PDA

View Full Version : Giant Stride Entry with Camera



Vercingetorix
08-06-2007, 16:39
In less than two weeks, I'm diving on the Texas Flower Gardens with a new camera that I purchased. Entry is a giant stride from five feet off the deck of a rolling boat. I was hoping to test camera and practice entries this weekend at CSSP from the ScubaToys dock (also 5-feet high). As I don't have a dive buddy, that ain' gonna happen.

My camera is a simple rig: Canon A620 in a housing. No external flash.

Questions:
Do I clip the camera to my BC, or do I hold it in my free hand (not clipped)? I'm assuming it's clipped AND I'm clutching it for dear life. The other hand, of course, is holding my mask and regulator in place. Do I tuck the camera under my arm to protect it? Do I hold it out in front of me? Do I hold next to chest?

Should I have purchased the weighting kit for the housing? I also assume that when 'm not using the camera at depth, it's clipped to the BC. Or, do I ALWAYS have it in hand for duration of dive?

ScubaToys Larry
08-06-2007, 16:43
Have a length of rope with a clip on the end. Hook it on the camera, give it to someone to lower down to you after you get in, or hook it on the side so it's there once you get in.

But it doesn't matter... It's a canon so it will self destruct, blow up, not work, and they will not stand behind it anyway. (Do you sense a slightly hostility toward canon products here! I'll try therapy next week.)

ReefHound
08-06-2007, 16:56
The Flower Gardens crew will be glad to lower the camera down to you after you enter and to take it from you as you exit. They deal with this all the time and divers with expensive gear generally do not giant stride in carrying their gear. The giant stide drop off the FG boats is a bit higher than your typical day boat so you need to be holding *firmly* onto your mask and reg, devoting your attention to entry.

At depth, you will be smart to keep your camera clipped off if it is positively buoyant. You won't be able to chase it up if it gets free and it could be hard to spot on the surface if there are waves. I don't know if they would use the dinghy to go after it or not, if so that would call for a nice extra tip.

thor
08-06-2007, 16:58
Have a length of rope with a clip on the end. Hook it on the camera, give it to someone to lower down to you after you get in, or hook it on the side so it's there once you get in.

But it doesn't matter... It's a canon so it will self destruct, blow up, not work, and they will not stand behind it anyway. (Do you sense a slightly hostility toward canon products here! I'll try therapy next week.)



I love Canon, but I hear what your saying. Last year, my 400 IS lens stopped working. They wanted $150 to send it to Canon just so they could look at it and tell me what was wrong. My local shop told me the fee goes to the manufacturer and that they don't get any of the money.

Illini_Fan
08-06-2007, 16:58
I've also done Giant Stride entries with the camera directly over my head. Yes that violates the one hand on the reg/mask and one hand on the weight belt, but the BC is integrated weights, so I survived.

It was a rental camera and that is how the liveaboard (who rented it to me) told us to enter. For a more expensive camera, have it lowered into the water.

ScubaToys Larry
08-06-2007, 17:10
I love Canon, but I hear what your saying. Last year, my 400 IS lens stopped working. They wanted $150 to send it to Canon just so they could look at it and tell me what was wrong. My local shop told me the fee goes to the manufacturer and that they don't get any of the money.

Oh.. way worse than that.. Guess you didn't see this rant of mine: http://forum.scubatoys.com/showpost.php?p=16483&postcount=5

Joew
08-06-2007, 18:40
I love Canon, but I hear what your saying. Last year, my 400 IS lens stopped working. They wanted $150 to send it to Canon just so they could look at it and tell me what was wrong. My local shop told me the fee goes to the manufacturer and that they don't get any of the money.

That sucks. I just had to send a camera to Nikon. Turns out the shutter is busted and the repair cost is about as much as the camera is worth. I told them not to bother fixing it, and they only charged $12.95 to ship it back.

