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wwu123

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About wwu123

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    Sea Nettle
  1. So my wife and i have been out of diving for a while, had a kid 7 years ago and no more scuba trips. But I do have the opportunity on an upcoming business trip to spend about four days diving, so planning to go to Tulamben for wreck and muck diving. I have an aging but sturdy D70s Ikelite housing and DS51 strobe setup. It's worked reliably in the past, never flooded. I've had a D7000 camera for several years, and saw a good deal on a brand new Ikelite D7000 housing, about 35% off retail. My strobes and old ports (60mm, 105mm, Tokina 11-18) should all be compatible, since this is still their legacy FL (four lock) system. It's still over $1000 for the new housing though. I noticed that Ikelite has in recent years introduced their DL housings and DL dry-lock port system. Question is, is it worth it to upgrade from an ancient camera to a slightly less ancient - but still aging - camera, with the legacy FL system? I expect that after this trip, I may only have a couple of dive opportunities in the next few years, but as my kid gets older we'll be able to go to vacation places where my wife and I can dive again, and eventually my daughter will be able to dive after that. My worry is that by that point the D7000 will be pretty ancient, the Ikelite FL system may be pretty ancient history as well, and if I do start getting more diving trips, that I'd be wanting to upgrade regardless of D7000 vs D70s. Another question, the D7000 appears to be brand new - and comes with the orange tray handles. However, the orange foam has whitened somewhat, and I think this housing may have been manufactured 5-7 years ago and has been sitting in a warehouse for many years. I'm worried whether the o-rings and seals have become dry or brittle with that much time. I can do a dunk test, but I'll have no chance to test it at pressure or depth til I get to Indonesia. Do folks think it's leak integrity is still sound sitting for many years? (Similar could be said for my current setup, but at least I don't worry if I flood my D70s at its age.)
  2. Hi, I've been using a 60mm macro with my D70s in an Ikelite housing the last several years, autofocus only. I just recently picked secondhand up the Nikon 105mm 2.8D and the corresponding Ikelite port 5508.05 (traditional-style not modular) with manual focusing knob. I'm mainly planning on using it in autofocus, as I wasn't searching specifically for the version with the knob. I have an upcoming short diving trip, and was curious about experimenting with the focus knob, but am pretty unfamiliar with both the lens and port. I also understand there may be multiple versions of the 105mm, some with M/A or M, but mine only has M or A. -manual focus - what should be the settings for the camera body (M or A), and lens (M or A, limit or full) -fine-tuning autofocus - is it not possible with my lens? When I have the lens set to A, the manual focus ring is disengaged, and the knob doesn't do anything. -switching from M to A underwater - also not possible with my lens? I think maybe this port may have come with another loose ring or sleeve originally, but I do not have it. I've seen it mentioned only in a few web pages dating to 2006 or 2007.
  3. Upgraded to Ikelite's modular port system and have the old style ports still lying around? Let me take your old 5505.5 flat port for the 105mm macro off your hands. Located in San Francisco bay area; willing to pay reasonable shipping from other parts of the USA. Warren
  4. Sorry to take this thread slightly off-topic, but could the Tokina 10-17 mm be used with a 1.4X TC and the longer 5503.5 pictured in the first post? As can be seen, this port is about 1" longer than the 5503, while the teleconverter increases length about 0.75". So the lens will be about 0.25" off from where it would be with the standard configuration. I was wondering if the nodal point will be too far off the optimal distance, and what effect that would have on the quality of the images - e.g. blurry corners, vignetting, etc.
