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mattsea

Housings in the Surf?

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Does any one know if the typical DSLR UW housing can be safely used in the surf?

or

Do you need a special rig for this?

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I am certain that it would work, but I would be worried about getting all of the grit out of the o-rings. I would guess that if you have the button o-rings serviced on an accelerated schedule it would probably be fine, other than increasing the general wear and tear. The big question is what do you plan to photograph in the surf zone? Surfers? Now that I have a dSLR, I was thinking of bringing my trusty 5050 rig on some shore dives. One possibility of getting it safely through the surf zone was to put it in a big ziplock or dry bag to transport it to the dive site.

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The worry has always been if regular housings built for water under pressure would not be as well sealed on the surface. We all know that if oring is in the right place and it has been shut correctly (and it's all clean etc) i.e. everything is perfect .. then a housings will not leak at depth. The risk of a housing leaking is probably higher in the shallows. Infact I was once diving with my D60 in it's Sea and Sea Housing .. i got about an Inch of water in the bottom, no where near the camera thanks to the housings really unergomic design. Spent the whole dive with the camera perfectly level so the water didn't slosh around. Leaked on the surface, was fine at depth.

 

Anyways, I believe there are some subtle differences for surf housings that make them better, like the method of closure and the quite often seen hand pole at the bottom.

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Ok thanks folks. After reading the threads suggested by Giles, looks

like at a pinch might be ok, say as a one off type thing, but the risk of

sand fowling the seals would be a real danger. Maybe better

to get specialist Aquatech housing designed for surf if I want to do

this rather than take the risk.

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If it is going to take a beating in surf with the possibility of swirling sand lodging in a seal and if it'll be going through a lot of large pressure differentials as waves roll over, then you might be better off with a strong aluminium housing with double O-rings on the larger seals. Then, if the outer O-ring is compromised, the second one will protect the camera.

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Hi Matt - I was using a D200/Nexus in the Maldives recently, no problems whatsoever in the surf. Having said that the waves were only about 6-7 foot max and breaking onto reefs so no problem with orings getting dirty. I was planning on using a D2X but decided the smaller the housing the easier it would be to use. I looked at a few of the dedicated surf housings before the trip and now really appreciate why they use pistol grips - being able to push the housing up towards a surfer or out through the surface when you are already submerged, all whilst staying in control of yourself and out of the way, is so much easier using one hand only on the housing. And if you're shooting surfers make sure you get a good model who knows exactly what he is doing for the sake of your head and the housing! Ive got a flickr set up here - most are topside as that was the brief but got a few uw shots in there... Matt

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Great set Matt!

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