As for the original posters question, it's best to have someone hand you the camera after you get in. If that is not an option, then I'll usually have my buddy splash first, hand them the camera, and then jump in and get it back from them. I only do this with people I know and trust, and only if they have some experience with underwater cameras.

JugglingMonkeys
08-06-2007, 18:41
so, Larry, is it best to get a good camera and then a housing OR a dive camera in the first place?

seems the latter...

rainmaker
08-06-2007, 20:23
I've had problems with folks on the boat handing my camera to me after I enter the water (they forget, or pick up the camera with too much force and the strobe batteries come rolling out of their slots).

So, when I do a giant stride, I attach the camera lanyard to my wrist and hold the camera high above my head with the lens facing down (that way, the strobe batteries get forced further into their slots when I enter the water, instead of being forced out).

If my BC is properly inflated, the camera doesn't even get wet when I enter the water.

ReefHound
08-06-2007, 20:54
On the Spree or Fling, you'll bring your camera with you as you shuffle in line to the entry point. Hand it to DM and then they lower it on a pole hook to you. It's a 5' to 6' drop so inflate your BC and keep your legs closed.

94GTStang
08-06-2007, 23:31
I just put the camera's wrist band through my hand and held onto my camera/wide angle lens with one hand against my chest and my other hand on my mask. That was for the back roll off the side though. I have the seacure mouthpiece on my reg so loosing the reg wouldn't be a problem. It takes an act of god to get that mouthpiece out of my mouth now. Course my reg won't be far away if it comes out of my mouth, my mask on the other hand...

CompuDude
08-07-2007, 00:50
Most dive boats I have been are accustomed to dealing with cameras, and have a rope with a clip on the end just for this purpose. Giant stride in normally and they'll lower it to you.

If you're worried about the look of the guy for some reason, or there is no guy, hold it above your head so your body breaks the water first.

For smaller boats, where you're doing a back roll entry, cradle it in your lap and your body will do a nice job of protecting it. Again, it's still best to have someone hand it to you.

For my smaller camera, I always just jumped in with the camera and never had a problem. Since moving to a more substantial setup, I've always had it lowered to me. No problems so far...

Vercingetorix
08-07-2007, 10:28
Thank you for all the ideas.

My camera is a small digital Canon A620 (sorry Larry) with housing and no external strobes. I am diving from the Fling, so my first option will be for them to hand it down to me. Otherwise, I'll hand it to dive buddy or he can hand to me. As last option, the above the head entry is something I hadn't thought of.

Thanks for ideas about clipping to BC at depth. I'm stopping by ST before dive to get any additional goodies such as clips for camera.

Interesting comment about giant stride at that height and keepng legs together. I've done giant stride from ScubaToys pier/dock at CSSP, which is 5'6" above lake surface. I hit water with legs still spread. I'll try closing legs to see the difference.

I alo like Larry's idea about attaching a small line for those situations where the above ideas won't work. I'm adding that to my gear bag.

ReefHound
08-07-2007, 11:04
When you get on board I think you'll find the first option is standard procedure. I doubt the second option is possible due to their entry process, they won't bring the buddy up to the edge until you have cleared the area.

The giant stride is not that brutal, you could dive open legged 50 times with no problem, but it only takes a little force hitting the wrong way...

And if you leap as the boat is on an upswell you might be dropping 8 feet.

Divingguy
08-07-2007, 11:16
Rick: When you go see Larry and the guys look into getting a retractor to clip onto your BC or BPW. That way you can leave the camera attached at all times to prevent a runaway, but still put it into position to take a shot.
Tom

TxHockeyGuy
08-07-2007, 11:26
Rick: When you go see Larry and the guys look into getting a retractor to clip onto your BC or BPW. That way you can leave the camera attached at all times to prevent a runaway, but still put it into position to take a shot.
Tom

Adding a retractor to his BP/W? Heresy I'm sure. I got the lanyard that can be clipped to maintain it on a shorter leash when necessary after that was suggested to me by many board members.

