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SlipperyDick

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Everything posted by SlipperyDick

  1. NOTE: The Aquatica +10 diopter lens is a 2 element achromat (as far as I can tell - but correct me if I'm wrong, Jean), while the SubSee +10 is a 4 element achromatic system. Spreading the +10 dioptric strength over more elements allows significantly less edge distortion to be present. Keri
  2. KirkD - The +10 SubSee is 200g in water and the +5 SubSee is 140g in water. On land, they are 345g and 240g, respectively. The new SubSee adapters do not use a set screw design like in the past (or like the Aquatica mounts). Instead, we use a circumferential o-ring clamp system, which applies an even pressure around the entire port, holding it in place much tighter than ever before. In the worst case, when using a dual-hinge adapter with both the +5 and +10 lenses installed, it will add approximately 0.75lb to the rig. I don't often hear people complain about this, but you could certainly add a float belt around the port to compensate. Keri -- Keri Wilk | ReefNet Inc. | www.reefnet.ca | 888-819-REEF or 905-608-9373
  3. Since one of Aquatica's salesmen is on here backing them up, I think it's only fair that I chime in on this topic as well (designer/manufacturer of the SubSee lenses). I understand your motivation to downplay competing products, but this statement is not true. The SubSee +10 is a 4-element achromatic lens system, while the Aquatica +10 is a 2-element achromat. By using 2 more lens elements, we are able to use less steeply curved surfaces, resulting in lower levels of edge distortion than most regular doublets can achieve alone (excluding aspherics, which are prohibitively expensive). Since we opted for the highest image quality possible, the +10 SubSee was indeed forced to be larger than previous versions of the SubSee and Aquatica's new lens. I'd be interested to see some test shots against a grid with both SubSee and Aquatica lenses. If you feel like sharing your results, I'm sure the community would find that beneficial. Keri -- Keri Wilk | ReefNet Inc. | www.reefnet.ca | 888-819-REEF or 905-608-9373
  4. Classic overcompensation! Seriously though, I'm incredibly jealous of you all! Awesome shots everyone. I hope the weather clears up quickly! I'd love to see more videos, if you've got them (anyone). Keri
  5. Thanks for the comments everyone. Just got back from Mexico a few days ago, and got a chance to go through another couple of days of images. The housing and camera kept up with my 40-60GB of shooting each day, but my 250GB hard drives would've exploded if we stayed another couple of days - they got filled very fast! I'll be taking this system to Fiji and Curacao for the rest of May to do a proper review, so will definitely need to grab a couple of bigger hard drives to keep me safe. These shots are much different than the last set of elaborate caves, but they're still taken in cenotes (specifically, in the Aktun Ha cenote, also known as Carwash). The lilies, turtles, and small resident crocodile were all very photogenic, so I temporarily put aside the platoon of remote strobes that we brought, and shot the mini-ecosystem instead. Here are some shots from the 2 days we had there: The entrance to Nahoch Nah Chich cenote. After 5 hours in the water, there was no one left to model for me, so I had to set up the camera/housing on a tripod, set the self-timer, and pose for myself. Despite looking bright and sunny, it was actually 5pm, with very dim and diffuse available light. Thankfully, the high ISO performance of the D800 is incredible, so I was able to confidently enter quadruple digit values without worrying about degrading image quality. f/11, 1/1.3, ISO1000 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye No strobes Backlit lily pads. f/11, 1/250, ISO320 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm 2 YS-D1 strobes on camera at minimum power, 2 Ikelite DS-160 strobes with homemade slave triggers A small Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) resides in one end of the cenote called "Carwash". Although it was very small (4ft long) and shy, a few hours of persistence was all it took to get some decent shots of it. f/9, 1/125, ISO400 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @18mm 2 YS-D1 strobes A silhouette of a Slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) against a clear blue sky... would've looked more interesting with some clouds! These turtles swim surprisingly fast, so when it made a break for the other side of the cenote over my head, I had to adjust exposure settings as fast as possible. The large thumb-controls for aperture and shutter speed on the NA-D800 made this quick and easy, and a lever just above the eyepiece was used to put down the the pop-up flash (essentially "turning off" the strobes, using fiber optic sync cables). f/14, 1/125, ISO200 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @35mm No strobes Matt Weiss posing at the entrance of a cenote. f/8, 1/250, ISO200 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye No strobes Lilies in the Carwash cenote extend to within inches of the surface, but never seems to reach it. f/9, 1/125, ISO400 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm No strobes DivePhotoGuide.com's publisher, Matt Weiss, shooting a Slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) swimming over a lily patch. f/8, 1/160, ISO200 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm 2 YS-D1 strobes The lily pads are a drab orange/yellow on top, but brilliant purple/pink from below. I cranked the shutter speed to the max, and the aperture was narrowed as far as possible while still allowing the pair of YS-D1s to sufficiently illuminate the undersides of the pads. f/14, 1/320, ISO200 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm 2 YS-D1 strobes A Slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) cruising through midwater. Every photographer that I show this to says that the animal looks superimposed. (it wasn't!) f/10, 1/125, ISO400 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @16mm 2 YS-D1 strobes Trying to evade me, this mohawk-wearing turtle made a kamikaze dive into an algae bed. A few seconds later, it poked its head out to see if the coast was clear. It was not. f/14, 1/50, ISO200 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 16-35mm Nikon @35mm 2 YS-D1 strobes Keri
