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Christian K

What would you get for a $6000 budget?

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I'm in a pretty strange situation. Unexpectantly it seem like I will have app. US$6000 to spend on a new digital rig (my first). BUT, I'm going on a trip in one month (nov 16th) and I really would like to bring it. So I can't wait too long for delivery.

 

What would you choose? Camera, ports, lenses, flashes, arms...

Mainly want to shoot WA. It has to be new stuff.

 

thank's

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Yes, I have been thinking about the D80, but it seems like we have to wait for the housings. Sea & Sea claim they will release one now, but all dealers I have been in touch with seem puzzled and say that is a best case scenario. Is my budget too small for the D200-route, not rthat I really would prefer the D200 over the D80, but housings seem more readily available.

 

/christian

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Right now, for underwater photographers nikon has one big advantage over canon. The 10.5mm fisheye lens. So if you want to shoot Super-Wide and can not afford Canon's $3000 5D, Id definately go with Nikon. If you do not think you need the 10.5mm lens, canon would be a little cheaper and has marginally better image quality (especially in low light if you want to try natural light).

 

But since you say your main priority is WA, Nikon is probably the better choice.

 

For any Nikon body I would recomend the following. Considering your budget I would consider Ikelite the only contender for a housing. Anything else and you will definately be over-budget.

 

1300 Ikelite Housing

600 Nikon 10.5 fisheye

500 Tonkina 12-24

1600 2x DS-125 with arms and sync cord

500 8" dome port for 10.5 and 12-24

 

(if you want to do macro ) 100 flat port

400 60mm macro

 

This puts you at either $4600 for just WA or $5100 for WA and some Macro.

 

So you have ~1000 left for a body.

 

So the D200 is really out of your budget. So this I'd email Ikelite and see if they think they can get you a D80 housing in time for your trip. Their website says available November, and there are alllready reports in the forums of people who have recieved Ikelite D80 housings so there is a chance.

 

Othewise you are going to either go over-budget and get a D200, or Stay within your budget and go with a slightly older body either the D70 or D50.

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Or drop the 10.5 and then he can afford the D200...:-)

 

Cheers

James

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Depends on how much money you will have later for lenses and misc items and how much will you actually use it. There are a lot of great used systems for sale, Canon and Nikon. You would have more money available to buy better lenses and more of them.

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Sea and Sea housing + D80 would cost more than Ikelite housing + D200 so even if you could get a Sea and Sea housing, it would not help from a budget stand point.

 

Or drop the 10.5 and then he can afford the D200...:-)

 

Cheers

James

 

Or, Drop the 10.5 and go with the Canon 30D

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I'll go also with William's suggestion without dropping the 10.5.

What I'll replace are the strobes, If you'll buy two Nikonos-105 instead the DS-125 it will cost you ~500$ - 600$, this way you can save like 1000$ for the D200.

You won't have ITTL (not very important at WA if at all) and the recycle time of the strobes is not as good as the DS125 but it's a lot cheaper and when you decide to cell them you can do it with very little lose of money.

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Thank's for all replies. I could definetely skip the macro-lens. At this point I might not even need the 12-24 (but buy it later). The 10.5 is what I need for this specific trip (or a similar lens for Canon or another brand of camera).

 

How much more expensive is an Aquatica hosusing for the D200 compared to the Ike?

 

/christian

 

/cheistian

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Hijack warning--------

I take it the D80 can turn off the pre-flash, hence the ability to use SB-105 strobes? And Canon cameras can't disable pre-flash, hence the unpopularity of SB strobes on Canons?

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Hijack warning--------

I take it the D80 can turn off the pre-flash, hence the ability to use SB-105 strobes? And Canon cameras can't disable pre-flash, hence the unpopularity of SB strobes on Canons?

 

Hey, start your own thread man :D

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If you are focused in only WA maybe this is an option:

 

Canon 5D + canon 15mm =3380-660(BHcanonrebate) =2720

Ikelite housing for 5D =1280 (quick look at BH...)

Ikelite 8" Dome Kit for Super Wide Angle Lenses= = 376

Ikelite 3944.75 SubStrobe DS-125 Digital Package

with TTL Sync Cord and

Deluxe Ball Socket Strobe Arm= 820 then 2X =1640

 

Total= = 6016

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Preflash doesn't matter when your strobes are connected to the housing/camera by a sync cord (electrical). The flashes just fire when you take a photo - at whatever power you set them at.

 

If you want to go with "legacy" flashes, that's a way to save money, but I do not recommend the SB105's. I used them before and they have many problems. 1) the sync cord gets frozen onto the strobe, 2) the beam angle is too narrow, 3) not enough flashes per charge, 4) recycle time is WAAAAAAAYYYYYYY too slow. Additionall, they would require a Nikon cord, so if you want to upgrade to Ikelite strobes later to get TTL, you'd have to replace the cord too.

 

If you want to get some cheap legacy strobes for WA shooting, I'd strongly recommend picking up two SS 100a's (also called AI's) on ebay.

 

Another alternative not suggested is to pick up a 5D + 15mm Sigma Fisheye, + Ikelite housing. That would be $2,300 + $450 + $1,300 +$500, + Strobes. That would leave you $1,450 for strobes - not bad at all. You'd get 13 megapixels of full frame fisheye-ness with very good high ISO performance.

 

Cheers

James

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everyone is suggesting 2 strobes ... i have been shooting for 6 years on one strobe .. i may get one soon .. but you definately don't need two straight away IMO

 

james .. whats the last $500 for ? a port ?

