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About OkiMike

  • Rank
    Sea Nettle

Additional Info

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Canon 7D, Kiss X3, iPhone 4, Fujifilm FinePix XP10
  • Camera Housing
    Hugyfot 7D
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Halcyon (dual) 50w HID
  • Accessories
    ULCS strobe arms
  1. I posted this on another forum but think it might be more relevant here for those with equipment questions. ---- I have a Canon 7D in a Hugyfot housing with their fisheye port and a Halcyon T16 DPV. I recently received my order of the Suex video mounting system as well as a second (right) arm for the Hugyfot which is necessary to attach the Hugyfot cheeseplate. Lights are Halcyon dual 50watts on long Ultralight arms. I took the whole shebang into the water last night for the first time and had a bit of a rough go. My comments can be broken down into three parts: 1. The Suex plate is nicely made and simple to operate. You attach a male "dock" to the underside of the cheeseplate permanently, and the camera can be mounted/dismounted from the Suex mount merely by engaging/disengaging a white lever on the mount itself and inserting/removing the dock and the housing that is attached to it. Once attached, the camera can be locked or swiveled by manipulating a locking pin that sits off the right side of the mount. Doing so with the Hugyfot housing is difficult however, even with bare hands. This is because, with the Hugyfot housing facing forward, the housing is much wider than the Suex mount and you must therefore slide your hand under the Hugyfot's right handle to tighten the locking rotation knob. Doing it with DryGloves would seem to be next to impossible unless some sort of extension could be devised and doing it as I did with bare hands is hard enough. 2. The Hugyfot cheeseplate is simple enough in design but attaches to the housing by running the two handles through eyelets that stand up on the plate. The handles themselves, as you may have noticed, can be tightened/loosened by hand merely by pushing excessively on the handle while bracing the housing, despite the little locking "cuff" that is supposed to be tightened using Hugyfot's supplied little wrench. But when you add the cheeseplate, both handles must now be attached passing through the eyelets of the cheeseplate and tightened at exactly the right moment to ensure that the cheeseplate is flat with respect to the ground. Failure in this regard means that the cheeseplate will rock either forward or backward, effectively causing the camera to be pointed upward or downward when mounted on an otherwise level scooter. In my case, I was further exasperated by experiencing a broken wrench such that I had to tighten the cuffs by hand. They came loose on me underwater which caused not only the entire housing to rock back and forth when on and off the trigger, but also the lights to fall when one of the handles worked its way loose and "fell" forward or backward relative to the housing. The heavy 50w lights certainly didn't help matters and were a pain to set correctly since the whole DPV/housing wanted to sink and twist while I was setting them. The whole enterprise was very frustrating. Note to self: don't do all this on a night dive the next time... (Pascal was nice enough to send out a new replacement wrench and it's my hope that should I be able to tighted the cuffs properly, I can at least do away with the problem of the arms working loose and the entire cheeseplate rocking forward and backward while scootering.) 3. The Suex mount ships with a Standard male "dock" and contains only one hole running down through it through which you must pass a bolt/washer (not included) that secures it to the cheeseplate. The cheeseplate holes are such that, with only one whole, the dock must be secured off-center, either to the right or to the left. This is not a big deal in terms of balance, drag, or anything else tangible to the dive, but it means that even with locking washers attached, the housing's mass is enough to cause it to overcome the resistance of the bolt/washer/dock which means it can more or less rotate around with only a slight nudge of the hand, rendering the locking pin of the mount useless. After discussing the issue with Suex, while they offer other docks to fit a few other cheeseplates used (Gates, etc.), the only solution for a Hugyfot owner appears to be to take it upon yourself to drill two extra holes in the Delrin dock, such that you can attach it to the cheeseplate with two bolts, thus eliminating its ability to rotate. Whether the dock is wide enough remains to be seen and this is the step at which I find myself. After fixing the above, there are some further points to consider for my next dive. This might be a nice time to mention that there is enough clearance for the large fisheye port sitting atop the mount so that it does not touch the body of the scooter (this worry struck me as I was setting up gear just before the dive...). However, the tendency of the housing is to point slightly upward which makes getting video of the 30% or so of the environment below the scooter (which is what we normally take into view when diving) difficult. To solve this, I will a.) remove the weight plate that comes internal with the T16 for saltwater. This should make the unit as a whole only 1 or 2 lbs negative. I could alleviate this further by adding foam to the light arms, but as I fancy doing deco dives, a slightly negative scooter is preferrable to a slightly positive one that is floating up and getting in the way, b.) I will move the Suex mount closer to the nose which will make the scooter trim and thus, steering, a lot easier, and c.) I may tighten down the cheeseplate so that it is, in fact, pointing slightly down so that I don't lose the lower 30% of the environment that passes below a scooter and is not getting picked up on video. One last point: one of the whole reasons for the operation was not only to be able to video on the go, but to provide a more stable platform for the video. In this regards, I'd say I can't accurately judge just yet, but it does appear to be more stable when at rest as compared to just handholding at rest (even though I thought I'd gotten that skill down to a science). Until I can get all the other wobblies sorted out, the rest remains to be seen. Hope this helps someone.
