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Everything posted by ChinaBrad

  1. This is a full and complete set-up to buy today and dive tomorrow. Housing, camera body, lens, strobe, and all accessories. All of the kit is in full working order and in great condition. The outfit includes: Nikon D70 body, battery, charger, and memory card Subal ND70 housing - NEVER flooded. All seals and O-rings in perfect shape Subal FE2 8" dome port and neoprene cover. No scratches Nikon 10.5MM DX fisheye lens - THE best wide angle DX lens. I am also including a set of Magic Filters that allow you to shoot this lens without a strobe (great results actually) I am not including the Nikon 18-70 DX lens or the 12-24 lens, but I AM including all of the port extensions, zoom gears, and diopters you need to shoot these lenses should you choose to expand your kit Nikon SB800 strobe (nikon's most powerful) and the Subal housing to match. Shoot true Nikon TTL, not someone's aftermarket attempt to mimic it. All of the arms and cables to mount the strobe are included Hartenberger Mini Compact dive light. The best money can buy. I run it as a spotting light on the housing for night dives or to ensure perfect focus in low-light conditions. Mounting hardware included. Retracting lanyard to attach the camera to your BC. Don't want this baby sinking to the bottom of the ocean! All of this comes packed and shipped in a Pelican 1510 rolling case. It is sized to carry on, but is rugged enough to check in the belly of the plane. I've done both. Yes the Nikon D70 is 6 years old, but remember, this is THE breakthrough digital SLR that revolutionized digital photography. Everything else since then is just evolutionary improvements on this classic. It continues to take beautiful, vibrant images. Also consider that by shooting this complete set up, you are protected if your housing, god forbid, does flood - You've not trashed your primary camera, and a replacement D70/D70S body can be bought on Ebay for $100. This is actually a great way to shoot underwater. Get a killer deal on older, but still great equipment and keep your new $2,000 D700 safe and dry on land. I've been doing some research on where to price this. If you were to set out and by a similarly complete setup new (on a D90 perhaps) you'd pay more than $8,000. I saw a similar D200 set-up (though not containing any lenses) listed for $5,500. (I own a D200 body, it's really no better in image quality than my D70. I still shoot my D70 regularly) For personal reasons, I want to move this quickly. So to do this, I am pricing the full set-up for an amazing $3,500. This is a killer deal and gets you underwater and shooting immediately. Serious inquiries may contact me at brad.peacock1@gmail.com
  2. I own a very early model D70 which I have used for 1.5 years housed very happily in a Subal housing. Just as I was getting ready to leave for Malaysia last week I got the dreaded Blinking Green Light of Death - BGLOD! So my underwater shooting is now dead in the water (and all my shooting for that matter, save a little Sony snapper). It can be fixed of course and I am working on that now. Trouble is, I live in China where even the simplest of things become very complex. Recognizing that it will likely take many weeks for my D70 to be returned, I got carried away and bought a D200 to keep me going on land - where I do most of my shooting (I went to 2 stores here which each had 3 units on the shelf- no backorders here! I paid $1,780 - so a slight premium over US list) So now I have this new toy in my hot little hands and it has given me the upgrade bug. Should I upgrade my underwater rig to accomodate the D200? I'd love the better exposure metering and color rendering I am already getting with the D200. But I'd feel much worse flooding a D200 than a D70 (which hasn't happened yet, thank goodness) If I was starting from scratch, I would go ahead and take the D200 underwater, but what do you think as an upgrade path? Will the underwater performance gains warrant a sizeable new investment in a new Subal housing (I'd keep my ports and strobe housings)? Thanks, Brad
  3. But if the problem was no diopter, the camera wouldn't focus or shoot at all. It sounds like Scooter is able to fire shots, just not focus. Scooter, can you clarify for us? Brad
