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Everything posted by davec13o2

  1. Very interesting. Can you recommend a dive resort/operator with above average access to nudibranchs (if such a thing exists) and with guides skilled in hunting them? Thanks for any comments and experiences.
  2. I put Gorilla transparent, waterproof tape (Lowe's or Home Depot) over them, and add other labels like camera settings and useable lenses (without vignetting) on the ports. No edge lifting after several years, maybe 50 dives, and some intense sun exposure.
  3. I did some research on Hawaii in prep for a trip there next week (Oahu and Kona). I was in contact with a company called "Maui Dreams Dive Co" before making my final plans, which unfortunately, do not include Maui this time. They have experience with macro and recommended the backwall of a sunken crater just off shore called Molokini. The macro target of interest would be the Blue Dragon. Some of their staff are macro-knowledgeable. I snorkeled the inside of the crater years ago, and it was stunning. I've set up a shallow reef dive and a night dive with the company "Dive Oahu", recommended by friends. They're in the middle of Waikiki and offer pickups from the big hotels. Very responsive to emails and calls. They were not very encouraging about macro, but suggested looking carefully around the wrecks they specialize in. What drew me to their shallow reef dive was that it starts at a respectable 10:30 am; and it seemed like an easy way to get back into the water (requalified) after a year off. My impression was that most of the Oahu companies specialize in wrecks, to be expected from a major WWII site, so I wouldn't necessarily expect the guides to be adept at finding macro; and the several I spoke with didn't seem interested in my offer to hire a private guide for that purpose. Some companies on Oahu offer blackwater dives, but my schedule didn't match with the availability.
  4. Can you recommend a dive resort with knowledge of trips out to Mayan ruins? Planning on a trip late May-early June this year.
  5. Big Blue 2600 lumen with adapted Backscatter OS-1 snoot. Complete assembly. Front view of snoot adapter. Nylon retainer bolts Big Blue and snoot adapter, rear view. Groove forward of retainer bolts to accept snoot rubber retainer fingers. Snoot wide open, f/8, iso400, 1/80sec, range 10cm. Target circles 10, 20, 30, 50 cm diameter. Red beam with above conditions, 1/30sec Snoot aperture 5mm, f/8, iso400, 1/20sec, range 5cm for optimum beam focus on target.
  6. Well, I already have a high lumen video light that I paid $400 for, so I’m thinking of adapting the OS-1 snoot to it. In that case, I couldn’t justify the 4300 for wide angle video alone. I’m more of a stills shooter. Video seems too difficult to get good results in composition and post-processing. And then I began wondering how a macro subject would react under a concentrated light source. I had visions of it frying. In the end, I got the Backscatter flash and snoot, but couldn’t get it it trigger reliably, so sent the flash back and adapted the snoot to my Z330 in the interest of reducing cost and gear load.
  7. I adapted a Backscatter OS-1 optical snoot to my Z330 using a standard 4" PVC pipe coupler (sched 40) and machined ABS snoot connector. Snoot offset 0.5" from center, snoot attachment 2" from Z330 hood threads. Mini lathe required. The nominal 4" PVC coupler, when cut in half, gives a section 2" long with a 3.875" ID raised lip that fits snugly on the Z330 after a bit of scraping with a razor blade. The pipe coupler seats against the raised threads of the flash to keep the axis of the snoot square with the flash. Nylon screws at 3 points around the diameter hold the assembly snugly in place without marring the Z330 surfaces. Testing with a Sony a7Riii and 90 mm macro in a Seafrogs housing range to target 15 cm, OS-1 aperture 5 mm, range to target 7.5 cm.Fiberoptic trigger signal via UWTechnics fibroptic in TTL mode. TTL appears to control illumination over f5-16 although not as precisely as with wide angle. Sorry for the mixed units. PVC pipe adapter with machined ABS snoot connector, indexing nylon screw and nylon retaining screws. Groove at rear of slightly tapered connector accepts lips of snoot for firm attachment, as with the Backscatter Mini Flash. All parts fabricated with a Mini Lathe. Flat circular PVC glued to PVC coupler with standard cement. Black ABS snoot connector bolted with 4-40 from rear. Target location and framing light. Target rings 10, 20, 30, 50 mm diameter. Flash illumination. Target rings 10, 20, 30, 50 mm diameter.
  8. Interesting. Thanks for that. Oskar also mentioned that the LSD doesn't attenuate either the modeling light or the strobe very much from the 330.
  9. Hahahaha, what a stroke of luck. You mentioned the 18650, so I rushed to the garage and found I have a small light with that very battery (and a charger). Thank youuu.
  10. Thanks, Tim for the very informative remarks, as well as your comments I found in other posts. I have since found out from Oskar at Retra that the Z330 modeling light is angled inward (compared to the Z240), which he says helps with pointing accuracy. All things considered, I think I'll go with your suggestion of the LSD. Besides, I was a little dismayed that the single battery and charger for the MiniFlash have to be ordered separately.
