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RogerC

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Everything posted by RogerC

  1. they also make up for it with lenses with higher resolution, and I'd say the noise is acceptable (or nonexistent, or competitive) at low ISO. once you really compare the oly glass and sigma glass, you won't want the sigma glass anyway. it's actually a fantastic value for a fantastic piece of glass that you can actually carry. Not that I will be buying one anytime soon, the new cheap 70-300mm (140-600mm) 1:4.0-5.6 is more my range, especially with the 1.4 TC or 2.0 TC on it. anyway, in film equivalent, that pricey 300mm is a 600mm, and it's f2.8, AND it's only 5" diam, 11" long, 7.2 pounds. and now you get 5 stops of IS on it, damn! Canon and nikon both make 600mm lenses, they are both f4, the nikon is 6.5" diam, 17" long, and 11 pounds. $9.5k. The Canon is similar, 6.6 diam, 18" long, 12 pounds, $7.2k. At $5.7k, the oly is a steal. It's nickname is the big tuna. To get f2.8 on a bigger sensor at only 500mm, you need something like this. It gets a little heavier and a little pricier than the big tuna: http://www.sigmaphoto.com/news/news.asp?nID=3306 ps - I don't care if pla-doh makes the housings as long as they use existing ports. But I hope for UN, honestly, I'm perfectly happy with mechanical, clear, lexan housings.
  2. there is a chance that the battery isnt making good contact with the strobe head. I'd be surprised by that with a new strobe, but it could happen. Try wiggling the battery on the strobe a bit. You can also tighten up the contact. On the battery, on the female power connectors, use a tiny flathead screwdriver to push the prongs of the connectors toward the center. Just a little bit! if you do them all, they really grab and the battery is hard to get on and off. If this isn't a simple fix like a bad contact, send it back.
  3. really? mine doesn't. Is that in the manual? You have to make sure they are twisted and standing up, but if they're laying down by the body, they seem to be fine.
  4. OK James, here's a puzzle for you. Let's see if you come up with the same answer Jim and I have in private and in other threads. It's common to leave a housing in the sun and get fog. How can this be? the temp of the housing has gone up in the sun, not down, it should be less likely to fog. Hint: it does not happen to people who use dessicant all the time.
  5. I have started putting humidity indicators in my housings. These should warn me of even a slight leak. Fogging is one sign of a possible leak, a rise in humidity will happen before fogging. These indicators show that the humidity in my housings is less than 30% when all is well, at any temp. I like that. http://www.staticcontrol.com/proddetail1+1j6+11329.aspx
  6. photos of charger at: http://www.rogercarlsonphotography.com/gal...ment/maha_9000/ -------------------------------------------------------- I've long been a fan of Maha batteries and chargers. Maha is one of several brands that seem to push the limits of battery capacity every year and stay at the front of the pack. I've bought a few sets of the latest Mahas before every major vacation, so I've accumulated pretty much the full collection of Maha battery capacities. Maha also seems to stay on top of battery charger technology as well, releasing new chargers every year or so. I recent picked up the new Maha MH-C9000 Wizard charger ($74 from Thomas Distributing). This is my third Maha charger. My first was the MH-C401FS, which I really liked. It charges 4 batteries independently and has a slow or fast charge setting. Fast is great on the road, when you need batteries fresh for every dive, but slow is fine at home, when you're not in a hurry, since batteries kept cool have a longer life. The 401 charges at 1000mA in fast mode, and only 300mA in slow mode. My second charger was the MH-C204W. It came highly recommended by Dave Etchells, who runs a battery test page at http://www.imaging-resource.com/ACCS/BATTS/BATTS.HTM. I ended up not liking it; it only charges fast, which isn't necessary at home, and it only charges batteries in pairs. When you have a single cell fail in an older set, it's not immediately obvious which cell has failed in each pair. I also worry that in paired charging, neither cell gets the optimal charge that it would really like. And it ran pretty hot, charging at 2000mA, which I thought was too fast, particularly at home, when speed isn't an issue the way it is on a dive trip. MH-C401FS: http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=178 MH-C204W: http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=352 Maha MH-C9000: http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/viewitem.asp?idproduct=423 I ended up selling