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About ileiman

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  • Birthday 12/08/1964

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Canon 7D
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Ikelite DS-161
  1. I have owned and dived two years with the Ikelite housing for Canon 7D, and have used the Ikelite 8 inch dome on +100 dives. I have never had any issues or serious concerns with the dome. Never had any leaks either. With the Tokina fisheye the dome port body is extremely short, and in fact attached in a bayonet fashion. You don't get to see too well how the o-ring seals, but the whole package seems quite rigid and reasonable external forces will not dislocate the port. With the Sigma 17-70mm zoom I use a longer port body, which may appear to make the assembly more susceptible to external forces, however I have not had any issues with that either, and have taken the camera to some really rough places. Using the longer body allows you too see very well that the seal is OK. Picture of the whole rig with the Sigma 17-70 below: And underwater:
  2. I have a Canon 430EX-II. I really like it. It is almost as powerful as the more expensive 580, and has all the features I need. When attached to the camera you can tilt and swivel it to gain better lighting. It can focus to a fairly long distance when using tele. For close-ups, a useful accessory is a "bounce" which softens and diffuses light. You can use the 430EX-II also as a remote-controlled flash with the 7D. This is a really cool feature and allows you to get really creative.
  3. read this topic plenty of info there. acrylic dome is easy to repair
  4. I use Hagor 100 liter soldier's kitbags. The bag itself is 1 kg (2 lbs), and I can easily fit all my dive and travel gear into one bag that weighs 16 kg (35 lbs). You can carry the bag as a rucksack and it take really rough handling. It is also very cheap at under 70 EUR (used army surplus even cheaper), available both in black and green. I have used these bags on many really long and rough trips and they are still in good condition. Here is a link to Hagor's web page: http://www.hagor.com/HTMLs/galleryW.aspx?C...3&BSP=12188 Here's a shop in Finland that sells them for 69 EUR: http://www.varusteleka.fi/product/isot-lau...usta/_2IL0Y6NL8
  5. I have dived for over a year now with the Ikelite housing and Canon 7D. I have done two long live aboard trips in tropical waters (Indonesia and Red Sea), and lots of local dives in the Baltic Sea. A total of 100 logged open water dives, plus numerous test and training dives at pool. It works and seems to be reliable as long as you take good care of it. Comparing to anything else, I especially like the price of it. While even the Ikelite housing with ports isn't exactly cheap, all the others (Subal, Sea&Sea, Nauticam, Aquatica, Hugyfot) are ridiculously more expensive, and I really cannot find much justification into spending 2x or 3x the amount of money to a housing. Maybe Ikelite isn't as cool & nice as a Subal, but hey - look at the prices What I don't like about the Ikelite is the weight and size of it on land, but below surface it doesn't matter if you use floats. Also the controls could be a little smoother to use, but you can live with that. There is no control for the joystick, which I miss a little, but you can live with that too. Also I don't like the idea of having to disassemble the whole system just to swap the camera battery and memory card, but you can live with that too - and in any case the battery typically lasts up to four one hour dives (= an entire day of diving). Almost forgot: on my housing the live-view lever broke, but Ikelite repaired that for free under warranty, and changed it to an ordinary push-button, which I think works much better. I strongly recommend changing the Ikelite arms to Stix arms with floats. That allows you to make your rig neutrally buoyant and well balanced under water. I also use Ikelite DS161 strobes, and those are very good & powerful strobes but unfortunately very heavy as well. The regular Ikelite arms are also too short for wide angle work.
