Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About Gordium7

  • Rank
    Sea Nettle

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Location
    Colorado Springs, CO

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Sony W5
  • Camera Housing
    Sony MarinePak for W5
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Sunpak G-Flash
  • Accessories
    G-Flash strobe arm
  1. This all sounds familiar. I have a original Stingray housing that was designed for a TR400. Wanting to go digital and for other considerations, I am fitting an SR60 into the housing. I made an adaptor block out of HDPE plastic that precisely positions and aligns the camera lens with the existing housing lens. I used a milling machine to get the adaptor block exactly right. As there is not a usable viewfinder now or a monitor back (yet!), I use a simple external sighting system (old school) to align my shots. I took it on a trip without much testing and found that the exisiting housing electronics (LANC) did not *reliably* control the new camera. Big disappointment. Why? Not sure whether LANC protocol has "evolved" or perhaps a difference in voltage levels (new cameras operate on lower voltages than older ones), housing battery, etc., but the thing did not work very long after I buttoned it up. Basically, once the camera did an auto power down ( or something??), the housing commands could not get it started going again, though it should have. When consulting L&M on the subject, they said that the electronics/signals were not compatible with the new camera. Guess they were right. They also (naturely) suggested that I buy one of their new housings that supported the SR60. Since I have another trip coming up next month, I decided to take a drastic approach and retrofit the electronc control system. I am using a CamEye II video controller, with a single magnetic reed switch replacing the existing circuit board (hall effect transisters, etc) that senses the external switch sliders (magnets). I am wiring the switch across the single "multi-function" button on the CamEye II, so I will be able to power up/down, and record/pause. The CamEye also has a LED status system that will help a lot -- will make the LEDs visible in the old viewfinder window. The reed switch is low-tech buts works fine. Only tricky part is that the external sliders relyed on circuit board mounted magnets to act as "springs" to center the slider in a neutral positon, while I wil be using a low-tech device -- a rubber band -- to keep the slider switch (& reed switch) in the OPEN position unless I activate it. If this works successfully, I may look into using a different LANC controller that also supports zoom functions as well, but that will require either finding a monitor back for the housing (or making my own) so that I can frame shots properly. So, I guess my only caution is to thoroughly test the housing/camera combination before you use it for anything important. There were signs in my living room tests that things were not OK, but I was in too much of a rush. Replaceing old electronics with stuff that works may also be a viable option.
  2. I use a Sunpak G-Flash with a Sony W5 + Sony Housing. I have taken it on three dive trips since last fall and have obtained very good results. I rarely crank it up from its lowest range settings. It is especially suitible for those close or macro shots (using difuser). Cycle time is fine under these low power conditions. I found that that the slave sensor works, but is way too dependent on the scene/shot conditions since it relies on light feedback. I made myself a fiber optic slave trigger cable and have been very pleased with the results. I do believe the Epoque 150-DS cable will work, but it was too pricey for my tastes -- I was was able to produce a more robust setup by making it myself. Overall, I think it is an excellent strobe for its purpose. It also seems to be holding up very well to seawater emersion.
  3. The next step was to find a way of attaching to either end -- on the camera housing and the flash unit. The sensor on the flash has a 9 mm diameter plastic window that protrudes 4-5 mm above the face. My solution was to use a brass pistol cartridge case (380 auto, but a 9mm parabellum would work) that has a hole drilled through the diameter of that brass grommet. For the other end, I found a plastic shelving peg -- I milled one side flat, and drilled a hole the same diameter as the non-grommeted end of the fiber optic line. Plastic grommets used in electronics and a couple of O-rings help keep everything neat. The flash end of the connection simply slips over the sensor knob. It looks like like so.... Hmm seems I can't attach anymore photos.... I will try and add to this later.
  4. One of the tough parts was finding some inexpense usable fiber optic line. After a bit of searching, I found a flashlight attachment (www.niteize.com) that seemed to fit the bill. I ended up ordering it online from www.pockits.com and recieved it in a few days ($5.00+shipping). Picture below. After a bit of simple pressure, it disassembles into the flashlight cup and the fiber optic stem -- note the brass grommet that was simply press fitted into the rubbery flashlight cup.
