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About mndiver

  • Rank
  • Birthday 09/18/1966

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Bloomington, MN

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D70
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Dual DS-125
  • Accessories
    TLC strobe arms
  1. Ike, Will you have a dome port shade available as well or does another one already on the market fit the "Da Bigga Doma."
  2. I have taken my Ike D70 housing/DS125’s ice diving several times. I ice dive in Minnesota, USA so I can only speak to freshwater ice diving. Most of the extra care needed for ice diving happens before and after the dive. Once you are diving, it is just a cold-water dive with a camera (and a rope, an overhead enviroment and so on). In general: I set up everything at home and then put it back in the Pelican case. I leave it all there until I someone hands it to me while I am underwater. I do a short dive first to make sure all is well with my other dive equipment then return to the hole and have someone hand me the camera. I use it for one dive and then back in the case it goes. If I do another dive, I don’t’ take the camera. I had one problem last year, a tiny leak in the form of a few drops. It came from the control that turns the camera on and off. I saw it right away and handed the camera back up. I could not duplicate the problem in the pool and Ikelite found nothing wrong with the housing. I think that the tiny bit of water that gets around the controls froze, expanded, and pushed on a gland letting in some drops of water. Hence, I only use it for one dive a day and or don’t let it freeze. I have found it very useful to dive from a heated shelter so that the camera and housing don’t get too cold. --- OK, so I don’t freeze either.
  3. I have used my Ike Housed D70 on several ice dives. These dives are generally in your temp range. Very cold on the surface and chilly under the ice. I can't tell you exactly how long it will last, but I have never had to change the battery while doing several ice dives in one day. I would say at least a few hundred shots. Hope that helps.
  4. I had one dive on the reg set as well. I agree with the last post but would like to add a bit. From my limited experience and IMHO the work of breathing realy ruins an otherwise cool new toy (and I like cool new SCUBA toys). When in normal swimming position the reg required quite a bit breathing effort, a real workout! It would be a good reg if you could stay head up the entire dive, but too much work otherwise. I did not get it and consider it just another gimmick. It is high on the "great cool new toy" scale but it breathed so poorly I would not use one on another dive. If you are considering one, please test dive it before you buy and see if you have the same experience. Chris
  5. I have the same set up you are putting together. I have the B&W +4 (B&H # BWCU467) which works well. It is in stock and $36. My 2 cents.... Chris
  6. I was not using a shade. The dome itself showed up when the camera was bumped out of alignment. It only showed up a tiny bit and only showed up on some photos. I have "fixed" the problem with some foam placed on either side of the lens. It did not move after that.
  7. I really hope that this is a part you can just buy and add to an existing housing. I am really glad that they did this. No matter how careful I am, the cord takes a beating sticking out the back.
  8. I am pretty sure the 10.5 dome is not optically correct for the 12-24 lens, I just used it "to see" what would happen. I have no idea when it would be available. I know they have at least one, if you sent them $$ perhaps it could be yours. I had the same problem you describe with the camera moving and then the controls not working. I sent it all in to Ikelite and the made the controls longer but did not fix the tray movement problem. Now the controls work fine, but the camera still moves. Since the controls are longer, I don't think the pads will help (good idea though). I have added some tape to the posts on the camera tray to make them thicker so that the camera doesn't move. I will test dive it this week. If Ike is here perhaps he has a suggestion to keep the camera from moving???? I did have some vigenetting when the camera moved. It was aligned correctly at the start of the dive, then moved from side to side during the dive. It is slightly noticable either the right or left top edge depending on which way the camera moved but still troublesome.
  9. Anthony - Yes, the loaner was great. It is always a pleasure doing business with Aquatica. Darn nice folks. I dive mostly in "not so clear" water so I don't notice any problems with the 12-24 corners. Perhaps if I was in clear water....... The 10.5 was clear, sharp, all in all a really a nice lens. I didn't care much for the fisheye effect, but darn was it sharp. Critter/Tony - I am not sure we are talking about the same product. The one I described was one peice. Nothing to take apart. My port and dome were made by Aquatica. Are you talking about the Ikelite port with Aquatica dome attached?
  10. I used it with the 12-24 in the pool, but not in open water. It worked good for me however I did not have a zoom ring installed (kept it at 12) so I am not 100% sure. I don't think Aquatica will offer extension rings for this port based on some e-mails with them. I am not sure. Perhaps someone (Jean) from Aquatica can answer that question. It was on loan from Aquatica so I could try it out. It is about $400. Chris
