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Everything posted by markprior

  1. That's just another great reason to buy Nauticam. Blatant profiteering in the UK on underwater photography is rife. I am currently looking at a Sea&Sea 45 Viewfinder: Overseas Price: US$ 650 UK Price: GBP 830 Its difficult to see how this UK price could have been arrived at and as a consumer it is difficult to not look overseas.
  2. With the US$ at almost 1.7 it generally pays to take a gamble. Many items are priced pound for dollar in the UK. I recently bought some items (including a housing) overseas for USD3000 and total customs charges were only £120. My saving over UK pricing was around 50%. The customs charges are not consistently applied so in my experience it is well worth rolling the dice as even with full possible charges its likely to be a significant saving and could be better than that if you are lucky. Of course it goes without saying that supporting UK businesses is a good thing to do and they can provide a much better level of service and support than anyone overseas.
  3. Hi All, I've spent the summer in Canada/Alaska so not had much diving but did get a chance to get into a river with a bunch of spawning Pink Salmon in Lillooet, Canada. I'm hoping to make it to Port Hardy next week - but we'll see. The full story and pictures are on my blog at http://fromatob.org/2011/09/19/swimming-with-salmon/ It was great fun - but the water was seriously cold - especially in my 3mm. Mark www.fromatob.org - Trucking from Alaska to Argentina
  4. I am not sure that this is my best shot of the year but it is my favourite. I love it because I can never resist clownfish but also because of the tongue parasite.
  5. Steve, Great photos. I just got back from Komodo and the weather has much improved. I went out on Komodo Dancer and the last trip was the first time for 3 that they had managed to get down south. It was a mixed blessing though because the water was 23 degrees and viz wasn't great off Rinca. Mark
  6. Exactly the same thing has happened to one of my Ds-125 strobes. I rescued a dive trip by using super glue to rebuild the plastic after it really crumbled which lasted a full week of diving with recharging every couple of dives. I'd be very interested in the reply from Ikelite as I haven't sent mine back to them yet. Its a real pain, and not cheap, if you don't live in the US. Mark
  7. When this has happened to me I have put the combo on the housing then twisted the port. Result should be the dome comes off and the extension is left on housing. Then take the ring of the housing and you're sorted. Mark
  8. Some would say you don't need an extension. I use the SX extension and I have also seen this recommended by others. Mark
  9. I didn't get a lot of diving this year. I'm blaming my wife who broke her wrist and needed an op right before we were due to go to the Maldives, so we ended up with a staycation instead. Anyway this was my favourite shot of the year. It was taken on shearwater on a wetpixel trip in the summer. My strobes were virtually dead when I took this and It was taking thirty seconds to recharge between shots but this attempt came out. shot using a Nikon D200 with Tokina 10-17mm
  10. I use the 17-70mm with both the 40mm and the SX extension together with the Compact Dome port. I think both are required to prevent the lens hitting the port. I have had some success with achieving good quality at all focal lengths. Regards, Mark
  11. This is fun. In no particular order, and only places I have dived more than once: Poor Knights, New Zealand Yongala, Townsville, Australia Little Brother, Egypt Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa, French Polynesia Tiger Beach, Bahamas Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi Manuelita, Cocos (but really everywhere at Cocos) Windjammer Wreck, Bonaire Blue Heron Bridge, Florida, USA Ras Mohammed, Egypt The big thing is though whether a dive site is ON when you're there. If not even the greatest sites can be average.
  12. It always amazes me that when people talk about MP's in forums they only ever talk about how big you can print the full shot. Well I guess most people are perfect and frame everything ideally every shot. Me, I screw up pretty often and want to be able to crop to get the best version of the picture I have taken. More megapixels allows you to do this and still print really nice A4 or even A3 prints. Personally I am going to be very interested in a D700x when it comes out. If housing fit a D700 too then I will pull the trigger straight away. I am like John and use my D200 for underwater but I use a D700 for topside and love its flexibility.
  13. It seems like an age since this trip came back now. Why is it work seems to be twice as busy when you get back ! Anyway, I wanted to publically thank James for doing a great job of leading the trip and all those on board for helping to contribute to a thoroughly enjoyable time. I am struggling to go through all the pictures that I took but I do have a couple to show. I hope to see everyone again at some point in the future. Mark
  14. Hi Chris, Wow - Nothing like taking your time to edit stuff ! Keep them coming I was lucky enough to go again this year. We saw more dolphins but didn't have a lot of tiger shark luck. Mark PS Laughed when I saw you in Batman !
