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Posts posted by Islandbound

  1. We watched this guy munch his way across the algae at about 8 feet deep. The eyes are not on stalks but are located along the central head area and they do follow you as you move by. When my wife stopped to look at it, the snail(?) stopped, looked at her and a face off ensued until my wife ran out of air. Anyone know what it is?


    Hmm, anyone have a recipe for Escargot-de-Mer? :rolleyes:







  2. I just bought the D80 and 18-70mm lens and ordered the Ikelite from Reefphoto. Great setup! The folks at Reef were very nice once I got throught to them and have been easy to access for some questions I had. I have had the Ikelite twice in the water so far this week and am very pleased with it. My only regret is I have only one DS51 strobe and its obvious that any photo above f16 and sometimes f11 need a second strobe to adequately illuminate the subject. The camera is awesome and focuses/snaps pictures so quickly I was amazed.


    The port assembly is a bit unnerving as it seems there isnt much pressure compressing the oring compared to the strong latches on the backplate. The housing is easy to use, all the buttons are there and the two handles are nice. The dome port tends to swing up as the camera body weighs a lot and one handed holding can be tiresome. If you are freediving for your photos the mass of the Ikelite is to me fairly substantial and the drag can be a bit much. Having said that, the housing is very nice so far and looks to be a winner!


    My first outing with D80 (never had a DSLR before)














  3. Obviously the biggest issue is lag time from when the button is pushed. Even with the shutter speed set high enough (like in the sports mode or in manual) the problem is the focus to shutter closure the fish is moving. So far I have not been too successful in photographing a quicker moving fish with the G7. I assume the 640 is about the same. This isnt to say I havent gotten some good shots. So far though I have realized that the only good shots I have gotten is from a fish quartering away or towards me. A faster fish moving perpendicular to my camera angle always seem to be just OOF or not centered in the frame. The quickest animal I have ever gotten a good shot was of a cuttlefish swimming away almost perpendicular to me. I maintained constant swim speed with him, focused the SPOT on him and continued to pace it until the camera exposed the image. Only a DSLR I think is quick enough to catch a fast-mover at this point. I will continue to work on it though!

  4. I bought a $27(US) UK Q40 eLed, used the strap to attach it to the arm of an Ikelite D80 housing and it worked great. This is a pic from under a deep overhang where I was using the light beam to poke around with. The light is "on" the fish while snapping the photo and this is an untouched pic.





    The light does move a bit while swimming but this wasnt a problem to me as it reaims quickly. Even with no air tanks it was not a prolonged issue to reaim the light if needed. All of the second half of this pics in this album http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/559258242EItCQo were taken with the q40 used as a focus light.

  5. Sorry for the size of the critter in the photo. It is really really small about 2cm in length and I was using a 18-70mm Nikon lens for the first time and I didnt know how close I could get to the critter for a good focal length. I took two photos, had to surface for air and when I swung back around it was nowhere to be found.



  6. I understand about the weather. On the other side of the island less than 5km from me the coastal waves are almost up to 3 meters. On my side there is barely a ripple and other than the silt from the heavy rains the water was fine!


    I made a huge mistake yesterday and was using the DS51 strobe and left the white balance set on UW mode and every single pic was pretty much washed out as far as color. There was some pretty neat stuff out yesterday too, not really happy...

  7. I went ahead and bought a D80 and the Ikelite housing with dome port arrived from Reefphoto yesterday! After assembly last night I have a question for some of you experienced users. How do I know that the port is sealed? I am used to seeing the compressed oring like the back plate but cannot see the oring at all with the port. The two clips are locked and clicked but again I cannot see that the system is secure. Any suggestions on how you seal and confirm the seal on your Ikelite?


    Thanks, sorry for such a newbie question...!

  8. Yesterday my wife and I were in a flat water area behind a massive exposed reef where very little water exchange happens and there are some fresh water underground water runoffs. We decided to check it out to see what, if anything, lives there. The water is silty, visibility is very low ranging from 1 to 2.5 meters or so depending on the cloud of silt your swimming through. Anyway, not 10 feet from the shore and standing in 50cm or so of water a baby seasnake about 30cm long with blue bands instead of the white comes slipping out of the depths to check us out before moving on to continue his hunt. We decided to follow him to see what turned up. After a few minutes of swimming along we spotted two banded pipefish camouflaged against the silty bottom. Much to our suprise, one was the normal thin bodystyle but the other had a very much enlarged midsection. The "normal" sized one immediately began to dart here and there in what appeared to be an attempt to draw us off from the other one. We slowed down to not spook the "thicker" one and I turned the flash off and did my best to not disturb "her". So, whats the diagnosis? Pregnant, or just needs a little excersize?