  6. Here is a link to small selection of photos I shot with the Canon 7D on a two week liveaboard trip on MSY Seahorse, March 2011. The route we took was from Ambon to Sorong: Nusa Laut, Banda Islands, Pulau Koon, Misool, Waigeo, Dampier Strait. A total of 38 dives. We saw practically everything from Pygmy Seahorses to Manta Rays, and soft corals of every possible color and form. The 7D was in Ikelite housing, I had two Ikelite DS161 strobes with 12+12 inch Stix buoyancy arms, and the following set of lenses: Sigma 17-70 mm DC Macro OSHSM Tokina 10-17mm fisheye Canon EF-S 60mm macro The majority of dives I ended up using my new Sigma 17-70 mm lens due to its versatility. At 17mm it is a quite a decent wide-angle, even for shooting Mantas - and at 70mm you can do some sort of macro, even pygmy seahorses are doable. With this lens I had the Ikelite 8" dome, which gives a very good image quality but is of course huge. Before this trip I shot only with the Tokina fisheye, but now I found that to be almost too wide angle and suitable only for special occasions. With the 60mm lens I didn't like at all to be forced to shoot only macro for an entire dive, when there was always the possibility to see almost anything. Most of the time I shot with Manual exposure at ISO 100.
  7. Also Stix arms with their floats work well with Ikelite housing. I have dual 12"+12" arms. With the floats I can adjust the rig to be neutral with any lens+port combination.
  8. For lightweight BCD I have the Aqualung Zuma. It weighs under 2 kg and is really comfortable, and gives excellent trim. You can wrap it up into really small space. Full foot (closed heel) fins of course. Between regulators there's not that much difference in weight, unless you need to carry a huge amount of them for technical diving. All the stuff that I carry fits well into a Hagor 100L gear bag, that itself weighs 1 kg. Also possible to carry as a rucksack. Indestructible and as a kind of proof of durability, it is used by the Israeli army and by many UN peacekeeping forces around the world.
  9. I now found by experimentation the working port for this lens. I am sharing the information just in case someone else needs the info. The #5510.16 + #5510.54 (zoom body and 1.25" extension) with the 8" dome works very nicely at all focal lenghts. I just tested it at pool and it fully meets my expectations. At 17mm it is a decent wide angle, and at 70mm it can do some sort of macro (1:2.8). The lens focuses at all focal lenghts and distances, and can focus to anything that keeps outside the dome. At very close distances the focus does hunt quite a bit, at longer distances focus locks fast. Images are sharp, even at corners and no serious chromatic aberration or vignetting at any focal length. The zoom ring hack with velcro tape works reliably. Highly recommended as a general purpose "scouting" lens that offers a lot of flexibility. For really wide angle the Tokina 10-17 is of course no match, and for true 1:1 macro the EF-S 60mm macro behind a flat port is of course much better. The Sigma 17-70 is something to bridge between these two. I also tested over/under shots at 17mm with the dome and it works somewhat for that too, however if the focus is sharp for the under-part, then the over part is slightly out of focus. Tokina 10-17 works much better for over/under shots.
  10. The Canon Ixus 80is you already have should be just fine for practicing underwater photography, in the Canon underwater housing WP-DC-22 it will be quite OK. It will allow you to take fun pictures from your dives and great memories back home. I myself started with the very similar Canon Ixus 800is in Canon housing, and took the camera with me to my first big diving trip in Thailand in November 2006. I had done about 30 logged dives & AOWD just before the trip. Here is a selection from the very first snapshots I took with that camera at Phi-Phi island: https://picasaweb.google.com/ianleiman/Thaimaa2006PhiPhi# Followed by that I did a 5 day very memorable liveaboard to Similans, and took maybe a 1000 pictures, out which I think these were among the best (and some just "typical" to show some bad ones too): https://picasaweb.google.com/ianleiman/Similan# I should expect that you should be able to get similar shots with your camera - eventually. My diving and underwater photography skills were very rudimentary at that time, and I certainly have developed enormously since then, but I am glad I took the camera with me and took those pictures. They are great memories. I have since moved to a much more expensive and complicated camera setup, but that Canon Ixus was very good to begin with. In fact I still own a Canon Ixus (a newer 980is) and do have Canon underwater housing for that too, and do still use that occasionally too. The camera is so small, that it is easy to carry with you always. Use the lanyard that comes with the casing to keep it safely on right hand. You might also want to get a double-ender so you can clip it to BCD D-ring at shoulder when not taking pictures. The Canon native housing is very easy to use, and putting the camera in and taking it out takes just a moment, so you can definitely use it both for diving and on surface. I always have two batteries and memory cards, and on liveaboard trips I swap fresh recharged battery after each dive, and swap the memory card as well. The case should be opened in your