>I'm looking into underwater cameras. I don't drop below 100 feet. I've
>found info on Reefmaster by Sea&Sea and Nikonos. I'd like to have a
>macro lense option and external flash options. Any thoughts?
UW cameras open up a whole new dimension in native fish appreciation. Much
of the stuff you see on the Web is a lot of hype, and you don't necessarily
need to spend a lot of money. In his early years, Bill Roston shot some nice
pictures by taking a 5 gallon aquarium, laying it down in a stream with the
top out of water, placing his camera in the dry aquarium with the lens all
the way against the glass, and reaching into the tank to operate the
controls. Total cost less than $10. (Of course, now he's using a Light and
Motion video housing that's worth more than my car, but that's a different
Do you want to do video or still... digital or film? Some of the new digital
video cameras are tiny, will shoot at night with built-in IR, and produce
great image quality. There's several companies that build quality housings;
Amphibico, Gates, Light and Motion, Ikelite, Extreme Exposure... etc. The
Ikelite housings (cast polyacrylate) are probably the cheapest way to go,
but are much less durable (the others are made of Lexan or aluminum). If
you're really careful with equipment (unlike me ;) they'd work fine. Having
a housing gives you a little more flexibility than a dedicated UW camera
like the Nikonos, since you can more readily use it above the surface, too.
Even better if you already have a SLR or video camera!
We have a Nikonos V with twin SB-103 strobes and macro extension tubes in
the lab, and I feel pretty guilty that I don't use it all that much. I hope
to change that this summer...
best of luck,
fellow uw photo neophyte,
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