    I also had to post a pic of the juvenile seasnake, its made made me a bit nervous compared to adults as it was certainly more active and curious than I normally see. However, the coloration was very cool!



  9. A huge advantage of a PNS over a DSLR is the video capability. Most have 640x480 at 30fps and some like the G7 have 1024 @ 15fps. Thats good enough to frame grab and print 4x6 from which is nice when your trying to catch fast movers like octopus,cuttle or little fishes etc that wont slow down.


    I have both the G7 in an Ikelite and have a D80 which I expect the Ikelite to arrive in several weeks. My goals are to use the G7 when the whole family goes to the water as it is undoubtedly the more versatile camera with video, internal flash etc ready to go. I am in the water several times a week alone and this is what the D80 is going to be used for. Most of this album at http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/558982663uaDCTJ was shot with a G7 although some were with a Sony N2 in a Sony housing.


    I just began shooting UW photos in the last several months and certainly dont know as much as some of the folks here. This site has been an enormous help in both the technical use of a camera's controls as well as a source of how to improve the photo rendering and composition. Needless to say, I am still working on both!


    Good Luck!


    p.s. Just wanted to say, I get a consistent 130-140 shots per battery with 4 to 5 15-20 second video clips as well.

  10. Wow, thanks! Where we go into the water here there are literally thousands of urchins underfoot and this is the first one I have seen against the seawall which has the two color spines. Is the madreporite always extended like that or is it a temporary extrusion to refill the internal system with water?

  11. Aussie, yes, you are correct in that it was not that deep. We were in a small tidal reef area near a river mouth and the water ranged from 3 to 10 feet deep. We actually were looking for a blue ring that we know lives there but didnt find him today. The banded pipefish was fun to watch though!


    James, Its not that I didnt want to use a flash yesterday. I had intended on attaching the DS51 and had connected the Ikelite cord inside the case to the hotshoe of the G7. However, I left the flash at home and forgot all about the cord being connected. I didnt notice I had the cord connected till after I was in the water and so ended up without flash for the dive. There is no way to get the G7 to fire a flash when that cord is connected.


    Today I went out to deeper water and took some Internal flash pics. I set the G7 to the same UW mode and set the flash to Auto and started shooting away. The first thing I noticed is that again, the focus time is much quicker than in any other mode other than SCN. The internal flash also did not fire frequently. The Lionfish face here is about 20 feet down in darker silty water and the camera did NOT auto fire the flash.



    The camera also did not fire the flash at this Nudi which is about 8 feet underwater. The camera was set to Autoflash.



    I decided to force-flash some pics after this. I dont think I can really see a difference in the exposure even with the internal flash. It is very obvious when it goes off though.





    and... I used the forced-flash here to countereffect the sun blacking out the starfishs side I was photographing...



    This pic is from inside a cave with the camera set to Autoflash which obviously did work.



    It seems to me that the G7 in the Ikelite with or without the external strobe works well for just about any photos other than large Wide Angle ones. The water has been pretty silty for several months here and I havent had a chance to actually take some large WAngle photos very much. I suspect that the Strobe will become more important with this type of photography. This is not to say that a strobe helps with the up-close photos, it does yield more color with a strobe.


    I took this a week ago as a test photo with a single DS51 on TTL in UW mode to see how the various distances would be exposed. The picture was taken about 10 feet underwater at dusk. The coral is only 4 feet or so from me, the first rock outcrop on the left is about 10 feet and the back of the picture is about 20 feet from the camera.



    Aussie, you need to hurry up and start experimenting with your camera! Your experiences would be interesting to know about and which settings you find most useful.

  12. My wife and I have been swimming near an estuary lately and today while walking on the rocks past a tidepool we saw this flat "thing". It was about 4 inches long, 2.5 inches wide and moved very quickly over rock out of the water until it got back into a pool where it flattened itself into a crevice. Anyone know what it is?







  13. Aussie


    I went back again and tried the Underwater mode in the SCN section. I set the telephoto to 2.3 and the flash was off. I did fiddle between shots with the +-exposure button if what a picture seemed too dark or bright. It is firmly my belief that the G7 focus time in the Underwater mode is easily half that of the AV or TV or Manual mode. I cannot subtantiate this with a stopwatch but it seems very quick compared to normal. Have you had the opportunity to try the separate modes yet?


    These pics are all UW mode, no flash, and telephoto preset with some zoom as well.








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