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markdrayton

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Everything posted by markdrayton

  1. Hi Mike, I currently have a D80 in Ike housing with dual DS-125's and 8" dome port. I use ULCS arms and with a 17-70 sigma lens, yes the system is slightly negative. I didn't find it a big problem, and prefer a bit of negativity, but there is a continuous turning moment as the dome tries to rotate upwards. I added Stix floats to the arms, and this reduces but doesn't entirely eliminate the effect with normal arm positioning. Mark
  2. All still available. If no interest as complete kits/lots, I will shortly be advertising the individual components on ebay, Mark
  3. To reply to my own question, the information I have gleaned from Thomas Hogan's writings is that the commander mode for controlling external strobes works wirelessly through the pre-flash sequence and is complex. Only a limited range of Nikon strobes can interpret these commands (and to an imperfect extent selected Metz and Sigma models). It seems highly unlikely therefore that any dedicated underwater strobes will have been reverse engineered to be fully wirelessly controlled in Nikon commander mode. Optical control therefore would seem to be limited to precisely mimicking the camera internal flash so that the camera isn't "aware" that it is controlling external strobes. I very much doubt that in commander mode set to fire pre-flashes only, that external underwater strobes would fire for the exposure flash. Mark
  4. Hi Alex T, Expanding on Alex M's reply, in manual flash mode accessed through the custom menu, you can dial down power to 1/128 and pre-flashes are not emitted. In this manual flash mode, it doesn't seem possible to put the camera into continuous drive mode (requires a separate button press for each exposure whatever drive mode is set on the dial). However the recharge time is all but instantaneous and is likely to be well under most strobe recharge times. I managed to get between 2 and 3 exposures per second but that is a reflection of how fast I can press the button rather than recharge time and might be a bit slower in a housing. I assume that in this mode external strobes trigger but output has to be adjusted manually. There is also a commander flash mode which is intended for controlling external strobes and it is this mode which I would assume might be best for use in a housing with external strobes? In commander mode, the internal flash has to be raised, but can be set to TTL, manual (down to 1/128 power), or to fire pre-flashes only and then nothing itself for the actual shot although remote slaves do fire. The same limitation on drive mode appears to apply for commander flash mode as for manual flash mode. I am not at the moment clear how the wireless control of external strobes in this mode works and so whether optical triggering and TTL control will work for third party underwater strobes. Others may be able to enlighten me while I try to find the answer elsewhere. However the bottom line in relation to Alex's original question is that it is certainly possible to dial down flash power on the D7000 to produce negligible recharge times. Of course all this is a bit theoretical as I don't (yet!) have a housing Alex. Mark
  5. Hi Guys, Please help an enthusiast raise cash for a new Nauticam/ Nikon D7000 / Inon Z240 setup! I have for sale three lots. I have a top-end compact system with a comprehensive set of wet lenses. This comprises Canon G9 camera, Ikelite housing, Extra Flat Port, Inon Wide-Angle, Inon Fisheye and Inon Macro. Perfect for someone who wishes to upgrade from an entry level point and shoot or an enthusiast who wants the flexibility of shooting macro and wide angle on the same dive (or doesn't want the bulk, weight and expense of a dSLR). Last used January 2010 in the Red Sea. In addition I have a Nikon D80 dSLR setup: D80 body in excellent condition, Ikelite housing serviced & upgraded by Ike early summer this year with the new port locking system, 8" dome port, flat macro port, a range of port extensions, gears etc. Only done 8 warm water and 2 cold water dives since upgrade & servicing. For lighting I'm selling a pair of Ikelite DS125's with strobe cords, rapid charger and an Ikelite strobe arm. I have photos and a more detailed description on UWPM's Classified site here (I hope I'm allowed to post link?): http://www.uwpmag.com/Classifieds.html Kit is in Cardiff, UK Anyone interested please email me on markdrayton@me.com Mark
  6. Ditto with the Ikelite D80 housing. A pleasure to use on a recent trip to South Africa in comparison with the original, which I had just about given up on. I didn't find installation too difficult, but have had to leave out the friction o ring to allow the viewfinder to project enough to fit the securing o ring on the inside. Expensive but I couldn't go back now. I made a short report some time back before taking it underwater: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showt...=d80+viewfinder Mark
