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Don Silcock

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Everything posted by Don Silcock

  1. STOP PRESS..... I just rebooted the computer and this time it is working fine and I can open files as required. So it must have been something I did when I installed the latest ACR last time! Operator error - again! Thanks a lot for the responses, greatly appreciated. Don
  2. Hi Woody, yes...I thought of that one myself and downloaded the latest RAW plugin from Adobe for CS3 and followed the instructions to remove the old file and install the new one etc. But to be 100% certain I did it again and installed ACR 4.6 in Common Files-Adobe-Plug ins-CS3-File Formats, but the problem is the same. It occurs will all file formats - soon as I go to "Open" the dialog box very briefly is seen and then dissapears again and the program seems to lock up. Don
  3. I am still using Photoshop CS3 and somehow I have managed to screw up the settings so that the only way I can open image files is from Lightroom - Edit In CS3, or from Bridge. If I do that I can work in CS3 with no problems. However if I try to open images directly in CS3, the Open file browser (very) briefly appears and then dissapears again, the software locks up and I have to go to Task Manager to shut it down. I have tried all sorts, but to no avail.... Any handy hints or suggestions? Don
  4. Well my Patima SB900 housing arrived this morning from FIT in Taiwan - initial impressions of the housing were very positive as it looks well designed & made and the SB900 fits into it very nicely. All the controls work well, but I could not get TTL when I plugged it into the D300 in it's Subal housing....then I remembered the manual/TTL jumper setting inside the housing and when I tried again - bingo iTTL!! Will play with it a lot more when I get to Tufi this weekend and update the post, wireless access allowing. Don
  5. Jean, thanks for this - I am even more intrigued now and can't wait to try out the new toy! I hope to be able to revisit this post while I am at Tufi, depending on the strength of the wireless connection.... Don
  6. Hi Jean, you made my day.... I ordered & paid for the Patima SB900 housing yesterday and should have it early next week before I leave for Tufi in PNG on the 13th. I am intrigued at the possibilities the SB900 & Nikon CLS offer underwater, but was a bit concerned that I have wasted more money to try it out! One question - are you using single or dual SB800's? If dual is the answer, how do you get them to fire together? Don
  7. Hi Rob, do you use an EXR with the DP54B and if so - what size? Don
  8. I have decided to sell my Ralf-Tech Travelight BCD as I have not used it much lately. Size M and fits a 40" chest (me...) amd is in very good condition. It's listed on Ebay - here is the link: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...=STRK:MESELX:IT The BCD is in Sydney, but I will ship to you at the cost quoted by Australia Post - no mark up... Don
  9. Alex, thanks very much for getting back to me on this - I greatly appreciate the feedback & encoragement. Points noted and I will be giving this another go in the fiords of Tufi, in PNG later this month. More to follow.... Don
  10. Hi Tim, yes.... I am anticipating this problem - hence my questions in the earlier posts, but I think it's worth a try as the Nikon CLS and the SB900 functionality is quite something above water, so I am keen to try and see how much of it I can get to work underwater. I have ordered the Patima housing from FIT in Taiwan, as it's 70% of the price of the Subal unit and hope to get it before I go to Tufi in PNG in the middle of November. Will update the post as I try it out.... Don
  11. I had another go at Alex's wide-angle macro technique on a recent trip to North Sulawesi. I was using my D300 in my Sam Chae converted Subal D200 housing, 10.5 FE & DG Kenko N-AFd 1.5x TC behind a DP54B small Subal dome I managed to find on Ebay. I used a 20mm EXR as that is more or less the effective thickness of the Kenko TC. Here were my best results: Would appreciate any feedback and also confirmation that I am using the right TC & EXR. Also, I have to say that the more I use the D300 underwater, the more impressed I am with it - it really is a great camera! Here is the link to the images from the trip, which was one of my most productive ever. http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/ima...lery/index.html Don
  12. Hi Pete, as per my post to Espen - my previous expereince using the Subal strobe housing with the D100 was OK from a size and buoyancy perspective, but not from a reliability one.... It did not work when you really needed it! If I buy a housing for the SB900, I was intending to use an Inon 240 on low power as a slave to reduce shadows but the main light coming from the SB900. Have you tried a similar set-up with the SB800 as I vaguely recall some posts indicating that set-up was not a good idea. Don
  13. Hi Espen, thanks for this - did not know that Patima had a housing for the SB900. It looks pretty good and I have inquired about pricing & functionality with them. I tried the Subal housing for the DTTL compatible strobe (SB80?) with my D100 about five years ago and did not have any problems as such with the size, but I was using Ikelite 200's as my main strobes at the time....might be different now that I have got used to the Inon 240's... Please let me know how your tests go - do you have a housing for the SB900 or access to one? Don Silcock Underwater Site: www.indopacificimages.com/ Travel Site: www.nomadicpixel.com/
  14. I have been doing a lot more land & travel photography this year and in an attempt to improve my images I bought Joe McNally's book "Hot Shoe Diaries" and then his DVD on the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) - both of which I thought were very good. I then "invested" in an SB900 and have been really impressed with it's functionality and the way it has improved my land images. Particularly interesting is the ability to change the light pattern and the FV lock, which when used with spot metering gives impressive results in difficult to light situations. Which got me to thinking about how effective the SB900 would be for macro & fish photography, as it it will cover a 200mm lens on land, so it seems a good match with my favorite macro lens the Nikon 70-180. I checked on the availability & price of the Subal housing.... One is available, but at the pretty expensive price of A$1600... So, when in doubt - consult the oracle... Has anybody used the SB900 (or SB800) in a Subal housing with a D300, or other CLS compatible Nikon? Don Silcock Underwater Site: www.indopacificimages.com/ Travel Site: www.nomadicpixel.com/
