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Tips to keep water from gathering on the lens port

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How do I keep the water from gathering on my lens port, I do not want to just start trying stuff, being afraid of ruining the housing. I seem to ket water droplets right in the wrong places.... Any suggestions???

 

I Mostly shoot underwater and have played with 1/2 in 1/2 out shots but would love to try my hand at some surf stuff but my experience so far has not been real good Here is a shot of land from the ocean and you can see the spots I am talking about.....

post-6576-1205128501_thumb.jpg

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How do I keep the water from gathering on my lens port, I do not want to just start trying stuff, being afraid of ruining the housing. I seem to ket water droplets right in the wrong places.... Any suggestions???

 

I Mostly shoot underwater and have played with 1/2 in 1/2 out shots but would love to try my hand at some surf stuff but my experience so far has not been real good Here is a shot of land from the ocean and you can see the spots I am talking about.....

 

 

sounds funny but all you gotta do is like your port... before i get in i spit on it like you would a dive mask, rub it in... wet it with ocean water and then lick it... then every so often lick it again a few times... this is not a joke

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spittin's the trick for sure. I have tried a tea-tree oil based, clear, low suds, biodegradable shampoo which works too,; but spit is cheaper, easier to carry, and you never forget it. :rolleyes:

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One huge difference I've noticed between underwater and surf housings -- with underwater housings, we use ports that have flanges that come up past the actual dome or flat port. You can put a housing down with its dome port or flat port facing down, and the flange will protect the port from being scratched.

 

Not so with surf housings, and this is because the flanges are the cause of water droplets. With surf housings, the port has nothing around it. It comes up and is on its own. This is good, because water just sheets off the port (as long as there is "quality" spit on it).

 

I've used various compounds for over/under shots to have water droplets sheet off ports. Dried spit works well, but the spit must be "quality". By that, I mean this: you cannot have eaten anything recently. The spit has to be pretty clear. You have to let it dry on the port first. After that, it forms a very thin shield against water droplets.

 

Folks have tried using stuff like RainX and Turtle Wax. None of this stuff works and may actually damage acrylic or Lexar ports. The only thing I have found that works is mask defogger called Spectramar Beris that was marketed by ScubaPro years and years ago. This stuff works well, but is almost impossible to find. Its primary ingredient is ethylene glycol, and I've been tempted to just get some ethylene glycol and try it out sometime. But I still have a couple of bottles of Spectramar Beris after 25 years of underwater shooting.

 

Norbert Wu

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How do I keep the water from gathering on my lens port, I do not want to just start trying stuff, being afraid of ruining the housing. I seem to ket water droplets right in the wrong places.... Any suggestions???

 

Here's my spit technique **for surf housings**, it works perfectly. I rarely get water drops in my shots. For wide shots (in the impact zone): about 5 seconds before the wave is on me, I spit on the port. I might **gently** spread it around with my finger (no rough gloves). I dip it, pull it out and now I have a perfect thin sheet of water on the dome, it is effectively part of the optics. It will remain intact for about 10 seconds or so, throughout the entire sequence until I am underwater again.

 

The key is keeping that thin sheet of water intact. After a while -- especially if it is windy -- it tears apart and you have the classic "water droplet on dome port" problem. Using just plain sea water doesn't work nearly as well, it is the spit then the quick rinse that creates the thin sheet. Eating fries was recommended to me, something about the sugars in your saliva having a beneficial effect on the surface tension and holding that thin sheet on the dome intact. So I make sure to down a supersize box of fries before every session.

 

For telephoto shots with a 70-200 through a flat port, I carry a tiny squeegee on a necklace. I will first lick the squeegee to get any salt and sand off it the blad, then spit on the port, rinse it, and then **gently** squeegee it with a tiny squeegee. If there is any streaking, I repeat the process. Once I have the flat port streak free and dry, I keep the port dry as long as possible by floating the housing in the water with the port pointed up in the air (not toward the sun), which is not hard to do if you are outside the impact zone on in a channel. Once it gets spots from spray or some grom buzzing me, or it gets dunked, I will spit, rinse and squeegee again.

 

Two techniques depending on whether in the surf or shooting from a channel. I don't have any experience with waxes or applying anything other than spit to the ports.

 

Cheers, Phil

Edited by Phil Colla

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Thanks Guys who knew the answer to my question was literally right under my nose (lol) I will definitely give it a try and go test my hand at some in water surf shots. Can not wait to share!!!!!!!! Aloha

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Hey thanks for this thread guys.

 

A couple of thing i learned - take off the guard from my 8" dome and spit on the dome. Hope to test some of this out this weekend.

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The spit technique worked a treat. Thanks so much. Hope to post some images soon!

Edited by Stephen Colquitt

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Actually I get lots of flem build up. Recently I've been bottling it all up and it goes on sale at a greatly reduced price to wetpixel members too!

 

I'm also now looking into drying it out and making a special rub on compound too! Anyone interested?

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Hmmm.. Berkey White suggested using Pledge a few years ago. It works for me on split shots at least. My friends already think I am too obsessed about my gear - if they see me licking it the'll have me committed somewhere...

Edited by Marjo

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One huge difference I've noticed between underwater and surf housings -- with underwater housings, we use ports that have flanges that come up past the actual dome or flat port. You can put a housing down with its dome port or flat port facing down, and the flange will protect the port from being scratched.

 

Not so with surf housings, and this is because the flanges are the cause of water droplets. With surf housings, the port has nothing around it. It comes up and is on its own. This is good, because water just sheets off the port (as long as there is "quality" spit on it).

 

I've used various compounds for over/under shots to have water droplets sheet off ports. Dried spit works well, but the spit must be "quality". By that, I mean this: you cannot have eaten anything recently. The spit has to be pretty clear. You have to let it dry on the port first. After that, it forms a very thin shield against water droplets.

