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meltdownman

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meltdownman last won the day on January 4 2013

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About meltdownman

  • Rank
    Lionfish

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  • Gender
    Male

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    5D M II, Canon S95
  • Camera Housing
    Aquatica, Recsea
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Sea and Sea 110 Alpha
  • Accessories
    ULCS Strobe Arms
  1. I have an Aquatica 5D MII uw housing. The problem I have is the engagement of the rubber wheels that engage the dials. The rubber wheels in the housing tend to slip and/or not engage the camera controls properly. I wish there was a way to replace the rubber wheels in the uw housing with something that more firmly engages the dials and switches on the camera. This may be a combination of making a piece that goes over the camera dials (e.g. mode dial) and also replaces the uw housing rubber wheel that engages the these dials and switches. The camera dials can be tough to turn some times and the rubber wheels tend to slip/wear out over time. The Meltdownman
  2. Questions: 1) Does any know if there are back fits for the Olympus UW Housing for the OMD E-M1 MK II? I like the housing for quick port changes but would like to have a vacuum system installed. 2) For those who have a OMD E-M1 MK II what strobes are you using and are you using optical or electrical TTL with your housing? Any problems? 3) For those who have an OMD E-M1 MK II what are arms and float systems are you using for getting your system neutrally buoyant? The Meltdownman
  3. Well, I have an Aquatica for my Canon 5D Mark II. If you are in the actual business of photography it pays to have the best port. I have some small scratches on my acrylic port that I have been using for several years and they don't affect the image at all so yours must be pretty deep. I have used a soft cover that I can quickly release to protect it. It takes an additional second or two but it has spared me the issues you have encountered. In a place like Truk I wouldn't have a problem because most of the shots would have been somewhat staged (i.e. had time to set up the shot) and thus not an issue. A place like Palau where pelagics come and go quickly it can be different story unless you are hanging out at a place like Blue Corner and strapped in due to currents with the big fish coming and going. I only get two to three weeks of diving a year so I can't compare what your time under water is but like I said I haven't had the small scratches affect the photos. The acrylic dome tends to cause the dome side to float up and was putting some stress on my wrists until I added weight in a funky kind of arrangement set up by the folks at Cathy Church's dive center. It's a pain but it works. With glass you don't need as much weight if at all but then the glass requires somewhat more float support. The one thing when diving I have done is to have the camera in my right hand with neutral buoyancy and pull the unit behind me to somewhat protect it also (while in more open spaces). The strobe are tucked in tight and easy to flare out when I do this to save a little time. It also cuts down on the drag. In tight spaces I have the unit in front of me since I sometimes use the focusing lights to act as a flashlight as I travel through wrecks or caverns. It gives me better control when the unit is neutral in my opinion. I did have a smaller dome port on my Canon S95 housing and it was made of glass. It scratched to the point it was useless so to use it again would mean buying another. I have bought a second housing and ports on ebay and wet pixel at great prices. You can a lot of times get steep discounts but you have to set the both sites up to flag you when the dome ports pop up on the radar screen because they will go fast. Be patient if this is your strategy since they are not always on sale. The Meltdownman
  4. Well you probably know this but you have to separate the problem: the strobe, fiber optic cables, housing or the camera. If you are with other divers or near a dive shop see if you can test your strobes on another system someone has. The same goes with the camera. With all the divers and cameras out there someone should be able to help you troubleshoot using their system. Did you try swapping the batteries from the good working strobe to the one that wasn't? It may be that your charger for the batteries is not charging correctly and everything is else is okay. Check the pop up flash and see if it is being interfered with inside the housing. Also, if the flash on your camera is set at the lowest setting to save on the camera battery, try boosting it to maximum to see if it works while still in the housing. It's a simple quick check that will at least eliminate that potential problem. The Meltdownman
