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Cheap option beetwen d200,lx5 or even d750

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#1 polpotto


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Posted 11 October 2018 - 01:49 AM

Hi I'm new to uw photography (Really I'm new to scuba at all), while I'm getting my OW course I'd like to save some money to start Uw photography.

I've full land dslr gear but I'm scared by uw case cost.

So I'm tryng to start in a cheap manner. My rig is made of a Lumix lx5,Nikon d200 and Nikon d750.

can you tell me which could be the most affordable way?Consider that for D200 I got a 12-24 and a 60 micro, so basically I think a cheap case for it could be the best way.

Any advices?

thanks a lot!

#2 Undertow


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Posted 13 October 2018 - 11:20 AM

I'd urge you to seriously reconsider starting UW photography as a beginner diver. You need excellent dive skills to even have a hope of safely pursuing photography UW. Its surprisingly difficult compared to shooting on land.


Please spend some time diving first before trying to shoot photos. I cannot stress this enough. 


That being said, there's also a huge difference between shooting with an big heavy SLR rig and a small point-n-shoot camera. SLR rigs are very awkward to handle in the water - all it would do as a beginner diver is to make diving much more frustrating and dangerous to you and your buddies. 





#3 Undertow


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Posted 13 October 2018 - 11:29 AM

Diving is generally presented as fairly easy and safe. In a way it is both.


But people often forget that you're completely dependent on both your equipment and skills to survive. If either of those fail, you can die very quickly and easily.


Photography, especially with a big heavy SLR rig, adds a serious level of complexity to diving in multiple ways. 

#4 TimG


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Posted 13 October 2018 - 04:09 PM

Hi polpotto

Chris makes a very good point.

Without wanting to cool your enthusiasm, it would be very wise to be confident and capable with your dive skills before starting with photography underwater. For example buoyancy control and remaining neutral in the water need to be instinctive and second nature. There are very real risks of drifting to the depths without realising it if, as really easily happens, you are absorbed by taking photos or playing with camera gear. I can vouch for this from personal experience!

Scuba diving is a superb sport but it really needs time and experience before you reach a level of ability that allows for photography. Please don’t underestimate this.

(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957

#5 hyp


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Posted 14 October 2018 - 01:35 AM

Although I stand by the opinions of the other posters, I personally didnt follow their advice and I can imagine that for others the pull of underwater photography may also be too big.

In that case I would seriously advise you to go with a compact Camera first. I just made the switch to a mirrorless housing with double strobes and it is much more difficult to dive with. I would recommend learning the basics of underwater exposure with a single strobe on a compact camera (like the LX5). The lower dynamic range is much less forgiving, but if you master the compact you will be ready to go all out on mirrorless or DSLR. Buy used to soften the financial blow.

#6 polpotto


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Posted 16 October 2018 - 04:55 AM

Thanks for the suggestions.I'm aware of the risks and I will not take with me even an action cam until I've done at least 10 dives after completing the course! After that, I'll do other dives with only an action cam and if it goes well I will take a stick. This is not imperative of course it depends on how I feel I'm proceding.My goal is to underwater and enjoy the dive in safety and control. Given this, I'm just worried of the money involved in the operation and I wnat start to do some savings for when it's time.

In this perspective which will be the best? I assume the lx5 I if can find a case could be the way.

#7 DanielD



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Posted 16 October 2018 - 08:13 AM

First of all: I'm fairly new to UW photography, so take everyhting I said with skepticism.


Well I don't want to discurage you, but as my collegues said I'd usually not suggest taking a camera under water before you don't have to think about buoyancy anymore but it just works for you. In my experience this usually takes at least 50 - 70 dives depending on how well the person handles his / her equipment, how quick a learner a diver is and especially how often he / she is in the water per month (70 dives in 10 year is a whole other story then 70 in one year).


That said regarding the cameras you have, it HIGHLY depends on


  • What you want to photograph
  • What results you expect
  • How intuitive you want the housing and the setup
  • And above all: How much money you want tho shove into the rig

If you have a shitload of money, want to do high quality UW photography and don't care about transportability. Then I'd recommend a Nauticam NA-D750 with your Full Frame Nikon D750. Depending on whether you want to do wide angle or makro a matching port (e.g. Nikkor 105mm VR MIKRO Lense with Nauticam Poart 87 for Marko). And a set of strobes that suit you need (e.g. Sea & Sea YS-02). That setup would get you almost anywhere. BUT: It will cost you (new) in the range of 10.000€! That said there a a lot of areas where you can save money (buy used! Be patient till your equipment is available used somewhere. Keep an eye on the classifieds here). Especially if your expectations aren't to high you can start out with your Lumix lx5 and a small housing. Since you won't have to put to much money into that, you can go crazy later ;-).


In my opinon: Do not save on the housing. That will frustrate you under water quickly. It is for example possible to make beautiful picture in shallow waters without a strobe. But with a crappy housing you might miss opportunies or even lose a whole dive because some setup of the camera is incorrect and the buttons are not available on the housing to change them.


Regarding the lense, prime lenses are often easier to handle (no zooming around) and have better aperture values (which is very important under water.. always not enough light ;-)). Makro is easier for a beginner (or so I heard) and the ports are usually a lot cheaper (wide angle needs frickn epensive dome ports).


Hope this helps a bit. The pros here propably have a few more and better tips



#8 Pajjpen


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Posted 18 October 2018 - 08:11 AM

I had a GoPro which I kept around my wrist after my 10th dive or so. I would, just like everyone else not get anything other than possibly something like a point and shoot until you are very comfortable underwater. It wasn’t until I had about 300 ish dives that I considered getting a proper rig (now a gh5)