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markdrayton

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Everything posted by markdrayton

  1. Hi Tomek P, Wet lenses of a given strength have a proportionately greater effect in reducing the close focus distance of longer focal length camera lenses (I won't go into the optical mathematics!). The Sony e mount 30mm macro lens has a very short focal length and somewhat wide angle of view for a macro lens for an APS-C sized sensor camera. You would therefore not expect a wet lens to reduce close focus distance by much. DSLR users usually find wet diopters most use with 100mm or 105mm macro lenses. There is also a practical issue when using the Sony 30mm macro lens underwater. The close focus distance is already very close (it has to be because of the relatively wide angle of view) which means that subjects already need to be very close to the port glass making good lighting and avoiding touching or frightening the subject challenging. A wet lens can only make that even worse. For macro on the Sony NEX series, a +5 or so wet lens works quite well with the 18-55 kit lens at it's maximum zoom (55mm) in the absence of another satisfactory alternative for underwater use. The long awaited Zeiss Touit 50mm macro will give 1:1 at it's closest focus distance without a wet lens and will provide a bit more working room that the Sony 30mm macro. It will be in the shops any day now. We wait to see whether or how it is supported by ports from the underwater housing manufacturers. Mark
  2. I am selling my Nauticam NA-D7000 housing for the Nikon D7000 dSLR, as I have upgraded to another Nikon dSLR and new Nauticam housing. The housing is in excellent condition. The only marks are some minor scratching on the base where it has been stabilised on the bottom for those low angle shots (see photo). It has never been flooded and all buttons and levers work perfectly - it has been well cared for and thoroughly rinsed after each dive. The housing comes with balls for mounting strobe arms, a lanyard, spare o rings and instructions. The standard viewfinder has never been in the water as I use a 45 degree accessory viewfinder (not for sale). The D7000 is an excellent camera and the NA-D7000 is a highly ergonomic housing for it. Sorry, no ports or extensions as I use these with my new housing. The housing is in the UK. Underwater Visions in the UK currently sell the new version housing (NA-D7000V) for £2,439.95 and Reef Photo and Video for $3,300 in the US. I will be putting the housing on eBay in a few days time, but if any Wetpixel members are interested, I would sell for £1250 plus carriage at cost. I will also be selling my D7000 body (£420) if the housing buyer is interested. Send me a private message if you are interested or need more information. Mark
  3. Hi Rob, What a beautiful and varied set of insect super-macros. The colours and separation from background are great. My only constructive criticism would be that in one or two only (including the attached image), the eyes do not appear as crisp as I would have liked. In my view, you will rarely get away with the eyes not being the sharpest point in the image. In the attached image, perhaps slightly greater depth of field would have helped? And possibly the focus point a touch further back? Regards, Mark
  4. I have just come back from the Red Sea with my bulkhead Housing Sentry equipped housing. I strongly support the reassurance that the flashing green light provides although of course this is no substitute for careful assembly procedures. After one rather rushed equipment change in my hot and dark resort room, the housing was de-pressurised but it seemed to take longer than usual to reach the green light pressure. As I put the housing into it's carry bag a few minutes later, the flashing changed to red. Reassembly of all the o rings traced the probable leak to salt crystals on the main housing o ring/seating, with no subsequent problems on re-cleaning and reassembly. I believe that in all probability, Housing Sentry saved an expensive flood and a disappointing photography trip. No matter what we all believe about our own careful and methodological procedures, we are all susceptible to human error, especially when under pressure or in suboptimal conditions. A quick plug for Housing Sentry - I discovered that the electronic module was not functioning properly during preparations shortly before this trip. An exchange of emails between myself, Bill and Mary at Underwater Camera Stuff led to the electronics speeding back across the Atlantic, being repaired (threshold components replaced), exhaustively tested and express couriered back to the UK FOC, all in 8 days door to door. Remarkable service and back-up for their kit. Mark
