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diving camera underwater photography nikon aquatica

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#1 rameus

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:23 AM

hi guys

 

it's been a while since my last post... i just launched a new portal and one part of what we do is still underwater photography. since the number of people using cameras underwater increases drastically i just thought it would be a good idea to write an article on how to handle a camera underwater.

 

feel free to comment!

thanks

thom


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#2 John Bantin

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 09:57 AM

As far as air consumption goes, after 20 years of making thousands of dives with a camera, I know that my air consumption far exceeds those few times that I dive without one. I put this down to the brainpower needed and the oxygen metabolised whilst thinking about the picture and readjusting fine pitched buoyancy.


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#3 DamonA

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 11:30 PM

 readjusting fine pitched buoyancy.

 

Otherwise you just need to stop smoking cigars in the carribean.....

those of us that dived before/without BCDS wouldn't blame anything else except old age........



#4 Interceptor121

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 09:44 AM

Nice summary. I believe that the increased air consumption is a certainty especially when you dive with new parts of your equipment or a complete new rig because of task loading. However it should also be noted that plenty of people dive without any floats on their rig. This ends up being very negative and as we know diving overweighted results in increased air consumption. I was in Lembeh few weeks ago and my occasional dive buddy had a Nikon D7000 in aquatica housing with a macro port and two Ikelite Ds161. On his first dive he only lasted 45 minutes the situation improved much more later but without a doubt the heavy strobes played a role on his air consumption. I like my rig to be half a pound negative max unless I have a tripod tray

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#5 opie

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:30 PM

The article was really helpful. I just signed up for this forum and have a total noob question - how much diving experience do I need before it's worthwile to attempt underwater photography?

 

I'm a competent photorgrapher on land and I've read some of the underwater photography guides - but they are much more focused on the camera skills - it almost seems like the assumption is you have to be a experienced diver before you even attempt underwater photography.

 

I've only ever dived once and I don't have my certification. I'm going to the great barrier reef and am tempted to buy a housing for my camera and see what I can do. Am I biting off more than I can chew? I remember on my last dive there were times when I would almost float to the surface or practically crawl along the ocean floor because I wasn't used to the gear.

 



#6 DamonA

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 10:12 PM

The article was really helpful. I just signed up for this forum and have a total noob question - how much diving experience do I need before it's worthwile to attempt underwater photography?

 

I'm a competent photorgrapher on land and I've read some of the underwater photography guides - but they are much more focused on the camera skills - it almost seems like the assumption is you have to be a experienced diver before you even attempt underwater photography.

 

I've only ever dived once and I don't have my certification. I'm going to the great barrier reef and am tempted to buy a housing for my camera and see what I can do. Am I biting off more than I can chew? I remember on my last dive there were times when I would almost float to the surface or practically crawl along the ocean floor because I wasn't used to the gear.

 

My word you are, wait at lest till you have 50+ dives; it's more fun to get off on the diving skills, it will be one the greatest buzzes of your life time, the camera makes it more like hunting then observing passively and being in awe of the marine world. Best to understand what you are doing so it is safe to use a camera.



#7 divingdoc

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:06 AM

Balancing Your Rig

 

It makes common sense to make sure your rig is neutrally buoyant.  I'm surprised how many aluminum housing DSLR shooters don't balance their rigs.  The most obvious reasons:

 

1)  Ease of handling/shooting

2)  Less need to use air in your b.c. or drysuit to compensate for your non-buoyant rig

3)  Less problems in an emergency situation

 

I actually find that buoyancy is more an issue with macro than wide angle.   Your framing and focus is more crucial with macro.   Thus holding your camera steady is more crucial.   In California where I dive, is usually need to steady myself on the reef with my free hand because of currents and surge.   Holding a Subal housing and 105 mm macro lens will tire your forearm fast,  if it isn't balanced.

 

Wide angle is less of a problem.    

 

Aluminum buoyancy arms  and floats add to resistance while swimming and will add weight and/or bulk to your travel gear when traveling overseas.

 

I recently changed to micro 4/3 and an O-M5 in a Nauticam housing.    I'm trying to work out the buoyancy bugs with this system.   Much less of a task then with a 1.5 crop factor Nikon DX.

 

UW photography, like life, is all a balance.   Balancing floats/arms can be done as much as you want.







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