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Don Silcock

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Everything posted by Don Silcock

  1. I was in Milne Bay just before Xmas and tried out the wide-angle macro technique Alex has written about. I was using the 10.5 Nikon with a 2x Kenko TC but struggled to light the subject because of the size of the Subal FE2 dome. I eventually got the hang of it and like the effect - the best images with the technique are Tawali_06 and Tawali_18 on the following gallery at my website: http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/ima...lery/index.html I am going back to PNG next month to spend three weeks at Tufi to work on a book project I am doing with the resort there and I want to do a lot more diving in the fiords than last time I was there. I think the WAM technique could produce some interesting results, but suspect the 10.5 may be too wide, so I will be taking my 15mm Sigma also. I have also been looking at the Sigma 24mm & 28mm lenses as they have a close focus "macro" capability and then there is the 35mm Tokina. Has anybody out there been using the Sigma 24/28 or the Tokina 35mm for this technique and if so what ports did you use and what were the results? Don
  2. Well....thanks to Sam and his engineering skills I now have a fully functional D300 in my D200 Subal housing and you could say that I am quite pleased! The kit arrived yesterday and I spent this morning installing it. Fairly straightforward, although I did have to resort to a few long forgotten skills from when I used to be a "fitter/turner" many years ago in the UK.... The new base plate was a perfect fit, the four buttons for the focus spot position/image review required extending using the soft wire provided in the kit and the five slip on extenders for the menu & image zoom buttons had to be filed down a bit as they interfered with the camera buttons when first installed. Filing down the slip on extenders was the biggest job, but took less than an hour and the whole thing less that three hours! I have tried all of my lens & port combinations and everything seems to work just fine and the only minor negative I can see right now is that it's hard to see the blue channel when looking at the 4 channel histogram. When looking at the actual image review, you can see enough to judge whether the composure is OK and the image zoom buttons work great so you can move the image around. I am off to PNG on Saturday to do an assignement in Milne Bay and am really pleased to have the D300 to use. I have been very happy with my results from the D200 underwater and only bought a D300 for land use, figuring I would wait for the next generation of DX camera or go FX before upgrading again, but having the D300 in my existing housing is just heaven on a stick! It's a great camera on land and I'm looking forward to exploring it's capabilities underwater. If everything works out, I can keep one of my D200 bodies as my backup/land camera when on dive trips and get my other D200 converted for I/R... Sam, you are a legend - thanks very much! Don
  3. I bought the Sigma 17-70 zoom some time ago and have been really pleased with the results behind the FE2 dome and the 33mm EXR but no diopter - I did not think one was required... I was just checking the Subal site for information about the Tokina 11-16 and noticed that for the Sigma 17-70 they recommend a +2 72mm diopter. What is everybody using out there with this popular lens? Thanks, Don
  4. I leave for PNG next weekend and want to try out the Tokina 11-16 wide-angle zoom with my Subal rig. I am using the FE2 dome and wanted to check if anybody out there has worked out which EXR to use and if a diopter is required. I checked the Subal site but there is nothing for this lens.... Thanks, Don
  5. I am in the process of upgrading my camera & housing and have decided to sell all the stuff I am not currently using, so I have the following Ikelite equipment for sale. - Two black DS200 Substrobes, complete with 4063.5 NiMH batteries and ULCS ball adaptors - Two 4100.06 manual EV controllers - Three Ikelite to Nikonos strobe cables - One 4066.1 smart charger - One early generation Ikelite charge and 9462.5 DS200 battery pack - Manual & spare O rings These strobes have been 100% reliable, are very powerful with great beam coverage and the batteries last all day.... The manual controllers are great as they allow you to dial in exactly the right amount of light needed to get a perfect image. ULCS triple clamps (or similar) are required to mount tyhe controllers and I have a pair that I may sell if required - I did not include them in the sale as not everybody uses ULCS... They are currently listed on Ebay on this link: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...em=170283395760 Don
