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PatrickJ

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About PatrickJ

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  1. As promised a few of the photos taken during yesterday's dive. Not am I saying in any way these photos show the full potential of the camera/lens combination, but I'm still quite excited about what I'm seeing in terms of sharpness - bodes well for the future! Flickr Album /Patrick
  2. Thanks Phil - appreciate the information! Since my previous post I've done two more dives, and I think realizing and accepting that AF simply won't work with this combination was exactly what I needed. Throwing that out of the equation, instead of getting frustrated I started to adapt and I have started getting some decent results. Seems to be the way it always goes when trying out new gear in this hobby. I definitely think having a manual gear is the preferred setup, and if I decide to go this route it's a definitive buy, but in lack of it I used the workaround mentioned in your article in UWPMAG (taking the SMC-2 off, focus on either something close or far away object depending on the subject size you're shooting and then flip the SMC-2 back on). It works decently enough! I'll post a few example photos later today once I've had time to go through the results, I'm sure others are curious about this combination. In general I'm rather amazed how sharp the SMC-2 is the few times your get it right!
  3. Thanks! Had a look, and indeed it seems Phil is combining manual focus and moving the camera into place. Shame I don't have to SMC-1 to test with as well, sounds like a better all-around-diopter (SMC-2 feels very specialized). /Patrick
  4. Would be great if the strobes are indeed sent out mid-January. Was unlucky to have one of my strobes flooded just before the initial shipping date, and have been managing with one strobe since then. If I had known about the delay I would have bought a cheap second hand strobe to use meanwhile. C'est la vie!
  5. Greetings Wetpixlers! I'm currently trying out the new Sony A7RIV in a Nauticam housing together with the 90mm macro and SMC-2 diopter, but I'm having issues (to say the least). I come from having used Olympus cameras for the past 7 years or so, so some adjustment was expected but I'm banging my head against the wall much more than I anticipated. The 90mm alone works fine, but as soon as the SMC-2 is put into the equation I just simply cannot get it to lock focus. I'm used to less than stellar auto-focus, my current (potentially previous) EM1 hunted as well when paired with the CMC-2, but this is just at another level. The 4x magnification is no joke! I've done 5 dives so far with this combo, and I think I've seen it lock focus once and only for a second before starting to hunt again. Because of the insanely shallow DOF, all you see is gloriously creamy bokeh swishing by in the viewfinder, so no point of reference to work with. I use back focusing, so what I've been doing to holding the back focus button, let go and any random time and then rock the camera back/forth in hopes to find the right focus distance. It's quite random, and you never know what distance you're going to get :). Earlier today I took the entire setup back to my room, as I wanted to see if I could get the focus to lock on a static object on the bed in a more controller environment. Same issue though - focus just hunts and never seems to lock. Two questions: 1. Am I expecting too much here of the SMC-2, perhaps this is a manual-focus-only diopter? 2. I've tried different focusing settings, but with no improvement. Any other settings that might be worth trying to improve the results? Would be great to get your opinion if you've tried the same, or similar, setup! Thanks! Edit: Corrected topic Patrick
  6. I recently took my new Olympus OM-D E-M1 mkii camera + Nauticam housing on a maiden voyage to Puerto Galera and Anilao. It's a really nice upgrade from my previous EM-5, but I did experience an issue I want run by the community. This might also be good information for anyone new with this setup, in case you come across the same problem. On day 3, during the first dive on that day, I noticed a strange behaviour. All of the sudden none of the directional buttons seemed to work. Initially I didn't think much of it, but after taking the first photo I also noticed no preview was shown. I went back to test the directional buttons, which still weren't working. Turned the camera off/on, but the issue persisted. Most of the dive was spent on trying to figure out what was happening, but due to strong currents there wasn't much to be done and I assumed I had installed the camera incorrectly the day before. Perhaps something got misaligned. While back on the boat, I gave it another go and to my surprise everything was back to normal. Started suspecting the vacuum valve, a new feature to me, and that perhaps the buttons got stuck on the inside due to too much pressure. Conditions on the boat weren't such that I felt i wanted to open the housing, so went into the water for a second dive. This time everything worked fine the first 15 minutes, but then the issue was back - most buttons on the front did nothing, no preview after photo was taken etc. Dials seemed to work. Very frustrating, and another lost dive. That evening I spent trying to see if too much pressure could recreate this problem, but I wasn't able to. As a software engineer, nothing gets me more frustrated than an "error" you can't recreate . The next day I went into the water with just enough pressure for the green LED to appear. During the first dive I had no issues - great! During the second dive however, about 10 minutes in, the issue was back. Very