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phxazcraig last won the day on January 10

phxazcraig had the most liked content!

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About phxazcraig

  • Rank
    Wolf Eel
  • Birthday 10/19/1953

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
  • Interests
    Photography, especially underwater. Diving. Motorcycling (numerous long distance trips on one BMW or another, including Europe). Chess - used to be a tournament player years ago. Travel (63 countries, 50 states). Computers (self-employed IT consultant for 19 years).

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    various Nikons
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Sea & Sea YS-D1
  • Accessories

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  1. I'm on my 6th year learning how to use strobes. Bought a pair of YS-D1's back in 2014. One of them failed last September, and I replaced it with a pair of used YS-D1's, so to have a spare. I've done about 200 dives with them.
  2. Thanks to all for the suggestions so far. Let me address some points: 1. I have had several Henderson hyperstretch wet suits. I like them because they are easy to get on. I've also worn them out, lost them, and generally found myself getting cold in the 3 mil versions. (I get cold easily). 2. I almost always wear a full hood when I dive. 3. I am not concerned about the price of a custom wetsuit. I've had cheap wetsuits before, including Pinnacle, and I generally don't like them. (Took me over 20 minutes once in a dive shop to struggle into a 5 mil Pinnacle that had no zippers on arms or legs. 4. I am surprised in this day and age that there isn't a cell phone app to do measurements for a custom wetsuit, but if I have to drive to the LA area to get fitted, it's not impossible. 5. I have an Xcel 5 mil - it's 6'2", or so, for my 6'2" body, but it fits badly. The torso is too short, the legs a bit long, and it gaps over the small of my back, pumping cold water. I am more like 6'4" from the waist up, 6'0" from the waist down. Custom sounds pretty good to me.
  3. Oddly I never thought of pulling back the sleeve...
  4. Looking for feedback and recommendations for a custom wetsuit manufacturer in the US. I'm tired of wet suits that don't fit and pump water! I'm 6'2", with a long torso and shorter-ish legs. (33 inch inseam). I've only seen two kinds of wet suits in the 6-7 I've owned so far. Those that are set up for 6'4" people, where I generally have two inches of leg to fold back into a cuff. Or those that fit my legs, but are tight through the torso. The tight-torso fits (most of my wetsuits) leave a gap at the lower back that gets water pumped through. After a week of diving in 85F water, I'm freezing in my 4/3 wetsuit with full hood. Wetsuits must be better than this. It dawned on my to get a custom-fitted wetsuit, but I had never heard of them. Figured them to be very expensive too. But when I looked, the prices were reasonable, and there were a bunch of companies making them. So - recommendations? My next dive trip probably isn't until at least April, so plenty of time. I just want something like a 4/3 - something easy to get into and suitable for water temps in the mid- to low-eighties.
  5. I will certainly do that some of the time. The problem (as I see it) is the same I faced when wearing a dive watch in my earlier days. I had to take it off ever time I wanted out of the top of my wetsuit, and I'm prone to losing things in situations like that. The strobe arms are even more visible to me than my wrist.
  6. Like everyone else, I favor strobes over no strobes. However, for starting out just use the built-in strobe (through a diffuser, which should come with the housing). You'll be extremely limited on range, but at least you can light small objects close to you. If you are not doing macro, strobes can become problematical quickly. You can't light everything when shooting wide angle, and if you have lit the main subject, you'll have color balance issues with the rest. Wide angle often means two things are needed: clear water and a lot of sunlight.
  7. Yes, and you should get a housing that allows you to turn the flash on and off, with a physical lever or button if you cannot use a menu item.
  8. What a timely thread. After diving with a Cobra dive computer since 2006, I've finally changed to a wrist computer (Suunto D5). I too am very interested in using the computer mounted somewhere other than my wrist. As I've never used a wrist computer before, I'm interested in all sorts of options and stories about usage. My divemaster in Roatan has used a wrist computer for years attached to the front of his BCD. I see him glancing down at it during the dive, and while it may be a bit more convenient than me pulling my Cobra up to look at it, it's still about the same process. Since I have a big camera rig in front of me at all times, it sure seems a suitable place to put it. Some basic questions: 1. Strobe interfering with dive computer when triggered? I never heard of that before, so I'm wondering if it could every happen to me. 2. Prefer left or right side strobe arm? 3. How to orient the computer to be readable? 4. Problem distance from computer (D5 for me) and air pressure transmitter? 5. Use the supplied wrist strap, or come up with something else? I will have no backup computer, so I'm a bit worried about stories I hear of communications problems (how much does this happen), and battery life. I could bring my Cobra, but I wouldn't want it hooked up at the same time (more hoses), and anyway the Cobra would probably lock itself out from deco being ignored where I'd not be in deco on the new computer. My main reason for bringing along the old computer would be if I got out on the boat and noticed I didn't have enough battery life to dive because I forgot to charge it overnight.
