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Larry C

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Everything posted by Larry C

  1. My wife bought me a Sola 600 Photo for Xmas in December 2010. It worked great for 3 years, but recently had some issues. When the charge lights wouldn't come on, I went online and read the very helpful L & M instructions for getting the light out of travel mode. When that didn't work, I called and a very nice CSR walked me through opening the light and unplugging and replugging the battery to reset the light. That worked and everything was cool for another few months. Eventually the charge signal started flashing red sequentially at high speed and the light wouldn't go on. I called up, exhausted all the remedies and then was told that since it was well out of warranty, I could send it in and they'd fix it for about $85. I got the light back, charged it and tested it. It worked great. Last week I took it diving and oops, it flooded. I called up L & M and Jon said, "no problem, send it in and we'll take care of it of course." I returned the light to L & M with a request to please hurry, as I'm competing in the Monterey Shoot-Out this weekend and then Monday we're leaving for 10 days of diving in Alaska. One day later, I got a call from Jon, who said "We don't make the repair part for your old 600 anymore, so we're giving you a new one. I stopped in there and he handed me a nice brand new Sola 800. No Charge. In my 61 years on this planet, I have never had better customer service. Ever.
  2. Here is another alternative if those don't work out. I got one of these for my Sea & Sea flat port and it works decently. I did have to remove the rubber boot that Sea & Sea puts over the front corner in order to use it. I don't think Ikelite has a boot. http://www.fun-in.com.tw/oc/index.php?route=product/product&keyword=67mm+adapter&product_id=1002
  3. Second the vinegar and swab. Contact cleaner also works. I spray it on a swab first. After you clean it, wipe it with dielectric grease and reapply regularly. It will charge fine through the dielectric grease and won't recorrode. For some reason, only one terminal corrodes on mine.
  4. Wide angle is more challenging, but the 10-17 focuses so close that with a small dome you can shoot WA macro. Not really macro because even on top of the subject, it looks small (and I mean touching the dome), but a close-up of a small to medium subject with a wide background. The challenge is strobe placement and lighting both the subject and the background. In this shot, the squids were probably an inch from the port. [/u In this crop, they may have been touching it. [/url]
  5. On the older housings (one dial) the manual specified to push and turn. Since the D600 has a second dial, I doubt that will work. When I was having this issue with my D300, it was suggested I put a piece of tape on the wheel that contacts the sub command dial. I did have the same problem as the previous post, in that if the camera is installed with the power off and the control lever in the on position, it won't seat correctly and leaves a gap even after switching it on and off. The camera must be removed and reseated. I also managed to bend the camera shoe sheet metal slightly by leaving it on my camera in the camera bag. Bending it back to correct alignment (you can also loosen the bottom screw a bit) helped my wheel alignment issue as well as my problem with the CSM focus mode selection.
  6. If you only polish one spot, you'll end up with a flat spot which will show as distortion in your pictures. Start with your bad spot and do an expanding circular pattern around it, staying even pressure on all sides. Check frequently until the main scratch is gone, then go to the finer polish.
  7. I just got the scans online from my latest roll, all shot with two strobes in ttl. Settings ranged from 1/60 f8 to 1/250 f22, and not a poorly lit shot in the bunch. Most were perfectly lit. Now that I've figured out the lighting and got my best shots, I got my D300 housing back from the shop and I can quit spending one dollar per picture and save the film camera for occasional kicks. It's been a learning experience and a lot of fun. I might have to sort out my N90S and Nexus housing and see how it does. I also want to throw my 10-17 on the F100 with the mini dome and maybe a 1.4 tele and see how some wide angle comes out. The dome was on the D300 housing, so I was stuck with the flat port or my fisheye dome. I would have tried the fisheye dome, but even on the MDX-D300 which is amazingly negative, the thing holds so much air it becomes positive and tilts the rig upward. The NX-100 pro is much lighter and pretty neutral, so I didn't feel like adding 2 lbs. of extra weight to my dive kit to keep it underwater with the big dome.
