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Your last camera?


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#1 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 12:14 AM

In the UK the DSLR market is slowly getting going, but most of the serious Brit UW snappers I know are sticking with 35mm. I am interested in whether the DSLR market is dominated by people who have never used an SLR underwater or is mainly full of converts, who already own housed SLRs.

I am curious what were peoples' last underwater camera before they went down the DSLR route?

To start the ball rolling I used (well still use) a Nikon F100 in a Subal housing before (very adventurously) going on to Nikon D100 in a Subal housing.

Alex

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#2 marriard

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 05:25 AM

In the UK the DSLR market is slowly getting going, but most of the serious Brit UW snappers I know are sticking with 35mm. I am interested in whether the DSLR market is dominated by people who have never used an SLR underwater or is mainly full of converts, who already own housed SLRs.

I am curious what were peoples' last underwater camera before they went down the DSLR route?
....

I still have and use a Nikon N90S in a Nexus Housing - at least until the 12-24mm lens comes out and I can start getting the wide angle shots I need. I refused to leave film until shutterlag and other D-SLR features were available.

In the people I have talked to - most are either:

1. Housed film-SLR users
2. Experienced topside SLR shooters who couldn't get used to shutterlag

In otherwords the underwater DSLR market is generally full of experienced SLR shooters. I can only think of two exceptions to this amongst all the photogs I know, and one of them only went this way because his wife bought him a DSLR for Christmas.

In both cases going to an Olympus 5050 or similar is not a fun experience compared to the SLR expereince, as some of the features you are used to in SLR film are not there. The primary one being shutterlag of course.

M

#3 yahsemtough

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 05:35 AM

I was going to go the SLR route before a trip with Jim Watt got me pushed the digital way. I did not want to put out a lot of money for lenses etc until the DSLR's seemed to settle out a bit and I could decide which way to go.

I did want to go digital and get my feet wet so I did get the CP 5000 and housed it in a Aquatica housing. The reason being is I thought at worst, it will make a great back-up when I do go the DSLR route. And, it is a great set-up once you get used to the couple of inconviences

Prior to all this I was shooting the Motormarine IIEX with all the extra lenses and dual strobes on adjustable arms.
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#4 james

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 06:17 AM

My first underwater photo was taken with a Nikon Coolpix 990 in an Ike housing.

After that, I purchased a Nikonon V and 15mm lens and shot wideangle with the Nikonos and mostly macro with the Coolpix.

I sold the Nikonos 15mm when I got my S2pro. I needed the $$$

Cheers
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#5 underwatercolours

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 07:47 AM

My very first underwater camera was a Eumig super 8 movie camera. I took it on a bareboat sailing charger to the BVIs where I captured some of the best 3.5 minutes of film ever... the entire group of sailors anchored at Cane Garden Bay...skinny dipping!

Prior to the Sea & Sea DX-D100 I have now, I shot for years with several models of the Sea & Sea housings for the N90s. I sold one Nikonos V, but still kept the second with all the lenses, which I find I use less and less. Prior to that I shot with housed SLRs from Ikelite and Aquatica. In parallel, I also shot with point-and-shoot digital cameras using the Light & Motion Tetra housing for the 3030 and an Ikelite housing for the CoolPix 950. Also played around with a Canon point-and-shoot setup.

In my business I travel all over the world and see many, many, many digital cameras but not that many housed SLRs and even less housed DSLRs, except being used by pros or very dedicated hobbyists. I'm seeing many less film cameras overall. Typically when I get on a boat, about 50% of the people have some kind of camera with them. I also see a lot of film users who swear they'll never switch to digital (mainly because they claim to be computer illiterate and have no interest in the technology). Give 'em time.

Alex, I look forward to hearing about your experiences with the Subal housing for the D100.

#6 james

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 08:16 AM

Hi Bonnie (Time to go off-topic for a sec),

Dave Burroughs and Alex Mustard both have the Subal housing. Dave has some excellent shots both OF and WITH the housing here:

http://homepage.mac....otoAlbum10.html

From looking at the photos, this looks like one AWESOME unit. Note that the back controls allow you to use BOTH the metering mode dial and the AE/AF lock.

Cheers
James
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#7 scorpio_fish

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 08:46 AM

N90s in an Aquatica housing. Now switching to D100 in an Aquatica housing.

Topside I used to shoot an F100. On my last land trip I took it as a backup. It never left the suitcase. I shot the D100 exclusively.

Anyone need some Velvia?
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#8 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 09:31 AM

I still shoot film for underwater, Canon EOS A2e in a Subal housing for about 5 years now, though I started with a MMIIex. I've been a very satisfied 10D owner for about a week and a half now. :huh: The minute Subal comes out with a housing for this camera (if it's a minimal mod for the D60 housing then I don't see why not) my film bodies and housing will have a for sale sign tacked on...

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#9 tshepherd

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 11:29 AM

My first underwater setup was a Sony digital. I fall into Marriard's #2 category though, because I never got completely comfortable with the shutterlag and relative lack of control, so I ended up upgrading to a D60 within the first year of owning the Sony.

Tom

#10 ehanauer

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 03:19 PM

I started with a Nikon F/Ikelite, then Nikon F/Niko-Mar, followed by F2/Hydro 35, followed by N90s/Subal. I'm presently using a D100/Sea&Sea. All my film cameras are sold except for the Nikonos V/15mm, but it's just gathering dust right now. :ph34r:
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#11 waterworldimages

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 05:53 PM

Ok...lets see here. It all started with a beat up old Nikonos III and no strobe and thenit progressed...

