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Posts posted by Tom_Kline

  1. I cobbled together my BCD using parts from various manufacturers. So it could be called a hybrid or a bastard....

    The back plate is aluminum but should be stainless steel for better positioning. As well it should be used with steel tanks. Failing that I have four weight pockets on the two straps holding the tank not visible in the photo. Using a lycra suit, which is all I really need for Hawaii, temp about 25C, I have all my weight in these pockets. This is not the safest for quick ditching but I can assume any position with extreme ease, horizontal or tilted up or down. To save on weight I have just one D ring on each side. This shot was on the way to Niihau Island with Kauai visible in the background. On my previous HI trip to this one, which was to the Big Island, I got towed to the surface by the left hand side D ring as I was attached to a short down line for a blackwater dive when a breeze kicked up. The captain had not deployed a drogue so we quickly became a sailboat. A significant amount of force was needed to do this as I am well over 200 pounds in weight. So having a real solid rig is important for some circumstances - I broke the plastic D-rings on a previous BC from much less duty. The yellow strap that you see in the pic is from the weight belt I used in the 1970s. The belt is now fairly supple so I am using it for the crotch strap which is vital to the backplate design. Note that there is a heavy buckle which is important for opening and removal while in the water - has not failed me yet. I see weights on the bench so this is before they got loaded. You can also see my Canadian sombrero - a wide rim Tilley hat in an empty tank holder. As well there is the strongest sunblock I could find in the yellow thing next top the camera. The captain did not like me spraying it so it was not used after this first day of the trip. The reg you see is the same model that Adam has. I have gone back to using a combo reg-inflator. The Atomic SS1 model has a clever design allowing quick removal from the wing inflator hose.


  2. I am curious if anyone is using bulb or other long exposure techniques. An example would be for swimming around a wreck and doing multiple flashes.

    My long exposures have been limited to streams (some due to aperture priority auto-exposure setting so variable in length). Camera was always on a "tripod" of sorts and negatively buoyant to keep from drifting in the current. With and without flash.

  3. 51 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

    E I would prefer a so called full frame camera in the 4:3 format because it is better to me than 3:2 but that is a discussion for another day.


    +1. I do a fair amount of cropping of my FF images to the 4:3 aspect ratio  (I use standard ratios for cropping to make it easier to print to standard sizes - earlier in the digital game I free-formed the crop). A fair number also end up as 16:9!!

    A wider than 24mm FF format would be nice. I suspect we are stuck with the legacy effect as 24mm was about as wide as was possible to fit between the sprocket holes of 35mm film. Note that Nikon and others tried alternative formats with their 35mm cameras but most everyone ended up with a format that was 36mm long as the area (24x36) had an edge over formats that were 24x(<36) (this was way back).

  4. 1 hour ago, Interceptor121 said:

    What is different is that some larger cameras are just better camera either for af, battery life functionality

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    +1 on this point. The Canon 1D4 and Nikon D2X2 were the last crop bodies with the big batteries and had state of the art AF for their time. Issue for me is for cold water use such as temperatures around 5C/40F typical of groundwater fed streams and so have better viz than others in my area. For more recent bodies (Canon 1Dx and Nikon D4S) vastly improved high ISO (e.g., 12800) has increased (relative to the last croppers ((just mentioned))  my shooting capability as well.

  5. 1 hour ago, SwiftFF5 said:

    I got my second dose today, and I am leaving for Roatan on Saturday.  The timing has all worked out well for me.

    The vaccine may not be at 100% by then. The Pfizer (which I got) is supposed to be partly effective 2 weeks after shot 1 but I do not know when maximum immunity is achieved after shot 2 (mine is < 1week :->>). Good luck!!!!

  6. The second pair was shot at f/22 in the creek that is just a few meters from where I took the previous shot. The water is even shallower. You can see the affect of the curved field on the rock in the foreground on the left side of the frame - more in focus toward the center of the frame (where the spruce needle is located on the rock). Pair same as above - one with corrections and one without. WP is allowing me to upload only one shot......:-<<<<

    Conclusion: f/22 is still marginal.



    • Like 1

  7. I did some test shots with the 14mm Nikkor D-AF lens a few months ago - the sun finally came out but the salmon were done so I had to do something useful with the weather!!

    I used a standard Seacam Superdome for these images. There are special versions (with larger throats and matching PVLs) for larger diameter lenses. The first pair is in a nearby lake shot at f/16. One is with and the other without lens corrections for the lens in Lightroom (proper lens automatically gets picked if tiny box is clicked).

    The water was too shallow to submerge the dome all the way and am pointing the camera so as to not be shooting straight into the sun. Location is on the north shore of the lake making this challenging.

    Marginal at f/16 is my conclusion.




