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View Full Version : A couple of underwater photo questions



TxHockeyGuy
07-09-2007, 23:09
I have a canon a640 and the canon housing for it and am wondering what kind of desiccant I should be using? I see ScubaToys sells some of the sea and sea stuff in a couple of different styles and was wondering which of these, if either, would work well for me.

On another note. For those familiar with the auto magic filters I am wondering if there is really any benefit provided I perform a manual white balance. This would obviously be at very shallow snorkeling depths. I would just like to be able to take some wider shots when shallow and use my strobe when I'm deeper.

Wolfie2012
07-09-2007, 23:14
As for dessicants, I am currently using the moisture muncher capsuls. I think ST has them up on their site. I like their size, and they work well enough. In a pinch I've even used the dessicant packs that come in shoeboxes and have had no moisture problems.Pretty much anything that will fit well in the housing should work for you.

underwaterdan
07-10-2007, 11:19
I used the ones from shoeboxes, they have worked great for me and for the price(FREE) you can't beat it. I forgot to mention the price isn't really free, but at the rate my wife buys shoes....

Doghouse
07-10-2007, 12:20
I also use packs from computers and electronics, vitamins, anything like that. It was even suggested that in a pinch you could pack facial tissue in the case as it would wick up any moisture before it got into the camera. May not help with a leak, but it would do the same as a dessicant pack.
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Jeff
07-10-2007, 13:02
A word of advice on dessicant...

The packets you get from shoeboxes, vitamins, electronics, etc. have all been exposed to ambient air, which is full of moisture. By the time you get them, they are most likely already saturated, and effectively useless...

You can find instructions on how to bake them in the oven to release the absorbed moisture, but that's a pain.

My recommendation: I personally use the Moisture Muncher capsules you can get from ST. They turn pink when they're saturated, so you know when to replace them. And the cost is more than reasonable.

When you're talking photos, don't take the risk. Get new ones each time. Once you're underwater and your camera fogs, you're screwed.

Joew
07-11-2007, 00:45
On another note. For those familiar with the auto magic filters I am wondering if there is really any benefit provided I perform a manual white balance.

I have not used the auto magic filters, but I do have experience with the original magic filters on a dslr. The results with the filter are MUCH better than I have gotten by just manually white balancing without a filter. Colors are much more realistic and vibrant. If you are shooting in shallow water while snorkeling the difference might not be that great, but I'm sure if you get the filter you'll end up using it every once in a while when your diving. It's a great way to get some color in your shots without hauling around a bulky strobe. There are sample galleries on the magic filter website that will give you a good idea of what the filter can do.

TxHockeyGuy
07-11-2007, 01:27
On another note. For those familiar with the auto magic filters I am wondering if there is really any benefit provided I perform a manual white balance.



I have not used the auto magic filters, but I do have experience with the original magic filters on a dslr. The results with the filter are MUCH better than I have gotten by just manually white balancing without a filter. Colors are much more realistic and vibrant. If you are shooting in shallow water while snorkeling the difference might not be that great, but I'm sure if you get the filter you'll end up using it every once in a while when your diving. It's a great way to get some color in your shots without hauling around a bulky strobe. There are sample galleries on the magic filter website that will give you a good idea of what the filter can do.

Thanks for the reply, I try not to rely on any information from the manufacturer or selling website as much as possible, for obvious reasons. I have been reading elsewhere though that this filter does seem to do quite a lot so it will probably be on my list of things to buy.

RonFrank
07-11-2007, 10:46
I have not used the filters, but have seen the results, and it's impressive. However at shallow depths, they are not really necessary, and if you have a strobe IMO use that.

torrey
07-11-2007, 12:14
I recommend the rechargeabledessicant packsthat show the color - start off blue and when they turn pink you know they're no longer doing their job. If they're rechargeable, just put them into the oven on low-temp for a little while and they're back to blue again.

Dabaras
07-13-2007, 22:11
Almost any dessicant can be dried out. Most also change color. Personally, I've used dessicant in the past, but I forgot them one trip, and went without. There was no difference. I had no moisture problems.

cummings66
07-15-2007, 08:28
I've never had problems without it either, but I know it can happen. It would depend on the humidity of the dive area. I assemble my camera before I get to the dive site near all that water.

94GTStang
07-15-2007, 23:38
I never had a problem with fogging even after I opened up my case on the SI to change batteries. I have used the packs from shoe boxes though without any ill effect...

Jeff
07-16-2007, 12:08
It all has to do with temperatures.

Warmer air holds more moisture. Open your camera case in a warm, humid environment, then drop into colder water temperatures, and the moisture trapped inside your housing will have a tendency to condense on the case - thus fogging.

If your diving in tropical conditions, where the air temp and water temps are close, fogging may not appear, even without dessicant. but if you've got a drastic drop in temperature when you hit the water, you'll need it.

One thing I always try to do, when I can, is to only open the housing in the hotel room, where the air is cold and dry. This minimizes the humidity that will get trapped in the housing. I try to NEVER open the camera on the boat. Dessicant is cheap, and even if I don't need it, I'd rather it be there than get underwater and realize this is the dive that my camera fogged, and I can't get the shot of the great white that just ate my buddy smileys/smiley2.gif