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Posts posted by donauw

  1. I have been on both the Thorfinn and the Odyssey. If at all possible, get on the Odyssey. This boat is by far the best live aboard I have been on.


    Thorfinn is essentially an anchored hotel. You will go to your dive sites in chase boats (rough but functional) whereas Odyssey goes directly to the sites. Cap't Lance is indeed a "character" but can be difficult to deal with. There is definately a lack of service mentality on the boat. The photo area of the Thorfinn is on the second deck - you have to climb up to it with your equipment. Odyssey's camera area is on the dive deck. Thorfinn's food was mediocre at best, Odyssey's great. All diving on Thorfinn is on aluminum 80s - many of these dive sites are deep and having steel 110s pumped to 3000 gives you almost twice as much bottem time. Also, Thorfinn has "no deco" policy whereas Odyssey supports deco diving with stage bottles and custom bottem mixes.


    Frankly, if I had to choose between Thorfinn and shore based at Blue Lagoon I would go with shore based. Aggressor is another option but I believe they have depth limit of 100' and that eliminates some of the best dives.




    Don Dixon

  2. Epson has just made available an online 12 week "course." I have worked through the first week and picked up some good tips relative to both Photoshop CS and the Epson 2200.


    There are daily "lessons" and also a video library of good Photoshop tips and tutorials. Host is Graham Nash...


    Cost is $29.95 US. Check out www.epsonprintacademy.com for more information.


    I have no Epson or Adobe affiliation/interest.



  3. what exactly didn't you like about the Sea & Sea housing compared to the Subal you have now?


    Bulky. Difficult to see viewfinder because reg hits back of case - cannot see all of viewfinder in any case. Poor ergonomics - it is difficult to change shutter/aperture without taking your hand away from the shutter release. On mine, many of the rear (plastic) panel buttons ceased to function at 30 feet. Poor support when I sent it back for adjustments, repairs. Long waits, multiple phone calls ("Oh, we found it in back...")



  4. I don't know...those housings look very much like the DX D100 housing I quickly learned to dislike a LOT. (And sold...)


    I suspect that Sea & Sea is not going to be a player in the digital housing market unless they change their strategy. For a similar price - you can get an Aquatica housing.



  5. With the DRebel package priced - with lens - at $999 US I don't see the Nikon as competitive for first time buyers (those without $$$ of Nikon lenses, like most of us). :rolleyes:


    I've had many people ask my advice re topside digital cameras this "holiday shopping season." Seems to be the hot item. I generally suggest they consider the DReb if they think they may want to do more than point and shoot. Digital SLR and lens for under $1000...


    Too Much, Too Late, Nikon



  6. Eric -


    I've been diving the Drager Dolphin for more than two years (about 250 dives now) and use it extensively. I love the unit. It is relatively simple and has is all mechanical (no electronic controls - although I do have an oxyguage that monitors the PO2 in the breathing bag).


    I have been impressed at how much easier it is to approach marine life with the unit. I get about two hours of bottom time on a 27 cf tank (using 40% Nitrox which breathes down to about 32%).


    I am based in the Florida Keys and the Great Lakes and use the unit extensively in both locations (including with dry suit). If much of your diving/photography is an area where you can get support for the unit - then it is worth it. If you are only going to travel with it...then I'm not so sure.


    Travel with it, however, is no more difficult than with open circuit IF you are going to a location that supports the Dolphin. (There is generally an operation that has tanks, mixed gas for, and has scubber absorbant in many major dive locations). I traveled with mine to Grand Turk several months ago and routinely transport it between Florida and Wisconsin. (Local shops in both locations support the unit)


    You must, however, be METICULOUS with the unit. It takes about 15 minutes extra predive and about the same postdive in preparation and maintenance.


    I would advise starting with the Dolphin. After getting comfortable with it, then it may make sense to move to a closed circuit system - depending on your diving. I plan to certify on the Inspiriation next year - mainly because I just want to. Not because I feel it will give me any photo advantage over the Dolphin.



  7. Continuous will fire off a shot anytime the button is fully pressed. This is good if you have a big DOF for shooting fast moving WA subjects


    Also useful for moving subjects (i.e. sea lions, sharks) is autofocus with focus tracking - set to C and choose dynamic. Once the camera is focused on a subject it will continue to try and track that subject as it moves. This is also excellent for sports photography topside.



  8. I had my D100 in a Sea & Sea housing for one dive trip. Lots of problems! Connections and buttons that worked on the surface wouldn't work underwater. Sent it back to Sea & Sea and waited and waited and waited. Truely BAD service experience. Multiple phone calls before they "found" my housing waiting for repair on a shelf. Then had to wait for new parts from Japan. Finally got it back with some fixes. It was clunky and not ergonomic. (I bought it because I had Sea & Sea ports and NX100 PR housing for my F100 and was quite happy with that) The Sea & Sea went on eBay.


    Have a Subal now - MUCH better, love it.


    Have only heard good things re Aquatica. Finish and appearance not as nice as Subal but function excellent and priced right.



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