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About Bandula

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  • Birthday 05/04/1970

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Interests
    All watersports

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D2x
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    2x Seaflash 100 (subtronic mini), Hartenberger 125
  • Accessories
    Seacam and Hartenberger Off-shore strobe arms
  1. I have been using the old 105 AF-D for a while and was always disappointed about the slow AF. Specially when using it with my Kenko 2x Converter, it was sooo slow. Around the closest focus distance and under low light/low contrast, the AF liked to shoot in and out without focussing. I sold the old lens before I got the new 105 AF-S and was convinced that the new lens will perform much better and make me happy. Unfortunately I never had both leses at the same time for a direct comparison. Until now, I dived only one time with just the 105 AF-S. I like the fast AF very much, but can not see much better performance of the AF beyond the speed. When I use it with the Kenko 2x, it is the same super slow snail like AF-D is. Same result with Nikon 2x. Without the possibility to compare exactly, I feel that the focussing performance has not improved. VR is useless underwater because I am not using shutter speeds below 1/60 when shooting macro. My conclusion is that it is nice to have quick AF when shooting normal macro, but no advantage when shooting super macro with converters. Moreover I am missing the noise of the old lens. It helped me a lot to hear the focus moving and to know exactly by the "click" when it was completely in or out. Somehow , the silent AF is a disadvantage for me when shooting under difficult condition close at the minimum focus distance. For me, it was not worth to spend the extra 400 Euro.
  2. If you have a scratch on your glass-domeport which is visible in your images, you should ask somebody professionally working with optical glass to try polishing it. If they are not able to remove the scratch or the polishing causes distortion, ther will be only one possibility left: Remove the scratch with your credit card ;-) Cheers Thilo
  3. I found a good solution for me now. My target was to stop the superdome from turning. Furthermore I wanted the whole gear to to have a safe upright stand. Normally the Superdome is bigger than the housing and if you put down the housing down, it will put force on the dome and its thread. Most people lay this set-up on a desk with the superdome faced down, but I do not like it because I carry the gear upright with the Seacam handle in the upper srew socket. I simply made a plexiglass plate to equalize the difference between housing and lower edge of the superdome. At the same time, a small pin attached to this plate, fits into one of the hexagon head screws of the dome and blocks it against turning. Difficult to explain,- you better have a look to the attached images...
  4. I used a Hartenberger 125 TTL digital with my Coolpix995. This worked very well and the flash was the most important part of my gear. Fast recycle time. Did work "similar to TTL" with the sensor of the 995's pop-up flash. But this strobe does not work TTL with DSLR and Hartenberger seems not to be interested to work on this issue. The strobe models are not updated and I think Hartenberger nowadays focus more on light system than strobes. It depends a lot on your camera and housing, which strobe will be the best choice for, but there are lots of people here, ready to give you advice. Thilo
  5. It seems to me that this part of the webpage is not uptodate. The 250 TTL Digital has no Subtronic parts anymore. As far as I know some other Seaflash models are having Subtronic parts inside. To my best knowledge: You may use one 250 in iTTL with Nikonos V connectors. If you want to use iTTL with two 250's at the same time you'll need S6 connectors and the S-N DDSC inside your housing. For more reliable information you should contact seacam: office@seacam.com
  6. Hello, I am using the superdome with my Seacam D2x housing. Since I have the superdome, I realized that it can be screwed into the housing with quite little resistance. Even easier it turns when I use the extension ring to house the 12-24 lens. It happened topside (in the boat) already a few times, that I found the dome unscrewed a bit after I picked up my equipment. When the camera is placed "domeport down" on the floor and will be moved or picked up without care, the dome/housing might be turned a little bit. This is mostly caused by the huge own mass of the domeport. When I move the housing UW suddenly to the left, the domeport will unscrew itself. After a few minutes of my last dive, I found the domeport turned approx. 30° to the left . Before, I jumped backwards into the sea when holding the camera on my chest. I didn't panic, because compared to the full thread, 30° seem not to be much. After the dive, I detected several drops of water inside the domeport. It was a scary situation, although I surely knew that the housing isn't fully flooded. After opening the housing, I detected several drops on the camera, inside the housing and inside the extension ring. It seemed to me that the water must have leaked through the gap between extension ring and domeport. I unscrewed the domeport with thread upwards and found the whole thread full of water. Now I am scared to use my domeport. Did anybody experience similar situations? Does anybody have an idea how to fix my problem (Thicker o-ring?). I am already thinking to drill a small whole into the dome-protector and fix a securing hook. Hoping for your advice, cheers, Thilo
