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


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#21 Paul Kay

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 03:42 AM

"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?"

Hi Chris. But no, no, no - these are not 'extreme' conditions (!) just typical of Scottish or west coast Irish diving, and I use temperate to describe anything not tropical or sub-tropical (not just Britain/Ireland either). In Britain hard boats such as Offshore 105s (a 10.5m planing hull) are commonly used as dive boats, but also much bigger vessels may be too. The problem is that such vessels operating in coastal waters cannot manoeuvre easily if any tide is running and near shore (especially with divers near) - the only practical way is to go in with the camera. I've never had a problem going in with a camera (except once from a Rib when the housing got smacked by something (and this was of course in good conditions!) provided I took care to protect/shield it as best as I could. The drop from an offshore 105 is about a meter, from bigger boats it can be more.
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#22 scubanerd

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 09:02 AM

I voted for 'always enter with the housing'. I shoot video, and I usually try to get a shot of not only me entering the water but others as well. It usually provides a good starting point for client videos. Sometimes a backwards roll from a boat or giant stride from a platform is quite cool in motion.

My wife shoots stills, and she has always entered the water with housing regardless of setup. I guess I should vote twice :lol:

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#23 davephdv

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 04:22 PM

I never "jump" in the water with my housing. I have on occasion stepped in water while holding my housing. Always under live boat conditions. Usually cradling my housing to my chest and going in back first. Also I will roll off an inflatable backwards cradling my housing to my chest. I usually go with one strobe under these conditions.

If the conditions are difficult i will switch to a P&S in an Ikelite housing. I have even jumped the bow gate on the Vision carrying an Ike compact housing.
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#24 Hidroj

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 07:54 AM

The little times I've been forced to jump into the water without an option of the camera beeing passed to me (usually on a inflatable boat and rough weather conditions, near to cliffs where the boat can't stop, neither the divers wait for a long time on surface), I've jumped with my fins getting first into the water (more then jumping it's slipping, with my ass sitting on the tube and gently slipping down to the water). I thought that would soften the impact into water, and it really does! I used this system for the first time, one day I was forced to follow the "Jump! Jump!" instructions on the boat and it worked. Haven't tried any different system since.
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#25 RickM

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 05:36 AM

It would have been interesting to have "what type of camera/housing you are jumping with" section to the poll. Like a lot of others, I or my wife don't mind jumping with the P&S on the few occasions that we take it, but the housed D200 and twin strobes gets a little out of hand! I've never tried that. Not because I think it will increase chances of a flood - more afraid of damage.

Done lots of dives in strong current and had to hang on a line until handed the camera. In those cases we'll usually have the camera ready to go and my wife will hand it off to me almost instantly after hitting the water so we can get out of the way.

#26 UKDiver

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 02:45 PM

I jumped in twice today with my camera, off a jetty, whilst drysuit diving (Nikon D200 in a Sea & Sea housing with twin strobes) drop was approx 2m (OK, maybe 1.5) but the point was that an inflated BCD and flat fins meant that the housing didn't enter the water during the jump. Two hands needed to hold it above my head though!

If it's easy to get back to the jetty / hardboat / RIB, then having the camera handed down is first choice, but there are so many dives where either the conditions / current means "go - gone", or there's nobody available to hand down the camera, that a practical means of entering the water with camera is pretty high on the "needs" list.

I've jumped in / rolled off the rib with a Nikonos (IVa and V), various compact digitals, and now the DSLR. In every case the procedure is the same: use the diver's body to break the fall, and have the camera either not enter the water, or be tucked in close to the body. So far no floods!

Of course, the next dive may change my viewpoint somewhat, depending on the continued success, or not, of diver-camera entries...

#27 peterbkk

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:39 AM

I think that I have suddenly become a convert to the "never jump with camera if you can avoid it". On a night dive last week, I tested both video lights just before entering the water. The boat boys were busy so I just picked up the camera, hooked the clips to my BCD and did a "giant stride" into the water. I held it high but not completely above my head because I had connected the retaining clips to my BC. One of the HID lights would not switch on and now has to go back to the manufacturer for repair, an expensive round trip from Bangkok to California. I suspect that something came loose inside when it hit the water.

It may have been a coincidence but ...

No more jumping with camera for me!

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Peter

#28 aczyzyk

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 07:16 AM

One of the HID lights would not switch on and now has to go back to the manufacturer for repair, an expensive round trip from Bangkok to California.


I broke the bulb in my HID and had to buy new one for $150.
Then I broke the new one while trying to replace the old. They are way too fragile for me. I sold my broken HID asap and got myself a LED light instead.
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#29 fdog

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 07:26 AM

Somewhat OT, but those with HID "issues" or considering one should at least give Barry's stuff at Salvo Diving a look. His HID lights are superbly built, prized like Jimmy Choo shoes by the technical community, and the lightheads are routinely demonstrated by beating them on the floor.

All the best, James

#30 Charles Stirling

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 01:52 PM

Depends. I had one hardboat with a big drop to the water, 6 ft plus, and asked them to lower the camera to me. They lowered the camera as I went in and would then let go of the rope holding it as soon as the camera hit the water. I had to be very quick to catch it. I tried to tie the rope to the boat and they untied it to drop it. Not photography friendly!

In rough seas have lowered the camera first and dropped in nest to it, but most of the time roll in backwards holding the camera and strobes particularly if the boat is low. No floods.