  5. Hi sasdasdaf, You have to remove the rubber grip from the lens focus barrel first. Slip the corner of a credit card or an o-ring remover under the rubber ring to carefully ease it up. Clip the inner part of the lens gear where the grip came off with the slightly wider end facing outwards. This acts as a stop to the main part when you slide this over. Mark
  6. I have made the same transition, but with a D90 (unhoused), D7000 and D7100 along the way. I started with an Ikelite housing but have used Nauticam housings for the last 30 months. My thoughts: Housing: Ikelite housings are good value for money and do the job, but there are advantages to a modern aluminum housing that in my view justify the increased price if the budget will stretch: Far superior ergonomics in use Somewhat less bulky and heavy when handling and travelling Most come with the now more prevalent and reliable fiberoptic connections for triggering and TTL strobe control Most other housing manufacturers have improved port locking mechanisms than the less than reassuring Ike locking mechanism, especially when on the surface where so many floods happen Many other housing manufacturers have easier to use and therefore safer housing back catches The standard Ikelite viewfinder is in my view quite poor, but just how difficult it is to use may depend on your own eyesight. Other manufacturers make accessory magnifying viewfinders for which adapters are available for Ikelite. At least one manufacturer (Nauticam) make an adapter to take Ikelite ports to make the upgrade pathway less financially painful. Lenses: The 60mm Micro is a great lens. None of the other lenses you mention are truly wide angle under water on a DX sensor camera. They possibly come into the category of jack of all trades but master of none. The Tokina 10-17mm (fisheye) remains an excellent choice wide angle for image quality and some zoom flexibility as long as you don't mind the fisheye distortion (or straighten this up in post processing). It works well with a 100mm/4 inch mini-port which is another advantage for travelling. VR is not very important at the wide-angle end of the range, especially when using strobes rather than available light. Even for macro, VR is not optimised for the sort of movement that happens underwater, and water mass/viscosity provides some mechanical dampening against the higher frequency shake for which VR is designed. However I do keep VR switched on for lenses which have it, for what it is worth. Strobes: The DS125's are first class and quite powerful strobes. However they are extremely bulky and heavy and this is compounded if you take spare proprietary battery packs and the equally bulky charger. They are not great for travel. In addition, they only work with electrical trigger and Ike TTL. The former has a reputation for lower reliability and requires comparatively bulky electrical sync cords. The latter limits the flexibility of their use. Inon and Sea and Sea make a range of modern strobes which are light in weight, use rechargeable AA batteries which require widely available compact fast chargers and which will trigger and provide TTL optically with a very wide range of housings and cameras. Of all these things, I think it was using an accessory magnifying viewfinder that make the greatest difference in my upgrade path, My two cents worth, Enjoy the great D7100! Regards, Mark
  7. Large slotted screwdriver, with blade covered in insulating tape to avoid damage to the anodising of the fitting. I couldn't get enough purchase with a coin (no pun intended). Mark
  8. For Sale this Nauticam Macro Port. It has an external 67mm thread if you want to add a diopter for super-macro and also has an accessory cold shoe for fitting a focus light. It will suit the Nikon 105mm VR macro lens. I have also used it successfully with the 60mm micro Nikkor (you loose a little subject to port distance). I am selling as I now use the Macro Port 60 and add an extension when using the longer 105 lens to save a little on travel weight. The port is in first class condition having been used for perhaps 3 or 4 weeks diving and carefully looked after. No abrasions on glass or body. Comes with the O ring and protective front and rear caps. Original box not present but I will pack well. In UK. Cost £GB 150 + P&P. This is almost half the UK cost new! Mark
  9. This adapts either the 180 or 45 Nauticam Viewfinders to Ikelite's DSLR Housings. In original Nauticam box. If you have an Ikelite DSLR Housing with the standard viewfinder you really need to upgrade to a proper viewfinder. I am selling my 180 Nauticam viewfinder in a separate thread here. I am selling because I now use a Nauticam housing and 45 viewfinder so don't need either straight viewfinder or the adapter. In excellent condition. In UK. Price £GB 30 plus P&P Mark
