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About kenashman

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  1. If the quenching isn't done in real time as the exposure is created, a digital system's "thru the lens" isn't the same as a film camera's "thru the lens". If the camera pre-meters the scene via a pre-flash, it may indeed be metered thru the lens, but to avoid confusing it with real-time TTL it makes sense (to me) to refer to it as D-TTL. I realize others may use different nomenclature - that's OK by me. Rand - I like the way the camera's strobe can be turned off on the CP5000. The hot-shoe is active, but the on-board strobe doesn't fire.
  2. Read the post above - you seem to be unclear on what I said. If it's "the exact same technology" the D180 with the PT house has one big advantage re auto exposure - it works! Are you and Jeff in business together ryan??? LOL! As for the Jeff's "expert" comment, John, I have to admit I felt the same thing...
  3. As I understand the term, "D-TTL" is a misnomer, referring to a "digital version of TTL" (which isn't "thru the lens" at all). The system - in this case within the D180 - pre-meters the scene , pre-determines the correct flash duration, and quenches the strobe accordingly. A "D-TTL" system pre-meters the scene and cuts the strobe at the point it decides will be the correct exposure. I think this is what the D180 does - and so I said so... jeff's "correction" seems besides the point about the relative merits of the various housings. He does seem to have a lot of knowledge of how the D180 works. My point re the D180 is that it DOES work.
  4. All I can say is yikes! You are certainly entitled to your opinion... As for "worth it" I think it's clear I said I would pick the PT. As for "D-TTL" - I guess it would make you feel better if I said auto exposure. (Of course, everyone can see it's exactly what I meant...) As for "expert" - I'd say, huh? I made it clear I only offer my opinion. (Glad you set things straight.) What's your agenda. jeff?
  5. This is an interesting discussion - it's good to hear from different people about how they see this issue. Personally, I think the super-low price of the PT house is a good thing all the way around. It gets people UW with a nice 5MP camera that can take great images. The biggest down-sides you face is the low-durability/short life-span of the box and no hard-wired strobes will work with it. (The housed Oly strobe being an exception with the PT-020, but it's not the greatest...) On another level, these housings are very nice. The camera's do have shutter lag, but their lenses are super versatile: you can go from WA to macro in the same dive. (Even more so if you have wet-change-able lenses.) They are also very compact. As a learning tool, they are ideal. You get started for cheap, and can take great images right away. Particularly for people who dive only occasionally, the PT houses make great sense. It a great option for starting out. As soon as you start adding strobes, things kinda change. I think the most salient difference in the house you choose, beyond durability, is the strobes you can use with it - and how they will work. Inon has a wonderful strobe for use with the PT houses. The D180 can do excellent auto exposures with it's fiber-optic system. (It takes-over the pre-flash function, giving you accurate D-TTL.) The D180 costs as much as the camera, however, and you can't hard-wire it - so to use it you will always have to have a clear plastic housing. If you go with the Inon Z220 you pay more AND have to give up D-TTL, but it will work both ways (hard-wired and fiber-optically). On the other extreme of the price scale is the Tetra for the 5050/5060. While it's not entirely accurate to compare only the list prices (street prices are lower) six to eight times more expensive is about right, depending where you buy. The Tetra is metal, very durable, and has circuitry built in allowing you to hard wire the sync cord and get perfect D-TTL exposures with many UW strobes - including the Z220. It also has a leak alarm. The strobes are controlled from the housing - no reaching for the strobe - very nice indeed. As other have said, LOTS of people who carefully compare the features and value between the PT house and the Tetra pick the Tetra. My first camera was a Nikon CoolPix 5000 and a Tetra box. It didn't do good D-TTL (like the 5050 and now 5060 does) but I used it on hundreds of dives and it took great images. The control features of the Light & Motion housings are a cut above the rest. Aquatica makes a great metal house for the CP5000 - for MUCH less than the Tetra - but you don't get some nice control features the Tetra provides. (On the other hand, if you use a dome with the Aquatica, you can use the Nikon 19mm WA. For many, this is THE nicest setup available in a "point & shoot" camera today.) The Ikelite house for the CP5000 is a couple hundred less than the Aquatica - but of course now you are talking about a plastic house. (Not that it's bad at all - but it IS bulkier.) It's only my opinion, but I don't think the PT holds a candle to any of these - but as an inexpensive start, by my way of thinking the PT wins the day. Personally, I think the days of the P&S digital cameras are (for many shooters) numbered for UW. There will always be people who want the compactness and versatility of the P&S option, but with the new Canon D-Rebel and Nikon D70, a new day is dawning in UW digital photography. For a relatively small increase in price (over a 5060 in a Tetra house) you can now be light-years beyond any of the P&S cameras - just take a look at the D-Rebel and the Aquatica A300 with its E-TTL! The exception is the 5050/5060 & PT. As much as I admire the Tetra, for my money I'd spend a little extra and get a DSLR - or I'd spend a LOT less and get the PT & 5050/5060. Note I say "for me" - for others the size/portability and lens issues might hold sway. My advice is to take a serious look at the DSLR options before deciding to spend $2000+ on a 5MP P&S camera and a house...