  2. Yeah, I'd second adding the WB function to your MyMenu page if you don't like to navigate the Menu each time. As for the housing, as has been mentioned, some manufacturers DO allow access, and I imagine all would if even only by request. My Hugyfot, for example, offers buttons for all camera functions by default (with exception to DoF [unnecessary] and flash popup [also unnecessary since if you're using optically-syncing strobes, you'll have popped it up while installing the camera in the housing]).
  3. You can never have enough light (though you can have it in the wrong place [e.g., all close to the lens]). I recommend at least a two-point source 21w bulbs or greater each.
  4. Can I ask for what reason you are using a pony bottle? If for longer bottom times, perhaps double tanks are the solution. If for emergencies, perhaps a better dive plan to account for not running out of air unexpectedly. I do not mean to derail the thread, but am wondering if a pony is really the best solution to your situation.
  5. To resurrect an older thread, I have a 7D in a Hugyfot 7D housing with fisheye port (used with an EF-S 10-22mm IS USM lens) and use it with Halcyon Apollo 13.5 lighting (dual 50watt bulbs). Info on the lights can be found here: http://halcyon.net/lights/apollo For stills, I've been shooting ambient light but am saving for some strobes, likely the Inon Z240s. Unless you're really into video (and moreso, video editing), I recommend getting some strobes first rather than video lights. Post-production on photos is a far easier and less time-consuming task than post-production video. And, as the saying goes, if it's easy and accessible, you'll use it a lot more and get your money's worth. As for additional lenses, I've just purchased an EF 100mm f/2.8L IS, but will need to buy the Hugyfot port and port extension ring plus the aforementioned strobes before I can really put it to use underwater. Best of luck to you! Mike
  6. Just tested my 7D and the Transcend 32GB card (UDMA 400x) out in my air-conditioned office on a cold desk surface. Video ran for the following times before cutting off (size is directly from in-camera stats): 12'11" (3.98GB) 12'11" (3.99GB) 12'08" (3.98GB) 11'59" (3.98GB) 11'55" (3.98GB) 11'42" (3.98GB) ---Camera cutoff from overheating automatically at about 5 minutes. I deleted the partial clip, then--- ---I went to lunch for an hour and resumed recording the following clips with no cutoff--- 11'53" (3.98GB) 4'56" (1.68GB) 0'03" (20.3MB) 0'22" (128MB) 0'01" (5.43MB) CARD FULL As for the battery, I started the little test with a 100% fresh charge and ended the above with a reading of 8%. So filling the card with some minor editing work using the in-camera menu more or less drains the battery with a bit to spare.
  7. 500-1000 lumens is definitely not enough, especially for wide angle. For proper HD video on a DSLR, you need 2000-3000 lumens for anything wide angle. Preferrably dual 21watt or 50watt on-camera with an additional 50watt or 200watt bulb on spot divers.
  8. As per your point above, the Hugyfot optional depth rating is to 150m, not 100m.
  9. Hello, Great post. I have a Hugyfot 7D with some Halcyon dual 50w video lights and am looking at a strobe setup for still shots. When I purchased the housing, I opted for two 5-pin Nikonos ports (i.e., no need for a splitter) with the inboard TTL converter that Hugyfot makes in case I go with older strobe models that don't feature a native eTTL mode. At least that was my understanding of it. However, after reading the Inon Z-240 webpages, I'm left even more confused as evidenced by Bent's post. In my case, I'm NOT going to have optical cabling, but would still like a robust flash. Is the Z-240 overkill? What is the S-TTL mode and how does it relate to non-optical setups? Their website is a mess in the words department.
  10. After agonizing between the 100mm non-L and L versions (as well as a used 180mm L for nearly half-off), I finally bought the 100mm L version. I have yet to take it underwater, but use topside (with at least an hour at the camera shop testing both) had me falling in love with the L. If for no other reason, the ergonomics of it are superb--it truly feels natural in the hand with more of the weight on the mount-side rather than non-L which gets fatter at the focus ring and, consequently, feels heavier towards the tip. Some called in an in-between lens (between the 100 non-L and the 180 L) given the price, and I had to agree. And though I will use it at home in the little lean-to studio I've made, most of the stuff I do involves hand-held out-on-the-street-type shooting. And the image/color quality...it's enough to make one believe in religion!
  11. I have the Hugyfot for the 7D with the 150m additional depth rating option and love it. Currently I use the EF-S 10-22mm lens so I need the Hugyfot Fisheye port, the 50mm extension ring, and the associated zoom gear with silicone pad. If I change to a 100mm macro lens, I'll need to get a new port and a new extension ring to match it.
  12. I have the Hugyfot for my Canon 7D. Barring the usual nigglies associated with new gear and ironing out the kinks, I love it.
  13. I bought a 7D and a Hugyfot 7D housing for it soon after. I love both. My only one-time complaint with the housing was the following: I initially only had a 4GB memory card which meant only 10 minutes or so of 1080p footage or 200 RAW photos before an ungainly swapout was required. And, as other reviews have pointed out, changing either battery or memory cards in the Hugyfot require breaking down the housing entirely since the body is the first thing to go into the housing, separate from the lens, not to mention an additional 30 minutes of pressure-test waiting. This was easily solved by upgrading the memory card. I chose to go with 32GB which now give me more video than my video light batteries can provide, so no more swapout is required and the LIMFAC is now on my light batteries which come in at around 50 minutes to power the dual 50-watt bulbs. As for the housing itself, aside from being sexy, it's very compact and the layout is almost button-for-button the same as the camera itself, which allowed me to continue to give proper attention to the dive details and my team rather than towards any learning curve associated with a new housing.
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