  10. For Sale this 180 Nauticam Enhanced Viewfinder. Comes with original Nauticam box, neoprene bag and protective lens caps either end. Has been used for perhaps 4 weeks dive holidays. Carefully looked after - no scratches on optics or body. Only selling as I now use the 45 degree Viewfinder and so it doesn't get much use. Inexpensive adapters are available from Nauticam for a range of housings apart from their own. This makes an excellent upgrade for anyone who just has a standard viewfinder. I have for sale an Ikelite adapter in a separate thread here. It's in the UK. Price £GB 500 + P&P - virtually half the UK price new! Mark
  11. Hi Trevor, AFAIK, the Nauticam diopter adjustment does just the same thing as the adjustment on the camera viewfinder which is of course not accessible underwater. Useful if - the adjustment on the camera got shifted and you didn't notice before putting in the housing; you swap eyes and and your eyes don't require the same correction or your prescription mask doesn't quite correct equally each side; you lend your rig to someone else underwater. In practice I can't remember ever using the diopter adjustment underwater. As we get older (from about 40 on), our ability to shift focus from distance to close inevitably deteriorates - presbyopia - which is why most of us need reading glasses, bifocals or varifocals eventually. So I'm guessing it becomes more difficult to shift focus to the viewfinder image if this isn't at an optimal distance. I've read somewhere that SLR's typically present the viewfinder image at about 3 feet. The effects of presbyopia can also be mitigated by increased illumination which I'm guessing works by increasing our eye's depth of field although there may also be retinal effects. So a brighter viewfinder image - and perhaps a focus light - will also help. I found the standard viewfinder on the Ikelite housing I had at the time almost unusable and changing to a Nauticam viewfinder was a revelation! I can't compare with the Inon viewfinder as I've never used one, but I do have both 180 and 45 Nauticams (I think I've stopped using the 180!). If you would like to see what they are like compared with the Inon, I can bring them to BUPG on Tuesday evening - let me know. I doubt the diopter adjustment itself will be a big help unless your D90's integral adjustment is faulty, but I couldn't live without my Nauticam viewfinder, Regards, Mark
  12. UK diver / photographer AOW 200+ dives. Spending a few days unaccompanied in Bonaire this December and looking for a dive buddy to make the most of the underwater photo opportunities. Based at Capt. Don's. If I can find a buddy, that would make the shore diving possibilities much easier. Mark
  13. Hi John, Well I did apparently successfully repair mine last weekend. The original tape had left behind a bit of sticky so I polished that off. I made sure to assemble the casing so that the zoom setting dial registered properly. Then I applied a series of ~20mm lengths of 12mm width splicing tape starting with 4 pieces at 90 degrees to hold everything tightly together and then overlapping fill-in segments to ensure a good seal. Time will tell of course but it all seems ship-shape now and both rubber grip ring and Nauticam zoom gear fit OK. It would seem a shame to pay someone a lot of money and loose use of the lens for a period when self-repair seems so simple, Mark
  14. Thanks Bob. I expect that would do the trick but its thicker than the original tape which is very thin - polyester I expect. Also, I can't find a source of Gaffer tapes in the UK that promises no ooze/residue. Lots of sticky duct tapes available but I think they might leave a gooey mess. I might get some audio or film splicing tape and see if that is suitable. Mark
  15. Hi, I have had the Nauticam zoom gear/lens casing separation problem with my 10-17. It's nothing too drastic - it fits back together OK and works fine - but the black tape probably seals the electronics and optics inside from the ingress of dust. Have you re-taped yours together and if so what tape did you use? I don't want to use something that will leave a sticky residue over time. I haven't had the lens aperture problem with my D7000/10-17. Mark
  16. And me. Recently changed from a D80 Ike housing. The latter was perfectly acceptable but very clunky in comparison to the Nauticam which is a pleasure to use, especially with the Nauticam 180 viewfinder. Optical sTTL works well. I am much happier with the Nauticam port securing system - and the very easy new housing securing clips. I don't really miss being able to see the o-ring compress and the electronic leak detector is a reassurance. Essentially you get what you pay for, but if budget is limited, you can do the job with Ikelite (as long as you're happy with the quite limited standard viewfinder). Mark