 

Sea and Sea's housing for the 5d is sweet looking and maybe my upgrade this new years, it's not too expensive either .. at least i didn't think so.

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I think that you could definately get by if you only had one strobe in your kit if you added a pack of Magic Filters, depending on where you trip is to, especially given your preference for WA.

 

I think it is often better to get what you want instead of to settle then feel the overpowering urg to upgrade to what you wanted in the first place as funds become avialable.

 

Get that set of strobes that you will want to have for years by buying in stages. You won't be sorry to have the filters eitherway (IMHO...)

 

Happy shooting!

John

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I snooped around and you could get a D70s package for 5535.00 $, including Nikon D70s camera body, 10.5mm fisheye, Aquatica housing, 8" dome port, 2X strobes arm, 2X Ikelite DS-125. Its out there I saw it, that camera is still very popular, even if some folk might regard it as "old technology", i've done a few front page and double spread with an older D100 camera. I think it would crank up your hardware for dollars value to look into this camera, BTW a shoot the Sigma 10-20mm EX and have to admit to liking the lens a lot, it's a few hundred dollard less than the 10.5 fisheye, and give you more or less a 100 degree of coverage without noticable distortion. B&H as the D70s and lenses in stock ready to ship.

 

Regards

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If you mainly want to shoot WA (with a penchant for the 10.5mm) then I would suggest two strobes.

 

I think its hard to fill an area with the 10.5 with just one strobe. Filters work wonders but to me thats a specialized application that works very well under certain circumstances but not one I would want to be limited by. You can use one strobe if all you want is CFWA, but it would be a shame to further constrain your technique. If you are serious you will eventually get two strobes. If you are going Ikelite (which with your budget it seems to make the most sense) then one strobe is a unnecessary detour since you will then need to get a single sync cord then buy a dual. These aren't cheap at ~90-150 bucks each.

 

Keep in mind that the 10.5 is really a specialty lens. Its very wide and so it can be hard to approach subjects close enough to get enough subject in your shot. Its also hard to keep extrainious items out of the frame. The 12-24mm is still very wide but more versitile.

 

With $6K (sounds like a lot of money but actually it isn't) I would keep an eye toward upgrades.

 

I would go with the D200 as I think the added features are worth it. Relative to the total cost of the system the extra $600 isn't significant and your chances of getting a housing right away are better with the d200. Ikelite is saying November for the housing.

 

I don't think you can get anything but an Ikelite housing on your budget. 10 bar only has housings for the D70. The D80 isn't out yet.

 

Here's what I would do:

 

Nikon D200 w/ 18-70mm lens $1650 (you will need a standard zoom for topside)

Ikelite D200 Housing $1300

Ultralight strobe arms $200

2x DS125s with a smart charger and dual sync cord $1600

8" dome port and shade $400 (this is how they are selling this now)

#5510.22 12-24 mm Body only $150

Tokina 12-24mm lens $500

Bag to carry it all in $200

 

Now you need a bit more for trinkets like a snap clip to attach to your housing, small screwdrivers to assemble it with extra O rings spare battery, memory cards etc. Woops you are alredy over budget!

 

Alternately you could substitute the 10.5mm for the 12-24mm and get the D200 body only but if this is your only lens for a camera that you will likely use topside as well that would be a shame. You could at least get by with the 12-24mm. And it really is pretty darn wide.

Edited by UWphotoNewbie

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Giles - that's an old Film N80 classified.

 

But nice of you to point out though.

 

Cheers

James

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Giles - that's an old Film N80 classified.

But nice of you to point out though.

I hate mornings !

 

My eyes play tricks !

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The US$ exchange rate was a bit lower than I expected, so it's more like 8500 than 6000 :D

So I have more or less decided on going for a D200 in a hugyfot with 2xInon strobes. This is all readily available here in Sweden, and seemes like a nice, nimble setup with a lot of potential.

 

thank's everyone for responding

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For any Nikon body I would recomend the following. Considering your budget I would consider Ikelite the only contender for a housing. Anything else and you will definately be over-budget.

 

1300 Ikelite Housing

600 Nikon 10.5 fisheye

500 Tonkina 12-24

1600 2x DS-125 with arms and sync cord

500 8" dome port for 10.5 and 12-24

 

Or go with a 10.5FE and either the Sigma 15 or a (used) Nikon 16 FE, and you can get great results with the compact port, saving space and money. The 15/16 FE's are very nice lenses on the 1.5 cropped Nikons, and are sharper, more compact, faster, and cheaper than any 12-24 (or 10-20) zoom out there.

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The US$ exchange rate was a bit lower than I expected, so it's more like 8500 than 6000

So I have more or less decided on going for a D200 in a hugyfot with 2xInon strobes. This is all readily available here in Sweden, and seemes like a nice, nimble setup with a lot of potential.

 

thank's everyone for responding

God bless America ;)

Looks like a good decide, just check that you have good service for what ever you choose, preferred local service.

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I think you can get a D-200 in an Ikelite housing and 8" dome with a single DS-125 within your budget. Call Ryan at ReefPhoto or Ken at California Digital Diving. I would NOT settle for anything less.

 

D200 $1700

Ike Housing $1500

Ike Dome $500

12/24 lens $900

Ds-125 w/cord $800

4Gig CF $200

UG to Photoshop CS2 $200

ULCS flotation arms $200

-------------

$6000

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