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tx51210

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Posts posted by tx51210


  1. I've been to the Flower Gardens several times and have fifty or so dives there and there has always been multiple chances for wide and macro. "Mr. Big" usually shows a little before and around coral spawning time (but of course when he showed up for 3 hours circling under our boat I was doing survey diving and didn't have a camera...... :blush: ) Plus I've seen manta at the East Bank or Stetson every time I've gone. Lots of chances for wide. You might just want to go for it! What you do if "nothing shows" is meter the water, have your plan, rehearse and be ready!!!!!!!!

     

    But there is great macro stuff there too. Those tiny chestnut morays are rare everywhere else but are not uncommon at the W Bank and they make great photos (look very "fierce)!

     

    I tried to learn shooting macro with the d200 but it was manatee season here......., so my first hundreds of pictures with the setup were Nikon 16mm/d200, strobes or no strobes. I found the 16mm VERY easy to use. It was equally exposing the bright sky and blue/green shallow spring water that I found challenging. Or lighting the CFWA shots that I kept making mistakes on. But I think I did pretty well for my first outings......

     

    BUT then, as far as you shooting on the platforms in the gulf, I've always wanted a really close up tessellated blenny, you know they have scads of those on the platforms if it is a clear day. I have a good one but I want a great one and with your 105 with a teleconverter or wet-diopter, well you could just stay shallow (IF it is calm......., ha ha)....., but if it was just stay shallow and spend the whole dive on tessellateds, you will learn the 105. Of course when you do that a whale shark will swim by - but hey, all is fair....... :ninja:

     

    So I guess my advice is decided what you REALLY want to shoot, what creature you really want pictures of, etc. And learn the lenses for that. Frankly I've taken down my 105vr in the new Subal Port a couple of times and I don't find the 105vr any more difficult than the 60mm, but I had no experience with the 60 either, so I think you are good to pick up just about whatever lens you want to learn on - you have no "pre-concieved" experiences with DSLR and like me you will have to learn anyway, learn on a lens that will let you shoot what you want to shoot.

     

    My take on it from a gal, learning her first DSLR since December 06.

     

    Best, Carol

     

    Carol,

     

    I think you are right about the 105VR. My 105VR arrived today and it looks like it will be even more fun than I anticipated. I shot these about 15 minutes after opening the lens.

     

    76076986.RxkbAyZG._DSC0094.jpg

     

    76076988.G21LzCwd._DSC0109.jpg

     

    I can't wait to find some blennies.


  2. I would think you'll take the 12-24mm with you for land shooting, so you might as well get a port for it ( i know i'm a bad influence) and try it out at least once, so you have an idea for your second trip with the housing, even if you only do a couple of dives with it it gives you some wideangle images to play with between trips.

     

    Where are you thinking of going? From experience i know Galapagos has good macro, but you'd probably want a w/a lens there :blush:

     

    I started off with a 105mm and 18-35 on film, and loved the 105mm because it was so different compared to what i could do with my point and shoot digital.

     

    Have you received the lens yet? Take some pics of some flowers/insects to get a grasp of working distances and depth of field.

     

    You are truly EVIL and definitely a bad influence!! :ninja:

     

    I am being directed to Cancun in June as a joint vacation with another family. Not bad as I am trying to get two or three others to learn to dive and this is a really great spot for beginners. I have dove Cancun many times over the years and feel it is really under rated as I have seen some great critters. The shallow dive environment and clear water there is very conducive to the wide angle and that has me a little torn about going with macro only.

     

    Before the Cancun trip I want to hit the Flower Gardens again multiple times. The flower gardens are a great spot for macro but it is one of those areas that I think is inevitable for Mr. Big?? to show up and make you wish for a wide angle. But what do you do with that wide angle if nothing shows? When we hit the oil rigs there are plenty of opportunities to shot wide or macro as the structure itself makes for some fun shots. Wide angle at the Flower Gardens and Stetson Bank do not offer as much wide angle interest to me until something decent swims by.

     

    Cozumel is a staple trip but the family does not want to go there this year, so I will have time to evolve before returning.

     

    Anyway, that is the potiental dive roster for now.


  3. Over the years, photography has taught me that I improve more by forcing myself to stay with a technique and keep working to refine that technique. If I allow myself the jump around between setup configurations, I tend to do OK but the learning curve and results are slower.