the 204 and hanging onto the older 401. I actually thought that the 401 might be my last charger, as I've been hoping to get into an SLR camera and out of my compact camera, which would put me out of the AA NiMH business. I finally came to the conclusion that I'm not likely to ever stop using AA NiMH's entirely; they'll always be used in some strobes and in various electronics around the house, in some flashlights, and in my Athena Ring Strobe. I also came to the conclusion that my venerable 401 charger might not be up to the task of charging the new higher capacity batteries. It is possible to charge a battery too slowly; batteries should ideally be charged at a rate that fully charges them in no faster than 1 hour, or no slower than 2 hours. This is referred to as 1C or 0.5C, where C stands for "Capacity". In other words, a 2600 mAh battery should be charged at a rate of 0.5C, or 1300 mA, or up to 1C, or 2600mA. These rates would charge the battery fully in 2 hours or 1 hour, respectively. The 401 was running at only 1000mA in fast mode, and only 300mA in slow mode. Not strong enough, perhaps. Anyway, I had begun to see some odd behavior in my newest batteries. Some sets weren't holding up as long as older sets. I initially wondered if batteries with such high capacity just plain had shorter lives; maybe 2600mAh batteries only last a year, while 2400mAh batteries can go for several years. But I began to wonder if it was not the batteries, but the charger. Maybe the low power of the old 401 charger was just not putting out enough juice to keep the chemistry in these new batteries working well. I also began to wonder what the capacity was in my very oldest batteries, batteries which had been relegated to devices around the house and would go on no further dive trips. And on one recent dive trip, I found myself wishing for a charger with a status display, to tell me if a set of batteries is near a complete charge and is ready to go diving, or if they need to stay on longer. And so I ordered the 9000 charger from Thomas Distributing, with a few sets of the latest Maha AA's, 2700mAh capacity. Technology advances rapidly; I think the wizard charger was the same price as the old 401 originally was (401 price including the optional external international power supply, which is built into the 9000). Maha chargers have had the same form factor for many years. The Wizard is a new form factor, about 2 or 3 times the size of the 401, see the photo below. It has a large screen, cooling vents, and wide spacing on the batteries , for cooling during charging. It is heavier, at 16 ounces vs 8 for the 401 (weight for both includes international wall wart power supply. The 50/60Hz 110V/220V power supply is included with the 9000, optional with the 401. The 9000 has 5 modes: - Charge. Recommended for batteries used frequently. This is the default mode, with a default rate of 1000mA. Rates are selectable from 200mA to 2000mA. - Refresh/Analyze. Recommended for batteries that have been in storage for 2 weeks to 3 months, or batteries showing signs of capacity loss.This mode charges the battery, rests, fully discharges the batteries, rests, then recharges, all at programmable rates. - Break-in. Recommended for new batteries, those that have been unused for 60 days or more, or those showing more serious capacity problems. Applies a 16 hour .1C charge, rests 1 hour, 8 hour .2C discharge, rest 1 hour, 16 hour 0.1C charge. - Discharge. Simply discharges the battery at a selected rate. Not sure why you'd do this, I guess it's for battery geeks doing tests. - Cycle. Performs a charge/discharge cycle at the programmed rates, for the programmed number of times. The charger comes with a wall-brick power supply. It has 2 US prongs, but can run off 50-60Hz and 110VAC or 220VAC. The charger's status displays show the rate the battery the charger is charging at, how much total charge the battery has gotten, and how long the cycle has taken. At the end of a charge cycle, the charger reports the total charge the battery has accumulated, which will show the battery's capacity (if the battery was fully discharged during use or during the charge cycle). I put the charger to work right away, running a break-in on my new batteries and oldest batteries, and running a refresh cycle on all my sets. With about 12 sets of batteries, the process took almost 2 weeks. Some of the cycles can be quite slow. If you find yourself doing a lot of cycling and refreshing with your batteries, or if you are supplying power to two cameras, or if you want to have batteries ready to go all the time, even while you tinker with another set, you might want to consider two chargers. There are several things I really like about the charger. What I like most about it is the