Nikonos IV
Nikonos IVA
Nikonos V with the 15mm,20mm,35mm,tubes ect
Nikon F4 in an Aquatica ( getting serious )
Nikon F90X in an Aquatica
Nikonos RS
Nikon F5 in Aquatica
Nikon F100 in Aquatica
sold the F5 and started to shoot with a D1 and D1x topside, kept the F100 housed....

and now shooting a D100 in an Aquatica D100

I think that the move from range finder to SLR and DSLR is natural. It is like getting an education from the ground up. You learn all you can with a certain type of camera and when you think you know all there is to know...you start over again with the next NEW thing. It is a learning curve that never gets boring.... :huh:

#12 dhaas

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Posted 02 April 2003 - 06:18 PM

Here's as much history as I can recall (kind of like Eric Hanauer's :huh:

Kodak Instamatic 126 in Ikelite housing and FLASHCUBE arm!! 1970

Nik III Subsea strobe 1978-1985

Niv IV-A and V with ext. tubes and 15mm 1985-1992

Aquatica 80 for Nikon N8008s after selling all Nikonos stuff - 1992

STROMM housings for N8008s/N90s (owned one from Norbert Wu) 1994-2000

Ikelite housing for Nikon CoolPix 990 with WC-E24 wide angle lens 2000-2001

Ikelite SLR for Nikon N80 2001-2002

Ikelite protoype for Nikon D100 - 2002 to present (Don't even own a film camera anymore......)

can't go back.....

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http://homepage.mac....hotoAlbum2.html
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#13 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 12:58 AM

Thanks for the responses guys. I hope other people found this as interesting as I did.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#14 PauP

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 10:36 AM

I think that the move from range finder to SLR and DSLR is natural.

How about the viewfinders getting smaller? ( are they?)

I have not heard much about the different view finder optix on the latest housings.

A friend has modified his Subal (90x) to have a full frame viewfinder similar to my Aquatica 90SX.
Its a smaller image but you see the frame edges without having to look around.

PauP

#15 craig

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 02:48 PM

I know the Nexus D100 viewfinder is much better than the S&S D100 one. I'm curious about the Subal and Aquatica D100 solutions.

I would think anyone switching from a housed N90 to a DX100 would be having some VF heartburn.
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#16 ehanauer

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 03:16 PM

Photography always has been a series of tradeoffs. No question I miss the high eyepoint viewfinder of the N90s. That was an adjustment after the sportfinder of the F2. But to me at least, the advantages of digi outweigh the loss of ttl and the smaller viewfinder and the crop factor.

Eric :ph34r:
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#17 davephdv

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 10:30 PM

Lets see. Nikonos IV; then a Nikonos V (which I still own) .

Then a Nikon N50 in an Ikelite Housing.

Then a Nikon N70 in a Subal Housing.

Then a Nikon F100 in a Subal Housing.

Bought a used Nikonos III for 100$. It has never been in the water by me.

Then a CP 5000 in a Ikelite housing (I still have this; an excellent set up and camera)

Currently a Nikon D100 in a Subal housing.

Unlike some of the others I notice no loss of capacity going from the F100 to the D100. The viewfinder with Subal's excellent magnifier seems to have a view not noticeably different than that of the F100 and I notice no loss of auto-focus ability of the D100 vs. the F100. I know that the F100 is suppose to have a larger viewfinder and a faster auto-focus module but I don't notice any loss of capacity when I switched to the D100.

The Subal housing for the D100 is the best Subal housing that I have owned and an absolute pleasure to use. Sole defect as has been discussed before is the low gearing of the knob for the front command dial. It is necessary to reprogram the camera using the custom menu so that the back command dial controls the aperture.

I keep the Nikonos for backup and for snorkeling with large animals. Cannot be beat if you are in the water with dolphins or mantas. Still I could see myself selling it when I just have to have some new item of gear. (Like a digital rangerfinder)
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

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#18 sean

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Posted 07 April 2003 - 11:03 AM

My first camera (1980) was a Minolta film SLR. It had an "automatic" mode that was essentially aperture priority, everything else was manual. I used that thing for 15 years and took thousands of pictures with it.

Then I got a job working on software for digital cameras and knew that soon I would be switching to digital. 'Soon' turned out to be 5 years (in 1995 the high-end digicams were 640x480 resolution and could take up to 8 shots), during which I got certified for scuba. I shot film underwater with a rented Nikonos a few times, but I already had a taste for the sweet feedback of digital, even despite the drawbacks of the cameras of the day, so it was a matter of waiting.

In 2000 I got a 3 megapixel Sony consumer digicamera and my first u/w camera housing, an Ikelite, with which I used a pair of video lights. The setup had its pros and cons, but basically the camera itself was severely lacking for any serious shooter. In late 2000 I got a Canon D30, and never went back to a point and shoot.

Last year I upgraded to a D60, got a UK-Germany housing, and spent three weeks in Australia learning to use the durned thing. In three days I shot 1000 pix and went from having no idea how to place the strobe or what settings to use for proper exposure to consistently getting sharp, perfectly exposed images with no backscatter -- that short learning curve simply isn't possible with film (and wouldn't have been possible in any case if I hadn't already spent two years taking thousands of shots with essentially the same camera). Now I have a Canon 10D and a bit of a housing quandry, but no regrets.

I'm a gear-head with a decided pro-high-tech bias, but I can't see any reason to shoot with film at this point in time. Even if you could make a case for higher quality (which I would dispute), the inconvenience, lack of flexibility and lack of timely feedback make film extremely unappealing to me.