  6. Hey everyone, Nauticam USA's Ryan Canon contacted me asking if I would review a prototype of the Nauticam D800 housing. Of course, I was for it. The timing worked well since I had an upcoming trip with DPG's Matt Weiss to the cenotes of the Yucutan Peninsula, followed by my DPG Wide Angle Workshop in Fiji and then a Curacao Sport Diver assignment, which would be perfect for putting the system through a battery of tests. It turned out that the housing was completed in Nauticam's headquarters on the day that we left for Mexico, so shipping it directly to me wasn't possible. Instead, Nauticam USA's Chris Parsons made a special delivery and flew out to meet us with housing in hand and joined the fun. The camera, as expected, is impressive, especially the amount of detail its 36MP sensor captures and the high ISO performance considering the mega high resolution and small pixel pitch. More about these specs and other details to come in the review. Although having prototype status, the housing looks and performs like a finished product. The first overall impressions have been almost entirely positive -- a dedicated ISO lever, shutter and aperture dials that are easily accessed and operated without removing your hand from the grip, a directional pad that allows diagonal movement (no more "staircasing" to review the corner of an image!) and other new ergonomic improvements over past housings have stood out during the first few dives with the housing. Sketchy internet has prevented me from making regular posts as I had hoped, but I wanted to provide an update of what I've taken from the last few days in Mexico. Between both Matt and I, we brought down 17 strobes - 7 Ikelite's with homemade slave triggers, and 10 Sea & Sea strobes (including a pair of the new Sea & Sea YS-D1's). The following are a small sampling of what I've been shooting with the new system. A 9-strobe shot of a particularly interesting portion of the Nahoch Nah Chich cenote. I had to review images frequently to ensure that they were all firing on each shot. The innovative 8-way directional pad made zipping around each image a breeze. f/11, 1/250, ISO400 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye 2 YS-D1 strobes on camera, 7 Ikelite DS-160 strobes with homemade slave triggers The opening between 2 stalagmites/stalactites, backlit. Even with an almost-dead focus light, the D800 was able to grab focus every time. f/14, 1/250, ISO100 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye 1 YS-D1 strobes on camera at minimum power, 2 Ikelite DS-160 strobes with homemade slave triggers DPG publisher, Matt Weiss, exploring the ornate stalactite formations of another cenote. f/10, 1/50, ISO400 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye 2 YS-D1 strobes on camera, 4 Ikelite DS-160 strobes with homemade slave triggers The tips of a group of stalactites breaking the surface of Nohoch Nah Chich cenote. f/13, 1/250, ISO200 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye 2 YS-D1 strobes A group of formations in the cenote called Car Wash. f/8, 1/250, ISO640 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye 2 YS-D1 strobes on camera, 4 Ikelite DS-160 strobes with homemade slave triggers The entrance to a cenote from below. This isn't the greatest image, but it shows the D800's wide dynamic range. Exposing for the sky left the underwater portion drastically underexposed, but a quick tweak in a raw converter brought the detail back out. f/13, 1/250, ISO200 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye 2 YS-D1 strobes A cave. f/11, 1/250, ISO400 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye 2 YS-D1 strobes on camera at minimum power, 5 Ikelite DS-160 strobes with homemade slave triggers A monolithic group of column formations in a large cavern. The large viewfinder of the D800 combined with the equally large Nauticam straight viewfinder made precisely composing this image possible. f/8, 1/250, ISO400 Nauticam NA-D800, Zen 230 dome, 15mm Sigma fisheye 2 YS-D1 strobes on camera, 7 Ikelite DS-160 strobes with homemade slave triggers I've got another couple of days with it here in Mexico, so should have some more to post soon! And of course, a review of the system will follow as well. Keri
  7. Rob - I know it's probably a little late, but just so you know what you're purchasing, beware that the stated dioptric strengths of the FIT lenses are only valid in air. Underwater, they lose around 60-70% of their power because their lens elements are not sealed in air. Here are their approximate values underwater: F.I.T. +5 = +2 F.I.T. +8 = +3 F.I.T. +16 = +5 So combining the F.I.T. +5 and +8 is as powerful as the SubSee +5 on its own, and combining the F.I.T. +16, +8, and +5 are as powerful as the SubSee +10 on its own. Keri
  8. Did a double-take when I saw this commercial, so I looked it up on youtube... sure enough, at the 14-second mark, Chuck Norris punches a whale shark in the face (while freediving with his white Bengal tiger...).