display. It's great to really know how close to done a charging cycle is, and it's great to know for certain what the health of a set of batteries is. It's great to know for certain that one cell has really fallen behind the other 3 in capacity, or to know that a full set has fallen to almost nothing. Most of my sets, even the very oldest ones, were still pretty healthy, but all my 2200mAh sets had dropped to about half their capacity, and went into the bin for proper disposal. Maybe the 2200's just had poor chemistry compared to the 2000's or 2400's. I also really like the the speed of the charger. I charge at 0.5C, so my batteries would be ready to go in only two hours if fully discharged; at this rate, they are ready to go pretty quickly and they don't get very warm during the charge. Finally, I just like having the latest, smartest charger for my cells. It's nothing quantitative, but I like to think the charger has a better brain and incorporates a smarter charging profile than the the 401's. What I dislike about it is obviously the size and weight. Every ounce counts for the traveling photographer, particularly the underwater photographer. What I also dislike about it is the default mode: if you simple put in a set of batteries and walk away, the charger defaults to a rate of 1000mA. This is less than the recommended 0.5C minimum rate for the newest 2700mAh batteries, which want a minimum rate of 1400mA. It would be nice if the default rate could be set and stored somehow. It would be most ideal if the charger would remember the setting last used in every mode. All in all, I'm very happy with the charger, and it will be going on trips with me, it's worth the size and weight. I'll probably also keep one of my old 401 chargers, and bring it along just for backup; I hate to be dependent on any single piece of electronics when traveling to areas with spiky power grids.
  7. equilibration, temperature difference, insulation, airspace, acrylic, metal, ports, whatever.... fog craves not these things. It's all about dew point temperature. Your housing has some water vapor in it. At some temperature (the dew point temperature) that vapor will condense. The higher the humidity in your housing, the higher the temp that will happen at. Condensation will happen on any surface that drops below the dew point temp, on whatever is coldest in your system. Working in an air conditioned room means you are using air with lower moisture content. Moving a camera from cold to warm means it may get some condensation on it and carry moisture into your housing. It doesn't mean you will get fog. You only get fog when you go below dew pont temp. Keep your humidity low with dessicant and it will never happen. Keep your dessicant fresh and dry (get the indicator kind) and it will be reliable.
  8. I've tried aperture, photomechanic, and extensis portfolio, as well as iphoto and just plain folders. They all have a long learning curve. You need to give the free trials a fair chance, read the manual, spend a lot of time in each program with a small project and get a feel for them. That said, photomechanic just wasn't the tool for me. Nothing against it, it just doesn't work the way I want to. Aperture does, I love it.
  9. I think cites is only for international trade, it doesn't stop a local for buying it.
  10. Phil, I owe you an apology. I used the 410 live view in water today, it's faster than I thought, it's plenty usable once you get autofocus out of the way, at least in dark socal water. It is around 5050 class lag, perfectly usable.
  11. Here's a video, with sound, of the E410. By listening to the shutter, you can get a better idea of what the lag is in various shooting modes. http://www.rogercarlsonphotography.com/gal..._speed.mov.html
  12. edit: I'm not sure why the quoting isn't working for me, so I tried a different format. sorry for coming to the party late and having so much to quote. Phil, Jim, you gotta let me know when a good oly thread gets going! My background: Started with nikon on land, went to nikonos underwater, jim church sold me on an oly 3040 & L&M tetra housing. That became a 5050 in an oly housing, adding Ike DS125s and manual EV controllers. Bought an E1, rented a housing in jan 06 for truk, loved it but the E1 was slow on AF in dark water, so I held off, hoping for the replacement pro camera (E3 aka EP-1, whatever, now coming this fall. Would've bought the E1 housing had I known it would be 2 years). Now I have a big trip this october, so it's time to stop waiting. Bought a 410 and housing, didn't like the lag in live view. It's much slower than a point & shoot. Bought a 330 and housing. Found that I couldn't sell the 410 housing at a reasonable price (bought it from japan early at full price, then videodirect got into the game) so I decided to keep it and have a second rig, a pocket macro rig. Recently presented the 410 to my wife as an anniversary present "to both of us" so I didn't have to hide it in the garage anymore. I have to say, the 410 - regardless of it's live view lag - got under my skin in a way the 330 never has. The 330 is an ugly camera (to me), designed around a crazy prism arrangement. The 410 has a lot of character and it's damn fast and responsive. It's always ready to go. It always takes a photo when you press the button. I like it. But it's crippling by 4 year old laptop. 