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Everything posted by markdhanlon

  1. Thanks guys. I've tried to pick up copies of Betty Pratt-Johnson's books, but they seem to be out of print and impossible to get your hands on. My boats based in Sydney, but I should pop on down to see Erin. Jack, the next couple of times that we're going to be out there, it'll be short sailing trips, but we'll pm you when we get some extended time to go diving out there.
  2. I travel out to the Victoria area a couple of times a year to go diving/sailing. I have my own boat (38' catamaran with tender), all my own gear, tanks, compressor, etc. but don't know the areas dive sites as well as most locals. I do own one dive site book: Diver's Guide, Vancouver Island South by Greg Dombowsky. It's a great book and I'm looking for others like it. If anyone knows of other books that they use to show them local dive sites in the Pacific NW, I would greatly appreciate it.
  3. Spending all my time designing pressure vessels, I can tell you that it is much, much, much easier to design for positive pressure rather than negative pressure. Vacuums can do horrible things, but that's what we subject our housings to everytime we go under. I'm pretty sure that our housings could be thinner (and lighter) but potentially more complex if they were designed to be positively pressurized prior to diving. The o-ring seal could be designed to accomodate this, however the deeper you went, the less it would seal due to the equalization of pressures.
  4. I only shoot in raw and use the canon software to download. Then once they are downloaded, I use Adobe Bridge CS3 to view, manipulate, etc. I used to use CS2 and I needed to download an update for it before it would view the canon raw files. This could be the issue.
  5. From the sounds of things, I am extremely lucky in who I married! Not only does she let me spend incredible amounts of money on my camera, but she's a great dive buddy. When I'm shooting macro, she's close by spotting for other critters to shoot, and when I'm shooting wide angle, she's always willing to pose (and to learn how to be a better model). I also know that I can trust her completely and we both have the same level of skill (she even has more dives than I). I am able to hand her the camera whenever I need too and now she occaisionally asks for the camera to take her own photos. I originally thought about diving solo, and at some point I might, but it would only be if my buddy couldn't come along.
  6. It's funny, I have tons of the Ikelite grease sitting at home. It seems everytime I buy something from them, they throw in 4 or 5 tubes of the stuff. I just keep the open tube in a ziploc so that it doesn't get everywhere. I also keep my orings in ziplocs when not in use to keep them as clean as possible. I would never use anything other than Ikelite grease. It's just not worth the risk to me.
  7. Please help me. My Ikelite DS-125 has died while in the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. I am going to be in Bangkok for a week in two days and hope to order a replacement to there. Does anyone know of a good shop to order from who can accomplish this task? I normally order from Ryan at Reef Photo, but I'm not in Canada at the moment. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and I would prefer an asian company as the shipping will probably be less. Thanks.
  8. I've used Sandisk Ultra II's (slow), Extreme III's (faster) and IV's (fastest) and each one has been solid and reliable. I've shot about 800 GB on the Extreme III card and it still works like the day I bought it. I just got the IV and it's blazing fast. I have no need to try other brands.
  9. I have insured my camera, lenses, strobe and housing. I only did the housing because it would be cheaper to insure it then to replace the electronics inside (Ike housing) if it floods. Other than that, everything is insured against theft including all scuba equipment.
  10. The first question is if all the devices that you plan to use will work with dual voltage. I am in the same situation, but everything that I'm taking will work with 240V. You can find this out by checking on the device itself. For example most devices that have a plug box (like most laptops, cell phone chargers, etc.) rather than a simple plug are probably good for dual voltage. If your devices won't work on dual voltage, you will need a voltage converter (ie a transformer) to go from 240V to 120V. A good website that I have found is www.voltageconverters.com. Because I am going to a third world country, and wasn't sure about the quality of the power being used on my sensitive electronics, I picked up the following surge protector/powerbar as it surge protects at 240V rather than 120V http://www.voltageconverters.com/itemdesc....B}&ic=BB136. It has universal female plugs and comes with an EU male plug. You can also order from the same site plug adaptors to fit whatever country you need. I'm not sure what Egypt's plugs look like, but a simple search on the internet should let you know. If you have any further questions, PM me. Hope this helps.
  11. I have a Canon Rebel XT (350D) connected through my Ike housing to my DS-125. Whenever I try to set to aperature or shutter priority, the camera responds as if the strobe is not connected, even though the flash symbol appears. When I manually set both aperature and shutter speed, the camera tells me that the photo will be underexposed. However, the histogram shows a perfectly exposed photo. Is this normal? I thought that it was and have been shooting like this for the past year (ie when I first got my setup). However, after speaking to a friend of mine regarding land flashes, he stated that this didn't sound right. I'm sure that other people on this forum have similar setups. Please let me know if this needs to go back to Ike for the 3rd time. Thanks.
