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Everything posted by Balrog

  1. Yes, its difficult to clean inside. The easiest way I have found is not to get it dusty in the first place. Cut a sheet of thin plastic to the size of the shade and make sure you always put it over the hole, retaining it with the dome cover.
  2. With the knob on the strobes set to the manual positions, I don't think the cable has anything to do with the output. I it just gives the fire command, any quench signal should be ignored. If you are using the manual controls on the back of an Ike camera housing with the strobes set to TTL, it might be a different story.
  3. I'm surprised that you can find any photographic kit in the UK cheaper than it can be got in US.
  4. Downloaded and viewed in PS (Win) on my week old Samsung 2370, calibrated with Colormunki yesterday morning. Any colour corrections I try to make end up pretty much at 0,0,0. Do you need to adjust your eye to your new room.
  5. I had a 160 main and 125 secondary (the later serial numbers) using the dual cable for a year and think that the claimed power difference might be a bit optimistic. I didn't notice much modelling effect from the different strobe powers; certainly nothing that couldn't be easily overridden by slight re-positioning of the strobes. Agree with Derway that TTL works well in most situations and, although I shoot mainly manual, is something that I wouldn't want to be without. The facility for manually setting strobe power direct on the Ike camera housing (with the strobe knobs set to TTL) is particularly useful for WA when strobes are on long arms and not convenient to reach. The secondary strobe on the dual Ike cable replicates the duration of the primary strobe. I'm not sure but there's a chance that you might only need to buy only one new 160 / 125 and be able to keep one of your existing old series 125s to get full TTL.
  6. So a somewhat underwhelming product that just amounts to a manual optical slave trigger which fits directly to the strobe. No progress for the Ike housing to DS strobe users. The DS series are nice robust units with a great colour temperature but score negatively in weight and volume compared to most other manufacturers. TTL compatibility has always been their thing. I don't understand why they didn't implement it; they have had optical flash replication technology since the AF35. (maybe the DS won't do pre-flash ???) Ike will have to do better than this to market the DS series to the compact and non Ike housing market. 2c
  7. Hmm. A salutatory tale about positive pressure inside an enclosure that's designed to see pressure the other way round. Sorry to hear about your camera Tim. However, the way I see it is little to do with the cold quarry water. The air mass was sealed into the housing before you got into pool, so it's more to do with the difference between the ambient air temp when you closed the housing and the final temperature that the air mass got to in the pool. Another Tim - but not an esteemed Dr, just a humble CEng.
  8. I'm going to take a slightly different position to some of the above posts and suggest that there is a difference between photography and snapshots. As a new diver, there will be plenty enough going on for you but there is no reason why you can't take a pocket sized camera and take a few snaps in the less busy moments. Yes your buoyancy control will be suspect but as long as you make sure you stay well off the reef and don't attempt any close up work where you have to hover in one place whilst setting up or refining a photograph there's no reason why you can't take shots of things as you swim by or they swim by you. Just remember to focus on your diving, position and personal safety. The camera is a secondary item. For sure, the quality of your work won't be up to the sort of thing we see posted on here which are a result of planning, patience, diving skills, quality kit and long practice. Never the less you will still be able to take a few that will give you both satisfaction and good memories. For this sort of work, the Ixus in the small Canon housing will be fine. You can likely get a used one quite economically. You might want to start on internet auction sites but make sure you get the right one for your exact model - they keep moving the controls around. As your buoyancy skills progress, try to minimise the amount of water between the camera and the subject to eliminate some of the blue cast that you will no doubt find disappointing. Also learn how to use the white balance controls on your camera and practice them on the sofa in your living room until it becomes instinctive. Later on get an external strobe/flash to improve colours but by this point you will start to dive to photograph rather than photograph whilst you are diving. 2c Tim
  9. Excellent work. Another source of fibre is reel ends from network installers at probably around US 50c per metre. You need single mode solid optical cable. Ebay is likely your friend.
  10. +1 for the knowledge and recommendations of Ryan and the team at Reef. Living where I do, it isn't exactly my local store but they are my preferred supplier if I have any doubts about the correct bit of kit to buy.
