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loligo

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Everything posted by loligo

  1. I recently contacted one of Inon's local dealers in California and was apprised of that Japanese company's unreasonable and byzantine requirements to even do any future business with them in the US; as a result, that well-respected dealer will no longer carry Inon, and there is now a fire sale on those products . . . This type practice is nothing new; other diving-related companies have pulled this crap in the past, Poseidon AB most notably. That company was once richly represented in the US diving community, that is before ridiculous quotas, strictures, and a general lack of support in the unavailability of spare parts, became the burden of prospective dealers. The result of that effort is now an ever-dwindling market share, at least here in the US . . .
  2. For Inon Japan to arbitrarily shut-out their US distributors, doesn't do much to shore up wavering consumer confidence -- especially in such a small niche market catering to underwater photographers (and in particular, given this economy). Reputation is everything in this industry, and I recall the difficulties I even had dealing with Nikon in the past (when they owned / distributed Aquatica for a brief time) -- a company with, then and now, a gargantuan presence in the US. I had every intention of purchasing additional Inon Z-240 strobes but will now put that off and, once again, go the Sea and Sea route, without any real assurance of the type of support I received from Inon America . . .
  3. Joe, I would go with either Inon Z-240 or any of the Sea and Sea models. They are generally compact and both use the standard Nikonos 5-pin connection so both brands of strobes may be used with the same Sea and Sea sync cords. Also, service for both brands have been great over the years. I had a minor problem with an early Inon strobe two years back; not only did they -- Inon America -- quickly replace the item, but also sent me a loaner FEDEXed on their dime when I was headed out for a trip. While I do carry extra sync cords and have tested them on local Northern California dives, I have never experienced a failure with any of them and have been using some of those same cords from my Nikonos days -- and they have seen some serious punishment . . .
  4. For the past few years, I've used Polar Bear Coolers, available through their web site. I am in the laboratory trade and they were used for years in keeping specimens and, now, expensive UW gear, safe and soaked on boats . . .
  5. It is not any misunderstanding on my part. The device I mantioned in the last post serve to "vacuum-seal" the housing , not introduce air into it. The hand-pupm served to <i>remove</i>air. I saw it demonstrated a number of times . . .
  6. There was a product in the nineties, manufactured by a camera dealer in Southern California, which served to pressurize housings or even a Nikonos camera by means of a box-like instrument installed on the housing exterior using an unused bulkhead opening. The company furnished either a hand pump or electrical version which would pre-compress the o-rings -- through a valve -- to simulate something like ten meters of depth. There was also a fail-safe in the form of a visual alarm which would illuminate if the initial pressurization failed. It was quite popular in its time . . .
  7. I generally take a housing for a quick dive without the camera, especially if the o-rings have been replaced. Most manufacturers suggest testing the housing at a greater depth -- say ten meters or so for about an hour. I have never experienced a problem doing this in a decade . . .
  8. Thanks. Yeah, I've been checking both eBay and Craigslist -- and Backscatter should have received the serial numbers for the missing items by now. The Sheriff's Department also has a listing of the equipment . . . It was just so stupid. I always change right by the car near HWY-1. Why I chose 5 September to be overly polite to the other beachgoers and dress elsewhere is beyond me . . .
  9. Thanks Jean, The housings had no particular markings aside from their serial numbers and some name tags / labels, both of which could easily be removed. On one of the TLC arms, there was a metal tag (the type one engraves for a dog's name with my number on it). Otherwise, they had been on hundreds of dives al over the place and really no worse for wear . . . By the way, Jean, how long is the wait for an Aqua-View Finder (heh, heh)? The AD2x was 20049-029 The AD200 was 20051-051 The Aqua-View Finder was 20054-045
  10. Yeah, thanks, it does suck. I've had direct run-ins with thieves -- particularly in Mexico (there was even a broken nose involved -- not mine) and Asia, but not so close to home. Of course, no one saw a thing in Carmel . . .
  11. There were some items not listed: --Aquatica AD2x housing (with seven pounds ballast on the saddle) and macro port --Aquatica AD200 with Nikon D200 camera with dome port --Aqua-View Finder --10.5mm Fisheye lens --Inon Z-240 Strobes with Sea and Sea sync cords --TLC strobe arm --aged Abalone float and sundry extras
  12. I just wished to offer a heads-up for those divers and photographers in the Monterey / Carmel area of Northern California . . . On 5 September, while changing and hitting the head after a second dive at South Monastery Beach, I managed to have my car "professionally" broken into (with a slim-jim, it would seem from the window damage). In the span of less than fifteen minutes, two camera housings with strobes were stolen. Thankfully I was simply wet-testing one housing and managed to only lose one camera (with some great harbor seal shots -- damn it anyway). If my scuba equipment had been disassembled and not in the back seat, I am sure that that would have gone too . . . The stolen equipment was as follows: --Aquatica AD2x housing (with seven pounds ballast on the saddle) --Aquatica AD200 with Nikon D200 camera --10.5mm Fisheye lens --Inon Z-240 Strobes with Sea and Sea sync cords --TLC strobe arm --Abalone float and sundry extras Thankfully, all was insured (with DAN -- and they've been great. Whether I am dropped after that chunk of change remains to be seen), but what a huge pain in the ass. When I notified the Carmel Police, they suggested -- since I was in an unincorporated part of the county and at a state beach) -- that I contact the Parks Department. The Parks referred me to the Sheriff's Department since I was parked on the shoulder beside Highway-One and not on sand -- Parks territory -- twenty feet away. The Sheriff simply directed me to their online PDF theft forms and that was that . . . Beware of the beach areas. I haven't had an episode like that in twenty plus years of diving the CA coast. Also, the prospect that I was being scoped-out while out for a dive leaves much to be desired . . .
