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rstark

Aquatica A995 Tips (add your own)

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I'd like to start a thread on different tips and techniques fellow A995 users are having success with. I'll go first.

 

If you haven't tried this it's very nice. For macro, turn on the macro flower but DON'T zoom to the area when the flower turns yellow. Instead if you zoom ALMOST all the way to telephoto you can be a little farther away but still get the magnification you want. What I do is in the setup menu I set the start-up zoom options to tele that way all I have to do is turn the camera off and then on again and it is set in exactly the correct zoom position (a little less than full zoom) for this type of macro work. The zoom range we are talking about here is (in 35mm equivalent:

68mm-98mm (with yellow flower)

127mm (with white flower at optimal zoom)

 

If any of you are familiar with Nikon 35mm film then it's like switching between the 60mm macro lens and the 105 macro (a little more working distance but still the same magnification).

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I just received my Aquatica A995 housing yesterday. Haven't got to try it out yet in water. I appreciate your tips.

What is your strobe setup?

I went with the SB-105 and TLC arms. I don't think I like the arms though. They seem so difficut to set up.

Hope I can add some useful tips down the road.

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I have two Sea&Sea YS-90dx's on Ultralight Control Systems arms. I think the TLC arms are similar. If they are, don't worry about how they perform out of the water. When you get them wet they will be easier to handle because gravity isn't working against you as much.

 

BTW do you have the wide angle lens? I have a tip for this.

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I haven't purchased the Wide angle yet but I plan to get it before I go to Hawaii in Nov. I will be diving in NC Sept 27-30 to try out my system. I figured I could get use to it a little before adding the Wide angle.

I am thinking of getting th infinity arm by light and motion. I liked the idea of being abel to adjust the strobe without using both hands. Any experience using them?

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I don't have experience with them but I was considering selling my ULCS arns for those (because I was trying to get my rig a little lighter). They are expensive for what they are. If you do want to go that route then I would suggest that you order just the strobe adapter from L&M and then order the arm portion through the company that actually make the arms. It will be much cheaper. The company that makes the arms is http://www.modularhose.com/

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On the modular hose website you will see on the 3/4 in system page a item called 3/4" Fixed Mount, pack of 2 Code: 60533. This has a 1/4-20 female thread (same as on the base of a camera) on it.

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I have a tip.

One of the concerns I have with the Aquatica housing is the hinges. They seem like they could easily get caught on something and accidently come open. To prevent this from occurring I have bent down the ends where you pull to release the hinge.

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Two tips:

1. If you go for a wide angle lens, get Aquatica's own. I don't know about the Inon, but there is a mismatch with the thread of the Sea & Sea WAL, even though the specification is identical.

 

2. My experience was that the shutter release spring that ships with the housing is too soft for depths below roughly 25m. The button remains depressed once pressed, and only pops up once you ascend to shallower depths. Speak to Aquatica to send you a replacement, stronger spring. I'm sure you will find them extremely accomodating.

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Just to clear up any confusion, the Aquatica Wide Angle Lens IS the INON UWL-100 type1.

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I used my new Aquatica housing for the first time this weekend in North Carolina. I had hoped that since I had a new housing that the improved stronger spring would have come with my housing. I thought maybe they had learned from their mistakes. I was very disappointed when I ran into a huge loggerhead at 120 ft. I got no pictures. Then I saw a big sting ray, again no pictures. We got blown out 2 days and the 1 day we got to dive I hardly got to play with my new toy cause the shutter release kept sticking. I have emailed Aquatica and hope to hear from them soon.

 

Sandy

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Sandy, what happend with Aquatica? Did they send you a new spring?

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Robert,

Instead of having Aquatica send me a new spring, I sent the housing back to them for them to replace it. I was concerned about pressure testing it. Living in PA it's difficult to do that. Plus I thought it is still under warranty so I would let them do it.

Norma was very nice and said they would replace the spring for me. I was a little disappointed though. Since they have had this problem in the past I assumed they would have replaced the springs in the newer housings. Plus they claim that the housings are pressure tested to 300 ft. What good is that if you can't use it below 75 ft.

They did ask what type of diving I did to customize a spring for me. I asked that they find a spring that works well in depths from 10ft-130ft. Even though a majority of my diving is 100ft I don't want to miss opportunities in 10 ft, such as dolphins, mantees...

Shipping to Canada was also a little bit of a problem. Norma asked me to use Federal Express. She said they have problems getting things from UPS. When I went to mail the package they said it would be $92 to ship Fed EX and $18 UPS. Of course I decided to take my chances with UPS. I figured as long as it was insured it shouldn't be a problem. Apparently it was a bit of a problem in Canada. Norma said they had to pay $68 in duties. I don't know if there's a good solution to this. This makes warranty service a little expensive.

I asked that they have my housing returned to me by Nov. 6 for my trip to Hawaii. They assured me I would have it by then. Will let you know how that goes.

Have you had the shutter release problem with your housing?

 

Sandy

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My housing was returned from Aquatica today.

I'm very happy to have it returned way ahead of when I requested it. I asked that I have it back in time for Hawaii at the beginning of Nov.

It eases my mind to get it back early.

The shutter release seems tighter but I can still depress it on the surface with a little effort. The real test will be in 2 weeks. I'll let you know.