  11. I recently had the opportunity to use an Aquatica 8†dome made by Aquatica for use with the Ikelite housing and Nikon 10.5. Myself and another diver took it out for a day of diving. We both could agree on the following feedback. Build: The dome is attached to a solid piece of machined aluminum. It is all one piece. It appears to be a very well made piece of equipment. It should stand up to years of use. Fit and finish were exceptional! Design: This port is very short to accommodate the 10.5. The port is one piece of machined aluminum with an 8" dome attached. The port is nicely finished in flat black, which should cut out any reflection in bright light. I tried to get a reflection off the back of the port to show up in a photo and couldn’t. Use: Installation was a snap. The back of the port is made of about 1/4" aluminum. There are cutouts that allow for the housing port clamps to move. Tolerances are really close. Without the cutouts, you could not get the port on or off. It was easier to take off than I thought it would be, even with my large chubby fingers. The fit was perfect!!! Subjective as it sounds (and is), It was easier to slide on than any of the Ikelite ports the two of us had. I used the o-ring off of my 18-70 port for the dome so I know it wasn't just the o-ring. It just went on smoother than the other ports I have if that makes any sense. The only real "problem" I had was not with the dome, but with the housing. My camera moves inside the housing a bit. The tray simply does not hold the camera perfectly still. If I bump it, it moves. With zoom gears installed this has never been much of a problem since they tend to stabilize the lens. I don’t have a focus/zoom gear for the 10.5 so on some photos the camera was tilted in the housing and port ring showed up a tiny bit in the photo. I did a later dive using some foam to hold the lens in place and had no problems. It just goes to show how tight the tolerances are. Buoyancy: No surprise here, the large dome did cause the camera to tip port up from its inherent buoyancy. I have four Aquatica 11" arms and clamps attached to two DS125's. With strobes and arms adding some weight the entire package was slightly negative. The other diver would like a weight on the dome. I would not use on. Perhaps it is because the dome is so close to the housing I thought the slight tendency to tip up was not a problem. Summary: If you have the 10.5 and an Ikelite housing you probably want this dome. It has the optics you expect from the 8†Aquatica dome and works darn nice with the Ikelite housing. Hope that covers it, Chris mndiver.com Ike Housing, D70, DS125's, Aquatica Arms/Clamps, some lenses and ports.
  12. Most of my diving is up north in Minnesota. As such the water is either brown, green or some combination of both. Using RAW and later WB in PS CS has saved many images. Like the sharks, the northern and pan fish up here don't swim around with a WB card and there is very little naturally occuring white in the water (no sand - just mudd). I have had some good luck WB off of my dive buddies BCD which has some grey, white and black parts. WB off of the grey and white parts has yeilded some good results. My technique is to take a shot of my buddy while he is at the same depth and distance from me as my intended subject. Then use that image's WB and apply it to the next few images I take using PS CS. For my next few dives I plan to attach a WB card to my buddy so I have a bigger WB target. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated. Please keep this thread going......
  13. I have had the Ikelite housing and D70 since May. It is a nice housing, works well, easy to access all the controls. It handles well underwater with two strobes attached. Nice ballance. There are dials on housing to control the dials on the camera. The controls work well for me.
  14. I have the D70, Ikelite Housing, Same port and strobe set up you listed. I have used the set up during a 10 day Cozumel trip and several local trips here in Minnesota for a total of about 50 dives. As for your first question - Yes you need the close-up adapter mentioned by B&H. I have the B&W brand and I am happy with its performance. Just remember to put in on before your dive or the system will not work. Not that I have done that (twice). The EV controller is helpful but you don't have to have it. The DS125 power can be manually set on the strobe. The EV controller just gives you better control by providing more power settings. One thing I liked is that since it mounts close to the camera, you don't have to reach far to the strobe to change power settings. Also not necessary but nice are longer arms for the strobe. I found that I got better results with the strobe further away. I ended up using 11" Aquatica arms for the DS125 (Available at B&H as: "TLC Arm Section - 11" - Double Ball). I also use the Aquatica Large Knob Ball-Joint Clamp. I felt that it gave me better control and holding power with the longer arms. It is also eaiser to control when diving with thick gloves. Good luck with the system. I have been pretty happy with the the results so far. Chris D70, Ikelite Housing, DS125
  15. I must say Ike did it right! The Ikelite housing is small, well built and real easy to use. Since I only got it this winter, I have only taken it ice diving and in the pool. It has worked perfectly. Even with dry gloves I can operate the camera without problems. For the money, I could not have asked for more.
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