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Everything posted by blueglass

  1. Hi John, I am selling my Nauticam housing with the camera body for 1900 €. Shipping to UK would be 20 € by express courier. You can see photos in this link. If you could be interested please contact me at photo(at)magicsea.com http://www.glowdive.com/d7000/ 8" Ikelite dome port with adapter for Nauticam also available for sale.
  2. Hi, I have been using fiber optic lighting for years, both for macro and bug-eye images. These are some of the devices I make:
  3. Interesting to read all these thoughts. I agree with most opinions here. I´ll try to answer your question based on my own experience. It is possible to make a living in underwater photography nowadays when you are willing to work very hard and keep a modest cost of living. It was definitely easier in the film days like you have suggested, but even then it took me a high degree of commitment. I washed dishes and filled tanks for a couple of dives a day in liveaboards to built up my stock, used home made and third-hand gear, and saved every cent for film processing and of course rolled my own film because it was cheaper. Every camera, strobe, lens and housing was considered as a tool that had to pay for itself. Accepting I´d never be rich (in money terms) by becoming a UW photographer was the first step to overcome. Once you have that clear, everything is much easier. Why go on a $2000/day vacation when you can get paid to go to the same place? My holidays are more like $50/day trips and I´ll never be able to afford to pay for the trips that my guests are doing with me. But who needs a vacation when you work everyday in something you love. You must have your priorities clear and realize that if you are making a living from UW photography you are already privileged. You don't need a big house or a nice car to be happy, because you are already happy doing what you wanted, right? I think if someone considers becoming an underwater photographer strictly as a job it is a bad investment, put that money anywhere else and it'll be more profitable, but if you consider it as way of life and value all the other benefits and positive experiences it may become your best decision in life. But as low as you may want to keep your cost of living, there are bills to pay and gear to replace (mostly since digital era if you want to keep up). With the stock prices being frozen since the 90s (or even lowering), like Walt said, and the cost of living increasing annually it didn't take me long to realize that diversification was the key to survive. Looking at the general photographic business which may move a few years ahead of the underwater niche, it was easy to see that relying solely on stock sales and assignments could become a problem in the medium term. In my case, diversification came from photo courses, photo trips, gear sales, exhibitions, books, art galleries, writing... and keeping the stock sales, articles and assignments as healthy as possible. People skills are as important as photo skills to keep the business rolling, or even more. I meet so many dive guides, editors, resort managers, writers... who have had bad experiences with arrogant "super-UW-photographers" with big egos. Hey, we are just photographers, like any other type of photographers, like butterfly photographers, (but poorer because our gear is more expensive and the photo prices are similar), nothing too special about it, no heroes of any kind. We don't even look good with all that gear ! I know all of you are super nice people :-) but some talented photographers put themselves out of business because their lack of people skills. Make a good job, leave a good impression and they'll call you back. I know this is general stuff for any kind of business, but in UW photography you really need them to call you back ! There aren't that many clients ! For me, every sale is important and every customer gets the same exquisite treatment. The teenager girl who buys a $1,5 postcard of a lovely dolphin is as important as the editor who pays big bucks for a front cover, because in few years that girl, in love with the Ocean, may work for a large company that becomes your advertising client, like it happened to me. I always think long term and try to keep the business rolling in circles, a quick buck is never good business: The new diver who buys a compact housing from me and is happy with my service will take a course to learn how to use it, and realize he needs a strobe (hopefully from me), If I teach him a nice course he may become interested in my entry level trip to practice what he learnt and after having a blast for a week, next year he will join me for a two weeks trip in a destination where I will be able to take new stock and when I come back I can write an article about those islands and place the stock in agencies and if I am lucky maybe win a price or two in a competition that may bring awareness of my last photo gadget to a new customer... by then the first customer will want and SLR housing and will bring his friends, and all over again. Keep the ball rolling... Am I less "pro" because a larger percentage of my income doesn't come from direct photo sales? Maybe, I don't really care, because the old dream of diving around the world taking photos has turned real. Now seriously, nobody else is thinking about becoming an uw photo pro, right? Carlos Villoch
  4. Hi I have been using my original micro flash during 3 trips and thousands of photos, without even changing batteries. It works great with my rig but it didn't work in some other housing if the leds were not properly aligned or when the fiber optic wires are not in perfect condition. So I have made a more universal version, much more powerful that will work with most systems. This is a pre-serie version: I will doing some in water tests next week. I tested in my friend's Olympus SLR and he could go from 1/180 to 1/400 sync speed without seeing the rear curtain. He was so happy to see he will have much more control over background ambient light.
  5. Trying directly connection of a LED (in series with the battery) with a D7000, the LED stayed on continuosly after the first shot, it didn't work for me. I have came back from my trip and the little device has worked perfectly in thousands of photos. It works with my own custom made fiber optic cables and connectors and Inon strobes. It won't work with stock Nauticam cables or other brands than don't let so much light to go through. Most probably it won't work with Sea&Sea strobes which have less sentitive light sensors. You should respect the cooling instructions of the strobe manufacturer after several shots, otherwise you may burn the strobes.
  6. If you wat a few seconds between shots you will never noticed any delay, but try to shoot 5-6 photos with about once second interval and you will notice that the camera stops working for a loooong time. You can see it in the video link I posted, in which the camera is set to 1/128. If you shoot the underwater strobes at full and you wait for them to recycle totally (about 1.5 sec) you will not feel any delays. But when shooting fastt action with powered down strobes the delay can last for 10-15 seconds With this thingie i can shoot 6 fps continuously with Inon S2000 strobes set at -2. Used with the D7000 you can use 1/400 and you barely see the second curtain at the bottom of the frame. If you go faster than that you will see it very clearly and you would have to pay attention in composition not to place anything you want flash on at the bottom of the frame. More in few days when I come back foam Guadalupe....
