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Hi,
Could anybody out there give me their views on the above - I've read through a lot of the threads on here and know that that digital is the way to go but I simply cann't afford those kind of prices at the moment (biting the bullet or not). If you all think that I'm wasting my time I'll probably go down the route of trying to borrow someone else's digital to see how I get on with it and buying one in say a year's time.

Thanks for any views/info.

Steve
 

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I've no personal experience of the MX10 (have an MX5 and a MotorMarine IIEX) but it is quite possible to take very nice pics with an MX10. Have a look at these taken by Yvonne Blume ("Bunny" on Divernet).
http://yblume.smugmug.com/gallery/62480/6/2179880
If you get the external flashgun, and macro and wide angle lenses, you have a very decent set-up for the price. Divers Warehouse seem to have the best prices in the UK on Sea & Sea, by the way.
http://www.diverswarehouse.co.uk (Click the Sea & Sea logo).
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Steve

I had a MX10 and sold it last year.  You can find lots of them for sale either in the classifieds of the dive mags or on Ebay, in fact there are 3 or 4 on there at the moment.  I sold mine through Dive Mag.  That way if they are local you can have a look, turned out the guy who bought mine only lived about 4 miles away.

They are very robust, but I don't think I had very much patience with it, so I have gone digital.  I seem to spend lots of money on film and processing.

Fiona
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (FionaB @ Feb. 18 2004,12:51)]I seem to spend lots of money on film and processing.

Fiona
A tip: Use negative film and get the lab to put the pics on a CD - don't bother about prints at this stage. Save the decent shots on your computer and edit them with an image-editing programme - crop the images, remove backscatter etc. You can have prints made of the manipulated images if you wish, or print them yourself. This procedures saves tons of cash!
 

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John/Fiona,
Thanks for the prompt info on this - I'll have a look on Ebay and Diverswarehouse to compere prices new for used.

John, does the processing work in reverse if I get the prints on CD i.e can I use a programme to tidy them up then burn them onto a CD and get them printed. Sorry if this sound a little naive but normally I just take pictures, go to Boots and get the photos back.

Fiona, I must admit at present I'm the type of person who enjoys getting the photos to see what they are like as opposed to setting up the perfect picture. Mind you ask me that again in six months when I've had a few duff films back of things at I especially wanted and will probabaly have changed my mind.

Thanks

Steve
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (flinty96 @ Feb. 18 2004,15:40)]John, does the processing work in reverse if I get the prints on CD i.e can I use a programme to tidy them up then burn them onto a CD and get them printed?
Thanks

Steve
Yes, that must be possible, though I've never bothered. It is probably easier to just order prints on-line from one of the digital labs. I just put the cleaned-up pics onto a CD for my own and friends' amusement. I live in Sweden, so I've no idea what it costs to have the lab put the images on a CD in the UK but I pay about £6.50 per roll of 36 for developing and a CD. They can put several films on the same CD if you want.
 

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Thanks John, I've discussed the camera with others this afternoon and they have mentioned the backscatter issue you did - any advise on what software to use to get rid of this and tiding up in general.The emailing off of photos seems quite normal (told you I was naive) so what you suggested will definately be the way I'll go for the first few months.

Thanks

Steve
 

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<font color='#000080'>Hi Steve,

Just my twopenny worth.
I have a MX-5 MkII and have found that the best way to avoid backscatter is to get as close as you can to the subject and if possible use a strobe. The strobe really did help me. Failing that Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro have good cloning tools!

If you take a look at the gallery you can see the difference in photos. The reduced backscatter ones are with the strobe..

All the best,

Ian
 

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Yes, do get the strobe. The internal flash is only good for close-ups, when backscatter shouldn't be much problem. Without an external strobe, pics of shoals of fish etc, taken from 2-3 metres, will almost certainly have a lot of backscatter. Because the external strobe is further from the camera lens, this is far less of a problem with an external strobe but you will still have some at times.
As regards image-editing programs, I use Photoshop LE5 (LE stands for limited edition), which came with my scanner. The full version of Photoshop is very expensive (several hundred pounds) but you can buy Photoshop Elements, which has all we amateurs need, for a fairly reasonable price (I'd guess less than £100 in the UK). http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopel/main.html
I'm no expert on all this, by the way, just telling you what I've learnt from my own painful efforts.
 

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I bought my Sea & Sea MX10 in December 1998.   Wasn't very happy with any photos until I added the YS40A strobe and wide angle lens.   I have a love/hate relationship with the camera though.   Firstly the money I have spent on film processing.   Over £90 once after a two week holiday.   I'm not particulary good at taking photos, probably because I never have it on the right setting.  

