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Everything posted by johnspierce

  1. Thanks Ian -- I'll check their site. John
  2. Looking for Nauticam housing for first generation Sony A7s. Also interested in Nikonos 15mm lens adaptor for Nauticam. Ready to purchase immediately. Thanks, John
  3. Looking for a clean used A7 housing. Thanks, John
  4. Excellent condition, No issues at all, I have upgraded to a D800 with Aquatica housing. This one has one optical connection and one Nikon connection. $1600 with shipping included in the 48 Continental States. Will ship elsewhere at actual cost. Paypal only please. PM me with any questions, I will answer promptly. thanks! John
  5. I don't know how the D7200 can be way better in low light with the same sensor. It might focus better, but final image should be almost identical to D7100. Also, I thought all Nikon DSLRs had built in time lapse for quite awhile now. It looks like a nice rev, but if I had a D7100 I don't know if it would be worth it to jump if it doesn't fit the same housing. To me, the best change is increasing the buffer size. BTW, I'm not contesting what the original poster wrote, I'm questioning the Nikon ad blurb.
  6. Here, here. All good points Doug. Also, this dovetails into another discussion on this board a few months ago concerning tipping -- and this is from a different perspective. Sometimes, you can have one guest who is a problem for the other guests. Either they can abuse another's personal space or cause a problem in the diving itself. Since most liveaboards are setup with the idea that you need to tip at the end of the week, the divemasters are very reluctant to do anything about these problems. Same with destroying the reef. They don't want to upset a customer. They will give lip service to the folks that complain and try to mollify them as much as possible while still not saying anything to the bad actor causing the problem. This is because they live for those tips and they try to make everyone happy to maximize their income. I don't personally blame them for this stance. However -- not dealing with one bad actor on your boat may cause 3 or 4 people not to use you again. The boat owners need to know this. The best policy would be for the liveaboards to charge a complete fee and make it clear the tip is included. If one customer is causing a problem, *deal* with it. I personally have been on a trip recently where one guy was crashing into me constantly and when I mentioned it to the the divemaster he told me the other guy was a paying customer too and he couldn't do anything about it. He suggested I talk to the other diver about the problem. I "talked" to him about it in a very loud voice to ensure I was understood. But still. I paid a lot of money to go to the far ends of the earth and I shouldn't have to deal with that crap. rant off
  7. Switched from D7000 DX to D800 FX about halfway through 2014. I understand the D7100 is of course much better, particularly with high ISO, but here's my thoughts. D7000 pluses: - Smaller footprint - Lighter weight - 10-17 works well with 8" dome, smaller and lighter than D800 options with 10.5" dome - Macro is easier with DX since you can use the 60mm with a teleconverter and the 105 gives a much larger image D800 pluses - bigger buffer - higher resolution is really fantastic - much better high ISO - 16-35 lens is actually very, very good. Same with 15mm Sigma FE - D800 handles like my old D300. I really hate the prosumer controls on the D7000. (I probably wouldn't like the D750 for the same reason) - Macro is much higher quality with the 105 due to the huge resolution Overall, I'm very happy with the switchover. The D800 is a fantastic camera and from an imaging standpoint just absolutely smokes the D7000 in my amateur hands. The only drawback is everything is bigger and heaver although I would say my old D300 with housing was just as heavy. Also, for above water use, I do a lot of band and concert photography in very low light situations and the D800 is fantastic for that purpose. I also have an Olympus EM5 with a full set of good lenses when I need "small and light". The EM5 quite frankly is about 95% as good as the D7000.
  8. So many great photo opportunities this year, but my favorites were all from swimming with humpbacks in Tonga.
  9. When we did Galapagos in May of 2010, the water was unusually warm. At Darwin, we saw hundreds of hammerheads and they definitely stayed down in the thermocline which seemed to start at about 40 feet, but the water at the surface was about 79 degrees (26 C) and down at 50 feet was still close to 75 degrees (24 C), so not that cool at all. Everyone told us to bring 7mm wetsuits and I was baking like a potato the entire time -- Could have done it in a 3mm easily I think trying to predict exactly how your dives will go is kind of like predicting the weather a month out -- can't be done.
  10. Got it... http://wetpixel.com/articles/domes-without-the-drone Thanks! John
  11. Plenty of Hammers in Galapagos. When we went in May, there were hundreds of them schooling at Darwin. Another good place is the Bahamas where every January/February they gather in the shallows. John Bantin wrote a post about it: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=49592&p=326535
  12. I stole the title from Alex Mustard's 2010 article I'm going to Tonga to swim with humpbacks in a little over a month and pondering on whether to bring my 8" or 4.3 mm dome or both. I'm shooting a nikon d7000 with the 10-17mm Tokina. Obviously, the 4 mm dome will be less sharp at the edges, but will it even be noticeable with the type of composure done with open water big animal shots? I want the best shots I can get, but if it truly will not make a difference, the mini dome sure makes handling and travel easier.