  5. I have the project completed. I will post pics of the final configuration tomorrow. It has worked out really well. kthan - have you considered using some heat shrink tubing (used in electronics) to repair and reenforce your cut cable?
  6. Last summer I picked up a Sony W5 and factory enclosure, and an external Sunpack G-Flash strobe. On my first dive trip with it I had certain shots (~ 10%) where there wasn't enough light bounce back to trigger the external strobe -- typically objects at a distance (3+ feet) with little or no immediate background objects, or other 'artsy' shots. The obvious solution is a sync cable right? Looking for one turned up a fiber optic cable that fit the Sunpack G-Flash (or twin Epoque D+ES-150) -- only trouble was that they want $50 - $60 for the silly thing. A significant fraction of the cost of the oriignal flash. Since I abhor highway robbery, I have some up with the $5 solution based on a 20" fiber optic light-pipe attachment for AAA Mini-Mag-Lite by Nite Ize. While mine is for the Sunpack, the general approach could be used for other strobes that rely on a light sensor trigger. I know this is low-end stuff, but is anyone interested in the details? -- Steve
  7. No experience with the Sony T5, but I can vouch for the Sony W5 in UW applications. You might consider it if Sony's UW housing for the W5 is compact enough to meet your needs. You can focus at 6cm in macro mode -- it works most excellently. I go on about it in another post in this forum.
  8. I bought the Sony W5 this summer along with the Sony housing a couple of months ago. I also bought an external slave flash (Sunpak G-Flash) at the same time. I was able to test it out the week after Thanksgiving on a live-aboard in Belize. I am *very* pleased with the camera. I got some fantastic shots, and a lot of really nice ones. I think the external flash is very important -- I am going to build a fiber optic sync cable since the camera's "masked"* built-in flash does not always trigger the slave strobe under all possible conditions (i.e., namely small subject and nothing nearby/behind to bounce the built-in's flash light back to sensor). *by this I mean that the housing (mostly) blocks the flash output so that backscatter is minimized I really like it because it has very little shutter lag, a pretty fast auto-focus, and quick start up. I also really like the 3x optical zoom, macro mode, and manual mode capabilities as well. The back panel LCD is large & bright. If the conditions are good, I do my part, and the "subject" cooperates, the pictures themselves come out wonderfully. I had zero problems with the enclosure or the camera. I also like the fact that it has very good battery consumption -- depending on one's photo madness, I could go 4 or 5 dives (all day) and fill up a 1 GB memory card (assuming reasonable use of the on-off switch ). As an example, the live-aboard had a weekly photo contest -- two the five pics I submitted were good enough to get a first and second place finishes against 30 others that were also most excellent, and some of which were taken by some *much* more elaborate photo rigs. FWIW - I think the Sony W5 is fantastic. I am still exploring and experimenting with all its capabilities.
  9. FWIW - I have been very pleased with my new Sony W5 and MarinePak. With an external slave strobe (Sunpak G-Flash), I have been getting very good pictures. In addition to many point and shoot options, one can use it true manual mode.
  10. I had a DC200 camera intially -- I hesitate to recommend anything along that line. It was very frustrating to use (fogging & battery "greed") and the conditions had to be just right (or at least pretty good) to get any kind of a decent shot out of it. It took photos UW, but that is all I could say for it. It was "old" technology when I bought it, but it ensured I got bit by the UW photography bug. For one possible low cost, good quality solution check out the Sony W5 (~$300) along with the Sony MarinePak (~$160) for it. I upgraded to it this summer and the difference in photo quality & shot flexibility & ease-of-use is staggering. One can start with just point and shoot but can easily (painlessly?) get into manual (or other exotica) mode shots if desired. I got some fanstastic shots with it on my Belize trip a couple of weeks ago, and won the live-aboard's photo contest for the week against some very heavy competition. I did however also buy an external Sunpak G-Flash strobe (based on my DC200 experience) that would cost an additional sum (~ $150), but you *could* defer such a purchase for a bit. After my dive trip last month, I am also adding a fiber optic sync cable, but that is pure icing on the cake -- ensuring complete reliability of the slave flash firing under all possible conditions. There are plenty of other very good digital cameras from the big manufacturers, that combined with the manufacturer's UW enclosure, take some very fine pictures. You can find more recommendations by browsing through these forums.
  • Create New...