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Everything posted by expatdiver

  1. Sorry for the delayed response. It's for DLSR housings.
  2. Excellent condition. Less then 10 dives. Asking $850
  3. I'll be in this same situtation in a year or two. I plan on having the surgery in Bangkok, and then holing up somewhere for a while as I recover. I have both a knee and shoulder surgey coming, and I know I can be diving within a few months after the knee surgery, but am not sure how long the shoulder will take. As SteveB said, and I have heard, shoulders take a while to recover. That said, I was diving 2 days after having seperated my shoulder a few years ago, and I actually found that once I got my wetsuit on, the pressure from the suit and cool water actually made my shoulder feel much better. As far as where to stay, Bali might be a good choice, as you can get decent diving there and not be too far from decent medical care, should you need it. There is also a orthopedic clinic in Phuket, that I've been looking at as a possible recovery location, but that is more due to the fact that I know Phuket very well.
  4. ***WARNING*** I am not certain of the effects of acetone on housing materials. The way to find a vacuum leak is to draw a vacuum on the vessel, then while monitoring the vacuum level spritz acetone around the seals and fittings. The acetone will work like the soapy water mixture does on pressure vessels as a leak spotter. It will get drawn in through any leak and rapidly evaporate under the vacuum, thus causing a quick jump up on the vacuum gauge. Alcohol may be able to be used in place of acetone, but I am not sure if it would evaporate fast enough to make a noticable movement in the vacuum gauge.
  5. I am in the proscess of putting together a new system, and the fist thing on my list is 2 bodies. I spare body not only gives you a direct replcement should your primary fail, it also give you additional spares (i.e. battery, memory cards, etc.). Plus you have any identical body for topside shooting during your trip; so you already know buttons and settings. I used to have to debate wheter to take the time to remove my camera from the housing when, say a pod of orcas started bow riding while we were out looking for whalesharks, to shoot topside or leave it in to be ready to jump. Now I don't have that debate anymore. I just grab whichever camera is necesary. Also, depending on your housing, you can always switch to optical sync (if the electronics fail) or ambiant light photography (if optical sync is not an option).
  6. I've been patiently waiting for this announcement for about a year now. I've had my ol' D70s limping along for waayyy too long. I was even about to jump to D800 late last year, when they had those rebates on. Now the only question I have is back to the FX vs. DX debate, but that is for another thread.
  7. I'm thinking about doing a mermaid shoot on an upcoming trip and wondering if anyone has any advice on how to make a tail? I'll be in Singapore for a few days before the trip, so would have access to just about any materials needed, or prefferibly if there is a costume shop there that I could get one made quickly. It would be nice if the tail would have a fin built into it, as it would be helpful if the model could swim decently with it.
  8. I'm in the same boat and am regularly checking for the D7000 replacement. If I'm lucky it will be out with housings before my trip in October.
  9. I get a TravelGuard Gold policy for every trip I take, but I have a lot of scheduling issue that could come into play, and need to cancel for business reason that the policy offers. I've never had to file a claim, but several times I have to alter trips and make adjustments to the policies, and that has always gone smoothly.
  10. Some shots from my May trip to Fiji for a wide angle workshop. This was the first trip where I was really happy with my wide angle work, as the workshop reminded me to employ some of the techniques I already knew, and I learned a few new ones. What do you guys think?
  11. It looks like the D800 is living up to some of the expectations from when it was announced. Hopefully some of its features will make their way into the D7000's replacement. That's the one I'm waiting for. Anyway, the shots look awesome, and I can't wait for the Fiji workshop.
  12. With only two weeks you are probably down to either Raja or Komodo, and yes there is a lot of island hopping regardless of where you go. Travel to and from Raja will eat into that time as I am pretty sure an overnight is required to get to Sorong. Either in Manado if going through Singapore, or Makassar through Bali. You might be able to shave a day by flying in through Jakarta. I had great manta encounters at both Raja and Komodo and saw them on multiple dives at both places. The molas around Bali are seasonal. Normally they are regularly spotted from August to October, but then again the year I went in September they had been seeing them in great numbers in June. The dragons are definitely cool, and it is the only place in the world to see such a creature in the wild.