  15. Fred, this is great info - thanks for sharing! I have been wanting to get a lens that would give me the same flexibility in the mid range (~40-100) that I love so much with the 70-180. I have just checked all my extension rings and do have enough to mount the small Subal dome, but my question is what distance from the housing is the best one? As I understand dome port theory, the curvature of the dome creates a virtual image that the lens focuses on, but for the image to be sharp the lens need to be positioned correctedly so that it's nodal point can focus on that virtual image. Have you worked this out or established it by trial & error? Don
  16. Fred, this is really interesting as I have considered something similar myself, if I ever changed housing brands, as I believe that Subal is the only manufacturer that makes a dedicated port for the 70-180. I have enough extension rings to build a similar port, but without the manual focus, to try the small Subal "macro dome" DP54B. Do you have any images you could share that shoes the effect of using the dome for such macro work? Don
  17. I have the Subal manual/auto port for the 70-180 and very rarely use the manual focusing.... Once you get used to the lens and "drive it" I really don't think the auto-focus is that bad.... The two images were taken at Lembeh last year @ 180mm with a wet diopter and on auto focus. Nearly all the macro shots in the Image Galleries on my site http://www.indopacificimages.com/ were taken with the 70-180 on auto. Don
  18. Fred, I am also a big fan of the 70-180 and like you said, it's not the fastest lens but it's not too bad either once you have got used to it.... I used it on virtually every dive on my trip to Lembeh last year and was really pleased with the result - here is the gallery link: http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/ima...lery/index.html I would be really interested to understand how you use the small dome as I have just acquired the Subal DP54B to do some "wide angle macro". Do you mount the dome on a series of extension rings? Don
  19. Thanks for the replies.... I am glad to report that I solved the immediate problem last night - but it was close as I was down to my last couple of beers! I had somehow changed the graphics card settings and had the "digital vibrance" @ 100%, so it was completely screwing up everything else I tried. I am still only using one monitor, but at least I have decent & repeatable color rendition on it as opposed to the horrible color casts I was experiencing. I am thinking that I need to get a second graphics card, but the one I have is quite expensive and I think it's more suited to gaming rather than photography. Wagsy, do you have the details of the PCI-GPU cards please? Don
  20. I recently upgraded my desktop and added a second monitor, but I have now run into all sorts of problems getting the color right and desperately need some help... - The old desktop had a Viewsonic VX2235 monitor which I had calibrated with a SpyderPRO and was working fine, then when I bought the new desktop I added a second Viewsonic - a VA2413, which I wanted to use as the "master" to display the image while I made the Lightroon/Photoshop adjustments on the original VX2235 - I have realized that getting two monitors is quite difficult without adding a second graphics card, but understand their may be a way round this with XP (which I am using) with a Microsoft utility that creates individual look up tables. - My specific problem is that I can't get even reasonable color on either monitor consistently. I have tried resetting the main monitor (VX2235) to it's default settings and then calibrating with the SpyderPRO but end up with a horrible green color cast, so I just set the display to use the XP default sRGB profile - but that gives a red color cast... - I am considering buying a Colormunki, more out of desperation....as I can't understand why the SpyderPRO does not work anymore! I am basically chasing my tail right now and my beer consumption seems to be increasing exponentially... Don
  21. I have now done two trips to PNG with my D300 in the D20 housing and have to say that I am very pleased with the conversion. I finally got round to making a page on my website to document the actual conversion so that it's easy for anybody else considering it - here is the link: http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/pag...00_convert.html I have also created image galleries from both trips: Tufi: http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/ima...lery/index.html Tawali: http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/ima...lery/index.html The bottom line is that if you already have a D300 and a D200 housing, this is a great way to go! Don
  22. I have now done two trips with my D300 in a Subal D200 housing, thanks to Sam, and I am VERY pleased. Don
  23. Alex, superb images - as always....I always feel "pixelly challenged" when I look at your work! Two last questions - do you use a diopter with the 17-70 in both the FE2 and 4" dome and if so which one? Don
  24. Hi Dave, I checked your site for images taken with the 35mm Tokina and could not find them - so would you mind posting a couple of images or provide a link to where they are on your site please? Don
  25. Alex, have you tried snouts mounted on your flashes to direct the light specifically at the subject? I seem to recall you writing about doing that quite some time ago, but not related to wide-angle macro. I made a pair up for my Inon 240's out of plastic pipe and tried them with my 70-180 macro set-up in Lembeh last year, but did not really like the effect. However I was thinking they may be effective for this technique as they would allow the light to be directed onto the subject, but minimize the "glare" associated with trying to light something so close to the dome. Also, what are your thoughts about using the 24 or 28 Sigma on a D300 for this technique - would they have to be behind a dome, or is a flat port feasible? Don
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