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Everything posted by nekton

  1. The question is, will it fit in my Aquatica D300 housing?
  2. Announcing a two-day photography expedition to Five Fathom Pinnacle/Kaula Rock/Niihau/Lehua Rock! Five Fathom Pinnacle is a submerged pinnacle some forty plus miles west of Kauai, three miles offshore of the tiny islet called Kaula Rock. Exposed to currents and the open ocean, it is not a dive site for beginners. It takes an arduous boat ride to get there, by any one's definition. Nevertheless, for the few people that have descended into the waters around the Pinnacle, the rewards of diving it have always been worth the journey. Monk seals, sharks, massive schools of fish, and…more sharks. The last time this diver visited the Pinnacle on Mother's Day of 2007, he encountered a half dozen monk seals, throngs of grey reef sharks, and even a few hammerheads. Not to mention a pair of courting humpback whales. In fact, the predator dominated underwater environment found at Five Fathom Pinnacle has much to do with its distance from civilization. Only "underfished" environments with large prey turnover will ever have predators dominating the biomass pyramid. Five Fathom Pinnacle is such a place. "Without a doubt, this was the best dive in Hawaii." - Ben Richards, Marine Biologist, University of Hawaii, after mile 124 of an underwater survey of the main Hawaiian Islands. Early in the morning on Saturday, 23 May 2009 (Memorial Day weekend), the 35' dive vessel Kealii O Ke Kai will voyage from Poipu, Kauai to Five Fathom Pinnacle with five underwater photographers and two crew. The itinerary includes a full day of diving on Five Fathom Pinnacle after which the Kealii O Ke Kai will moor overnight somewhere in the lee of Niihau. Sunday, 24 May will include a day of diving near Kaula Rock, Lehua Rock or Niihau Island, depending on where conditions dictate the best diving, and the boat will return to Poipu, Kauai late in the evening on Sunday. Note that the Kealii O Ke Kai offers plenty of space for five divers, but the overnight accommodations are sparse, akin to camping. This trip is photography and marine biology-oriented for advanced divers ONLY, with the minimum recommended experience of 300 dives in Hawaiian or similar waters. Remember that the nearest recompression chamber is a half-day boat ride and a plane flight away. Susceptibility to seasickness is a definite contraindication. Participants should expect the seas to be typically rough, as Five Fathom Pinnacle offers no protection from the trade winds. The cost is $625, which includes food and refreshments, and three tanks per day. Nitrox is highly recommended and is available at additional cost. Please understand that rigorous participant screening will be done to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, and that modifications to the projected itinerary can happen at any time in the interest of safety. PM or send me an email , if you are interested in participating in this expedition. I look forward to capturing some great images with you! - Kent
  3. Thanks for the PM's, guys. It appears that H2O Photo Pros dropped the ball a bit on this one. I think they were overwhelmed with the amount of business they were doing...
  4. I have been wanting one of these something awful. With my CCR and this, there is no critter I can't shoot. I ordered one from H2O Photo Pros as soon as I saw the Wetpixel review. So what is the deal? Why have they been back ordered for so long? Does anyone want to sell me theirs?
  5. I use Inons as they are the only ones that I heard can go to 500 feet. As for all the red, that is what auto-levels with Photoshop will do when there is a lot of blue elsewhere, as is typical underwater. I am red-green color deficient so I don't notice it as odd on my screen!
  6. Just returned from Malpelo. Some images here. Because I did not get my zoom or extension ring in time, I was stuck with my Tokina 10-17 and my 60mm and 105mm macros. I was pretty happy with the 10-17 for a few wide hammerhead shots etc., but I really wondered what the 11-16 would have done for some of those. Like the whale shark that was completely distorted by the fisheye. I highly recommend bringing a 60mm and flat port. 105mm in surge and current was a crap shoot, I thought.
  7. With tadpoling on animal closeups getting quite frustrating with my Tokina 10-17 fisheye, I would really like to use my Tokina 11-16 lens when accuracy is more important. Unfortunately, the Aquatica zoom for the Tokina 10-17 is too small. Jean did not say when Aquatica would have one available. I am thinking of just taking a Dremel to my 10-17 zoom ring to enlarge the inside. Any other suggestions? Thanks!
  8. Have you considered the Tokina - AF ATX 11-16/2.8 PRO DX? I am going to Malpelo in a few weeks and I had the same thought as you...that the Tokina fisheye would be too wide for that kind of wildlife. Not to mention the distortion that the fisheye would add. SO I bought the Tokina 11-16 for my Aquatica D300 system Had to also order the correct extension ring and zoom for that lens. See my previous post.
  9. I purchased the Aquatica D300 housing specifically because it can be modified to go to 450'. I bought the Inon strobes because they have the deepest rating (100m) that I could find. Still, 100m is a lot shallower than my deepest trimix dives. Are there any technical divers out there that have taken their strobes to 450' and beyond? If so, which model? One photographer claimed that Sea & Sea strobes should have no problem going that deep (although he never had come close with his), and certainly Sea & Sea doesn't say that their strobes can go that deep. Thanks in advance - Kent Malpelo Trip 23 July- 03 August 2008 Still Room for one diver! Current manifest has 4 closed circuit divers, plus one open circuit diver still looking for a buddy cuz the open circuit divers have to buy the beer B)
  10. Spoke to Jean and indeed he has not been in possession of a Tokina 11-16mm to do the measurements on his optical bench. However, he said that one customer had used the same extension ring as they used for the Tokina 12-24mm lens, with good results. That would be the #18453, 41mm. So sounds like you are right on the money, Chris, with your estimate. The extension ring that is closest to 45mm is the Aquatica 41mm. Thanks! - Kent
  11. Hey Aquatica folk - While my depth-enhanced D300 housing is on the way, I have ordered the Tokina 11-16mm because of favorable reviews and for the fact that perhaps I don't always want to use my Tokina 10-17mm fisheye for wide-angle shots. Sharks shots at moderate distance come to mind. Problem is, that lens is not on their extension chart for their DX cameras. Does anyone else use the Tokina 11-16mm in an Aquatica housing? Yes, I could wait and call them tomorrow, but I assume that if it is not on their web site, they haven't tested this lens with their dome ports yet. Thanks in advance _____________________ Malpelo Trip 23 July- 03 August 2008 Still Room for one diver! Current manifest has 4 closed circuit divers, plus one open circuit diver still looking for a buddy cuz the open circuit divers have to buy the beer B)
  12. If you are upgrading your D2X system to the new D3, I can help you out! Looking for an Aquatica housing for the D2X. Cosmetic flaws are fine--just needs to be in working order--as I will need to have Aquatica retrofit it for extreme depths. Thanks for your response!
