Underwater camera housing captures new world | AspenTimes.com

Underwater camera housing captures new world

Paul Conrad

Paul Conrad/Aspen Times Weekly

My girlfriend Susan, also a professional photographer, loves to get really creative with her portraiture. So for Christmas I bought her an ewa-marine underwater housing model UAX for her camera. It’s designed to house both the camera’s body and flash for good underwater exposures, and it’s rated for shooting as deep as 60 feet.

Although the underwater housing is hers, I had to give it a test, so off to the swimming pool at the Aspen Recreation Center I went.

Practicing the night before, I found it a bit difficult to get my Nikon D1H inside the housing. After several tries, I had to remove the lens (a wide angle), put the body in and then attach the lens. It was a bit of a pain, but worth it. And being vigilant about protecting my gear, I tossed the combination into a full bathtub. No bubbles. That’s a good sign.

While it was in the housing, I found operating the controls a bit cumbersome, as they were hard to get at and difficult to use. But with a little practice, I was able to figure it out.

At the ARC, it again took several minutes to get the camera in the housing. With a little guesswork, I adjusted all the controls to shoot underwater. Next I made sure the thumbscrews sealing the unit were tight and the front glass was clean.

Stepping to the side of the pool, I looked at the bubbling water of the Lazy River. Most of the kids were riding foam tubes to keep afloat. Following the instructions, I wiped a little saliva onto the front glass to keep water beads from forming. I knelt down at the side of the pool, looked at my camera and said to it: “I hope you don’t get wet.”

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I dipped the camera into the water and waited for some kids to swim by. When several did, I shot a few frames and checked the image for proper exposure and focus. It was a little dark and way out of focus. I refocused and dipped the camera back into the water. This time I tried keeping the front of the camera half-in and half-out of the water, but the water churned too much.

I headed over to the lap pool, where a few people were swimming laps. It was a good opportunity to test the housing fully underwater. As Lori Queisser of Carmel, Ind., began a lap, I dipped the camera as deep as I could reach and shot. The result is pictured here. Beautiful.

Overall, the ewa-marine underwater housing worked fairly well. I see a need to improve access to the controls, but it’s worth the $289. The price includes an accessory kit of two packets of “camera dry” (for absorbing moisture), an AV10 auto-focus adapter and a yellow waterproof carrying case.

A swimming suit is not included. I’ll include one for my next underwater photo shoot.

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