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Everything posted by stever

  1. looking for Aquatica housing for Canon 7D, you can PM me
  2. getting closer is always nice, but closer than 3 ft is very difficult with a goby that's doing it's security job. at 3 ft a goby (not to mention the shrimp) doesn't fill much of the frame with 100mm. I've used the 70-200 on land with the 500d and extensions tubes for close - up of flowers and critters. quality is good and autofocus is faster than macro lenses. with a 12.5mm extension tube the 70-200 focuses from more than 5 ft down to 24 in. With enough extension tube it will work as an autofocus lens at preset focal length - both zoom and MF are serious challenges, but not really necessary for the application (but zoom would make other subjects possible as well). looking at my collection of left-over zoom rings, zoom may be possible (but probably not with extension tube, but +1 diopter may be okay). So I may make this a project. relevant advice welcome.
  3. Any experience with this lens, housing? looking for something to get me close enough to shrimp & gobies.
  4. any experience with this lens? does it fit in an Aquatica port/extension combination?
  5. will it fit with some extension combination? focus gear? i want to photograph shrimp and gobies and the Canon 100 with aps c doesn't quite do it. extenders that work with the Canon 100 aren't that great. any other possibilities?
  6. i highly recommend Martin Edge's latest edition of The Underwater Photographer. He is not in favor of longer arms (and he's pretty much tried everything). He particularly makes the case that getting the strobes far away from the dome is neither required nor beneficial. i started out using double arms - 5 in and 8in and have ended up with single 5in or less on the right and 8 in on the left for wide and macro - sometimes going a bit longer for wide, but usually single arms seems to me that large cumbersome arms and big flash are at odds with the NEX in general, strobes are not very useful for large pelagics
  7. anyone with experience using the version 1 or 2 (what's the difference?)
  8. i've had my external TTL converter for about 6 years and am concerned because it sits for months without use or recharge. it hasn't been used extensively and doesn't have a lot of charge cycles after a dry 2011 i'm going to Lembeh in March and will be unhappy (to say the least) if it doesn't hold a charge (when diving i normally re-charge every 5 days or so - several hundred images) any experience/advice other than charging it and taking the time to pop the flash a hundred times or so at a safe rate?
  9. i'm a rectilinear guy and i like the 11-16. i've tried to make sure it's positioned correctly in the dome and am happy with a +2
  10. search under my name for a post on balancing gear - about 2 years ago i'm apalled that manufacturers still pay no attention to buouancy - and suprised that photographers put up with the situation i'll try to be brief - you need a digital scale and a large garbage can full of water and some float material. i've used and modified 4th generation floats. the first step is to get the housing neutral fore-aft, left-right. i want to be able to shoot 1-handed so i want a few ounces negative on the right side and add floatation to the left to hold up the housing - the best way i found of doing this is to add an extra arm on the left with float - the position of the float and arm can be adjusted to trim left-right (4th generation makes an adapter for 2 arms on one handle0 fore and aft will generally require floats on a macro port (4th generation) and weights on a dome port - i mounted lead weights to long hose clamps around the dome hood independently put floats on the strobes and focus lights so they are neutral (modified 4th generation arm floats tie-wrapped to my Inons are perfect) then balance of the rig isn't changed by flash position or by adding or removing the focus light arms should also be made independently neutral - flotation arms are probably close enough to begin with, others may require floats handling a balanced is an improvement that needs to be experienced to be believed adding floats does not make the rig "lighter" as it still has the same mass - it vastly reduces stress on wrists in particular and allows stable one-handed shooting