  7. One of the problems I have had in migrating from a compact housed camera system (G9/Ikelite) to a dSLR (D80/Ikelite) has been a difficulty in properly seeing the image in the viewfinder. Having been used to reviewing the whole scene on a decent sized LCD held some way in front of my mask, I found it a challenge cramming my face up against the dSLR viewfinder, usually letting a bit of water into the mask in the process, and then seeing just a pokey bit of the central frame and having to peer around to review the exposure information. Evidently many others don’t seem to see this as a problem (pun intended) so perhaps it’s down to my advancing years, prescription lens mask, or just lack of practice. Whatever, the outcome for the last year has been a reversion to the compact system and the dSLR housing has gathered dust. I felt I couldn’t go on like this and having read praise of the new Nauticam 180 degree viewfinder, I took the expensive plunge of purchasing one together with an adapter for the Ikelite housing. Until the recent post “Nauticam Viewfinder and Ikelite 7d Housing warning” I hadn’t seen any reviews of this viewfinder in other than Nauticam housings, so I thought that a brief posting of my experience so far might be of interest. I should point out that this experience is to date entirely above water as my buddy has been banned from donning his dive gear until imminent end of year exams are completed. The adapter is nicely machined stainless steel and screws easily into the Ike polycarbonate housing, sealing with a single O-ring compressed against the milled recess on the outside of the housing. The viewfinder itself then piston fits into the adapter, sealing with two circumferential O-rings in grooves. The viewfinder is secured from slipping out by an internal O-ring captured in a groove and can easily be attached/detached for travelling. Externally there is an indexing plate with two small holes that serve to locate the viewfinder pins and keep the viewfinder square to the camera base. This plate is held in place by an external screwed nut. Another O-ring is supplied to go in a machined groove beneath the indexing plate and to provide smooth friction when adjusting the position of the indexing plate. Unfortunately here lies an apparent problem as either the O-ring is too fat or the groove isn’t machined deep enough, and with that O-ring in position, there’s no way the barrel of the viewfinder will project far enough through the adapter to get its internal securing O-ring on. All is not lost however as the adapter works perfectly well without the indexing plate O-ring. Perhaps this is just an initial manufacturing teething problem? As others have commented, the viewfinder itself is a very solid and quite heavy piece of kit and beautifully finished. There is a further minor snag when fitting the viewfinder to the Ike D80 housing which may or may not be problematic with other Ike housings. The viewfinder partially overlies the 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock direction pad buttons (see photograph). As supplied, the Ike 6 and12 o’clock buttons are longer than those at 9 and 3 and as the viewfinder is pushed home, the 9 o’clock button is operated. This is easily remedied by swapping out the long 9 o’clock button for one of the shorter ones elsewhere in the housing. This still leaves the two direction buttons partially obstructed by the viewfinder, which is not ideal, but my naked finger can adequately operate them. I think with a gloved hand that would be more problematic. The workaround here is to set the camera to “Focus Area Selection Wrap” (Custom setting #20) so that the obstructed buttons aren’t needed. The two command dials of course duplicate other controls that use the direction pad buttons. On the other side of the viewfinder, the clearance from the Exposure Mode Dial knob is minimal, but clearance there is and I don’t see that as a problem. However it does prevent the viewfinder from being mounted upside down to avoid obstructing the direction buttons. Now for the view. I have attempted to demonstrate the difference in view between Ike’s “Super-Eye Magnifier” (IMHO not so super and not magnified) and the Nauticam 180. The photographs below were taken through each finder with my Canon G9. All are reproduced at the same magnification/crop both with the Canon G9 lens virtually against each viewfinder guard and more realistically with a 12mm (~half inch) gap, representing eye to mask lens distance. These show the much better view with the Nauticam. For some reason I struggled to get the G9 to focus on the D80 screen image using the Ike viewfinder – not a problem using the diopter adjustment of the Nauticam viewfinder. I accept that these photographs may not be an entirely accurate representation of real life as my eye’s entrance pupil and that of the camera will be different. However these appearances do seem to accurately reflect what I see. In fact these images possibly underestimate the Nauticam advantage, as there seems to be greater flexibility of eye positioning without vignetting. Above: Viewfinder fitted Above: Nauticam Viewfinder view taken close to viewfinder guard Above: Nauticam Viewfinder view taken 12mm from viewfinder guard Above: Ikelite Viewfinder view taken close to viewfinder guard Above: Ikelite Viewfinder view taken 12mm from viewfinder guard I hope someone finds this useful. Mark
  8. Hi, I use the rubber/plastic strap wrenches. Maplin's in the UK sell them in the three pack quite cheaply (Rolson brand). They don't weigh much to pack for travelling. Mark
