Everything posted by troporobo

  1. It's possible that the housing needs servicing. There could be a borderline condition that the vacuum pushes over the edge.If one button is a little sticky, it may cause others to not activate. I had this happen once with the shutter trigger on my Nauticam.
  2. I've had both the 12-50 and 14-42 lenses and to be honest both are OK but neither is very special. I got many decent macro shots with the 12-50, and both will take decent fish portraits. Wide angle with these lenses through a flat port doesn't work well at all. Since I heeded the advice of many to decide on wide vs macro and stick with it for the entire dive, it's been easier to find good targets and compositions as my mindset is in the right place. The 60 macro lens is excellent and so is the 7-14 zoom in the right port. Sure there will always be something that I can't shoot when i dive this way, but in the end, I've made much better images.
  3. Anilao hasn't been lacking divers, it's been open for domestic visitors since August 2020. My last visit was in July this year and the dive sites and resorts were as busy as ever. I do think that the fishing pressure has increased due to the economic hardships and lack of alternative opportunities that people are still facing. But the diving is still very good!
  4. Wonderful! The huge schools of different species are impressive. I just get there. Although I would have been a bit nervous to be so close to tigers, and I'm not a big fan of titan triggers either. Thanks a for sharing.
  5. That second shot is spectacular. You really nailed the lighting. Well done.
  6. I'm in the m4/3 Olympus camp with Chris, for both size and weight and for the advantages it brings to macro and telephoto shooting. The pro series lenses are brilliant and I love the 60mm macro. I agree that low light performance isn't as good as DX or FX, but thats not an issue with strobes and the sensor is more than good enough for my needs. The limiting factor is the wetware directly behind the viewfinder!
  7. Very nice! Thanks for sharing
  8. Regarding Olympus cameras, I agree with Chris, the autofocus capabilities are hugely improved in the latest models. I 've had three Oly cameras and the difference with the E-M1 mk II is like night and day. I use it with the 60mm macro lens and it's snappy enough to catch jittery anenomefish, and the 2x crop factor (120mm equivalent) has real advantages for small targets. And I've had no trouble in low light, usually without a focus light. As for housings, I'm a big fan of Nauticam, most of which are rated to 100m. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the excellent recommendations here. The choice may simply be about the best deal you can find.
  9. I don't like subscription models either, but have accepted them. I changed my mind when Microsoft introduced Office 365 for home use at the same $10 / month that Adobe is charging for LR. For that subscription I get a constantly updated productivity and communications suite that has been a godsend during the past year and a half, plus 1 TB of online storage for each of 5 users. It's more than worthwhile just for the storage. With LR, I want the updates, but I do think that some risk mitigation strategies are warranted. I am sure we all worry about Adobe raising the prices from a currently reasonable $10 to who knows what? Or stop supporting our cameras or computers (they're still not native on Apple M1). The thing most people seem to hate is the risk of losing libraries and edited images if they stop paying. I went through the pain of migrating from Aperture to LR and never want to recreate my history if I have to change platforms again. So I am in the process of doing two things. First, I manage my library manually, I don't let LR decide how to name and where to store files and folders. Second, I'm going through 20 years of files and exporting full-size JPGs of edited images into separate folders. I know this is creating lots of redundancies but storage is cheap and I will retain edited images this way. If I stop using LR I am sure that I will lose metadata an other things, but I am poor at that stuff anyway. If anyone has other risk mitigation tips I would love to hear them!
  10. Nauticam recommends either the 140mm dome or the 4.33” (about 110mm) mini dome. I recall when that lens and mini dome first came out, people were very happy with the mini dome for CFWA. A search should reveal those discussions. I know the measurements don’t seem too different but the mini dome really is tiny and should allow focus right on the port. If you plan to stick with m4/3 lenses, the only reason to go to the N120 ports instead of the N85 ports would be to use the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 or 12-40mm f2.8 lenses. Having switched from the Panasonic 7-14mm f4 to the Olympus 7-14 f2.8, for both UW and topside, I will say from experience that there is a world of positive difference with the Olympus “pro” lenses compared to their own and Panasonic’s offerings.
  11. Listen to Chris! I've been shooting macro in Anilao for a long time, using OM-D cameras in Nauticam housings with the 60mm macro lens. I started with both the +5 and +10 SubSee diopters. After a year, I gave up the +10 as it is very hard to focus and light with that lens given the very short working distance and it did not produce better images compared to the +5. I have no experience with the CMC variants so take it for what it is worth. Here are three good examples of images taken with the 60 mm lens and +5 diopter. All three subjects are roughly centimeter size, the pygmy and whip coral shrimp perhaps less.