  8. YSD-1 did better ttl than the YS-110 with pretty much the same settings. The two of them, using single sync cords out of both ports on the housing, took better ttl than either alone. Nice even lighting on a variety of subjects and backgrounds, no pictures blown out.
  9. That's the concept of the Easy Dive Leo. You can change cameras with only a different tray and control software, moving the controls to the handles. Light and Motion uses a similar concept for Video, but for ease of use, not interchangeability. They used to make camera housings that moved the controls to the handles, but have stopped building still camera housings. To me, the big issue is availability of the PC board to make it work. When the product becomes obsolete, the mfg. stops supplying PC boards for it and it becomes useless. I have a very nice $650 Sea & Sea strobe that is no longer repairable for that reason (less than five years old). I am currently taking pictures with a Nikon F100 film camera in a Sea & Sea housing that I bought on E-bay for a couple of hundred bucks. Because it is almost entirely mechanical, it still works great and is repairable.
  10. I've used both strobes now with ttl settings and results are wildly inconsistent. The YS-110, I shot with center weighted area metering and set the +/- to +2. I got mostly slightly underlit subjects with dark backgrounds, using settings that give me natural backgrounds and fairly bright subjects on the D300 (1/60 f8 & f11 with the 60mm f2.8) at just over 50% strobe. I chalked this up to a single strobe (I normally shoot 2). I tried some macro; nudi shots and such with the YSD-1. I tried some black background settings- 1/250 f18 using spot metering and +/- set at 0. My shots with an open water background came out consistently underexposed. A couple of Hermissendas shooting downward on a sandier background came out stunninly perfect, with great lighting and detail on subject and background. My strobe angle is about 45 degrees from one side and downward on most shots. I'll try center weighted metering and compensation with the YSD-1 tomorrow, using more neutral camera settings. If that doesn't work, it's probably back to manual strobe. At $35 bucks a roll for film and developing/scanning I think I'd like a little more personal control over the lighting if the sensor won't give me consistent lighting.
  11. Interesting. I got the scans on an e-mail this evening, and the lighting is decent on most of them. Some were a bit washed out, some a bit underlit, some dead on. I'll have to try some different camera settings as well. I've been sticking mostly to 1/60 f8 and f11 because it's always been pretty close for portraits with the D300. Maybe I'll pick up the YS-D1 at Backscatter tomorrow and give it a try too. I left it there with the housing because the film camera will only support a single strobe and the YS-110 seemed to be the one that worked. Both of the NX-100 Pro bulkheads are 5 pin.
  12. Having read a couple of nice articles on ttl, i-ttl, d-ttl and various strobes (one in Cameras Underwater was very helpful) I can see that ttl is probably hopeless between digital strobes and film cameras. Apparently, the digital strobes don't use a "quench" signal, although I still have no idea how they alter the firing time of the strobe. Also, my experiment was useless because a: I didn't have film in the camera to reflect light to the sensor, and b: I had the strobe pointed into a box, so the quench signal was dependent on ambient light which was only altered by the camera settings and was in most cases inadequate-this pretty much guaranteed a full dump of the flash even if it was communicating properly with the film camera. Live and learn.
  13. Wow! Great pictures. I'm humbled. My favorites: Two from Cozumel this summer. The Eel just because I like the light and the way the eel undulates. The shot is a little soft around the eye, so not the greatest. The second was a reef scene just because I liked the colors. Last one because it's the first picture that I've ever entered in a contest and won.