  7. Hello, @Kriptap: 2 strobes "Seaflash 250digital" should be connected using the S-N DDSC, (Seacam-Nikon Digital Dual Strobe Connector). This circuit, placed inside the housing requires a 6 pin connector on the main flash socket and allows to operate both flashes in iTTL mode or manual mode, having the benefit of the featuers I described earlier. One strobe is connected as slave and should always stay in auto-mode. The master controls both strobes. If switched to manual, the slave takes over the setting autmatically. 2 strobes parallel connected using all 5 wires without S-N DDSC doesn't work at all! I had my first dive with the new strobes yesterday. They absolutely fullfilled my demands and I am very happy with them. At first I thought the iTTL would easily overexpose because the camera monitor was indicating lights quite often. Back onboard, using a normal screen I found everyting exposed very well. 60mm 1/60 @f16, iTTL Cronix, a picture would be fine. I am now using the seacam foldable carrying handle. This is mounted into the top screw socket. I fold the strobes down to the middle and let them rest on the outer edges of the handle. So my hand still fits in the middle to grab the handle. It is still heavy, but quite comfortable and safe. If I have to walk more than 50m, I wish I had a trolley :-) Cheers Thilo
  8. I have 2 of those strobes. Unfortunately it took me a while until I had all my equipment together in one place. Now I am back at the Red Sea and looking forward to take the strobes for their maiden dive in the weekend. I used two Seaflash 100, but was a bit weak sometimes and I wanted to try iTTL. So I changed to the new 250's digital. If you have 2 strobes, you need your housing to be modified with a controller! Features: (2 strobes) Seperate syncro and charging sockets 2 different color temperatures by 2 selectable flash tubes (for film) LED to indicate charge level in % Power LED Pilot light in 3 steps and with good focus Pilot light auto off when camera switches to standby, auto on when camera wake up. Pilot light is possible to set in auto mode. Will open automatically if AF needs assist light, but only with camera setting AF-S. Full ittl with two strobes. If one strobe is operated, the second takes over the setting automatically. e.g. Both in TTL mode --> switch one strobe to manual -3f, --> Both use the same manual setting! In TTL mode, the used power is indicated for 2 sec. after each flash. This allows you to select the perfect manual power in case you are not satisfied with the result. I tried the functions here in my cabin only because had no opportunity to dive. Everything seems nice. I will let you know the performance after a few dives. @CRONIX: How do you handle your equipment on land and in the boat. Its so bulky and heavy. The links/brakes are not really strong enough to keep the position of the strobes when not in the water. I am trying to fold and store the whole things and find a comfortable and safe way to carry it. Seems to be very difficult. May you please help me!!! (L=250, D= 110-120, 2100g!) Cheers Thilo
  9. Hi Andy, I am also looking forward to get my new 105 VR. The old one has already been e-bayed :-) I rececently talked to Harald Hordosch of Seacam about this lens. Himself and Kurt Amsler tried it, and the results seem to be super good. If you are now using the makroport for your 60mm, you would need a 15mm extension ring to get the 105 in there, but the minimum size of such a ring is 20mm. I am already using a 35mm extension ring for my 12-24 with Superdome, and same before with 60 makroport and the old 105. So I will be using the 35mm ring with makroport to house the new 105 micro. The 20mm gap between lens and port should not affect the quality. Cheers Thilo
  10. I am using all the lenses mentioned here and I confirm all the statements made in this thread. Depending on your equipment, you should take into account that you need a large good quality domeport for the fisheye. This might be expensive... For sure the 12-24 is more flexible und I suggest to get this first. The 10,5 is a wonderful lense, but very special. It is also a question of the visibility at your mostly visited divesites. If it is very good, maybe the WA are worth it. The 105 has a slow AF but is "more" suitable for macro. Maybe you should try the 60 with a converter first. The AF will be slower as well, and on top you loose 1-2 f-stops. But it is a cheaper solution and the converter will be excellant for super-macro once you upgrade to the 105 in the future. Thilo
  11. This is my favourite thread! So many gorgeous shots. My favourite in 2005 is this one: Thilo Bürcks D2x, Seacam, 105mm+2xTC, 2 Seaflash 100
  12. I used the correction tool several times just to check if the picture would become better. Until now I always preferred the original (uncorrected) version. The "fisheye look" has it's own special effect, which is so nice. Especially underwater, because there are hardly straight lines.
  13. I do not know the Canon lenses, but for teleconverters you should check out http://www.thkphoto.com/products/kenko/index.html I am using the 2xTC MC7 with a 60mm and 105mm Nikon Macro lens. Very nice, but slow AF, especially with the 105 using AF is slow and difficult. Thilo
  14. That's correct and exactly what I do when taking "normal" pics. The Magic Filter does only work with preset WB. Thilo
  15. Hi Martyn, Maybe you are right and my chart is too grey uw, but I thought that a neutral grey chart with 18% reflexion would be perfect, even uw. I don't now the exact zone the camera uses for WB. It uses the main sensor and the 1005-RGB-Metering-sensor. So I presume it uses the whole frame. It is also possible to make a custom WB of the light by use of the Ambient Sensor, but that is not possible UW with my housing because no control for the FUNC-button. It looks a like I wasted the money for the waterproof grey chart and better to WB on the scene or I might try with a laminated white paper. Thilo
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