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Stoo last won the day on September 12

Stoo had the most liked content!

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About Stoo

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    Sting Ray

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D 500, Nikkor 12-24, 105 macro, 60 macro, Tokina 10-17, 45 Viewfinder
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    DS 161 x 2
  • Accessories
    TLC arms

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  1. That place looks familiar. ;-) Nice shots Sid!
  2. One other issue (which may not be an issue at all) is their depth rating as compared to aluminum housings like Nauticam, Aquatica, Seacam etc. Because they're plastic, they aren't as strong... There was a time when Ikes relied on little more than water pressure to hold the ports on. I think they fixed this some years ago, but if this an older housing, it bears checking out. In any case, they are a cost-effective housing so likely a great choice for someone just getting serious about UW shooting.
  3. Guys like you make guys like me look bad. Seriously though, good for you! Saves some $$ and keeps another hunk of garbage out of the landfill. I hope it works as you expect!
  4. Batteries all have an "end of life" at some point. I don't profess to be an expert, but I know some batteries show as fully charged until you put them under load. Boat batteries are notorious for this as they go through many cycles of partial discharge and partial recharge. I'd be inclined to try some new, non-rechargeable batteries just for fun. It's the least expensive way to test the strobe. Your 24 rechargeable batteries may well all be suspect.
  5. I fiddled with Gorilla tripods, but found they just can't support a full-sized housing. And then of course if you're shooting anywhere other than the bottom, tripods aren't much help. That warbonnet shot was at night, 90' deep on a wall in BC which I was being pushed along by a decent current. The D500 has amazingly fast focus capabilities. Tripods have their places, especially for macro video, but I find I can get by with lots of light and a fairly fast shutter speed. Sadly, we need to also keep a small aperture to keep any sort of depth of field. All this to say, "if it was easy, everyone would be doing it!"
  6. I'm going to go a little against the grain here. I shoot a D500 cropped sensor and use both a 60 and 105 for macro. Personally, I find the 60 and a + wet diopter to be really a useful combo. The 60 is great for "close-ups" but I don't find it super useful as a macro lens for smaller things. I keep the diopter in a pocket and pop it on for tighter portraits and macro. At the same time, I can still use the 60 alone for some larger things. It's a great combo if you have commitment issues. I also use the diopter on my 105. That gives me "shrimp faces". I'd like to play with a +10 as well, but I suspect it would be a bugger to focus on the 105 with a cropped sensor. This warbonnet is about "thumb-sized" and was shot with that combo.
  7. Pretty hard to go wrong with a GoPro for video, and you don't risk a flooded phone.
  8. Yes of course.... a little preventative medicine goes a long way. Most of my diving is in fresh water too, which solves that problem to a large extent. It was the actual cables breaking that I was referring too.
  9. I have to ask... WTF are you doing with your rig to incur all that damage... using it as a hammer? In my experience, those fibre-optic cables are really flimsy. I've never used them myself, but friends I dive with that use them have frequent issues with cables breaking. I suppose the upside is that the cables are cheap and easy to swap out. I've been using the same chords to my Ikes for maybe 10 years... I just replaced one of them with my spare this spring finally. I'd just be concerned that if you're having issues keeping the hard-wire connection safe, you may be in for even more trouble with optical.
  10. My guess is that the camera isn’t seated properly in the housing. The vacuum shouldn’t be creating all that much pressure relative to say a moderately deep dive. I suppose one way to determine this for sure would be to skip the vacuum and dive the camera to 100’ or something and see if you have the same problem. It may be your controls need to be tweaked a little to fit your specific camera but I think if that was the case, the symptoms would persist regardless of the vacuum situation. Camera bodies can have very minor differences in tolerances depending on which plant they come from. But my guess is that the camera just isn’t sitting quite right perhaps take it out, confirm controls are where they need to be and reload it I hope this helps!
  11. Off-camera strobes are very common in UW shooting, especially in cave and wreck photography. Some strobes have built in slave sensors, while others require an add-on sensor. This is preferred as the slave strobe doesn't need to be "looking" at the camera. Many folks are using video lights over strobes for these kinds of shots since it's simpler to preview the shot. As for gear recommendations, I am most familiar with the Ikelite offerings and they have a remote sensor for slave activation. If you're looking to trigger land strobes remotely, you can use a Pocket Wizard to do that. Aquatica makes a housing for it as well. https://aquatica.ca/technical-lighting-control/water-wizard/ Good luck!
  12. I think you're falling into the old "more money = better photos" vortex. The argument has some merit, if you're a capable photographer, but as you said yourself, you have almost no experience with photography and not much more with diving. Most new UW photographers discover it's exceedingly tricky to get good shots out of the bag. Many years ago, my brother, who is a sponsored Canon pro, borrowed an old UW film setup of mine for a trip to Galapagos. He came back and pronounced that "underwater photographer is impossible". My point is only that starting with a complex system is more likely to yield frustration than strong images. So contrary to what you said above, there is nothing wrong with "buying twice" as your skills improve. You may find it comes easily, or you may find you don't have an "eye" for it. It's always better to take crappy images with a cheap camera than a fancy one... if nothing else, you have a good excuse! We all have friends who have to have the latest camera gear but they can't make a memorable issue to save their lives!
  13. Do you have a clue about photography generally? If not, starting with a DSLR will likely be a hugely expensive AND frustrating experience. If you don't, start with a decent p&s like a TG6 perhaps. Used DSLRs will always be available, but until you develop some photography skills, they'd just be "too much" I believe. It sounds like you're a relatively new diver, but diving lots, which is great, but don't under-estimate the task-loading involved with a complex camera system.
  14. I have used a mid-grade land tripod in fresh water... works fine. I'd use it in salt as well, but only if I considered it to be disposable. (It's about 20 years old, so it kinda is I suppose)
  15. The stiff drink prior to beginning with MicroMesh is critical. Someone else may have mentioned this, but there are a couple of videos of someone doing this on YouTube. It's a reassuring when you watch one of those first.
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