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Everything posted by Tinman

  1. Here are some December 31, 2019, image captures from Cozumel. We managed to find couple of cooperative, photogenic tortugas and finally captured an image of a splendid toadfish. Fun stuff! -Tinman
  2. Simply collapse (fold) the strobe arms to tuck the strobe up against the side front side of the housing and tighten the clamps.Depending on the length and configuration of your arm setup, the arms will probably fold over the top of the housing. I use the straps that connect my housed camera and strobes to my BCD to make a center handle. The crew uses the handle to pass the camera rig to me after I enter the water and take the camera rig from me before I exit. Often, I extend the arms and pre-position the strobes as I'm descending. My safety stop on my ascent is a good time to collapse the arms and position the strobes for the camera rig's exit from the water. -AZTinman
  3. Hopefully, you've found someone to fix your RS issue on you side of the 'pond'. If not, you may want to contact Southern Nikonos in the Houston, Texas, area. I'm not sure how much work he did on the RS model, but he's been the go to guy for Nikonos repair in the United States for more years than most of us have been diving. He also has an incredible stash of Nikonos spare parts. -AZTinman
  4. Yes, switching from the D7100 to the D7200 did help with low-light auto-focus, but low-light can still be difficult. I encountered difficulties last week in Mexico with darker than usual water. There was a lot of junk in the water and the D7200 had problems locking onto subjects. Lens selection made a major difference. There were fewer issues with my Nikkor 60mm and Nikkor 10-24mm than with my Nikkor 16-85mm. The 16-85mm is an excellent lens if challenging visibility issues aren't present. I've never used a focus light on my D7100 or D7200. If you're diving in dark conditions, it might be a good idea to use one. I recently did some informal low-light comparison testing with my D7100, D7200, and D850. The D7200 outperformed the D7100. Of course, the D850 outperformed both of the cropped sensor cameras. Eventually, I'll house the D850. -AZTinman
  5. I put together two web straps with bronze snap rings on the ends. The straps clip to the housing tray and to my BCD harness D-rings. A lot of the areas I dive have California sea lions and they like to play 'snatch & grab' games with divers. I've had some experiences where they've grabbed the floats on my strobe arms and tried to take off with my camera rig. I wouldn't hook anything to my legs when sea lions are around. I've seen them grab dive knives right off divers' legs. The straps also can be configured to make a grab handle when boat crews are passing the camera to me in the water or taking it from me when I'm preparing to exit the water. -AZTinman
  6. FYI... Ikelite no longer makes sync cords to connect a Nikonos V to Ikelite strobes. I sent an inquiry to Ikelite several weeks ago regarding this. Also, Ikelite has no more of these sync cords in stock. On a positive note, the Nikonos to Ikelite strobes sync cords do show-up on the used market. While I haven't purchased one yet, I've seen several. I have several Nikons SB 105 strobes that I can use with my Nikonos cameras, but I wanted to have the option is using the camera with my Ikelite strobes. Considering the advancements made in trays and strobe placement over what was originally available for the Nikonos V, the original Nikonos tray with its double arms limits the ability to adjust strobe placement. When I put my Nikonos V outfit together, it's unbelievably awkward compared to my housed DSLR. For what it's worth, I guess the bottom line is that there are better tray options now. -AZTinman
  7. If you're buying a true glass dome port, Zen is making one for the Ikelite DL housings. Like most glass dome ports, it's pricey. Thanks for your comment about my Ikelite D7200 housing. When I get around to housing my D850, the D7200 housing will join a couple of Sea & Sea MDX D300 housings that underwater photography students will be using. It seems like used Nauticam housings show-up from time-to-time in the Classifieds. -AZTinman
