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Everything posted by lauri

  1. Hi, I pm'd you earlier, what do you have left of the set? Lauri
  2. Could you expand a bit on the TTL circuitry issue? I'm assuming that Ikelite has had to reverse-engineer the eTTL II protocol for the circuitry, but according to spec the 450D and 500D both use eTTL II? I probably wouldn't bother upgrading for the video control alone, or even accurate TTL as I expose manually 90% of the time, but camera lock-ups would be pretty inconvenient... It seems some more testing is in order here. I already had the 450D housing in water with the 500D and the old video button is ergonomic enough for me, but didn't have time to test strobes.
  3. Perfect fit! I'm using the Ikelite XSi/450D housing. Reaching the rec button wasn't a big problem, even with dry gloves. BTW, the 18-55 IS kit lens seems to work fine with the .22 stalk of the 8" dome, Ike's site lists .16 for it. I haven't had time to check the video or pics on my computer though, got to sleep sometime...
  4. I'll let you know - I'll be taking mine to the pool tomorrow evening. Also, I've already got some ideas for making access to the rec-button easier. Got to experiment a bit first, though. //LN
  5. I clip on the camera last, with the dome facing outwards. When passing tight places I switch light to right hand and use left hand to protect the camera and shuffle things around. Won't probably work with scooters, but I'm still waiting for my N-19... Last I heard it was being shipped to Europe from FL... I'm thinking about mounting the camera on the scooter for travel. Not very streamlined, though. I don't like to have the dome cover on when underwater, but I may have to use one as I start using more tanks. We've made an underwater cover for our video dome with some spare neoprene and bungee cord; it's a bit easier to put on underwater. Yeah, for video we've had up to 6 people in water, as 2 3-diver teams. There's always something to do for everyone, lighting etc. Works as long as you plan the shots and don't improvise too much... //LN
  6. I've been shooting on cold water (2-4 deg C) cave (or mine, to be precise) and trimix wreck dives for about a year now; there's still quite a lot to learn, but this is how we currently do the stuff, with some slightly-of-topicish-ranting too: -I started with a lanyard, made of cave line pulled through some silicone hose to prevent entanglement, but I found that it's not really necessary, now I have the camera rigged stage-style with clips under both handles. During descents and deco I usually hang the camera from the crotch strap d-ring, during longer swims I clip it like a stage or just let it rest on my arms, so that it's ready to shoot and I have both of my arms free at the same time... But I'm still trying to come up with a better way to swim (or scooter, in the near future) with the camera and maybe some bottom and deco stages -handing the camera off during deco gas/stage pickups and gas switches might be a good idea too, as long as your team's on the same page... -I try to make all the photo gear as neutral as possible. negative kit is annoying enough on rec dives, on tech dives I consider it hazardous to have to wrestle with the gear. it does take some effort to make even Ikelite stuff neutral in fresh water, but I've had some success with deep sea trawl floats -if it's a photo dive, it's a photo dive. it gets planned as a photo dive, not as ordinary dive with just one of the divers lugging a camera -try to limit the shooting to a pre-planned portion of the dive, when you start your exit or ascent, you concentrate on that 100%... when there's a good moment during deco or say, during slower reelwork I've been tempted to take some snapshots, but lately I've been trying to avoid that -tech dives are not good for photography practise. you can do shallower, easier dives in cold water to learn to handle the rig with dry gloves etc, so that you don't get completely absorbed by the camera when shooting - you need to able to just take the shot and maintain team, gas and plan awareness at the same time -I'm all for the three-man team... But then again, I tend to dive with the same guys all the time.. It just takes more diving and practise together, and some more discipline, but it's perfectly doable, and in caves it also give you a lot more opportunities to play with slave strobes, more light to see stuff, and quite a lot more team gas reserve - but definitely only one photo- or videographer in the team... //LN
  7. Yes, I've understood that NiCads give more current than most NiMHs, so the NiMHs might be better for the strobe, considering the warning on Ikelite web site. A separate plug would be neat, but I think it will be too much work trying to fit one to to the pack. I think the Smart charger uses a standard DC plug, and it would probably fit in the place of the old plug, but the adapter isn't that expensive or bulky to travel with, so I'm thinking about buying adapter. Until now I've been using the older Quick charger for the SS batteries, but it seems a bit dodgy... I think the adapter bypasses the thermistor. //LN
