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Everything posted by Islandbound

  1. Mike, thanks for the link! Your albums are great, its an inspiration to see your photos. I just got the XTi and am looking to decide on how to house it. I have one extra YS-110 flash thats not committed as well as a DS-51. Do you have any recommendations for me? Thanks
  2. Has anyone had the opportunity to take any photos with the 400D yet either in a new 400 housing or their older 350 housing?
  3. Do you have any pictures you can share? I would love to see how the WA works as well as anything other photos you might have!
  4. I was just at a camera store here in Japan and their D200 body was about 82000 yen. I dont know what that is in AUD...?
  5. Well, I think I found where the G7 likes to be set! I ended up switching to the following settings which are working fairly well: TV mode Macro ISO 100-200 based on water condition/light etc Telephoto set to 2.3 to start, I set the hot button to do the telephoto preset which works well to cycle on/off Shutter Speed 1/250 Exposure -1 AWB Vivid Mode Flash +- to O Center Weighted Average Safety FE to ON Spot AE Point to AF Point Safety Shift to ON IS Mode to Shoot Only I also started to shoot in Manual mode to set the Fstop at 8 to increase the DOF which is working well. It would seem that at this point that most of the errors in the photos are based mostly on user incompetence rather than equipment failure. The album at http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/558982663uaDCTJ contains a number of other photos that are taken with the Canon G7 from this week.
  6. When I bought a housing for the G7 I chose the Ikelite because I wanted the hotshoe flash setup and the ability to use a TTL strobe flash. Without that requirement I would have chosen the Canon housing. I have a Sony housing for the N2 and one annoying "artifact" is a dark shadow band that shows up across the bottom 20% of a photo when shooting Macro with a flash. I understand this is from the relative length of the port on the housing compared to the actual exposed length of the lens. I have had some success using the zoom to eliminate some of that shadow.
  7. Both Air and Nitrox are free at two of the dive shops I shop at.
  8. I just wanted to throw out some pics of the location where my family and I skindive. I live on the western side of the Ryuku Islands about 450 miles south of Japan on Okinawa. The water here is about 70 during the winter and about 89 during the summer. We have everything from great whites to humpbacks within our deeper waters within 15km of our shores and the entire island is dotted with reefs at almost every point around the shoreline. There is very little beach here and the shore is mostly limestone which is very sharp to walk on. Most of the great dive sites are shallower than 60 feet but I personally havent been below 30 feet or so trying to take pictures. The steps lead down to a very active reef half meter to 3 meters in depth. Within 20 meters of the steps there is a reef wall that drops about 10 meters to the ocean floor. Its a great site for sea snakes on the bottom there. I have only seen one shark here and that was last January. Most of our coastline looks like this (there is a large reef at the foot: This is a massive reef at Manzamo Beach: One of the few large beaches on Okinawa at Okuma near the northern shores: I was flying recently over the where I live and took this photo. This is pretty much the way Okinawa looks. Aqua blue waters and reefs, reefs and more reefs. Just below me is where a resident whale shark lives. Several years the Japanes Maritime Academy undertook a scientific study of whale sharks and used a deep water pen to retain one for study. Over the years the shark has taken to its new life with with gusto. We average about 10 typhoons a year here and the pen nets are removed from the ocean and the whale shark is let go. Everytime after the storm the whale returns to the pen area, the pen is reset and life goes on. The ahark is fed daily and is even now a popular dive attraction. For under $200 (US) you can swim and be videotaped with the shark. In the aqua blue waters with the clarity here the pictures come out very nice. Just thought I would share!
  9. Wow, your good! Thanks for the update. I went back out today to see if I could find it but the Lionfish were back and this thing wasnt out.
  10. This is an album full of photos with those same settings http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/558467872fXBXGd
  11. Today was much rougher and visibility started at about 40 feet then over an hour went down to a bit over 10 feet from incoming silt. The wind started blowing from a front coming from the East (Pacific side) which didnt help either. James, I appreciate the compliment but I am firmly stuck in the Novice mode. I cant even figure out how to manipulate the Manual setting and strobe to get any consistent picture. After putting the G7 into the TV mode, the Telephoto preset at 2.3 etc this camera really performs. The Ikelite housing is a bit large but the weight isnt much of a factor in the water. I only wish that the Ikelite folks had managed to design a left hand trigger finger to take the pictures. Because I freedive and dont use a BCD I often have to use my right hand to stay level. I am not trying to bore anyone with pics and this is probably the last set for the weekend (unless we go out tomorrow). When I was shopping for cameras there was and still is a shortage of underwater pics from the G7.
  12. I would like to hear (read) the answer to this question as well. I live overseas and have easy access to standard silicone at dive shops but not the Ikelite grease. My only complaint with Ikelite at this point is that after spending an enormous amount of money on housings and arms and strobes that they only give you a very small not-resealable plastic vial of grease.
  13. Forgot to respond, mine was a scorpionfish
  14. I had just jumped into the water and had swam over to my favorite crevice where two lionfish live and saw this! I couldnt get a body photo as the tendril is extending from down an underlying crevice/cave where I know Scorpionfish/Rockfish live aplenty and didnt want to feel around. The tendril extended easily 16 to 20 inches down to the seafloor and two long prehensile "tongues" were feeling around through the detritus. The "tongues" almost appear to have suckers or something else on their bottom. I was on my way out to some clownfish colonies so I didnt stay around to take any more photos. Anyway, does anyone know what this is?