     

    I am in the process of switching from an c-8080 setup to a D200 setup. I have been shooting the D-200 since it was introduced and the D2h and F100 prior to that. I have the 10.5, 12-24 and 105VR to choose to dive.

     

    If I were to pick an area to start buying ports, should I start learning to dive the camera, would I be better off learning the macro side or the wide angle? I am guessing wide angle will be harder to produce results to start off. My previous experience has been building more toward macro, primarily because the little DS-50 and C-8080 were geared more toward portrait shots.

     

    I am leaning toward getting a port for the 105VR and latter grabbing a 60mm lens to use behind the same port. Then pulling in the wide angle after I have spent time with the macro end.

     

    If money were no object (yea right :blush: ) and I could get ports for the 10.5, 12-24 and the 105, would you recommend taking them all on your first big trip with the equipment?

     

    Thanks for your feedback.

     

    I feel like I have built up some experience with the c-8080 that is comparable to what a 60mm lens would provide, so I know this will be the fairly straitforward swap. I am wanting to push into new territor, so that is why I am looking to either wide angle or more macro.


  4. Over the years, photography has taught me that I improve more by forcing myself to stay with a technique and keep working to refine that technique. If I allow myself the jump around between setup configurations, I tend to do OK but the learning curve and results are slower.

     

    I am in the process of switching from an c-8080 setup to a D200 setup. I have been shooting the D-200 since it was introduced and the D2h and F100 prior to that. I have the 10.5, 12-24 and 105VR to choose to dive.

     

    If I were to pick an area to start buying ports, should I start learning to dive the camera, would I be better off learning the macro side or the wide angle? I am guessing wide angle will be harder to produce results to start off. My previous experience has been building more toward macro, primarily because the little DS-50 and C-8080 were geared more toward portrait shots.

     

    I am leaning toward getting a port for the 105VR and latter grabbing a 60mm lens to use behind the same port. Then pulling in the wide angle after I have spent time with the macro end.

     

    If money were no object (yea right :blush: ) and I could get ports for the 10.5, 12-24 and the 105, would you recommend taking them all on your first big trip with the equipment?

     

    Thanks for your feedback.


  5. I used the SS200's for years. Carried 3 for trips. I finally switched to the DS125's. Sometimes I miss the power. The 200's can let you do things that you wouldn't ordinarily do. But the weight savings and handling are much improved.

     

    If you need to save money. I've got one or two SS200's left. Since you are in Dallas, I can even deliver. ^_^

     

    Thanks, but if I keep saving money this way, I will have to file for bankruptcy.


  6. Hi again,

     

    I'm not saying don't get an ikelite, there are people out there using them and getting far better pictures than me!

     

    The reasons im not so keen are the mounting of the ports, i've never seen it happen but you do hear stories of wobbly ports, although this might only be 0.0000000000001% of users with a loud voice. My old excuse used to be that they had poor quality wide angle optics, but they seem to have fixed that with their big dome port.

     

    I am also not sure about the 105mmVR in the Ikelite, as it is a fat lens, maybe someone can chime in on that?

     

    I personally fell for the Nexus system after holding a D100 housing about 5 years ago, it was probably just the handles to be honest, but it sat so nicely in my hands compared to the housings i had back then (Ikelite and Subal)

     

    I think Woody Mahew is based in Tx, he supplies Nexus and Ikelite Stobes, Texas is only a small state, fancy a drive? ^_^

     

    Aquatica have a very loyal following on here, do a search for aquatica and you'll find lots of feedback from the manufacturer, just as Ike Bingham used to do with Ikelite (which Ikelite continue to do).

     

    As for TTL, i wouldn't turn it down if i was offered it, but i don't really miss it that much.

     

    When it comes around to buying time, it might be worth taking the wife on a shopping trip to NY, California or Florida so you can actually pick one up in the store and see what you like and what fits your hands.

     

    Obviously don't take her to the shop with you........

    EDIT:

     

    There seems to be a few sales of D200 housings for both Ikelite and Sea and Sea from time to time on here and eBay, maybe keep an eye out for a bargain?

     

    Thanks for the Feedback.

