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Is it safe to jump in the water with camera housing in the hand?


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#1 peterbkk

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 12:55 AM

I would like to get some real facts about the risks associated with jumping in to the water off a dive boat with the camera housing in the hand. Some people say that they always do it that way. Some books and manufacturers instruction manuals warn against it. Here on wetpixel there must be enough underwater photographers and videographers to get a reasonable statistical analysis of whether the risk is real or not.

If you answer the second question with "but it leaked", maybe you can provide some more information. Was this your first dive with this housing? Was this recent event with a modern housing or 30 years with a home-made housing? Had this housing ever leaked before?

Of course, to make the results meaningful, please restrict yourself to your personal experience.

Regards
Peter

#2 aczyzyk

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:03 AM

Great topic. I'd prefer to jump with it instead of someone passing it to me, but I'm worried that it may leak.

I jumped mabye 20 times with Ikelite F80 housing and 2 100A strobes(holding it above my head, with fully inflated BCD). Nothing wrong happened.
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#3 Nunomix

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:24 AM

Peter. In the case you never jumped with the camera the poll still forces you to choose an option in the second question.

This will give you a biased conclusion in the case people who always have the camera handed to them will say that the camera did not leak.

Regards

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#4 photovan

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:34 AM

I voted but would clarify that I never jump in with housing / strobe setup, just sometimes with housing only.

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#5 peterbkk

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:37 AM

Peter. In the case you never jumped with the camera the poll still forces you to choose an option in the second question.

This will give you a biased conclusion in the case people who always have the camera handed to them will say that the camera did not leak.

Regards

Nuno


Good point. I should have added a third option": Not applicable.

But, I can not see anywhere to edit the poll.

Regards
Peter

#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 02:32 AM

I never jump in with my housing.

But Peter Rowlands, who I often dive with always jumps in with his. And since he has serviced 1000s of Nikonoses and housings he probably knows more about these things than I.

Personally, I wouldn't expect a housing to leak if I jumped in with it. But since its nearly always possible to have it passed to you, it just isn't worth the risk for me. I would surely be annoyed if I flooded a housing jumping in. Although a small risk, I feel it is an unnecessary one.

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#7 Paul Kay

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 04:33 AM

I always jump/roll in with my camera gear - apart from anything else it is sometimes not an option to do anything else in rougher temperate waters, especially from a hard boat when you are rolling from a meter or so above the water and cannot use a ladder to enter. BUT I always try to protect the gear from the impact either by shielding it or by holding it away and pushing it up as I hit the water. Manufacturers (in general) probably recommend against jumping in with gear to safeguard themselves - which is perfectly reasonable - as equipment designed to withstand pressure may still have problems with substantial rapid pressure changes (such as when hitting the water). Make sure equipment is correctly assembled and properly serviced though!
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#8 John Bantin

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 04:37 AM

Surely, it's about how you do it?
I put my camera into the water and then follow it in head first. Of course this only works with freeboard less than arm's length. It doesn't look like a regular entry but who cares?

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#9 expatdiver

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 05:16 AM

I always have my DSLR rig handed to me, but when I used to shoot with a compact, I would regularly jump in with it either in my hand or BCD pocket.

Fortunately, I haven't had any rough sea entries with my DSLR yet, but if I did I think I would still opt for some sort of hand off rather then jumping with it.
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#10 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 05:39 AM

I also always have my camera handed to me. I also always lower it slowly in the water and look to make sure there is no leak. There has never been one but better to find out while still only a few fin kicks from the boat. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but by being paranoid about handling my gear I feel I can get away with not insuring it. So far so good.

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#11 ce4jesus

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 07:03 AM

I usually prefer to have it handed to me however I have, on occasion, jumped in with it.
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#12 wagsy

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 07:20 AM

Just to be different :lol: , I jump in all the time with my Video housings...even the Phenom :)
Even done it many times from the Exmouth Navy Pier (couple meter drop) with my smaller video housings.
Just hold them above your head as you hit the water.
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#13 CeeDave

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 07:37 AM

I always jump/roll in with my camera gear - apart from anything else it is sometimes not an option to do anything else in rougher temperate waters,


It has always seemed ironic, to me, that the northern European climate is referred to as temperate -- being neither similar to our "native" climate of adaptation nor remarkably pleasant.

I prefer to have the housing handed to me, even in intemperate waters.

Chris in Red Stick

Edited by CeeDave, 15 February 2007 - 07:38 AM.

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#14 Paul Kay

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 09:36 AM

"I prefer to have the housing handed to me, even in intemperate waters"

Believe you me, off the west of Scotland/Ireland, when hard boat diving, this is simply not always possible!!! Trying to get a skipper to hold station with a 65 foot boat with a tide running so that a camera can be carefully handed in does not always work - we've tried it many times and on occasion photographers have simply had to dive without their cameras.
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#15 acroporas

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 10:22 AM

It depends on the camera/housing.

If I am shooting with a P&S camera then I would allways jump in with the housing.

If I'm shooting with a DSLR+strobes I have never jumped in with it.

If I'm shooting with a DSLR without strobes I prefer to have it handed to me, but don't mind jumping in with it.
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#16 Jim

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 11:06 AM

Count my vote for never doing a boat entry with a camera; P&S with a strobe, Nikonos V with a strobe or DSLR with 2 strobes.

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#17 CeeDave

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 03:06 PM

"I prefer to have the housing handed to me, even in intemperate waters"

Believe you me, off the west of Scotland/Ireland, when hard boat diving, this is simply not always possible!!! Trying to get a skipper to hold station with a 65 foot boat with a tide running so that a camera can be carefully handed in does not always work - we've tried it many times and on occasion photographers have simply had to dive without their cameras.


Ach, yes, I believe you I, and that was sorta my point. How is it that we define (my emphasis) extreme conditions such as you describe as temperate?

So perhaps I should have said, since I dive mainly intemperate waters (including Cocos, Malpelo, Galapagos, and tout la Caribean), I usually find it possible to have may camera handed in. Even on drift dives, so long as I coordinate well with the pangero: before the back roll, point to self, point to camera, make sure it is gonna happen, go!

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#18 peterbkk

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 06:48 PM

Early poll results indicate that the majority of wetpixel members prefer NOT to jump in the water with their camera housing in hand, opting for the possibly safer route of having it passed into the water after they have entered the water themselves...

What can we learn from this:

a. the established wisdom is that jumping in with a camera somehow increases the risk of a flood,

or

b. we are a cautious bunch who are overly protective of our underwater cameras...

Thoughts anyone?

Regards
Peter

#19 Drew

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 12:03 AM

Well it also depends on the height of the "jump". What I usually do is backroll with the camera hanging close to the water (handstrapped of course). This is standard for me if it's less than 2 ft drop and if I don't have lights and battery packs. If I do I have the lens facing away from me on my lap and roll in. At point of impact I push the camera away from me.works for negative entries.

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#20 John Bantin

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 01:34 AM

I have jusy been photographing whalesharks in the Mafia Channel, Tanzania. I found the best technique from the inflatable was to kneel with my camera held on top of the tube with both hands. Each time the instant came to go, I dipped the camera into the water and did an ungarceful duck-dive over the tube after it, swimming like buggery until I reached the shark. It works for me.

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