  14. Thanks Bill. (This reply also posted on Scubaboard). Experiment was quite successful. Unfortunately, TTL wasn't. I sealed a Costco milk box and cut a hole in one end for my 10-17. At the far end of one side, I cut a hole for my YS-110. I took a couple of shots unlit to make sure the D300 would shoot set at 2 seconds with smallest aperture. Got a nice dark box with a couple of pinholes of light. Turned on the F100 (empty of film) inside it's housing with strobe connected and focused on a roll of tape in my dimly lit kitchen. Started at f2.8 1/15th and went through each step on the aperture, down to f32, then went through each step on shutter speed down to 1/250th. I got pretty much the same well lit box every time. Then I set the strobe to manual and made about 12 adjustments, from minimum to maximum output. Went from a dark box with a small lit area gradually to the same picture the ttl settings gave me. Apparently, the strobe fires full blast when connected to the F100 and set on ttl, no matter what the settings. We'll see how my pictures came out and that should give me a good idea of what my strobe settings should be for various shots. I suspect that most of them will be blown out, as most of the time I was set at 1/60 f8 or 1/60 f11, which typically work pretty well for portrait shots at 80-100 feet depth in NorCal water when I want a natural background. I got pretty good results on my first two rolls with those settings and about 50% strobe on the 60AF-D.
  15. Thanks. I never thought of checking the flash recycle time. I'll try it. Meanwhile, in about 2 days I should have the scans online from the two rolls I just shot. If they're brighter on the later ones where I set the +/- at +2, I'll know it's at least adjusting and I can use the +/- to adjust the ttl if it's not accurate.
  16. Is there anyway other than trial and error that I can test the ttl performance of a newer non film strobe on my F100? The Sea & Sea NX100 pro housing puts out a five pin signal with the F100 that my YS-110 responds to, but I have no idea if the output is adjusting or if it just flashes the same every time. I was thinking of trying a longer shutter opening with my D300 in a totally dark room and flashing the strobe at different settings with the film camera to see if there's a difference in lighting. Am I way off base, or might this work? Is there any other way without fancy light duration measuring instruments? I shot my last two rolls of film on ttl, with the second having the camera set to +2 on the metering, so hopefully I'll know a little more when I get the slides and scans back. Hoping there's a better way, as it's costing me two dives, a $10 roll of Velvia and $24 worth of processing per roll for the way I'm doing it now.
  17. Have you tried Southern Nikonos? http://www.southern-nikonos.com/
  18. They do the repairs in house, AFAIK. I think that Scott, their technician did all the work. As someone who has been employed in a service industry for many years in the past, I'm aware that errors can happen and I'm always appreciative when I'm told, "we'll take care of it" and it's done.
  19. I get Velvia 100 in five packs on Amazon. It's not especially pricey, but nobody local process E-6 anymore, so I had to send it to SoCal (The Darkroom) at $13.00/roll plus another five bucks for high quality scans and five more for shipping-about twenty four dollars a roll total. Ack.
  20. Just got back my first roll of film with the 35mm f2.0 and it vignettes in the standard port (too short). The 24mm f1.4 is too big for the standard port at 3.3x3.5 and would probably have to be used in a dome. An alternative might be the wide flat port that's used for the 18-70 kit lens. Even that lens is only 2.9" so you'd have to check the port interior dimensions.
  21. I'm shooting an NX-100 pro right now. All the ports that fit MDX will fit NX. You just need to compare lens dimensions. The bigger issue will be zoom and focus gears. I've seen some on e-bay, but you'll have to search. Right now, I'm using my 35mm f2.0 which works on both FX and DX and my 60mm AF-D. I use the standard NX port. I expect that my mini dome might work as well, but I haven't tried it.
  22. Dove from 2005 to 2013 with no floods except strobe. (Sea & Sea caps don't like the sudden pressure of jumping in the water, even when you can't use the strobe because it's a Whale shark snorkel). 2013, two floods. First flood was a bad o-ring on the button that unlocks the lh function knob. No damage to camera or lens, but the electrics in the housing were toast. $750 rebuild and about 20 dives later, the rebuilt housing flooded destroying the camera. Sync cord port nut had come loose and the port had 3mm of vertical play. Working with good vendors pays off. The shop that repaired it the first time redid the fix, this time with loctite on the nut, and bought me a good used replacement camera. Thank you Backscatter.
  23. http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=50208&hl=%2Beasydive+%2Bleo
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