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Everything posted by sethgold

  1. Another vote for the Philippines: http://www.divecamiguin.com/
  2. I check my housing, strobes, ports, etc. in a Pelican "steal me" case. I've been to Cancun, Curacao, Honduras, Philippines, and Cayman with zero problems.
  3. In low light the Canon 100mm has a hard time focusing. In these situations a manual focus port is very helpful.
  4. My wife and I have been dragging our kids (now 8 and 13) on dive vacations for 5 years. Here are my suggestions, from best to worst, given your constraints. If you'll only travel on Frontier, fly to Cancun, rent a car, and drive to Akumal. Very easy diving, close to Maya archaeological sites, very low key and safe, pretty reasonable, turtles hatch in the summer, no day care or organized activities. http://www.locogringo.com/akumal/ http://www.akumaldiveshop.com If you want an all-inclusive place that's great for kids go to Anthony's Key in Roatan Honduras. Your kids will love it and the diving is better than Akumal. You have to fly Continental or Taca. http://www.anthonyskey.com/ If your 12-year-old changes her mind about diving, and you decide to blow off your frequent flier miles and your budget, this is the way to go: http://www.kidsseacamp.com/ I think we all enjoyed Anthony's Key the best out of those three trips. I hope this helps.
  5. I stayed at Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol and dove with Vernon. Balicasag Island is the place to go. It's about a 45 minute boat ride. The diving is excellent. If you want more info send me an email at sethgold@pacbell.net
  6. I was in Little Cayman in Febuary and the diving was excellent. Little Cayman Beach Resort's dock was being rebuilt but otherwise they was no apparent damage.
  7. I pack arms, clamps, housing in a Ziploc with handles removed, handles, ports, strobes (batteries & chargers), sync cord, etc. in a Pelican 1610 and check it. Don't forget tools to put the handles back on. I tried pick and pack foam but it wasted too much space, so I'm now using a divider set and finding it much more to my liking. I use wrap ports in and other fragile things in Domke wraps. I carry on laptop (and charger), camera (batteries & charger), lenses, CF cards in a Porter Case.
  8. I pack a housing, arms, 2 strobes, 2 extra battery packs, and 2 chargers in a Pelican 1610 padded dividers case and check it. Pick an pluck foam took up too much room, I much prefer the dividers case. I carry my camera, lenses, and laptop with me in a Porter case. Thanks to everyone here that recommended the Porter.
  9. I've bought cameras, lenses, and everything Ikelite from B&H. No problems, ever. I use the Canon 50mm and 100mm macro. I'd start with the 50mm as the 100mm takes more getting used to. I also use the Canon 16-35, but if I had to do it over again I'd buy a 15mm WA since I usually shoot at the widest end of the lens anyway. Just my $.02
  10. I cary-on my camera, lenses, laptop, rx mask, meds, and a change of clothes. It weighs a ton. I can imagine adding else.
  11. Does anyone have first hand experience in Little Cayman recently? Specifically, how are the conditions of the reefs?
  12. Could you be kind enough to post a picture showing the top part of the arms?
  13. I purchased this housing in August 2002 and dove with it approximately 50 times. In Dec 2003 it flooded, nothing biblical, maybe 30ml. I promptly rinsed the housing, inside and out with fresh water, and let it dry completely. As soon as possible, I sent the housing to Underwater Camera Repair for service and pressure testing. It pressure tested OK. UCR also replaced the hot shoe mount and associated wiring, which showed signs of corrosion. The camera was DOA, and DEPP replaced it with a 10D. This sale also includes: - ULCS base tray - Two ULCS quick release handles - Glass flat port, which will accommodate either a Canon 50mm compact macro, or a 16-35 WA zoom - New body and port o-rings. Price is $850. Shipping is at actual cost. Pictures of the housing, and scans of the service docs, may be viewed at: http://bungaloo.com/images/uk-g/ I'm open to conducting this sale through escrow.com, if the buyer is willing to pay all escrow fees.
  14. I have a DRebel in an Ikelite housing with DS-125 strobes. The DS-125 performs exceptionally well and is very durable. I don't think you can go wrong with it. You can read numerous other testimonials here arriving at the same conclusion. The question of a housing is more complex. I dismissed S&S because I was unable to get a quote, using a Wetpixel sponsor, who shall remain nameless. The Aquitica web site was deficient in its content of port specs for my Canon lenses, and when I called them, my call was answered by a service. The Ikelite website had all the information I needed to pick the correct ports and everything I needed was in stock from B&H.. I don't think any of these housings are a bad choice, but for me, it was the path of least resistence. After using the Ike housing on about 15 dives, I can report that I'm very happy with it and I feel it's a solid value. I also have an aluminum UK-Germany housing from a deceased D60. The UK-G housing is a sexy piece of metal that I want to fondle and sleep with. I don't feel that way about my Ike housing. On the other hand, the Ike housing is less than half the cost of the UK-G and they both perform equivilently. I also like the transparancy of the Ike housing so much I not sure I'd buy another aluminum one. I only have one criticism of the Ike housing. I find the zoom gear for my Canon 16-35 to be flimsy and hard to install. I almost always shoot as wide as possible, so I leave the lens at 16mm. For me, it's not an issue. Ikelite's phenomenal support is an additional benefit, not an accommodation to compensate for lower quality.