  13. Thanks for your response. I actually considered Ikelite, for about 30 seconds. The fact that those housings are limited to 200 feet rules out the Ikelite for me. I use a Mk 15.5 mixed gas CCR to film my rare fish subjects which are often found below 300 feet. Plus, the quality of those wet-mateable lenses pales in comparison to the lenses from Fathom Imaging. The latter is a requirement--in my opinion--to compete in the tight broadcast/pro market. Sea&Sea, Light and Motion, Amphibico (though not for much longer), and Gates are the only ones that offer the superior Fathom Imaging lenses.
  14. In 1991, I purchased an Amphibico V101 housing. Very satisfied. After about one thousand dives, I finally flooded the camera on a deep dive off North Carolina, in 2000. For those 9 years, I never had any problem with the electronics, which some people say is Amphibico’s Achilles heel. Didn’t replace the camcorder as there was much better stuff available. Last year I bought a Gates PC330. On its third dive, I flooded the camera. Write off for that liveaboard trip. The Gates O-ring on that little housing is definitely not as forgiving as the one on my old Amphibico. It gets nudged out of place on the groove very easily and this is in fact exactly what happened. I expected it to be as care-free as my Amphibico and it wasn’t. The housing ended up being stolen in Cairo, anyway, so now that my insurance check came in, I would like to buy a PDX10 and housing. I like the idea of the Gates, but if the O-ring is anything like that PC330 housing, I am wary. Does anyone know enough on these housings to give me a run down on the difference, beyond the marketing ? The only advantage of the Gates--that I see--is that it has a good manual focus wheel. Is the O-ring setup like the one on the PC330/350?
  15. Sounds like a decent camera when combined with a Gates or Amphibico housing. The issue is: rather poor low light capability at 7 lux. My main goal is to shoot closeups of hammerheads in the Galapagos. I have a rebreather, but my experience with video lights and hammerheads is that they freak with video lights. So do you think a PDX10 is OK at 50+ feet (in relatively clear water) without lights, but with a further light-reducing UR-Pro filter? Other options include a PD-170, or HD-FX1, but, jeez, with a weight and price to boot! I am already paying $3 a pound for massive excess baggage charges for my Mk 15.5 rebreather. Thanks for your advice!
  16. The problem with that is that much of the built-in flash still gets past that plastic fiber optic cable mount piece. I noticed the shadow the built-in flash--even when partly blocked by the mount piece--made against the wide angle lens in tests topside. So if it makes a shadow it certainly could cause some backscatter.
  17. I bought the DX-500G with YS-90 Auto, wide angle wet-mate lens adaptor, and took just a few photos with it during one dive on the Big Island. Unfortunately I could not take more as I was overwhelmed with my closed circuit rebreather class and decided to leave the camera topside for the duration when I was on Oahu. There are some issues. First, there was no DX-5000G pattern for the velcro strobe cover material included with the YS-90, although there were patterns included for other camera housings. I made one, but decided it was inadequate. Still, you need a small hole in the flash cover so that it will trigger the slave through the fiber optic cable. My recommendation is to forget messing with the velcro and use electrical tape with a small cut hole strategically placed on both the camera inside and the strobe outside, and then use the fiber optic cable attachment as normal directly above the alligned holes. You will notice a major shadow if you try to use the built-in flash with the wide angle lens attached. Second, forget about keeping the strobe on the tray when shooting. Just way too much backscatter. As a standard underwater technique, you need to hold it away and angled, unless you are ridiculously close and there are no particles in the water. You will see that the light colored sand stirred up in the water column by beginner divers exacerbated the backscatter here. Photo used highest compressed resolution, taken with wide angle lens, YS-90 (don't remember the f-stop) off Honaunau on the Big Island of Hawaii. Obviously my skills in this one leave something to be desired, but I was not doing artwork here. I do not like the Sea and Sea's hot strobe temperature for people shots. My Ikelite substrobe would be much more warming for faces. I noticed no color abheration with the camera and no evident distortion with the wide angle lens. http://nektonmedia.com/Dec-2004-Kona-003.jpg
  18. The new combo housing/camera that is an upgrade from the DX-3000G: http://www.seaandsea.jp/products/digital/d...000g/index.html Its been in stock for more than a month, now. It sounds like a decent starter system, for the price. Thoughts? Good, Bad? Can anyone post a photo? Thanks! - Kent
  19. I just bought a DX5000G with a YS-90 strobe and .6x lens, and will have it in the water in a few weeks. I have yet to see anyone make any comments on the results from one of these. Anyone want to post some raw photos? I have stayed away from Sea and Sea ever since my 17mm Sea&Sea Nikonos lens from the 80's. There was quite a bit of edge distortion (at least compared to the Nikon 15mm and 20mm lenses). Anyone want to venture on the quality, or should the the old addage "you get what you pay for" ring true on this camera as well.
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