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About Scorpius

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  1. Greetings. Can you recommend good sites where I can buy used UW gear? Some time ago I found a buy/sell forum but can't remember where was it... It seems wetpixel and digideep does not have any buy/sell markeplace?
  2. Hi folks! As discussed here , I've recently upgraded my rig from Olympus C-7070 to Canon S90. I fell in love with macro prohotgraphy and I need to find the optimal compact macro setup. I am not sure should I keep my S90 because of some of its limitations. So here is arsenal of question, please share your experience and knowledge! S90 lack flash hot shoe. Will slave digital flash be accurate enough for good shots or do I need hot shoe compact for example G11? S90 has 1/1.7" censor and its closes focus distance is only 5cm. I took a photo of ruler as advised here, and calculated magnification ratio of 1:8.55. Not quite macro . However, G11 can do supermacro up to 1cm, so I could imagine magnification factor will be something like 1:2 which is way better. But using your external flash to lit your subject 1cm from lens is probably impossible. What is your experience about very close up macro photography with external flash? How close can you get a good photo? There seems to be various diopters and underwater conversion lenses (for example Inon UCL-330, Inon UCL-165AD, Inon UCL-165M67 Macro Lens). What is their pros and cons? AFAIK dipters will soften image edges? Please list all diopters or macro extension tubes you know for uw compact photography and share you experience. One external flash should be enough for macro photography and its harsh shadow can be softened with reflector. Any experiences of such reflectors?
  3. I've been using my beloved Olympus C-7070 with Oly UW case with great success. I haven't upgraded that system yet, since C-7070 has many excellent features, but now Canon G11 and S90 could be candidates for new excellent uw setup. So I bought S90 from singapore, ordered Ikelite S90 housing and went to Indonesia to do some diving. Canon S90 in a wonderful camera top water, there is no questions about it. But underwater, it has been major dissapointment. I think the biggest complain about S90 is the unreliable focus. Yet, it has very fast focus, BUT it takes shot even it does not get focus! So if you hold shutter button it "focuses" and immediately takes picture, you have to review (with zoom) every single image. Second dissapointment (at least for me!) is "macro" focus range of 5cm. This means forget every amazing nudibranch shot; I only got few good shots of ~10cm flatworm, and even that sized critter filled only like 1/2" of the frame. Smaller nudis fills 10% of the frame. This means you can get shots from smaller nudis which are cropped to ~1MP size for internet viewing at best. S90 does take super sharp photos underwater, but only if you point a strong flashlight into subject being photographed. This happened to me in night dive: wonderful photos! Now onto Ikelite housing. Well, lets just say I have now owned 2 ikelite housing. My first and my last. All you guys know that second control ring is not option with ikelite and it would be fine, if you could live with it. But even the first control ring does not work correctly with ikelite housing! Here's why: Ikelite provides "gearwheel" like addon onto canons front control ring. So when you rotate the control ring wheel in ikelite housing it should turn. Well it turns but NOT infinitely! This is because gearwheel addon is not whole circle but just 80% of it while ends has this balloon like endings. I can't believe ikelite does this kind of poor engineering, over the years I've had the impression that Ikelite is good quality company. As an engineer, I can imagine dozens of easy solutions for full circle gear ring. The fact that you can not turn control ring for 360 degrees, cripples your actions very much underwater. Imagine: Autofocus does not quite work underwater so you need to do manual focusing. but for manual focusing you have to dial front ring a lot to get it to closest focus range. This means you have to dial more that 360 degrees, but with ike housing thats not possible. So what you will do to get manual focus as close as possible? 1) press front ring functions button to select manual focus 2) rotate front ring as much as you can to lower focus distance 3) front ring is stuck! you have to get it back some how, so you press again fron ring functions button to select exposure compensation for exapmple. 4) rotate front ring "back" as much as you can, now exposure compensation is in -2eV 5) press front ring functions button againt to select manual focus 6) rotate front ring as much as you can to lower focus distance, this time you can get it to minimal focus distance. But your exposure compensation is in -2eV! 7) so you press yet again front ring functions button to select exposure compensation. 8) rotate front wheel back to get desired exposre compensation. Gongrat! You probably missed all the action, since this does and will take ~30sek to 1min. Imagine this scene in to place with strong current. Also I can't understand why ikelite R&D has made internal flash diffuser which snaps into back of the lens tube while it could be bigger (360 degrees and not 180!) and could snap into front of the lens tube. In fact I did this kind of diffuser my self and lightning is superb. no 1/1 frame shadow on close subjects and the shadow of object being photographed is beautiful and smooth. I would like to remind that this is only my opinion and experience, but I challenge everyone to prove me wrong on those points I listed. This review brings me some inportant questions, please share your knowledge: 1) Is there any macro port setups in ikelite/canon S90 housing? 2) Is there any macro port setups in ikelite/canon G11 housing? I will most probably sell my S90 and buy G11. Since G11 has supermacro and hot shoe for external flash. P.S. If you can do some DIY gearweheel into front ring and use flashlight to lit macro stuff for auto focus, this setup if very nice. Also DIY 360 degree diffuser is higly recommend. Please post you thoughts