  9. Suunto can easily do that. I'm going through the manual of a new Suunto D5, and it talks about pairing up to 10 transmitters at the same time. Something about keeping track of your buddy's air as well as multiple tanks (and gasses). You can also pair multiple computers to the same transmitter, so easy to have two dive computers tracking the same air bottle.
  10. It's a must. Night and day improvement, and it seems a LOT better than '2 stops better'. I'll never shoot the 16-35 underwater without it again.
  11. I've had my own IT consulting business for 20 years now. Amazing it's lasted that long as I'm primarily Novell/Micro Focus oriented. I've not had a non-BMW motorcycle since my Kawasaki Z1 got stolen in 1975. I went through several beemers before ending with a 1985 K100rs purchased new in Germany and shipped back. Had that bike until sold in 2015. Bought the K1300s in 2014, and I have 24,000 miles on it now. Don't get to tour on it like the old days, partly due to new girlfriend not so into it. Nowadays my focus is on underwater photography. Wish I could ride to dive sites on the bike!
  12. The D800 in a good housing should be just fine underwater. I shot a D810 for years underwater, and a D800e for years above. The main advantages of the D810 are mostly lost or unnecessary underwater. The sensor is 36mp, and it's good. Shoot at base ISO as much as possible and have great fun processing the raw files! Last year I moved up to a D850, and the one advantage that really jumped out is focus speed and accuracy.
  13. I can only speak to my experience with the Sea and Sea Internal Correction lens, on a Nikon 16-35vr behind a 230mm port on a 90mm extension. Since I have no idea of the 14-30's capability for dome port shooting, the S&S filter may or may not help. I also do not know if the smaller port size will create a problem (compared to my 230mm), but I suspect it will. Still, it may be that adding the S&S filter to a 14-30 improves it enough to be usable behind a small dome port. A 165mm dome port seems maybe more sized for fisheye than rectilinear wide angle. I shot the 16-35 and 230mm dome for about 4 years on a Nikon D810. I was always disappointed with the corner performance. The first time I got shots back with the new port I was profoundly disappointed. Couldn't believe I was hauling all that weight around just to get those shots. Didn't matter what aperture - I ended up cropping all the time. I also tried a +2 diopter - noticed no difference. Last year I added the S&S filter, and also upgraded camera from D180 to D850. With the filter, the difference is amazing. I no longer have to crop, nor really stop down much either. It seems a lot better than a 2-stop improvement to me. You can see for yourself, indirectly, except you can't really see the cropped-out corners from my D810 shots. But my web site (www.cjcphoto.net) has links to two dive trips in 2019. All the wide angle shots were taken with the 16-35 and S&S filter. So - potentially this filter could be good for you. It only comes in 2 sizes, for now, 77 and 82mm, and the 14-30 takes the larger size. (Seems even less likely to be happy behind a small dome.)
  14. I only have experience with the YS-D1. Shot a pair on my RX100 II for a year, and another 4 years with my Nikons. Lots of power, works with the on-camera flash triggering it in TTL mode.
  15. Any feedback. OK, what sort of camera, lens and port combo are you using? The edges and corners are looking pretty poor in the first shot. Looks a bit like wide angle through a flat port. The white balance seems a bit off. In all three shots, colors look pretty subdued. What ISO were you using? If you aren't out of dynamic range, I suspect you can improve your post-processing skills. The second shot has that nice juxtaposition of diver and fish, but the diver pose is awkward, and I find the brightness on the face to be distracting. At the same time the Trumpetfish is a bit dark and dull. Sticking your logo on the first two is distracting as well. In the third shot, there is low contrast, low color and seems to lack a bit of detail. Not sure if the ISO was high, or perhaps it was cropped a fair amount, but it just looks a bit off, or weak. Underwater photography can be a lot about post-processing. I find myself shooting at the lowest ISO I can use in order to maximize my dynamic range. I then pull down highlights aggressively as well as raise shadows. I find myself taking an image with extremes in dynamic range and reducing that range to fit in my desired output format, usually web-based. After pulling down highlights and/or lifting shadows (often simultaneously), I often have to introduce contrast back into the image. And that blocks up a shadow or blows a highlight, so I interactively work on the edges of the histogram to try to tame those elements, And white balance is often a challenge. It would really help to know more technical details of what lens, camera, port, extension, ISO, and post-processing steps you've tried. A similar shot for comparison: Compared to your last shot, this one shows more color in the sponges. What post-processing did you do on your shot? http://www.cjcphoto.net/roatan2018/images/page254.html I've got a short web page I made for family and friends to give them some idea that the camera didn't take those shots, but rather post-processing 'made' them. Before and after shots here: http://www.cjcphoto.net/beforeafter/index.html
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