Not Awful UW Photography

Contact e-mail: kristaps at bsd.lv

Diving is like photography in that it's a black hole for money. Here's how I'd like to augment the gravity well in no particular order. If you'd like to help, let me know!

If you have any modern gear not mentioned below (including for dry-land photography), please let me know and I'm happy to take it off your hands. If I can't find a use for it, I can find somebody who will.

nimar flat port (ni32) and af-s vr micro 105mm f/2.8G if-ed
cost: €730

Serious super-macro shooting with the option to put on a wide-angle for shooting close-up wide-angle. Cool. This is a bit on the special end and I'd rather get started with the other options below, but if you insist…

nimar flat port (ni38b)
cost: €230

I already have a lens for this port, but not the port itself. I currently use the N138N with the AF-S DX Nikkor 18–55mm F/3.5–5.6G VR II, which is an older model of the AF-P I also have.

nimar flat port (ni42) and af-s nikkor 24–85mm f/3.5–4.5g ed vr
cost: €850

This lens port and lens don't play with wet lenses (the port isn't threaded), but have enough focal length range with a decent speed that it might not be necessary for non-super-macro and portraits.

af-s micro nikkor 60mm f/2.8g ed
cost: €580

Fits in my existing lens port. I'd use this for macro, swapping in a wide-angle wet lens (as I currently do) for pulling back.

nimar vacuum detector (niev)
cost: €150

An electronic vacuum test for my housing. This is quite useful!

flip snoot pro for ys-01
cost: €130

I usually dive with two YS-01 strobes that illuminate scenes beautifully. But for macro, sometimes a bit… overzealously.

I'd love a snoot for one of them for dramatic lighting of nudibranchs. A strobe snoot narrows the beam significantly, letting what'd otherwise be a scene entirely lit up to just the subject itself.

uwl-09 pro wide angle lens
cost: €1100

I currently dive with the regular UWL-09. I love it! However, the acrylic dome scratches rather easily, so at some point I'll need to replace the lens due to its many little nicks and cuts. I'm eyeing the UWL-09 PRO because it has glass elements. I'd just get another UWL-09 (non-pro), but the cost difference is worth it for better optics and longer-lasting.

9000+ lumen video lights
cost: >€600

Lighting is everything. I currently have 4000 lumen video lights, but they fall quite short when filming in anything but perfect conditions. I've played with 10,000 lumen lights and am incredibly impressed—not only do thesee make light painting much more efficient, but they're also bright enough for portraits with staged lighting.

The sky's the limit for lumens: there are affordable lights for 30,000 lumens (about 2.5 times the price above).

eurocylinder 12l 232 bar twinset with manifold and bands
cost: €600

I always rent cylinders, but the more I dive, the more I understand what works and what doesn't. At my local dive shop, I usually end up with a Faber twinset. The Fabers are slightly shorter and heavier, and throw off my trim just enough to cause problems. I strongly prefer the Euros, but they're just not always available.

apeks tek 3 twinset regulator set
cost: €800

I've used these a few times and love them. But not enough to warrant the price—I generally just rent regulators and don't think about it. What I like about these regulators is that most ordinary twinset-mounted first stages bang my head when I'm in proper trim. The width between these is much more comfortable.

ball mount adapter for 1/4" inch tripod screw
cost: €25 each

I'd like to mount video lights on tripods underwater. However, tripods have a 1/4" inch screw and most underwater gear sits on ball mounts. I'd like a handful of ball mount adapters, at least three. This way I can set video lights before taking shots, which is essential in well-framed photography underwater.

underwater video light tripods
cost: <€100 each

Some plastic (GorillaPod style) flex-leg small (<1/3 metre) tripods for strategic light sources. Must screw into the ball mount adapters noted above. At least two or three.

aoi qrs twin quick-release caddy for arm, bayonet fitting for m67 macro lenses
cost: €200

Usually there's a choice: use the wide-angle lens or use the macro lens. I'd like to have both available. Right now this isn't possible because the macro lens screws in and I have the bayonet wide-angle. (I wouldn't want to screw in and out both lenses!)

With this, I'd stick it on an arm off the cold-shoe mount and just swap. This would give me a lot more versatility in going from full wide angle (portraits, larger fish) to nudibranchs within a single dive!