 

Sandy :blink:

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Hi

I have just ordered the Aquatica housing for my Coolpix 995. This will be my first attempt doing digital underwater. I think I can use all the tips I can find. Your macro tip was good and something to consider on my upcoming trip to Cozumel over Thanksgiving. I was wondering if you had any tips on the strobe setup. I have a SB105 from my Nikonos. Guess the Aquatica does not do TTL since the sensor is blocked,so will have to practice with manual. Any suggestions as to settings etc. doing either macro or wide angle? I have also ordered the wide angle lens from Aquatica.

 

I hope I receive the housing in time to practice. I just read about the problem some of you have experienced with the shutter spring... I sure hope Aquatica has solved the problem.... That will be a real drag if below 75 ft and I come face to face with a ray or turtle or that once in a life time opportunity and the darn shutter won't work.... you would think for all the money you put into the equipment it would operate efficiently.

 

Thanks for all and any tips.....

Caroline B)

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They have stiffened the spring. I am not sure if you need to request a stiffer one though

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I just returned home from my trip to Kona. Had a great time!!!

I had some trouble with my set up at first. I was a little frustrated at my first attempts. The shutter button was a little stiff at shallow depths which after alot of shooting made my index finger and wrist actually sore. One of my first dives happened to be the night Manta dive which was awesome but at the same time frustrating when I couldn't get the shutter to release half the time. I solved that problem by stealing a felt disc off the bottom of the VCR and sticking it yo my shutter button.

I then had some trouble aiming my strobe. I am so glad that as a beginner that I didn't stay with the TLC stobe arms. Too much task loading. I actually decided to shorten my 18 inch infinity strobe arm to about 9" to help with aiming. It helped tremendously. I figured with 100+ vis back scatter wasn't a huge issue. I don't know how you guys do it with 2 strobes and all that adjusting. With surge, current and moving creatures it's way too much work.

Once I got all the bugs out I started getting good exposures. I didn't find my SB 105 strobe to be a problem with macro shots. After all most macro subjects are still enough to re-expose.

I'll post some of my pictures as soon as I get that part figured out. My husband helped me post one last night of a white mouthed moray. Check it out in Member photos.

I have to get going tonight. Hopefully I'll get them up tomorrow.

Thanks for all the great tips on the board. I thought of you often as I played with my new toy!!!

 

Sandy

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Hi again,

 

I don't know if this post should be here or in the main "Housings" one, but here goes anyway.

 

Some good news, Aquatica seem to have solved the "stiff/sticking" A995 shutter release design problem.

 

To remind you, the problem was that when pressing the shutter release, the "standard" spring does not have enough strength to counteract the pressure "suck" at deeper depths (not so deep actually - below some 20m/65ft), resulting in a "stuck" shutter. But with a stronger spring the release button becomes really hard and uncomfortable to press at shallow depths.

 

Since the housing is rated down to 100m/330ft, we A995 owners rightly expect that the release works well all the way from surface to this depth.

 

Well, yesterday I pressure tested my A995 housing with a newly designed shutter release assembly kindly sent to me by Aquatica, which I replaced myself. The new assembly features a smaller diameter shaft and spring. From the surface down to at least 35m/115ft the release worked as it should - no stiffness, and no getting stuck. I hope that there will be no problems at deeper depths.

 

There was no camera in the housing (I was pressure testing) but I don't believe that this should make any difference at all.

 

So I suggest to all A995 owners with this problem to organise a replacement shutter assembly with Aquatica. But I'm first on the list (the one they sent me is not anodized as I was in a big rush for it) :blink:

 

So thanks Aquatica, for fixing this.

 

John

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How would you rate the spring tension? Is it like the old not so stiff spring or stiffer?

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At the surface, probably a bit softer. Of course, at a deeper depth, stiffer (otherwise it would get stuck :blink: )

 

John

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Robert,

 

Can you go into more detail on how to "make your own" arm system through the modularhose.com website. I have an Olympus housing and would like to spend my $ on strobes, not arms (if possible). :blink:

 

Thanks,

 

Brent

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Sorry for the delay in respone (I liked how the old forum would email you when you got a response).

 

I didn't end up making these arms (at least not yet) I have a set of ULCS arms that I use. The reason that I was thinking of going with the locline arms was to reduce underwater weight.

 

As for making the arms here is what I was (and still might) do.

 

Get:

2 sets of 3/4 segments (#61501)

1 set 3/4 Fixed Mount (# 60533)

2 sets of Light & Motion Infinity Mount for Sea&Sea Strobes

 

Just attach those to whatever base you like. I prefer the ULCS base.

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Robert,

 

I ordered what you suggested, along with the ULCS tray and dovetail. Is that what you meant by "base"? or do I need a shoe?

 

Thanks for your help,

 

Brent

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By base I meant tray, sorry. I don't think you'll need the dovetail. What are you planning to do with it? The 3/4 fixed mount has a 1/4-20 female thread (same threading as a tripod socket on the bottom of a camera). So you can use a stainless steel 1/4-20 bolt with some washers and bolt them directly to the tray. Or better yet, order a handle from ULCS with a 1/4-20 bolt on the top and attach the arm to the top of the handle.

 

Please post a pic of the setup when you're done.

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