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Steve Williams

How do I carry this thing to the boat?

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Folks,

 

My new Sea & Sea 40D rig arrived yesterday. My first DSLR is finally here. 27 boxes of shiny new parts and lots of paper and bubble wrap. The UPS guy brought the new MDX 40D housing, the 60MM compact port, the 100mm DX port, the NX dome port and 2 YS250 strobes plus assorted focus gears, cords and chargers. For about two hours I just sat in a state of awe and just looked at it sitting there on the bed. Neat brown boxes all labeled "Underwater Camera Equipment". It took 20 years to make this happen. To want something for so long and finally see it laid out before you is a kind of mind blowing experience. Trying not to act like a kid at Christmas I carefully opened each box and checked the contents. I took about 4 hours to check and lube each o-ring and it all went together surprisingly easily ( I had memorized the manual waiting for Sea & Sea to design and build this beauty). I must tell you I have a new found appreciation for you folks who shoot these full size SLR rigs. I used to think caring for a Nikonos was a pain. You have earned a whole new level of respect from yours truly.

 

I of course marched around the house when I got the camera installed, strobes all a kimbo, hanging off the new UCLS arms, taking pictures of everything (all manual of course) with my wife wondering if I had finally gone completely off the deep end. After a year of planning and studying it dawned on me that I was not prepared for a couple of things. Each port segment comes with it's spare o-ring and tube of very special, it would seem from the 40 small yellow warnings littering my den, tube of lube. What in the heck am I going to do with 9 tubes of o-ring grease? (Don't answer that) As I sat there staring, I realized that some of these o-rings are different sizes, in nice little unmarked bags. How do I label and store them so I don't spend a frustrating hour some night in a small dry spot on a rocking boat looking for the right one? For now they are still in the labeled box they came in. I also wasn't quite prepared for the shear heft of the rig. How in the heck am I going to get this to the boat? There's no handle! Do I hire porters? I've been lucky enough to dive all over the world and never seen this type of processional with the UW photographer followed by his consort dutifully carrying his gear. So I'm guessing that's not the answer. There is a place to put a handle of sorts. The housing has two SS rings to attach something between but the focus light will be in the way. And if you make the handle long enough to go over the focus light it's just the right length to float down in front of the lens. I've taken enough pictures of sync cords to see that coming.

 

I just had to share my joy with my friends here. Very few other people outside our little asylum would understand. Any thoughts on getting my rig to the boat would be appreciated. Little red wagon? I'll post a picture of the new setup as soon as I figure out how to get my camera out of the housing. :D

 

Steve

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Hey congrats,

& welcome to the world of being a camera lugger :excl:

 

its better than christmas - you get exactly what you want :D

 

 

As I sat there staring, I realized that some of these o-rings are different sizes, in nice little unmarked bags.

 

I put (or keep) the o-ring in little ziplock bags and write the gear it fits and the date. They pack nice and flat for travelling :) Not that its a rocket science approach :D

 

There's no handle! Do I hire porters? I've been lucky enough to dive all over the world and never seen this type of processional with the UW photographer followed by his consort dutifully carrying his gear. So I'm guessing that's not the answer. There is a place to put a handle of sorts. The housing has two SS rings to attach something between but the focus light will be in the way. And if you make the handle long enough to go over the focus light it's just the right length to float down in front of the lens. I've taken enough pictures of sync cords to see that coming.

 

I made a handle, using stainless clips and some braided cord (the hang-a-person-off-it kind), platted. Once the ports and strobes are on the housing hangs forward (titlted face down) and this means it would not clash with the top mounted focus light. Underwater I unclip one end and attach to a d-ring on my BC to make a lanyard - so its definitely out of the way.

 

I just had to share my joy with my friends here. Very few other people outside our little asylum would understand. Any thoughts on getting my rig to the boat would be appreciated.

 

yeah, my workmates never get it when new toys show up ;)

 

Try finding a plastic tub which fits your assembled rig. great for in the car, to rinse, and on the boat. Though some people use cooler bags - I like the solid tub approach :) you can cut up a cheap camping mat to make it a bit softer on the camera too.

 

cheers

Leander

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Congratulations on the new rig. My new 40D Subal housing arrived yesterday and although it is my fifth housing (the last four all Subal) I'm probably excited as you are.

 

I use a large soft cooler bag for carrying my rig around when I go on charter boats and trips. The insulation/padding protects the rig from bumps and extremes of temperature. You can fill the cooler bag with freshwater and use it as an impromtu rinse tank and last but not least, you can use it to keep your beer cold when you aren't diving.

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Hey Steve

 

Congratulations!

 

Like Gudge, I use a soft, collapsible cooler bag when travelling.

 

But for that home to dive site drive, I suggest a Rubbermaid (or similar) storage box. Drill a couple of holes in the side to fit rope handles. You then have a nice, fairly secure carrying box - and, hey presto, after the dive, your very own portable rinse tank. And all for about $10.

 

Have fun with it all!