  6. OK, now I got it and will stop bugging you.... Thanks again! Don
  7. Some great dialog here, but...... My revised question was - "Suppose I was diving on a wreck and had two camera outfits with me - one was a D300 with the 11-16 Tokina that has a specified 104 degree coverage @ 11mm, and the second was a D700 with a 17-35 Nikon that also has a specified 104 degree coverage at 17mm. If I positioned myself at the bow and took the same shot with both outfits (11mm on the D300 & 17mm on the D700), and assuming I had the right extension rings & dioptres etc, would both images have exactly the same coverage or would the D700 be wider because of the larger DX sensor?" I think Phil's answer was "yes" the coverage would be the same - correct? Don
  8. Sorry, but I still don't fully understand this....let me ask the question differently... Suppose I was diving on a wreck and had two camera outfits with me - one was a D300 with the 11-16 Tokina that has a specified 104 degree coverage @ 11mm, and the second was a D700 with a 17-35 Nikon that also has a specified 104 degree coverage at 17mm. If I positioned myself at the bow and took the same shot with both outfits (11mm on the D300 & 17mm on the D700), and assuming I had the right extension rings & dioptres etc, would both images have exactly the same coverage or would the D700 be wider because of the larger DX sensor? Sorry to flog this to death, but going full frame is a big decision and I want to get my head around what it really means underwater. Don
  9. Alex, my train of thought was that, given the same perspective/camera location, 104 degrees of coverage on a FX sensor would surely give you a wider coverage of the subject than 104 degrees on the smaller DX one. Don
  10. "The new Subal port renders the best corners I've seen from 14-24, but doesn't do so until f16 or so. I didn't do anything structured with it, rather I saw everything I needed to see and decided that we needed to go another direction. That f-stop restriction, combined with the ports obscene travel weight make it unusable for most customers. For the time being, Sigma's 15mm Fisheye and Nikon's 17-35 are the lenses we recommend for the FX format" Ryan, that's a very frank & honest statement to make and aligns with the conclusion that I was coming to.....so my next question is, in terms of the final image, what is the actual difference from using a 17-35 on a D700 and the Tokina 11-16 on a D300? Both lenses cover 104 degrees at the wide end, but surely the result from the FX sensor would a much greater coverage? The point being that the results from the 17-35, which is proven to work well behind a dome with the right EXR etc, should be superior to the equivalent DX set-up - I think.... Don
  11. Hey Bruce, yes....I forced myself to learn Lightroom and it really is good once you get in to it. And yes I do remember the conversation - in fact I was only thinking about it the day before yesterday as I watched the results of the US election! For those wetpixellers who have not had the pleasure of doing a trip with Bruce, not only is he a great guy to dive with but he has a terrific sense of humor and is able to hold a seemingly endless array of interesting conversations to while away the hours in between dives! Don
  12. Well....I took the advice and upgraded to Lightroon 2.0 and bought Scott Kelby's book - and I have to say that you guys were absolutely correct, it's one hell of a program once you get in to it! It's so good that when I went back in to Rawshooter the other day I was really dissapointed with the results and re-edited the image in Lightroom... Thanks again for the advice! Don
  13. Yes....I priced the D700 body & FX lenses here in Shanghai (where I am currently based) yesterday and I may need to consider a "job lot" of #1 son & #1 daughter for sale on Ebay to do the upgrade! From everything I have read about the D700 and the new FX lenses, it looks pretty clear that ultimately they are the way to go above water and I think it is only a matter of time before I go full frame if I want the optimum quality.... Underwater is less clear though, I have have had some really terrific results from my D200 & Subal D20 & have yet to reach the limit of it's capabilty, plus courtesy of schae and his engineering expertise I should be able to use my D300 in the D20 housing on my next trip to PNG next month. So it seems like the key point really is - can we realize the full potential of full frame and ultra-wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) zooms underwater, given the inherent "issues" such as water clarity and dome performance? Don
