Previous Underwater Camera

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MM2-finalThe Sea & Sea Motormarine II-EX is a film camera that I used during many years of diving.  Some of the underwater photographs on this site were taken with this camera.  I liked shooting with slide film, which had great colour saturation.  Also, I could share large images with others using a projector.

The MM II-EX has additional wet lenses that can be changed underwater.  These wet lenses attach with a bayonet mount, so basically just a quick twist and they are secured.  There must be a layer of water between the camera lens and the attached wet lens for the light transfer from subject to film to work properly.  I recall how at the beginning of each dive, after I had submerged,  I would carefully remove each wet lens from its holder and give them a good shake through the surrounding water.  The purpose of this was to remove any bubbles on the lenses before starting to take pictures.

There are three O-rings that keep water out of this camera.  The main O-ring is along the edge of the back door panel.  A second O-ring is between the strobe cord and the camera body, and a third O-ring protects the battery compartment.  Before each diving day, I would carefully clean and grease these rings, as even a small piece of lint could compromise the watertight seal, leaving me with a flooded camera.  Fortunately, over hundreds of dives this never happened.

In the photograph, I’ve added numbers that correspond with the descriptions below.

 

1)  Macro lenses are ideal for close-up photography.  These lenses come with a base that extends forward, to easily measure the focal distance between the camera and object.  Also, vertical extensions at the end of the base provide proper framing.

2)  This 16mm wide angle lens is nice to have on dives when photographing larger subjects.

3)  These attachments called lens caddys are very handy while diving.  The macro and wide angle lenses are stored in place out of the way, and then when needed easily removed with a twist from these holders.

4)  I built this custom arm out of loc-line tubing so I could easily get the strobe away from the lens for wide angle shots, reducing backscatter.  Backscatter is caused by light from the strobe bouncing off of particles in the water back towards the lens, which look like white points of light on film.  Also, this arm is great when wanting to position the strobe close to the subject for macro photography.

5)  The Sea & Sea YS60 strobe produces an excellent quality of light when photographing subjects underwater.  All of the photography I did involved using this strobe, as water tends to absorb light the deeper the dive.  When the strobe is connected to the camera it has a TTL (Through the Lens) ability which allows proper exposure.  Also, when the strobe is attached, the built in camera flash is disabled to avoid backscatter.

6)  I attached this modelling light to the strobe so that during deep dives or night dives the subject is lit up for viewing, and the strobe is correctly positioned for the shot.

7)  This viewfinder was attached to allow for proper framing of subjects when shooting with the camera lens alone, or with the wide angle 16mm lens.

8)  The Motormarine II-EX is an excellent underwater film camera that I enjoyed using for many years.  It is made out of a sturdy acrylic and the camera itself can be used on land as well as underwater.

9)  An aluminum base tray is used to attach the camera and strobe arm.

10)  This handy lanyard is clipped closed for the walk down to the beach, and opened underwater allowing easy movement of the camera set-up.  Basically this is for security, so that if the camera is released it doesn’t sink into the abyss!