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Saturday, March 14, 2009 

Junkyard Dogs


Flabelina vericosa
Originally uploaded by Pixel Letch
Dusted off the fins and got back into the water today.

Jim and Stan met me under cloudy and wet skies. However the rain held off enough for us to get into the water, with even a trace of light from the sun.

After taking off an ACB weight pouch packet to get it sewed, I managed to leave it at Fisheries Supply last night. So I went with one pouch and stuck 10# of weight in my drysuit pocket. Not very comfortable, but enough to get me down.

We swam out and dropped down. I saw Jim for a bit and then he was gone. Stan apparently aborted due to a suit leak, and after Jim checked on him he couldn't find me. I was shooting some of the 3/4" red flabelina nudis I seem to find there. It's funny I never see any larger ones, just the itty bitty ones. But good foil for the 50mm macro on my demo Oly E520 rig.

I shot them, some fairly large golden dironas and a painted greenling hiding under an anemone, along with some other critters. Very few fish around at all. I was also shooting some environmental shots of eelgrass for a state job I'm working on. Not a real exciting dive, but it sure was great to be back in the water.

The Olympus E520 shot pretty well, with the UFL-2 strobe's TTL pretty well spot on in exposure. The light was a bit contrasty as I didn't have a diffuser supplied.

The Live View was very slow to shoot, almost unusable, and I reverted to using the viewfinder. That worked fine. My only other complaint is that the strap on the right side is a bit small for dry glove use, need to be longer. The rig overall was very light, easy-to-use and nice to handle compared to my Nikon D80, but the D80 is much more responsive with a relatively huge viewfinder. Not a fair comparison, as the Oly E520 is about 1/3 less expensive. They are coming out with a new model, the E620 in a couple of months that is more responsive and more of a mid-range camera. I also shot with one of the Big Blue 1x5AF focus lights and it was great, nice wide, even beam, with good brightness.

I thought the 50mm macro was ok, certainly sharp, a bit slow on auto focus, even against my older 60 Nikor without an AFS lens motor. But with a little use, I got accustomed to it. I used the S-AF-M setting and could auto focus then dial in manual focus, without missing a beat, no switches needed and the setting can be changed with a push of the button.

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  • Adventurer, diver, sailor, photographer, writer and sometimes graphic designer. Proprietor of Optical Ocean Sales, LLC. Enjoy the blog, check back and please leave comments!
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