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waja

Putting It All Together

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I have purchased the Canon 20D, 100mm lens, 10-22mm lens, Aquatica A20, Port Extension, Dome Port, Flat Port, DS-125 Stobes, Digital Controllers, ULCS Arms, Acer 8104 Notebook, LowePro CompuTrekker AW Computer/Camera Backpack, and Pelican 1510 Case. I laid it all out on the floor and I'm just a little (ok a lot) overwhelmed.

 

My first concern is how to get it all packed up and carried onto the plane. I have less than 5 weeks to go for a trip to Grand Cayman.

 

Should anything be put into checked luggage? My first candidates are the ULCS Arms. (Has anyone had an issue in carry on?) These are 12" long and should be safe in the luggage. My second candidate is the Aquatica Dome Shade. Huge.

 

In to the Pelican 1510, I could put the Housing (remove the handles?), both strobes, the flat port and port extension, battery chargers, Digital Controllers, and Synch Cords. And that is about it unless I want to mount the camera in the housing also. Another question. Should I get the body cap or port cap? Does anyone worry about dust and such when transporting the housing? I was planning on just getting some ziplock bags (big ones too).

 

In the backback, I am going to put my laptop, camera lens, 8" dome, and anything else that I need to carry on. I will also carry on my dive computer and dive mask. If I have room, I will add my regulator, but I think that I have run out of space.

 

Once I get to Grand Cayman, I need to assemble things. I can see how they go together (well sort of), but in what order? Do I put the camera lens on first and then put the camera into the housing? Do I put the port on before I put the camera in the housing? Does it matter?

 

How well is the housing suppose to work? The controls that work by friction don't appear to work very easily. Is this normal? The on-off switch takes more pressure that I thought should be needed. The knob that turns the wheel on top of the camera (sorry, don't know the name) needs just the right amout of pressure. Too little and nothing happens. Too much and it will slip off of the wheel. The knob that works the manual focus is not very smooth. Is this normal? And is there a direction for mounting the focus gear? Or a trick to mounting the zoom gear on the 10-22mm?

 

Anyway, say I do get everything together and I'm ready to jump in. Can someone tell me what setup you start with on the 20D? By this, I mean if you were going to shoot macro, what settings are on the camera when you jump in the water. Do you always try to have the same settings or do you do your setup once you are in the water? How is that * button set? and used?

 

Sorry to have so many questions but going from a Nikonos V to the Canon 20D has increased my options just a little (or a lot) beyond what I know.

 

Thanks to everyone in advance. I will be taking notes.

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There are several threads here discussing the topic of flying with camera gear. A quick search will reveal much.

 

My method is to Check the housing, ports and strobes in a hard case. Camera lenses and laptop are cary-on.

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Camera settings.

 

Allways RAW, AWB, Center point AF, M exposure. I start out with 1/200 F/16 ISO 100 for macro and 1/100 F/8 ISO 100 for WA.

 

Using * for AF can be slected in the Custom functions. It is personal prefrence.

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Oh man - what a setup.

Let us know how you do with it. I've only got the 20D so far- everything else is waiting for now..........

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There are several threads here discussing the topic of flying with camera gear.  A quick search will reveal much.

 

My method is to Check the housing, ports and strobes in a hard case.  Camera lenses and laptop are cary-on.

 

acroporas,

Thanks, there is quite a bit to digest from the other threads. I haven't seen any pictures yet, but there are references to them so I'm guessing that sooner or later they expire. Well, I'm still reading...

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Well, If you have 5 weeks then you have plenty of time... first thing I'd do is take

the housing and ports to the pool.... install them one at a time and check for leaks...

 

That'd be the first night activities.... next would be to practice putting the camera in

and mounting the lenses( at home in the livingroom)... get that down pat... put the ports on a take a few pictures without the strobes... check it all out and make sure the zoom ring works and feel how it would be underwater... don't force the zoom on the 10-22... it has only so much travel.... the focus will spin on both lenses... but the zoom does not spin freely ... it has a stop going both ways. You need to practice this before hand.

 

I mount the camera with the body cap... then I reach in and remove the body cap

and mount the lens... same way when I'm removing the lens, then replace the body cap....

 

 

 

Then I'd mount the strobes and shoot the whole setup out of the water in the living room. put some things on the floor or table and shoot just like your underwater...

 

change the strobe aiming to see how it all works and take a few notes...

 

You should also make sure you understand the exposure of the camera with the lenses stopped down with aperatures of at least f 8 and go all the way out to F32... make notes as to the histogram at the different settings. RAW all the way of course.

 

If you can't get the exposure you want you will have to adjust the camera with the flash exposure compensation.... the small button, top of camera , far right... go ahead and set it all the way to the right and test the flash with the lenses stopped down... now is the time to get this right in your head... out of the water.

 

I don't check anything these days... but I have the wife to help carry it all... two back packs and two pelican 1510's for two full setups.

 

We carry one full still setup (Canon 20D), one full video setup( Sony PD170), laptop,

200GB extranal Hard drive and lots of strobes and lights...

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If you can't get the exposure you want you will have to adjust the camera with the flash exposure compensation....  the small button, top of camera , far right...  go ahead and set it all the way to the right and test the flash with the lenses stopped down...  now is the time to get this right in your head...  out of the water.

