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Spare Body or not


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#1 Scubanomad

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:54 AM

I do have the 5D MK III and my great lenses. I am VERY happy with it.

Now for travel I am contemplating getting a spare body.

So if I were to buy a 6D or 5D2 it would not fit in the housing if my 5DIII breaks. So I would have to get a spare 5DIII body (Costly)

Or if the worst thing happens and the 5D3 breaks, send it off to the Locale Canon repair center whereever I am traveling in and wait until its repaired. In the meantime use a phone (no underwater photos) or buy a cheap PS camera while I wait for the repair.

Anyone has experience with it and how do you approach it? Thanks

 

 



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#2 John Bantin

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:07 AM

Get a spare body but if you flood the first, I can tell you that you won't want to risk the second!


I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#3 johnspierce

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:44 PM

The more sophisticated housings get, the less sense it makes to have a backup body unless you also have a backup housing.  The electronics in the housing will likely also be toast if you flood it.  


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#4 betti154

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:28 PM

I do have the 5D MK III and my great lenses. I am VERY happy with it.
Now for travel I am contemplating getting a spare body.
So if I were to buy a 6D or 5D2 it would not fit in the housing if my 5DIII breaks. So I would have to get a spare 5DIII body (Costly)
Or if the worst thing happens and the 5D3 breaks, send it off to the Locale Canon repair center whereever I am traveling in and wait until its repaired. In the meantime use a phone (no underwater photos) or buy a cheap PS camera while I wait for the repair.
Anyone has experience with it and how do you approach it? Thanks


I'm in the same situation, but don't have a great answer. I'm thinking that a small crop sensor camera might be the way to go as a secondary body and housing, will also give me more flexibility for macro shooting. I've briefly looked at the eos-m camera but am somewhat underwhelmed with it.

I've still got my 7D body and housing as backup, but its just as heavy as the 5D3 so makes for traveling with both a pain. I'll probably wait and see what happens with the 7D2 and go from there.

No great answer from me I'm afraid, but maybe some food for thought.
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#5 Cary Dean

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 07:33 PM

Don't travel anywhere without spares.

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.


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#6 expatdiver

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 04:36 AM

I am in the proscess of putting together a new system, and the fist thing on my list is 2 bodies. I spare body not only gives you a direct replcement should your primary fail, it also give you additional spares (i.e. battery, memory cards, etc.). Plus you have any identical body for topside shooting during your trip; so you already know buttons and settings. I used to have to debate wheter to take the time to remove my camera from the housing when, say a pod of orcas started bow riding while we were out looking for whalesharks, to shoot topside or leave it in to be ready to jump. Now I don't have that debate anymore. I just grab whichever camera is necesary.

 

Also, depending on your housing, you can always switch to optical sync (if the electronics fail) or ambiant light photography (if optical sync is not an option).


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#7 john70490

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:27 AM

One option nobody has mentioned is to buy a secondhand four thirds camera (Panasonic or Olympus) and cheap plastic housing. The total outlay will be much less and the extra weight negligible. The set-up won't do everything your primary set-up does but it will enable you to take prety decent shots (and videos) in an emergency situation and at least you won't come home without any pictures.


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#8 rtrski

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

Spare body makes sense if you don't have electronics in the housing to also fry, which generally means fiberoptic triggering...but you might lose a lens along with the body, so where does it end?  Spare body is also nice if doing a combination dive/topside trip of some sort,  even if you're not hiking/touring around, since you can have the spare with a different lens available without having to break everything down. When someone yells "dolphins at the bow!" and your camera is in a housing with arms and strobes that's some 25lbs out of the water, boy do you want that spare to have been available.


Edited by rtrski, 19 May 2013 - 07:39 AM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#9 onewolf

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:43 AM

Spare body makes sense if you don't have electronics in the housing to also fry, which generally means fiberoptic triggering...but you might lose a lens along with the body, so where does it end?  Spare body is also nice if doing a combination dive/topside trip of some sort,  even if you're not hiking/touring around, since you can have the spare with a different lens available without having to break everything down. When someone yells "dolphins at the bow!" and your camera is in a housing with arms and strobes that's some 25lbs out of the water, boy do you want that spare to have been available.

 

I was wondering when someone was going to bring up the whole flooded lens situation.  I guess the 'backup' for my DSLR system is my wife's compact P/S system.  :)  Makes much more sense to have a backup body for a P/S system.


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

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#10 E_viking

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:07 PM

You might already carry a 60mm and  a 105mmfor macro. As well as a Fisheye and a rectilinear Wideangle.

That is sort of a backup. Admittedly not a 1:1 backup, but...

 

There is not that much electronics inside the Housings. The Hotshoe is mostly cables and should be ok after drying up..

OK, the Leak Detector would be fried. Not the end of the world though.

 

A backup Body would in my opinion be the most sensible backup.

That said I do not bring a backup. A good vacuum system should do the job instead!

