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About watboy

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Olympus EM5
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Inon Z240
  • Accessories
    Keldan Luna 4V lights
  1. I have no problems getting 80 shots out of a single OEM battery w strobe on. The battery prices are pretty high, but I found an extended grip w battery on sale, so I ended up paying not much more over an OEM battery, and I find the grip quite useful on land. I can get 2 dives in when shooting macro. Wide angle, i can get 3 in since i tend to take fewer pics and a fair number of them are with the flash off.
  2. First time my leak alarm went off, it was due to small amounts of water collecting inside from condensation / not fully drying the housing whenever i opened it. Eventually there was enough to work its way down to the leak sensor to go off. Was easy to check as I tasted the water and it wasn't salty. No damage to the camera or housing. Second time I was on the 3rd dive of the trip and it went off at 30meters due to one of the button o-rings. teaspoon of water got in, tipped it forward so it would pool in the doom. Camera was fine, housing electronics was fried. Got the whole thing rebuilt and 200 dives later still working. If you dive enough, its a question of when you will flood, not if. Diving and saltwater is a very unforgiving environment to equipment. I've come to realize that unexplainable failures isn't whats weird; its going long stretches with no failures that is weird. Somethings bound to break down soon.
  3. Get a Maha 8 battery charger. Best charger i've found and more convenient than 2 chargers when fighting for sockets. Bring 2 sets of eneloops for each strobe plus 2 spares. I've had batteries die on trips, and a single dead battery was enough to stop the strobe.
  4. The Australian one is pretty good to. "There is a persistent threat of kidnapping in southern Philippines, including coastal and island resorts and dive sites, particularly in remote locations in the Sulu Sea. The situation in the southern Philippines also creates an ongoing risk of kidnapping in the coastal region of eastern Sabah in Malaysia, which is highest in the area between the towns of Sandakan and Tawau and particularly at outlying resorts." The US has this to say "Terrorist and insurgent groups based in the Sulu Archipelago continue to kidnap foreigners in the Eastern Sabah province of Malaysia and the southern Sulu Sea area. This area stretches from the southern tip of Palawan, along the coast of Sabah, Malaysia and the islands of the Sulu Archipelago, up to Zamboanga City, Mindanao." Tubbataha seems to be just north of this area. My friends in security checked with their local contacts. They were less concerned about Palawan as the military always is more alert since the Dos Palams Kidnapping. My question to them is whether or not the military is really alert at Tubbataha.
  5. I should have expected the answer of X is just as dangerous as Y. But that really isn't my question, nor are these answers very useful. I'm not asking about broad geographical regions. We're talking about the Sulu sea. I don't think anyone would say that Jolo is just as safe as Paris to visit. Paris, Manila, Palawan, Tubbataha, Jolo, they are all different places (some more broad than others) with different risk profiles. Pretty much all western Embassy's have placed travel warnings for the Sulu Archipelageo, some have expanded that to include the Sulu sea, the US's warning includes kidnapping warnings for Palawan. Anyways, if people are interested, I have checked with some security consultants that I work with. I would summarize their advice as, Sulu Archipelageo - DO NOT GO, Palawan - if you already planned a trip, don't need to cancel, but if you haven't made plans, don't put down non-refundable deposit. They are checking where Tubbataha lies between those two.
  6. Then thats pretty bad. In Paris, you are one out of five million potential victims. In Tubbataha, you are 1 in a 500 maybe. So given an equal likely hood of an event, you are 10,000x more likely to get involved.
  7. Been keeping an eye on the local developments. As there is a history of hostage taking in the sulu sea / palawan area, how safe is Tubbataha? Various sites say its patrolled by military and there's a army ranger station there. But is it really patrolled or is it just a few park rangers checking permits and chasing poachers... more fish and game personnel than counter insurgency. Normally I wouldn't care, but this trip I'm bringing my loved one.
