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About smash

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  • Birthday 05/30/1974

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Houston, Texas

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Canon 5D
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Inon Z240
  1. As John notes in his post, using the fiber optic cable removes possible leak points (i.e., the bulkheads where the electrical sync cord plug into your housing and into the strobe). However, I use this method because the D180 doesn't have an electrical connection, only an optical one.
  2. Years ago on a liveaboard trip, I flooded my D180 the same way. And to make matters worse, I didn't find out until the next morning when I went to insert freshly charged batteries only to have a flood of brown goo pour out of the battery compartment along with a couple of exploded rechargeable AAs. It's a testament to how well Inon seals the battery compartment from the rest of the strobe in that I was able to wipe out the brown goo, rinse the battery compartment with fresh water, wipe all the electrical connections with rubbing alcohol, dry with a hairdryer, put in fresh batteries, and have the strobe work fine for the rest of the trip. It suffered nothing more than discolored battery contacts. In fact, that was five years ago, and that strobe is still going strong (I use a fiber optic connection to slave it off my Z240).
  3. Oh wow. Welcome to Texas, Luiz! I've long admired your work and look forward to meeting and diving with you in the Flower Gardens! Cheers, smash
  4. I haven't tried the StiX floats yet, but they have to be better than pipe insulation from the hardware store. I tried that route on my last dive trip -- bought several grades and thickness of pipe insulation, cut them to fit my strobe arms (even angled the cuts so I could fold the arms) and toted them all with me to Indonesia. While I could see the pipe insulation giving a slight bit of a buoyancy boost during the first dive, I didn't really feel the difference that much. Over the course of the week, the insulation successively compressed flatter and flatter. Because I'm lazy, I left it on for the whole week, and at the end of the trip when I was packing everything to go home, I had a grand old time peeling the completely flat compressed insulation off the arms. It was about the same thickness as the material in my 1/2 mm wetsuit. The pool noodles definitely perform better than pipe insulation, and the StiX are probably a grade or two hardier than the pool noodles. I'm looking forward to trying out the StiX, especially the buoyancy collar.
  5. Haha, wish I had hairdryers, straighteners, curling irons, etc. that I can toss out of my bags to lighten the load. But unfortunately, most of my international dive trips have been add-ons to business trips, so not only am I hauling around dive gear, camera bodies, lenses, housings, strobes, and laptops, etc., but also meeting materials, business clothing and shoes and accessories, and other random work materials. Luckily, the company springs for business class when I travel internationally, so I do get to take advantage of greater weight limits for my checked bags. It's definitely a great perk and one that makes packing for my upcoming return trip to Jakarta/Lembeh/Bunaken a lot easier!
  6. Hi all, Can anyone tell me what my chances of good wide-angle ops are in early to mid December in Bunaken? I'm trying to decide between splitting a week between Lembeh and Bunaken or just spending the whole week in Lembeh. Last time I went, I split a week between Lembeh and Bangka, but I got skunked on wide-angle in Bangka (the sun never came out!), so now I'm wondering whether I should even bother with the mid-week transfers and missing up to 4 dives if I'm just going to get skunked again thanks to the wet season. Thanks, smash
  7. Wow, some truly amazing shots posted here. I don't even come within the same galaxy of comparison, but since I just baptized a new camera system, I figure I'll play anyway. The first photos I've ever posted to Wetpixel ... don't be too mean to me! Goby in a Bottle, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia Canon 5D in Subal housing, 100mm macro, single Inon Z240 strobe I was getting ready to ascend from a nice long dive when I saw this little one poke its head out of the neck of the bottle. I dropped down, shot a single frame, and got lucky with the focus and strobe positioning. Coleman Shrimp, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia Canon 5D in Subal housing, 100mm macro, single Inon Z240 strobe It was my last dive in the Strait, and we were looking for harlequin shrimp. Instead the dive guide banged his tank and pointed these out to me. Silly me, I was disappointed because they weren't harlequin shrimp, but now I'm glad I stayed with them as long as I did! Bearded Fireworm on a Sponge, Cozumel, Mexico Canon 5D in Subal housing, 50mm macro, Inon Z240 and D180 strobes With lots of particulate matter in the water column and severely reduced viz, we weren't having much luck spotting anything on this dive, so when I saw the bearded fireworm, I decided to spend some time with it. It's not an unusual creature, but I like how the image turned out graphically.
  8. Wow! Stunning stuff. I'd been hoping that Cocos would pan out for me next year, now I want it to more than ever! I really like how #3 has a b+w quality to it, even though it's in color. Kind of knocks you off kilter and it's such a great overall shot!
  9. Hi Alex, I got really lazy about changing batteries and chanced it this weekend on a trip to the Flower Gardens: The first set of fully charged NiMH 2400s lasted 5 dives, including over 190 flashes, a night dive with the focus light on for the entire dive, and approximately 3:45 bottom time. I was shooting a mix of macro and w/a. The batteries were still going strong with no noticeable difference in recycle time when I suddenly remembered that I ought to put in some fresh ones. The second set lasted the remaining 6 dives of the trip, including close to 200 flashes, almost 5 hours of bottom time, two early morning dives with lots of use of the focus light, another night dive with the focus light on for the entire dive, and several hours in the camera tank with the strobe powered on because I had forgotten to power them down. Again, these dives were a mix of macro and w/a, with more w/a and full-power usage this time around than the previous. The recycle time never wavered until the last 10 or 15 shots in the last 15 minutes or so of the 6th dive -- then it started taking 30 seconds to a minute to recycle, but the strobe never fully died. Hope that's helpful. I was quite in awe of how long the batteries lasted since I've always previously made sure to put in fresh batteries after every other dive. Cheers, smash
  10. I use the Z240 with both my 5D and my c5050. Works great!
  11. So Alex, what did you end up getting? I'm at the airport in Singapore right now, had a few hours to kill, and ended up buying the Canon Ixus 950. I'm looking forward to seeing what it can do on my next trip -- headed to Angola and didn't want to lug the entire 5D setup with me just for a few topside shots.
  12. Yes, I'm braced for the difference in service. I've already heard much about the spotty airline service, so I'm planning to route everything through Singapore -- I have family there, so a few extra days and nights there are mandatory anyway. Actually, my co. is very savvy about travel to Africa and has a direct charter flight from Houston to Angola that I'm trying desperately to avoid. Much better to rack up miles in business class on a commercial airline (that I can use later for a dive trip) and have a built-in vacation in a stopover city! B) Paris en ete -- oui, il fait chaud, mais on peut acheter un sorbet de Berthillon, et puis, la vie est belle! [Can you tell my French is rusty?]
  13. I probably will take you up on the offer of advice as soon as I can get my client in Jakarta to let me know when and where I'm supposed to go! Sigh...when it's time to square up, I'm going to owe you a lot of :guiness:s! So when are you going to be in Africa? I'm headed to Angola in July. Trying to figure out if the company will let me travel via South Africa instead of via Europe, but then again, a long weekend in Paris ain't bad either. Birkin, hmmm...the real sign of nerdiness is here when I ask -- do you mean the bag or the car?
  14. è¬è¬å¤§å®¶! Thanks for the kind wishes! Funny how it takes a birthday to gets things prioritized. Ryan's right...after 7 months of dithering, the housing and strobes for my 5D are finally on their way! Now I just need to figure out where to dive next -- the company is sending me to Indonesia next month, but true to form, I still have no idea what the itinerary is, and I'm going nuts not knowing how to plan the diving around the meetings!
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