Erick has already seen my reply over at another forum, but for those who are interested, I made something similar, in 2007. It's a somewhat different approach from Ericks, due to different needs. It's a multi-format design: 5x7 inch sheet film and 6x17cm panoramic, (or 4x5 inch format if you wanted to, with an adapter cassette). So far tested to 50m (but could be modified to go much deeper, with a different dome port, which I don't require), has optically uncompromised lens tilt and flash sync across all speeds. I was going to shoot GBR and Antarctica scenes in shallow water with it, but have since temporarily moved to the northern hemisphere and the project has thus taken on a different tack for now. Here is an '07 photo of an early stage in its construction to give you an idea: http://huk7nq.blu.livefilestore.com/...r%20wshop2.jpg
Per dive it can either do 2 sheets of 5x7 (or 4x5), or 4 frames, motor driven, of 6x17cm on rollfilm. I'm now thinking about using an even wider, better lens and thus the front port may need a re-design, but it's been excellent so far (albeit still in its testing phase). I might post more pics once I unpacked the removalist box it slumbers in if you're interested. Although the set-up is complete now there is not that much additional to see, other than details like a finder and the anodized finish. Why did I do it? Because I had all the bits lying around and have an LF and panorama background, so it didn't cost me much and perhaps 200MP+ equivalent for big enlargements and tonality, long time exposure capability (no batteries ) and possible focal plane tilt ala Scheimpflug sounded good to me. Am possibly getting my act together and put some more film through it this month off Ireland, or Spain. I was going to write a little article about it at some stage and post it here, or submit it to magnachrom, View Camera magazine, or openphotographyforums, or such... any suggestions for best impact?
Originally Posted by Erick Regnard View Post
anybody know a place with very clear viz and where the whales stay without swimming away from human?
You'd know that whales are generally more shy than dolphins and hang out in deep water, but you could try Minke whales off the Northern GBR e.g. Undersea Explorer, out of Port Douglas. They have stopped their regular trips and currently do charters only, but they know where to go), or Humpbacks off Ningaloo Reef at the right time of year (I think the Coral Bay and Exmouth dive shops run trips; there, you'll also have the chance to dive with whale-sharks); the whales are relatively unbothered by humans, but do cruise past you at a steady pace..
Hi All, i have just join in as a member. i've been a photographer now for 15 years and just getting backin underwater photography.... I wanted to try to shoot with a 4x5 underwater and was wandering if anybody out there has heard or seen it done before. iwanted to get in touch with anyone whomight have had experience in that field... Any thoughts...
Wow, Erick, I haven't seen a request like your's for quite a while, i did dable with a panoramic underwater camera concept, using a Schneider 58mm and a 6x12 roll film back at one time long long ago, and never got pass the buying the roll film holderk and lens stage, too complex and limited, but hardcore 4x5", that is fringe man! it would need to be based either on a field camera such as a Zone VI type or actually, even easier to make the housing straight out of aluminum, major hurdle was, in my case, cocking the shutter, accessing shutter speed, set it on hyperfocal distance and especially difficult was the tiny aperture key. its doable for sure, practical... not so sure, one thing if you decide to invest your self in such an ambitious project, I would research getting a Grafmatic film holder that holds 6 sheets of film, this way you get a bit more mileage out of your dive, but seriously, I feel the levelling factor would be the water quality itself, with today's high resolution camera such as the 1Ds Mk III I'm pretty convinced you would have way better results and more time on your hand consequently
Wow! Very impressed. Glad it's working out.
What is the housing? Did you modify an existing housing? Post more pics when you can or both the camera and the work you are doing with it. Great stuff.
Shall do one day. Originally I was going to make the housing out of a (condemned) aluminium dive tank, but the wall thickness would have been overkill. I found an old beer-gas tank that was a bit thinner, cut that up, and got it machined and welded into the t-shape, then anodised. End-bits are Delrin and PVC. The small matched dome port is glass.
Everything else I had pretty much floating about as well, so cost was manageable.
given the size and shape, I would imagine you could modify an old video housing, one of the tube shaped generic housings may have also worked.
Yes, of course. Anything big enough would have done the job; if you want to manipulate the back, ±6" free inner diameter is needed though.
Any thick-walled opaque plastic pipe would do, too. As with any home-made job, the possibilities are endless and the results range from elegant to, well, Mad-Max'esque. All fun though!
Yes, it has tilt, but no shift (I can't think of too many situations where one would really need that underwater, u/w architecture seems such a niche within a niche ). That's what the big white dial-gear does.
I had built a port version that would offer focussing ability on top of the quasi-Scheimpflug tilt, but I've not incorporated that in the latest version, because it doesn't need to anymore and I have a simpler, lighter and very compact dome now which is lens optimised (no diopters and no fuzzy corners). I have flash synchro at all shutter speeds (1/400s to 1s, T and B); I preset the aperture to f22; although I have the lens gears to change aperture, it's not really needed. On a single dive I can either expose 2 images in 5x7" or 4 in 6x17 if you swap the DD holder for the (motorized) back. On top of that of course I have unlimited long time and multi-exposure capability.
Aligning and optimising the lens, port and film-plane system to make the whole LF experiment worthwhile was the biggest challenge and I don't recommend it to the optically uninitiated. Forget flatports (unless you're into "macro only") and forget in-air testing.
Weight underwater is ~100g, on land 15kg; - the airlines love me
Well, that's all I want to comment on for now; I'll keep you posted if and when my article gets accepted in one of the mags. Happy trails!