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Congratulations!
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help. I see coolers in my future. I'm the most worried about that dangerous last 10 ft. when the guy working the deck hands me down the camera. I've flooded a strobe years ago after it got dropped on the deck. On the Peter Hughes or Aggressor type large liveaboards it's not a big deal, I'll take care of it myself, but for the small boats we dive off in Mexico and Fiji I think I need an obvious handle that I can explain to the crew in sign language. ( I only know drinking Spanish). I'll try Leander's lanyard approach, I hadn't thought of clipping it into the BC. Congrats to Gudge for the new Subal :D:excl:

 

Steve

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Don't you just love new toys?

 

My homemade, obvious handle:

 

handle.jpg

 

handle2.jpg

 

The low center of gravity makes it easy to safely carry the rig with one hand on the deck of the boat. It's pretty obvious to the deckhand where to grab when you hand it up, too.

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Thanks Jim.

 

I'm over thinking this (again). Here is a shot of the new setup. The sync cord looks too much like a handle. I can just see somebody grabbing the wrong cord. A setup like Jim's would fix the problem.

 

post-4526-1203048726_thumb.jpg

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Heres my handle and setup sans strobes.

 

Its made out of one in spanset "tech tape" for rock climbing, brass clips, and stainless hardware for clamps.

 

I clip off the handle to whichever shoulder works in the situation and the other clips off to my crotch strap or left side d-ring (like a funny shapped stage bottle) when i'm traversing the surf on a shore dive.

 

Fortunatly all of the local dive charters I frequent know how to treat gear, but for safety sake, you can always push your buddy in the water first, hand down the camera, then jump in. But I guess thats also dependent on your ability to walk around safely wearing your gear on a rocking boat.

 

Congrats on the new housing! I'm VERY jelous. :blush:

post-16707-1203060671_thumb.jpg

Edited by acco205

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Steve, can't wait to see your pics...you've got a high standard to uphold given the images we've seen on film!

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Don't you just love new toys?

 

My homemade, obvious handle:

 

(images snipped)

 

The low center of gravity makes it easy to safely carry the rig with one hand on the deck of the boat. It's pretty obvious to the deckhand where to grab when you hand it up, too.

 

Jim, is that just an older picture, or did the E330 rig die?? :blush:

 

<edit> I should also have mentioned, I like the use of the clear tubing as a nicer hand-grip on the rope. Will have to 'borrow' your idea if I can. :)

Edited by rtrski

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DSLR housings are quite ungainly out of the water aren't they!

 

To get the thing to the boat or from the car to the water during shore dives I use a shoulder strap I stole off an old carryon bag. I hook it to the top of the strobe arms like Jim's handle. That way I can loop it over my head and still have both hands free.

 

Once on the boat I pick out the most camera freely looking DM and show him exactly where I would like him to hold onto my housing. Of course it always helps that wife/dive buddy is there to help. She always boards first after a dive and I can hand the camera up to her.

 

Good luck with your new toy and can't wait to see the pictures!

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Jim, is that just an older picture, or did the E330 rig die?? :blush:

 

<edit> I should also have mentioned, I like the use of the clear tubing as a nicer hand-grip on the rope. Will have to 'borrow' your idea if I can. :)

 

Go wash your mouth out with soap! :) The E-330 is alive and well, thank you.

 

The tygon tubing makes a more obvious/comfortable handle. My next handle will use colored rope, to make it even more obvious.

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Steve, can't wait to see your pics...
Thanks Darren, means a lot coming from you. :)

 

Great ideas guys, I'm loving the "tech tape". It would take up less room in the BC pocket. Maybe colored tech tape with tygon tubing. :blush: I like Rick's approach the best. Marry a beautiful lady who buys you camera's and housings for a wedding present then takes care of your gear. Brilliant! I got the first part right, still working on the rest.

 

Steve

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I'm just putting together my DSLR rig, so this thread is great! Steve, thanks for bring up issues I hadn't even considered and thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. I'm making myself a rope handle too!

 

Wetpixel rocks!

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Thanks Darren, means a lot coming from you. :)

 

Great ideas guys, I'm loving the "tech tape". It would take up less room in the BC pocket. Maybe colored tech tape with tygon tubing. :blush: I like Rick's approach the best. Marry a beautiful lady who buys you camera's and housings for a wedding present then takes care of your gear. Brilliant! I got the first part right, still working on the rest.

 

Steve

 

 

Damn! I've got it all wrong!

 

Mine keep leaving me cause I buy camera gear and pay more attnetion to it than to them :)

 

The tech tape stays on the housing and sort of makes a hand loop like on digital camcorders. I think theres a european housing company that uses a simular approach, rather than the traditional tray/handle setup.

 

Also kind of nice cause I can clip my srobe arms to the handle during transportation.

 

I figure once I go all out and either spend the money on all the fancy stuff I want for my housing or just break down and buy an slr rig I'll design something a little more non-photog friendly.

 

-Mike

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I like the handle the other way around, anchored to the bottoms of the housing handles; keeps the hands and stress away from the fragile synch cords/strobes. Also allows me to clip off the housing to chest and waist d-rings so it lays flat against my body for long swims (I plan to bring it caving some day).