CompuDude
08-07-2007, 12:08
Rick: When you go see Larry and the guys look into getting a retractor to clip onto your BC or BPW. That way you can leave the camera attached at all times to prevent a runaway, but still put it into position to take a shot.
Tom
Best option for cameras is a coil lanyard. I prefer the ones with a brass bolt snap on one end and a split ring on the other, but these will certainly get the job done, especially with a smaller camera rig.

http://www.scubatoys.com/store/accessories/clips/pics/crlo1.jpg

A lanyard is important. Don't dive without one.

The Canons are usually a little floaty without the add-on weights. Canon charges a rather absurd amount for those add-on weights, however... I suspect you could do better picking up a simple bolt that fits in a tripod mount (if not Home Depot, a camera shop can help), and just attach something weighing under half pound to the bottom. The Canon kit is literally a couple of metal plates and a tripod screw to hold it on. Works well, but it just seemed like highway robbery to pay $30 or so for something so rudimentary. Ideally, you want to weight so it's just barely negative.

Vercingetorix
08-07-2007, 13:52
Adding a retractor to his BP/W? Heresy I'm sure. I got the lanyard that can be clipped to maintain it on a shorter leash when necessary after that was suggested to me by many board members.
Heresy? You know me too well, sir. I can just imagine the DIR cutting my air hoses should I ever do that.

I'm using a version of CompuDude's idea for a lanyard with my primary dive light. The version (from ST) actually clips. Then, when unclipped, it allows the lanyard to extend. That sounds like the way to go.

Great idea about just using bolt from Home Depot to add weights.

Gee...if only NAUI or PADI had a Photography Course to answer these questions...:smiley2:

tywenglar
08-08-2007, 13:39
On the Spree or Fling, you'll bring your camera with you as you shuffle in line to the entry point. Hand it to DM and then they lower it on a pole hook to you. It's a 5' to 6' drop so inflate your BC and keep your legs closed.

Just got back from the flower gardens on the Spree. I have a Canon A630 with external flash. The crew lowered the camera to me on a rope after I was in. As someone mentioned earlier the crew on both the Fling and Spree deal with some VERY expensive rigs so they take good of cameras. I doubt you will have any issues at all.

PS ReefHound is ABSOLUTELY right....cross your legs on the way in. You do not want to learn the hard way.:smiley26:

Vercingetorix
08-08-2007, 14:09
PS ReefHound is ABSOLUTELY right....cross your legs on the way in. You do not want to learn the hard way.:smiley26:OK...I'm convinced. Legs together. Got it!!! I sing bass in my church choir; I don't want to move to the soprano section.

What external flash do you use for your A630? That might do well for my A620.

tywenglar
08-08-2007, 14:18
I use the Reefmaster External Strobe. It works as a slave so you have to use the flash on your camerawith some tape over the slave sensor to mask your cameras flash. All in all it's a good flash for the money. It reduces backscatter tremendously. I'll look tonight exactly which model I got and post tomorrow.

http://www.scubatoys.com/store/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=SL960

CompuDude
08-08-2007, 14:29
PS ReefHound is ABSOLUTELY right....cross your legs on the way in. You do not want to learn the hard way.:smiley26:

I suppose. Many of our boats have 5-6, or even 8' drops (off the bow gate, for instance). I've never had a problem doing a giant stride. Of course, if you do it right, and scissor your legs closed the moment you hit the water, there's no problem whatsoever.

Of course, this is in a heavy 7mm wetsuit or drysuit... perhaps with lighter exposure protection perhaps it's more of a concern?

cummings66
08-08-2007, 14:51
I've done many drops of that height using the giant stride and never had an issue. I've never entered with the camera though, that's always handed to me.

I could see if a person had weak knee's being hurt on a giant stride.

I have the A620 and housing and have been very pleased with it. Great camera and workable housing. Not very good for deep pictures without a strobe of some sort.

ReefHound
08-09-2007, 20:15
Some may not find it necessary to keep their legs together but what does it hurt to do so just in case?

