Which Nikonos Model?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ColdEye, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Which Nikonos model would be the best to get? Is the Nikonos IV-A with the 35mm good? I plan to use it for underwater artsy stuff. :tongue: But not deep diving. Thanks. :smile:
     
  2. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    Being a kayaker, I had the same questions as you when I decided to buy a waterproof camera. I was told that the Nikonos IV-A had some electronic problems so ended up buying the Nikonos V. I've had this camera for over ten years now with no problems. It takes good pictures above water too.

    Jim B.
     
  3. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    The IV-A and the V are both really good cameras, but if you plan to use it underwater you might want to get the V because finding someone to do the service on the IV-A is getting harder and harder.

    Remember service on one of these cameras is going to run you about $150 on top of the purchase price. I just had both of mine serviced and pressure tested for the season and it ran me over $400 between service, accessory service, and spare parts that I needed for the season, that was for the pair. I really love my Nikonos cameras and I get a lot of use out of them, but I am a diver, I take them deep, and I am also willing to pay for the service, and do the between service cleaning. Yes it is physically demanding and your body aches when you are done cleaning the camera after salt water use.

    Kodak and Fuji make nice disposable underwater cameras for about $15 test your ideas with one of these before you get into a Nikonos system, while they are great cameras I would not recommend them for someone that is just going to take a couple of hundred photos in shallow water. They also make budget 35mm cameras with flash in waterproof cases that can be reloaded at reasonable prices.

    Good luck
     
  4. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Get a V.
     
  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    If comparing only the IV-a and the V I think the V is definitely better. The II and III may have some features that the newer ones don't
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    If you want one of the older ones, the III is the one to get, because it can take a modern strobe system. The II I think may be able to use electronic strobe with modification, but it is definitely not TTL. The II was made in the days of flash bulbs (yes, there were underwater flashes that used flash bulbs). I don't think the III is TTL flash either, but it can sync with the Nikonos flash units using the stock connectors. NOT that I recommend flooding a Nikonos III, but if it does flood, if you deal with it in a timely fashion, you can probably salvage the camera. Flood a V and it will be toast for sure.
     
  7. mbsmith

    mbsmith Member

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    I have a Sea Life Sportdiver (rated to 50m) that I let the kids use in the pool that is very affordable (basically just a p&s with a tough underwater case) and takes reasonably good photos. They make several models with accessory shoe that might also be an option if you don't go the Nikonos direction.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Another decent camera (without interchangeable prime lenses, but does have accessory lenses) is the Sea & Sea MX-10 with the YS-40a flash, or the MotorMarine II. Both are a lot less expensive than the Nikonos, and still take great photos.
     
  9. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    If all you want is a kayak camera get a II.
    Stay away from the III as most used ones will have a cracked plate or you will crack it.
    I have a V... VI's and V's have many of the same issues if flooded...
    Buy what you can find at the price you want... KEH has a nice selection.
    This guy on e-bay is a straight shooter and doesn't sell junk.
    http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ibeendivin
    Artsy underwater... I would expect you will want a 20mm
    PS I actually use these things.
     
  10. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Thanks for the very helpful replies. I haven't looked at the disposable underwater ones, I guess the best course of action is to try them both, I only looked so far at KEH, and the only model I remember is the IV-A. My shots will be mostly on saltwater, and a few on freshwater ( I can't swim in pools, my skin gets irritated). I will look up that link in Ebay.

    As for the lens, 20-28mm is what I'm after, or 35 can be also.
     
  11. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    The maintenance on a sea life or Sea&Sea is far more DIY than it is on the Nikonos, like I said, the Nikonos is a great camera, top of the line in fact and I own two of them and really love them, but keeping them in ready to use condition is a lot of work and expensive. Unless you are a diver or plan to take hundreds of underwater photos get something that costs less to maintain. Yes, you will compromise features, but you will get more out of it than if you start with the Nikonos. Whatever camera you get you will need to get an orange filter for it as well unless you want an unbearable blue shift in your photos.

    If you want to understand what I am talking about as far as work you have to do to keep a Nikonos ready to use check out this link http://www.southern-nikonos.com/nikonosworkshopseries.html Bob can come across as gruff, but he knows what he is talking about.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Wow, they sound like a PITA. I am glad I don't use mine for serious underwater work. I would never be able to keep up with the maintenance. I use it as a "built-like-a-brick-outhouse" camera that I don't mind getting wet or banging around, and I take it underwater in the mountains and such, or sometimes in a friend's pool.
     
  13. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Like I said, best dive camera ever made, and if you want to go below 30 feet this is the only camera you want, but the maintenance is a killer.
     
  14. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

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    I did have a Nikonos II but sold it. The V has a built-in meter, the II doesn't.

    Jim B.