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Posts posted by Nicool

  1. Hi everyone,

    I have a GoPro hero8 in the basic supersuit housing, and plan on using it more underwater.

    For that purpose, can I check if anyone has a GoPro tray / arms / filters setup which they would like to sell?

    I quite like the Backscatter kits but open to consider others. If you want to sell the whole thing including the GoPro I can consider that too, depending on the price.


    I am based in Sydney, Australia :)


  2. [mention=22194]Nicool[/mention]did you get the lite shock 75cm? I am probably going to get this, and I'm usually very good at packing it to the brim (padding it out).
    And if so, do you know if it'll handle 26-27kg? My current Samsonite which is an s'cure spinner takes 26kg without a problem but weighs a "tonne" at 4.5kg itself. If I can get 2kg squeezed out for free, then the suitcase will pay for itself after 2 trips.

    Hi sinetwo,
    I did not, eventually went with tge Pelican approach. 28kg case but holds nearly 2x DSLR setups :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. Screening is fairly random. I packed my scuba gear in Pelicans and my camera gear in suitcases. They zeroed in on my Pelicans and let the suitcase go uninspected.

    The diversion technique, love it!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. Just in case you find yourself looking back... ;)

    A regular pair of neoprene boots (sized-up of course) is a great alternative to rock boots, which have been my preference for the past 10+ years. I currently use these, but any type of "tall" neo boots with a zip would do.

    They are great at minimizing the amount of air that can travel to your feet (and bubble you up...), so you can easily let some air get to your legs, and with a bit of practice, just enough to get a perfectly horizontal position.

    With such boots, I don't see the need for those heavy-rubber fins. I mean you can use them if that's your preference, but I am sticking with the Avanti Quattro Plus which I also use for tropical 3mm wetsuit diving. They are lighter, and working well for both flutter kick, and the frog kick which is so useful for muck/silty diving.

  5. Hi Mcyoung,

    In our early years of underwater photography, my wife Lena and I were sharing 1 camera/housing setup, and every second dive, I was the "photo assistant".

    Like others said, we didn't delegate our safety to the other half, but we certainly helped each other out in a number of ways, and even nowadays, we sometimes go diving with a single housing, knowing the other will be photo assistant, which is good fun:

    • Looking for subjects to photograph for the photographer: on a muck dive few days back there was so much to see, but she was busy on a subject so I just stuck my pointer stick in the sand near her "N+1 subject" and went looking for N+2 :)
    • Carrying extra gear/accessories (maybe not as fun as the rest...)
    • Helping with lighting a subject (e.g. snooting, backlighting, setting up a remote light on a tripod)
    • Posing as a model: even if my wife doesn't think to ask, when she's shooting wide-angle I will sometimes pop-by, position myself where I suspect it will look good, and she will give me a nod if she's happy for me to hold position, or signal to do something else, or get the hell out of her photo :D

    Aside from that, in the rare occasion that we have to follow a group during a dive (e.g. in Sipadan few years back, we weren't allowed to dive on our own, had to follow 1 guide + 4 other divers), we often ended-up being last to photograph a subject, just to have bit more time, and then the group would move on. In this scenario, the non-photographer amongst us was swimming back & forth between the group and the photographer to make sure he/she wouldn't get lost. When the group was getting too far, it was time to give a nudge, hey photo time is over.

    But this isn't really about safety, more avoiding the inconvenience to get lost and have to ascend/cut the dive short.



  6. 11 hours ago, Draq said:

    The likelihood of owning one of those is not much greater than the likelihood of owning the Hubble Space telescope.

    The hubble would be hard to travel with, and might not focus close enough.


    This is a very exciting announcement!! I have contemplated the WACP-1 for a while but found it too heavy/big.

    The ability for Sony's full frames to use the WWL1 "instead" (though image quality wouldn't be as good, as Alex pointed) makes me consider a move away from Nikon to Sony... Gives me confusing dreams...

    So a mini-WACP-1 sounds great, except it doesn't seem suited to Nikon FX DSLRs (whereas the Canon DSLR people can use their 28-70 and enjoy the full 130-59 degrees range).  

    I am hoping Nauticam might do more testing and find a Nikon FX lens that can make give access to a 130-50 degrees range at least, then this would an attractive option for my D810 :good:

    The Nikon DX 18-55mm looks to work well though, and it has VR, a great option for a Nikon DX DSLR... so perhaps my D500 would get a new toy... 

    But I think I would get more bang for my bucks, image quality-wise, by using an expensive wet lens on the D810 than D500.