    • Like 1

  8. Being long in the tooth I remember when top shutter speeds went from 1/1000 to 1/2000s with concomitant increases in flash synch speed. In the case of Nikon it went from 1/60 in the F to 1/80 in the F2. This was due to how fast the shutter curtains traveled across the frame during the exposure. The flash synched only for speeds when the shutter was completely open. Faster shutter speeds were (and are) achieved by having a slit move across the film or sensor. The slit is narrower for higher speeds. So to get a 1/400s synch the shutter is moving much faster than previous shutters - the question from me is how will this affect their longevity? Many of us now may shoot many more frames than with film on a given shoot, e.g., 1 dive, and have camera bodies with actuation counts in the 100s of thousands. I have one with >1 million but the shutter was replaced. If the new shutter is still as robust I am all in :->>>>.

    My understanding of the E shutter (and video) and its phenomenon of rolling shutter is because the readout is not simultaneous. I gather with the A1 that 1/200s is how long it takes to read the data off the sensor in video/E-shutter mode.


    PS. the above pertains to electronic flash and not flash bulbs!!!!

  9. 35 minutes ago, ChrisRoss said:

    One problem with apps (at least with Apple) is if they disappear off the app store you can't get them back and if you update iOS Apple very helpfully removes them from your device and you cannot get them back unless they are put back on the app store.

    I had the free Ocean Life ID app but it disappeared from the Australian app store so I lost it from my phone.  It was very promising app that allowed you to search by selecting characteristics of the organism and it would provide suggestions.  http://www.skaphandrus.com/en/ocean-life-identification


    Very sad state of affairs and a good reason to avoid apps. PDFs seem to last a long time - I have a number of now multi-decade-old scientific publication pdfs (they started during the 90s) that can still be read. BTW I have the 3-volume tone. It is close to 1000 pages and weighs a bit. Probably the best resource for fishes of the region. Invertebrates might be a tougher nut to crack - the now 25 year old Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific by Gosliner et al. is a good place to start. There has been a lot of taxonomic revision since then .... One could go to Google with a genus name...

  10. One has to define "catch" - I assumed, maybe incorrectly, the literal meaning. One could catch the virus (have it enter ones body) but not get sick but be able to transmit it and possibly test positive per Bill.

    One has to have a contingency plan for testing positive on arrival (negative on departure). One of the first positive cases where I live in bush Alaska was for a fish processing plant employee who tested negative in Seattle then positive here.

  11. Being an aging boomer I received my first shot and am expecting the second in a fortnight. I suspect I will do my first post covid trip to HI which can be done on a much shorter lead time compared to overseas. There already is some travel to HI but with a lot of hoops to jump through. Will be more challenging coming from the bush which is my case.

    If one has immunity from the vaccine and catches the virus will that show up as a positive (from testing) and if so for how long and is the lag time (post infection) before positivity different? May take a while before these questions can be answered. If the body's immune system is attacking the virus is there enough to be detectable by a test?


    Other potential issues relate to the recently reported mutant forms (UK, S. Africa, and US) of the covid virus...

  12. Very happy to see the return of this topic!

    My fave reflects my long-term salmon project that was influenced more by the weather that was excessively wet in 2020 and poor salmon runs than by covid.

    I took this shot during one of the few and short sunny spells in early July before any salmon had returned to this stream. I used a lens that I had used for this same purpose (juvenile salmon) but with film back in the 90s, the Nikonos RS 28mm. This was one of the lenses that Harald H brought with him to DEMA in '19 following the SEACAM mdification. I have used several other lenses for a similar purpose but was challenged by the nature of underwater optics. This lens has a much flatter field as well as being a sharper water-contact lens. Its small size also helped as the lens was not completely submerged due to the shallow water depth. Rocks on the bottom (get in the way) did not help either.



    • Like 4

  13. A 50-120mm full-frame macro zoom might compel me to house the camera to go with it even if it meant changing brands!

    As for high ISO I use it quite a bit. I did a Lightroom search for Canon 1DX underwater images and reproduce a segment (to keep the pixel count down) of the screen here. 12800 is ISO #1 and 6400 is ISO #2 followed by ISO 6400, 3200, and 5000.

    I wonder how much of the EVF contrast issue is due to using 8-bit jpegs for the image. Low bit count is needed for a fast refresh rate - I have seen the stroboscopic effect one gets from this from screen refreshings in two situations (Nikon Z6): 1. a fast pan such as moving the camera rather fast L-R, and 2. shooting a propeller aircraft (seen it both with fixed wing and helicopters as there is a gravel runway airport between one of my salmon streams and home used by both types).

    1DX Underwater ISOs.jpg

  14. 10 hours ago, PeteAtkinson said:

    . Has anyone compared results with a small hemispherical dome in the right place with a larger dome in the wrong place?


    I have shot the 10.5 mm Nikkor fisheye lens "properly" mounted behind the hemispherical Seacam Fisheye Macro Port and Seacam Fisheye Port as well as "improperly" mounted segment-dome Seacam Superdome SD. The SD is far better even with just 12 megapixels (D2X).

  15. On 1/4/2021 at 8:26 AM, The_Darkness said:

    Thanks Tom. Retra makes a sync cord to FO converter with your choice of sync plug. Until I pony up the money for the digital back, I'm just going to shoot 70mm B&W with the SWC and channel my inner Ernie Brooks. ;) I ordered the Ilford HP5+ in 70mm x 50' from B&H. 