     

    It is interesting that you mentioned loose ports on the Ikelite as I was reading a similar thread on the lack of port locks on the Aquatica.

     

    I know Ikelite has improved their product lineup over the past few years and the new dome port has attracted my attention. I have been pleased with the quality and build of my existing Ikelite housing and I was glad to see the D200 was not a complete box housing, keeping it a little smaller. If the quality and functionality is similar I am having a hard time justifying the extra expense and the ability to purchase from NY vendors without tax is another savings.

     

    I am keeping my eye out for used systems and will keep my mind open.

     

    Keep up the good work. You have some really nice stuff on your website.

     

    Jeff


  7. For the cost of a pair of DS-200 you can probably get a pair of DS-125's AND a pair of good quality second hand SS-200.

     

    I dont think you should decide on strobes until you have decided on your housing, which ones are you looking at?

     

    I'm using a Nexus D200, i moan about it a lot, but that is just my nature! I think if i didnt have any ports i would probably go for aquatica.... They are always listening on here and ready to help. They will love it when i finally make the switch and start moaning!

     

    You will definitely want a macro lens, either 60mm or 105mm, go to a camera store and try them both if you can. I started with the 105mm on film, after using my digicam for a period of a few months i used to love going back to the 105mm as it was such an extreme lens, and something i definitely couldn't have done with my old point and shoot.

     

    Lets face it, you are in for an expensive time! You already have great wideangle lenses, so that has 'saved' you some money ^_^

    My 125's are fine at wider angles, there are just very rare instances that i want more power, so i picked up some SS200 for that purpose with the intention of getting back into diving on a daily basis. My gut feeling is that you may be better served by the DS125, it is a strobe that loads of people use and are very happy with it.

    You probably do not want the package with arms included unless you buy the Ikelite D200 housing. If you buy a non ikelite housing, look at the buoyancy arm thread on here, they are cheap and appear to be working well in most cases, if not go for ULCS or the aquatica ones.

     

    Simon

     

    Simon,

     

    This is your fault and I expect you to answer to my wife for the problems you have created!! :)

    I jumped over to your website and it was the final straw. After looking over your macro shots, I hit B&H and ordered the 105vr lens. So when my wife hits the ceiling, I am totally blaming you. :)

     

    Since you now owe me, tell me why you would not get an Ikelite housing. To me the size looks similar and there are some pluses to both materials for housings, but what features do you dislike about Ikelite? I have never been much on manual flash control and the best thing I ever did was switch to the sync cord on the Oly 8080 housing. I expect the TTL to be a big help, am I wrong?

     

    Thanks for the feedback on the DS-125's. I think I will save my money and back and go with the smaller strobes.


  8. Hi Jeff,

     

    I have a pair of 125's and a pair of 200's (only the older SS though).

     

    What camera and housing do you have?

     

    I bought the 200's as backups for my 125's, and as they have a little more power i thought they might be useful for wide-angle on my D200 (ISO 100), as i was using a D70 before (ISO 200).

     

    Does your quoted weight of a DS200 include the battery? I just sent a ss200 (identical other that a circuitboard) back for repair and it was that weight without battery, the battery is heavy too.

     

    Will you be travelling a lot? if you're going to be flying to some remote places you might want to save a few pounds by going for the 125's

     

    $900 is a nice new lens!

     

    EDIT:

     

    ok, i just wieghed them with batteries and ulcs mounts..

     

    DS125 2lb 11oz

     

    SS200 4lb 6oz

     

    I got the weights from the Adorama website specs for the strobes. I am looking at housing a D200 and I am struggling with what lens to house. I have added up some the equipment and had to go eat some rolaids. I am looking at replacing my C-8080 rig and am starting to wonder if I am nuts.

     

    Anyway: After looking over some popular lens choices, I am setting back and thinking that since I have shot Nikon for a long time I should try to use some of the lenses I already own before I plop down money on a housing, ports, strobes AND ANOTHER LENS. ^_^

     

    I already own the following Nikors 10.5, 12-14, 28-70 and some others that seem to be dove by others frequently. I am tempted by but do not own the 60mm macro.

