In perusing some of the online forums recently, we ran across a couple of folks who recently made the jump from point and shoot underwater camera setups to Nauticam NA-D90's. Besides showing very good taste in choosing an underwater camera housing, these guys both are doing fantastic work with their new setups. We asked them if we could share some of their results here on our blog, and they both kindly obliged.
So, in their own words and pictures, here is what Chris Fieldhouse ("bkkchriss4" on Wetpixel) and Terence Zahner ("zahner" on Scubaboard) have to say about their new NA-D90 housings:
- Chris Fieldhouse:
A few weeks ago had a chance to put the Nauticam D90 through a proper test out in the Similan Islands for 4 days. This was my first proper trip after having jumped into the DSLR UWP world.
Shooting all in manual with some macro in STTL to try it out. Wide are all Tokina 10-17 with Zen 200mm dome, Macro are all Nikon 105VR.
Anyways, overall the housing was amazing. Prior to this trip I had only had two dives in So Cal on it just to get a bit used to it underwater. Very easy to access all the controls, ergonomics are great. It is very stable underwater. With the heavy 105 and ports, with 2x8" ULCS float arms and 2x5" ULCS arms with Stix floats it was certainly rather negative, not sink like a rock, but if you let go, you were gonna chase it down for sure! I had the 105 in AF most of the time, and other than the typical focus searching that is common with this lens it worked quite well. I also had the focus ring installed and found it very useful, I need some more time with the lens UW to see what becomes my preferred method
This was the first time shooting wide angle, but overall found it really really fun! My results were not perfect and of course when the mantas showed up I was having strobe issues, and enjoying myself with the amazing animals too much to bother spending enough time to fix everything! I found I ended up getting nice exposures for the bg but was underlighting my fg often. It was also a bit of a shock just how wide the 10-17 is and how close you need and can get to subjects!
I played around with video very briefly, and the housing is a pro at handling the pretty limited video on the D90, I am sure the Nauticam 7D would be pretty killer though. Overall a fun first jump into the DSLR world, the Nauticam is great and I am really looking forward to more and more and more practice with the setup!
- Why did I choose the Nauticam NA-D90 housing to extend the use of my Nikon D90 to underwater shooting? After working underwater with various compact camera systems for several years, I decided to take the plunge with a housed SLR in late 2009. I chose the Nikon D90 primarily for its ergonomics and intuitively placed controls. I wanted an underwater housing to retain these characteristics. The option to optically or electrically trigger strobes was also important to save me from an expensive upgrade but allow flexibility for the future.
The Nauticam NA-D90 makes shooting underwater a dream. The exposure controls are well placed, allowing me to focus on getting the shot and make adjustments without thinking. With a single lever for video operation it is actually easier to access video underwater than on land.
The housing also handles beautifully in the water. When set up for macro, with two strobes, a compact foam float on each strobe arm is all that is needed make the entire system neutrally buoyant. Even after five hour-long dives in a day, I don’t feel any fatigue from the camera rig. It is easy to shoot with only one hand if the other is needed to brace against current or surge.
It is clear that a lot of careful thought went into the design of this solidly built housing, from the secure port locking system down to the integrated carrying strap for easy handling whether diving from a boat or shore. I am eager to continue building out a versatile underwater camera system around the NA-D90 and feel confident that it will support my underwater photography needs for many years to come.
Thanks Chris and Terence. Great job on the photos, keep up the good work and we look forward to seeing the pics from your next trip.