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Mike L

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Posts posted by Mike L

  1. Ive tried putting one of these housings in the 1510 case and it was too tight for my liking. Personally I travel with my Think Tank Airport Takeoff and can pack a TON of gear. I just returned from Fiji and had this bag packed with a Nauticam 7D, Nauticam, T2i, (2) YS-110a, 3 Sola 600 lights, Zen 100 and 60mm Macro Port, all on ONE bag including ULCS arms and fiber optic cables.


    Ive traveled quite extensively with my think tank bags and have never had to check one. Even on this last flight to Fiji, where it was legal in size but WAY overweight (38lbs and only 14 was allowable), I showed them what was inside, paid a $35 weight fee and on it went with me. Small price to pay for making sure its all there and intact on arrival.

  2. Welcome to the wonderful world of rebreathers, you are going to love it! Here are responses to your questions:


    1. Bail out should be carried when diving ALL rebreathers. Within these recreational depths, you can get away with something like a 13 or 19 cubic foot bottle.


    2. No way, a bailout bottle gives you that added comfort level of having a known gas you can rely on. You will understand this better as you go through the class and do your skills.


    3. I highly doubt the operators will just let you meet them at the second dive site. Operators, or at least here in the states, are MUCH more cautious and aware with RB divers than they are with scuba divers. If you are held to a specific maximum dive time, at least you will know you can take full advantage of the bottom time on each dive thanks to the RB. And, you will be amazed at how much better the photo ops are when diving a rebreather.


    Let me know if you have any other questions. Ive been diving and traveling with rebreathers for 7 years now and love it. My main thing is though if I dont have the clear head or mindset to prep and dive my RB, I dive open circuit! Rebreathers and cameras can definitely become overwhelming together, however the Discovery RB is so simple to dive!

  3. I am very sorry to hear about your flood. Having been there years ago on a trip, I know how devastating it is. I am not sure who you purchased your set up through, however if it was purchased in the states, I have no doubt that Nauticam USA will take excellent care of you however they can. I will say, having been a dealer since their initial housing releases in November, we have sold quite a number of their housings without any issues such as this. And, to their credit, the few minor tweaks or issues that have been needed, Nauticam USA has always reacted promptly and professionally to make sure the customer is taken care of and a rapid manner. Some questions and investigation into how it came loose are definitely a must.


    Please keep us posted on the progress. Just an FYI, I know the Nauticam USA Sales manager is out of the office for the remainder of the week, however I am sure others in the office will reply promptly.

  4. A 15k budget without lights is a nice budget to work with. I definitely recommend the EX1r set up, however, with the quality options, you will be over budget. You can of course begin shooting with the EX1R system for around $15,000 with a Standard Port and NO monitor...but to really take advantage of this camera, the Fathom SWP44c port and an external monitor are necessities. Those items will push you up to the $20k price range...but WELL worth it.


    You might also take a look at going with the Canon 7D or 5D Mark II route which will allow you to come in under your budget and still allow the use of your Sunray 2000 lights.


    I hope this helps, please dont hesitate to ask any other questions.

  5. Adam:


    First off, there should be no condensation inside the Gates housing.


    Here are a few things to check:


    1. Carefully inspect your housing and port orings.


    2. Check EACH and every control on the housing to see if its loose. Most importantly, check any of the controls that roll (i.e. focus and iris).


    3. Check the red filter control and make sure that is not loose.


    Again, you should not have ANY water inside a gates housing if it is properly sealed.


    Was this a new or used housing you purchased?

  6. We just received a cancellation for our upcoming trip to Isla Holbox July 11-16th. We are staying at Holbox Suites (AC and Wifi). Diving with Whale Shark Daddy. The trip includes transfers from Cancun to Holbox and back, 5 nights hotel, 4 days in the water (limited load on boat) and we have the VIP package which means we go WHEREVER the sharks are, and no additional fuel fees, plus we ge breakfast and lunch, as well as Beer on the ride back on all 4 days.


    Get this last minute for only $1199!

  7. @Alsky, if you want a great side exhaust, go with a Poseidon Extreme, they are excellent, easy breathers, and exhaust on left.


    As for VF, personally, Im just not a fan of the 45s for my shooting likes, however many people love them. The Nauticam 180 is awesome! Easy to use, adaptable to many housings, and user adjustable diopter!

  8. Hi All. OK yesterday was my first in water rendezvous with the HF S20 in the Gates...in water as in SURF shooting though, no reefs. I will say the housing was VERY easy to use, and the new open LCD design on this housing is MUCH better than previous (which were excellent anyway). The new housing allows for viewing ability even when you are not directly looking into the LCD, there is approximately a 15-20 degree leniency, so you can be a bit above, below or to the side of the LCD and still see it clearly.


    Housing was very well balanced as always. Image quality was fantastic!! Im taking it out for a good spin mid July to Holbox and Cozumel so will have full details and a video then!

  9. Please explain a bit more why what you mean how is the ergonomics for the LCD window? Are you talking about the visibility of the open LCD design vs an external monitor?


    Keep in mind, you can always buy the EM43 external monitor for the housing as well...but having the open LCD design is excellent considering the cost of the housing set up. Its the perfect meeting between functionality and cost or better said as value for the dollar.

  10. Hi Moon Jelly,


    Ive been shooting with the EX1 in a Gates since they were first released. First off, I have to say, I absolutely love it for being so easy to use, and for being extremely ergonomic, especially for a manual controlled housing.


    Lets start with optics. The first few months the EX1 housing was out, the SWP44c was not quite ready...once it did finally arrive, WOW was all I could say, and all I heard from other users. The image quality, and the sharpness is night and day with the SWP over the SP in my eyes. There is the significant size and cost difference, however its WELL worth it and I believe the SWP really makes the Ex1 stand out over every other underwater set up.


    As a shooter, I specifically shoot big animals or reenactments the majority of the time...that being said they are always on the move, and often times in turbid water, which is where the Ex1 has a tendency to hunt! Shooting AF, MF, or MF with focus assist, really comes down to the situation itself. Ive heard many complain about the focus hunting while following a subject... I personally have had amazing results with AF in such conditions. I spent 10 days shooting whale sharks last year in Holbox where the water is full of plankton. I shot the majority with AF, and some with MF....and had only 2 or 3 shots during AF where the camera lost focus of the 20-30 foot subject to follow plankton... Manual focusing while chasing big animals is sometimes daunting and really puts you in a situation to completely miss a shot...so I usually do that in AF.


    Have you learned how to set your hyperfocal distance on the camera? That will help a lot when shooting manual focus as well.


    With regards to framing, I do 90% of that in my EM43 monitor...which works wonders. If Im doing critical focus, want to check my peaking or zebras, or really need fine detail, then I look at the viewfinder on the housing (Gates did a fantastic job with the 2nd version of the VF on the housing, which has been standard since its induction).


    Really, it just takes practice!! Do you already have your system? What port did you get if so? Spend time in a pool, getting use to controls, and most importantly playing with the focus, and finding your hyperfocal. I can not say it enough, if image quality is your goal (and obviously it is if you are using this camera) then the Fathom SWP44C is a must!


    Let me know if I can be of any further assistance or if you have any other questions.

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