  4. I had similar problems with my D70 during my first few outings in my Subal housing. The camera would fire even though it never focused. Further, I could not use the "play" or "menu" buttons, though all of the others seemed to work. When I would get the camera topside, everything would work great. Very frustrating! but i found a solution! (actually a fellow wetpixel forum member discovered it and graciously shared it) The AE / AF lock button was getting depressed an causing the malfunctions. I slightly modified he housing to prevent this ( I never use it anyway) and now everything works great! Hope this helps! Brad
  5. I forgot to add that iPhoto allows you to do all of these image adjustments in JPEG mode. Thus RAW just seems to take up more memory on my cards and hard drive (at least this is the hypothesis I'd like your comment on) Cheers! brad
  6. Good morning to all (at least in China where I live) A couple of questions about shhoting in raw, post shoot editing, etc. First peice of info: I shoot a D70 in a Subal housing. Usually shoot in JPEG fine mode. Second peice of info: I use an iMac for storing, managing, and editing photos (I'll spare you my Mac evangelism for now!). Specifically I use the lastest version of iPhoto which enables pretty robust editing capabilities including adjustments for (among other things) color saturation, exposure, and color temperature. I know most "serious" photographers shoot in RAW mode and edit in photoshop, but have any of you tried iPhoto? For the kind of shooting I do, I am really happy with it, but then again, I am not sure I know what I am missing. I tend to be somewhat of a purist - meaning a few minor adjustments to a digital image are fully "ethical", but fundamentally changing the composition or quality of the image seems to go against the spirit of wildlife photography. I mean if you blow the shot, you blow the shot. Great photographers should (and do) get great images straight from the card. So what do guys think about iPhoto's capabilities? How much am I missing out on by not using photoshop? Thanks! Brad
  7. Do you guys know if my ND70 can be retro-fitted with the GS viewfinder? What's the approximate cost? Thanks! Brad
  8. I have a Subal housed D70 witht he standard. I was admiring a photo of a seacam housing the other day with a very cool 45 degree angled view finder. I was not able to find any such option on Subal's website. DO they make such a thing? It seems like it would offer a much more comfortable shooting angle when swimming horizontally or when shooting close the floor. Does such an option exist for Subal? Does anyone shoot this viewfinder on their SeaCam? What is your experience? Thanks! Brad
  9. Hey gang, I am heading to Palau this October (Hooray!) I am debating whether or not to add a second DSLR body to my bag for travel to and from dive sites and topside throughout the day. The intent is to not have to open my Subal-housed D70 rig during the day, but still have my DSLR gear available (as opposed to my little Sony T1 snapper) I'm not yet ready to take the plunge for the D2X. My photography skills do not yet rate such a machine (despite my penchant for buying expensive toys! - sorry honey) Plus, if one body craps out or floods I've got a back up. I am debating between a second D70 body and the D70s. Any thoughts on whether the S is worth the extra $100? What real-world advantages does it have other than the slightly larger screen? Thanks! Brad
  10. Has anyone here tried the new (relatively) Aqualung mistral regulator - the one wth the 2 hoses? Aqualung claims it has significantly less bubble interference and noise, making it "ideal for phtographers" Any truth to this or just marketing hype? How does it breathe? Curious, Brad
  11. A strange one for you all. I have a D70 housed in a Subal. I am also using a Subal-housed SB800 nikon speedlite and the nikon 18-70 and 10.5mm lenses behind the FE-2 8" dome port Here is my problem: When I am on the surface or snorkeling, everything works great - sharp focus, full function access, etc. When I descend to depth (>15 feet) everything seems to go buggy - I cannot access the play function, I cannot access the menu, and most frustrating the camera won't focus even though it will still fire (yes, I am in AF-Single mode which should prevent the camera from firing when out of focus). I will get a image review after the shot, so it's not that the LCD is completely whacked. I also get full function from the buttons that you use via that top LCD screen (e.g. ISO, metering