    Anyways, great that Nauticam keeps releasing new wet lenses!

    • Haha 1

  7. Thanks a lot Chris, very insightful and I feel a little silly now, for using that 1 pack for 6 years in a row... :lol:

    It looks like silica gel can only absorb indeed, while other hybrid gels can act as absorbents and desorbents, in ranges of 40-70% humidity:

    • Hybrid gels were developed to be highly effective at both absorbing and desorbing moisture. Hybrid gels are better at maintaining mid-range relative humidities (40-70%) (ArtSorb, Arten Gel, Prosorb and Rhapid Gel are hybrid gels available commercially in several forms including loose beads, sheets, cassettes, and tiles).

    It would be a pain to keep re-heating or replacing (also not envrionmentally friendly) silica gel packs every few dives, so re-considering my options there.

    I suppose we, underwater photographers, don't need the relative humidity to be pulled down as low as 40%, we just want it to stay below 100%, so I am thinking a hybrid gel shooting for 70% could do the trick, while not wasting its absorption capacity, when surrounding air humidity is only 60-70%.

    I still don't understand why my housing condensated in the laundry room, wouldn't be the first time I close it in the warm living room, and then leave it for a few days in the laundry (which goes from warm/moist to cold at night). Only change is this time I hadn't pulled the vaccum, which thinking about it, should cool down the temperature within the housing?

    I think you've either been lucky not to condensate in Sydney summers, or you did close your housing at home when it was closer temp to the sea temperature.

  8. 21 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

    I'd suspect the baggage handling equipment more than anything else.  Looks like it has torn off the steel protector as well.  What type of lock did you use?  I always try to make sure lot to have anything sticking out the sides of my baggage.  I've always thought that type of closure was pretty poor design, there's not much plastic there.  I assume you've seen the various baggage handling videos online?

    You could try fitting these instead:  https://www.amazon.com/Pelican-Case-Locking-latches-Keys/dp/B07XTRF74Y

    just need to check your case is compatible.

    Thanks Chris, I used big padlocks: https://www.bunnings.com.au/syneco-40mm-solid-brass-padlock_p4061711

    Getting torn-off is a possible explanations, I did see how baggage get handled but I would also think that these holes are there for the precise purpose of holding padlocks, and the Pelican guys must be aware that some customers will take their cases for air travel...

    These TSA latches look quite sleek, but I always wonder how much protection they offer vs burgalry? Surely it can't be too hard for a malicious baggage handler to find a TSA key, they would be all the same.

  9. I thought I would update the thread I created with my experience, during the trip I bought my Pelican 1637 air case, flying from Sydney to Manado, via Singapore.

    Well, I am glad I got 2 solid padlocks, because one of them went missing when I picked my case on the lugguage belt, and the padlock hole got torn apart!

    I can't exactly tell what happened: either some malicious baggage handler tried to break through (bags sat for a 10+ hours connection in Singapore) and it was too hard to break both locks, or one of the padlock holes was faulty.

    Anyways, I sent the case back to Pelican for investigation upon my return, and they decided to replace it free of charge, as part of their lifetime warranty!

    I won't know what really happened, nor if there was a manufacturing defect on my case, but I am grateful for the quick turnaround and warranty from Pelican, I got a new case 1545432778_IMG_34232.thumb.jpg.cd408ceed382cd6ff3db696a3bf5d3b7.jpg159801946_IMG_34222.jpg.ce7f0025fc2333ba264f34664aa7ff2e.jpgwith a more vibrant colour now :)


  10. Hi eveyone,

    Like many of you, for many years I have stuck a pack of silica gel at the bottom of my housings, to prevent condensation issues. 

    This has seen me condensation free for 10+ years, including diving in tropical places (with/without air conditioned closing of the housing), and temperate areas in all seasons. 

    My longest-lasting silica gel pack is the one pictured below, which I must have got in a shoe box, it has sat in my Nauticam D500 housing for the last 6 years (and I can't remember, perhaps it was in the previous housing already).

    Anyways, yesterday I opened my housing, to find my D500 DSLR and the parts of the housing covered in condensation!!!! What's weirder: I had put back the camera there so that it's would be ready for next dive (I find my housings the safest place to store DSLRs when not in use), and it had been sitting there for the last 2 weeks, the housing itself was sitting on our laundry room, which is slightly moist, but hey, it's been sitting there for many years. Noteworthy: I had NOT vaccumed the housing that time.

