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#80649 - 02/19/04 06:46 PM diving buffs camera question
mickeyo Offline
Ok now I am in a quandary about underwater cameras. I have used the use'm and toss'm camera's the last few trips and they were great, EXCEPT for the camera that went a little to deep and cracked and it contained the pictures of my sailfish that was thiiiiiiiis big! ;-) So Since nancyo and I take lots of tropical trips we were looking at getting a decent underwater camera, but we don't want to go digi and don't want to spend a trips worth of cash on the camera. Soooo please feel free to chime in with suggestions. The one that we are leaning toward is the SL515 Reefmaster RC. thanks everyone and can't wait to get down there in May. MickeyO

#80650 - 02/19/04 08:00 PM Re: diving buffs camera question
Bobber Offline
Hi MickeyO. The camera I use is an SL515 Reefmaster, and I am perfectly satisfied with it. Just have to stick with the recommended film, watch the distance, and make sure the strobe (if you are using it) is correctly oriented. I might also suggest checking out the Bonica cameras. www.bonicadive.com If I hit the point where I want to invest more, I would go with a digital, as I have a problem remembering what I did between when I did it and the film comes back. I have gotten a lot of nice pics with the Reefmaster, so I guess the main problem is me and not the camera. When you use something once or twice a year, it tends to get dicey.
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

#80651 - 02/19/04 08:47 PM Re: diving buffs camera question
BNBelizeSoon Offline
I have the Olympus digital camera and I am thinking of buying the housing for it to take underwater pictures.... does anyone know how much it is to rent a digital camera for underwater pics? I am thinking that it would be cheaper to buy the housing for my camera. The strobes are kind of expensive, can I get good pictures without? I am a newbie to my digital camera and to taking pics underwater.

#80652 - 02/20/04 03:50 AM Re: diving buffs camera question
Phoenix East Offline
Most cases are pretty expensive for the digitals, as they have all kinds of functions and features youll need underwater. Some ive heard of being 500 just for the case. The deeper you go the more your gonna need a strobe. I would say after 30 feet your gonna need one, it will really make the picture worth your while to have. Try to always use 2 hands and try to be as neutrally buoyant as possible when you take the shot, also makre sure to have a good idea of how long your delay is with that camera between shots There is a funtion on most digital cameras that is called bracketing, this funtion will allow you to take 3 recordings of the same picture for you and at different shutter speeds and aperture sizes. If you have a good sized memory card, say over 64mb, you can take a good ammount of shots in this mode and youll be able to chose between the better of the 3 for each shot you take.

#80653 - 02/20/04 04:46 AM Re: diving buffs camera question
Don't want to give a photo lessen, but since you do not want a digi camera which would require a expensive housing, overprice sync cords, over priced tray and incredibly expensive strobe which all equals 2 dive trips (6 to 9K). I would recommend a Nikonos-V camera starter kit, about $1800. Just remember one thing, light is everything in underwater photography, so look at the best strobe, speed light or flash (what ever you want to call it) you can afford. Without light you will never produce decent photos.

The Nikonos-V basic system.

#80654 - 02/20/04 05:47 AM Re: diving buffs camera question
Dave in WSNC Offline

I have a sea and sea motor marine II. Have had alot of good pics with it, and bought it used. Was real fortunate to be in a camera shop and saw that they had the strobe, wide angle lens, 2 close up lenses, wide angle view finder, a couple of trays and a few other goodies that were traded in and was able to get all of that stuff at a very reasonable price, was able to bargain them down a bit to a price that was less than the retail price of the view finder alone. But you will need light for good pics. Get a good strobe and after you learn how to use the camera, mainly pointing the light at were the object you are photographing really is instead of were you think it is, you will be pleased with the results.

#80655 - 02/20/04 06:42 AM Re: diving buffs camera question
Dave, ” mainly pointing the light at were the object you are photographing really is instead of were you think it is, you will be pleased with the results.”

That’s a good point, the subject is not at the distance that is appears it is, for the most part for a 35mm lens at 2ft away I point the strobe slightly downward, at 4 ft I prefer to aim the strobe in the same direction as the lens, If you aim the strobe directly at the subject you will illuminate particles in the water that is between the lens and the subject (known as back scatter)

Also since the subject is not where it appears to be, the focus can be misjudged very easily as well.

#80656 - 02/20/04 08:20 AM Re: diving buffs camera question
charliec Offline
Check out the pics on my website . I used a Canon S200 Digital Elph with it's corresponding underwater case and was pretty satisfied.

It's only a 2 megapixal. Of course, this is not the rig to get if you are serious about underwater photography!

#80657 - 02/20/04 03:06 PM Re: diving buffs camera question
cromedomer Offline
If you intend to go digital for above water shots you may want to buy a case for it. This company sells cases for Olympus digial cameras,and others, http://www.marinecamera.com/oly_pt016.html for around $200. They do take fair pictures without an external strobe, which you can add later. The best part is you only take home the keepers.

#80658 - 02/20/04 06:39 PM Re: diving buffs camera question
Zagnut Offline
I'm with Bobber on this one. Reefmaster RC is the way to go. Buy it online from Leisure Pro. They are about as cheap as SCUBA gear gets. I've used Leisure Pro several times and had no problems whatsoever. $110.25!! Man! I bought mine from them about a year or two ago and paid twice that! I guess the digital camera market is really bringing the price down on these film cameras.
Get the macro lens as well. With that you are set for just about anything.

I would recommend a Nikonos-V camera starter kit, about $1800. Just remember one thing, light is everything in underwater photography, so look at the best strobe, speed light or flash (what ever you want to call it) you can afford. Without light you will never produce decent photos.
Forget anything with the Nikonos name on it...unless your either filthy rich or really serious about underwater photography. For what you are asking for, the Reefmaster is what you want. I've taken many surprisingly good photos with just my Reefmaster and no external strobe. You just have to be mindful of back scatter situations and do your best to avoid those shots..sometimes, however, with out the external strobe, it is unavoidable. Just shoot in good vis and make sure nobody has finned up any sand in front of you when you shoot. Shallower pix = more ambient light and less chance of backscatter.

It will go deeper than recreational diving limits(130'). Some of the cheaper cameras won't.

Here's a link to the reefmaster page on their site:


Hope this helps.

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