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Everything posted by JohnLiddiard

  1. I used to use Sea & Sea strobes because they were cheap and easily available. A false economy because frequency of failure and consequent cost of repair accumulated annually. I moved to Inon strobes and in 15 years they have never failed. The only disadvantage is you need a phd in Inon to work out how to drive them. I would hope Sea & Sea electronics have improved since. Nevertheless, the design of the battery contacts and the lever micro switches inside appears to be the same or similar, so perhaps those failure points remain.
  2. When travelling with my current M4/3 rig, I only need a carry-on and one 20kg bag in the hold. When travelling with my old DSLR rig, I always needed an extra 10-15kg bag in the hold. Depending on route and airline, that can be a big saving on every trip. The lighter rig is also much more convenient to carry about on location and to dive with. Images may not be as high resolution as a full frame DSLR, but they are good enough for a double spread in magazines or for a poster sized print on the wall. I don't need any more. By coincidence, my Mrs has a TG5 and video ring light.
  3. What I would find interesting in a lens size comparison would be pairs of images of the same lens at either end of the zoom range, or wherever most/least extension is for zoom & focus. Many zoom lenses that at first appear interesting turn out to be completely impractical simply because a port to accommodate the extremes of extension would be impractical.
  4. Adding to the advice of previous replies, it also depends on the level of diving. You need to be completely comfortable and 'automatic' at any level of diving before you start complicating it with a camera. You will reach that point sooner for 5m dives in warm water and good visibility than for deep dives in cold water and poor visibility. Once you start photography, there will be dives where you can develop your photographic skills, there will be dives where you can develop your diving skills - but not both at the same time.
  5. Always on the strobe arm. Its so much more convenient. My dive computer is secured to the strobe arm and the camera is secured to me. No more or less likely to get lost than if it was on my wrist. Convenient in the water and quick to kit up. But - I would keep it on my wrist if it was air integrated with a through water transmitter. In the past I had an Aladin AirX O2 connected to a rebreather and the through water transmit/receive often glitched when it was close to a firing strobe. The failure mode of that was way more troublesome than simply missing cylinder pressure.
  6. You may find it cheaper to book an underwater photography speciality course than a private guide. Then tell the 'instructor' to just skip the theory etc and model for you.
  7. I don't know the gear layout of your 24-70 lens, but in the past I have bodged a zoom gear by wrapping one side of sticky backed velcro round a lens to approximately the right thickness. It wasn't smooth to operate, but got me through a trip while waiting for the genuine gear to arrive. The 24-70 at 24 could be OK for sea lion portraits. Maybe not ideal, but sometimes you get interesting shots using the 'wrong' lens.
  8. A difference to bear in mind compared to the small housings you have already used is that an acrylic dome port will be considerably more vulnerable to scratching from accidental knocks and bumps, while the wide lens draws you in closer to potential bumps than what you are used to.
  9. One lens of the mask for close up, one for distance. Close the unwanted eye.
  10. Work it backwards. What use do you put the photos to: Print or web? What size? Do you crop a lot during editing? That should give an idea of minimum sensor pixels you actually need. Any pixel count more than that is money you are spending on a sensor that you could be spending on a lens, or money you are spending on excess baggage that you could be spending on beer.
  11. I have the Sigma not-VR available. Sigma 105mm macro 1:2.8 D.
  12. I ran a pair of Z240's through a Sea&Sea Y cable without any issues before moving to optical connections. (I have a couple of Y cables and a couple of direct cables available if anyone wants to make me an offer)
  13. I used to get fed up with continual sending YS90s away for repairs, similar symptoms, just not switching on. In the end I gave up on paying for repairs and pulled one apart. Inside the on/off switch rotated a cam against a mechanical micro switch. A spray of switch cleaner cured it for a while, but the problems resumed. With a bit of careful soldering I replaced the micro switch and everything was good again. I found a similar part with a higher specification. I suspect the surfaces inside the switch were oxidising through heating up during high current draw. The strobes then performed reliably until I replaced them with Z240s, which have been flawless for 15 years. If the on/off switch of a YS-D2 is similar, you could test for the same problem by shorting the switch. Take care opening up strobes - there are high voltages that can still be present even when switched off.
  14. The updated software has increased my forum participation :-) Making it easier to follow what is going on and easier to post has done it for me. Being really picky, the number of pinned topics in some areas gets in the way, pushing current discussion too far down the page. Especially when some of the pinned topics haven't been updated for 10+ years. So anything to thin out pinned topics such as archiving them off to an 'info-base' area would help remove clutter.
  15. A dip in the rinse tank while wiggling the controls, then out and in the dry. When I need to crack a housing open for another reason, check the o-rings and clean/grease only if necessary. I have seen many more photographers love their housings to death than I have seen abuse their housings to death. Left unattended in a rinse tank to slowly fill with water; over-maintaining o-rings and mistakenly trapping a fibre.......
  16. I have done 70m dives with them. Likely accelerated the permanent squashing down and the need for an extra ring or two for the next season.
  17. I use slices cut from a hollow swimming noodle. Incredibly cheap and easy to adjust by sliding on more/less rings. They loose a bit of buoyancy with depth and age, but not too much. I just put an extra ring or two every few years.
  18. The attachment system is a matter of personal preference and how much you want to spend. For camera handling, you can treat the feel through the gloves as a completely independent issue to the attachment of the gloves. Go for gloves that have a separate inner glove rather than a built in fleece. That way you can adjust the insulation and dexterity by choosing to dive without a liner, with skinny liner gloves, or with full fleece inner gloves. You don't have to use the liners that come with the dry gloves. An added bonus is they are easier to dry out and you can have a spare set of fresh warm and dry liners for every dive. Even without a liner, I find dry gloves warmer than 5mm wet gloves and better dexterity than 3mm wet gloves. A skinny liner adds a surprising amount of warmth for negligible loss in dexterity. You don't need to buy the full dry glove system to practice. Get some cheap reinforced pvc work gloves, slip them on over some thin fleece liners and experiment in a swimming pool. The actual gloves used in many dry glove systems are pretty much the same pvc work gloves fitted to a cuff ring. The difference in price between dry glove systems is the engineering of the cuff ring system not the actual glove.
  19. Build the circuit into a replacement for a cable bulkhead socket. That way you can convert a housing that does not have room for popup flash or any optical sockets to use fibreoptics instead of cables. Does it also mimic digital TTL? Or just manual?
  20. Swap the left and right over. Keep everything else the same. See if the effect reverses.
  21. When overseas, most boats on a 2-dive trip give you a cylinder for each dive. Take a buddy twinning kit and a second regulator (the baggage weight increase is only really that of a first stage, as you don't need an octopus on either). You now have twindies that you can stretch over 2 dives. You can even use a bit more gas on the deeper first dive at the expense of a bit less on the second dive.
  22. Give me a video camera and I have this uncontrollable urge to turn it 90 degrees for a nice upright portrait shot.
  23. I had a badly twisted ankle and did every dive on a week's liveaboard using duct tape to strap my ankle into a finning position and hold it there. About 3 wraps of tape in a figure 8 did the job. I also regularly wear a back support under a drysuit.
  24. As well as sharpness etc. at standard distances, I would also be interested in absolute minimum distance of lens/port/housing combinations and also a practical real measurement of angle of coverage.
  25. Thanks to those who have volunteered. I now have a full compliment.
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