  12. Excellent captures, thanks for sharing!
  13. Thank you all for the kind words! I certainly am not dropping out, just anticipating less frequent diving and more frequent hiking and dabbling with terrestrial wildlife photography. Adam, thanks so much for keeping WP going. My morning coffee would be bleak indeed without it. Tim, I imagine the Caribbean will be high on our list for winter escapes, so I also hope to see you there some day. Dave, we learned to dive in Puget Sound a long time ago (eventually in those massive Viking dry suits) and I look forward to learning about the new dry suits. We’ll be in Seattle at first while looking for a home on one of the islands. Once settled, I’ll reach out to find new dive buddies!
  14. This past weekend we made the last dives that Mrs Troporobo and I will do in Anilao. After 18 years in this sometimes delightful, sometimes maddening, always interesting country, and 34 years overseas pursuing careers and diving all over Asia and the Pacific, we are leaving our beach house behind for early retirement near colder water in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. It was a bittersweet weekend, thinking of all we have enjoyed here. Perhaps with that in mind, I thought I could almost see the usual subjects looking at me wondering if I had lost my senses. Just kidding of course, but I want to leave this place with three images from my final dive in the Philippines. And I want to share them here, with a forum that has been a companion and wonderful resource all of this time. Thank you all for helping me to learn and enjoy UW photography. I'm not hanging up my wetsuit for good, but opportunities to submerge it will be much more limited in the future. So to continue abusing Douglas Adams, we're glad that it has come to this . . .
  15. Very cool. And thanks for the annotations
  16. Just had another closer look. These are amazing! Any idea what #8 is?
  17. My trips to Anilao are very easy, because I live in Manila and have a house at the beach! I can say that all the resorts are open now. However, getting into the country requires a 2 week quarantine at an approved hotel in the city. So not feasible for tourists yet.
  18. Bigger domes may be versatile as suggested, but not for this topic. I use the Pana 7-14 in a 150mm dome. It is in no way useful for WAM as it will not focus close enough for a macro subject.
  19. We had five fantastic dives over the weekend and are so grateful that we can get out and do that. We had calm seas, clear water, benign currents, and lots of excellent photographic targets. But sometimes, the last 3 minutes can surprise and delight when you're not expecting much. Yesterday was one of those times! Hanging at 5 meters idly scanning the reef when I spotted not one but two different whip coral shrimp within a meter of each other. I believe they are both variants of Pontonides ankeri but if anyone knows better please let me know. Then just as I am ready to ascend, my buddy waves me over to one of my favourite nudis, Nembrotha kubaryana: (These look a LOT better on my screen but the size limit here really kills the resolution - not that I'm complaining, many thanks to Adam and WP for allowing any hosting at all - and I'm too lazy to put on Flickr tonight)
  20. Absolutely true, “everything depends” might as well be the motto for UW photography! Great shot of the big eel. I have to try some CFWA someday myself
  21. I’ve used both Vivid and Nauticam vacuum systems. With both, two extra pumps has always worked perfectly. I’ve understood that vacuum alarms work on a relative basis, not absolute. That is, the internal vacuum only needs to drop a certain amount, not leak all the way up to ambient pressure. Anyone know if this is the case?
  22. Aside from the expense, adding strobes raises the technical and physical complexity of your system a lot. If you’re new to all this, figuring out exposure and strobe settings and managing cables arms and clamps for the first time while on an exotic holiday may not add to your enjoyment! I would hesitate to snorkel with my complete system (two strobes with multiple arms and clamps). It’s a lot to set up and manage, and while it’s OK doing all that at depth now that I’m experienced and the rig is neutrally buoyant, I would not want to try while bobbing at the surface. If you’re a really strong swimmer then you can get to the subject, position the camera and strobe, and get the shot. It may take a few descents per image to get it figured out as you’ll need to change settings and try again. But if you’re shooting from the surface, with bright sunlight, the strobe will do nothing at distances beyond 1 m. Keeping it simple and shooting ambient only would certainly be more relaxing.
  23. Here are some quick examples to demonstrate the potential range of this lens for eels. One thing to note is that good vis is essential when the subject is further away, as the 60mm lens can lock onto particulates and hunt for focus if you're not careful. It is a great lens for portraits but it won't capture the full length of a big eel out hunting, but I've never been quick enough for that anyway!
  24. I capture morays on almost every dive. With the 60 mm lens great portraits are possible from 0.5 to 1.0 m.
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