  7. Hi, I have made this tiny flash that allows firing optical strobes without using the camera's flash, avoiding the annoying camera delay caused by the internal flash recycling when shooting fast action, even at 1/128 power. It can be turned on and off inside the Nauticam D7000 housing using the flash down lever, so it's easy to turn off both strobes from the housing to shoot ambient light or to make PRE-white balance. You can get an idea of how it works in this video (in Spanish, but you can hear the shooting speed) http://vimeo.com/28090025 I'll be testing it next week with white sharks, where I hope to find some action that needs fast shooting.
  8. I finally had the chance to try the Nauticam D7000 last week and I am impressed with its quality. The gear ratio used in the autofocus/shutter is very smartly designed, giving an excellent autofocus feeling before releasing the shutter. In general, controling this housing gives me the closest feeling to what it feels like using a bare SLR on land. The precision of the internal controls is outstanding. These are some shots of the testing day.
  9. I've been using this lens quite a bit, and I like it very much. It's not easy to find subjects that let you get close enough to get the right effect. The micro fisheye effect is only good at very close distance, between 0 and 20 mm. You can see a sample image in the Maldives feature of last Sport Diver mag, a shot of a crinoid. When you find a helpful subject it's very fun to use.
  10. If you are in UK you can contact Alex who will have them available soon. Otherwise you can take a look at www.glowdive.com where you will find underwater ultraviolet lights and the filters needed to photograph underwater fluorescence. Website still in Spanish only, English version coming soon. Contact me at info@glowdive.com if you need more information. Cheers, Carlos
  11. Hi, If you like cave photography you may want to take a look at this link: http://www.blueoceans.es/cuevas.html Those are just some of his very average shots of an amazing book he is preparing about the inland caves of Mallorca. He is using 5 subtronic with adapted Metz slave cells like this one. The Metz cells are placed in a small sealed pipe with a bulkhead with Nikonos style connector. Apparently these cells are specially sensitive to light and work well through haloclines.
  12. Thank you. I hope the 40mm doesn't leave too much air space between lens and dome for extreme CFWA. How about the ext ring for the Sigma 17-70 with a 8" dome? This lens extends quite a lot when zoomed. Dome will be Ikelite, but I assume it will be the same configuration as with any other 8" dome. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
  13. Hi, A few more doubts about ext rings for Nauticam. What ext ring do I need to use Tokina 10-17 + 1.4TC with Zen 100mm? I don't think the 20mm ring is enough. And what ext ring for a 8" Ikelite dome with the Nauticam adapter for the Sigma 17-70? will the 20mm be good? Thanks !
  14. Yes, I've made that myself using the cup of a hotel shampoo bottle and some epoxy. Good to hear Nauticam has refined the control, that's going to save me lot's of time messing my nails with epoxy and stealing hotel shampoo for my friends ;-)
  15. Hi, This is my solution to the rear dial control: Nauticam control It works wondefuly using just the thumb
  16. These are some shots from last week with micro-fisheye:
  17. Hi, Just a quick update on the Ikelite+Micro-fisheye: It was the funnest thing I have tried un UW photography for a long time. A pleasure to use. I discover totally new angles that I could only dream of before. I tried it in Raja Empat, Mollucas and Lembeh and the possibilities are endless.... A few photos soon. Cheers,
  18. Add a couple of strobes and you get the whole monster. Definitely not an easy lens to use. Accurate buoyancy and a good balanced rig are important. This lens is only good when you get subjects few mm from the lens, so not a good tool for strong currents. I´ll let you know how it goes...
  19. Hi, This is what I believe is the first Ikelite housing for Nikon D90 with an adapted Inon micro-fisheye. Adaptation by Saga (www.sagadive.com). Excellent and accurate machining work. I´ll be trying it in Indonesia next week.
  20. Hi, I have been using Ikleite housing for D90 and I am very pleased with its performance. Regarding size, believe it or not, the housing itself it's actually narrower than a Subal housing, about the same heigth and a liitle deeper, it's the big handles what gives the impression of being bulky. You could buy an external TTL adapter for any housing, but what you can't get is a dial to manually control the power of two strobes with your thumb while holding the handle. This is a big plus for wide angle with Ikelite.
  21. Yes, the precess looks pretty similar, although this modificated viewfinder does not have an adapter. It is the viewfinder itself which has been machined to fit the Ikelite housing. The menu in www.expoblues.com is graphics, that's why translators can't figure it out. That website is about a photo exhibition in Spain...
  22. No worries about splits. I have spent a fair amount of time at or near the surface with that same gear and never had a leak. As they said, just make sure the locks click.
  23. Blibecap, Yes, those are the different types of Inon viewfinders and the modified looks very much like my modified version. I am based in Spain, although lately I'm spending more time traveling that at home. This is the original viewfinder I got in eBay (USA) for about $250, it had never been in the water. This is the threaded type which needs more work to be adapted: This is the same unit after modification, a new thread has been machined over the original thread. It may not look a perfect engineering solution but it works perfectly and screws in smothly and tightly in the Ikelite housing which hasn't been modified. I can unscrew it for traveling or go back to the original viewfinder whenever I want. Modification has been made by http://sagadive.com . The dificult part is that the viewfinder needs to be in the correct position (top side up) at the exactly same turning angle where the O-ring is compressed: so when you screw it all the way in, the top part must stays on top, so slight changes in lenght have to be made: this is the viewfinder installed in the housing: Let me know if you have any questions. I´ll be here until Wednesday night.
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