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About slowhands

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Olympus c-8080
  • Camera Housing
    Olympus PT-023
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Sea&Sea YS-90, Heinrichs converter
  1. The new Ikelite Fiber Optic Adapter for their DS strobes is here: http://ikelite.com/web_two/fiber-optic.html It does not do TTL, only manual control, so you have to set the strobe for manual flash. But no more electrical cable, and one less O-ring. Alas, most of Ikelite's DSLR housings do not allow the flash to raise and fire. So this new Fiber Optic Adapter is mainly for using Ikelite strobes on Point and shoot Cams, I guess. I think I saw a circuit for a LED flasher that sits in the hotshoe and might be able to trigger this, but can't recall where now.
  2. Phil, you are always a step ahead on Olympus stuff. I had not heard about the Athena adapter. It sounds good, but ... the opening for the lens is still narrow, so that only m43 lenses will fit (well, I tried the m43 converter and it won't fit, so forget the E series lenses I wanted to play with down under). There are not a lot of lens options for m43 just now, so while it's great the Athena adapter will let you put the 8 inch dome on the PT-EP01, I'm not sure what lenses at present make that worthwhile. What combinations make sense?
  3. I did not believe this until I got a new Canon housing and looked for the mold release lines. They look like slightly raised lines through the area where the O-ring seals. I could see they might allow a slight leak at pressure. Sanding actually makes things rough, not smooth. You just can't see it if you use 3000 grit. As a woodworker, I know the best way to make wood really smooth is simply to scrape it with a sharp edged tool, called .. a scraper. Any sharp edge will do. I use the back edge of a utility knife blade, not the cutting edge but the back. It's fairly sharp and will not do harm. Just run it over the tiny ridge until all is smooth. Don't apply so much pressure that you add to the problem, just drag the edge over the mold release lines until you can't feel them with your fingers. There are typically 4 hairline mold release lines under the O-ring. Pity Canon left this quality control step to the customer, but that's life. I like the housing otherwise, bone dry for me.
  4. Excellent work. Did you get the Dyron adapter at Cameras Underwater? They are the only practical supplier I found. I'm on the verge of getting the adapter from them. The Dyron 15 and 20mm conversion lenses are so compact compared to the Fisheye and Inon wides, I'm so tempted to get the 20. I worry the 15 is just not sharp in the corners, but wow it's wide. Can you post some pics of your housing with the lenses and especially your DIY conversion of each lens? I was thinking of giving that a go too and don't want to re-invent the wheel. My idea was to put a step ring on the DC35, since the Dyron adapter is tough to buy here in the USA. Then I would use the 67mm screw mount versions of these lenses, but if the bayonet mount versions can be modified, that's great. Thanks again, this is great stuff!!
  5. I had the same problem with my PT-027 years ago. One option is to rob one from another housing. There are a lot of PT-022s sitting around unused, cheap. It's the same part. I lucked out. The good people at Reef Photo happened to have a replacement bulkhead in stock for $30. Give them a call at 877.453.8927.
  6. It is possible to do this. If you just want a manual trigger and will use your strobe in manual, that's very simple. If you want to try to do DSTTL, it is more expensive. How much would people be willing to pay for such a device?
  7. This may be possible. Your strobe has a sealed bulkhead for attaching a cord, so there is no risk of leaks. I believe your Sea&Sea Nikonos cord could be modified for this purpose. Get hold of an Ikelite TTL cable with 5 pins and remove the Ikelite Connector for the housing end. You may find a resistor inside the Ikelite connector, connecting the SP line to something, discard it. You have 5 wires in your S&S cable, 4 off which connect directly to the corresponding pins in the Ikelite connector. You need Ground, X, and Ready as a minimum; Q is optional if you want manual only. Don't use the 5th wire, called SP, it's not what you need for the Ikelite. I'd try to find fresh O-rings for the connector to reseal it, but the old ones may suffice. See the following site for information on the pinouts for Ikelite and Sea&Sea: Strobe Connector Pinouts It may be possible to supply the Power signal that the Ikelite housing needs for its TTL converter from the Ready line. That may allow you to use the Ikelite TTL converter's Manual control capabilities (the YS-120 is too slow for TTL). Try this by simply connecting the Ready signal also to the Power signal. I doubt there is enough voltage for it -- I have not done it. The proper way to do this is to modify the YS 120 internally to supply +6V on the former SP line. Then the TTL converter would be powered and may allow use of the manual modes, but not TTL. By the way, this suggestion applies only to the Sea&Sea YS-120. I don't recommend trying something like this with the very old Ikelite strobes, since they have potentially destructive voltage levels on the X line which will destroy your TTL converter. I doubt Ikelite would be sympathetic, since they advise against it. "Do not use TTL Sync Cords with very old Non-TTL Ikelite SubStrobes that have only four connectors (no center contact) in the bulkhead. Non-TTL sync cords MUST be used with these strobes. These strobes were made before TTL existed, and a TTL sync cord on these old strobes will apply 360 volts to a Nikonos V camera which fries it instantly."