  8. If you are thinking this will be a long term hobby, go Nauticam. The beauty of the M43 system is the large number of lenses with ports that work very well underwater (wide, macro, fish eye, zooms, video lenses). You can over time invest in lenses and ports that could still be used when/if you upgrade your camera/housing in the future. If you are on a budget, I highly recommend the 4.33" acrylic dome. It can take both the Pana fisheye and the oly 12mm without any spacers, and is easy to travel with. The 12-40 dome options are bigger, glass and pricey. Then get the 60mm macro w port. You can get 2 ports, fisheye, macro and semi wide angle without breaking the bank (at least on UW photography standards). I suggest you resist the urge to try to "do it all" on one dive, you'll take better pics with a proper macro and wide/FE setup than the 12-50. You can add a 2nd strobe, close up wet lenses as a second step. This is what i've been doing for the last 4 years. I've only recently just taken the plunge and got the 180mm glass for the 7-14 for about $2k total. I'm glad I didn't start with this but was able to add it on when I was ready (skill and money wise).
  9. Do to some poor planning and lucky raffles, I've ended up with a pair of S2000 and Z240s. They're both great, well built and reliable and have lasted years and hundreds of dives. The S2000 is great for macro. The small size makes for a much easier rig to handle and they are easier to position for tight shots. However, its woefully insufficient for wide angle. Only other grip, the controls are quite small on the s2000, but for macro I just set sTTL and forget about it. The Z240, is far more capable strobe, but costs more. If you could, I would seriously consider spending more to get a Z240. It will outlast your camera... and the next camera too, and you can later get a second Z240. I would not recommend the D2000.
  10. Thanks everyone. Have an Oly EM1 and will bring just the 7-14 (14-28 equiv) and fisheye lens.
  11. Going to Tubbataha first week in June. Hope weather isn't too bad. I'm really trying to get my gear to as small as possible and thinking of not bringing the macro kit. From my research, seems like all the daytime dives you'll want to bring wide angle. Would i want macro for the night dives? My current thinking is to not bring the camera during the night dives (and thus don't need macro). But I'm slowing down - I used to do every dive possible, but on the last few trips I started skipping the night dives if there was nothing special.
  12. I think the 12-50 might be able to fit, just not fully work. I have the 12-50 and the fancy nautical zoom gear. The real complication is the mechanism used to engage the macro mode which requires the special gear and port (the port has an extra gear on the barrel to engage macro). The power zoom is engaged through a gear using the knob on the body, I don't see why this would be effected using the 4" dome port. The 4" dome port looks to be a fatter barrel as well, so should be enough space to fit. The nauticam gear is quite expensive, especially if you don't use the macro mode. There are other gears out there that only work the power zoom, that are far more affordable. https://deepshots.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/deepshots-olympus-12-50-zoom-gear Says its works for the 4" dome.
  13. I went to palau 2 decembers ago on the Solitude One (great boat, great experience). Big 2 week trip so I brought almost my entire kit: 60mm macro, 7-14 oly in 180mm dome, 12-50 w zoom gear, 12mm and 8mm FE in 4.33 mini dome. I never used the 60mm macro, I did the night dives the first two days then skipped the rest. Guess I'm just getting old, but for me, it wasn't worth a 4th dive of the day and there was no need for macro during the day. For blue corner, we used reef hooks, was a great show but the sharks never got very close. I ended up just using the 12mm in the 4.33" or the 12-50, and dropped the strobes. Nothing was getting close enough for the strobes, and the smaller rig was much easier to handle in the current. We did a number of caverns and walls, a few wrecks, all of which were beautiful and I would bring the 7-14mm. I never used the fisheye. Personal preference, I like to use the FE it for close up of big fish, but never got that opportunity during our trip. Seemed like all the big things were where the current was strong and never got close enough.
  14. I bought my GF some white fins. I WB off those.
  15. There's an excellent setup guide here if you search for it for EM5 settings and included some focusing and exposure strategies. I found it to apply perfectly to my EM1 mk1. I'd bet it would also apply very well to the Mk2.
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