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Spare Body or not

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#21 tdpriest


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Posted 27 May 2013 - 07:04 AM

If you're several thousand miles from home on an

expensive trip why risk all that time and money

over the cost of a spare?


Because, for some of us it's a choice between the trip or the spare...

#22 Kelpfish


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Posted 27 May 2013 - 01:32 PM

As I already said, and I speak from a well-remembered and painful experience, flooding a body and lens does not encourage you to have a second go with a different camera! However, as Adam points out, we use strictly amateur equipment with sophisticated electronics that can go wrong.

I flooded my N90 film camera in a Subal housing years ago and had a back up N90 with me. Before I even considered putting the spare camera in the water, I recleaned the orings and basically did all the prep work on my housing all over. Then I stuffed the housing with paper towels, sealed it then took it in the water to test for leaks. No leaks. Pilot error. Trip saved.

Edited by Kelpfish, 27 May 2013 - 01:33 PM.

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#23 saudio


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Posted 27 May 2013 - 03:59 PM

Echoing many who have already posted, I'm in the camp of carrying a spare body.  If you buy a used spare body, you likely can sell it used again for very little loss, which makes it pretty cheap photo insurance.  Only two trips after I started carrying a spare, I flooded my Nauticam NA7D in Roatan on the second day.  I lost my beloved Tokina 10-17 for the trip, but I was able to rinse and dry the housing, pop in my spare body, and continue shooting the next day with my 100 macro and 18-55 Kit zoom. 


I'm also one of those lucky and determined few who was able to flood a Z240.  It isn't easy ;-) And, I flooded a FIX 500 in the Philippines.  So, I not only carry a spare body, but a spare Z240 I bought on Ebay and 2 Sola 800s.  To me, the idea of planning and paying for a trip, then flying 20 hours and then not being able to shoot is unacceptable. 


By the way, the flood was total stupidity on my part.  I was having problems with one of the controls on the Nauticam, and I opened the housing on the boat between dives to reseat the camera.  Upon closing the housing, I missed a latch, and flooded it in the rinse tank.  I can't tell you what it felt like to be handed my rig from the boat and immediately noticing it was a couple pounds negative instead of neutral.  Ack. 

#24 davephdv


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Posted 27 May 2013 - 07:18 PM

If your trip is ruined with flooded camera, then a spare body and all housing electronics.

Or a spare camera and housing. For this reason I got a Sony RX100 and housing.

Why would optical fiber strobes be considered a greater risk? I've seen lots of hard wired synch cords and or sockets leak or break. Some of them frying the camera or strobe.

Only problem I've seen with optical fiber connections have been fixed with duct tape
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#25 TimG


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Posted 28 May 2013 - 09:40 AM

I always travel with a spare body too. As many have said, being able to topside photograph with the same body/lens combinations is really useful. And if the dreaded flood arrives you do at least have some options. Sure, you have probably written off one lens, but you do at least have a second body and, likely, other lenses.


And, again, as others have said, you also have a backup if a camera body develops a fault or you drop it..... 


Camera bodies aren't cheap but spread over several years and compared to the cost of dive photography trips.......

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#26 chris_l


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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:33 AM

Why would optical fiber strobes be considered a greater risk? I've seen lots of hard wired synch cords and or sockets leak or break. Some of them frying the camera or strobe.

Only problem I've seen with optical fiber connections have been fixed with duct tape


I think you misinterpreted some posts.

I know I was saying that a flood was easier to recover from if you had fiber optic strobes.  Thus, I consider FO strobes less of a risk.

#27 onewolf


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 02:41 AM

Well I've been convinced, so I just joined the "spare body" club.  I picked up a backup T2i from EBay for $350.  Hopefully I won't ever need to use it in the housing....

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(Backup) Olympus E-PM1, PT EP-06, Olympus 14-42 II, Olympus 60mm macro

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#28 nathanm



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Posted 31 May 2013 - 06:04 PM

The cost of a housing for DSLR is generally about again as much as the camera  (ranges from say 50% of cost of camera for Ikelite, 150% for Seacam).  By the time you add ports, strobes and lenses, the camera is actually one of the cheaper parts of the system.   It is also one of the least reliable.  For example, I have had many more camera problems than lens problems over the years.  


So I always travel with two identical bodies - one is nominally dedicated to topside use, the other goes in the housing.  I also tend to have multiple lenses - not duplicates, but as a post above suggested the 50 and 100 macro lens, and 20mm and 15mm lenses.   I have had a lens fail (diaphragm stuck) and was glad to have a more or less comparable lens along.  I mostly use the 100 mm and 15mm but the 50mm macro is small and cheap.  A 20mm lens is pretty small too.


I also try to travel with an extra set of strobes - in my case a pair of DS 125 manual strobes that I've had forever.   I have had to use them a couple times when my much fancier strobes crap out.  Note that this means bringing along an adapter or other cables so I can use them.


Obviously if you can't afford two bodies that is a different story, but you have to figure that bad things can happen and dive trips are very expensive too.