6 megabyte jpegs, 10 mb raw files (that aperture doesn't read yet). Man. on to the quoting. Sorry if anything I write comes across wrong, I'm trying to add my two cents and keep this to a reasonable length, just trying to add my experience to what others have written. I would also say that implementing mode B is easy for oly: all they have to do is use a live-mos CCD, and they can run the CCD full time and have live view. The livemos CCD is low power and doesn't heat up and get noisy (much). So live view mode B is an easy tool to add. Mode A is not, it's a second sensor, it's a half-silvered prism and darker viewfinder, etc etc etc. No way to shoehorn it into the tiny 410/510, too. I have to disagree with you, Phil. It's slower. I can't use it on moving subjects, or even nudibranchs in surge, wtih AF on. It's fine for UW landscape wide angles, nudibranchs in calm water, emergencies, shoot-and-pray situations, but it's much worse than my 5050. It's over the cliff where I'd say, I can't get used to this, i can't make this work for moving stuff. And this is coming from a guy with a long, long (dare I say succesful) career with the 5050, and old P&S with longer lag than any more recent P&S. Turn AF off, use the AEL button to focus automatically, shoot wide angle or slow subjects, the lag is greatly reduced and is managable. And i find the optical viewfinder perfectly acceptable, as does Phil. I did buy a nice atomic low profile mask and get my prescription in it, though. Actually, I got my computer prescription, -2.75 instead of -3.5, for closer stuff. I had to jam the sensor: http://www.rogercarlsonphotography.com/gal..._pt-e02_strobe/ fair statements to me. and my strobe hack is kludgey. I never un-tape my 330, never use it on land. It's for UW only. But I am a fringe lunatic, I love my optical triggers. I can put a strobe in a wreck, I can move strobes from camera to camera on the fly, even underwater. I have always only shot manual, full manual, camera and strobe. I get the impression that TTL is working better and better, and I think it does work well in macro, where the whole frame is about the same distance and there isn't, say, 95% blue water absorbing all strobe and 5% barracuda mirroring strobe back & burning out pixels. I am starting it wish I had TTL on my macro rig. But then, I like having options to try and use, the more the better. You don't keep the camera forever. This is not a final lifetime decision. Get something and be happy. You do keep the lenses longer than the body. Look carefully at the lenses. I could not be happier with my 7-14mm and my 50mm oly lenses. This is what really binds me to oly. I've never used more than 3 AF points, and I usually only have 1 active, so I **know** what the camera is focusing on. And I move the camera. Put the AF point on the nose or the eye, hold focus, move to compose, take the shot. if I had 30 AF points, would I change the AF point rather than move the camera as I do now? no. Too much trouble. Jim, post your recent North Carolina trip. What do you think of your 7-14 now? I could tell as soon as I saw the color of your photos what lens you had on. Use dessicant! If your housing fogs it has moisture in it, and that's bad for your camera. If your housing fogs because it's getting warmer, well, think about that: you've raised the temperature of your housing. going up in temp should make less fog, you are going above the dew point... unless you have packed moisture and humidity into your camera (bad thing!) on previous dives and the heat is now distilling that moisture out of your camera onto your port (good for camera, bad for photos). Use dessicant. And set your strobe to manual 1/64 power, and do a test without your external strobe on. Bet you see no backscatter, even at night. Bet you don't need to block your strobe... in manual. In TTL, different story, you may be doing full dumps from the internal strobe. But if you are using TTL, you may be better off with a wire, not a fiber optic. You stop using your internal strobe and get faster recycling. And with the fiber, you are limited by the power of your internal strobe: if a full dump from your external strobe is 100 microseconds, and