  4. I am so excited about this camera. Finally, after many years of waiting there is actually a camera that can complete with my Oly C-7070. LX-3 was not an option since there is no cheap housing for it. Have anyone of you heard when Canon WP-DC35 undewater housing is expected to arrive? I contacted Canon Singapore but they told its in TBA status :/
  5. I am interested of new/used Canon 30D camera. Please contact me if you have one for sale. PM me or contact scorpius_79(at)hotmail.com
  6. Hi folks! I finally reached the the limits of my Olympus C-7070 and it is time to move for dSLR setup. And indeed, I've been reading info about good choices like maniac and to be honest, the decision is driving me crazy! It seems that Nikon D80 and Canon 30D (and 20D since they are practically the same camera!) are the best choices. Lets compare the lens decision for UW: Micro: Nikon D80: Nikkor 60mm 1:1 macro. Very sharp lens with good reviews. Price about 480€ Canon 30D: EF-S 60mm F/2.8 1:1 Macro USM. Very sharp lens with good reviews. Price about 430€ WA Zoom: Both can use Sigma 17-70mm so no problem here Since these are the only lenses I will buy I don't want to compare other lenses used for UW. So my bottom line is that why everyone is fuzzing about Nikon D80 (and other Nikon) when Canon 30D/20D beats Nikon in noise hands down 6-0. And if somebody is interested of my UW needs: I will do macro with 1 small macrostrobe like Ikelite DS51. Wide angle I will be doing with Magic filters so I really need that ISO 1600. I only dive in tropical waters... Please discuss/comment! ___________________________ My UW images: www.dsiponen.fi
  7. Thanks guys for positive feedback The trip route was Manila -> Sagada and Banaue (rice terraces in North-Luzon) -> Puerto Galera (Mindoro) -> Donsol (South-Luzon) Panglao Island (Bohol) -> Apo Island (Negros) -> Moalboal (Cebu) -> Malapascua (Cebu) -> Padre Burgos (Leyte) -> Cabilao Island (Bohol). In general, divig was best in Cabilao Island; beautiful house reef with very healthy coral. It's also a macro heaven. Donsol was wonderful because its Whaleshark sightings; I saw 15 in 2 days. Biggest dissappoiments were Puerto Galera and Moalboal. Puerto Galera is just awful place underwater because 99.9% of corals is destroyed by hurricane last november. Moalboal was just nothing special, just average diving with below average corals. BY FAR the best place (and true highlight of my trip) was beautiful island of Malapascua. The place is nice and laid back, not too much tourism, mainly backpackers. Also beach is very nice and if you want to be alone in the beach, just walk few minutes to east along the beach. But the mind blowing thing in malapascua is the Thresher Sharks and Manta Rays in Monad Shoal! I dove Monad 6 times, and saw every single time either Thresher Shark or Manta Ray or both. In fact my best dive was 1 Thresher, 1 Manta Ray and 5 Devil Rays cruising with us for 15 minutes! It truly was the best dive in my life. It seems that you have to be in the right time in Malapascua to see Thresers and Mantas, because I've read/heard stories that you don't see them very often. What I talked with instructors they said that best time to dive is new moon at march or november. Also very important factor to optimize your chances is to go with dive shop which goes as early morning as possible (5.am) and has just few divers i.e. not too big groups. I won't cover any dive shop names but lets just say that there is some dive shops with groups sizes of zillion people. And you know how much bubble that creates underwater...Mantas and Threshers are very shy so they go away if there is too much bubbles/hassle. That's you should avoid time when most of boats are in diveplace. Unfortunately, there is some diveshops I would advise to avoid. Pete's dive in Padre Burgos is one. They break practically all whaleshark rules by allowing people to dive in whalewhatch sighting and having more (wayyyyyyy more) that 6 people on boat when whalewatching. We saw them and they had atleast 15 korean/japanese snorkelers in whalewatching (or whalehunting shoul i say because it definitely seemed so) and some of them jumped to dive every time they had encounter. Second shop definitely not recommended is Polaris Dive center in Cabilao Island, Bohol. I had a very unpleasant diving experience with them as one other diver attacked me underwater because apparently he didn't want me to take UW-photos on same subjects as he. Of course this was not their fault. But the way, the incredibly arrogant and insulting way they handled the situation after the dive, that was just unacceptable. It became very clear that Polaris and their instructor named Greg Mach is interested on only one thing, money. Summa Summarum: Puerto Galera: Unfortunately everything is dead underwater. Come back after 10 years, intructors said. And the whole place is teeming of fat-belly 50 year old men with very young filippiino women. Discusting and sad Donsol: Best place for whaleshark encountering, but sometimes murky, greenish water Panglao