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Stoo last won the day on August 13 2020

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. Pretty hard to go wrong with a GoPro for video, and you don't risk a flooded phone.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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)
  9. 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.
  10. Haha... Ya, that's where I found my first DSLR system. FWIW, I sold it two years later and the guy who bought it nailed a gorgeous tadpole image that ended up in National Geographic, and subsequently in their limited edition print stores! I'm still waiting for my share of the royalties. ;-)
  11. I'm with Tim on this. In many ways, the camera body is the least expensive part of an UW DSLR system, yet it is the bit that may limit the quality of your images. I went through this very thought process myself many years ago. I had an older EOS, and was going to house it. So basically I was going to spend thousands of dollars to house a camera that was worth about $1.49. Ultimately, I bought a used system, added to it and that turned out to be a much better solution. I've since upgraded twice but I'm still using the same glass, strobes, ports and arms.
  12. I’ve been using Ikelite strobes for years. Currently I have 161s. I had to replace a battery on the one that is about 13 years old (bought used with). Both have been flawless and i use them a lot... thousands and thousands of shots annually. Back in analog days, I used 225s. They were great as well. Never any issues other than a battery replacement 10- years in. I still have them in my basement for some inexplicable reason. ive heard good things about INON as well, but Sea &Sea see to regularly have issues and in Canada, that means shipping to Japan for repair and from what I’ve heard, that literally never ends well.
  13. Oh sorry... my misunderstanding. I can’t tell you the other. Can you not get weight specifications from the product websites. I can tell you that I’m salt water, my typical setup is probably about 3-4 kg negative. The dome makes a big difference and if I shoot all day with my mini dome, my hands are tired. The 8” dome makes the rig a little less heavy, but it also causes the rig to want to “twist” into a dome-up position. I should add that I don’t use floats at all. I have too much crap to carry now. I don’t bother even for local diving.
  14. I just had this chat with a friend who was pondering a Nikon Mirrorless vs a DSLR, so I'm tell you what I told him. The weight of a specific camera body and lens won't be substantially different than any other comparable body and lens. They aren't the problem. It's all the other junk you need to take a few pics in the water. Will you be carrying strobes and batteries, multiple lenses, arms, domes, rings etc? And then there's the housing... They all add up. What I can tell you is that my D500, Aquatica housing, two Ikelite 161s, a Tokina 10-17, Nikkor 105, Nikkor 60, a wet, diopter, mini-dome, cords and a few tools, all jammed into a Pelican 1510 roller case is about 43 pounds. I also tote an 8" dome and macro port in my clothes bag. and then in a backpack, a second D500 body with a Nikkor 12-24 and maybe a crappy topside zoom. Oh, and a 15" MacBook. So basically, my camera gear is about the same weight as my dive gear. I take a few clothes, but mostly to pad other gear. In my next life, I'm taking up badminton,
  15. I can’t speak to the Ikelite question but I will say that the vacuum system provides a very nice bit of comfort. I draw a vacuum in my Aquatica system before breakfast and If it’s still good an hour later I know it’s one less thing to worry about. The little green light is oddly comforting. I’ll add that on my last housing the vacuum told me that I had a minor leak someplace. It turned out that it was a fitting with a hairline crack. There was no water getting in so if not for the vacuum, I’d have been oblivious to the problem until it was perhaps too late.. If your comparing costs, don’t forget to factor in the lens. I’m shooting a D500 and depending on the lens, I could easily have $3500 CDN in that little box. The vacuum is obviously a fraction of that.
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