your internal strobe can only fire for 25 microseconds, you will never get a dump longer than 25 ms from your external strobe and you're not getting your money's worth. It's maxxing out at 1/4 power (note that I made these times up. I'm not sure what any camera really does, which cameras this may or may not be a problem on.) I have never fogged since I started using dessicant. My old 3040, before I used dessicant, got so much moisture in it the camera itself would fog on land. Once that started I never got all the moisture out. It never quit doing it. I sold it. yes, you get nice depth and contrast. But if you have 2 strobes, you can always turn one down. Oly is funny about UW support. They are big on UW, but not everyone does it or knows about it. I prefer the athena tray (great hand grips, but heavy) or an ULCS.com tray (great arms & balls) to the oly stuff. You ought to be able to use two, just mount two optic cables. Or actually, one with no cable ought to sync off one with a cable, you may only need one cable, depending on placement, etc. Cables are ususally better. You can turn the strobe off using the menu, through buttons. You can't retract it and don't need to. The coldest part of the housing will fog. In a lexan housing, in cold water, the camera will be warm, the lexan will insulate it, and you'll get condensation on the cold metal buttons first. But it could spread. Silica dessicant solves this. Get the kind that turns blue when good, pink when bad. Recharge it at 225 degrees in a toaster oven. It could also save your camera. Forget about fogging housings, fogging cameras sucks. And cameras can die from moisture: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/aa-07-worked.shtml except if you are shooting manual strobe, at 1/64. You can test at night with your external off, you'll probably find that you're not lighting backscatter. But that's splitting hairs. I did 3 hour-long dives with mine last weekend, live view mostly off, 314 images. 50 degree water. Not the data point you want, wish I had live view on for you, but it's something. My wife has never before wanted to have an SLR. But I "gave" her "my" 410, oly housing, and athena ring flash, and she was pretty excited about it. It's very manageable. The hand strap on the housing is great. The mode B live view lag on the 410 is longer than it was on my 5050, and the 5050 is longer than the cl350. I don't think you'll be happy with that amount of lag. same answer, lag is longer. Especially if you have autofocus on. With autofocus on, there is a focus step in with all the mirror flips. Better to go to manual focus so you can prefocus with the AEL button and then take a fast picture. This is just like pushing the button down halfway early. Better, you can also easily do a depth of field check. I'm afraid I just talked a bunch of people out of the 410. I didn't mean to. I really like mine. I just want to be up front about the live view so people have the right expectation. It's certainly ahead of cameras without live view.
  13. Not to mention that having no optical viewfinder is crippling. I can get by with live view more easily than with no OVF, Phil is right about that. I'll add a couple things to Phil's review here. I also put them on the review comments: A couple things to add: I really like the E410. It has a lot of character, it’s a fun camera to use (I never liked the E330, it was just a box around a strange prism, but I do like the E1 a lot). The E410 is incredibly small, and as they say in the detailed review on DPreview.com, it’s very responsive. It has a fast little brain. The housing is easy to use in cold water. I have pretty big hands, but I could use the camera one handed perfectly well with the supplied hand strap (I love those, I built one for my 5050 housing). With my right hand, I can use my middle finger on the trigger and my index finger on the button that toggles the dial from shutter speed to aperture, and my thumb on the dial on the back. This give me access to everything I get to frequently, one handed. It’s great. The live view is, frankly, disappointing if you are used to a point & shoot screen. it has a slow refresh and a lot of lag due to all the mirror flips. I use it sometimes, but I mostly use the optical viewfinder. It is nice to have a bigger, higher-res screen than my old 5050, it’s a lot easier to see depth of field and the many post-shot review screens the camera can show. Without live view on, there is no lag. This housing will easily fit in a camera vest pocket. So will the dome port for it.
  14. I'm pretty sure you can get what you want from my link above. It's easy to scale, both housings are in the same photo in many shots, and the body cap on both housings is the exact same size, so you can scale to that.