  5. We've bought scuba stuff at Aqros' shop in Shibuya, a major shopping area. The store is not too far from the station. Their price on Sea & Sea stuff has been good compared to the U.S.; we bought a S&S strobe and arm set there. Looks like the price is about $900 US. Also like many Japanese stores, they have a point card system where you earn a percentage of your purchase as credits on a future purchase. You can't use it on the original purchase, but I think at Aqros we were able to use it on an accessory purchase on the same visit. I think the website indicates 5% points on the DX-1G, so net price really is more like $855. My wife lived in Tokyo until we got married. We still buy some stuff on visits; in particular we've found better fitting masks for Asian faces from Gull and TUSA than the ones in the U.S. Also interesting to check out the styles there - yes, most Japanese divers are women, and wetsuits come in many colors like pearly white, pink, or aqua blue rather than tech-diver black. The TUSA mask I bought there was intended for a small female face - I picked black, but there's a little cartoon dolphin and stars in the corner of the glass
  6. Funny, I had to clean about three or four cat hairs off the main seal o-ring's on the first few days of the trip to Bonaire I just returned from. I know they're from my curious tabby because they have this agouti ticking (banding) pattern. However, the cat hairs were long, stiff and straight, so it was easy to see and pick them off - it's the much thinner wrinkly cotton fibers that seem to stick against the o-ring that scare the heck out of me when I find them wrinkled up on the o-ring...
  7. Another endorsement here for the brand-new Kasawari Lembeh resort, where I just got back from staying for four nights. I haven't stayed at the KBR or Lembeh Resort, which are closely priced, so I can't make a direct comparison, but the service and facilities were fantastic for the price for my expectations for a boutique dive resort, even more so for one that effectively operates like a luxury "land-based liveaboard". Even better right now everything is brand-new - my usual expectation of dive resorts as they age is that anything that can't hold up to daily seawater-soaked gear eventually is replaced by spartan rattan furniture. The villas are very nice for this price range, with a modern Asia sensibility and decor - typically clean geometric lines, dark stained wood, with a Thai cushion here and a flower bud there. Fluffy pure white down comforter with silk runner on the bed. Amazing marble and sandstone bathroom that I'd again not expect in a dive-only resort, though designed in a way I think will hold up very nicely over time. (The bathroom was frankly nicer than the one in the recently renovated Mandarin Oriental hotel in Singapore where we stayed on the way back.) Wonderful pure white fluffy towels, changed as often as we wanted them, and lots and lots of hot, hot water for showers. Pajama robes for sleeping and indoor slippers, so you don't have to track dirt from your booties or shoes into the room. Food was good, not exceptional, but very good by "dive resort standards". Everything cooked when ordered - no buffets here - and carefully presented. They were out of prawns when I was there, so the menu was a bit more limited, but a decent mix of Western and Asian flavors. I'd say overall all the dishes had a more Asian tilt, as certain spices or flavors common in Western cooking were very subtle or not used - e.g. black pepper, mayonnaise, mustard, tangy cheeses. Diving was really structured as I mentioned like a land-based liveaboard (I understand most of the other Lembeh resorts are also similarly excellent in this regard), and I'm somewhat speculating on this as my wife and I can get seasick and so we've never done an actual liveaboard. Very convenient facilities for your gear and camera equipment just a minute from the boat dock, not that you ever had to carry it back and forth yourself. The only other place I've stayed that made it so convenient to dive was the CoCoView in Roatan. Usually my wife is done after two dives, but here she did every single dive over 3 1/2 days. I thought it was even a bit of overkill that to do Jahir, the house reef, we'd actually all get into the boat and motor out for one minute. Camera room has individual workstations with 120 and 220 V power, fresh towels, lint-free (I think) tissues, compressed air, and a basket system to carry your gear back and forth from the boat. Satellite internet was just up and running when we got there, with wireless access from all villas - about two-way 100-200Kbps and no latency. A lounge off the dining room with satellite TV, DVD player, and lots of new dive books and magazines. Dive guides and service staff were all very professional, I think some have had some years of experience at the other Lembeh resorts. I also met the owner-brothers, who were both there at different times, and they were both very friendly and genuinely interested in any suggestions or improvements for the place, but we really had none we could think of. All in all a great stay.