  13. http://gizmodo.com/apple-is-killing-aperture-its-once-great-photo-editng-1597040812 Not surprised; they just haven't kept up with the changes like Lightroom. The downside of this announcement is Apple will be trying to convince it's user base to use iPhoto instead. iPhoto is simply *TERRIBLE* Maybe the upcoming replacement will be better. I know many people who have lost images due to the design philosophy of storing everything in a database. Using a proprietary database for metadata is fine, but in my opinion a software application simply must keep an original, unmodified version of all photos in the file system for easy migration and backup/recovery. Last trip I was on, a fellow diver lost his entire photo library due to a iPhoto corruption issue. He had backups thankfully, but trying to restore to iPhoto would try the patience of the most dedicated Applephile. But, at any rate, I tried out Aperture in it's first iterations and decided I liked Lightroom better anyway. R.I.P. Aperture.
  14. Yes, I do not use the float belt with macro setup. 6 jumbos and two regular stix floats balance the rig nicely. I'm sure the float belt works well too, I've just never tried it. Like you, I went from Ike DS-160's to Z-240's. It's surprising how much more negative my rig is now. I used to get away with 2 Jumbo stix on each side with the 8" dome. I do like the Z-240's better; learning curve was a bit higher, but they are much more flexible in use in my opinion.
  15. On my Aquatica D7000/Z240 kit, this is what gets me to just very slightly negative: - With the 8" Dome port, Tokina 10-17 --- 3 jumbo stix floats on each arm - With the Macro flat port and 105mm -- 3 jumbo stix floats on each arm and I add 1 large stix float to each arm. I can get away with just the 3 jumbos on each side with the macro setup, but sometimes my arm gets tired. If I forget and leave the 1 addtl large float on with the dome it's kindof "floaty" - slightly positive. Set up like above, I can toss my rig up into the water column and it will gently float down.
  16. Interceptor, are you going to turn this into another thread where you will continually and laboriously argue with anyone who posts a different opinion than yours? If so, this thread is now a waste of bandwidth, just like the vacuum thread.
  17. Yep, EPM/EPL in an Olympus housing is definitely smaller and lighter than a D7000 DSLR. Plus, the 4/3 sensor is quite a bit better than anything you will see in a P&S system. The Olympus EPM2 (currently on firesale in many places) has the same 16mp sensor as the EM5 Olympus which is quite excellent and it's *tiny*. I bought one a few weeks ago for a quick grab-n-go camera for $240 -- a screaming deal! Unfortunately, there is not a housing available for EPM2, you would have to go with the EPL5. Plus, the size of the ports and lenses are about half the size of DSLR ports/lenses. I would definitely recommend you go for the newer PEN systems with 16mp vs. 12mp since the price is not that different and the sensor is quite a bit better. None of this is that important under water since a properly balanced DSLR handles quite easily, but if your goal is to have a much smaller, lighter load for travel, it's hard to go wrong with M43. Didn't Alex Mustard win some sort of award last year shooting Olympus EM5? http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/wpy/gallery/2013/images/-nature-in-black-and-white/4715/giant-with-sunbeams.html Here's a pic showing size differences between P&S / M43 / DSLR from Reefphoto: To the original poster - is Canon S100 to M43 a significant upgrade in image quality? Yes, definitely.
  18. BTW, I have done many giant strides with an Aquatica housing while snorkeling with Whale Sharks. I tried to hold it high near my head to minimize the surface shock, but had no issues at all. I'm sure the Nauticam is equally good for doing entries with housing. My opinion is it will be even safer under negative pressure. It would take a helluva shock to knock a port loose with a vacuum system and I have actually never seen a flood caused by a "damaged" housing/port. It's always an o-ring not seated or a port coming unscrewed, both of those occurrences are exactly why you want a vacuum system.