  15. > My rig is a Olympus E-330, Ikelite Housing, Dual Ikelite DS-125 strobes, With TTL sync cord, 8" dome port, with stock lens, 14-45mm lens. I have a similar rig, but no TTL, I use the manual EV controllers. > I was shooting on P mode, with ISO set at 100. I wasn't sure where to start, so I picked there for a starting point. I saved the images in RAW, and HQ. 100 is what I always try to shoot. I shoot raw, but only because it works well with my workflow (apple aperture). I believe Jim Lyle shoots jpeg and TTL, he may be more help. > 1: My Mode 1, is there where I can save all my setting for UW pics, so when I'm not using the camera UW, It will not be shooting for UW ? i haven't done that, I always shoot manual. > 2: Alot of my pic's, I checked where taken with a exposure time of 1/50th to 1/60th sec, shouldn't I be around 1/125th? I'm not really sure what the program would pick in any given condition. Were the exposures good? You may want to switch to A so you can set the aperture, which may give you more control over background exposure. or M, but then you're off TTL. > 3: F-Stop - Most were taken with a F-stop of 4.30 to F/5.0 , should I be around F/8.0 ? Same answer. > 4: Auto exposure Bracketing : This seems like a good Idea, but when I'm shooting a 4.0 gig card, and olny have 250 shots in RAW/HQ, the Auto exposure Bracketing will take 3 photos with a exposure -1 to +1 , what do you think? it may also be too fast for the strobe. Raw should overcome a lot of exposure variation, so should more experience with it. Check your shots with the histogram and go to A if you don't like what P gives you, so you take more control and get what you want. > 5: LCD and view finder : Do I need to close the Optical view finder when shooting with just the LCD? I don't think it matters much in water, not much light down there, but ideally, yes. > 6: RAW and JPEG, I found where to set RAW, is HQ or SHQ JPEG? yes. > 7: White balance : Do I set the White balance to 4,800k to match the strobes output, I shoot the strobes in TTL. Set it to auto and don't worry about it. Or better, set it to cloudy, to restrict the variation a bit, and don't worry about it. It won't matter to raw, only to jpeg. Depending on your workflow, it can be nice to have a good white balance, you can take a photo of a white card at the start of the shoot and set WB on that. I never do that in water, but I do it on land when I'm taking photos of my wife's beadmaking, where we get huge variation in lighting around the flame and I want to put a stop to the dumb stuff auto WB does. > 8: What lens would you recommend for a begginer for shooting fish, 4' or less away, that might be better then the stock 14-45mm lens that came with the camera. Remember, I only have a 8"dome prt, I'm not set up for macro yet. the 14-54, only because it's faster, or maybe the 50mm, which is very bright (f2) and will do macro. You already have the 14-45, though, so the 14-54 is pretty redundant, so I'd lean toward the 50mm. It'll work in the dome but a flat port would be more ideal. > 9: Manual mode, should I be using this mode ? Also In manual mode, do the camera still auto focus? manual exposure and manual focus are 2 different, independant settings. Use manual mode if you want full control, but now you're no longer in ttl on strobe, either. > 10: My housing came with two zoom/clamp rings, should I have them installed ? I couldn't figure out how to focus, so I would get where I wanted to be, then half depress the shutter buttun, and let the camera focus, then take the picture. were you able to zoom the lens? I believe you need the clamps to do that, using the knob on the side of the housing. > Any suggestions would be great. I was pleased with the images from yesturdays dives, as I didn't know what to expect. if you are happy, don't change anything! One last thing, I'm using 2 - 8" bouancy arms, 1 large and 1 small, and the rig at depth was just slightley negitive, but coming up it because very positive in the dome port, is that normal? The housing should not change buoyancy with depth, it should have been the same throughout the dive. Also shooting in shallow waters, like 25' will that be a problem? > I live in Florida, and dive at 60' water, where visibilty is generalley around 30-40', and on good days 80+. > I also go down to the Keys alot, and will be shooting reefs in 15-30' of water, that have good light. > What setting should I be using for both? Whatever works for the lighting and subject. Use the histogram, check your shots as you go. If there were only 1 setting and we knew it, you could set your camera before you put it in the housing, you wouldn't need all them knobs and buttons. ;-)
  16. The rules and entry form for our 45th annual International Competition are posted. Deadline is September 21st, friday night, at midnight PST. More detail and the forms are on the LAUPS website at http://www.laups.org/ The LAUPS is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. We'll have a celebration on August 25th at the Cabrillo Aquarium, all are welcome. More details on that are also at the webpage. Finally, we're looking forward to a great meeting this month, our speaker is Tom Kendrick, author of Blue Water Gold Rush, a great book on surfing, diving, harvesting urchins, and life on the coast of California.
