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  1. #1

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    A Nikonos or an Underwater Housing?

    Goaded by my older sister (an active outdoors-person, like her brother), I have been challenged to take up ocean kayaking (Barnet Marine Park is a seven minute drive from my front door). The impetus? Out with some friends this past week, she shot some amazing sea life images, not far from where I live (with a D700 I gave her last year). Paranoia, inexperience and judgement prevent yours truly from shooting with a "naked 35mm." So...do I spring for the cost of a used Nikonos III or IV, or do I look for a protective housing? In case of the latter, I could designate an F2 or F3 body for such use. I really don't see myself taking up diving, so the housing would serve more a protective function (I am something less than totally confident about the dry bag route). In the case of the former, how well do the Nikonos cameras/lenses perform above water? Are there other cost-effective, but secure options to consider?
    An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.

    Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.

  2. #2
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    You just missed a Nikonos V on LFF for practically free... Maybe you have a consumer-grade Nikon you could "sacrifice" with one of your more common lenses. Just get a plastic bag with silica gel inserts and bring some towels.

  3. #3
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Do the F cameras have underwater housing? I didn't know...

    Well, I'd go with a Nikonos III. I actually went with a Nikonos III and 35mm f2.5 lens for a trip earlier this summer. I think it cost me $100-$150 from keh.com. I went with the III because it is all mechanical and so I don't have to worry electronics flooding, which does happen sometimes apparently. Keep in mind that the cameras are scale focus.

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  4. #4
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    Try a bag like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Case_for.html. I think you would want an AF camera with winder, so maybe a cheap N80. When you combine it all I think a Nikonos might be cheaper, but more limited based on the scale focus.

  5. #5
    fotch's Avatar
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    The Nikonos III works fine. I purchase one years ago to shoot in the rain or any weather conditions that may change to wet. Great photos.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  6. #6
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    There's also a Canon, the WP-1 that I got off the bay in new condition for $9. It's really quite good and I use it for kayaking. Highly recommend it for the price.
    K.S. Klain

  7. #7

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    Hmm. I've done underwater filming (Super 8, not still) with a Canon in an Ikelite housing, have attempted to use several Beaulieu S8 cameras in EWA Marin bags for them, and have tried to shoot underwater still with a little Canon point of shoot in an Ikelite housing. I've also used an Eumig Nautica, a self-housed S8 camera.

    I couldn't operate the cameras' controls when they were in EWA Marin bags, gave up that effort.

    With all of my housings, eye relief is very high. There's the distance from the eyepiece to the housing, the housing's thickness and then the distance from the front of my mask to my eye. I found focusing difficult, composing nearly impossible. The Nautica was the most usable of the the cameras I used underwater.

    Get the Nikonos, make sure the o-rings are fresh and properly greased. The alternatives are all much harder to use.

  8. #8

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    Thanks to all who responded, especially Peter Simpson who PMed a link. The search for a Nikonos will commence.
    Continuing on, any thoughts/suggestions as to which lenses (Possibly a wide angle and a telephoto)?
    An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.

    Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.



 

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