Island, Bohol: I heard house reef is not that special. But anyways, all dive shops are making dives in Paligasag Island which is beautiful dive spot with nice blue color water, good wiz and good corals Cabilao Island, Bohol: By far the best general diving in places I went. Awesome reefs, nice amount of fish, macro heaven (you can really see it all)!, just beautiful color of water. But if you are alone, you may be bored in a week because there's not much happening and all dive sites are "the same" i.e you can/will see everything in any divesite. Apo Island, Negros: Pristine reef, just perfect reefs. But there is no much fish and water is often quite murky and greenish. Moalboal, Cebu. Nothing special, everything is average. In fact, everything youll see in Moalboal, you will see in Cabilao except Cabilao is 100 times better. Malapascua: Truly wonderful, cozy place with nice beach and awesome pelagics diving. One of its kind in Philippines, and should not be excluded of any dive trip in Philippines! Padre Purgos, Leyte: Yes, you can see whalesharks here also and water wiz and color is very good comparing to Donsol. But you'll see fewer and the town itself is very, very small with literally nothing to do. I fact, I stayed in city of Maasin and it was very filthy, polluted and unpleasant city. Sure you can also dive with whalesharks, but you'll have to be very lucky as you'll just go down and wait for 45 minutes that you'll see whalesharks for 10 seconds. Not a value for money, IMO. Besides, consider this: Whalesharks try to avoid divers and they became very stressed of them. So please respect marine life and just snorkel with them instread of diving with them. My longest encounter was 10 minutes and it could be longer, but I quit beacuse I was dead tired of padlling with my fins like maniac. Now that is what I call value for money and a truly wonderful experience. Hope this helps
  8. I was travelling and diving in Philippines for a month and had some great time. Here are some images along the journey, please check my website for more images www.dsiponen.fi. Feel free to comment my images. Here are some of my favourites: Rice terraces in Batad The most beautiful sunset i've ever seen. Note that this picture is straight from the camera Hawksbill Turle with two Remoras Beautiful little nudibranch Scorpionfish Tiny crab Alex Mustard, note that this picture is nearly identical to one of your pictures! It has nearly identical composition with same fish and seawhip.And I never saw your picture before taking this! Best regards, Denis
  9. damn I'm blind, because these O-rings are not against each other after all (Other O-ring is beneath other) ..Anyway, here is the picture of water entering back of the O-ring, to the "trench"
  10. Yes, I too think this is the case. I have now tested it 5 times in my tub and no worries yet. Of course I will test it without camera at 30 meters before first photography dive! hmm, do you think changing oly's O-ring would be a good idea?
  11. Guys, I may have a problem and I really need you help. So please read this and post your experiences/advices. I own new olympus C-7070 camera and new Olympus pt-027 housing for it. I haven't tested it in (deep) water, but I have tested it in childrens bathtub. It doesen't leak to the camera, BUT it does "leak" to back of the O-ring. See left picture below. My concern is that since the O-ring is symmetric and the place where O-ring is (square) is also symmetric, If water leaks to upper part of that square, it may leak to bottom part of square and from there into camera (see right picture). My O-rings are new and I have triple checked them (for hairs,sand, etc.) and I have greased them well with silica gel. I noticed that if I put lots of silica gel it doesent leak so much, but I read that too much silica also causes flood. My main questions are? 1) Does water go to back of O-ring in your housing as well? (you can see it easily when housing is in water) 2) Is it dangerous i.e can it cause flooding in greater depths? I have called olympus about this, but they have no idea. I am going to philippines for 1 month and if my camera floods there, my diving trip is quite ruined since its quite impossible to get a replacement from there! Please post your comment guys! Thanks in advance
  12. Thanks for answers Chris and Matt. I am aware how to get rid of vignetting with PS. My bottom line question was, is vignetting with non dome lenses so bad that I can NOT get rid of it with any editin program without major quality loss? That is million dollar question to me, since dome wide angles cost 200-300$ more. IMHO that's kinda pricey for just to have images without vignetting.
  13. Hi all! Here's one for ya pros: Can I get rid of vignetting with photoshop without major image quality loss? Here's my case: I own Olympus 7070 camera and Olympus pt-027 housing for it (all my images are available light, no strobes, and with magic filter, I shoot lot with RAW). Since I am only a "holiday" diver/UW-photographer I can't justify spending thousands of dollars for neat UW-set. So cheapest WA-solutions seems to be Epoque DCL-20, Inon 100, Athena dome + uly WA, or inon 100 + inon dome. The cheapest solution by far is epoque DCL-20 but I know it has some vignetting issues....but bottom line is, so what? Is this really an issue worth extra 200-300$ if basically I can get rid of it with ~1min of photoshop work? Please post your thoughts, as they are really important to me P.S. Please post some pics with inon wa or epoque dcl-20 so I can try photoshopping vignetting out, thanks.
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