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Dave H

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Posts posted by Dave H

  1. Dave,


    That was an excellent write up, good stuff. I completely share your frustration with the macro functionality, if it would zoom in the full range instead of just 1/3 it would be pretty close to perfect in my view. I've been using the Inon 165 macro lens on the front of the Ike housing and it works really well - allows you to at least shoot 1:1 macro however positioning the strobes is a pain.


    The only other major gripe I have found with the CP8400 is that it generates considerable noise, even when shooting at ISO 50 or 100. It is defiently noticeable when you enlarge the image to the full size. The noise and macro mode are the two issues that bug me, why couldn't Nikon use the same macro features as the CP500!!!


    And finally, I run dual DS125's with the 8400. The primary is connected via a sync cord with a manual controller and the 2nd strobe is triggered by the Ike TTL sensor. On a recent trip to Vietnam my sync cord died (loose wire connection at housing plug). Fortunately I found that the internal strobes BOTH slaved off the internal camera flash using the Ike difuser on the front (glad I remembered to put that in the bag!). So it is defiently possible to get results slaving the strobes off the CP8400 internal flash.




  2. True as I used to shoot a 5000 but, the 810 does not have a shutter lag and has a very fast start-up. Something to keep in mind if shooting large subjects on the move in current.


    The shutter lag on the CP8400 is greatly reduced compared to the 5000 and the CP8400 start up time is pretty much instant. The addition of the Nikon 18mm wide angle lens to this camera in the Ike domeport is an outstanding wide angle setup - I'm really starting to enjoy shooting this lens!

  3. Dave - question about those shots.


    THey all show you have various metering modes on, some spot, some center weighted, etc. Yet many of them show exposures like f7.1 at 1/1000 or 1/500. To me, it seems likely these were nearly pure strobe photos, or was it really clear and bright?




    Don, This is the Dave you were after! :) Most of the exposures of f7 and above are of macro subjects or close ups, hence the high aperture selection. By using the Ike manual controller I normally adjust strobe output rather than adjusting the shutter speed.


    The blue water shots of sharks and potato cod had to be shot at high shutter speeds as the visibility was 30 metres or so and the water was very bright bc of the very suny conditions. I wish I had the Ike domeport and Nikon wide angle lens for the trip as I was getting to close to the cod and sharks to fit them in with the 24 mm lens! I'm trying out the domeport and lens in 2 weeks on a wreck diving trip in Queensland...

  4. Last week I spent 5 days on Taka III in the Coral Sea playing with the new Ikelite housing for the CP8400. It was a definite step up from the CP5000 that I have been using for the past 2 years.


    Here's some of the shots from the trip:










    The Nikon CP8400 is defiently a step up from the CP5000. The autofocus is much quicker, the shutter lag is less and the standard built in 24mm lens is perfect for underwater photography. And being able to shoot at 8mb allows better cropping or images to be blown up larger. The camera was very easy to use underwater with the Ike housing as buttons were easy to utilise and the majority of images were taken using the camera with just one hand. I'm very happy with the Ikelite housing, it allows full control of ALL the camera's features and to my surprise it is smaller than what I thought it was going to be. If you are after a housing for the 8400 you can't go past the Ike housing for features and value for money :blink:


    There are two slight constraints with the camera that I need to get used too. First, you cannot zoom in all the way with macro similar to how the CP5000 function. It will only stay in macro for one third of the zoom but it does have excellent macro (down to 1 inch) so the key is you must get real close if the subject is small. On the upside I found the Inon UCL-165 macro lens works extremely well on the front of the Ike port so I can still photograph all those nudibranchs that are less than 2 cm.


    Secondly, in low light conditions I found that the auto focus would freeze the LCD screen on a moving subject and hence the camera fire was delayed. The auto freeze was a problem on a night dive but using manual focus solved the problem. During the daytime it wasn't an issue but I see this as being a real pain in the butt on night dives.


    I've also just got my hands on the Ikelite dome port for the Nikon wide angle lens, will test that over the next couple of weeks on some wrecks.




  5. There are heaps of operators to choose from in Sydney. One of the best boats to dive off is Sealife V that is run by Prodive. The skipper is Phil who is an excellent operator.


    If you want to see Weedy Seadragons you can see them by doing a shore dive at Shelly Beach in Manly or Kurnell at soutn Sydney.


    What is the exact week that you are in Sydney? I'll check some of the boat schedules and see what diving is on.


    I'm down there from Nov 22-24 doing some seahorse surveys and tagging so might be able to take you for a dive?

  6. Karl,


    It’s great to see pics from the D70, very impressive. I really like the wide angle reef shots, the camera has captured the colours very well, especially with the water surface. Outside of the wide angle shots I like your anemone shrimp pics, the blue ribbon eel, the splendid pygmy goby and the clown trigger fish.


    Here’s my suggested nudibranch ID’s:


    69: Chromodoris annae

    70 & 71: Chromodoris magnifica

    72: Philinopsis pilsbryi?

    73: Phidiana indica

    74: Nembrotha lineolata

    76: Chromodoris annae

    77: Phyllidiella pustulosa

    78: Chromodoris dianae

    79: Fryeria picta (or maybe Phyllidia varicosa?)