    I tried everything, found the desiccant pack very moist, so it was time to dry it up and rejuvinate my silica gel. Googling the best way to do it (oven, microwave...) I realized that:

    1/ there isn't much good guidance available online. Most of the articles refer to free-flowing silica crystals that you can look at (colour change indicates if they are saturated in water or not), the idea being to pack them in a box, in one's camera bag. But these boxes are too big to fit in our housings :) 

    2/ I am still unclear why that condensation formed at home. INTERESTINGLY I've read somewhere (can't find the link anymore...) that saturated silica crystals (having absorved the max of their water capacity) may release that moisture on their own, without heating. Could it be that my silica pack went on strike and tried to flood my housing on land?!?


    All-in-one, I am curious what you people do to keep your silica pack doing it's job?

    If you do use paper silica bags like I do, how do you heat them up, how do you know when the crystals are dried enough? (apparently, if you heat them up too much, you may impair their water absorption capacity).  

    Have a great day,



  11. hi,
    what size type of Pelicase do you use or can you recommend for me as checked baggage?
    It should fit the following:
    - Miroless housing - Nauticam R5
    - Macro Port
    - Flashes
    - diopters
    - tool, arm and clamps  
    - Dome / 8,5 Acryl or the WACP maybe

    Hi, I really like my Pelican 1635 air case, with padded dividers, fits 2x DSLR housings, and strobes/arms/clamps/snoots (for 1 setup) + mini dome, flatport.
    The big dome would likely fit instead of my 2nd housing.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. As I much as I’d love my gear to cost less, inflation is a real thing, our beloved housing manufacturers aren't immune to it. Overtime, each and every one of them will raise their prices.

    Looking ahead: in 20 years time all major currencies will have lost half of their value at least - my guess (through inflation, printing of money by governments, etc) - so I expect camera housings to cost much more, the same way a loaf of bread will cost much more by then.


    We can’t expect an aluminium housing for cameras of the future (mirrorless will be a thing of the past, the to-be cameras will pick the subjects for us, and auto-cull our photos while we’re diving… ;)) to still cost around 3500 USD then, unless housing manufacturers have found ways to drastically cut their costs… or underwater imagery has become a mass market, I don’t see either happening.

    Take pro camera bodies (Nikon D6 type): roughly speaking they have seen a +50% price increase since the late 2000s: a Nikon D3 costed about 4000 EUR when it came out (can’t remember USD prices), now we’re talking 6000 EUR for that sort of cameras.


    Back to Nauticam, we wouldn’t have this thread if they had just increased their prices 5% each year. The other thing which I believe creates some discomfort is to find out about the change the next time you’re randomly (or more intentionally) browsing your favorite UW gear retailer store. It would have made the pill a little easier to swallow if there had been some sort of announcement.

    Camera manufacturers have been alerting consumers on a regular basis for upcoming prices increases, a recent example here:



    It’s nice because you can decide to expedite your purchase to avoid the increase, and if you can’t/won’t, at least you know what you’re up to.

    Even nicer if the brand provides some justifications for the change, it saves your customers wondering, and shows a little extra care :)


    That being said, it’s great to see the other aluminium housing brands able to stay around 3000-3500 USD range for now, and the newcome Marelux to also shoot in that space.

  13. On 5/17/2022 at 7:43 AM, TimG said:

    Wow, crafty devils!

    Well me too, Nicool. But you might be starting from a higher level than me. 


    For the next trip, i’ll go as far as wearing a - otherwise good looking Patagonia shorts, just realized it has 2 jumbo rear pockets, I can squeeze a lens in each while walking through the boarding gate :)


    On 5/17/2022 at 1:23 PM, ChrisRoss said:

    I don't recall if was a samsonite, but I've seen a few of that style with cracks and also with substantial amount of gaffer tape applied to them.

    I agree the 50/50 split of the hard cases is going to be an issue packing as I undersatnd it they have straps or covers to allow you pack each side - I think it woul be difficult to use with UW camera gear.  There is a hard shell case that is not 50/50 split more like 1/3 - 2/3 which might be a bit easier to pack that way. 


    It's pricey but they are incredibly well made - their guarantee is they will repair anything even airline damage.  And the handle is outside - doesn't interfere with packing at all.

    But realistically the base is still pretty flexy and will still need a shock absorbing layer before you add any camera gear - you might just as well use a quality ballistic nylon case, that will be easier to pack IMO. 

    When are you flying? 

    Next Tuesday, so have ordersd a Pelican 1637… I’ll check the design you linked, perhaps for a subsequent trip.