  8. I've been shooting half the time here in Lembeh with my backup P&S camera, and that's been giving me some good shots when I can manage the backscatter. The other half of the time I've been experimenting with the D70s with a dive light and the ISO set really high. First I tried a regular dive light but the spot was too concentrated and hot, and hard to position anyway. Then the only other divers at the Kasawari resort lent me their HID focus light, and that gave a good diffuse beam; however, at ISO 800 and shutter set to 1/100 to avoid hand shake, I was only getting F4.5 to F5, not enough depth of field for me to get most things fully in focus. Tomorrow I might try ISO 1600, shutter 1/60, and exposure comp -0.7 (correct later in Photoshop) to get more aperture and depth of field. Thanks for all the tips. I tried testing the strobe today after letting it sit for a few days, and tomorrow is my last day anyway so what the heck. It still powers on even in off, however, it gives the ready light and TTL to the camera, and no flash goes off when I press the shutter. Seems like most of the damage is in the battery compartment. About giving it a good rinsing and cleaning - I did rinse it out with fresh water a bit, but not too long since I wasn't sure the electronics were fully sealed off, but is it OK to give it a good long saoking with the battery compartment completely open? Also I'm finding it hard to reach down to the bottom where most of the remaining gunk is around the springs. I noticed there are two screws down there, perhaps to hold down the metal contacts and springs - do those screws allow me to remove the contacts? Is there a way to remove the metal pole in the middle that the door screws into? By sheer coincidence the other divers here at the Kasawari live only 10 miles from us back home in northern California; their trip is comped since one of them won a dive photo contest in Monterey. Small world to find neighbors more than 8000 miles from home!
  9. Disaster strikes on the third day of my first trip with my new D70s Ikelite setup - my DS51 strobe has flooded in the battery compartment. Sadly the biggest loss is this is right before I'm about to head over to the Lembeh portion of my Manado trip, where I was looking forward to shooting with my new 60mm macro lens. Is there any way to use the internal flash so I can use the camera somewhat? There is enough room in the housing for it to pop up a little. My alternative is to finish the trip with a small compact backup camera. On to later issues, can the legendary Ikelite service provide some sort of refurbishment service at a reasonable cost for what is presumably user error, or is my 3 week old strobe toast? I assume it was user error, though I'm not sure if I screwed the door on too tight or maybe not enough. It was definitely a small leak, as I saw no trace of bubbles, but as the batteries disgorged themselves during that dive, my only warning was brown staining that slowly appeared like thin algae growth around the outside of the door. The strobe continued to fire valiantly during the dive, and even now seems like the circuitry powers up - unfortunately it also powers up to ready even when the switch is in the off position. I'm afraid to hook it up to the camera for fear of damaging my camera. At the very least the battery contacts have lots of acid corrosion that needs to be refurbished. The o-ring looked fine after I cleaned up all the battery gunk. I couldn't see anything physically defective; all I noticed is that the one corner of the door that is cut to show how to orient it is cut so close to the o-ring channel that the plastic is translucent there (about thick as a sheet of paper), which I noticed when removing the o-ring afterwards, and I think when the batteries were melting the heat or outgassing frayed this thin plastic edge.
  10. Thanks, I did indeed order the DS-51 and it is on the way. I've used manual mode before on another system, and I'm expecting that I may need to use it to gain more control over the lighting. I'm curious why you felt it was easier to use manual mode on the DS51 - was it using the "analog" dial over the "digital" buttons on the housing? Also maybe someone could help me understand flash exposure compensation with i-TTL, as I'm still learning to use my new D70s. As I understand it the Ikelite housing, in i-TTL mode, will allow me to adjust the i-TTL flash intensity in several 1/3 EV steps using the two buttons in the left-bottom of the rear of the housing. The camera also has a flash exposure compensation button below the built-in speedlight on the left front - this supposedly also allows 1/3 EV steps with externally connected flashes. Since I have an all Ikelite i-TTL setup, are these two redundant? Does one override the other, or do they add together if used simultaneously? Is it better to use one over the other (after reading another post about a single drop of water getting in through a pushbutton and causing corrosion, perhaps I should lean towards using the camera's flash exposure compensation, since those use rotating dials on the Ikelite housing rather than push-in buttons...)?
  11. Thanks all, it seems either would work for me. It turns out though, that the new DS50 packages still available come with the TTL slave sensor, not the TTL sync cord, so there's no reason not to get a DS51. The manual control on the DS51 may come in handy in the future if I need to use it with some different setup or housing, and if I use manual on the current setup, I'll probably find it more convenient to "dial" in the intensity than to use the digital buttons on the housing.