  13. Hello, I would simply stay with the 60 mm during your trip. I have the same set-up and the extra -- very large -- Subal 105 mm port is a bit of a stretch for those waters (alslo a 60 equals a 90 or so in the Nikon world). Also, should there be any sort of algal (plankton) bloom during the summer, the closer the better. I was in BC a couple of times in the past few years and the 105 never saw the light of day . . .
  14. I completely agree with the last respondant. I have used the new viewfinder on perhaps a dozen dives and the ease with which I can frame subjects -- even at night, which was a big issue -- is anything but perfect. It took me three months to receive mine and it has not been in its box for much time ever since . . .
  15. I haven't noticed any yellow cast with my viewfinder. I do know that the prototype(s) which appeared at DEMA last Fall had that problem because the optics were not coated. Aquatica seems forthcoming with answers . . .
  16. Thanks for the candid answer. The viewfinder was well worth the wait . . .
  17. So what is the story with Aquatica's new Mega Dome? Anyone know about its eventual availability? It took me nearly three months to get the new viewfinder . . .
  18. I also wholeheartedly recommend the Aquatica 200. I originally purchased it as a safe-second for my D2x while overseas but have found its compact size and durability well worth its "reasonable" price and often use it on beach dives rather than larger rigs. I also now have the user-removeable Aqua View Finder which makes framing even tiny subjects at night a pleasure. It's pretty damn pricey at 1100 and change -- but a work of art. I have used Aquatica housings for close to 20 years (since the F3) and they have never disappointed . . .
  19. I would also agree with the Aquatica option. I have both Aquatica and Subal housings and, now, with Aquatica's excellent new Aqua View Finder, both are on the same footing -- with the Canadians beating out Austria as far as depth rating is concerned. I've taken down Aquatica housings well over two hundred feet and all controls functioned perfectly . . . Sure, they occasionally look like something from the old Soviet bloc, but I had the old F3 for fifteen years without so much as a hint of problem . . .
  20. It's not so much the speed of attaching the Aqua View finder, so much as the simple ease of doing so without the necessity of, say, a spanner (in the case of my Subal and its GS 180) or any other specialized tool. Yes, no doubt every precaution has to be taken preparing any housing for a dive but it is also nice to know how much can simply be done in the field without lugging about the entire contents of my garage . . .
  21. I just received the hefty (crack-a-macademia-nut build) Aqua View Finder with today's post (it had been ordered back in December) and could not be more pleased. The image is large and clear and the finder is easily removeable -- though very stable while mounted. I attached it variously on housings for the D200 (there's a change!) and D2x and it is easily on par with Subal's GS 180 (it should at 20% higher price than the Austrians). I never thought I'd see that day . . . Any news about the Megadome?
  22. Hello, The Christo-Lube formula favored by Aquatica is MCG-111. The small tubes retail for around US 30.00 -- but a little goes along way. I have used the same tube for over a year. Another great feature of the grease is its relative lack of stickiness -- less an attactant for sand and hair . . .
  23. Hi, I too have had Aquatica housings for some years and have experienced no problems. I generally lubricate the control buttons after any significant use -- and utilize the Christo-Lube (white) lubricant supplied with their housings for the past several years . . . Simply place a small amount on the edge of a jeweller's standard screwdriver and place it on the inside portion of the button shaft(s) of the housing while pushing in that given button. Applying it to the shaft and pressing it a few times will do plenty to lubricate it and its o-rings which are not user-serviceable. I would not suggest using olive oil or anything else which could affect sealing . . .
  24. Hi, I too have little love for the battery life and Nikon's claims about longevity. I have used some off brand batterties along with two of Nikon's manufacture. I haven't noticed any real difference. I have been told that it's the display that poses the problem -- something that does little to affect the D2x. Using minimal settings for playback can improve things but not by much . . .
  25. I too had the CP5000 (and still use the thing) and was quite happy with the port lock system. A little pin. What could be simpler? I now have moved on to using small velcro strips -- one attached to the camera housing, the other mate to a some shade or the edge of a macro port. After seeing a port (someone else's thankfully, heh, heh) roll across a boat deck like a can of Campbell's soup, out came the gaffer's tape . . . My vote is for the exterior pin solution. That worked wonderfully for hundreds of dives . . .
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