  11. Yes, failing that there are a number of used housings for the older compact cameras that no one really wants any more. Its just a matter of finding a camera with adequate video mode and housing that matches. Ebay is likely your friend. Some people have made Pole Cams for shooting sharks etc from the boat. At their simplest, just a camera mounted on a pole with some sort of cable to actuate the shutter. I think the issue with a periscope is that it would need some lenses in it, otherwise the underwater window would need to be huge. Think about the cone of light that enters the camera lens, the further from the camera, the bigger it becomes.
  12. Quite honestly I think you will very quickly out grow the bag type housings and regret the £400 you spent. If you are just getting into UW photography, borrow your Uncle's kit until you are happy that this is something you would like to take further.
  13. Self fusing tape, takes a long time to truly bond together and is still prone to micro voids. I think you will be fine with the type of heat shrink tubing that has an internal coating of hot melt adhesive, providing you leave an inch or so of overlap each end with the sheath. eg http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connecto...82995/kw/shrink
  14. From my perspective still photography will remain primarily strobe. It is an efficient use of a limited portable power source and has the advantage of freezing the action. Those wanting a rig that will take wide angle stills and motion in the same dive are stuck with available light, high ISO or lugging large batteries for the foreseeable. 2c Tim
  15. With a slightly different skew, I came across this rather tidy acrylic solution. Not saying it is suitable for UW use but the concept is certainly transportable. http://www.ray-flash.com/ @ Ron, the ring flash concept allows an even, diffuse light close to the port/lens for short focus macro. Often the positioning of strobes is inhibited by the housing and may be prone to uneven areas of lighting.
  16. You might find this thread interesting http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=38975&hl=
  17. Yes. Exactly as you say, you only need the longer clamps between the two large arms. Ike clamps are fine elsewhere and work with the UCLS balls. I also progressed from pool noodles to the 2" dia arms and find them a little better. I set up the noodles so that rig was buoyant on the surface and became negative by 6m. I have to say it was quite a secure feeling for shore entry or being handed down from the boat having it float on the surface. I found a switch to the shorter Ike quick release arms was of benefit with longer arms. I'm still using my original dual cable 2 years on.
  18. If you do decide on 2" dia arms, you will need to use the UCLS AC-CSB clamps which have a bigger centre distance, otherwise the arms don't fold together.
  19. I have a 450D in Ikelite with 2 x DS160 and use 12" + 8" UCLS 2" dia arms. This makes the rig just an ounce or two negative depending on port and will sink at about 1/2" per second. The Ike twin strobe lead is fine with full extension each side. An 8" port adds quite a bit of buoyancy but I use 5 oz of lead attached to the port shade to counteract the tendency for it to tip up at the front so the overall effect is almost neutral. They do need a bit of pushing through the water if they are fully extended and you want to push on. Cruising slowly, you won't notice it. If I want to get somewhere quickly or if there's a current I put the two arms together above the camera and point the housing port down, so the arms are like the bow of a ship. At 3:24 in this clip , you'll see Cathy Church handling her Subal rig through the bridge window just holding onto one strobe. I think she is using 2 x 12" arms.
  20. Nice footage Mark. Using the 10-17 FE for stills, you can compose to control the sunball but it's clear that this is more of a problem with video.
  21. Both are exceptionally capable lenses. The 10-17 is excellent for CFWA but being a fisheye gives barrel distortion of any straight objects towards the edge of the frame. The 11-16 has a couple of stops advantage and is rectilinear but therefore not as wide compared to the FE as the numbers might suggest. It won't focus quite as close but will happily take a +2 dioptre, (maybe +3) behind an 8" dome without compromising infinity. There's no facility to fit filters to the front of the 10-17. I tend to use the 10-17 for open reef work and the 11-16 rectilinear for wrecks where there are lines I want to keep straight. Never used an SLR for video but would imagine extra aperture could be an advantage in the potentially lower intensity of video lighting. Videographers might like to comment on the effect of barrel distortion on moving objects or whilst swimming through a wreck passage - not sure if its effective or distracting.
  22. If it's your first trip with an SLR underwater, the 18-55 kit lens is worth considering. Not the sharpest lens by anyone's measure and you will soon out grow it but can be got second hand for next to nothing. If you can afford a Canon 60mm macro to go with it, so much the better but I would go for a strobe first if you are diving any deeper than 6m. Pros, purists and the well heeled will strongly disagree but the 60mm macro will work adequately behind a dome if budget is tight. 2c
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