Then there's the repair bills.   Flooded the camera once after getting the tiniest spec of dust on the O-ring.   Then did the same with the strobe.   Then fell over on the dive boat and broke the bit that attaches the strobe to the camera.   All the repair bills seem to come to around £80.   Then the strobe stopped talking to the camera and I was on the verge of giving up completely.

Anyhow, took it away at Christmas for one last try and had the films processed at the end of each day so that helped in spotting mistakes I was making.   It was quite nice to hand around photographs on the dive boat the next day rather than trying to peer into the back of everyone's digital camera at a tiny image.   Just old fashioned, I guess!   Sometimes I send the films away and get a CD copy but don't have any fancy programs to digitally enhance the photos.

I have put a few photos in the gallery on page 19 I think.   These were taken at Christmas with my MX10 and wide angle lens.   And complete with backscatter!

No plans to change the camera just yet though  
 

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Apologies I'll reply to everyone as I go along.

Ian - Had a look at the photos see what you mean by backscatter , although I'm surprised how well the land pictures come out.

John, found the sofware for £80.00 at PC world.

Georgina, Had a look at our pictures - they looked good - you'll certainly know mine if I send any in - it will be the ones half cut out by a finger or thumb.

Thanks

Steve
 

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Hi there,

I'm an ardent MX10 user and have had numerous successes and failures with it - I've gottem better over time though and added a strobe (not the YS40a though) which has made my results better. Some of my piccies are on the YD galley (I think I'm on page 20) if you want to have a look.

Cheers,

Noel
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Noel,

Can I ask why you don't use the YS40A - all of the setups I've seen seem to have that as standard.

Thanks

Steve
 

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John,

I've found a copy of Photoshop 5.0 LE at home - I think, the same as you, it came with my scanner. Is this the same is you have or is it a bit dated.

Thanks

Steve
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (flinty96 @ Feb. 18 2004,20:24)]John,

I've found a copy of Photoshop 5.0 LE at home - I think, the same as you, it came with my scanner. Is this the same is you have or is it a bit dated.

Thanks

Steve
That's the one! It IS a bit dated - I believe the latest version is Photshop 8 - but it works fine and has everything you need. Great! You just saved yourself some money  
 

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Another tip: If you do decide to go for the MX10, get "The New Guide to Sea & Sea" by Joe Liburdi and Cara Sherman. It's out of print at the moment but is being updated and reprinted and should be available shortly. It's an excellent book. There is an introductory chapter on underwater photography in general and separate chapters describing  each Sea & Sea camera, strobe and lens and how to make optimal use of it. If you read it and remember what it says (a pity one can't take it underwater
) it'll save you making at least some of the most elementary beginner mistakes.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Can I ask why you don't use the YS40A - all of the setups I've seen seem to have that as standard.
Certainly. The reason that I've mated the MX-10 to the Bonica neon strobe is that the neon is more posable and does not have to be taken off the camera to move it around. Also the arm of the strobe puts the strobe further away from the camera's lens axis helping to reduce any backscatter.

This slaves off of the internal flash which I have deflected using a can of stella (please note I drank the Stela first, I have a reputation to live down to
) for two reasons.

1. The internal flash will still fire forward causing detrius in the water to reflect back towards the lens. And...
2. this allows me to have the strobe above the internal flash and not too far in front of the camera.

Hope this helps or indeed makes sense,

Noel
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Noel,

I had a look at the neon strobe and I see what you mean by it being further away. I managed to get am MX10 on Ebay this afternoon which came with the YS40A strobe (all the MX10's on there seem to have them as standard) and at some stage - once I take my thumb out of the way of the lens - I'll let you know how I get on. I did see on Simply Scuba that you can get a lead so that the strobe is futher away but at £180.00 seemed a hell of a lot of money for a length of cable. Couldn't work out the bit about the stella can though - I'll have a few drinks tomorrow and try and work it out.

Cheers

Steve
 

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Steve, you need some sort of reflector do reflect the internal flash towards the strobe's sensor. Noel evidently used a bit of a Stella can. Actually, I'm told a piece of white plastic, e.g. part of an ice-cream box, will also do the job.
 

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I got an MX10, YS40, and close-up lens for 137 quid on ebay. Bargain. I did wait for a few weeks until it came up at that price though.

I took it holiday to the red sea just before Chrimbo and had some fantastic photos. Handing them round on the boat the next day was cool too, although only 10% of the ones I took were any good.

Have now taken it in the UK and got some reasonable photos.

The thing that put me off digital was the price. Basically if I flood the MX10, then that's 80 quid down the drain (assuming the strobe is ok) and vice versa. That's annoying, but not catestrophic. It'll ruin the day, but not the holiday.

Flooding a five-hundred quid digital camera on the other hand would be ruin the whole week for me, and I doubt I would enjoy the dive as much as I would worry about it the whole time, but maybe that's me.

Laters,
   Janos
 
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