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  1. #1
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Underwater Camera Advice

    Hey, I'm planning on learning to SCUBA in the not-that-distant future, and naturally I will need a camera to function in aquatic environments. A Google search lead me to the Nikonos series of cameras, and I'm thinking about getting a Nikonos V and loading it with some sort of Fujichrome.

    Those of you who have experience with these things, are there important things to know about quirks in the camera's design, suggested setups, or am I wasting my time and should be looking at something else?
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  2. #2

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    Depending on how deep your photographing, you're going to need to get the dedicated flash to go with it.

  3. #3

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    How much are you intending to use it?
    It would probably be cheaper to rent the outfit for a once or twice a year outing than buying it.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  4. #4

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    Shoot color negative for more flexibility. Chromes underwater are great, but demand the most technical skill.

    As suggested, rent first to make sure this is the rig you really want.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  5. #5
    DBP
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    I'll disagree with the rent first advice, simply because even a Nikonos V is pretty cheap these days. Be careful when selecting a flash, some are huge.

  6. #6

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    FWIW, I bought a slightly less expensive fixed-lens underwater camera for snorkeling use, and found myself wishing I'd spent the extra money for a Nikonos. Scale focussing underwater is just not a winning proposal.

    The scuba folks generally recommend that you get quite a lot of diving experience before taking a camera down with you, by the way. There are a lot of fiddly details to keep track of, some of them of life-and-death importance, and you don't want any additional distractions until all that stuff has become second nature.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  7. #7
    DBP
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    FWIW, I bought a slightly less expensive fixed-lens underwater camera for snorkeling use, and found myself wishing I'd spent the extra money for a Nikonos. Scale focussing underwater is just not a winning proposal.
    -NT
    The Nikonos is scale focusing too, and not too hard once you get the hang of it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBP View Post
    The Nikonos is scale focusing too, and not too hard once you get the hang of it.
    I stand corrected. I had always thought the later Nikonoi were SLRs.

    Well, in that case, I don't wish I'd sprung for the Nikonos, I just think estimating distances in the water is a big pain in the butt. Also, the @#)&$ fish move! :-)

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post

    The scuba folks generally recommend that you get quite a lot of diving experience before taking a camera down with you, by the way. There are a lot of fiddly details to keep track of, some of them of life-and-death importance, and you don't want any additional distractions until all that stuff has become second nature.

    -NT
    I do quite a bit of diving and can only recommend that you get a lot of experience diving before you start serious underwater photography.
    Even when diving with an experienced "buddy" you need to have a great deal of situational awareness, which can be diluted by photography.

    Get the experience diving first, do a photography course, most scuba training organisations provide them, learn the camera above water and then take to the water in the knowledge that you're prepared.


    And always remember
    Plan the dive and dive the plan

  10. #10

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    DBP - I thought the Nikonos was a rangefinder? They did release the RS for a short period of time which was an AF version.

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