  11. i've been thinking about this lens for some time, but after my last trip where i ended up carrying my 100-400 more than usual i got serious and tested it against the 70-300L (and 70-300 and Tamron 70-300, both of which were unacceptable for IQ and other reasons). the image quality of the 70-300L is very good (although not significantly better than a good 100-400) but the handling does does not compare to the 70-200 f4 and it is not as sharp at shorter focal lengths (although probably sharp enough on the 5D2 - the difference is more noticeable on crop frame) the 70-200 with 1.4xiii is almost as sharp as the 70-300 at 300. the 1.4xiii holds up much better in the corners than the 1.4xii although there seems to be no difference in the center. the weight of the converter and 70-200 is about the same as the 70-300L i tested 2 each of the 70-300L, 70-200 f4, and 1.4xiii and found no significant differences in the lenses and converter combinations will be taking the 70-200 and 1.4xiii on my next trip in 3 weeks instead of the 100-400. from experience, i think i'd rather have the 100-400 on a boat or in a vehicle - but not walking around. to make the lens less conspicuous and easier to handle, i added the vastly overpriced black lenscoat kit, and cut 1 1/4 in off the lens hood i have also tried my 58mm 500D with step-down ring and see no significant vignetting at f8. this may make a macro lens unnecessary for some land trips
  12. it seems like most cameras have some excess oil from manufacturing which collects dust and needs wet cleaning - a couple swabs with eclipse fluid a few times during the first couple thousand exposures. should get much better after that
  13. why 40-70 for 1:1? i find the working distane much too short - even with the 100 it's not easy to light a 1;1 subject
  14. i've been happy with the 11-16 with a +2 in 8 in dome. on land it's about as good as it gets for an APSC wide zoom - slightly better than the Canon 10-20
  15. i do think the L focuses a bit faster on both by 20D (UW) and my 5D2, but it's a pretty small difference. the 7D is a a quicker and better focusing camera with all lenses than anything except the 1 D and DS.
  16. do a search and you will find a fair amount of discussion. for underwater and most land macro, IS is not useful. IS can sometimes work for handheld macro (land) general use in low light
  17. just about any macro is going to require flash which makes IS unnecessary. the IS on the 100L can be very useful on land which is why i use it. i've played around with video a bit using the 5D2 and agree with Steve that you have to use a tripod to get anything worthwhile. the other problem is the lack of useful autofocus during video, this pretty much means small apertures for depth of field where motion is essentially across the field of view and/or confined to a small area
  18. another option is the Blackrapid strap which attaches to a fitting screwed into the tripod thread. i find the Blackrapid more comfortable long periods (particularly with heavier lenses) and easier to use
  19. i just received my housing from backscatter with the new push buttons -- that's 6 weeks which i don't think speaks too well for Aquatica's support of older housings i think there's a design/maintenance issue here. it only appears to be the top buttons affected. my guess is that normal rinse and drying procedure is to rinse and dry the housing upright as the flash arms and connectors don't really want to be turned upside down -- but this doesn't get the pockets that the buttons sit in properly rinsed don't know what Aquatica has done on later housings to address this (hopefully stainless rather than plated buttons at least) or if this is an issue on other housings another member had the same issue, so this seems like an issue that owners of older (hopefully only older) Aquatica housings should be aware of
  20. the working distance to achieve 1:1 with the 60mm is so close to the front of the port as to not be of much use. i've used the 60 and 100 and sold the 60. the working distance of the 100 lets you photograph small and/or shy stuff with enough working distance to get some light from the flash in for fish, the 60 is fine and a very sharp lens. the older design 50 extends as it focuses which makes macro much more difficult
  21. my Aquatica 20D housing is 5 years old. it was serviced once by Reef when they installed a 6-pin for the H&W about 3 years ago. i preparation for my next dive trip, i noticed that a couple of the top buttons didn't feel good, so i pulled the worst one and indeed it had serious corrosion in the area of the o-ring. talked to Backscatter (which is close by) and they persuaded me to send the housing in for service. just got an estimate for $50 for four new buttons, $60 for o-ring kit, and $450 for "annual service labor" at $100/hour. what's your experience with frequency of service (i do 30-40 dives/year on liveaboards and rinse after every dive)? is there any particular magic to servicing this myself? - certainly pulling the buttons is not black magic. the housing doesn't leak would certainly like to hear Viz Art's opinion
  22. unless available light is important, i think the autofocus (once you figure it out), fiber ttl, Tokina 10-17 or 11-16, and Canon 100 macro for getting close make a pretty compelling case for the 7D
  23. i'm still shooting a 20D and take along the 17-40 as a backup but have never yet had to use it - it's not wide enough or not long enough. i use a Tokina 11-16 for wide and a 100M for macro. of course this depends on what you're shooting
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