  8. Is it just me or is that one of the smaller ThinkTank bags? It looks like a smaller model, but it could just be the angle perspective of the photograph. Handles with balls still mounted on the housing are a problem. For what it's worth, I think the issue of packing the housing with a mounted camera inside causing alignment issues really depends upon what housing one is using. I've never had any alignment issues with packing my Ikelite housing with the camera installed in my carry-on. The camera mounting system in my Sea & Sea housings locks the camera in place solidly. The soft Pelican roller bag I use fits in the overhead and holds my housing, camera, housing handles, two strobes, four strobe battery packs, three lenses, three port extensions, strobe arms w. floats, macro port, two strobe battery chargers, and two sync cords. Two dome ports for wide-angle lenses, cleaning/o-ring maintenance kit, two strap wrenches and camera battery charger fit with my computer in my under-the-seat bag. The under-the-seat bag zips onto the roller bag for the bag drag through the airport. -AZTinman
  9. For what it's worth, my efforts with digital SLRs for underwater started with a Nikon D7100 housed in an Ikelite housing. I bumped-up to a D7200 when the camera became available. Both cameras have worked very well. Photographs can be seen on my website (www.cortezbluephotography.com) if you're interested in taking a look. The only real limitation I've noted with my Ikelite housing (D7100/7200) is the fact that I can't use my Nikkor 17-55mm 2.8G DX lens. It's not a huge limitation because there are lots of excellent Nikkor alternatives. My Ikelite DS161 strobes have worked incredibly well too. I've crossed paths with quite a few underwater photographers who use different strobes and have expressed some frustration because of issues they've had. As I look at housing my Nikon D850, I'll probably look seriously at purchasing something other than an Ikelite housing. Affordability was a major issue when I assembled my D7100/7200 system and I not quite as concerned with that particular issue now. -AZTinman
  10. Wow! Thanks for this information and clarification regarding the issue. My housing required changing out the strobe control electronics when I switched from my D7100 to my D7200. Your issue might be be a quick, easy fix for the tech folks at Backscatter. -AZTinman
  11. Hmmmm... as was mentioned in the previous post, the mode dial and the locking buttons are identical on the D7100 and D7200. I don't use a Sea & Sea housing, but the controls on my housing work with both cameras. It would be interesting to see the problem you're encountering. -AZTinman
  12. Do these cables allow use of Nikonos strobes with a Sea & Sea housing or use of Sea & Sea strobes with a Nikonos camera? -AZTinman
  13. Part of my maintenance routine for strobes is to exercise the capacitors regularly. Basically, this involves running the strobes through discharge and charge cycles when I don't get to dive regularly. I do this routine with the strobes submerged in cold water. It would be interesting to see the Sea & Sea data regarding how much heat is actually retained by their strobe housings in an underwater environment. Plastic and metal are typically not very good insulators. Those materials usually conduct heat and cold pretty quickly and air doesn't work very well as an insulator either... just saying... -AZTinman
  14. I've got several old Nikonos SB 105 strobes what work rather well and have never presented any issues. I exercise the capacitors regularly. The down side is that I can only use the SB 105s with my Nikonos cameras because no one makes a sync cord to permit use of the 105s with any other housings. While I do enjoy shooting film with vintage cameras every now and then, it would be nice to be able to use the strobes with my digital housing. Of course, it's not unreasonable for companies to stop making parts for vintage equipment; there's very little profit in it. -AZTinman
  15. I had issues with an Ikelite DS161 strobe several years ago. The strobe stopped working during the first day of a trip to La Paz. I suspected issues with the battery pack and cursed a little over my failure to being a backup battery pack. When I returned, I called Ikelite and they directed me to send them both of my strobes. They fixed the problem strobe and did some a upgrade on both. In the end, I simply paid for shipping and they did the repair and upgrades under warranty. The work was done and the strobes were returned in less than two weeks. Both strobes continue to work very well. During a dive trip to Hawaii, an o-ring on one of my Ikelite battery packs failed. This was unusual as Ikelite o-rings are usually 'bomb-poof'. I'm not convinced I didn't do something wrong to flood the battery. When Ikelite dumped the use of lithium batteries, I took advantage of their exchange program and swapped my battery packs. As I look down the road towards housing my Nikon D850, and read threads about strobe issues others are having, I can't help but think staying with strobes made by a reputable American company with a commitment to customer service would be a good idea. -AZTinman