air-conditioned cabin only to prevent moisture entering the case. When empty, I keep desiccant packs inside the closed case. On day boat trips I don't open the case, only in the air-conditioned hotel room. The internal flash on the camera is good for only very short distances, 30...50 cm, and works only in very clean (particle-free) water. For longer range shots you should set flash-off and use manual white-balance setting - this is so called available light photography. You mostly shoot with the zoom at widest setting, so called wide-angle shots, although with this camera you don't really get very wide angle shots. The zoom is good only for shooting small creatures at very close distances with the flash, for taking so called macros - but again you won't be getting pictures from really small creatures with this camera. My advice is to take lots of pictures, and video too, and try to review them as soon as possible after each dive. It would be good to have a laptop on your trip. Then look at the pictures carefully, think how you can improve and do things better on the next dive. The first pictures will be great disappointements, but don't worry, they will improve quicker than you think It might be a good idea to buy a current book on underwater photography, and read it well before you go. The book by Martin Edge is pretty good and thorough. Just be aware, underwater photography & scuba diving in exotic places can be highly addictive, and you might end up spending a fortune on it
  11. When choosing a camera for underwater photography, one consideration should be - availability of the UW housings - long term availability of the camera itself Let's look at this from the UW housing manufacturers' point of view: UW housing manufacturers tend to avoid low production volume cameras in general, as it is a big investment for them to develop and give support to a new housing for any new camera. Only a fraction of camera owners will buy an underwater housing, so your best business case is in supporting those best selling cameras. This exaplains why there are so few UW housings for Pentax dSLR cameras, just as an example. But, it is also best to support cameras that stay in the market for the longest time, that way you avoid spinning new versions of your UW housings too often and get to sell the largest quantity of any given housing model. This gives the best return on the investement. It is best to avoid supporting camera models that come and go. This is why some housing manufactures have decided to stay away from quickly spinning model series. It is also good for the camera and housing owner to choose equipment that is and will be available for the longest possible time. This is the timeline of Canon Rebels (year, model): 2003 300D 2005 350D 2006 400D 2008 450D 2009 500D 2010 550D 2011 600D Considering these facts, choosing a Canon Rebel series camera is not a long term investment. Canon spins a new Rebel model every 12 months, and the buttons and everything change places. So your old housing no longer works for the next model, and the housing manufacturer needs to spin yet another version. And if your camera breaks for any reason, you might not get a new one to replace it. And yet, the changes that are made on the Rebel line, are often quite small, and not always worth for upgrading your equipment. Canon just wants to stay ahead or with the competition in this fiercly competetive market segment. Same applies to other major companies as well.
  12. Just out of curiosity, I did some actual testing with the Sigma lens at the pool. The lens just barely fits into the Ikelite 8" dome with the 5510.11 body, which I use with the Tokina 10-17 fisheye, so I decided to give it a try, just to see what happens. I locked the Sigma lens zoom ring to widest and shortest setting at 17 mm. This puts the lens barrel's outer edges just a few millimeters under the dome, which should't be a very optimal position. However, the result was very positive. The lens gives very nice undistorted images, no soft corners. Overall sharpness was clearly less than topside though, but then this is quite a sharp lens. There was also some CA, which you don't see topside - not bad, but if you look for it, you will find some. I made some calculations, and concluded that a port body that was something like 45 mm longer than the 5510.11 body would be a somewhat ideal compromise that would support the entire zooming range of the lens. But then looking at the Ikelite modular port body offering, I discovered to my dismay that they do not have a body that would be even close to 45 mm. - There is the 5510.24 which is 38 mm longer, but this is a bit too short for zooming fully out to get macro. - The next step is the 5510.28, which is 60 mm longer, but this is a bit too long, at the verge of vignetting at wide angle end. So not only is there an issue fitting the zoom gear, but Ikelite also hasn't got the correct length of a port body on the modular system. Even with extenders, the closest you can get is the combination of 5510.16 + 5510.54, which is 51 mm longer than 5510.11 body. But this should be better than either the .24 or .28, you just need to buy more stuff. And have one more possible point of leakage. And more stuff to carry on a trip... The standard 6" dome 5503.55 looks like it could be the right length, but a smaller dome might have issues with corner sharpness. Tough...