  17. I have more photos of it here, next to the E330 PT-02 housing: http://www.rogercarlsonphotography.com/gal..._e410_housings/
  18. there was also a case where they used a splash housing, though. The housing wasn't meant to be submerged, so they pressurized it so it could be submerged. The added pressure did make some of the film handling mechanisms act up. http://www.howardhall.com/stories/interview.html http://www.howardhall.com/stories/areport.html
  19. we got a van and driver from bill beard's travel agency, driver's name was Carlos, he was great. Did arenal, the hot springs (great after the okeanos), a river raft trip, a canopy tour. We stored luggage at the marriot in san jose, it was safe. Get to a butterfly farm, there was one in san jose. Only takes an hour or two, very cool stop.
  20. I'm not a nikon shooter and can't speak to the technical quality of those lenses, but I think you have the range pretty well covered for cozumel or most sites. The south end of cozumel (palancar, punta sur, columbia) have some really dramatic walls and pinnacles and towering castle-like reef structure, but not a lot of fish. Good place for wide angle landscapes. I'd bet all of those 3 shots from Larry are from the south end. The shallower end of palancar has a lot of turtles. The shallower second dives have more fish life, especially on the simpler, less dramatic sponge reefs that get dove less often. The lens for those reefs is probably the 60 or whatever you like for a fish portrait lens. Maybe the 105, too. I would not say the gap between the 10.5 and the 60 is so great. In classic terms what you are missing is something like the nikonos 28mm lens, a "shark" lens, something for big shy subjects, and there isn't a lot of that in cozumel. Turtles will get 5 feet from you, if you are calm and lucky, eagle rays and blacktips will say far away from you. Most of the smaller fish are a bit shy and the 60 will be good. If you have a good house reef, definitely the 105, you can have two hour dives on your own poking around in the eel grass. I'm not sure I'd add the 16mm prime lens, I don't think it would get you much over the 10.5. I would if it were stellar, technically, or if you prefer the rectilinear lens over the fisheye (I do) but this is cozumel (1 wreck), not truk (all wrecks) and the fisheye distortion won't matter much. I'd probably add the zoom over the prime, just for the flexibility, but nothing about cozumel makes that especially true, it's just a general comment about zooms over primes. take a look at Jim Lyle's trip reports below and you'll get a good idea of the available subjects. Jim has been there a lot, he's quiet in the water, he knows behavior, he gets quite close to stuff. For years he shot a 5050 with macro lenses and a wide lens, on his last trip he shot his new oly E330 and mostly shot the 14-54mm oly lens (28mm-108mm equiv), his 105mm macro (210mm equiv) and some 7-14mm (14-28mm equiv) http://chemistry.csudh.edu/faculty/jim/Jim'sWeb_Page.htm
  21. The E410 comes with new kit lenses, they are really, really small, but a bit slower than the old ones. They are a little slow (not bad for topside shots in the sun, where you are likely to be using them), but they are really, really small and great for travel. They go for about $200 alone but for about $100 when you get them as a kit. You'd have to buy the 14-45 separately, but a big shop can put together any package you want. It's a good lens, faster even, just larger than the tiny kit lens on the 410. That's why they made new lenses. The best lens in this range is actually the 14-54 but the 12-60 will probably surpass it, in speed if nothing else due to the SWD. 14-54's should hit the used market when that comes out. Olympus lens roadmap: http://www.olympus-esystem.com/dea/product.../zuiko_lens_eng note that they have a promised standard-grade (affordable) super wide zoom lens coming out in 2008. Don't hold your breath. high grade and super high grade lenses are sealed and could probably handle a slight flood. The E1 is the only sealed body so far. Many people, including me, rinse off their E1 and 14-54 in the sink after being around salt spray. (not a full blast stream). on pricing and stuff, I gotta plug the board sponsors. I know Reef Photo is now an oly dealer. Not sure who else is.