  11. I've checked Google, Youtube, and the WP search. Lots of product announcements, but very little user comments. I'm hoping some users can reply here. Or if I've missed something already published, please send a link. 1. The snoot barrel is offset from the center of the strobe to better use the modeling light, so I assume transmission from the strobe lamps is reduced. What is the reduction? I believe someone on WP said 1 stop. 2. I assume the LSD screws onto the front of the Z330 like its rotating hood. I find it very difficult to unscrew the hood, even on land. How difficult is it to screw on/off the LSD, or practically speaking, should it just be left on during a dive? 3. Since the modeling light isn't coaxial with the strobe lamps, how accurate is it in pointing the main beam? 4. How much is the modeling light intensity reduced, and would it useable in shallow water under a bright tropical sun? 5. There was a discussion on WP about tradeoffs using a Backscatter Mini Flash/Snoot. It could be attached on a third arm, leaving the Z330s for WA. Is this the best alternative? Thanks for any comments. I would really appreciate it. Dave
  12. Hi Alex, I got to this ad too late. But I have a question I hope you can help me with. Is the barrel of the snoot offset over the modeling light of the Z330 so it can be used for aiming/framing. If so, is the modeling light still useful; and how do you like the unit in general? Thanks, Dave
  13. Thanks, Chris Good points. I'll give it more thought. Dave
  14. Does anyone have comments on using this light? I'm thinking it would be a good replacement for my focus light, also doubling for the occasional video.
  15. Yes, very hopeful, thankfully. I've seen similar news releases, and waiting for the official publications. But there is tentative agreement on the 85% reduction for combined asymptomatic and symptomatic infection (as opposed to 95% for symptomatic only). And among vaccinated people who test positive, their viral load is reduced by 4-fold, meaning much less infectious. Who knows, maybe we'll be able to travel knowing that there is low risk we'll be infected or we'll infect others, while waiting of course for the peer-reviewed journal articles to come out. Of course, low risk doesn't mean zero risk.
  16. We’ll be visiting my MD son in Hawaii soon. They require an NAAT (nuclei acid amplification test), which we will get, or quarantine for 2 weeks. NAAT tests for active infection, at a cost of $150. They do not accept PCR which tests for antibodies that could have been produced by prior infection. I heard a report that no one in any country who has had a vaccine has had a serious COVID infection. So, with vaccinations and an NAAT test you should be safe and likely not a carrier. Of course, to be absolutely sure it would be wise to wait for peer reviewed published journal studies.
  17. Very interesting article. Of course we need careful studies and definitive data, but one comment toward the end is encouraging, “In other words, symptomatic people comprise the lion's share of COVID-19's spread.” And asymptomatic people having gotten the vaccine would be much less infectious?
  18. Where will you be staying and for how long?
  19. Do you have any recommendations for resorts? I'm also interested in macro with the occasional pelagic boat trip. Thanks
  20. Greatly enjoyed your writeup and stills/video. And appreciated your comments about Covid as a good data point. Any issues with getting camera gear through customs at Cabo San Lucas?
  21. I agree. I would not go to a destination with an unprotected population (without vaccine) even if I had mine. That is, unless it has been proven that I could not be an asymptomatic carrier after vaccination. That could be a while to determine. In the meantime, I also agree that if vaccination becomes widespread enough such that local trips would be safe, then that's what I would do. There's plenty to see off the US coasts. I did call Philippine Airline for a trip to Cebu, but they're closed to travel by foreigners until mid-summer. I don't know about the vaccination schedule to protect their own population, which would determine whether I go. As an aside, in thinking about efficacy of vaccination, it seems to me that the purpose of it is to prevent virus multiplication, which is the definition of immunity. Nothing is 100% effective, so there would be some multiplication, just not enough to overwhelm the immune system. And in arresting multiplication, the viral load within the body would be low, greatly reducing the likelihood of spreading the virus to other people - there would still be the risk of spreading, but a much lower risk. Therefore, I would suspect that people with vaccination would present a low danger level, although that has not been proven definitively. But now there are the mutations to worry about. Well, I've already lost a year; and at age 78 I figure I have a couple to go before my diving career is over. Would be a shame to have to spend them watching videos of what could have been, although I do appreciate the work of the experts.
  22. I'm due for a second shot next month, and thinking of setting up a dive trip soon thereafter. Anyone else have the same idea?
  23. Miru, Good point. I'll give it a try. Nice Komodo shots - a good push to put it on my list.
  24. I tried out the Nimar led trigger with several strobes (YS-03 and Meikon ST-100) and several fiber cables (Sea&Sea and HowShot). It didn't work with any of the strobes and cable combinations. However, it would trigger the strobe if brought into contact with the strobe sensor, without a cable. Since then, I tried the above strobes, plus Z-330s, with the two cables and a UWTechnics trigger, which all worked fine with a single or dual cable attachment. Visually, the Nimar flash looks much weaker than from the UWTechnics. I can only conclude that the Nimar optical signal is too weak.
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