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Thread: Salt Water

  1. #1
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Salt Water

    So, i've been taking sailing lessons now for the past 3 weeks. I've got 9 more weeks. Loving it tremendously!

    Those of you that sail in oceans (versus lakes like Lake Ontario for example), have you ever taken your cameras out to sea? If so, what precaustions have you taken for your camera (other than the obvious one not to let it overboard for the wisecrackers in the audience!) ? Does taking it out for a day on a boat at sea effect it in any way? I'm wondering about the effects of fine sea spray. It can't be good.

    Enquiring minds want to know...

    Art.
    PS I'm thinking of taking my Hassey for this one.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

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    dschneller's Avatar
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    Try taking your camera on a canoe trip in white water! I use a army surplus ammo box that is water tight.

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    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Have you considered buying an old Nikonos? I used to have a Nikonos IV with 35mm lens as a spare camera in my kit when I was a journalist, knowing that it could take just about anything. I don't think they are particularly expensive.

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    NikonosIII

    I own the NikonosIII. Crack sharp lenses and nothing to break. After your hard day on the water you take it home and rinse it off under the sink. What's not to like? Built to survive world war VI!
    Peter Schrager

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    Under normal conditions, I try to keep as much spray off the lens as possible, and wipe the body down when I get home. In truly bad weather, I've wrapped the camera in a ziploc bag (cut a hole for the lens at the front, and use a rubber-band for sealing), but that's generally more trouble than it is worth.

    If I were sailing, I think I would consider at least the Ewa-Marine bag, and truly consider some way of seriously attaching it to the boat, myself, or both.

    Of course, the "don't drop it" advice is quite serious. I lost a very nice Pentax H1a once while shooting pictures on the edge of the surf. I put my food down on some sharp local inhabitant, shifted my weight, and a four-ft tall wave swept me right off the rock. Camera was ruined by the time I could get it back to the hotel and immersed in clean water. As the phrase goes, "let's be careful out there".

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    MikeS's Avatar
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    I vaguely remember a product that was basically a zip-lock bag with a clear filter attached to it. You put your camera into the bag, screw the 'filter' onto the lens, and then you have a water resistant package! Of course this is designed for exactly what you're talking about, going on a boat, or in general using a camera in a wet environment, NOT for using it as an underwater housing! And of course they were primarily for 35mm cameras, although I guess a smaller medium format camera might fit in one (if something like this is still being made). Can you imagine trying to hand hold a 5x7 Linhof in something like this?

    -Mike

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    I think that it depends a lot on what kind of pictures you want to take and what your priority is. When I’m sailing my priority is sailing, not taking pictures, so I carry a Nikon AWAF all weather autofocus. I carry it over my shoulder, without a case, at all times - it is very robust and doesn't have the snagging potential of a Nikonos when working in the rigging. It is easy to operate single-handed, is motor-driven and doesn't get in the way of sailing. It is submersible to 10 ft (3 m), so you can go swimming with it (intentionally or otherwise). The only small problem is that Nikon don't make them any more - but there are other all-weather compacts around.

    I could only find one of the many snaps I've taken with my AWAF while sailing. Here it is, taken in the Baltic in February 1991, the year of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

    Best, Helen

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    Ole
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    Norwegian fjords are great for sailing and photography - even in very high winds there's rarely much waves. Only when the wind is straight along the fjord is there enough "length" for he waves to build up to amount to anything, and that is rare.

    So I don't worry at all!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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    DBP
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    I would second the Nikonos advice. Barring that, be sure to have a skylight or UV filter and plan on wiping the camera down regularly with a soft cloth and some q-tips. The salt spray will tend to collect everywhere and can play havoc when it dries. If you are going to be out more than a few days or so, either use a dive casing or otherwise shield the camera. I remember one windy day on the beach photographing a wedding where I ended up spending a couple of hours cleaning each camera afterward. Usually in those situations I carry something cheap and durable, like an Argus C-3.

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    Second the Nikonos. I've had a couple of the EWA bags for generic SLR and generic P&S; never could use 'em, working the controls through the plastic was just too hard.

    For S8 cine, try an Eumig Nautica. Very rudimentary basic camera that works better than you'd expect.

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