Charles

#31 Paul Kay

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 06:08 AM

Found an old slide the other day - thought it might prove entertaining!!!HiEntry.jpg This was taken before Photoshop existed in case anyone thinks that it is in any way a made up image - it is exactly as shot!
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#32 peterbkk

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 06:55 AM

Found an old slide the other day - thought it might prove entertaining!!! This was taken before Photoshop existed in case anyone thinks that it is in any way a made up image - it is exactly as shot!


Oh What Fun!

In my crazy younger days, we used to do "giant stride" entries from some of the jettys that are found around Australia's southern coastline. Some where a gentle 3 meter drop. The highest I ever did was 8 meters. You absolutely had to stay vertical so that your fins and legs took the impact away from your equipment and face. The fall seemed like forever. :)

Wouldn't dare do it now. It was only peer pressure that got me to do it then.

If you took such a jump with a camera, you would have to hold the camera vertically above your head to avoid the water smackdown impact on the camera. The camera would probably clonk you on the head as your body slowed on impact. No, no, no, not a good idea.... :P

Regards
Peter

#33 danielandrewclem

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 08:30 AM

You also risk tearing your Achilles tendons if you giant stride into the water from a great height. I saw some guy do this from the prow of a sailboat on TV (with just fins, mask, and snorkel) and one of his Achilles promptly popped. The risk of this depends on the length, surface area, and stiffness of the fin, but you can certainly imagine how such a sudden and extreme stretch of the calves could do some serious damage. Ouch.
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#34 Drew

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 09:56 PM

... prized like Jimmy Choo shoes by the technical community, and the lightheads are routinely demonstrated by beating them on the floor.

Wow, I think Wetpixel has finally arrived ... I never thought I hear Jimmy Choo mentioned with tech equipment. :P However since I had to drive my lady to work for 3 weeks because her JC heels snapped and she rolled an ankle, I'll have to say that Manolo Blahnik is still the best, and Jimmy Choo the wannabe, made famous by bling artists. :)

The highest I ever did was 8 meters. You absolutely had to stay vertical so that your fins and legs took the impact away from your equipment and face. The fall seemed like forever. :)

:P ^_^ I'm just shocked. The highest I've done is a maybe 2.5m off a pier with a double tank BUT the camera had to be lowered to me. My housing will at most go from 2 ft above water...that is housing to water... not the height of the jump.

You also risk tearing your Achilles tendons if you giant stride into the water from a great height. I saw some guy do this from the prow of a sailboat on TV (with just fins, mask, and snorkel) and one of his Achilles promptly popped. The risk of this depends on the length, surface area, and stiffness of the fin, but you can certainly imagine how such a sudden and extreme stretch of the calves could do some serious damage. Ouch.

Now wouldn't that make a good clip to sell to tv.

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#35 Paul Kay

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 12:52 AM

"The risk of this depends on the length, surface area, and stiffness of the fin"

Ahhh. Could be another topic approaching - on the best fins for the higher entry diver!

Never found this a problem myself (tendon's intact so far), but not sure I'd repeat the heady days of diving youth in many other ways either! All I CAN say is that a very high entry gives you a long, long time to think about its foolishness as you approach the water. And in case anyone's wondering, yes I did get my camera (Nikonos then) handed to me in the water after such an entry. Paradoxically, in this particular shore diving spot, it was a choice of scrambling down and over some very sharp rocks or jumping - neither was that pleasant - good south Irish coast divesite though, well worth it.
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#36 Drew

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 06:47 AM

Ahhh. Could be another topic approaching - on the best fins for the higher entry diver!

Well if Prada or Jimmy Choo start making fins, that's when I quit scuba.

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#37 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 06:53 AM

Well if Prada or Jimmy Choo start making fins, that's when I quit scuba.


Gucci made a facemask and snorkel a few years ago.

Alex

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#38 Drew

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 07:07 AM

Nooooooo?!? Are you kidding? How come I didn't see it in the catalog? Was this apr├ęs tom ford?

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#39 philmayer

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 08:35 PM

I normally jump in first and have my camera passed down to me. I've jumped with it maybe 10% of the time.

On my last dive -- January in the Keys -- I jumped in and had my camera passed down. The seas were running 6-8 feet and I somehow caught the dive ladder with my ribs while trying to reach my camera.

3 cracked ribs are helping me reconsider my approach.

Edited by philmayer, 26 March 2007 - 08:36 PM.

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#40 peterbkk

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 09:43 PM

I normally jump in first and have my camera passed down to me. I've jumped with it maybe 10% of the time.

On my last dive -- January in the Keys -- I jumped in and had my camera passed down. The seas were running 6-8 feet and I somehow caught the dive ladder with my ribs while trying to reach my camera.

3 cracked ribs are helping me reconsider my approach.


Wow, cracking your ribs to protect your camera - now that is dedication ... :blush:

Nothing as dramatic but, since I started my new policy of NEVER jumping with camera (after a damaged HID light on my video setup last month), I did a dive last week in a raging current. I had to jump from the side of the boat, firmly holding a rope attached to the buoy line that ran down to the ship wreck. Then, I had to have the camera passed to me and I had to attach it to the 2 d-rings on my BCD, while holding the rope. I had to have it firmly connected to me before heading down the line as I knew I would need both hands just to pull against the current. I really needed 3 hands. As I bounced against the side of the boat, one hand gripping the rope, one hand holding the camera and using a couple of spare fingers to attach the carabiners to the d-clips, I was starting to wonder if there isn't a better way for entries in big waves or strong currents.

Any ideas?

Regards
Peter