mode, bracketing, etc). When I get top-side and take the camera out of the housing, everything works great again. I get the same response using the 18-70 kit lens (with and without a +2 diopter and with a 20mm extension per Subal's rec. - without the diopter seems to work better by the way), and the 10.5mm DX fisheye. I have tried turning the camera off and on again while underwater, I have done a full reset between dives. I am shooting through fixed focus area mode (Center) so it not that the camera is choosing its own focus sector. Nothing seems to work. ARGH!!!! Some have previously suggested the use of a modeling light to cure focus problems, but there is plenty of light (e.g. exposures of 1/400 at F8 at ISO 400). If I happen to have a subject in the focal range of the lens of when the camera craps out then I will get a good sharp image, but beyond that all I get is blurred images! Do you think it's a camera body problem? A housing problem? At these shutter speeds it's not simply just a motion problem Please help - have invested too much time, money, and emotion to get lousy results! I just got back from a week in Belize with more mixed results. I need to get this resolved before Palau in October! Thanks to all, Brad
  12. I have had similar problems w my D70 / Subal rig. When I get underwater I cannot review photos - I can set the camera up for an immediate review of the last shot I took, but the "play" button will not work. Get it topside, no problem. I have the exact same experience with the "menu" button. Wierd. Any ideas? Brad
  13. Greetings all, A question for you all. How do you transport your rig to and from the boat? Like many on this forum, I use a pelican case to travel w my gear to and from dive destinations. But once I arrive I don't like lugging the big case aboard the boat, plus the boats I usually dive with are small and WET. What I normally do is set up my rig at the hotel or dive shop and then transfer it to a large canvas bag to carry aboard the boat. I leave the pelican behind. The bag I am using is not that great of a solution - it doesn't fit that well, but it is easy to carry and is OK getting wet. What do you folks use? Any better ideas? If you use your hard case, how does it hold up to getting wet repeatedly? Thanks! Brad
  14. Thanks cmm1970 - don't tell my wife, but I think I am going to go for the Fisheye. Like I said I am a sucker for quality. Thanks to all for the insights and opinions! Brad
  15. I was cruising the SUBAL website earlier today and found a strobe tip to ensure that your TTL functionality is working correctly and not been damaged by the intrusion of water or physical damage to the contacts. Anyone heard of this before or tried this? This rookie is still learning! From the SUBAL website: TTL exposure control systems are usually foolproof, however, if you consistently bring incorrectly exposed films to the surface there has to be a reason and we have to find it. TTL systems can be adversely affected by contaminated contacts resulting from connector use and maintenance. To avoid this, unplug connectors slowly add wriggle as you pull. This avoids creation of a vacuum that can suck in droplets and contaminate the contact surfaces. It is also important to apply the protector caps immediately. Allmost care is warranted when greasing O-rings. Too easily strobe contacts are contaminated and this most certainly will upset the delicate currents involved in TTL metering. Unfortunately the photographer is usually blissfully unaware of the situation because the strobe still goes off - only without TTL metering applied. Much better to be safe than sorry so spare the two minutes required and execute the TTL test whenever contacts between strobe and camera housing have been interfered with. Proceed as follows: - Assemble camera and strobe units - For NIKON cameras advance film to counter -1- - Set strobe to TTL - Keep an eye on the Ready Light - Flash directly at the lens Seeing the strobe will only discharge a minute amount of light directly at the sensor the Ready Light should come back on almost instantaneously or stay on in the first place. If this is the case you can trust the electronics are working perfectly! Should the strobe take as long to recharge as in manual mode, however, then there must be a problem somewhere. Your first step - and in 90% of all cases the right one - is to clean the contacts with ethanol!
