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list of surf housing manufacturers


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#1 photoagent101

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 02:34 AM

Hi folks:

I got interested in surf photography years ago but the technology was not quite there for someone who was a only a serious amateur. My first surf housing was for a Canon EOS-1N film camera. It was a nicely done Watershot housing made by a man named Steve Ogles, who has since moved on to doing housings for Hollywood. He is no longer bothering to make housings for us little folks.

The Watershot housing worked fine, but what a hassle! You would put the film in the camera, screw on 12 bolts with an allen wrench, swim out through the surf, take 36 shots, then have to come all the way back to the beach and reload your film! It was so exhausting that I shot about two rolls with this housing before giving up.

With the advent of digitial cameras and the ability to shoot 400 RAW images on one battery, surf photography became viable for me again. So I looked around to find a surf housing for my Nikon D200 cameras.

I do not wish to take my usual underwater housings into the surf because:

1. they sink, and the surf will often rip your housing away from you even if a lanyard is attached. Something that sinks in the surf is basically lost forever. I’ve lost two treasured ScubaPro frameless masks in the surf in the past year.

2. The sand in the surf will quickly ruin your underwater housing. Sand grains will embed themselves in your O-rings and glands, and this is probably the absolutely worst thing you can do to an underwater housing.

Surf housings have a minimum of controls, and they float. My present housing for my D200 camera is has shutter speed, and that’s about all I need. I preset focus to about 3 feet, aperture to f8, and the shutter speed is all I need to control. I also set the viewing options on my LCD screen so that it only shows overexposed highlights as blinking white. I don’t want any more complexity than that when in the surf.

I was astounded by how hard it was to find a surf housing manufacturer. So I have been urging wetpixel and Eric Cheng to get a surf photography forum up and running.


Here’s a list of housing manufacturers I have found in my research, listed in alphabetical order.


AquaTech Water Imaging Technologies, USA
18685-A Main St, #359
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
phone number: Office: 714 968 6946
email: jesse.aquatech@mac.com


Erik Hjermstad
Delmar Housing Projects
4051 Riverton Place
San Diego, CA 92130
phone number: 858-259-5830
www.delmarhousings.com/


Chad Stickney
handcraftedvideowaterhousings
669 Bolsana Dr
Laguna Beach, Ca 92651
phone number: 949-200-7658
email: handcraftedvideowaterhousings@hotmail.com


SPL housings
8535 Arjons Dr. Ste N
San Diego, CA 92126
phone number: (858) 349-9037
email: info@splwaterhousings.com
These are very popular housings judging from what I have seen on the North Shore. Perhaps 8 of 10 photographers has an SPL housing.



Hope this helps. Thanks to Phil Colla for his help in my initial stages of research on surf housings. Please note that these manufacturers range from largish companies to one guy in a garage. The above is only a listing of sources; I cannot guarantee the accuracy nor the honesty of any of these operations. I have heard from more than one other photographer that at least one of the manufacturers on this list does not have a great reputation for timely delivery of housings and even returning borrowed cameras and loaned funds! Be careful before sending a camera for a housing. Hopefully the talk on this forum will help keep manufacturers honest!

Norbert Wu
www.norbertwu.com
Norbert Wu
www.norbertwu.com

#2 loftus

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 05:32 AM

I've been looking for one of these; thanks.
Mo money, mo money.
Norbert, specifically which one of these housings do you have for your D200?

Edited by loftus, 07 March 2008 - 10:47 AM.

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#3 NorthShoreSurfPhotos.com

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 09:55 PM

Go SPL all the way... the housings are bomb proof. im on my second one now and about to get a 3rd. i have a D2x housing along with a seperate flash housing if anyone is interested in buying it... not a scratch on it.

any questions pm me.
Aloha,
JT

#4 wagsy

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:57 PM

There is a guy over here that makes surf fiberglass housings. I'll see if I can find out more although I think it's more for video cameras. Have seen a FX1 and TRV900 one... the FX1 even had a top viewing port to see the LCD.
Amphibico Phenom & EVO PRO & Navigator 900
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#5 Mike L

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 06:20 PM

I had the opportunity to spend some time down at SPL a couple of weeks ago with Sean (owner). His shop is filled with fun toys. Sean took some time to show me their housing designs, some of their latest housings, etc. I was lucky enough to be in there while they had the new RED camera in a housing ready for delivery. What an awesome piece he did for that camera!
Mike Luzansky
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#6 Graham Abbott

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 06:21 AM

Hey Norb, Good to find ya online here, bring that D200 & surf housing over here and I'll get ya hooked up with the right dudes to shoot!