 

This won't have any effect on strobe output and is unnecessary.

 

~Matt Segal

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This won't have any effect on strobe output and is unnecessary.

 

~Matt Segal

 

Woops... Matts correct, I got the internal flash mixed up with the strobes... sorry

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I found a Tupperware type of container from the local Wal-Mart that's designed to carry pie is about perfect size to carry your eight-inch dome with shade in your carry one.

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I found a Tupperware type of container from the local Wal-Mart that's designed to carry pie is about perfect size to carry your eight-inch dome with shade in your carry one.

 

Thanks meister! The dome and shade certainly takes up a huge amount of space. I'm guessing that I should keep the dome attached to the shade and jettison the original neoprene cover since it will not fit over the shade(?) If the dome is in the container facing down (supported by the shade) did you still put something in the bottom to protect the dome?

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Nothing extra for protection. Just the dome and shade inside the container with couple of rubber bands to ensure the lid doesn't come off.

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As a note.... They also make a cover that works with the dome while the lens shade is installed.... B&H had some last week but are now out of stock..

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As a note....    They also make a cover that works with the dome while the lens shade is installed....  B&H had some last week but are now out of stock..

I saw that B&H had a couple of new housing caps in their used department, so I picked one up. When the rain stops and the pool heats up a little more, I plan on checking the housing out for leaks.

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Waja, it seems we have the same gear, I've been using my 20D in the A20 for about a 6 weeks now, which is about 50-60 dives. You have to tweak things just the way you like them. You can adjust the knobs so you can add more pressure to turn them or less. The 100mm is a great lense but poor in low light, the 17-85mm is a good lense and in excellent in low light. The 10-22mm is wide enough to get some great wall shots here in Cayman. The Ds125's are the business, the focus light is a real bonus, you'll like then with the 100mm. Who are you diving with while here?

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Waja, it seems we have the same gear, I've been using my 20D in the A20 for about a 6 weeks now, which is about 50-60 dives. You have to tweak things just the way you like them. You can adjust the knobs so you can add more pressure to turn them or less. The 100mm is a great lense but poor in low light, the 17-85mm is a good lense and in excellent in low light. The 10-22mm is wide enough to get some great wall shots here in Cayman. The Ds125's are the business, the focus light is a real bonus, you'll like then with the 100mm. Who are you diving with while here?

 

kriptap2,

Thanks for the info. I don't have the 17-85mm :-\ . I do have a Tamron 28-75mm lens, but don't plan on usinging it for diving.

I've signed up for the Super Course, so I'll be diving with Cathy Church the first week I'm there, staying at the Sunset House. I did the Super Course 2 years ago with the Nikonos V and really enjoyed it. This time the class is digital, so I've done the switch. The following week, I'll be taking it easy, hanging out with the wife and our youngest daughter. My wife dives, but my daughter needs to be a few more years older.

 

A question for anyone. The ULCS T - Groove Adapter comes with tiny screws that screw into the top of the Aquatica Handle. I don't think much more than two threads actually make contact. Is there any reason not to use longer screws? I bought some longer screws from a Marine Shop on the Internet. I got 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4" length screws. The 1/2" give 3 full threads. The 5/8" contacts all the threads and sticks out just a little from the thread insert. (Doesn't stick out from the handle though.) I put the 5/8" in for now. Is there any issues with the threads sticking out? Corrosion? The ones I bought are SS Marine Grade.

 

Thanks,

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I found a Tupperware type of container from the local Wal-Mart that's designed to carry pie is about perfect size to carry your eight-inch dome with shade in your carry one.

 

 

Great !!!

I got a Quantaray backpack PRO last friday for my trip to Cayman this week and put the tupperwares to protect my rig, they fit my 8" dome and flat port very well.

 

Thanks a lot.

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Rick,

 

When you screw stainless steel screws directly into aluminum handles, you set up a corrosion cell.

 

One way to at least slow that down is to wrap the screws in teflon tape before screwing them in.

 

Cheers

James

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My first concern is how to get it all packed up and carried onto the plane.

 

I pack a housing, arms, 2 strobes, 2 extra battery packs, and 2 chargers in a Pelican 1610 padded dividers case and check it. Pick an pluck foam took up too much room, I much prefer the dividers case. I carry my camera, lenses, and laptop with me in a Porter case. Thanks to everyone here that recommended the Porter.

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I leave in 6 hours. Still need to pack. I can't believe that the time has gone by so quickly. I didn't do half of what I wanted to do. If I can get on the plane with all the stuff I have, then half the battle will be won. I will post pics when I get back.

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Have a great trip! Remember, the goal is to have FUN, not try to become a professional photographer your first time out...:-)

 

Cheers

James

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My first concern is how to get it all packed up and carried onto the plane.

 

I pack arms, clamps, housing in a Ziploc with handles removed, handles, ports, strobes (batteries & chargers), sync cord, etc. in a Pelican 1610 and check it. Don't forget tools to put the handles back on.

 

I tried pick and pack foam but it wasted too much space, so I'm now using a divider set and finding it much more to my liking. I use wrap ports in and other fragile things in Domke wraps.

 

I carry on laptop (and charger), camera (batteries & charger), lenses, CF cards in a Porter Case.

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