 

/Erik


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#11 adamhanlon

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:19 PM

Hi all,

 

A backup body does not only protect you from flooding. Cameras can go wrong too! They get dropped, damaged or simply stop working. Sometimes they get stolen  :angry2:

 

It makes most sense to carry two camera bodies of one type. This means that if a camera goes wrong (or floods) you can simply swap them over.

 

If your job depends on capturing images while you are away, your gear will (should) be insured, and hence the damage/flood will not be economically disastrous. Coming home from assignment without the images your client has sent you to take will be! A second body is the only way to ensure this doesn't happen.

 

Some people will actually hire their second body for the duration of their trip. This removes the capital expense of owning a second body.

 

Adam


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#12 John Bantin

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:02 AM

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 buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#13 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:07 AM

I think it makes a lot of sense to have a spare camera body. Especially if you are going on important or once in a life time trips. Less so if you dive mainly at home. 

 

For the record I've never owned a spare body for any of the Nikon SLRs I have used. And never had a flood or been let down by one (and done 1000s of dives, shot a handful of books and hundred of magazine features).

 

But I have seen many other people flood theirs. Especially newer underwater photographers are most vulnerable to making the mistakes in housing preparation that lead to most floods. If you look at the problem logically, it is impossible to argue against the sense in having a spare. 


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#14 John Bantin

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:37 AM

Thanks Alex. I was just in the process of convincing myself to buy a spare D800!


I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#15 Drew

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:29 AM

If one can afford it, it's a no brainer, especially if there's a mixture of topside and underwater shooting.

 

Fixing it at the local Canon dealer would mean at minimum a 48 wait period (if you are a CPS member) and probably a week or more.  If it's a major drowning, they can't fix it anyhow.

 

I always have a backup camera which acts as a topside camera.  The one time I did a "Mustard" and went with one body to Bali because I already had a huge video rig. My friend drowned my camera just 3 days before my super long boat trips. I had to fly to the closest big country (SIngapore) to buy a replacement, only to find they had no stock available and I had to scour the 2nd hand shops and pay a premium for a body which was older and because of the country's price differential, cost 90% of a new one back in the US.
Of course, on those trips, I didn't like any of the pics I took except for maybe 3.  Was it worth all that trouble and expense when all I had to do was pack an extra body? NO!

Moral of the story, always have a backup camera.  If you don't want to spend on a DSLR, then get a smaller P&S like the Sony RX100 and housing.  It's more of a bonanza if you have optical strobes as it can be compatible.


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#16 Bent C

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:48 AM

The one time I totalled a camera was on the first day of a live aboard. There was no way of getting hold of another camera, so I had to spend a week of diving cool places without any pics at all. A couple of my friends were as productive as ever, with no camera problems. I have never travelled without a spare camera since then. The added security it gives is way more worth it to me than the cost of adding the spare. And, as others have already mentioned, doing a bit of topside shooting is hard work without an extra camera. Drew´s advice os good, if you don´t want to or cannot afford to spend on another dslr, get something worthwhile using.

Edited by Bent C, 22 May 2013 - 08:48 AM.

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#17 chris_l

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:05 AM

For those of you suggesting getting a second smaller and lighter system have you seen this:

 

http://www.opticaloc...gear-combo.html

 

pretty cheap and gives you a double backup, housing and camera.

 

My bro-in-law flooded a nikon on a live aboard recently.  Even if he would have had a spare, the electronics in the housing were toast and thus the second body would have done no good.

It depends on your system obviously.

And what if you couldn't determine the cause of the original flood, would you bring down the next body and lens?

 

I have an olympus epl2 in the oly plastic housing.  If I flooded and had a spare body I could be back in business quickly.  It only seems practical to me if you have optical strobes.  Of course, I'd lose a lens, but I have 3 with me that I can use underwater.  I actually could get a second body cheap now, but I'm more interested in spending that money upgrading.

 

If you're a pro on assignment, that's obviously a different situation and you need to be prepared.


Edited by chris_l, 22 May 2013 - 10:24 AM.


#18 John Bantin

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:06 AM

...or buy a book by David Doubilet!


I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#19 johnspierce

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:21 AM

One thing is for sure, having optical strobes is a more flood-proof technology than wired.


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#20 E_viking

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:24 PM

 

My bro-in-law flooded a nikon on a live aboard recently.  Even if he would have had a spare, the electronics in the housing were toast and thus the second body would have done no good.

It depends on your system obviously.

And what if you couldn't determine the cause of the original flood, would you bring down the next body and lens?

 

 

The only thing of real importance that I can see that would get fried is if you have a TTL Converter inside the Housing.

The Hotshoe is basically just wires => rinse in sweetwater => works

Leak Detector , well...

TTL Converter:  would be toast.

 

I had a flooding about 5-6 years ago ( as always a really really stupid user mistake).

I never had to replace the Hotshoe ( strobe connectors) and even the Leak Detector was still working.

Therefore in most Housings a spare would help a lot!

 

/Erik


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