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  1. #1
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Nikonos system, anyone?

    I'm looking into an underwater system, and trying to decide about getting a Nikonos or something else. I've used a Sea & Sea MX-10 before, and got some great results, but that was also in Belize, which is fantasy snorkelling. This time I'm going to the Florida Keys, and still snorkelling. Will the Nikonos be overkill for a snorkeller, especially with a flash unit? or will I be able to get good shots at snorkelling depths without a flash on a Nikonos?

  2. #2
    DBP
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    As clear as the water is in the Keys, you should be ok without flash, though you may want to filter a little. Carrying any kind of off camera flash while snorkeling would be pretty clumsy. The IV and V are a little heavy, but not too bad. The earlier models are lighter, but have no metering. You may also want to look at the Nikon Action Touch or one of the Minolta Weathermatics, which are quite a bit lighter and good to 15'.

  3. #3
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    what kind of filter would I need? I don't think I'll be getting much deeper than about 15 feet or so - I'm a bit zaftig these days and so I'm more buoyant than I used to be... free-diving to any depth is a challenge.

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    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
    ... will I be able to get good shots at snorkelling depths without a flash on a Nikonos?
    I never get to more than 15 or 20 feet free diving with my Nikonos, but at those depths I've gotten great images without the flash system. I always like the photographs without flash better anyway. If you plan to strap the tanks on and go deeper, you'll need the flash. If you do get one, be sure the lens and back seals are in good shape and keep them treated. Needless to say that if you have any doubts, order new ones before hitting the water.

    Bill

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    DBP
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    A CC-30R is the standard answer. There is a good article at http://wetpixel.com/i.php/full/filte...t-photography/.

  6. #6
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    dive sites

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
    I'm a bit zaftig these days and so I'm more buoyant than I used to be... free-diving to any depth is a challenge.
    Wear a weight belt. Get as close as you can to neutrally bouyant. It is easier to regulate with scuba (air bladders, etc), but still worth doing. Where do you plan to dive in the keys? Provide some itinerary and maybe you can get some tips. There's some great diving in Pennekamp (Molasses Reef is beautiful!)around Key Largo, but that's too touristy for me. There's several good dive sites around Islamorada and Tavernier. Hens and Chickens is a favorite, with a good portion of it less than 30' deep. It's got plenty of area to keep you busy for a couple days of snorkeling and snapping pics.
    Pickles reef around Tavernier is also good, and tends to be more on the shallow side, 10-20'.
    Marathon is great for lobster and larger fish.
    Key West is overrated and overpriced. If you have plenty of time, do the catamarran trip to Dry Tortugas to spend a day at Fort Jefferson. You won't be disappointed. Maybe one day for diving and another for photography? Diving in the Keys is true bliss. I miss the salt and the sun.
    Chris

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I'll be snorkelling off Isla Morada. My folks have booked the trip for the most part so I don't know where we'll be hitting the water. We'll also be taking a half day fly-fishing excursion, so I figure the Nikonos will do well for being on the boat also, in case we actually catch anything.

  8. #8
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the Nikonos is a viewfinder camera--no rangefinder, no AF. It is somewhat easier with Scuba to get the focus, since you aren't moving so much. Use somewhat fast film, I'd even suggest print to get some more forgiving exposures. With clear water and the depths you are going to obtain, you should be OK for color and for enough light. Even with that, any dirt in the water will kill the clarity of your images at longer distances.

    The 35mm lens is great, but offers somewhat limited DOF close up. The 20mm lens gives much more DOF, but is only usuable underwater (it is also a lot more expensive). As an above water lens, the 35mm is great. I have used it fly-fishing and canoeing with good results.

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...00&ppuser=3184
    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...00&ppuser=3184

    A flash probably isn't necessary at the depths you are going to.

    If you want the "team cheapskate" advice--get a "Hanimex Amphibian". It is basically the predecessor to the Sea and Sea, and sells for about $30. The images on this page (except the one of the author) were taken with a Hanimex. You do not want to use the onboard flash unless you want to really understand the term "backscatter".

    http://www.geocities.com/el_dano.geo/gallery.htm

    In general, the III and the V are the best cameras. The III is all manual--no metering, no TTL. Also, no electronics to fry if the camera gets soaked. The V is the final incarnation. The IV is somewhat limited in the manual operation and override, as I recall, but sells for less than the V.

    If you can, bring a bucket of fresh water to soak the camera in after the dives. Don't let it dry out salty. If you don't plan to take a ton of pictures, try to plan on not opening the camera until you get back to your clean hotel room. Dirt or sand on an O-ring is death.

    Check out the tips on this page:
    http://subaquaticcamera.com/tiplist.html

    Matt

    Matt

  9. #9
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
    will I be able to get good shots at snorkelling depths without a flash on a Nikonos?
    Sure. But you have to bring a tripod
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=



 

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