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Larry C

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Everything posted by Larry C

  1. Thanks Pavel. After resetting strobes and playing with shutter/aperture and +/- settings indoors, the camera is now shooting consistently from f4-1/60 to f16-1/200, with only expected fall off at the edges of the picture on higher shutter speeds/f-stops. Also, the strobe +/- adjustment now works and the camera +/- gives consistent results. I had been using the red but previously had a bad camera setting and the experts I took it to, though finding the camera issue, switched to the blue mode when I continued to have a problem. I'll try it underwater tomorrow and see if everything works properly there.
  2. I too have found the ttl consistently underexposes. I've currently got my camera set at +2 EV and I never get a full dump on WA shots. Macro is pretty good, but still usually underexposed. I've got my camera set for subject + background. I've tried my YSD-1's at the 0 setting, as well as bumping them on the plus side all the way to max. Last dive I was WA and tried the left strobe on ttl and the right on manual. I was able to get overexposed to the point of extreme flare on the right side, demonstrating every little flaw in my port, but the ttl side is consistently under exposed. Even in my kitchen, doing my night before precheck, I was unable to get adequate light on ttl. It was no problem with the same camera settings and the strobes set manual. I'm very frustrated. The blue lights on the strobe are on, indicating ttl function, BTW.
  3. D500 will let you keep your lenses. I'm not much at video, only done one, but found it easy to operate and got pretty good results for first try. Live view for video on the D500 doesn't give the best idea of focus, especially if screen is partially obscured by leveling marker. I shot at ISO 2500 and you could hardly tell. In brighter water at ISO 100, it should be very nice. D500 offers tons of focus choices and great autofocus. Almost too many choices. This has been one of my biggest challenges, as the menu is huge. I've experimented with various focus modes and it's hard to go wrong once you get the basic settings where you want them.
  4. I resisted when buying my NA D500, as I've never felt I needed one before. It's great for your peace of mind, but I did find it a pain when the little green light wouldn't come on when changing to my dome in the boat halfway through this year's Shootout. Went back to macro, that wouldn't work either. Turns out you have to reset the switch or push the button in front when you pull the port. RTFM better I guess. Definitely worth it, though.
  5. I've found it to be pretty good, but it took some finagling to get the camera settings right to support it. With the YSD-1s I'm using, I couldn't get consistent ttl firing until the autobracketing control was adjusted for some reason. (It now shows the flash, shutter and clock symbols.) Basically, the tech at Backscatter fiddled with various settings until it worked. You'll need to tell the camera what exposure settings you want, too. There are a ton of choices. I haven't tried it on wide angle yet. Once set, you can shoot rapid fire as long as the strobes will recycle. My one complaint is that they don't give you specific settings for the camera for compatibility. It would be very helpful to have a suggested starting point. Since it's specific to that camera and a few strobes, I don't think that's too much to ask.
  6. This is the one I use, though I bought it locally, I think at Home Depot. https://www.amazon.com/General-Tools-1566-Rubber-Wrench/dp/B001AMXRG6/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1504463984&sr=8-15&keywords=strap+wrench
  7. I have that problem a lot with my Sea & Sea port extensions. I used to use a giant channel lock wrench cushioned with rags, but have since got a rubber strap wrench at the local hardware store that works quite well. I take it on all my trips with me. Plastic handle, long rubber strap folds over. Trigger tightens the strap, then you just bend it left until it breaks loose.
  8. Haven't tried it, but I was told when I bought mine at Backscatter that theirs was specifically designed so if you didn't have your pump, the wine pump on your live aboard would work. They said the Nauticam one pretty much copied theirs and that you should be able to use most any wine pump.
  9. If you check the classifieds right now, there's a nice Nauticam set-up for D7100/D7200. I'd hurry though.
  10. I shot AF-C 3D focus throughout our trip to Cozumel and was quite pleased with the few out of focus shots I got. Where it did fail me was shooting a large school of fish in a hole. I would get a large section of the school out of focus, where in the past I've used spot focus and had whole schools within focus range. I think the camera locked focus on another object closer than the school and the f-stop I used for that depth prevented good depth of field with my 5 1/4" dome. Probably should have bumped the ISO and raised the f-stop to f11, but I thought f7.2/f8 would be adequate with the 10-17. The other place I'd prefer spot focus is getting the eyes on large subjects like turtles instead of the camera focusing on the body or leg which was closer. I might try AF-C S here at home where I shoot the same subjects all the time. What I'm loving about this camera is that when I saw disappointing results on wide shots, hazy backgrounds and dull looking pictures, I was able to make large adjustments to lighting and use ridiculous white balance numbers without getting any weird pixels or grain as I did with the D300. Crops were also pain free. You can hardly tell that I've cropped out 2/3's of the picture.
  11. I'm using it on the 10-17 and 60 AF-D f2.8G. I just spin it off of one and put it on the other. The Sea & Sea uses a smaller diameter gear, so they fit right on. According to the website and package, that one fits Nexus and Sea & Sea. You'd have to look up yours. I only have experience with the Sea & Sea.
  12. Thanks Tim & Mark. I have to say that I would never have tried a lot of these things with my D300, but the quality of the D500 is so good that I feel confident experimenting with new techniques. Yesterday, I tried some long distance bird shots (about 1000 feet) with my old Tokina manual focus 400mm lens. On the D300, it lacked contrast and I had to over-adjust pictures in PS to make them decent. On the D500, I ramped it up to 1/5000 and f22 and put it in auto ISO and I couldn't believe the clear, reasonably sharp pictures I was getting. I couldn't see any signs of bad noise, even in the 31,000 ISO level (just a little grainy when zoomed in to full size) and the color reproduction was amazing. Hope to get similar results UW.