  22. to give you some options on prices: the E410 housing can be found for $695 in the US. I'm not sure if that's an option for you. The 8mm fisheye lens is much less money, I think $700 or $800, and it does not need the PER-02, so that's more savings. I'm not sure what material the other domes are, but the athena is optical glass, with coatings. For what that's worth. The optical viewfinder does work, and the electronic viewfinder does have some lag as the mirrors have to flip over and back to set exposure, focus, and are also part of the mechanical shutter linkage, so even in manual exposure and focus, you get a full triple flip. For fast moving fish or behavior shots, live view may not make you happy. Note that this is mode B live view. The older E330 has a mode A live view which uses a separate sensor and there is no lag, no extra mirror flips. But that said, live view is still a good option to have. The 7-14mm is a stellar lens. It will have soft corners, as I think most rectilinear wide lenses will. I'm still trying to figure out how to minimise that with depth of field and focal point. Fisheyes like the 8mm will have sharper corners. Some prefer the fisheye distortion. I don't. 7-14mm lens review: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/OlympusE714mm/ links on oly that I've kept: http://www.rogercarlsonphotography.com/lin...mpus/index.html
  23. Jim's a smart guy, you should listen to him. how-to photos to prove it: http://www.rogercarlsonphotography.com/gal..._pt-e02_strobe/
  24. I notice a difference. In my dark local water, where you really need strobes on the whole foreground, there are times when I take the diffusers off for that last half stop of power, and there are times I want them on for the additional width. i'd bring them. They don't weigh much.
  25. The 14-54, 28-108mm film equivalent, is going to be almost exactly like your 5050 lens, if you put it behind a flat port. If you put it behind a dome, it will be a bit wider. If you use your wide angle wet add-on lens a lot, it won't be wide enough for you. I never took mine off, so I am rock-solid, 100% happy to swim around with my 7-14 on all the time, no question. But I am planning on using the 50mm macro lens in wakatobi & lembeh later this year, so I'll probably try that out to get used to it soon. You might want to go with the 8mm fisheye, or wait for the affordable new wide angle lens they promise in 2008 and shoot the 14-54 and maybe the 50mm in the meantime. Or maybe the 11-22. Personally, once I got the 7-14 or the new wide angle, I would probably not use the 11-22 much, but I would never outgrow the 50mm (it's a great macro lens) or the 8mm fisheye (fisheye is great for some stuff and I'd want it as a backup for the 7-14) or the 14-54 (just a great basic range). The 11-22 is not as wide as I would like, and it's not as long as I would like for what I would call a shark lens. I think the 14-54 is a better shark lens, it has the range to do full bodies and faces of shy subjects. Not sure the 11-22 gets you faces. But this is very much based on personal experience. The 11-22 is a great lens and I'm sure there are many who would never take it off. It's just a zoom range that I personally don't spend much time in. it improved a lot over the last year. Sigma has 5 (or more?) lenses out, the 105mm macro is probably the only one of interest to divers. Maybe the 150mm macro for power mad macro hounds. Here's Oly's lens roadmap. The promise of a new lower cost wide angle zoom is nice: http://www.olympus-esystem.com/dea/product.../zuiko_lens_eng But up at the top end, that 7-14mm rectilinear zoom, that alone deserves note. It's a stellar lens. They have really covered the whole range with a handful of zooms. The promised lenses will be welcome, they'll fill in the gaps and upgrade the most-used favorite lenses. All people are really crying for at this point are more great primes to match the 50mm's quality and maybe something long and affordable. The 100mm macro and 2.0 TC will be very welcome. and maybe that 70-300. Have you seen the full DPReview.com review on the E410? Noise was good. The whole camera was quite good. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse410/ But I agree, even in older cameras like my E1, noise was not a show stopper for me. But I do like using ambient light in the water and on land, so I do hope they continue to improve the noise, and continue to allow me to shoot at very high noisy ISOs when I want to. A noisy 3200 ISO shot is better than nothing sometimes. It's a tough lens. I agree, it's probably not a shark lens. When I used my E1 in truk, one time I took off my 7-14 and put on the 14-54 was on the shark dive, when the crew, all photogs, took their time to convince me that the sharks would not get that close and going longer would get me head shots vs tiny sharks with lots of blue. They were right. I did use the 14-54 on one other dive after we found a baby clownfish smaller than a pea; that shot got me a best-in-show, so I guess it was worth the swap. http://www.uwimages.org/2006/gallery/index.htm I hate making that argument. Yeah, you do concentrate and get your mind right when you only have one lens, and yeah, even on land, it is interesting and educational to force yourself to shoot with only one lens for an afternoon, but deep down, (no pun intended), we all want to shoot the full range all the time. Even on land, we want it so bad we don't want primes, we want zooms. No way! low vis means you have to get closer! Go wider! ;-) Martin, hope you haven't minded that I've picked your post apart. You wrote an intesting post, I couldn't resist replying to a lot of your points.
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