     

    Wide angle has never been much of an option for the C-8080 with a DS-50, but since I have some wide angle lenses for the D200, I have wondered if I should try to get the larger flashes for the 10.5 and 12-24. Unless I am mistaken, I am hesitant to go this route because I expect wide angle shots to be a lot harder to compose and get good results than fish potrait and macro. Am I wrong or should I just get a 60 and live with that for a while?

     

    It was a great day for me when I sold my 200's (old model) and bought the DS125s. The weight and size difference makes a big difference both traveling and diving. I like the faster recycle time of the 125 and your arms don't need to be tightened near as much.

     

    Particularly the new NiMH batteries for the 125s make a big difference in the number of shots your get.

     

    I didn't really notice the lesser power of the 125. Seems like a non issue to me.

     

    I am really leary that a really heavy rig will make me regret the DS-200. How have your DS-125's performed at wider angles?


  9. I have 2 DS125's and they are just right, I also have a 200 but never use it. Oh and by the way $819 is expensive, try Ryan Canon, great guy and quick service and most important way cheaper!!

     

    http://www.reefphoto.com/index.php?main_pa...75bffd1f09b289a

     

    The price I listed and linked were for a strobe package that included battery, smart charger, ball and soccet arm system and sync cord. Adorama appears to have lower prices than Ryan Canon.


  10. I have been looking at the DS-200 or DS-125 for a matching dual strobe setup, but I have seen a number of comments on the size/weight of the DS-200 that leads me to believe that it may not be worth hauling around. What are you opinions of the DS-200? Is the light output of the DS-200 superior to the DS-125 in wide angle, portrait and macro? Is it enough to justify the difference and when?

    Adorama

    DS-125-2.75 lbs-$819

    DS-200-3.90 lbs-$1,299.95

     

    Total 2.3 lbs and $961.90 difference in a dual strobe setup. My wallet definitely feels the difference, but what else. ^_^

     

    Thanks for you input. Donations accepted.

     

    Jeff

     

     

    If possible, please refrain from bringing other brands of strobes to the discussion. I wish to keep on the Ikelite path for now. No offence intended to Inon and other strobe fans.

    Sorry I thought I posted this under the strobe and lighting section. Shows you should not try to work and post.


  11. Hi

    Does anyone know what the largest capacity CF card an olympus c-5060 can accomodate? I have a 1 gig but will be doing some extended traveling.. So I'd like to pick up 2 8GB cards.

     

    The manual is no help, but Lexar lists the camera as being FAT-32 compatible. Anybody have any experience? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

     

    I cannot speak to the 5060 but I have put an 8gig CF card in the 8080 without any issues. You might want to verify you have the current firmware loaded (the current firmware for the 5060 is v756-81) and format the card using the camera.


  12. I currently own a Oly C-8080 in an Ikelite housing with DS50 strobe. It is in mint condition and I have not been diving recently. I have a trip coming up this June and am getting ready to tune up and was considering (ok, I am always considering) upgrading some equipment. I just do not currently see much in the new and improved camera arena for diving purposes. I believe the lack of RAW on most advanced P&S cameras is a very limiting factor when diving.

     

    The 8080 has performed well but does write RAW files slowly. The SP550 looked promising but that long lens looks like it might be a problem to house (if Ikelite produces a housing before June). I saw the AA battery option and thought what the *&^*!!# were they thinking. I know I can get the rechargables, but I prefer dealing with one higher quality battery. How much faster can the SP550 write a RAW file?

     

    What would you do to upgrade?

    1. Is there a better P&S rig?

    2. Keep the 8080 and get a bigger strobe?

    3. Get a 2 handle tray and add a strobe? (which strobe?)

     

    I have avoided housing my DSLR, but this may be something I do down the road. I just hate tripling the cost and doubling the luggage, then wind up diving with a fixed lens. I enjoy this stuff but I have a lot to learn before I spend that much money.

     

    http://www.pbase.com/jeff_edwards_tx/cozumel_2005


  13. Just got a Coolpix 5000 and was researching the larger compact flash cards. The Nikon book does not list anything larger than 10x 160mg in their book. Might be due to the larger cards being newer.

     

    Anyone using larger compact flash cards (256mg and up) that are listed as faster ie: 16x.

     

    The industry seems all over the map on standards and it is rapidly changing. I just don't want to get burned buying a couple of expensive cards that do not work with the camera.

     

    [Edited on 2-2-2002 by tx51210]

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