  9. Hi Paul, Yes that was us from the Sea Serpent. And thanks to the guys from Hurricane who came to help. "Spectacular" wasn't the language we were using as we were rolled over the reef. And yes I wish I had gone for the 8" dome first time around. Mark Hi Mark, Were you on Sea Serpent ? If so then I happened to be on Hurricane when it happened - it did all look quite spectacular from the outside! Anyhow you are far better off with the 8" dome - I had a few issues with the 6" and wide lenses. Paul C
  10. Oh man, my pulse went up reading this. cheers /christian I bet not half as high as mine did. Not an experience I want to repeat. Mark
  11. Sorry for posting a late reply - an earlier posting didn't appear to arrive! I have a D80, Ikelite housing and the Sigma 17-70 macro, and a nice versatile lens it is above and below the water. The story of the domes has been problematic. I purchased the 6" dome early this summer to use in Mexico. Partly to limit my expenditure, and partly to keep things more compact both for air travel and handling underwater. At that time the 6" dome was listed on the Ikelite website as compatible with the Sigma lens. Unfortunately the combination turned out to be unsatisfactory. At the wide-angle end of its zoom range, the 6" dome caused quite severe vignetting. Removal of the dome shade helped, but there was still unacceptable vignetting present. At that end of the range, the lens just sits too far back from the dome port. Zooming in a little solved the problem but that's not what I wanted. I also tried adding a 2x Diopter and this also solved the problem, but because of the limited port extension and big difference in length of lens when zooming in for semi macro's, the diopter crashed into the dome at that end of the range so also not satisfactory. On my return home, I drew the problem to the attention of Ikelite and sent them sample photographs. They agreed to part exchange my 6" for the 8" dome and stalk for the difference in new price. A day or so later, the website was amended to reflect the lack of full compatibility of the 6" port with this lens. I used the 8" dome a few weeks ago in the Red Sea and no compatibility issues whatsoever. The whole outfit was subject to quite severe trauma when our RIB was tipped over in surf as we were being recovered too close to the edge of Daedalus Reef. The camera which had just been handed aboard was thrown out and onto the reef and for a while I assumed it was lost in the turmoil. However it was found a few minutes later and eventually the team were recovered somewhat shaken minus various bits of kit - fins, masks, weights etc. with a punctured RIB and dead outboard motor. A large and expensive Gates video housing lost its light and arm. On later inspection, the Ikelite housing appeared undamaged but there were a few drops of water and condensation inside. Rapid action to dry everything out. The camera was fine. The dome had minor scratches, since polished out. Unfortunately the strobe synch no longer worked although the strobe itself seemed OK. However on return home, everything works fine again so I assume the problem was temporary dampness in the housing electronics. So the Ikelite housing proved remarkably robust - I suspect the few drops of water entered at the junction of dome stalk and housing. The catch and O-ring arrangement there doesn't seem very secure when on the surface. But the other conclusion is that the Sigma 17-70 and Ikelite 6" port is not a good combination. Mark
  12. Hi, I'm a novice here but thought I'd contribute my very limited experience with a D80/Ikelite setup. I have the Nikon 18-70 kit lens but also a Sigma 17-70 Macro. I bought the Sigma lens for its underwater versatility compared with the kit Nikon lens. Specifically its very close focus which gives it a (limited) macro facility. I was particularly influenced by Dave Harasti who has reviewed this combination very favourably. See his results here: http://www.ikelite.com/web_two/harasti_d80.html I haven't used the kit lens underwater and now it sits at home all the time whatever photography I'm doing. Unfortunately, finances limited me to the 6" port which was listed then on the Ikelite site as compatible. Mistake! A few hundred photographs in the Mexican Caribbean revealed bad vignetting with the Sigma at wide angle with this combination. Removing the shade only partly improved matters. Adding a 2x diopter did solve the problem but the added extension grazed the port at the macro setting. The problem seems to be the port extension needed to accommodate the macro end of the range which then places the 6" dome itself too far away to get the full wide-angle. Fortunately following discussion with Ikelite they have come up with the goods. They apologised and allowed me to trade up to the 8" port and have removed the 6" compatibility from their web dome chart. Excellent service. I expect that with the Nikon lens and its lesser extension but also less close focus this wouldn't be a problem. I do note however that Ikelite recommend a x4 diopter with this lens to keep the full zoom range. This isn't necessary with the Sigma which makes it a great versatile lens for both above and below water photography at a modest price. I really like the lens although admit I haven't experience with any other dSLR lens. Also the 8" port hasn't got wet yet. Mark
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