frustrating! Too much pressure seem to not be the issue, unless the pressure sensor was off and only showing green at much higher levels than it should. Back at the hotel room that evening I went back to troubleshooting. My theory this time was that perhaps one, or a couple, buttons don't get released properly, cancelling out the preview and making the directional buttons unresponsive. After about 10 minutes of pressing different button combinations I found one that did exactly this - keeping the shutter button pressed half way down. I have decoupled the focus from the the shutter button, but keeping it half pressed still seem to be registered by the camera and the effect is exactly what I experienced while diving - most front buttons do nothing, and no preview is shown if you take a photo. The next day I went diving again and during the first dive, about 10 minutes in, the issue reappeared. This time I checked the shutter release on the housing, which by looking at it seemed to have gone back to its initial position. To make sure I gently pushed the release in the opposite direction you normally would, and it did in fact move ever so slightly. I rechecked the camera - working! The rest of the week I spent diving without being too bothered by this - once the the issue resurfaced I just made sure to push the shutter release back into it's initial position. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm considering to send the housing back to the shop, as it's still quite annoying even though I now know how to deal with it. Wishing everyone a happy holiday season! Patrick
  7. Hi, A few years back during a trip to Mabul in Malaysia, I found this small little fish hiding in the weed - no bigger than 0.5 cm (0.2 inch). I've always assumed this to be a juvenile *something*, but I've never been able to identify it properly. Does anyone know what this thing is? Thanks! /Patrick
  8. Joejoearmaniii - sorry didn't see your reply until now. Unfortunately not fixed yet, had it in the shop for service but they couldn't find any issues at all so returned it back to me. Tried it again some weeks ago but still have the same issue - not sure what is going on but I'm even more surprised the shop is claiming it works perfectly. Will bring the strobe in again and try it together with them. I'd also unscrew the magnet as suggested above to see if the magnet is still alive, mine was so that isn't my issue. Patrick
  9. Much appreciated everyone! Will try it all tonight and let you know how it goes. Planning another night dive tomorrow, would be great to be able to bring the Sola.
  10. Current on vacation in the Philippines, and unfortunately it seems to be one of those trips where everything breaks down. Just before leaving one of my Inon Z240 stopped working and now my Sola Photo 1200 seems to have joined that unfortunate club. This is what happened. Two days ago I left the Sola to charge overnight. Not sure if this is relevant, but at some point I could see red or possibly orange lights blink rapidly in the corner of my eye. At that time I didn't think much of it as I was preparing for a night dive. Once the Sola was attached to the arm I tried it out - not working. It ended with me renting a light from the dive shop. Once back I started troubleshooting, and unfortunately the Sola seems to have gone completely dead. I've done some researching on this and other forums and I've tried the following: 1. It's not in locked mode (holding the slider in unlock position more than 4+ seconds makes no difference) 2. With the charger plugged in the wall, I've tried to rapidly tap the charger's contacts against the light's charging contacts 3. With the charger connected to the light, trying to plug/unplug the charger to the wall. 4. Tried another Sola charger Nothing seems to make any difference. None of the above make the indication lights go on. Any other ideas, or is this the end of my Sola?
  11. Decided not to bring the gremlin infested Z240, as I could not get it to work properly. Will have a look at the tubes once back, didn't think of that. It's a shame to have to send it back, it's not that old but unfortunately the warranty just expired . Anyway thanks for the feedback! Patrick
  12. Unfortunately one of my Inon Z240 is acting up, and this just a week from my trip to the Philippines. It seems not be working in manual or full mode - it fires but seems to be stuck at the same low output regardless what the output dial is set to. The magnet is in, so ACC should be off. When in STTL-LOW it seems to work, the output changes depending on the camera's flash power. I know there has been some issues reported with the magnet being corroded on the Z240s, so I removed the push button to have a look. The magnet seemed OK - didn't see any obvious corrosion - but it was loose and not attached to the button. Very well, attached it yesterday and retried – same issue. Since I have another Z240 that is working, I tried to switch the push buttons just to see if that made any difference. Unfortunately the issue remains. The second Z240, which was was working fine before, is still working with the other Z240s push button/magnet in place. Some quick facts: * Olympus OMD EM-5 * Nauticam housing * Optical flash trigger, use the OMDs flash to trigger (set to manual, as low as possible) Not sure what else to do, is shipping for service the only option left? I'm going to Hong Kong just before my Philippines trip staying for a few days, does anyone know of a Inon service center that might have a look in-house? Many thanks!
  13. Thanks for sharing - beautiful! Visited the Bangka some months ago and had a great time, I really hope the miners don't mess it up completely.
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