  9. I'm on the Kona Aggressor with Jean right now, and he says: "Sorry Peter, unfortunately this isn't possible" Keri
  10. I didn't write the dome port article that Bill pointed out. All of the articles on Scubageek.com were written by my father (Les Wilk). Keri
  11. Always knew you were a "mack"-guyver Gotta love bandaids! My 10-17 fell apart the same way, so I cut a bandaid into a couple of thin strips, and sealed her back up. Keri
  12. How dare you misunderestimate my lexicon! Keri
  13. Won this in a photo contest, but have a kajillion strobes already. $550 + shipping, or best offer. Keri
  14. Sorry for the delay! One thing led to another, and now it's pushing 4000 words (and still growing) Just have a few more topics to cover, and then I'll get it out. Keri
  15. You might want to check out the SubSee Magnifier, which has a series of specifically-designed hinged port adapters - including an adapter for your S&S Compact Macro Port 79. When the +10 SubSee is used with the Sigma 105mm, it increases the possible magnification ratio to approximately 2.2:1. Keri
  16. No problem, Alex - thanks for giving that article a shout-out When I say "sealed optics", I mean that the lens' refractive (curved) surfaces are permanently sealed in air, so they never come in contact with water. This is how the MacroMate and SubSee are constructed - underwater, they perform exactly as they do on land. I'm not sure about the MacroMate, but the +10 diopter SubSee is actually a 4-element lens system. The FIT lenses are most likely dual-element achromats, but are not sealed optics (again, someone correct me if I'm wrong!). Water directly contacts their refractive lens surfaces, so they lose most of their power underwater. The Inon lenses are a combination of sealed optics and water-contact optics. They have 2 curved internal surfaces which are permanently sealed in air, but their external surfaces are also curved... so, a much smaller portion of their power is lost (the Inon UCL-165 goes from a +7.4 on land to a +6 underwater). However, they are not achromats (so are prone to chromatic aberration), and have much more edge distortion than others. I hope that cleared things up for you, Alvin! Keri
  17. Mark - I've got lots of images of the housing, including detail shots of internal components, but I'm holding off posting those until I've got the review of the camera/housing complete. This past week I was bogged down with shipping SubSee units out, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to get the review out this weekend, now that I've got some room to breath. Here are a couple of shots that might help tie you over : *NOTE: the sub-command dial, live view switch, and on/off button (above the shutter-release) are unfinished in this photo. They will be powder-coated just like all other buttons/levers in production versions; Aquatica didn't have time to get these finished before I left for Dominica* Stay tuned for more... Keri
  18. It is important that underwater shooters understand that the strength of a given lens is not absolute. Let me explain: The dioptric strength of a lens (+5, +8, +16, etc.) is relative to the medium that the lens' refractive surfaces contact (air, water, jello, etc.). So, while these FIT lenses have strengths of +5 and +8 in air, they appear to be water-contact lenses (correct me if I'm wrong!). If so, they are not +5 and +8 underwater, because typical glass achromats lose around 60-70% of their power underwater. Timmoranuk - By direct measurement from the photos that Alex has provided, the magnification ratio achieved by the +5/+8 combo relative to the shot with no diopters is about 1.5:1. That's what you would expect from an underwater +5 diopter lens. This is consistent with the loss of strength due to water contact mentioned above. If this is true, then the FIT +8 is an underwater +3 (same power as the Inon UCL-330), and the FIT +5 is an underwater +2. A similarly constructed +16 would be an underwater +6 diopter lens (same power as the Inon UCL-165). The MacroMate and SubSee are examples of sealed optics which retain their power both above and below water, since the lenses are always in contact with air. All of this being said, Alex's results speak for themselves - they seem to produce sharp images free of chromatic aberration. Just my two cents! Keri
  19. Mark - I'm writing a review of the system as we speak, and should have it published shortly. I'll tell you right now though... you'll be happy with it. Aquatica has really stepped their game up now that they're CNC machining their housing from blocks of aluminum rather than casting them. Thanks, Todd - looking forward to seeing what you've got! Keri
  20. Steve - No minidome. Quite the contrary actually - I had the 9.25" megadome installed. This was really just a lucky shot, considering the camera wasn't held to my head, and I was swimming backward over the reef. Alex - The magic filter really helped for that bubble shot. I tried using strobes to give colour to the foreground, but bubbles were being captured as well, taking away from the long(ish) exposure effect. The blues came out much nicer with the magic filter installed also. Thanks for the comments, guys! Keri
  21. I had a chance to shoot a pre-production prototype of Aquatica's AD7000 housing in Dominica last week - here are a few of the first underwater images taken with it. I'm in the middle of writing a review of the full system, so expect that to be ready soon. "Champagne" bubbles Tokina 10-17mm @17mm with magic filter F29, 1/6, ISO 100 No strobes Diver with sponges Tokina 10-17mm @13mm F9, 1/40, ISO 100 2 x Ikelite DS160 strobes Scorpionfish eye Nikon 105mm VR F16, 1/320, ISO 100 1 x Ikelite DS160 strobes with ReefNet Fiber Optic Micro Snoot Sharptail eel Tokina 10-17mm @12mm F10, 1/160, ISO 100 2 x Ikelite DS160 strobes Pederson shrimp Nikon 105mm VR with +10 diopter ReefNet SubSee Magnifier F14, 1/200, ISO 125 2 x Ikelite DS160 strobes Keri
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