  17. Hi Steve, Thanks. I've gone with a pair of new Inon Z240's with optical sync and TTL. More compact than my old Ike DS125's. So the only things I've rescued from the old rig are the Ultralight arms. Everything tried out and functioning in the dry. Unfortunately I'm not going to have time to fit a pool session in before flying out. I'll do a little trial submersion in the tub - and keep fingers crossed. If I end up inadvertently testing the leak detector you'll hear about it here! Mark
  18. Well, the day has arrived when I could pick up my new NA-D7000 housing from the delivery depot. It’s a great feeling to be an early adopter for once. Thanks Alsky72 (Alex Tattersall) for all the advice and for speeding the housing to me in the nick of time. I’ve been playing for 3 or 4 hours and I’m a happy bunny. This is my 4th housing – 2 previous compacts and one dSLR, all Ikelites, so this is my first experience of an aluminium housing. Here are a few first impressions from the comfort of my study. Firstly size: it fits the camera like a glove – a whole lot more manageable than a polycarbonate box and certainly more aesthetically pleasing. Then a peep inside – what a lot of fun it must be to engineer all those levers and gears to bring out the controls in an ergonomic and tactile way. The thought that there’s an awful lot to go wrong mechanically in there crossed my mind, but twiddling knobs and pressing buttons and levers revealed silky movements and virtually no play. Everything seems to have been assembled to fine tolerances and the controls have a reassuring feel. The camera slides in on a tray again with no play and locates securely and precisely. Very easy to take in and out for card or battery changes (although the tray has to come off to get at the battery). Then putting the two halves together. The back seats nicely with just a little jiggle to register onto the front. The o-ring sits in a nice groove and would be difficult to misplace or displace. Then a piece de resistance – the two housing locks. Just swinging in two levers secures everything almost with the pressure of a single finger. No more nightmares of engaging hooks and turnbuckles and trapping fingers. No more springing back open if you don’t quite push the catch home. The ports just push in with no drama and then another lever secures everything with reassuring rigidity and you’re set to go. All the controls seem to fall naturally to hand – just a bit of re-learning where the different functions now appear. After a few minutes it feels very natural and you almost wonder if Nikon got the controls in the right places on the body itself. In particular the shutter release feels excellent. I always had difficulty with my D80/Ikelite rig in finding the half-way focus point without firing off a premature shot. Having been through 3 different Nikon bodies, I have got rather used to using the top LCD window to adjust the settings – but there’s no window onto the top LCD in this housing so I’ll just have to get used to using the “info” button and large LCD screen which is much more readable anyway. Confusingly the instructions tell you how to set up the backlight on the top LCD to make it more readable – but it’s not visible in the housing. I haven’t figured that one out. The standard viewfinder doesn’t look too bad, but I already know that the Nauticam 180 Viewfinder is wonderful, especially for eyes that have passed their youth. I estimate it took me 30 seconds to swap between the viewfinders. The large accessory viewfinder does make it just a bit more difficult to see the back LCD but I imagine I’ll get used to that quickly. So that’s it. All packed up now ready for saltwater exposure in the Red Sea on Saturday. Only one problem. I don’t think I’ll be able to blame my limited underwater photographic skills on my equipment. Mark
  19. That makes sense Alex. I didn't know that the wireless control worked in the infrared spectrum - Hogan just says control through the pre-flash sequence. If the control is via the strobe tube as suggested by Hogan and not a separate emitter (and I don't see an IR emitter on my D7000), then I suppose the fiber-optics might negate infrared absorption in water. But that's all irrelevant if the strobes don't understand the control language. Mark
  20. Hi paquito, No, at present the only strobes I have access to are Ikelite Ds125's - electronically synch'd only until the Ikelite optical controller comes out in February. However I do see a pair of Z240's in my future, and thus the interest in the D7000's optical strobe controlling abilities. I'll have a look at the Sealife Digital strobes - I'm not familiar with them, Mark
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