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filmscanners: Underwater pictures was Re: filmscanners: films for scanning?

Tony wrote:
> Ewa Marina make 'plastic bag' type housings which
> will fit almost anything, good for down to 15m ISTR.

I've looked at getting one of these to try with my Olympus compact camera,
but it's likely to work well at anything more than a metre or two because
of the water pressure.  If anything pushes on the Olympus' retractable flash,
the camera shuts down.  The problem with the Pentax would likely be focussing
accuracy through the bag and friction against the bag stopping the lens
motors from working correctly.  In any case I haven't succeeded in finding
anywhere that can get stock of the bag housings.

The bigger problem with taking photos underwater is light.  Red is lost
very rapidly, and the only way to get the proper colours back is to use
strobes.  At this point I just want a basic underwater camera so I'm looking
at the Sealife Reefmaster which is a compact camera in a housing and should
be about AUD$500 (US$250).  I will buy it initially without an external
strobe and add the strobe later.  The camera is pressure rated to about
50m I think.  I am also considering a trip to Japan, and if I went there
I may be able to get a Nikonos at a reasonable price.

What does this have to do with scanning?  The disposible underwater cameras
use 400ASA or 800ASA film and are pretty useless below 10 metres.  My experience
with the Fuji 800ASA camera is that even though it's only rated to 3 metres
it works down to almost 10 metres, but in average conditions the photos
end up very grainy when scanned.

Some digital cameras (eg. Sony) have underwater housings, but if you flood
it you're losing a $1500 digicam instead of a $200 compact camera.

Tony, I'll take your word for it that Fuji 800 is great when exposed at
EI650 but in the low light conditions where I've tried it, the results are
poor when scanned.  It's cool to be able to take photos at all with some
of the situations that Fuji 800 makes possible, but I generally find the
grain objectionable.

I just need to save up for that dedicated underwater camera. :)


Rob Geraghty harper@wordweb.com


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