    80 & 84: Phyllidia ocellata

    81: Phyllodesmium longicirrium

    82: Thurdilla bayeri?

    86 & 87: Flatworm: Aacanthozoon sp

    89: Pseudoceros gratus


    I think I spelt them correct, you might want to check a book.




  7. Does anyone have a Ikelite Coolpix 5000 housing that they are looking at selling?


    A friend of min wants to house her Coolpix and she likes the Ikelite housing.


    Additionally, is anyone selling any other Coolpix 5000 housings?


    If anyone can help pls send me an email.

  8. I've just returned from a weeks diving on the MV Esperance Star where we went searching for some wrecks off the south Queensland coast.


    For the first time in years I swapped from macro / marine species photography to wide angle. I used a Light and Motion 12mm? wet lens on the front of my CP5000.


    The images from the trip can be seen here:



    The fish life of these wrecks is the BEST I have ever seen. Here's a couple of examples:


    Descending on the Shannon 2 - Fishing Trawler sunk in 2001 - Depth 47 Metres



    The wreck of the Barcoola - 44 Metres deep



    The wreck of the Cetacea - Sank in 1992 - 33 Metres deep


  9. Thanks for the link Peter (Hadn't seen that post as I don't read the DSLR foum).


    I agree with the comments made by James and Alex:

    There's no sense upgrading if you're happy with the results you are getting now. The longer you wait afterall, the better the systems will become.


    I still don't think the new 8mp camera's will be as good underwater as the CP5000 and c5050. Hopefully in the next year or so Nikon or Olympus will develop a consumer digicam that has almost zero shutter lag.

  10. Is the CP5000 still the best consumer digital camera for underwater use?


    There’s all these new 8 megapixel camera’s hitting the market (such as the Coolpix 8000 and Olympus 8080) and I know that a lot of people are considering upgrading their current underwater camera set ups (such as the CP5000 and the Olympus c5050 & 60) to one of the new 8mp models…


    The question I’d ask is WHY???


    I’m still not convinced that there is any real need for the purchase of any of these new 8mp cameras. In my view the CP5000 is still the best digital camera for underwater use, it is extremely versatile for macro and wide angle, especially when you add the 19mm Nikon WA lens. I’ve seen pics that have come out of the coolpix that leave some of the DSLR shots for dead…


    I’m also been really impressed by some of the shots that I have seen come out of the Olympus c5050, I think both these two camera’s are still leading the way for underwater usage in the consumaer digicam market.


    There’s two things I like to see in the next generation of consumer digital camera’s:

    1. No shutter lag

    2. Quick write time for Raw files


    When a new consumer level digital camera has these features then it might be time to consider upgrading… until then I'm sticking with the CP5000.


    Anyone have any thoughts that might convince me otherwise?

  11. The Australasian Digital Download was held 12-14 June 2004 in Jervis Bay - New South Wales - Australia aboard the Ocean Trek liveaboard.


    This event was sponsored by Australian Scuba Diver Magazine, Olympus, Scubapro, Taka and Oceantrek. The competition consisted of 8 dives and at the end of the final day 5 images were submitted for Portfolio and 3 for each of the categories (Macro, Wideangle, Marine Life). There were 22 competitors whos used camera's ranging from D100's to Sony P9's.


    I was fortunate enough to win a couple of prizes (including a trip to Walindi in PNG and new Olympus c5060 + housing). :lol: The winning pics can be viewed on my website at http://www.daveharasti.com/ and click on 'what's new' or the link on the right of the page


    Below are some of my pics taken during the competition. All images were taken with a Nikon CP5000 in Ikelite Housing with dual Ikelite DS125 strobes.


    Blue Devilfish - Best of Show



    Pygmy Pipehorse (the pipehorse was only 2cm long!). I still can't believe I actually found this critter...



    Red Indianfish (if you look carefully you can even see his footprint in the sand)



    Additional images taken during the competition can be seen here:



    Another competitor who frequents Wetpixel (Aengus M) also cleaned up in the competition winning the three categories (macro, wide angle and marine life). His images can be viewed here:


  12. I completely agree with what Paul has just said.


    The Seaslug Forum is the best resource on the internet for information in relation to nudibranchs. I checked the site daily to see what new species has been identified around the world and the scientiifc information on the site is of the highest order and updated daily.


    Dr Bill Rudman does a fantastic job running this site and answering everyone's questions and its devastating to see that it is now closing down.


    This is a huge loss to scientists, divers and all marine enthusiasts...

  13. If any one is interested in learning about marine species or trying to identify a species that they have seen on a dive then this new website may be of assistance. Visit the following website and click on the link to the 'Marine Species' database:




    Each month 30 new species will be added to the database. Each species will have a identification photo (or several) with information about the species distribution and biology. The marine database can be searched by common name, scientific name and type of species (ie bony fish, nudibranchs, elasmobranchs, marine plants etc.)


    By the end of the year it is aimed to have about 400 different marine species in the database. Hopefully this database will be become a useful resource for divers and marine enthusiasts.




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