  15. Hi Jack, I was on the trip with paul last year. The summer trips are the wrong time of year for bull sharks and we didn't see any - well apart from one spotted while snorkelling with dolphins. On the night dive, unfortunately, we didn't get a tiger so the night time pictures are all lemon sharks. With lens choice if you have cropped sensor then the tokina 10-17 should be your go to lens. I also used 12-24 and 17-70. Also I'd really recommend taking a 60mm or equivalent for Blue Heron Bridge or a night dive on the sugar wreck. The sharks come really close so wide, wide is the way to go. However you get so much time with the sharks that you will want to start varying the lenses to get different types of shot. Mark
  16. The compact dome with the sx extension works well with the tokina 10-17 I wouldn't take much notice of Sea&Sea's recommendations. There is no vignetting at any focal length with this combination. You can, of course, use the other bigger domes but I find real advantage in the compact dome, particularly as it allows you to more easily light for close focus wide angle.
  17. The extensions can't lock to the ports. That's right. However the connections are fairly stiff and in my experience I haven't seen any twisting.
  18. The gimmicks are irrelevant. The D90 will have better IQ because it has the D300 sensor + an additional year of development on the noise front. Much as the D300 takes better high ISO pictures than the D200 the D90 will take better high ISO than the D80. At base ISO however there will likely be much less difference.
  19. I wouldn't rest your hopes on the help document. I've just scanned through the windows version and it just suggests things like upgrading your graphics drivers and setting your page file to be large enough. Its all really general computer tune up advice.
  20. Hi Chris, As everyone else has said your vids are great. Really bring the trip back to life for me. I'm still dreaming of sharks a week later and of course working on my calendar to see when I can go again. David - part of the safety briefing is to not look in the viewfinder for too long at any one time and to keep your eyes on any Tiger that is around. The other thing is that you are also told to keep upright and if the shark is right next to you to shoot low you have to hold the camera low. Jim A is the master of not looking in the viewfinder and just shooting from the hip. As the week went on we all started emulating him. Chris was the lucky one with a lcd screen on the back of his housing so no tiny viewfinder to squint through ! Mark
  21. Here's another picture of the gorgeous girl. Mark
  22. It was the last day of the trip and I had timed everything perfectly to get my last dive in and over before the cutoff of 5pm when we had to leave. This left me in the water on my own for most of the dive. After about 20 minutes I noticed a Tiger shark at the edges of viz just patrolling up and down and over the course of the dive she came closer and closer until (at this seems to be always the way) I was almost out of No-Deco time and then - She munched the bait crate and then turned her attentions to me: After a short spell mouthing my camera and slightly scaring the wetsuit off me, Jim arrived like a night in shining armour (well a yellow rash vest anyway) and she made a bee line for him. Of course she wasn't really trying to hurt me and was just curious but I can tell you my hands were shaking on my deco stop ! It is worth of course pointing out that these beautiful sharks are not the man eaters everyone thinks they are but you must never forget that they are wild animals and they need to be afforded an immense amount of respect. Jim later told me that I was in the wrong place on the reef so it was all my own fault but I have learnt when you are on your own and within feet of a 13 foot tiger shark that cool logical thinking is quite difficutl ! Anyway what an experience and I can't wait to do another trip with Jim and I hope to see Denise (the tiger in the pictures) again. Mark
  23. The trip was absolutely fantastic. IF everyone did a trip like this there would be no danger of sharks becoming extinct. I would like to publically thank Jim and the rest of crew (Racquel, John and Mike) for making the trip so special. Jim's enthusiasm and energy is infectious and never flags. The night dive at tiger beach was great fun but no tigers this time - the lemon sharks are like a bunch of labradors milling round whereas someone on the trip famously referred to diving with the tigers as "being like a rottweiler sniffing your balls". The weather conditions were mostly completely flat calm all week - the journey over to Bahamas was a bit choppier. The Shearwater isn't great in weather as its quite small. A testament to the trip is that everyone on board said that they wanted to go back and do another Shearwater trip. Mark
  24. Hi Alex, I'm very much looking forward to the trip and to meeting everyone. Still got a mountain of work to get through between now and end of play on thursday though. Will arrive at Super 8 at around 11pm on Friday, give or take. That of course relies on US Airways being on time (unlikely I suspect). I've booked onto a 1pm boat on Saturday with JASA for a couple of dives if anyone is interested. But I'm sure plans can change if others are doing some other diving. Anyway no doubt see you on Saturday morning. Mark
  25. I just bought this lens and actually tried it out in the pool last night. The performance with the compact dome port is I would say very acceptable with the SX and 40mm extensions together. I haven't tried any other combinations but I was happy with the results. I haven't got a zoom gear but I made one instead. It isn't perfect but it works. I basically used some padding and then wrapped heavy duty velcro round the padding. This provides purchase for the teeth of the zoom control to rotate the lens. It was also a lot cheaper than buying a zoom gear. Hope that helps, Mark
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