Shark Expedition Bahamas
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Digital Underwater Photography
Shark Expedition Bahamas
Nikon D80 Underwater Housing
Sea & Sea DX-D80 Review - Page 1/6
Nikon D80 Sea & Sea
Shark Expedition
Published : Friday, December 14th 2007
Written by Karin Brussaard
Introduction "Sharks"
"I am standing on the back deck of the M/V Shearwater and am ready to jump in the water. I have to clear my throat three times and ask myself if I really want to do this. About 10 Caribbean reef sharks are circling below me. They have curiously approached the smell of the bait, which is in closed crates so that the sharks cannot eat it, but are attracted to it. Jim, the captain, reassures me again that nothing can go wrong as long as I let myself into the water slowly. My breath is quick and I feel the furthest thing from comfortable. I look for a spot near the reef and try to calm down. I have the Nikon D80 DSLR in a Sea&Sea underwater housing in my hands, as well as two Sea&Sea YS110 flashes. I do not do any photographing in the first 15 minutes. I feel safe with this big camera between me and the sharks. At one point my breathing gets easier and I start looking around a bit more easily. I notice that the sharks do not pay any attention to me or the other divers. The only things that they are interested in are the fish boxes and they actually deal with them rather casually when they realize that they are not able to get to the fish..."
Digital Underwater Photographer Karin Brussaard
Sea&Sea DX-D80 Underwater Housing Nikon D80 DSLR with 12-24mm lens
Sea&Sea DX-D80
Nikon D80
Sea & Sea DX-D80 Underwater Housing Nikon D80 SLR 12-24mm Lens
The M/V Shearwater departs from West Palm Beach (Florida) towards the Bahamas where we go on our shark expedition. During this expedition we are searching for large sharks such as the tiger shark, the bull shark and the great hammerhead shark. The Nikon D80 in combination with the Nikon 12-24mm lens will capture a very special experience. I am nervous about what is to come. I do not know if they are healthy nerves or if they are nerves that make me ask myself if I should have booked this trip... After a very rough passage from West Palm Beach to the Bahamas I prepare my camera in the morning. The underwater housing that I have the pleasure of working with is the Sea&Sea DX-D80 with an accompanying NX-fisheye dome port. For optimal lighting I use two Sea&Sea YS110 flashes which are fastened by the Sea&Sea brackets. The flashes are operated via an external TTL-converter, which is developed by Sea&Sea especially for Nikon cameras. The DSLR market has never been as interesting as the past year. Before, only Nikon and Canon regularly put new models on the market, but now there are also a few big competitors such as Sony and Olympus. Nikon has not lagged behind in the past year, partly thanks to this competition, and after introducing the semi-professional Nikon D200, they introduced the 10 Megapixel Nikon D80. This camera is geared towards the hobbyist who demands a lot from a camera. The D80 has a lot of the same technology as the D200, as well as the professional D2X. The camera has a new 10.2 effective Megapixel CCD image sensor. The autofocus is extremely fast, it only needs 0.18 seconds to start up and the shutter release is about 80 milliseconds. These are characteristics that I really appreciate when shooting underwater. The lens I work with is the Nikon AF-S 12-24mm F/4.0 G DX IF ED. This wide-angle zoom lens is approximately the same as an 18-36mm on a 35mm format camera. It is an ideal lens for close-ups of the sharks!
Shark Expedition Bahamas underwater Photography
Shark Expedition Bahamas
Sea & Sea DX-D80 Underwater Housing
This trip is a real expedition. The boat is very small and can barely fit us all. One by one we have room to prepare our camera, so I patiently await my turn. Because I am not familiar with the set, I take my time to set it up. Although I have made a set several times before, the first time is still a tense moment for me. It only takes one moment of inattention to fill the camera with water. This is the last thing I want because the camera is not even mine! The camera is screwed onto a plate and then slid into the underwater housing, and then fastened to it. The advantage of this is that camera is fastened in the right position in the underwater housing and cannot move. The housing is sealed with three stainless steel fasteners. These are secured, so that they cannot open by accident. Closing the underwater housing demands a bit of precision work, because it is possible that the camera is turned off in the process. Once you are underwater it is a real pain to then discover that the camera cannot be turned on. Also, there is a chance that the function button gets turned by accident. This is not such a big problem, because you can still use the camera, but it is a nuisance as you do not know which setting the camera is in.
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