  5. Besides costs, If you are going to use the TTL function of a Canon camera for a 5D MII (which I have) you need to purchase a converter ($$$) whereas a 7D you can use the pop up flash on the camera inside the housing and use fiber optics. There is less chance of flooding the additional electronics of the converter and cable and the optics seem pretty reliable from everyone that I have seen using them on various cameras out there. If you use a 7D with its pop up flash your battery life will not be as long - just set the output to minimum however and your battery life will be fine. I have used by 5D MII with an Aquatica Housing and have been able to shoot for several days without removing the camera from the housing because I don't have a flash going and I shoot mostly manual now that I have more experience. The TTL comes in handy when you need to get off a quick shot. The housings for a 7D are smaller, lighter and with no TTL converter there is more room in your bag with less chance of exceeding weight limits on airlines. The 5D is a bit better for low light conditions over the 7D but I still find that I need focusing lights to help with the focus with the 5D MII. This includes those days that are overcast vice bright sunny days. This is from my personal experience with my 5D MII. I have not taken my 7D underwater but have discussed this and read up on the 7D before my purchase of the 5D MII for underwater use. Both the 7D and the 5D MII use the same lenses so the quality is there for both. Hope that helps. The Meltdownman
  6. Bjorn, Check this thread out and see if it help: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=46968 http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=52815 Have you looked at your dive destination to see if there are any dealers there in Indo? You might get them to mail a tube to your dive location before you get there. Stephen
  7. In my Canon 5D MII I have an internal battery that many people don't realize exists. If you remove that and reinstall the battery it may reset your shutter count. I don't know if Nikon frowns on it from the standpoint you won't have an accurate count for the purposes of reaching the shutter lifetime limit. If they replaced the shutter mechanisim I don't see a problem with it but if you are selling it to another person they might not be happy with the fact that you reset the count. I would personally like to know the count. If the camera was overhauled you should include the maintenance that was done on it to both give an accurate history and show that you really are caring for your camera. Just a thought.
  8. You might try PB 2000. However, the key is not to get the oil in the o-rings if you can avoid it so you might apply it via a q-tip and let it soak and let it do its job. However, if you plan on replacing all the o-rings and you get some oil on them just make sure there is no remaining residue anywhere since it will cause the ruber to deteriorate over time. This stuff works good. http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Blaster-Chemical-11-oz-penetrating-catalyst/_/N-255s?itemIdentifier=515413 The Meltdownman
  9. I forgot to add that I am including the Aquatica Port Extension 18452 ($~200) and a spare main o-ring to this package neither of which have ever been used.
  10. 4 SALE: 5D MII and Aquatica Housing with Sea and Sea TTL Converter. Aquatica housing has 6 pin bulkhead connectors installed for use with TTL if you so desire. Sold as package for $2700 and buyer pays shipping costs. NOTEs: This has a dual vacuum and moisture indicator system that was custom made to ensure integrity of the housing BEFORE you dive. TTL convert is worth $750 new 5D MII camers going for $1500-1700 used Hand held vacuum pump available for additional cost Aquatica housings going for $2200 used Dipswitches (see picture) can be moved from off /on to allow shooting either TTL or manual strobe function. You can choose either with this setup. This set is for a serious photographer looking to upgrade or have a backup system. You can either keep the items you don't need as back up or sell them on your own for a good price to help defer your costs in this transaction.
  11. I have a 5D MII that had its o-rings serviced last year. I used it 3 times this year. It includes a vacuum leak detector system. Price is $2200 plus shipping and insurance - firm. Email me if interested Steve
  12. UV Filters are not really needed to protect the sensor anymore if that is why onewolf is getting a little harsh about their use (i.e. sales gimmick). Saltwater can destroy the coating on these just as on the camera lens. Having said that: I do use a protective glass on all my lenses for both above and below water. If for some reason you have to do an emergency opening of your housing while on the boat (liveaboard or otherwise) you do not want saltwater on that lens. It will destroy the coating on the lens. (e.g. There may be some moisture picked up inside your housing that is causing fogging for instance. Being near a saltwater environment will certainly have some salt content in the moisture) Not to mention the potential for the accidental drop. Protective glass lens covers are relatively inexpensive compared to your lens.