#7 jeff2231

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:33 PM

Just to add to the list is Liquid Eye

No experience with them, but I've been looking too and they seem to be priced fairly well.

#8 Brad Masters

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:02 PM

Hi there,
My name is Brad Masters and I work with Liquideye WHS. I'm a professional based surf photographer. I have been using Liquideye housing for the last 2 years. I have seen all the different models out there and all the different brands , but its the little things for me that make me keep using Liquideye WHS.

Anyway if you guys want to ask me anything please feel free.
Thanks
Brad Masters
brad@liquideye-whs.com
http://www.liquideye-whs.com/

Check out our range and then get back to me

#9 cobozz

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 03:29 AM

thanks

#10 Bombsight

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 10:37 AM

You want a "Bombproof" housing? ..... check out this site ... www.photosupportsystems.com

I'm shooting with the 20D housing for 4 years now. Pistal grip is the only way to go for surf photography.

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#11 worldwide

worldwide

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:39 PM

I just thought Id ad our line of housings to your list. www.cmtwaterhousings.com
Thanks,
Jay Rabjohn

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Edited by worldwide, 16 October 2009 - 12:44 PM.


#12 worldwide

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:46 PM

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#13 worldwide

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:50 PM

...

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#14 Iggy460

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 06:44 PM

Aloha,

I'm due to receive a new surf housing any day now. I had it boiled down to three makers: 1) Essex, 2) Water Housings Hawaii, and the aforementioned 3) SPL.

All sounded good, with good reputations. I went with Essex because the control features for the almost-out 7D housing are standard; not ala carte where you gotta pay extra for every button; although I know some folks like exactly that - less buttons. To each his/her own. All good.

Mike Waggoner, owner/designer for Essex, has been at it for almost 30 years in Hawaii. Taro Pascual's Water Housings Hawaii is now-famous Clark Little's choice. Nuff said. And there are many here in Hawaii who swear by SPL's quality and service; and after a couple inquiries I found owner Sean Labrie to be very quick in responding to questions.

Here are the websites: Essex http://www.surfhousings.com/
Waterhousings Hawaii http://www.waterhousingshawaii.com/
SPL Waterhousings http://www.splwaterhousings.com/


Hope this helps!

Aloha!

Iggy460
Photojournalist/SurfPhotogNewbie

#15 mat

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 01:18 AM

Hi all,

Anyone have a recommendation on a surf housing for the Canon G12 with fish eye lens ?

In fact any tips on housing and lens would be appreciated I'm trying to decide what camera to buy with my very small budget. It would predominately be for free-diving and Surf.

I'd be eternally grateful for any tips, I'm a total newbie and my head is melting with all the different specifications.

Cheers

Matt

#16 Bombsight

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 01:15 AM

I went with Essex because the control features for the almost-out 7D housing are standard; not ala carte where you gotta pay extra for every button; although I know some folks like exactly that - less buttons. To each his/her own. All good.

Mike Waggoner, owner/designer for Essex, has been at it for almost 30 years in Hawaii.
Here are the websites: Essex http://www.surfhousings.com/



Update:
I've since switched to Essex because I updated from the 20D to the 7D. Cant say enough good about Mike Waggoner of Essex & his housings.

Edited by Bombsight, 08 May 2011 - 01:16 AM.


#17 morozena

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:51 PM

Hi! Has anybody heard if Water Housings Hawaii is still active/working? Taro Pascual is working on my order, but I can not get an e-mail answer from him since December 2012, can not get him on the phone as well... Maybe he moved somehow somewhere or something?
I really hope he is OK..
Evgenia