  15. The CDC says this about malaria risk in the Solomon's: "Risk in all areas except for the southern province of Rennell and Bellona, the eastern province of Temotu, and the outer islands of Tikopia, Anuta, and Fatutaka." It says you can take any of the following meds: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, primaquine. I've had no side effects taking Malarone, but you should take it before you leave so you're sure. Here is the link to the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/travel/regionalmalaria/austspac.htm I find this statement amusing "Mefloquine has rarely been reported to cause serious side effects, such as ... psychosis. Mefloquine should be not be taken by persons with a history of psychosis, generalized anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, or other major psychiatric disorder." Not my ideal profile of a dive buddy.
  16. I'm going to be in Akumal next month with 5 newly minted divers. They will need a lot of hand holding, so I'm thinking of hiring a private guide/DM for them. Does anyone have a recommendation for a dive shop? One of the divers is a small 12 year old, so a shop with a variety of bc's would be helpful.
  17. I just went through the same exercise as you and I ended up purchasing the Ike housing, mostly because it was an easier and cheaper experience then purchasing an Aquatica product. B&H had everything in stock and the Ike website has a good port chart. I was in La Paz 2 weeks ago and shot exclusively macro with the Canon 100mm behind a flat port (5505.45). I think it's a fabulous lens, although the small field of view took some getting used to, and it the lens takes a lot of light. All in all I'm quite happy with the housing. For the price I think is a very good value. If you're shooting wide angle you will need a zoom gear. And of course don't forget arms, strobes and a sync cord.
  18. I had a somewhat different experience using a WetPixel partner. I tried to buy a Sea&Sea Housing for a Canon 10D and after 3 days of repeated calling, and not receiving a promised callback, I gave up and called B&H. I talked with Howard, in the UW photo dept, who was I found very responsive, well informed and helpful. I would not hesitate to give B&H a call.
  19. I'm wondering if a 300D housing purchased before the inclusion of eTTL can be retrofitted. I'm also wondering if eTTL will be available for the 10D. Does anyone know the scoop on this?
  20. I'm dying to get a hold of the Ike 10D housing. The release date posted on the web site has inched from May to June. That's totally understandable. Unfortunately, I'm the unhappy owner of a 10D camera and a D60 housing. In desperation I've started bidding on eBay for a D60. I can't bring myself to pay $3000+ for the Subal. I'm so conflicted. Maybe I'll buy meds instead.
  21. I bought a Pro Roller 1 but never used it because it weighs 16lbs empty. When I flew Philippine Airlines last Dec they weighed every carry on item and did not allow any to bring more 20lbs total on board. I carry on my camera and lenses and check everything else in a pelican. I'm thinking of ditching the Pelican in favor of a bunch of Tupperware containers and an ice chest. The Pelican draws a bit too much attention and I prefer the shape of an ice chest. I also like the irony that the best packing device for thousands-of-dollars of equipment might be a beer cooler.
  22. Make sure the power strip you take does not have any surge suppressor circuitry, or a circuit breaker built in. If it does, it will smoke when you plug it into 220v.
  23. A little background: Last December I flooded my D60 in a UK-Germany housing. It was not a biblical food, maybe 10-15 ml. Subaquatic Camera Repair cleaned the housing and it pressure tested OK, so presumably the flood was caused by user error. The D60 was toasted and no longer available, so DEPP replaced the D60 with a 10D. Whoopee. Unfortunately, the 10D does not fit in the D60 housing. I can't bring myself to sell the 10D. I could buy a used D60 for about $900 and use my existing housing, or I could buy a new housing for the 10D. My inclination is to buy a "less expensive" housing (i.e. Ikelite or Sea&Sea), sell the UK-Germany housing (after I test it underwater) and dive with the 10D. Any thoughts on this strategy are welcome. My real question is this: does anyone have any experience to share, good or bad, with Sea&Sea or Ikelite housings. I'm under the impression that the Sea&Sea housings are heavy, and then there is the question of US distribution. As far as Ikelite goes, their new digital housings are compact, but is anyone using them?
  24. I ran across this program, and if I didn't already own BreezeBrowser, I'd try it out for image preview/conversion. I tested it converting Canon raw files to JPG's and it worked well. It claims to read 100 different file formats, including Nikon nef, and writes to 50 different file formats. Best of all its free. Here’s the URL: http://www.xnview.com/
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