  8. Earlier in the thread, people suggested brushing the surfaces to be soldered to break the oxide layer, using a very hot solder iron, using flux. You can solder these, but be quick as too much heat will harm the batteries. The other thing people said was these are too fat, and may be tight in the housing. Better to use the undersized 3800 MAH Tenergy cells. As for chargers, why not use an old laptop charger? These are all made to charge NiMH batteries, and accept worldwide voltage. I find them cheap at flea markets. Cut off the battery plug, replace it with a new one from Radio Shack, and save a bit.
  9. I would not assume it is the flash tube. That's pretty reliable. What usually fails is one of the several power semiconductors that control the duration of the flash. Far more likely to be one of those. The ready light blinks whenever a trigger signal is sent, and it has nothing to do with the actual flash discharge, other than causing the first in a series of events that is the flash. To be sure, I would send the entire strobe to Ikelite, I think you will be chasing your tail otherwise.
  10. You are correct, no slave sensor on this YS-60 / S. It has a cable for Sea & Sea cameras with a 4 pin plug on the end (not a Nikonos 5 pin connector). The only way to make it work with a 5050 is to use the Digital Adapter S (Sea&Sea) from Heinrichs Weikamp: http://www.heinrichsweikamp.net/#/en/digital_adapter/ Order DA-O-S, for 92 euros by Paypal. This is a cool gizmo, a slave sensor you affix over the Olympus flash on the outside of the housing. I use black Velcro with cutouts. It is powered by the strobe through the cable, no batteries. I would only use this YS-60/S in manual: on the camera, slave and on the strobe, manual not TTL. It tries to work in TTL, but I fried one doing it. So, use manual.
  11. TSA has had a restriction on Lithium batteries for years. I have never been bothered with this restriction, but I am aware of it. They enforce it spottily. See: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ass.../batteries.shtm The reason is lithium burns in air and cannot be extinguished by the standard extinguishers on airplanes. Lithium primary batteries are the most concern, since most secondary batteries have thermal protection/fusing built in. To satisfy TSA, carry the spare batteries with the terminals covered, either with the original cover, or tape. That's supposed to be enough protection.
  12. I use the Sigma on a D70, and find it an excellent lens for half the price of the Nikon ($450 vs $900). It is slightly wider at 10mm end, which is very significant at these angles of view. It is probably not as sharp as the Nikon, and it's aperture varies from f/4 to f/5.6 at the long end. The build quality is very good. Now, there are some details to be aware of when using it in an Ikelite housing. It does fit a standard Ikelite zoom gear, using the thnnest rubber shims only (very tight, but they all are). The front of the lens is too fat to fit through the port, so you do have to mount it with the camera in the housing. It is a bit of a trick to remove the lens, once mounted, because you can barely reach the release button on the camera, but a pencil works fine for that (eraser end). As you can imagine, this means you have to remove the lens to remove the camera to change batteries, not very convenient, but I assume this is the same with all the fat lenses. Someone mentioned the Tokina. Check with Ikelite to make sure you have the right port and zoom gear for it. It think it might be a special zoom gear, not sure, so I think it's a good idea to call them. As luck would have it, Ken Rockwell was right about the Nikon lenses being a little safer bet, compatibility wise. Sigma has to do a free update to the firmware in the lens for a new function on the D200, the rear AF switch. It works in all other D200 functions, except that AF switch function, without the update. If you don't have a D200, this is not an issue. If you do, make sure the dealer sells you an updated lens to work with the D200. I will send mine in whenever I can spare it, but this lens is so much fun I really don't want to be without it.
  13. Yes, I found after I posted that there is an update for the 7070 firmware to version 1.1 that corrects the issue of poor flash operation with low EV (dim light). (Olympus does not mention this as being corrected in this update, but it is.) To check the version of firmware, you run Olympus Master software, plug the camera into the USB and turn it on. Olympus Master queries the camera what firmware version it has, and prompts for an update if needed. If you have 1.1, you have the latest and should not have the flash problem.
