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subh2o

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Posts posted by subh2o


  1. Yes, that's digital photography for you!

     

    What is sad is that people considering “modern” 5MP cameras in plastic housings don’t realize that the CP-5000 in an aluminium housing is actually a very good choice for anyone doing any deep diving. Mine was used in diving conditions where I would not have dared to take a plastic housing.

     

    A CP-5000 selling for $300 on eBay and a used Tetra or Aquatica housing makes a great 300ft+ system for very little money. Small size, full Nikon strobe compatibility and available wide angle. Hard to beat!

     

    Rich


  2. Hi,

     

    Probably too late but I've just posted an ad for a Aquatica 5000 housing in the ADS section. With a CP-5000 selling on eBay for $350, this would make a great system.

     

    Also posted an ad for a Ike MS strobe.

     

    Rich

     

    I have the opportunity to buy a Nikon Coolpix 5000, Light and Motion Tetra 5000, 2 Sea &Sea YS-90 strobes with Ultralight arms, 2 wetlink sync cords, Tetra focus light, Tetra ultra wide (weitwinkel) and macro wetmate lens..... and a few more bells and whistles for $3500.

  3. I've been shooting with a N90s/Aquatica-90 for some time. I use mainly two lenses, the micro-Nikkor 60mm behind a flat port and the 20mm AF/D with the 8in dome.

     

    On the digital front, I've had a couple of Olympus cameras and housings and I'm currently using a Coolpix 5000 in a Aquatica housing. Once the ice clears up here, I'll be using a D70 also in a Aquatica housing... (the CP5000 kit will be for sale, anyone interested?)

     

    I've been reading the forums, trying to decide which lenses to buy for underwater use with my D70. What I'd like to get is something that comes close my 35mm setup: a good macro lens plus a sharp wide-angle (90deg+) lens.

     

    Macro: some are using the 60mm with success but with +1 to +2 diopters. How good would the 60mm be on its own with the D70?

     

    almost WA: No one seems to be using the 20mm AF/D with the D70. Although it would cover only as much as a 28mm lens, is there any reason why it would not work fine behind a 8in dome?

     

    true WA: Other than going for the 10.5mm are there other options that would give me a 90deg+ coverage with the D70, ideally without using a diopter?

     

    Any help would be appreciated,

     

    Thanks,

     

    Rich (DSLR newbie...)


  4. Ref: pre-flash problem with Olympus

     

    This might be a dead topic by now but when I first got my C-3030, I soon found out that the Nikonos SB-102 or Ikelite MS I intended to use would not work.

     

    I went back to an old Vivitar 285HV in a homemade housing with a regular $20 slave sensor.

     

    With the 285HV set at 1/2, the C-3030 set for SLOW and when using speeds of 1/20sec and slower, the strobe would fire twice. Once at the pre-flash and again 1/20sec later for the exposure. I got good pictures if there was no or little ambiant light.

     

    This could work with other strobes and is certainly better than no external strobe at all.

     

    Richard


  5. A few more comments about the Aquatica 5000 housing from a coldwater perspective...

     

    After using 3.3 MP Olympus cameras underwater for more than two years both for work and for fun, I got tempted by higher resolutions. I sold everything and got myself a Coolpix 5000 (Nikon) to use exclusively underwater. Choosing the housing was relatively easy since my main system was already an Aquatica-90 (F90x/N90s). Aquatica (formerly Aqua-Vision) of Montreal offers a nice aluminum housing for the CP5000.

     

    Since there was no Aquatica re-seller in my area, I purchased the housing directly from the company. Two days later, the housing arrived. For the first few dives, I exclusively shot macro, using one or two Ikelite DS-50 strobes. The CP5000 in the Aquatica housing is simply an amazing camera for macro without the need for an add-on lens.

     

    Next, I ordered the Nikon wide-angle (19mm eq.) lens and Aquatica's port for that lens. Again, the optical performance was very good with no vigneting. Winter and ice in my area put a stop to my ocean dives but I continued to experiment in a pool, learning to use the system to its full capabilities.

     

    A word about the housing: it is surprisingly small, with very little wasted space around the camera. Construction quality is identical to their recent 35mm housings and it's rated to 100 meters, which means I will take it along on trimix dives. Almost all camera controls can be accessed from the outside, with a few exceptions like the on/off switch. The back buttons are grouped tightly together. Operating the tiny buttons with drysuit gloves is a challenge but the fact that the buttons have different heights helps a lot. The housing has a standard Nikonos strobe connector that connects to the hot shoe on the CP5000 and gives "near-TTL" capabilities to the system. After some tuning, strobe photography became as easy as with the F90x. The housing has a side handle that is adequate for a single small strobe but for bigger strobes such as twin Ikelite 100a, I use a bottom bracket with two TLC arms. Overall, the housing has a very solid feel to it and is well balanced.

     

    Compared to my previous systems, I see fewer limitations with the CP5000/Aquatica system. The arms and strobes are compatible with the rest of my gear and I don't need an expensive digital-compatible TTL sensor to use an external strobe. There are, however, a few things that the camera could do better: the viewing screen is often very dark, even with the recent firmware update. Also, compared to Olympus cameras, the LCD becomes completely dark if viewed from above. Although not related to the housing itself, underwater these problems are even worse and it takes some time to get used to.

     

    Overall, I am extremely happy with Aquatica's housing and feel that this digital system will no longer be my "for fun only" system. This is a serious photo tool that gives impressive results and is as rugged as any other professional housing. It also has a lot of potential as a true working tool in marine biology (my line of work), mostly because of its great macro capabilities.

     

    Now, if only that ice pack could go away...

     

    Richard


  6. I'm also using the 19mm with the Aquatica 5000. Results are great. My previous setup was an Olympus C3030 in an Ikelite housing with a Sea&Sea add-on lens. I'm getting much sharper pictures with the 5000.

     

    I use a DS-50, but I'm getting my Ikelite 100a modified by Ike to be compatible with the 5000. An older (manual ) Ikelite MS with a diffuser also works OK.

     

    If you lose the diffuser on a SS-50, a piece cut from a white plastic (grocery) bag taped on the front of the strobe gives identical results.

     

    Richard


  7. Hello all,

     

    My name is Richard and I'm in eastern Quebec, Canada. I dive mostly the St.Lawrence estuary but also do frequent trips to Ontario and the Great Lakes for freshwater diving. I'm a DM and have been diving since 1979.

     

    I've been working as a marine biologist for 16 years but do most of my photography for fun, although I often use UW photo as a tool at work. After using Nikonos III and V cameras for many years, I now do most of my photography with a Nikon F90x in an Aquatica-90 housing.

     

    My first contact with UW digital was in June of 2000 when I started using an Olympus C-3030 in a PT-005 housing. Last year, that housing was replaced by the Ikelite version so that I could take the camera on trimix dives. In the fall of 2002, I changed system and I'm now using a Coolpix 5000 in an Aquatica-5000 housing. More about this system in an upcoming post.

     

    My favorite subjects are cold water critters.

     

    Richard

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