  13. The Canon 7D, 60D, 600/550D have all the same 18Mpix sensor, same metering system, and share a lot of the same technology and core firmware, so the still image quality on all of them should be basically the same. However as you go down from the top-of-the-line 7D, you progressively lose some features which may affect to the way you take pictures. The image processor and frame memory size affects how fast you can shoot and how quickly the camera responds. Probably there is also an effect to video quality as well. The 7D is fast as a lightning and really good for fast action. - 7D has dual DIGIC4 processors and the largest memory, it can shoot 8 frames per second, up to 58 JPG or 16 RAW in sequence - 60D has single DIGIC4, and can shoot 5.3 fps - 600/550D has smallest memory, and can shoot 3.7 fps up to 34 JPG or 6 RAW in sequence More computing power and bigger memories do amount to higher power consumption. However, if you use the LCD a lot, or the internal flash a lot, then that consumes much more power than anything else. The body structure: - 7D has all magnesium alloy body with full environmental sealing, solid like a tank and even works in rain - 60D has plastic + aluminium body, no seals - 600/550D is mostly plastic body & no sealing, quite fragile but also lightweight, gets ruined in rain The user interface: - 7D has the most complete interface with dual dials, joystick, customization, 3 custom modes etc. - 60D has reduced interface, no joystick, fewer buttons, limited customization, 1 custom mode - 600/550 has a very simplified interface The autofocus-system is different in all of these: - 7D has 19 point all points cross-type autofocus with highly configurable & customizable settings, AF works really fast & is very realiable - 60D has 9 point all points cross-type autofocus, limited configurations - 600/550D has 9 point AF with only 1 cross-type point The optical viewfinders are different: - 7D has 100% 1.0x pentaprism, this means full and bright view of what you are shooting - 60D has 96% 0.95x pentaprism - 600/550D has 95% 0.87x pentamirror Both 7D and 60D have 2-axis electronic spririt levels. 600/550D has only orientation sensor. Connectivity: -7D has USB2, HDMI, Video, N3 remote, external Microphone, PC-sync, IR-remote -Others have no PC-sync, no IR-remote, and only support E3 wired remote Accessories: - battery grip available for all - for 7D you can also get WFT-E5 wifi/remote controller grip Canon Speedlite wireless flash support: - 7D can act as wireless flash master with multigroup & channel support - 60D can act as wireless flash master but no multigroup support - 600D can act as wireless flash master but no support for channels or groups - 550D has no wireless flash support Rear view LCD: - On 7D and 550D LCD is fixed - On 60D and 600D LCD is articulated Memory cards: - 7D has CF-cards, others use SD/SDHC/SDXC In conclusion: it is up to you to decide if the added features on the more expensive models are something you need and are willing to pay for. One thing to note though is the fact that any underwater housing with ports is going to cost you more or much more than the 7D body. Any lenses you have - or will eventually have - will cost you more than the 7D body.
  14. Have you read this review? http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse5/
  15. I had a few annoying dents on my Ikelite 8" dome from crashing against some rocks in strong current. To get rid of them, I first tried the Novus Acrlylic polishing kit that is sold at Backscatter. But even the "#3 heavy scratch cream" did nothing to the dents. Then I found a set of "Micro-mesh touch pads", with all the grades from 1500 to 12000, from a local woodworking shop. These are soft pads that have micro-mesh papers on both sides. With the 1500 grade pad and water I was able to get rid of the dents in just a few minutes. However, it does look like a diffuser after the grinding: After this I applied all the pad grades, one by one, all the way to the finest 15000 grade. After each grade I rinsed the dome with plain water. And on each grade I buffed to one particular direction, and changed the buffing direction 90 degrees on the next round. After this I dried the dome and used the Novus acrylic polishing creams, starting with #3: Then #2 cream and final polishing with the #1 cream. After this it looks like brand new again: The whole process took about 30 minutes. The micro-mesh pads can still be used for many times over, and I have plenty of the Novus cream left. So I can do this many times again, if nescessary.
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