  16. For what it's worth, I'm not a big fan of fisheye lenses. I don't like the field curvature a fisheye lens creates. While I have a fisheye, I don't use it much. Curvature of the rays of light you mention in your initial post would drive me crazy. -AZTinman
  17. Thanks for the comments regarding my post Tom. One of the underwater photographers I corresponded with concerning use of a Nikkor 16-35mm f:4 v. the 17-35mm f2.8 cited issues with focus lock-on issues with his 16-35mm. He was also of the opinion that the 16-35mm was not a good choice for the darker waters I frequent. When I queried him about what camera he was using with the 16-35mm, he told me it was a Nikon D800 and suggested the lens might work better on a Nikon D850. The contrasting perceptions and reviews thing is enough to make one crazy. (LOL) -AZTinman
  18. One of the downsides to Nikon's new Z mount camera is that it requires an adaptor to use Nikkor F-mount lenses. I've heard mixed reviews from folks who've used the adaptor for land-based applications. This said, it's an expensive camera so it's not widely used yet. Here's a question that might be worth answering. How will use of the F-mount adaptor on a Z7 affect housing the camera and lens? Please keep in mind, I ask because I really don't know about the logistics of housing a Nikon Z7 and using Nikkor F-mount lenses. I've seen good reviews of the F-mount Nikkor 16-35mm f4 when used on the Nikon D850 underwater. The biggest issue has been mentioned in a previous post; the issue is the need for a larger dome. One reviewer stated that the 16-35mm f4 was a better choice than the 17-35mm f2.8. When I questioned the reviewer regarding the basis for his statement, he told me his 17-35mm was actually broken. I really don't think he did comparison tests. He avoided answering my direct question. I guess the lesson here is to wonder about the validity of some of the camera/lens reviews we see. As I look at housing my D850 in the future, it would be nice to see an actual comparison of the performance of these two lenses underwater with a D850. I currently shoot a Nikon D7200. My Nikkor 10-24mm DX performs very well underwater, but it lacks reach when I would like to have it. In 2017, I decided to use a Nikkor 16-85mm DX to capture white shark images and it performed well. I tested it on a sea lion shoot prior to going to Guadalupe. The lens allowed me to capture some very nice underwater sea lion photographs. AZTinman
  19. Nice video! Lovely manta segments. I've never seen a moray with a puffer fish in its jaws. That was an interesting segment.I guess the puffer's defense system worked like it was supposed to. (LOL) -AZTinman
  20. For a Nikon DX rig... 10-24mm DX Nikkor. -Tinman
  21. Guadalupe is a long ways from everywhere. Some type of satellite is really your only option. -Tinman
  22. Actually, you have the additional choice spending less money by opting for a different housing for your D7200 rather than a Nauticam. I shoot a D7100 in an Ikelite housing and do very well without an additional viewfinder (again, less money). I also do well with an Ikelite 8" dome port and a mini-dome port. The 8" dome works well with my Tokina (on those rare occasions that I use it) and my Nikkor 16-85mm. The mini-dome is designed for my Nikkor 10-24mm (most used lens in my underwater system). I find the usefulness of the Tokina limited unless I'm shooting large animals like manta rays. You might want to consider purchasing an Ikelite housing and use the money you save to add some lenses and ports to your D7200 system. Feel free to checkout my website portfolio at www.cortezbluephotography@yahoo.com. I plan to send my D7100 Ikelite housing in to have the strobe electronic package upgraded to use with both my D7100 and D7200 bodies. My response to your post is not intended as any kind of 'dig' against Nauticam housings. I have several friends who use Nauticam housings for their Nikon and Canon cameras. Nauticam makes a great housing and I'd probably have one if my budget had been bigger when I initially invested in my system. Despite its clunky looks, the Ikelite has been a great housing for use with my D7100. I also have a vintage Ikelite housing for my N8008s film camera (it stills works very well). -Tinman
  23. Here's about the only Nikkor lens I know of that could go both wide and macro. I've used the Nikkor 28-70D on my housed Nikon 8008s film camera. It has a macro focus zone. The lens requires a 4X close-up filter in order to focus underwater. I've never tried it on my digital rig. -Tinman
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