CompuDude
08-10-2007, 01:01
Some may not find it necessary to keep their legs together but what does it hurt to do so just in case?
I suppose hurt is a relative term. How exactly am I supposed to be hurt through 7mm of neoprene, or a stiff drysuit, crotch strap and thick undergarments? Honestly, the thought of being hurt somehow (aside from jumping in onto a rock or person) never occurred to me. I don't sweat the stuff that is an incredibly distant possibility, of else I'd never be capable of driving on a freeway.

So why not? Instead, I say: Why? But beyond that... how can you do a proper giant stride without snapping your legs together so your fins stop your momentum, and you stop AT the surface rather than under it? Seems to me jumping in with your legs together you'll be plunging way farther below the surface than you really should.

Mind you, this is more curiosity... if you're happy doing what you're doing, I see no reason for you to stop... aside from the fact that I've never heard anyone teach that method, and it just plain doesn't make sense to me given my experience.

tywenglar
08-10-2007, 09:28
Some may not find it necessary to keep their legs together but what does it hurt to do so just in case?
I suppose hurt is a relative term. How exactly am I supposed to be hurt through 7mm of neoprene, or a stiff drysuit, crotch strap and thick undergarments? Honestly, the thought of being hurt somehow (aside from jumping in onto a rock or person) never occurred to me.

All I KNOW is that in a 1mm shorty at the flower gardens a giant stride with legs spread hurts. Now don't get me wrong is it going double you over writhing in pain such that the cost guard should be called...no. But at the same time given the area we are discussing ANY pain is too much. Better safe than sorry.:smiley20:

CompuDude
08-10-2007, 12:29
Some may not find it necessary to keep their legs together but what does it hurt to do so just in case?
I suppose hurt is a relative term. How exactly am I supposed to be hurt through 7mm of neoprene, or a stiff drysuit, crotch strap and thick undergarments? Honestly, the thought of being hurt somehow (aside from jumping in onto a rock or person) never occurred to me.

All I KNOW is that in a 1mm shorty at the flower gardens a giant stride with legs spread hurts. Now don't get me wrong is it going double you over writhing in pain such that the cost guard should be called...no. But at the same time given the area we are discussing ANY pain is too much. Better safe than sorry.:smiley20:
Ok. 1mm very different situation, I suppose.

Although, I was never overly concerned about jumping in the pool with just a swimsuit on, even from 6' up. I wonder if scuba gear makes it different? *shrug* Not an issue with 7mm or a drysuit. I suspect 5mm (and maybe even 3mm) is ok, too. Perhaps only an issue with the thinnest of suits.

ReefHound
08-10-2007, 17:33
[quote=ReefHound;21411]
So why not? Instead, I say: Why? But beyond that... how can you do a proper giant stride without snapping your legs together so your fins stop your momentum, and you stop AT the surface rather than under it? Seems to me jumping in with your legs together you'll be plunging way farther below the surface than you really should.

First, my advice was given as a tip specifically for diving this particular boat at this particular spot. Nobody dives FG in 7mm or dry suits.

Second, I don't snap my legs together or hold them in line to plunge into the water like an arrow. I really do nothing different - the feet are in the same position as any giant stride. It's really more a matter of bringing the upper thighs together. No, I do not have my feet or knees together.

CompuDude
08-10-2007, 17:47
[quote=ReefHound;21411]
So why not? Instead, I say: Why? But beyond that... how can you do a proper giant stride without snapping your legs together so your fins stop your momentum, and you stop AT the surface rather than under it? Seems to me jumping in with your legs together you'll be plunging way farther below the surface than you really should.

First, my advice was given as a tip specifically for diving this particular boat at this particular spot. Nobody dives FG in 7mm or dry suits.

Second, I don't snap my legs together or hold them in line to plunge into the water like an arrow. I really do nothing different - the feet are in the same position as any giant stride. It's really more a matter of bringing the upper thighs together. No, I do not have my feet or knees together.
Got it! That makes a LOT more sense now.