  13. Udo, What was amount of the vacuum you were using for your camera? I always wondered if too much vacuum was not good for the seal. On the other hand would it be better to have the vacuum at a level that was just above the point where the green light will change to red so that a very small leak would be detected as the vacuum decayed slowly away? The dial on these vacuum gages are broken up by one half inch increments of vacuum and therefore the resolution is not all that good for detecting very small changes in vacuum readings. I don't know if a vacuum gage with more precision would be a better way to help detect a very small leak. The other feedback I have on this topic: is anyone recording the vacuum when first setting up the system and recording the vacuum just before a dive to see if there is a slow leak? I usually draw a vacuum overnight and check it again in the morning but from Udo's experience I am not sure this would catch such a small leak. Has anyone caught such a small leak before by performing a vacuum drop test (i.e. check/record the vacuum over a period of time)? By the way thanks Udo for the feedback on your experience. I think most people have gotten the impression that these systems will detect leaks in all circumstances. This obviously is not the case in your circumstance. I will certainly be more sensitive to the indications of moisture buildup inside the housing now that you have you have shared your experience. Sincerely, The Meltdownman
  14. Actually Bill, I have your Housing Sentry and it's the cat's ass. Acutally on 2 of my 5D MII Aquatica Housings. It saved my butt on a predive check so it paid for itself. As usual I was in a hurry to go after trying to fix my strobes (which weren't firing) and the boat was about to leave. Classic set up for disaster. I do have the added insurance policy to cover both the camera and housing should it get flooded, lost or stolen. I do like the idea of a keeping the moisture alarm in the event the pressure switch fails. With the moisture sensor still working along with the vacuum still in play during a dive is good backup. In addition, God only knows what the baggage handlers do to your housing even when packed in a Pelican case. I have a few scars on the case already that are worth noting. The new unit out by Backscatter looks very appealing too but I have not seen any reviews on it yet. With regards to the light on it I don't have a opinion as to whether it is better to be external to the housing vs. internal for the Housing Sentry nor do I have an opinion for the seal on the Backscatter system and whether its disconnect is any better than the stainless steel from the Housing Sentry. So far the Housing sentry has held up on over 3 dozen dives at recreational depths. One feedback on the Housing Sentry is that many people prefer to remove the hydrophone since they don't use it anyway (and complain that the cord gets in the way). The Housing Sentry uses a differenct port. I personally like the option of having a mic available but honestly have not used it yet. I will when I get into experimenting with video this year. One thing not mentioned in any discussion that I have seen is that for those individuals that have masks with the colored filters on them will have any difficulty seeing the blinking green or red indicator lights for either vacuum indicator. I know that the green indicator light looses some of its color in the Housing Sentry when in the water. While I still can see it easily blinking underwater it definitely is not as green underwater. There is a concern that if I were to slowly lose vacuum and the color shifts to red that I might not be able to pick it up as readily. I don't know about the Backcatter light indicator and if it does the same thing with the same colors. Nor have I used a mask with a red filter on it and if that would disrupt seeing the change in indicator color should it shift from blinking green to blinking red if vacuum were to decay off due to a slow leak. The last question is just how much vacuum should one pump the housing down to and whether or not it is actually good for the seals? I have not seen a figure on what vacuum is "enough". Surely some of the vacuum must be pulling somewhat on the rubber o rings and will drawing a vacuum cause them to unseat or distort over time with the added sea pressure acting in the same direction? One final note on using a vacuum system it is nice to know that having a vacuum will help keep the housing closed in the event that a latch were to accidently come loose or not snapped into place at all before or during a dive. I did try to pull apart my housing with the latches not latched and the halves would definitely NOT come apart. However, I did draw a pretty high vacuum when doing this (15" Hg). My two cents. The Meltdownman
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