  14. At this very moment I'm in the process of packing for a dive trip and trying to figure out how on earth to get the cabin bag within the specified 7kgs. A first attempt with a Cinebags Grouper was a cool 12kgs. I've already discounted the Pelican! The Grouper has only got a housing with camera/lens inside, attached 180mm dome port, 2x Retra strobes and the Superchargers. And, errr, that's about it. :rolleyes:
    Usually my gear is packed in a Pelican 1512 with the arms and other hardware removed -  including the 45-viewfinder. The Grouper packed better armless. 
    So I'm hoping I get the loaded Grouper in the cabin.... If anyone is inclined to light a candle/say a prayer/sacrifice a goat, then be my guest.
    Yeah, I reckon the strobes, camera and housing are not things I'd want to holdload. Ports I'll take the risk if well-wrapped. Arms etc, no problem.

    Let’s pray for each others, i am boarding Singapore Airlines in a few days time and will be served with the same challenge :)

    With the idea to carry assembled housing as a ‘camera’, I wish that was an option, but SQ corners their customers pretty well: the camera bag has to be 40x30x… only 10cm thick :(

    With tbe vests… same thing, there is a limit to how much I am willing to compromise on style :D
    I have spent way too long looking for regular clothing that have big pockets. If i could put one or 2 lenses, perhaps the 2 viewfinders, that would already be a win.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. 3 hours ago, Draq said:

    Some recent discussions on packing gear for travel got me to thinking and I wonder what others think about this...


    Basically, assuming one has the need to split gear up into carry-on and checked, and from a damage standpoint, which is most important to carry?


    My thinking is that the risks to camera gear during travel (besides theft and loss by airline) are physical damage due to crushing and denting of luggage, damage due to luggage coming open and spilling contents, and sometimes moisture.  Additionally, and less often considered is shock (not electrical...physical), which can be extreme as shown in videos I have posted previously.  I recently purchased a lens from Nikon and had to return it because when it arrived, quite literally, pieces were rattling around inside the lens.  Nikon concluded the box must have been dropped or thrown in shipment.  Despite no visible damage whatsoever to the lens or the packing, the lens was ruined.   I also suspect shock during shipment is the culprit in many of the incidents when people report buying lenses with de-centered elements.


    I think everyone would agree that camera bodies and lenses and multi-element ports (like WWL / WACP, etc) are the most delicate items.  But then we get to flash units, flat ports and dome ports and housings.  I recently arrived at a dive destination to find my flash trigger dead.  I have no evidence, but wonder if the circuit board failed due to some shock encountered on the trip to the dive destination.


    So, if one had to choose whether housing, flash units or ports had to get checked or carried which would be the best choice to pack in luggage?  Perhaps omitting the great big domes which have their own particular issues.



    Hi Draq,

    WIth strobes I don't know, but the Ikelite DS160 I used to own were always in hold, no issue. 

    With lenses howevers, the risk is very real: a "dry" lens has moving optical elements, and a shock could get them slightly misaligned, resulting in loss of sharpness.

    10 years back I attended a very interesting talk from Jean-Marie Sépulchre (late french expert on all things photography) who shared observations on a lens he had dropped my mistake. He has a test bench which allowed him to measure the max sharpness/details that could be recorded out of a lens, draw this in a nice 3D graph.

    Anyways, before the shock, you could see as expected max sharnpess/details resolution in the center of that lens, then progressively reducing towards the sides.

    After the shock, his lens had "shifted" -> he would find out the peak sharpness was on a side- say left side of the graph, the center having less sharpness, and the right side having become very soft.

    Imagine this happens to your lens while flying to a trip, you land, you shoot your lens, perhaps you don't notice the reduced sharpness (visible or not depending on where the subject is in your frame!) but back home when you process your photos on a big screen, you realize your lens had become a lemon from the beginning of the trip...

    That's a worst case scenario, but in my view that is the risk.


    I'd be a tad less concerned with camera body, if packed within the housing, and if the housing itself is well padded to absorb shocks, but much prefer to keep it in hand baggage.