  16. I am still trying to decipher some of the AF problems I had with my maiden voyage with my new D70 / Subal housing rig. It has been suggested that a modeling light would help. I am shooting with the 18-70mm lens through Subal's FE2 dome. Clearly some sort of focus assist light is necessary for night shooting, but what is the value in day time, high vis situations? For small sensored P&S digitals I can see the need, but will it buy me any better performance in a modern DLSR? Also, some internet research has pointed me to units such as the Fisheye HG20DX. What am I missing here - is it me or does $600 seem kinda steep for a "flashlight"? I have never been one to shy away for paying for quality (hence, the Subal ND70) but clearly I am not getting it - just how much more does $600 buy than a decent $50 PrincetonTec or Ikelite LED torch? I could use some help here. What has been the experience of the group here? Recommendations? As always, thanks for your insights and help! Brad
  17. A quesion for those more experienced than I: I am looking for a wide-angle lens as a second lens for my subal-housed D70. Currently I only have the 18-70 kit lens. Which is a better choice for a beginner, the 10.5 fisheye or the 12-24mm? Which lens would I "grow into" more? Thanks! Brad
  18. I am looking for a simple point & shoot set up for my wife to use and as a back up for my Subal housed D70. I am looking for something simple and easy to use - my wife won't have the patience for manual or even semi-manual exposure control, but I want something that I can use and enjoy should my D70 ever crap out on me while on location. I am looking at 2 different options. Option 1: I am intrigued by the Sea & Sea 3100 Aquapix. It seems like such a great concept - fully aquatic 3mp digital that she can have fun with in available light or on-board flash but I can hook up a external strobe to and keep on going. Trouble is I have never heard much about this camera - good or bad. Web searches don't really yield much. Option 2: I have a Sony DSC T3 P&S for my land back-up. Its a non-US model that is very similar to the T1 available in the States (I live and work in China). Sony makes a 40m UW housing for it that can also support a fiber optic external strobe (e.g. S&S YS25). Its a good little camera on land - I have no idea how it would do underwater. So does anyone have any experience with either of these systems? How about the SeaLife digitals? I know that most P&S folks shoot Olympus or Nikon, but I'm not buying another land camera, so please no recomendations to go buy an Olympus 5060 and housing! Thanks for your help! Brad
  19. Dave, I am confused. I have seen 2 port charts for Subal from 2 different dealers. One calls for the diopter, one does not. I have not been able to find an official chart on the SUBAL site, though the site does say: "To compensate for the power of the dome and give you the full focusing range underwater, a screw-on + 2 with DP-FE2 or +4 close-up (dioptre) with DP-SW lens is required for all lenses except full frame fisheye, which have no front filter threads!" So of course during my next trip I will experiement with and without. Thanks! Brad
  20. So the advantages for fast lenses topsode are clear (ok, becoming less important with low noise bodies like the D70, but still) My question is do these same advantages translate to UW use? I would think more so given the light-filtering effects of water. e.g. will the Nikon 17-55 f2.8 DX perform better (sharper, faster focusing, better saturation, etc) than the slower 18-70 f3.5-4.5 DX? I guess the other thing to worry about is loss of depth of fiels when shooting at f2.8. So what has the experience of this forum been? Thanks, Brad
  21. triggerfish, you recommend an FE2 dome with a 20mm extension with this lens - no diopter? Is this the subal recommendation? Your personal experience? Thanks so much for your help! Brad
  22. triggerfish, you recommend an FE2 dome with a 20mm extension with this lens - no diopter? Is this the subal recommendation? Your personal experience? Thanks so much for your help! Brad
  23. Hey guys - an autofocus question for you on the 17-55 versus the 18-70. I have rad several topside reviews that suggest that the faster aperature on the 17-55 enables it to autofocus much more suredly in low and changing light levels than the slower 18-70. Any experience with this? Thanks, Brad
  24. I have to go double check - It think its a 10mm extension ring. This was the setup recommended to me by the dealer who sold me the system - SeaOptics down in Adelaide Australia. Do you shoot this set-up - is this how you shoot it? Thanks, Brad
  25. Greetings all. New member here and new UW digital photographer. Just upgraded from sealife point and shoot to D70 w Subal housing. Using the 17-80mm "kit lens" and a Nikon SB800 strobe in a subal housing. I am using the +2 diopter on the Subal FE2 dome port as called for on this lens Took the new rig to Saipan a few weeks back as was disapointed with the AF results. The camera would fire, meaning IT thinks it acheived proper focus, but the results were decidedly mixed. I tried continuous mode, single AF mode, tried a modeling light (hand held), AF assist light on, AF assist light off - same inconsistent performance. Interestingly, some of the sharper shots I actually achieved during my night dives. Exactly the opposite of what I would have expected. Any ideas or suggestions? I leave for Belize in 6 weeks - I'd like to get this solved before then. Thanks!
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