  12. Thanks for the sage advice; I guess I probably should've more accurately worded my question as "Will this port fit any of these lenses", as these are the lenses I am interested in. I'm understanding a lot more about the how the lenses and ports must match now, and it seems this dome port is not really a match for most of these. I did conclude the 60mm lens fit most closely with the fish portraits I mostly do, and will also let me get more into macro shots, so I picked up both a lens and port on eBay. Plus it sounds like decent prime lens for topside portraits to complement my existing zoom lens. Interestingly enough I tried to squeeze my Tamron 18-200 ultrazoom into the long dome port; it's a tight fit but it can zoom from 18 to about 70 mm without hitting the dome (including accounting for a requisite +4 close-up lens). It also protrudes far enough that there's no vignetting at 18mm. I know this wouldn't be a quality setup one would normally choose for underwater, but since I already have all these pieces and would't be buying a wideangle setup right now anyway, I might experiment with it on a dive or two. It focuses fine from 18-70 on land, but I'm not sure underwater whether you can extend the lens all the way to the dome and still get focus.
  13. There are still a few stores selling new DS50 TTL strobe/arm packages, and they are cheaper than equivalent DS51 TTL packages, or else come with the better ball/socket arm system for the same price. I'm looking for one to use with the Ikelite D70 i-TTL housing, and I understand both will do i-TTL the same. As I understand it, is the only difference between the DS50 and DS51 the manual control knob on the DS51. I was worried that the DS50 wouldn't give me manual control if I needed it, as the TTL packages don't come with the manual controller, however as I read about the i-TTL features of the housing, it appears the conversion circuitry also has a manual control mode that provides 8 manual settings. So is the DS51 manual knob redundant with the i-TTL housing, or does it still provide some desirable intensity range in addition to or in place of the manual settings in the housing?
  14. Hi, I'm new to this forum, and am making the jump to DSLR by buying someone's Ikelite D70 housing and port. The port that comes with it is a #5503.80 domed port, and I'm trying to choose a lens that might go with it. It seems a compact zoom would what the port is designed for, but it also seems a fixed macro lens would also physically fit inside. I'm new to this whole ports thing, so a few questions: 1) The Nikkor 60mm micro seems like a good macro and portrait lens, and Ikelite says it fits the #5503.50 dome port, which is 1" shorter than the #5503.80. Aside from the fact that a flat port gives more magnification for macro, is there a downside to using a dome port with this lens? Would there be any optical problem with the additional length of the longer dome port, such as cutting off the edges of the frame? Or would the main downside of the additional 1" of length of port be that it sticks that much closer to your subject, already intruding on a fairly short working distance? 2) The Nikkor 105mm micro is not listed as being compatible with any dome port, but it fits into a 5.5" long flat port. Is there a reason why it doesn't work inside a long dome port? 3) The D70 18-70mm kit lens (which I also don't have), fits the #5503.55 dome port, which is 1/2" shorter than the 5503.80. Again, would there be problems using a slightly longer port? 4) Finally, on to zoom lenses that Ikelite says actually fit this port, the Sigma 28-70 2.8 seems recommended by several folks here, so perhaps the right choice. Does anyone here know if the Tamron 28-75 2.8 would be similar in quality and features? 5) Lastly, probably a really odd question, the reason I ask about the Tamron that both compact zooms require a +4 diopter closeup lens according to Ikelite. The Tamron uses a 67mm filter size. I'm trying to see what I can adapt from my P&S accessories. Does anyone know what would happen if you screw a UCL-165 or PCU-01 which are +6 diopter WET closeup lens onto the lens INSIDE the port? Both are apparently nice high-quality two-element wet lenses, but have a curvature that assumes water between the port and lens, and also contact with water. Sorry for the beginner questions. I'm sure some things might get a lot more intuitive once I actually have the housing in hand and can start playing with it, but I have about three weeks before an upcoming dive trip and want to have sufficient time to order whatever I might need. Thanks!
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