  14. There are several things that cause that delay. The camera must determine exposure, white balance and focus. And being in a housing and in dim light underwater causes some problems too, as you will see. There are some ways to work around the delay. But you will NEVER achieve the speed of even the slowest DSLR (typically a tenth of a second). Frankly, you may be better off to move to a DSLR, if you can afford it. Otherwise, reset your expectations and try some of these workarounds. SPEEDING UP AUTO MODES: To speed up the camera in automatic exposure modes (every mode but Manual), first try presetting exposure in advance by depressing the shutter halfway, then waiting for the shot. The camera then will take the picture much faster when you fully depress the shutter. It takes planning, and there is still delay (say 0.3 seconds). In dim light, increase the ISO to avoid too slow shutter settings and camera shake. A little noise is better than a blurred image. SPEED UP BY USING MANUAL EXPOSURE: A better technique is to use Manual exposure mode. Forget Program, Shutter, Aperture, and all the scene modes. You won't have to wait for the camera's pokey computer to figure exposure out. This is harder, because you need to know what settings to start with, then make adjustments based on the results. But it speeds up the camera, and often your choices are better because the camera gets fooled by unusual conditions underwater. In Manual exposure mode, try 1/100, f4 for starters, check the shot afterward, and make adjustments. The Splashdown Divers website has all this and more in a table, so check it out. Here is the link again for reference: http://www.splashdowndivers.com/photo_gall...up_settings.htm You can easily make a table of your own preferred MyMode settings, using the spreadsheet posted in the Yahoo Group MyOlympus Files, here: http://f2.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/gJntQ11QzWN4i...60_my_modes.xls THE REST OF THE STORY, SLOW AUTOFOCUS: Unfortunately, the 5060 and 7070 are very slow to autofocus in dim light underwater, and this may be part of your problem too. I think there are two reasons for this. First, they have a slower lens than the 5050 (by almost 1-1/2 F stops!), which makes focusing much more difficult. Second, the AF assist LED, beneath to the optical viewfinder, is mostly blocked by the PT-020 housing! On the 5050 in a PT-015, the AF assist LED is not blocked due to its different location. These differences have a lot to do with the poor autofocus performance in dim underwater conditions. In dim light you may not be able to autofocus at all -- the camera just hunts and gives up. In fact, your two second delay sounds just like the camera is hunting for focus due to low light. (Again, one workaround is simply to manually focus, by setting distance.) If you want this camera to autofocus more quickly in dim light, try using an external modeling light. It's a good idea to buy a strobe that has a modeling light, but I tiewrap a small flashlight to my setup because mine does not. I am willing to bet you will see a real speedup in focusing if you try this. FLASH PROBLEMS: You mention you are using slave flash. I imagine you're optically slaving your strobe. If that works, fine. But there is a delay of .13 seconds between the pre-flash and mainflash that you can bypass (hey, it all adds up!), if you use an external slave in Slave mode. To do that you need either the the PT-020 and Olympus strobe in a housing, an Ikelite housing with their DS strobes, or the PT-020 with a Heinrichs converter driving a suitable strobe. That's a whole other topic, but it is a good idea to consider for many reasons I won't go into here. There is a problem using flash in dim light with the C-7070 (and I suspect also the 5060) that you should be aware of too. The camera firmware limits the flash to a very short duration when the exposure value is low, even if it should be a long flash. This is probably a design decision, to protect the internal flash from overheating, but should not apply if there is an external flash with lots of power. Unfortunately, it does apply. In dim light, the camera gives a brief flash, internal or external, sorry. You get a black picture. The only way I know to work around this is to use manual external slave flash control triggered by the brief flash, and adjust the external flash manually for conditions (not all flashes allow this). So, try using manual exposure and a modeling light. Learn what settings work for you and put them in the MyMode setups. It should improve shooting speed, but it will never be as fast as any DSLR.
  15. You should fully charge your batteries after every use, and for a few hours each month also. Leaving the batteries without charge for a year will shorten their life, and may allow cell reversal, requiring replacement. The Smart Charger Indicator Lights have three modes: Slow Blinking: deeply discharged, so the charger is slow charging your battery. Continuous: quick charging. Rapid Blinking: fully charged I doubt your batteries are fully charged, so probably they are being slow charged to bring them up, then the charger will go to quick charge. Leave the charger connected overnight, and see if the strobe works properly with the charged battery. If not, you need a new battery set.
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