  14. Having already sold one on my kidneys to get all of my current Nikon DX stuff, I am now comteplating selling my first born to go FX.... The clincher will be whether the Nikon 14-24 zoom can be made to produce the same spectaculer results under water as it is capable of on land and there have been some interesting topics recently regarding ultra-wides & dome ports on full frame cameras that indicate those results are difficult, if not impossible to achieve. Then Eric showed the new Subal dome port for the 14-24 on display at DEMA.... I checked the Subal site and there is nothing on it, so is there anybody out there using this combination? Don
  15. All: thanks very much for the advice - greatly appreciated! Nigel: I relied about the Tokina 10-17 - I use a 15mm extension with my Subal housing, but make sure you are at least @ f8 for sharp results. Anything wider gives soft results in my experience... Don
  16. Hi Nigel, excellent timing.... I just completed going through all my images from a 12 day trip to Halmahera in northern Indonesia earlier this year. Some superb reefs there and I used the 10-17 a LOT. I was using it with the 15mm EXR and I got some of the best wide-angle images I have ever taken, BUT I had to keep the lens in it's sweet spot of f9.5 to f13 to get sharp results. Opening up greater than f8 was very dissapointing with really soft results. I will let you know when I get my image gallery for the trip set up... I have just bought the 11-16mm Tokina and have been very pleased with it on land with a D300, but have yet to try it underwater with my D200 rig. Hope this helps Don
  17. I have decided that I can't put off the replacement of my nearly 5 year old Dell desktop computer any longer and I'm seeking advice on what I should be looking for in terms of specifications. The desktop is used almost completely for digital photography and I run CS3, Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2 - all very slowly at the moment.... I am currently based in Shanghai and was considering getting another Dell as there should be no warranty issues when I bring it back to Sydney next year. Don
  18. I am planning a 12 day trip just before Xmas and having dived most of the "must-do" locations in Indonesia (Irian Jaya, Halmahera, Lembeh, Banda Sea, Ambon, Komodo & Bali) at least once, I was considering exploring the Bunaken area. The positives are that it's relatively easy to get to from Bali, where will be spending Xmas, and there appear to be a lot of dive operators - both land based & several liveaboards. The negatives appear to be that there a lot of dive operators....plus you don't hear that much about the diving there these days. I am looking for recommendations on the diving around Bunaken and which resort or liveaboard to use. Alternatively, is there somewhere else in North Sulawesi (beside Lembeh - spent a week there in June) that I should consider? Don
  19. I am having a clear out of equipment I am currently not using and have just listed the following Ikelite equipment on Ebay. - Two black DS200 Substrobes, complete with 4063.5 NiMH batteries and ULCS ball adaptors - Two 4100.06 manual EV controllers - Three Ikelite to Nikonos strobe cables - One 4066.1 smart charger - One early generation Ikelite charge and 9462.5 DS200 battery pack - Manual & spare O rings These strobes have been 100% reliable, are very powerful with great beam coverage and the batteries last all day.... The manual controllers are great as they allow you to dial in exactly the right amount of light needed to get a perfect image. ULCS triple clamps (or similar) are required to mount tyhe controllers and I have a pair that I may sell if required - I did not include them in the sale as not everybody uses ULCS... The equipment is used but in very good condition and has never had any water ingress - I take excellent care of all my gear and have a 100% Ebay rating for the stuff I have sold. PM me if you have any questions Don
  20. I am having a clear-out of equipment I am not currently using and have just listed my 12-24 Nikon zoom on Ebay if anybody is interested.... The lens is in excellent condition and has minimal use - here is the link: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...E:L:LCA:AU:1123 PM me if you have any questions Don
  21. Is this all a big hoax - I have sent three PM's to Sam but no response..... Sam, are you there? Maybe Subal put a contract out on him.....
  22. I succumbed to temptation today here in Shanghai, where I am currently working, and bought the Tokina 11-16 after managing to bargain it down to the same price from B&H plus postage to Australia.... I bought it principally for use above water, but was wondering if anybody has used one underwater yet with a Subal housing. If so, which port EXR is needed and does the lens need a dioptre? Thanks, Don
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