    Does Retra make the adapter for the Hasselblad bulkhead? If so it is news to me. I presently have two copies of the adapter for S6 bulkheads. I have found them to be rather unreliable due to the design of the connection between the adapter and the fiber optic cable (discussed in another thread). I have had to carry an allen wrench with me to my shoots and have had to re-terminate the connection several times using the wrench to loosen and then tighten the repaired FO. Not practical IMHO for scuba diving.

  16. One of the main reasons for me to use small dome ports is because the water is too shallow to use a large one. I have used the Seacam fisheye macro port FMP and wide port WP for this with the Nikkor 10.5, 16, and 8-15mm and Canon 8-15mm fisheye lenses. The WP is not made for fisheyes but when the fisheye lens used with it is focused very close, it will not vignette. The WP is also the least expensive Seacam dome and given that the ports are often scratched by rocks being tossed at them by my photo subjects need to be considered expendable.

    First attached shot shows a Sockeye Salmon pair preparing to spawn. The other pix show Sockeye Salmon gathered at the mouth of a creek located about 2 km away from where I am sitting. They are gathering here prior to final maturation to beach spawn in the lake around the mouth of the creek. I planned on staying here several hours to do the shoot..... The creek as you can see is very shallow - Pink Salmon spawn here. Even the FMP is too big to fully submerge at some some spawning locations in the creek. I have used this creek to do a number of tests over the years (because it is so close and fairly clear).

    Another type of small dome port about the same diameter as the port mount so looks like cylinder with a dome on the end made by Seacam was simply called dome port DP. They came in various lengths for different lenses. Alex Mustard mentioned a similar Subal port here a number of years ago. I have used my DP with macro focusing wide angles (the now long-discontinued 20-28mm f/1.8 Sigmas and the more recent Tamron 28/1.8 lens) and the Nikkor 60mm macro lens. The 20 in Nikon mount was used quite a bit with the D2X (i.e. APS-C or DX). I also have this in Canon mount but have only used it with the superdome (and 1D series full frame cameras). There is a curved field so smaller apertures should be used. In my experience the 60 macro with a DP is much better than using a flat port other than for night photography. I shot quite a few pix with this dome and the 60 near Kauai in 2019.




    • Like 3

  17. You can determine the guide number empirically if you want to go that way. Probably easier to have standard settings - best not "overthink" the issue. I used 150 w-s strobes back in the day and recall using f/11 with Ektachrome 200 (which was available in 70mm) at the half to one meter range.

    The bigger issue will be synchronizing the Retra Pro as the strobe needs fiber optics.

    • Like 1

  18. I have a small gallery of Snell's window pix on my website:


    The two at the bottom were shot with a DX Nikon (APS-C) with the Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye lens. These two shots depict what Ross mentions about seeing reflections around the window. I used a flash which probably helped with the reflection. One needs a shorter focal length lens to get a crop sensor circular fisheye shot to fit the entire Snell's window. These are made by third party companies, e.g. Sigma 4.5mm.


    As for the depth question... I looked through my UW images from Niihau last year for upward views. One can see the edge of the Snell's window at the top of each frame in these two. One (shark) has an overexposed sunball in the center of of the window. Surface waves and general scattering of light makes the window edge less distinctive compared with the shallow freshwater pix in my gallery. I was around 20m down. Vis there is quite good, 30m plus. Both shots were taken with a Nikonos RS 20-35mm adapted by Seacam so only moderate wide angle




  19. 13 hours ago, Tobi-Wan said:

    I hear you Tom, that's a lot of money for what it was. Did you get any good photo's with it when you had it? I'm hoping to find one at a reasonable price these days particularly because they have become more or less obsolete.

    I got some satisfactory shots with it. Keep in mind I was using film so no pixel peeping like with digital today. It did not get used as much as I would have liked due its large size - I recall doing just one plane trip with it. You might get lucky and find one for not much money but keep in mind that only few were made. A really good price would be a rare find. I do recall that it took a while to offload mine so they may not sell all that well.

    For the money the Nauticam EMWL is a better idea and there is a 100 degree objective for it so you have the same angle of view as the 18. At this time the amount of distortion is unknown...

  20. 9 hours ago, Alex_Mustard said:

    I only owned the Aumann teleconverter. My understanding is that this is not water corrected - basically just a lens and dome in Nikonos RS mount. 

    I concur with Alex's statement. I bought the RS18 when it came out as a pre-order (only option as only a few were going to get made) and was disappointed when it arrived as it was much larger than the prototype picture that was sent to me. The front element looked like a simple 8" (20cm) dome port. As this was the only way to get a 100 degree non-fisheye image on an RS it made sense to keep. I recall the cost as being over 3 grand in 1990s money so figuring inflation was about the same cost as the WACP-2 is today. After moving to digital I bought the Nikkor 18mm AF-D lens and made careful eyeball comparisons of the two lenses then sold the RS18 (as part of a gear dump along with two RS bodies, the 20-35 and 13). To me the front and back of the RS18 lens (ignoring the dome) looked identical to that of the 18 AF-D. IMHO it only makes sense to own the RS18 for shooting on an RS camera. There are better and less expensive solutions for other applications.

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