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Barmaglot last won the day on July 3

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  1. Krakel KRL-01 (rebranded Weefine WFL-01) was tested with an LX10 here; the results are discouraging.
  2. The Retra tested in that article is their old model with a straight bulb, which is out of production now. The Retra that Interceptor121 is referring to is the new model, featuring a circular bulb, announced last year and supposed to ship in October.
  3. Depending on what port you have mounted, and without a camera inside, you'll probably need about 1.5-2kg of weight to sink it. Less with a macro port, more with an 8" dome. With a tray, arms and strobes, I'm carrying about 500g of weights on the port (reverse side of the dome base) to make it neutral with 8" dome, and swap regular arms for float arms with long macro port and 90mm macro lens - otherwise it goes seriously negative without the dome.
  4. Keep in mind that with DS125, even heavily discounted, you will still need to invest in optical-to-wired converters in order to actually use them - otherwise they're dead weight, and these cost $125 apiece new (and not easy to find used). Older strobes are also likely to have worn-out batteries, and swapping or rebuilding them with new cells is an additional investment - $200 per new battery pack from Ikelite. You might get the pair of strobes for $200, but between converters, batteries and cables, getting them to work may end up costing you up to ~$700 extra.
  5. The 16-50mm PZ is an okay starter lens, but on its own, it's neither particularly wide nor capable of macro. It is, however, very compact and quick-focusing - you can put it in a short threaded port and shoot wide-angle and macro with add-on wet lenses. There is an older 18-55mm kit lens, but that one hasn't been sold for years now. Expanding from that, for wide angle, there is Sony 10-18mm f/4, and... that's pretty much it. There is the Zeiss 12mm, but it suffers from a fixed focal length and can only do CDAF, while its 1-stop advantage in aperture (f/2.8 vs f/4) is wasted underwater. For fisheye, you can pick between Sony 16mm f/2.8 with VCL-ECF adapter (full controls and autofocus, but iffy quality and fixed focal length), manual lenses from Samyang and 7Artisans (cheap, but manual focus and fixed aperture once you seal the housing) and adapted options like Tokina 10-17mm (fairly expensive once you include the adapter and AF issues on older cameras like A6000). In fairness, fisheye is kind of a weak point for Sony, both on APS-C and on full-frame. For macro, there are four choices, each with its own compromises: 30mm f/3.5 - small, cheap, generally fits the same ports as 16-50mm kit lens, but the short focal distance produces a very short working range - its 1:1 reproduction distance is practically on the port glass. More suitable for fish portraits than true macro. 50mm f/2.8 FE - good combination of working distance and focal length - not too long, not too short - but very slow and unreliable autofocus on most bodies. Reportedly, the A6400 solves its autofocus issues, but with older bodies, it's not a good choice. 50mm f/2.8 Zeiss Touit - suffers from the same issues as 50mm FE, but costs more. 90mm f/2.8 G - great image quality, but costs a lot, and even buying used doesn't save you much. Autofocus can be fast (for a long macro lens), but you have to hold it absolutely still while it's moving its internals around; a bit of current or surge can totally ruin your day. It also chews through battery - I can reliably get three dives out of a single charge with 10-18mm or 16-50mm, but no more than two with 90mm. The narrow field of view can also limit your shooting opportunities, especially in less than perfectly clear water - you simply have to stay way too far back to fit non-macro subjects into the frame. On the other hand, it's your best choice for true macro and supermacro. FWIW, I use the 90mm G, but if I had an A6400 rather than my A6300 (the former did not exist when I bought the latter), I'd probably go for 50mm FE instead.
  6. The Meikon wet dome isn't a true lens like, say, a Nauticam WWL-1 or Inon UWL-H100 - it's only a dome with air inside, so its effect is limited to restoring the lenses in-air field of view. Basically, when you put a lens behind a flat port and take it underwater, its angle of view shrinks by about a third due to refraction - Meikon's wet dome cancels this effect, similar to how a dry dome port would do the same, but it doesn't otherwise affect the optical properties of the lens. 'Real' wet wide lenses have multiple lens elements inside, and widen the camera's field of view significantly, but of course they cost a lot more.
  7. A Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga has been my daily driver for several years now; at first a 1st gen one, and since last year, a 3rd gen. I replaced the original 256GB SSD with a 2TB Intel 660p, so space is not an issue, and I don't need to mess around with external drives. At work I keep it docked to two monitors with the laptop itself in tent mode giving me a third screen. A quad-core CPU and 16GB RAM give sufficient performance for all but the heaviest tasks.
  8. SeaFrogs sell it here: https://seafrogs.com.hk/collections/spare-parts/products/fiber-optic-port
  9. Are you using single- or multi-core fiber optic cables? I've seen multiple recommendations to use multi-core cables (typically 613 strands) with LED triggers and/or less sensitive strobes because they transmit light more efficiently.
  10. New user tchakatak was able to post a new thread, but when I replied to it, they were unable to reply back - but they can send private messages, so logon session doesn't seem to be the culprit.
  11. I've had one for about a year now with maybe 60-70 dives on it; shooting it with an A6300 and 10-18mm, 16-50mm and 90mm macro lenses. No complaints about build quality, although the zoom ring for 10-18mm is somewhat finicky to set up and the fiber optic plugs are not positioned very well. The vacuum system works as advertised - on my last trip, it started flashing red before I left the Airbnb room I was staying in; I opened up the seal and found a tiny white cat hair on the main o-ring - a potentially real bad day that turned out okay. I've read reports that newer versions of this housing ship with double main o-ring, but mine has just the one. As far as optical quality, I did some pool tests a while ago, you can see them here: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AupWSggdlFYKjtRFu-IIxyopM8fvAA Can't speak about video, as I have only ever shot stills with it.
  12. I've been using one of those for a while, and it has held up fine over a hundred-odd dives, but the clips are annoying to take off d-rings while under tension, so I ordered this one last month, and it just came in the mail. For less than $5 shipped, I'm impressed - proper bolt snap, and the coil has a metal wire rope inside clear plastic. It stretches out to about 1 meter when the buckle is unclipped.
  13. Buoyancy added by neoprene will be gone at depth, when it compresses, so I wouldn't rely on it for that purpose.
  14. Probably not. Meikon has a universal housing that fits models I through V, with compatibility achieved by swapping some internal parts, and looking at the instructions, it looks like model I is distinct from all the others, using a special shim for the buttons in the back.
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