I just got a Luxfer 40cft aluminum stage bottle. I will be using this for my Advanced Nitrox / Deco Procedures course.
Friday, 30 March 2007
I have been experiencing some problems with my TTL connector in my housing. The Dutch distributor kindly offered to change the housing for either a new DX350D or for the DX400D.
I went to check the DX400D and see whether it was worthwhile to swap the DX350 for this new model.
In my opinion, the main new features of this model are:
Built-in TTL converter
The built-in TTL converter saves some space outside the housing and the slight additional weight that the external TTL converter puts on the left side of the housing.
There is a button inside the housing to switch between Manual and TTL. This can only be chosen before the dive. The other drawback of the internal converter is that you are not able to choose flash compensation as with the external TTL converter.
This TTL converter uses a flat battery which will be in stand-by when the strobes are off (will still consume energy even while you are not using the camera). I called Sea&Sea Japan and they informed me that under "normal" use conditions, the battery should last approximately 1 year.
The DX400D only has one strobe connector on top of the housing
Optional magnifying .8 viewfinder
The DX-400D uses a different viewfinder which allows you to upgrade to a .8 maginifying viewfinder instead of the .66. I assume that in the future there might be a 45 degree viewfinder for this model (just an assumption).
Buttons on the back of the housing
Until so far, I was more or less convinced on changing from the DX350 to the DX400D. The problem arose when I checked the buttons in the back of the housing.
To my surprise (shock?) a couple of buttons just disappeared in this new "improved" housing. Namely, the menu button and the delete is gone. Also the display button is gone.
This took away all the doubts I had whether to change to the DX400D housing. As an example of a big disadvantage, without the menu button you are not able in the 400D to select a picture to do custom WB. With a small adaptation of the DX350D housing you can use the 400D camera with all its features.
I cannot understand what made Sea&Sea develop a new housing where they take out such important buttons (they were there in the DX350, you just needed to put them to the side!!!)
The TTL inside the camera makes the camera more streamlined (also with less air inside the camera, meaning more negative) but gives you less flexibility in using the TTL.
IMHO, this housing is a no go, at least until the other buttons are added to the housing.
Any comments, please email me.
Monday, 26 March 2007
Friday, 23 March 2007
I put some semi-transparent tape in the front of the light to act as a diffuser and get a more even light beam.
This solution is great because the housing can be retrofit to the 350D anytime, just changing the wall anchors for the original rubber buttons.
Also you can see completely the new 2.5 LCD in the housing. This nice bright LCD shows you all the camera settings without needing to put your eye on the viewfinder or on the old display.
Unfortunately, there is no ring system for this lens, at least for my housing (Sea & Sea). Thus, I tried several alternatives to use the zoom of this lens underwater.
My first test was using some kind of foam tape around the zoom in the lens and then put my S&S 60mm focus ring system on top. This seemed to work since the Tokina lens is only slightly thinner than the Canon EF-S 60. This system not only looked bad but also was not very stable. The zoom ring would tend to get out of the place and eventually fall out of the lens to the Dome port - Not such a good idea.
For my second test I used elastic bands (the ones you get for adjusting your clothes) and put it around the zoom. This seemed to work pretty well at the beginning - looks good and it is easily removable from the lens. For this one, I had the help of Rita, my mother-in-law, who generoulsy offered herself to teach me in the art of using an electric sewing machine (cool stuff, let me tell you guys!!!). The problem was that the zoom ring would still tend to fall out of the lens. The problem is that the o-ring inside the zoom ring is in the front of the ring and therefore it would not touch the elastic band.
Third test - final solution: I bought some velcro tape and "glued" it inside the zoom ring (in the oposite side of the existing o-rings). This mad the velcro tape "grab" the elastic band and the zoom ring feels now snug in the lens. I tried already several times and it works perfectly. Just be carefully to check whether the AF is still chosen since the elastic band might put it in MF when putting the zoom ring in the lens.
Since I glued the velcro tape in the lens I still had to make it work with the EF-S 60 lens when using this. For that, I slightly cut the velcro teeth so that they would not scratch in the 60mm lens.
Some pictures below of my solution:
Friday, 16 March 2007
For the Canon EOS-400D, I had to do a slight adaptation into my Sea&Sea housing. The fit is perfect and the large screen is a big advantage underwater. The adaptation does not have any impact on the camera which can be easily retrofit for the EOS-350D.
The Tokina fisheye lens has the advantage of focusing extremely close and of keeping the corners sharp underwater (Canon 10-22 does not provide such results). I was able to use the zoom ring for the Canon EF-S 60 with a small adaptation.
The Fisheye LIX LED 48DX has the advantage for providing a powerful light and at the same time has the flexibility of increasing or decreasing the light power with the twist of a simple knob.
While my latest pictures were already taken with the EOS-400D, the Fisheye LED is still to be tested.
I will post some pictures on the adaptations made soon.