  19. Hmm. That's surprising. When I pull my housing down to -10hg, I absolutely cannot open the housing. I can release all the latches, pick it up and shake it hard and the back will not come off. I didn't do that with the camera inside by the way I might be able to pry it apart with a screwdriver (I'm not going to try that!), but my housing is absolutely "sucked" together and cannot be opened without releasing pressure first. Also, I can rotate the port if I put a lot of effort into it, but I cannot pull the port off when it's under negative pressure. I'm using Backscatter's airlock system on an Aquatica housing, what housing / vacuum system are you using? JP
  20. I had the same idea with buying the V1. Same battery as the D7000 and D800. Same lenses with the converter. It would make a lot of sense going back and forth from small to large kit. In use however, the 1 series is simply a half-baked concept. We now know other than having more pixels, the IQ is pretty much the same as the previous sensor and is considerably inferior to M4/3. (see photo below with DXOMark's comparison to Olympus sensors). I have both an Olympus EM5 and an EPM2 and either one is quite noticeably better than my V1 in terms of image quality. As to how those other lenses work on the Nikon 1, in my experience I'll say pretty well. One issue is it only does spot focus/metering, but that's not too big a deal. The 105 VR works quite nicely with it as does both my 35mm and 50mm 1.8's. I never tried the 10-17, should've done that. Is a matter of fact, I was pretty happy with the full size Nikon lenses on the V1. The 60mm macro works even better than the 105. One thing about the 1 series is all of the images, even at 100 ISO have a "grain" to them. Some people might say the images are noisy. It's not too unpleasant, but it's certainly not as crisp as my other cameras. It's the standard lenses that are a let down. They aren't horrible, just not stellar which is kind of what I expected from Nikon. And a 105 or a 70-200 feels too big on it; doesn't balance well. Last year I took the V1 to Switzerland with the standard lenses, my 50mm 1.8 and 60mm 2.8 and no other camera. It certainly did the job and I'm still happy with the photos. I won't say the Nikon 1 series is a horrible camera. Just don't use it beside an EM5 with some decent lenses because then all of it's deficiencies become apparent. The images from the 16mp Oly sensor really are hugely better than the Nikon 1 series in my opinion. Lens selection is much better too and suprisingly, an Olympus EM5 with a 25mm 1.8 lens is almost the exact same size as the V1 with the 18mm 1.8 on it. Just my opinion.
  21. Thumbs up: - Higher Resolution sensor with higher ISO capability - Faster focus, more focus points - Faster shutter, 20fps wow. - Smaller profile - 120fps slow mo 720p video - tilt LCD with higher resolution - Touchpanel LCD Thumbs Down: - Eliminating the EVF and making it external - Yet another 10-30mm lens. What's that, 4 of them now? - The new 10-30 doesn't even have a filter ring or hood! Ridiculous. - Sold as the complete kit only with lens, EVF and grip. No choice. - EXPENSIVE! Jeez, $1200? That's a D7100. or almost 2 Olympus EM10's - Using the accessory shoe for the EVF making it useless - 120fps slow mo 720p video instead of 1080p. - No 4k - Yet another battery! jeeez - micro SD. What, are they going for the GoPro market? - Only two decent primes in their lens lineup. All of the zooms with the exception of the 6.7-13mm are mediocre and slooooowww. I sold my V1 and all my lenses recently. The 1 series has great promise, but it's overpriced and Nikon keeps totally changing it's mind on what the "V" series is supposed to be. I went to Olympus OMD with roughly the same overall size, better sensor and stellar lens selection, not to mention just being cheaper. Yes, the Nikon 1 is impressively fast to focus. Other than that, it's a "Fail" for me. JMHO, JP
  22. I'd forgotten about that thread, it's a good one! To me, the real answer is a traveler needs to understand the local standards when they leave their country. I totally understand why a person from say, New Zealand doesn't understand why you need to tip. When I went to New Zealand for a month I studied the local customs first and found out you don't tip. So I didn't. Tipping is also different depending on the locale in the United States. In many places (notably in the South), 10% is still considered normal and 15% is a big tip. In NY City, a waiter might curse at you if you only leave 15% and cab drivers will publicly humiliate you for less than 25%. Just part of knowing "where you are". When I travel, I don't leave tips if it's not customary and if it is, I find out what the local standard is. You are quite welcome to do whatever you want, but you also need to understand that in places where a tip is expected, some foreigners will automatically get worse service simply because the people are expecting to get stiffed on the tip. That's not fair, but it's easy to understand how it came about. Now, back to the original poster's comment. Yes, 15-20% can be common for restaurants in the US. However, I would say most diving liveaboards near Florida and in the Caribbean are more likely to expect 10% as a standard. $450 additional for a $3000 trip is a big tip. I personally wish it was the same everywhere and tipping was not an additional consideration, but unfortunately in many cultures tipping is a significant portion of a service person's living wage. cheers, JP
  23. If you like split fins, you better buy them now. I read an article last week saying at DEMA this year not a single manufacturer showed either a new or redesigned split fin model - all the new designs are "modified" paddles.
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