 

On the cooler thing, I actually got a free collapsible cooler through some promotion that has wheels and a telescoping handle (like carry-on luggage) - if you can find one, the ultimate lazy-man solution. Works well for beer when I'm not taking pictures too.

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I like Rick's approach the best. Marry a beautiful lady who buys you camera's and housings for a wedding present then takes care of your gear. Brilliant! I got the first part right, still working on the rest.

 

Steve

 

Unfortunately, she's thinking she would like a camera of her own! Ouch - $$$ :blush:

Now who's going to take care of me? :)

Edited by RickM

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Unfortunately, she's thinking she would like a camera of her own! Ouch - $$$ :blush:
Rick, this is too easy, she gets the D200 and you get a new D300. You have to look at these things as opportunities. :) Tim, You lost me with the clips on the bottom, so you carry it upside down? By the way the telecoping wheeled cooler is a great idea. I think we've circled back around to the little red wagon.

 

Steve

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Steve, that's a beauty...

 

Some suggestions. You'll at some point want to get a focus light, especially for nite dives** (1 thing I did notice with the 40D vs the 400D is that the AF was brilliant in low light/ almost dusk dives without the aid of a focus light). With a focus light attached, the lanyard type handle might get in the way.

 

I've just tell the boat boys either to grab it by the handles or the 1st segments of the arms (I fold the arms in with them angled in a bit before handing it over). For taking the rig from hotel room to boat, I just lock the arms real tight and just carry it by 1 handle...

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Pacman I agree completely on the focus light. We played in the pool for an hour today with the 60mm and it did fine until I got close to 1:1 and in the shadows. She started hunting as you described. I used the left strobe target light repositioned over the top and it worked unbelievably well. The lens just snapped right in. I don't want to use it that way for obvious backscatter reasons, but its nice to know I have a backup. I was very impressed with how easy it moved through the water and the balance. It was seriously cool!! I'll throw in the first shots with the rig from the pool just for fun. First the dive shop pool is indoors, 12 ft deep, no lights on, they have a small plastic reef that the kids can play with during bubble parties. We found this cool little turtle, so we stuffed him in the coral and started having fun. Here is the turtle, 60mm ISO 200, 5.6 at 1/80, jpeg as shot, 1/8 power on both strobes normal position

 

post-4526-1203137950_thumb.jpg

 

Seperate shot, not a crop, same lens, f11 at 1/160 1/4 power about 18 inches away, left on top, right normal. jpeg as shot. I have them in RAW to play with later.

 

post-4526-1203138361_thumb.jpg The small bubbles are were an artifact of the pool cleaning equipment. Fun stuff. :blush:

 

You know this digital thing may work out.

 

Steve

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Nice Steve... so when is the rig getting it's first saltwater baptism? :blush:

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Nice Steve... so when is the rig getting it's first saltwater baptism? :blush:
We're headed for the Sea of Cortez next month so I can can get some real practice before The Digital Shootout on Bonaire in June. Is there a ceremony involving rum or a special prayer to Neptune I should recite before giving her the first taste of the ocean?

 

Steve

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Here is another plug for soft bags and lanyards. :blush:

 

One shot shows the a yellow (on the seat) and a black (on the floor) soft cooler, each with one housing all set up inside. The green bag is so my topside cam is handy in case I see anything interesting on the way to the shoot such as a bear. Picture was taken en route to taking underwater shots of salmon. The other shot is an in situ view of one of my housings with salmon in the background - note the white lanyard attached to the existing holes in the housing handles.

Have fun with your new toy! :)

Tom

post-3540-1203142544_thumb.jpg

post-3540-1203142601_thumb.jpg

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The yellow cooler has a strap making it easier to lug the rig over distances. :blush:

This time I put the topside setup in the small backpack. The lightweight chair was to give me a lower profile while shooting. You can the see a strobe on a strobe arm poking out of the water. Yes, those are salmon carcasses draped on the branches. There are some in the grass, in fact there were carcasses all over the place. :) This is a tidal stream - you can see where the tide bent over the grass. I ended up having to wade out a few 100 yards on a muddy bottom to a good trail when the tide came in - worse than carrying gear out to a boat!! :)

Tom

post-3540-1203143408_thumb.jpg

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This is a tidal stream - you can see where the tide bent over the grass. I ended up having to wade out a few 100 yards on a muddy bottom to a good trail when the tide came in - worse than carrying gear out to a boat!! ;)

Tom

Thanks Tom. Somehow after looking at that shot of the solitary lounge chair by the stream in the north country, I don't feel quite so crazy about my approach to this whole underwater photography thing. Please don't take this the wrong way but it's comforting to know there is someone operating a little further out on the edge than the rest of us. :lol: In my minds eye I can see you tramping through the brush carrying your coolers and chair whistling away the grizzlies. Makes my concerns about walking a few feet to the boat on a tropical island seem pretty insignifcant.

 

I'm still looking for that camera dunking ceremony. There has a be a prayer to the gods for her virgin dive. Hey it couldn't hurt right?

 

Steve

Edited by williamshs

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