  16. 13 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

    The suitcases sound like a good option, though I'm not sure if the samsonites you link are the best option.  They are hard sided but quite flexy.  I fly a lot (at least before Covid hit and soon to start again) for work and I've seen my share of beaten up luggage on carousels.  I bought Briggs and Riley cases for my travel - they are very pricey - The smaller bag was $US600 and the larger $US900 but my first one was purchased in 2013 and I would estimate has been on maybe 250 individual flights and still looks great, it has only just started to not look new.  The point is not suggest you buy B&R as they are not sold in Australia - rather that quality luggage is expensive and there are a lot of junky bags being sold so if you go that route do some research.  I think all the bags except ones like the pelican with rigid sides need to be packed quite full for best protection.

    hi Chris, I've got my fair share of travel in previous job (probably 300-400 boarded aircrafts in 10 years) but I have never seen one of the fancy hard-shelled Samsonites cracked (i mean these). Not advertising them in particular, I don't even own one (yet?) but they have a reputation for being one of the very lightest and yet very sturdy.

    Have you ever seen one of these cracked/burst open? 

    4 hours ago, pbalves said:

    Hi Nicool

    With this 2 options I would go with the hard shell. The housing is quite sturdy (if an aluminium one), specially if you takeout the handles. Dismantle the handles, keep the housing closed, use food tappeware to protect the ports and domes (special attention to protect the dome port, keep them with the neoprene covers and ), and use you cloth, towels, wetsuit, neoprene boots / sock and rubber fins to avoid direct contact of the housings and the ports and to give them a soft shell.

    Be careful with metal d-rings form the bcd or other equipment inside the suitcase to avoid cosmetic damage to the housings.

    The strobes take them with you on the hand-luggage. Do not send them in the checked-in luggage!

    Avoid empty areas inside the suitcase to grant that the equipment you put there does not moves around during the travel, increasing the risk for damages.

    Thanks, but wouldn't the housings be better protected with the handles on? Thinking of the levers on the sides.

    With your last comment, I very much agree, stuff needs to be packed in the suitcase, but that's the exact reason of my question: I wonder how practical/feasible it would be to tightly pack a hard-shelled suitcase, give it opens right in the middle. 

    I mean, picture it, the case open on the floor,

    -either you stack-up your gear on the right shell, and hoping that you've maximized space/filled any holes, once you close the left shell, or

    -you fill both shells to their respective thickness, but then what happens when you lift-up the left shell to close?

    Maybe I am over-thinking it... or not :) 

    If I end-up embarrassing myself by taking 20kg of UWP gear in a travel shop and actually try... I'll report my findings here :D

  17. Good point from Chris but if you pack them full, the "flexy" cannot flex and is effectively a hard shell as your luggage becomes full. I have used my large samsonite without any issues multiple times (short and long hauls). Cinepouch look interesting, had never come across them!

    So do you pack housing / ports / strobes in your samsonite? Which model?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  18. On 10/5/2021 at 9:16 AM, Draq said:

    Thanks Draq for sharing these, I that is a lot of hit that a case would take in any sort of air travel!

    To avoid running off-topic on my separate thread on the theft-appeal of Pelican cases, I thought I'd ask here for opinions/experience on another approach to checking-in underwater imagery gear.

    Knowing my gear must travel as checked baggage (save for laptop, cameras, lenses and batteries that I'll keep in carry-on), the Pelican alternative I have considered is the following:

    => Buy a regular suitcase (flying under the radar), you can find a variety of soft and hard shells that will take anywhere from 80 liters to 120 liters of stuff (for reference, the lage Pelican 1637 that I was considering "only" takes 89 L), and weigh only 2.5 kg.

    => include in there 2 DSLR housings, 2 flat ports, 1 or 2 dome ports, EMWL, 2 viewfinders, strobe arms & floats, 3 strobes, 1 focus light, 1 dive torch, 3 snoots... OK my list is a tad long, but I like to play around :P To avoid bubble-wrapping nightmares, I would pack them in "clusters", using the Cinebags pouches tested by Adam Hanlon here (just saw this yesterday), plus some nauticam portective boxes for the DSLR housings.


    Now with this approach I saw 2 flavours:

    Option 1: hard-shell fancy Samsonite, like the Samsonite Lite-Shock Sport 75cm, takes 98L, weighs 2.4kg.

    Option 2: soft-shell case, like the Samsonite 72 DLX SPINNER 71/26 EXP, takes 90L, weighs 2.5kg empty.


    Has anyone used either Option 1 or 2? How well does this work?

    I think the packing would be much eaiser with Option 1 (the lid opens at the top of the case), you can stuff it up, put clothes in between boxes etc, before the final closing... but I am not too confident about using a soft-shell case. Soft-shell is OK for my rebreather (the one that lives in a titanium case...), but worrying for photo gear.

    So Option 1 sounds attractive (except its cost) BUT I think it might be very tricky to pack every moving element tightly, because such a case opens right in the middle, closing it down without half the gear falling over would be tricky I suppose.


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