  12. I've got a long haul flight planned from Calgary, through San Fransisco to Singapore. I can pack all my gear in a Pelican 1550 which just barely exceeds the requirements for carry on luggage size (0.5" in one dimension) by United and Singapore Airlines (who I'm flying with), but exceeds the weight requirements since it weighs 35 lb. full. I'm thinking that I should be ok as I have never seen a carryon weighed before. The other option is to pack it into another suitcase and fill the remaining space with clothes. However, I don't really want to check this luggage. Does anyone have experience trying to carry on a case of this size and weight? Any other suggestions? Thanks.
  13. If you think it's hard getting kids to bed when it's light until 9pm, my wife grew up in Ft. McMurray, which is in Northern Alberta, Canada. In the summer it's light until almost midnight and sunrise is before 4am.
  14. How did you connect your 2nd stage to the inflator valve? I would like to replicate this. Thanks.
  15. I too searched and searched an finally found a bolt supply store in town that had the same thread. I'm not sure what it is as I only bought two rather than the 350 that come in a box. I'd be interested to know what size these bolts are as well.
  16. I wonder if the desire to buy the camera with the most megapixels isn't just a consequence of the significant cost of housings. To buy a newer, faster, bigger camera may cost a little bit more now, but it won't change the price of the housing significantly. And if that means that you get an extra year or so before upgrading, it might be worth it. After all, you can always add lenses, strobes, etc. after the fact, but it will cost you a lot of money to add megapixels later.
  17. I used a 60 gig ipod photo for image storage when I went to Italy last Christmas, but I found it to be absolutely terrible. It would take 45min. to download a single 1gig card and it would suck the life out of the batteries. If the batteries weren't full, they would die before the download was complete. Since then, I have bought a Jobo without a screen and a new laptop. I'll be taking the two of these with me on my next trip as they are both significantly faster, and I much prefer the larger laptop screen for viewing photos. I felt that viewing photos on the ipod did not give me a good idea of clarity, etc. so the laptop will be much better, and it runs photoshop! Just my $0.02.
  18. First, you'll want to look for housings for your camera as well as potential lens combinations and ports. Have a look at digideep.com for housing options. As well, think about strobe choices. Whether you want TTL or not (run a search and you'll find lots of threads relating to this topic, it's a hot one), could determine your choice of housings. Also think about your budget. Expect to spend thousands of dollars. The other option is to look for a used housing, strobes, etc. on the wetpixel classefieds. Your 17-85 lens is used by others on the forum and I assume that they will reply as to how well it works. I use the 18-55 kit lens for a mid range fish lens (and because I'm cheap). However, your 100-400 is probably too long to be housed. You should consider a wide angle lens like a FE (Tokina 10-17 or Canon 10.5) or wide rectilinear (Canon 10-22) and a macro (60mm, 100mm). If you are looking for info on surf photos, this probably isn't the best forum. However, have a look at the following as it contains some links to other threads: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showt...512&hl=surf For example, here is my rig (definitely not the best out there): Canon Rebel XT ~$1000 Ikelite Housing ~$1400 Canon 18-55mm (included) Ikelite 6" dome for above lens ~$200 Canon 60mm macro ~$400 Ikelite flat port for above lens ~$150 Ikelite DS-125 strobe kit w/ arms, extra battery, charger, etc. ~$1000 Accessories (Magic Filters, extra synch cords, o-rings, etc.) ~$400
  19. I tried out my new Pinnacle 4mm merino gloves off Vancouver Island over Christmas in 44deg. F water and was toasty. They're supposed to give the warmth of a 5mm glove with only 4mm of thickness. However, my wife hates her pair because they are a little scratchy on the inside. So try before you buy.
  20. So I've ended up getting the 60mm from B&H. However, I have found that it has a huge problem locking autofocus both above and below water. Did I get a bad lens or is this normal. I only have used the 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses prior to this, so that's what I'm comparing it to. I'm debating sending it back for a replacement. Thanks.
  21. I'm very tempted to pick one up, but the lack of a filter holder is making me wary. Does anyone have any ideas on adding a magic filter to this lens?
  22. Or the other option would be to look here on wetpixel at the classefieds.
  23. Is anyone using their strobes as flashlights? I would like to use my DS-125 as a night dive light, but don't plan on taking my camera down as well (not this time anyway). So I would like to know any suggestions for some type of handle or method of holding the strobe. Thanks.
  24. Thanks David. I'll try waiting a little longer to see if that solves the problem the next time it pops up. It just seemed strange that I didn't seem to have the problem once I put a fresh battery in the strobe.
  25. I have had this same sort of issue with my camera/strobes. I have a canon 350D with Ikelite housing and DS-125. When the battery power of the strobe gets low, I can't change the TTL settings (increasing or decreasing strobe power), change the strobe to manual and it would not turn on the ready light. However, if I turned the strobe dial to "test", it would light up all three LEDs. If I turned the strobe off and on again, I could change the TTL settings, but not once I took a photo. I sent it to Ikelite, but the could not reproduce it. It's fine now that I know what the problem is.
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