 

Folks have tried using stuff like RainX and Turtle Wax. None of this stuff works and may actually damage acrylic or Lexar ports. The only thing I have found that works is mask defogger called Spectramar Beris that was marketed by ScubaPro years and years ago. This stuff works well, but is almost impossible to find. Its primary ingredient is ethylene glycol, and I've been tempted to just get some ethylene glycol and try it out sometime. But I still have a couple of bottles of Spectramar Beris after 25 years of underwater shooting.

 

Norbert Wu

 

I'm a Motorsport race enginner specilized in endurance racing, and i'm very surprised to understand that rain-x is not working, it would have been my first choice, we use it also on Lexan Windscreend and i can assure that there is no damage to them, we alsu use them on tearof layers mad of some flavour of optical plastic and there is no damage aswell....

Regards.

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Just don't get so carried away with the spitting/licking that you forget the wave that's about to crash over your head. I know it's happened to me :D.

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Wow. Spit.

 

Why the heck didn't I think of that before? It's so obvious, in retrospect.

 

All the ruined photos... *sigh*

 

Great tip!

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If you smoke ganja, the spit method is an issue (cotton mouth) ... otherwise, spit, rub it around and let it dry for about 5 minutes. surfing:

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Wow, the spit technique where you let it dry works so good, thanks! Have been shooting most of my surf stuff with a 20D and an 800mm lens but recently got a G10 and the Canon 28 water housing. Kind of hard to shoot fast surf stuff with the G10 since the fastest it will shoot is 1fps but it is still possible to get some okay shots with it. Having a blast shooting from the water with it. www.freesurfpics.net

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You can attach photos to your posts. Just click underneath where it says "attachment editor" or something like that. You have to use "Add Reply" or click on More Options below Fast Reply to get the attachment editor.

 

Cheers

James

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If it is am acrylic port, I have found Lemon Pledge to work the best

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Oil based products and acrylic ports don't mesh well together over the long run.

Spit is the trick on flat face ports .... rounded ports my be a different animal .... I've never used one.

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One huge difference I've noticed between underwater and surf housings -- with underwater housings, we use ports that have flanges that come up past the actual dome or flat port. You can put a housing down with its dome port or flat port facing down, and the flange will protect the port from being scratched.

 

Not so with surf housings, and this is because the flanges are the cause of water droplets. With surf housings, the port has nothing around it. It comes up and is on its own. This is good, because water just sheets off the port (as long as there is "quality" spit on it).

 

I've used various compounds for over/under shots to have water droplets sheet off ports. Dried spit works well, but the spit must be "quality". By that, I mean this: you cannot have eaten anything recently. The spit has to be pretty clear. You have to let it dry on the port first. After that, it forms a very thin shield against water droplets.

 

Folks have tried using stuff like RainX and Turtle Wax. None of this stuff works and may actually damage acrylic or Lexar ports. The only thing I have found that works is mask defogger called Spectramar Beris that was marketed by ScubaPro years and years ago. This stuff works well, but is almost impossible to find. Its primary ingredient is ethylene glycol, and I've been tempted to just get some ethylene glycol and try it out sometime. But I still have a couple of bottles of Spectramar Beris after 25 years of underwater shooting.

 

Norbert Wu

 

 

Norbert Wu?! Wow. You can't see me right now, but I'm doing my best Wayne's World imitation: I'M NOT WORTHY!!!!

 

Okay. Sorry. Don't mean to embarass you. I've been a huge fan of your photos since I saw the NG Antarctica article.

 

Just joined the forum. Aloha, Everyone! Anyhooz...Thanks also to the originator of this thread. I should be getting a new Essex housing for my 7D any day now and these "little things" that can make or break a shot are just plain priceless.

 

Anti-freeze, though? I'll let someone else try it first. Heh!

 

Aloha!

 

Ken Ige (Iggy460)

Kailua, HI

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I've just read a post in this thread from some months ago and saw the writer had been told that spit which had recently enjoyed french fries worked particularly well. This was because he thought sugar might be involved. Is sugar produced from eating potatoes? (excuse my lack of biology knowledge) Or is this some fiendish McDonalds-Fries-With-Sugar-On-Them thing?

Edited by TimG

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Thanks for all the info guys! I am taking my Essex 7d housing out tonight for the first time to shoot some kiteboarding. I would have been bummed if I came back with drops on all my shots.

 

~Ben

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Aloha Ben,

 

Hope you had fun with the Essex housing. I just got mine too and have been enjoying it.

 

For me so far, the best tip I got for this subject was from Mike Waggoner of Essex: Use the waxy oils from the side of your nose or ears. Get some on your fingertip. Put the port front halfway in the water. Now rub vigorously up and down, spreading the stuff on the port front. Sounds gross and counterintuitive (I thought it would produce flare or haze), but it really works!

 

I've found two basic, but different situations for this issue:

 

1) Not sure if I have this right, but it seems when I use the wideangle (10-22mm), I have a very short amount of time where the rider is close enough to get a good shot, so I can do the dunk method: Keep the camera underwater as the rider approaches, then pull it out and shoot. A thin film of water stays on the port front but doesn't seem to affect the photo quality. I'm guessing because it's a very thin film and is thus optically pretty "correct", as Phil said earlier.

 

2) But when I use the 24-105mm, I can shoot each wave for a longer period of time, so that film of water eventually breaks down and that's when the spots and other irregularities occur. So this is when I want that thin film of water off the port BEFORE I start shooting. And that's where the nose/ear grease seems to work the best. Holding the camera out of the water, that film of water comes off a bit faster with the grease. And I always check the port before each wave and blow off any remaining drops.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Aloha!

 

Ken

SixFeetandGlassy.com

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