  15. Had some more fun today with the Canon. The water was a little more clear and smoother which allowed me to stop rolling around and work on the focus and exposure. I switched off of AV mode and went to TV mode, switched the Safety FE to on and preset the zoom/telephoto to 2.3. I found that barely pulling the trigger to set the camera to focus without actually taking the picture and then following up by finishing the trigger pull when ready was the way to go. Once the pre-focus is taken care of the secondary pull on the trigger has virtually no lag. Anyway, here are some of todays photos. Tomorrow I am heading out again to see what else I can learn...
  16. This entire album http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/558467872fXBXGd was shot with the Sony N2 in the Sony housing. No retouching except to crop for various print sizes. The downside is that once the camera is set for Macro and put in the case thats about all its good for except for video. The N2 focuses in almost all conditions very very fast and has next to no shutter lag.
  17. Once again, let me preface this by saying I am the most novice of hobbyists in marine photography. Unlike some, I am not a professional and do this because it keeps me out of trouble doing something else. I began taking pictures in January of this year with a Reefmaster DC500 and decided to move onto something a little more sophisticated. At this point, I am not sure where I landed... The Canon is a nice land camera and in the hands of someone who is smarter than me would probably work well in the water. It has lots of controls which Canon put there to confuse people like me. I am pretty sure some engineer is having a lot of fun tonight thinking about me pushing buttons on the camera to change something which I just changed back from a few minutes before. Anyway, it makes me feel good to push the camera buttons to let it know who is in charge so in the end its all good as they say... The Ikelite housing is robust, tough and the buttons, well, there are those same fun buttons that are on the camera! Wow, I couldnt be happier! I knew that somehow if I keep pushing buttons between shots I will stumble on the magic formula for a good picture! Anyway, I decided to follow advice from Ikelite and set the C1 function up with the AV mode with the flash set up for TTL. I grabbed the silicone, lathered up the orings, admired the nice looking case and set off for the ocean thinking back on all the posts I have memorized from how to flood cases to how real men dont use TTL. On the short drive to the seawall I fondly remembered however I was already married and so decided to stick with TTL because at that point I had nothing left to prove. The Ikelite handled very nicely in the water, is well balanced and the DS51 has a pretty large switch to turn on so I didnt have any problem swimming out to set up for my debut photo shoot and getting the camera and flash turned on. I might have even had thoughts of all those POTW Contests I would win with my new rig. If I win enough of them I wont ever have to buy TShirts again, right! Soon however, I realized the one thing that Canon forgot to ship with the G7 and even Ikelite forgot to mention in thier sales ad for that gorgeous housing they make. It wasnt a realization that came in a flash mind you, it more like sort of crept up on me. You see, as I was working my way through the series of overblown and out of focus pictures for the day it occured to me deep in my mind that ,"Wow, if you knew what your doing this camera would really do a good job! You'd have to be some kind of idiot to not get some good photos with this thing..." About 30 minutes later I realized I WAS that idiot who couldnt get the camera to work. I am going to write Canon I think and complain that nobody told me I had to know the relationship between fStop, Shutter speed, lighting, exposure and all those other settings that keep coming up when I push the fun-buttons. Who knew that roulette-photography wouldnt work? Out of 120 some odd photos that I took that day only a dozen or so came out without looking like some grossly deformed fish or coral melting into the background (which I might add was more often in focus than what I intended to photograph). I had so many overlit pictures you would think I was trying to vaporize all life on the reef with my new Ikelite LaserCanon with the camera being used as an aiming device. This of course would be preposterous because that would mean that whatever unfortunate fish I was picking on would have to be centered in the picture frame, right? Ok. Now the aftermath. I ended up spending the day learning the G7/Ikelite TTL rig and am ready to retry the ocean tomorrow! I have chased every Gecko, looked at each flower and found every bug in the yard... and taken its picture, twice. Ready at last, I am heading back out to the broad seas (next to shore actually) to spend some time with the fishes. And my wife. Pictures to follow...
  18. Is there one particular thing that causes flooding more than any other?
  19. Luckily I am so new to the hobby that almost everything I do is new! I live on an island and do get the chance to dive several times a week. I find myself reading with interest the ideas of the more experienced people here and then try to act on those ideas in the water. Posts like how to get a black or blue background, framing etc are very helpful and give me much to think about in the water. katamuki
  20. This post is interesting to me in another way. Here in the islands south of Japan its quite often the spear fisherman who is competing against you for the reef. While there are alot of scuba tourists who do come here from China, Japan, Korea etc most of them tend to stay with the local guides in specific areas. Most of the best areas are largely unused by these groups, however the fishermen here seem to know these areas and its not uncommon to be dodging a fishing lure being reeled across the top of a reef.
  21. Sorry for the delay but I was hoping someone with a W90 would reply first. I have a N2 which I am hoping is similar enough that the settings I have found to be successful will work with your camera as well. For Macro photos: Manual Mode - F4.0 -Shutter @ 1000 Focus: Spot AF Flash: Forced Flash Macro: On Color Mode: Vivid Metering Mode: Spot White Balance: Daylight ISO: 100 P.Quality: Fine Contrast: Normal Sharpness: Normal Digital Zoom: Off Red Eye Reduction: Off AF Illuminator: Off Housing: On For general photos I tend to use the Program Mode with most of the same settings. The video mode on my camera doesnt allow any setup/change so I cant make adjustments to that portion.
  22. Did you get your Ikelite housing yet? When I talked to the folks at Reefphoto I was told that you could also order the standard housing and the WA housing port as a seperate item. Did you order them that way?
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