  8. Hi, I'm considering rebuilding or getting rebuilt my old SS400 and SS300 battery packs. This should be a fairly straightforward operation, but I have a couple of questions some of you might know the answer to: 1) I intend to use my Ike smart charger and the plug adapter to charge the batteries from now on. Can I just bypass the charging electronics on the pack? I'm pretty sure I can do this... 2) What type of cells would work best? I'm considering 5000mAh D-cell nicads, but there's a warning about modern nicads on the Ikelite web site, have any of you had problems? The smart charger can also handle NiMH, would they work with the strobe electronics? BR, //LN
  9. AFAIK Titanium may ignite in presence of high pressure O2 (or high fO2s) at as low as 70 deg C. Tha is not a problem when dealing with a 1 atm camera housings, unless you have a habit of filling the housing with pure O2. Why we're not seeing titanium housings has more to do with the not-so-nice machining properties of Ti. Titanium regulators, however, are a bit scary... //LN
  10. This might sound a bit impolite, but what the hell... This far I have thought that solo diving is generally a result of poor diving skills, poor social skills or lack of thought, or combination of all. This thread hasn't really changed my opinion. Not having a qualified buddy or team for the planned dive is a reason to change the plan, not to go solo. Consistently failing to find buddies or failing to co-operate with them should prompt a look in the mirror. //LN
  11. I don't really worry too much about CA, as it is really easy to fix in postprocessing. What does annoy me is corner softness. In this regard the Tokina 10-17 seems to really beat rectilinear WA lenses, zooms at least. //LN
  12. Oceanic shadow with black skirt... Very low volume, nice field of vision, comfortable (for me at least) and looks good too. Needs to be thoroughly cleaned to avoid fogging in tropical water, but one time seems to be enough, since then I've managed with spit. Looks very good on divers in pictures, too. I do carry a more robust spare mask, however, since I've seen quite many in pieces. The strap attachment is a bit crappy too, I usually just switch to a neoprene strap and pre-emptively 'fix' the attachments with black hockey-tape. //LN
  13. My wishlist - you'd get my cash if you implemented this: - a way to install the camera in the housing permanently --> - needs a way to DL photos from outside of the closed housing, USB plug on the housing, that is... - a battery that connects to the camera the same way as a battery grip and can be charged from the outside - neutral housing, that doesn't flip dome-up - a way to activate live-view and focus lights by pulling the trigger lever halfway - dryglove-friendly controls - sensible synch-cord placement and a choice of connectors ... that's about all I've been missing. //LN
  14. If we talk about only underwater photography, is there really any reason to choose the 20/30D over 400D now that the 400D has the same AF unit as the 30D? I can't really think of any major differences between them in underwater use... 400D: + cheaper + smaller & lighter --> better chance of having a neutral rig 30D: +rear control wheel (marginal '+' IMO) +spot metering? +5fps +tiny bit bigger viewfinder, still a pain Topside I'd choose the 10-series anytime over the 100-series, since the 350/400D simply don't fit in my hand, but I can't think of any compelling reason to dish out the extra cash for 10-series if I used it only UW. //LN
  15. Actually I think it just might work, you'd just get ugly vignetting at 10mm and end up with the "proper" diagonal fisheye view somewhere around 12mm. Considerably wider than the 15mm FE... Here's the FOV on a 5D, for example... //LN
  16. Has anybody yet found out how much you'd need to cut off the Ikelite #5503 port shade? BR, LN
  17. Salvo has a video reflector available for these lights, which spread the beam evenly at an 90-100 deg angle. You could also go the cheap route and use lumedyne flash reflectors, which are available at around $20 from Adorama, B&H etc. It's the same reflector that Salvo uses, you'd just need a way to figure out how to mount in on the light head. Basically just some plastic pipe and some bungee might do the job. //LN
  18. Whew, I even tend to get the rash from seeing divers in photos with lots of danglies doing the coral-smashing-silt-raising-wreck-destroying-and-overall-inferior scissors kick. Luckily most of my models are GUE trained or equally skilled... A horizontally hovering diver in control of her buoancy in streamlined gear is so much more pleasing to the eye. //LN
  19. Well, I guess Nikon shooters have that range covered pretty well with primes, but for Canon crop-sensor bodies this is the first true 180deg diagonal FE AFAIK. Unless you count in the Peleng and Sigma 8mm FEs, which vignette a bit. And I'd say 180 to 100 deg zoom range is mighty nice to have for shooting wreckscapes, more so here in murky Baltic waters. The Tokina has shown pretty bad purple fringing in some of the test shots I've seen, but I guess the situations where that would be a problem underwater are quite rare? //LN
  20. The Tokina 10-17FE seems to be (finally) in stores, check out AC foto. Any ideas about compatible Ike domes? //LN