  13. Try Bill Libecap, he might be able to make you one. http://uwcamerastuff.com/needs.htm
  14. Thanks for the help. That will give me a good starting point and an idea of why I might change it. One last question. If you're shooting bright and fast moving subjects near the surface, would you recommend turning off the strobes and going with auto iso? If so, subject only or subject and background? My thought was subject and background to prevent blown out skies.
  15. Thanks Adam! Do you use release, focus and release, release and focus or focus? I'm sure release is fastest and most reliable in terms of that once in a lifetime shot, but I don't want blurry shots either.
  16. Thanks Mark. I've always shot AF-S, single point focus with my D300, but have read that the 500 is so good that I should trust the AF-C and area focus. By group, you're referring to the four dots in a diamond, right. After reading the manual, I still find the choices a bit confusing. Also, do you change on the fly or preset for your dive and just keep it that way?
  17. Or you could look for a used housing set-up. D7100 housings fit D7200 for the most part, and people are starting to trade up to the newest stuff or trade down to compacts.
  18. Couldn't find any info for you. Sea & Sea isn't good about info on their legacy products. .56 means if you have a 28mm lens on your compact camera, multiply by .56 for the resulting focal length (reverse of using a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter for instance). Should work on any compact housing with a 55mm filter thread- I know that Fantasea still sells wide lenses of this size, but don't know which brand of housings used them. Most Olympus are 52mm or 67mm as I recall. The most important factor besides thread size for these lenses is the focal length they're designed for and the distance from the camera lens to the port glass. The closer the lens is to the port, the wider the image. On my Olympus, I bought an e-bay Sea & Sea wide lens designed to go on a Nikonos 35mm and had to zoom slightly to keep it from vignetting, limiting the usefulness. 55-67 step up rings are common, so if it's cheap enough, you should find a buyer on e-bay.
  19. If you still have a zoom ring from another brand that worked well, Nauticam makes an adapter gear that sandwiches them (at least the Sea & Sea or Nexus). You might check it out, as it solved me having to buy all new rings for my D500 when switching from my MDX-D300 to Nauticam NA D-500. It's only about $125.
  20. I'm only four dives into my D500, two macro, two wide and getting ready to leave for Coz in a couple of days. I'll be shooting mostly wide, with maybe a little macro. Spot or Continuous focus? Continuous spot or 3D? 3D or 25 point area for wide angle? What do you recommend for the focus settings? Thanks!
  21. I just bought my D500 and Nauticam housing and so far, I love it. Coming from a D300 in a Sea & Sea MDX-D300, I looked at S & S first, because I had all the ports and gears. I preferred the control layout on the Nauticam, and then found out that: 1. The Nauticam comes with the optical trigger included. 2. Nauticam uses the same size port as Sea & Sea, and has adapters that are only $35 each and simply bolt on in about 10 minutes, replacing the bolt on back ring on the Sea & Sea ports. I bought 3, and they cover my standard port, my mini dome (even with a Sea & Sea to Nexus adapter on it) and my 20mm extension for when I use my big fisheye port. 3. I resisted the Nauticam vacuum system because I've never needed one before, but I'm finding it gives me great peace of mind for an extra $200+. 4. I far prefer the Nauticam camera base and housing closure system, and I love the port release and lens release system. I no longer have to take the whole housing apart in the boat to change a port or lens, just pop the port and pop the lens from the front. 5. Gear adapter for Nexus and Sea & Sea gears. For about $125, Nauticam has a two piece sandwiched adapter that goes over the Sea & Sea gear on any of your lenses, so you don't have to buy three or four more $2-300 gears. You can install it in 30 seconds. 6. I was worried about not having a top window, because I'm old and I have trouble reading the settings in the viewfinder sometimes, but Nauticam has a dedicated lever for the info button, so you can just hit it with your left thumb and have everything on big screen in giant black on white. 7. The review is also a left thumb lever, so you don't have to take your hand off to look at your last shot. 8. On my MDX-D300, I couldn't feel the shutter half press if I wanted to use it. (although I always use the AF-On button anyway). On the Nauticam, I can totally feel it and easily hold it at half press with my 5mil cold water gloves. 9. While Sea & Sea offers TTL, I have had terrible luck in the past with their external units failing in short order. While I'm sure the new internal ones are probably more reliable, I've heard great things about the Nauticam unit and will probably buy one. It's also easily owner installed. Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong with either of the two housings, but there's my two cents.
  22. Neoprene "Lens Coat Hoodie" for large camera lenses. Just find the right diameter to fit your dome. Works great. http://www.lenscoat.com/lenscoatreg-hoodiereg-medium-p-383.html
  23. I use Lanocote on the threads. It works quite well, but keep it off your o-rings. Periodically, I remove the cable, clean the old dried out stuff off and recoat while touching up the grease on the o-ring. Before using it, I had several cables freeze solid to the fitting. I also had trouble with the one on my HW converter on my old Oly. I destroyed two $500 converters and two cables before wising up.
  24. I use the stick on wheel weights on the fisheye dome port on my Sea & Sea, as it floats dome up otherwise. They work great. Just cover the bottom shade ring with them.
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