  6. Yes - the first ICU boards are being put through UW tests right now. (As a matter of fact, Ben has graciously agreed to be one of the UW testers! They are working perfectly in the table-top tests.) Once they are shipping, you will be able to buy them seperately. List price is $199. www.CaliforniaDigitalDiving.com
  7. Eric & James - Rita and I will be at DEMA - on Fri & Sat. It would be great to link up with both of you. I'll drop you an email. Ken
  8. FABULOUS! A wonderful find, Sandy! Great photos on the Bill Rudman's Sea Slug site - VERY cool!
  9. I used it for a while. The focus light that comes with the Tetra Travel Pacs is a nice little light - but it would probibly work better with a diffuser. (It has a real narrow beam.) Spot metering on the camera also helps - if the focus-spot is where you point the light...) It isn't very powerful, but it's fairly low-cost. (You can get the light, clamp, & mini-arm for -$50.) I find myself getting away from using a focus or pointer light, and instead going with manual focus. Especially for macro. I find it easier to preset my distance based on the composition I'm after, and then move the camera in or out to fine tune the focus as needed. I find I can (usually) determine correct focus faster and better than the CP5000 I'm using, and I don't need a light to do it. (Maybe this would be different if I had a better light, but I'm pretty happy with how doing it manually is going so far.)
  10. Last trip, I jumped in without my fins... first time ever. I realized my goof before I hit the water. (No problem, a helpful crewman threw them down to me.) As I prepared to submerge, I discovered my strobes weren't working. ("How is this possible?", I asked myself, "I JUST changed the batteries!?!" I swam to the stern and reboarded the boat, and while I stood there dripping wet, the same helpful crewman assisted me in sorting out the polarities on the batteries (yes, they had been put in backwards!) OK - all set to go! I stepped up to the gate, and just as I jumped, I realized something was AGAIN missing. Yes, - TWICE on the SAME dive! I had jumped in without fins... Does this put me in "first" place?
  11. When you are shooting your slugs, do you utilize the zoom?
  12. I used the standard CP5000 lens and flat port on the housing - no add-on lenses. As you know (I see you have one yourself) the Nikon has excellent close-focus ability.
  13. I'd estimate it was between 1.5" and 2" - the Orange Cup Coral (Balanophyllia elegans) - in the photo to the right - is commonly 1/2 to 1" across. The Slug Site has a great list of Pacific Coast Branchs with photos - I suggest browsing thru...
  14. Well, at least my slug did... David Behrens used my photograph of Berthella strongi as the illustration for this week's Branch Of the Week. Needless to say, I'm deeply gratified... and I learned a lot about B. strongi when I read his article! Here's a link to the BOW page of The Slug Site I think very highly of Behrens' book Pacific Coast Nudibranchs - and all the Sea Challenger Books. It's great to actually get to know him and Michael Miller a little. (Michael runs The Slug Site.) And here's some more of my slug shots: Channel Islands Nudibranchs More Channel Islands Nudibranchs
  15. I really like the Hermissenda crassicornis. Lot's of good stuff John!
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