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Thread: Underwater?

  1. #1
    grumpy & miserable Joseph O'Neil's Avatar
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    Underwater?

    Really stupid question of the day.

    After a recent trip to the Keys, I've discovered snorkeling. I bought one of those plastic 35mm point & shoot underwater cameras and I was amazed how good a couple shots turned out with such a crappy camera. Now I'm hooked.

    Underwater housings for digital and other cameras are quite expensive, so right now there are used 35mm underwater systems that can be had very reasonably. But before I plunge (litterally and figuratively) here's the dumb question:

    Is there such a thing as an underwater 4x5 system of any kind?
    eta gosha maaba, aaniish gaa zhiwebiziyin ?

  2. #2

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    Re: Underwater?

    I would be very surprised, but there were lovely, nearly bulletproof, metal underwater housings for Rollei TLRs and, it turns out, for some of the Rollei 6x6 SLRS too. Look for a Rolleimarin or

    http://www.cambridgeworld.com/detail.php?item_id=14951

  3. #3

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    Re: Underwater?

    Why not build a housing from aluminium or plexiglas for a 4x5 camera? But a changing system between groundglass and film needs realy skilled craftmanship. So an underwater housing for an Aero Technika 45 with motorized 5 inch rollfilm back should be the easiest way. This camera is used with a view finder.

  4. #4

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    Re: Underwater?

    Just get a DSLR with a SCUBA housing and a 16 gig card.

    How are you going to change film underwater? Geez
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

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

  5. #5

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    Re: Underwater?

    Another idea - If you can find a Speed Graphic with one of those 6 sheet holders and then build a custom housing out of some acrylic, it might work well for shallow dives you would do in snorkeling. The trick with the housing would be to design a mechanism that could advance the film. The housing could be large if needed, because underwater weight isn't as much an issue. Finding a lens port shouldn't be too much trouble either. A wire frame would do the trick for composition and viewing.

    Make an attachment for a strobe and preset your focus and aperture. Sounds like an interesting and fun project.

  6. #6

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    Re: Underwater?

    Underwater 4x5....that is a provocative question. It might be worth doing just to set the record. Instead of building a housing for the camera and trying to have controls for all the movements, lens-shutter settings, film, etc. protruding through the housing, try building a housing for the camera and YOU. It might take a lot of lead weights and I wouldn't go very deep or take my best camera down. It would simply be a rich man's challenge. Because image quality would be superior with an underwater housing on a hasselblad.

  7. #7

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    Re: Underwater?

    Why not a Nikonos - they seem to be available at very good prices. OK, it's not a 4x5 but...

  8. #8

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    Re: Underwater?

    I've seen housed 6x6 and 645 systems (including a hasselblad full of salt water - ouch!), but think about the air bubble that a housed 4x5 with, say, a 150mm lens would create, and the amount of weight needed to make it neutrally buoyant. Also, as noted, think about what you would need to do to arrange more than one shot before returning to the (dry) surface to change film.

    For snorkeling, a sea and sea mx-10 is a great camera that you should be able to pick up for a reasonable price. The strobe is far enough away from the lens that you can get pretty good results without too much backscatter. You could go to a nikonos, but to a large extent if you're not on scuba, I doubt it is going to make that much difference.

    Cheers!
    Bill

  9. #9

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    Re: Underwater?

    submerge, shoot, rise, open the box, flip the holder, repeat...

    Actually why not try it with plastic bags and really cheap stuff just for one shot to see if it is worth the trouble to engineer a real solution?

  10. #10

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    Re: Underwater?

    We tried this when I lived in Hawaii in the early '90's with speed graphics, alls we ended up with was speed graphics full of saltwater and ruined. There are far better options in underwater photography, than trying to control a housing that is virtually twice the size of the camera, your dealing with quite a large housing that is very buoyant and very difficult to control...any type swell action and your getting beat by the thing....which don't feel good upside the head! We never found a reliable system for removing the dark slide, without getting leaks in the housing, and it was basically a one shot system..we were just a bunch of goofy scuba divers with a wacky idea...

    Dave

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