  21. I have used it with Canon 300D / Ikelite housing, 5503.15 dome. The dome does vignette a bit more than the lens itself does, but that is easily corrected with PTLens. A couple more or less successful (practice) shots from the green Baltic waters; bear in mind this was my first dive with the Peleng and my third or fourth with an UW DSLR... The bow of Park Victory: My incredibly patient model (you can imagine it's "fun" to pose motionless in nice warm <10 deg C Finnish summer water): The Ikelite zoom gear fits nicely enough over the aperture lock/unlock ring, so basically you get full control over aperture. Focus has to be set manually before the dive, but with an 8mm FE that's not really an issue, you just have to figure out the correct hyperfocal point with trial/error or some more scientific way. ...it's a nice cheapo alternative while waiting for the Tokina 10-17 FE... //LN
  22. Jet fins or clones with spring straps. No gimmicks, totally indestructible and a bit negative in water, which is a positive side with a drysuit. I come from a cold water, silty bottom wreck/cave diving background, and hence use frog kick for 99% of the time. When shooting in warm water vacations, I've found out that it also gives you a lot better control on your body position than flutter kick, and helicopter turns, suddens stops and backwards kicks are a lot easier - great for macro work. Additionally, you don't leave a wake of lost visibility and destroyed corals if you use the frog kick and are properly trimmed. B) For this any split/hinged/gimmicky fins are virtually useless, and of the flat fins the jets seem to give the best sideways control for ankle movements/sculling. Frog kick can also pack a lot of punch in a current, if properly performed. Actually, I'm so brainwashed, that I even prefer pictures of divers doing frog kicks and using jets, they just seem more competent that way. //LN
  23. I dive a drysuit regularly with twin steel tanks and a camera. IMO the only way to manage this gracefully(the key word here) is to look at the techniques used in technical diving. In fact, most photographers would benefit from the skill set of a technical diver, because a camera tends to make a simple recreational dive more complex. 1) Make sure you're correctly weighted. Most people tend to wear way too much lead. Too much lead -> too much air in the suit and the BCD -> more buoyancy change to manage even on small ascents and descents. If you can't stay on the surface by finning with your BCD and suit empty long enough to orally inflate your BCD you're probably overweighted. 2) Managing air in a dry suit and a BCD is not as hard as some people would like you to believe. Actually you can manage all your ascent/descent/buoyancy related stuff with your left hand in almost all common equipment configurations: the BCD and drysuit inflators are easily in the reach of your left hand, as is your nose should you need to equalize. The same applies to dumping air, as the shoulder dump is in the left arm... and this becomes instinctive very quickly. Put gas in your suit only to reduce squeeze and for warmth, manage the buoyancy with BCD. With a single tank you might just manage with the suit only, with twins and/or a negative camera setup using the BCD becomes a necessity. 3) Master horizontal trim - try to keep most of your lead as close to your center point (ie navel), speading it on the both sides if possible. An easy way is to take a 1-2 kilos off your belt and put it on the upper tank band. Think of your body as a lever, and you'll realize why ankle weights are a bad thing. If you have a problem with air in your legs, get gators, they do wonders to managing trim. 4) Master the frog kick. As it is symmetrical in the vertical plane you'll be much more stable, and can be reversed for quick stops and backing up (although this requires some practice and won't be easy with gimmicky fins such as hinged or split ones). ...these are very basic skills, and can be mastered in almost any gear, though the DIR folks will always start by first preaching about gear and then the skills. A DIRish setup will surely help, but it's not really necessary... BR, LN
  24. This far I've only had experience with the Peleng topside, at f8 it's sharp from 30cm to infinity. This will of course be different with dome port focusing distances, but I don't think it will be too difficult to find the sweet spot for infinity focus, which will be fine for most of my shooting (wreckscapes)... Closeup work may be different. Ikelite gear fits nicely on the aperture ring of the Peleng, or actually the lock/unlock ring, as it is a preset aperture lens. That way you can set the aperture to 22 before the dive to get full analog control of aperture with the lock/unlock ring. Peleng is a nice lens to play with until the Tokina 10-17 FE comes to stores. BR, Lauri
  25. I have the 8mm Peleng, which in my opinion is a much better investment than the Sigma. You don't really need autofocus with the DOF the 8mm FE provides. I'll try it out in a pool soon with ikelite #5503, with which it will vignette, but at least I'll get some idea how it might work. I'll post the results here. I think it might just work with #5503.15 or the low profile 8" dome. Here is a topside test shot with the lens, one straight out of 300d and the other defished (quick'n'dirty, you could get all the lines straight with some more work) 8mm peleng Same defished -- LN
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