Thursday, March 11, 2010

Water Proof (?) housing

This week I have been playing around with a new home made water proof housing I built from a Pelican 1300 case.

The handle is a piece of a broken carbon fibre main sail batten from an America's Cup Yacht that I rescued from a skip at Emirates Team NZ.
Yet again I was trying to save weight and money by doing it myself.
An Aquatech or similar housing for a D2x can range from US$2000 to US$6000. This setup has cost me around NZ$200 (US$140). Of course it is limited to what it can do. I wouldn't consider taking it diving, but it is perfect for the sorts of shots seen above.
Testing has been pretty successful with the only leak being about 1/2 a teaspoon that managed to force it's way past the lid seal when the case was forced below the surface while doing about 12 knots. Not too surprising.
The camera is triggered by a Nikon IR remote unit through an acrylic window built into the top of the case. The window was turned from an Acrylic bar by an engineer friend who put a thread in so a standard nylon plumbing nut can be used to tighten the outside flange against an o-ring.

Above you can see the remote in a bag taped to the top of the handle so it points at the trigger window on the case.
I have used Rainex on the lens port to try to keep the water from settling.
 It doesn't seem to be working as well as I'd like but it just may mean I need to make sure to wash the salt water off after each dipping.
It takes a bit of practice and a lot of blind firing to get a good shot.
Thank God for digital.


  1. This is awesome! Quite industrious of you!

  2. that is really cool! good idea and well build, verry smart.

    i wonder why you are not just using a gopro or anything like that? it's lighter and much more handy (and absolute water-proof). the ownly downside might be the image- quality? but to be honest: with haf of the pic in a big wave, a gopro is still ok, isn't it?

    by the way i just subscribed to your feed and hope to see more posts soon! :)


    1. cloudid.
      Thanks for the comment.
      The problem with a GoPro is as you suggested, Image quality.
      I wouldn't get enough resolution. The other main issue is that the GoPro has a fixed, very wide angle lens.