  13. You can go to Indo anytime of year, but for Raja Nov. - Apr. is probably the best time, and you'll see that most boats relocate between the major spots throughout the year. You might even be able to find a Raja & Komodo back to back trip as the boat transitions, or can just fly from Bali up to Raja, but that normally adds a wasted day en-route. Mantas can be found just about anywhere. I've seen them in Bali (Nusa Penida), Raja Ampat, Komodo. Mandarinfish are also fairly prolific throughout the area, and any dive operator should be able to get you on a site for them. We actually just dropped in off the pier in Alor for them before heading out to sea. Anemonefish are everywhere. You shouldn't have trouble seeing several different species at any destination. Just watch out... they bite. Also, cuttlefish are just about everywhere. Not sure what you mean by "kelp dragon looking things." If you're talking about weedy/leafy seadragons, they are down in Australia. Personally, if I were planning a long trip from the states, and wanted to get the best of Indonesia, I would fly through Singapore to Manado, then do a few days in Lembeh, then fly off to Sorong for a Raja liveaboard plus time at Misool, then fly down to Bali (not sure if you can get from Sorong to Bima in a day) for a Komodo liveaboard. You can then add some day trips around Bali and the surrounding islands as well, for things like mants and molas.
  14. Well, a few things have changed since my original post. I now have a stopover in Sydney on my way back from Fiji as well. I am not sure if I'll be lugging my gear with me. I'm still trying to figure out someplace to stash until my next trip, as I cannot keep it with me where I work. I'll be staying in Manly on the 7th and 8th, so if anyone wants to get together for a beer and give me the lowdown on the local scene, the first round is on me. If I do end up dragging my gear back with me to Sydney, I would be looking to dive on the 23rd or 24th.
  15. It sounds like your desire is to dive caves at night and take photos, but don't much diving experience. Is that correct? Any of those disciplines on there own are for a diver with some experience. To put all three together without much experience is a recipe for trouble. Now do you HAVE to take the PADI course to become proficient at any of those? No, but you should at least get some time in the water with each on its own before you lump all three together. Any fool can take a camera underwater and be an underwater photographer, but the key to being a good underwater photographer is being a good diver first. The former usually leaves a trail of destroyed coral and a cloud of silt in their wake, the latter usually returns from a dive with killer shots and is the envy of the dive group.
  16. That is basically the rig I started with years ago (and am still using). I only had one DS-125 for a while, and that does limit your lighting capabilities for some shots. So adding a second strobe might be the next step you want to make. I don't have any experience with the 16-35 but do have a 12-24. I would imagine with the 16-35 you would have to get fairly close for reef fish shots, but it should work well for models. If you're shallow enough and far enough away from your subject, shooting strobeless should be fine. I've used my D70s without strobes for things like whalesharks, mantas, and dolphins with pretty good success.
  17. Now you guys have me thinking I may need to rent a rig for my stop in Sydney. I didn't realize weedys were that far north. Hopefully Shiprock will be open by the time I get there.
  18. I just did the SIN-MDC-SIN on Silk Air a few weeks ago with a Pelican and Lowe Pro backpack as my carry-ons. No one even paid attention to my bags. 10+ years of flying Silk Air/Singapore I don't think I've ever had my carry-ons weighed or sized.
  19. Thanks for the responses. I think Manly is now on the top of my list of places to stay for this trip. Can anyone recommend a reasonable lodging? I don't really need to be pampered, as anything will be a step up from the tent/cot I live in now. The whale watching sounds interesting, and might be safer for me then some of the more adventurous possibilities. I've got to watch myself, because before my last drive trip with this group, I dislocated my shoulder, and spent the first few days of the trip in a sling (still made all the dives though). Are there any must dive sites around Manly/Sydney?
  20. I think everyone pretty much already covered it, in that you already have access to some of the best lenses for underwater on the Nikon side. I'm not sure why you find the 12-24 unwieldy on the surface. As I love this lens for panoramas, and the 18-200 VR is my topside walk-around lens. I know you said it's a bit much, but if you can hold off on a topside lens for a while it would probably be well worth it.
  21. This thread answers the a question about a small shrimp I found in Lembeh a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, none of my shots came out clean enough to warrant an id thread, but I know what I saw, and I'm pretty sure this little guy is it.
  22. So I am heading to Fiji in May and have a five day stopover in Sydney on my way there. I have to ship my dive and photo gear into Fiji, but I at least had the foresight to pull one body and a couple of topside lenses from my kit. So beside the obvious of a bridge climb and photographing the opera house, what other type of topside activities might keep me occupied during the daytime? How about learning to surf? As far as where to stay, what are the beaches like the second week of May? Is it starting to get too cold? I've been looking at Bondi or possibly Manly. If not a beach, which part of the city? Potts Point popped up on a couple of searches I did, and looks to be a fairly central location, but not as pricey as the city center.
  23. I've also been in and out of Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket) several times with my full setup ($10,000+) and never had any hassle. I just walk through the 'nothing to declare' line and sometimes they x-ray and sometimes they don't. I don't think I've ever even had my bags actually opened and inspected.
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