EWA Marine flexible housings - any experience with them?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Brian C. Baird, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. I'm looking for something that would allow me to take my 10D canoeing
    and possibly 10 feet underwater at a time. The EWA Marine housings cut
    the mustard on paper, but I'd like to get some opinions from actual
    users before I drop $275 on one.
    Brian C. Baird, Aug 17, 2004
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  2. Are they that much? I have one for a Nikon CoolPix 990, and I guess that's
    smaller and lower in price?

    I'm not happy with it, but it's all I'm willing to spend for an underwater
    housing to snorkle on one vacation a year. I also use it at Burning Man to
    protect the CoolPix from the dust.

    Here are the problems. First, for the CoolPix only, I presume: The glass
    port has a metal ring that binds it to the plastic bag. That ring covers
    the optical viewfinder, meaning I can't use it.

    Second, the plastic bag reflects light like crazy, meaning that when I use
    the LCD as the viewfinder, which I must do -- see above, I have glare from
    whatever is behind me, making the LCD unuseable but for dimly seen
    silhouettes. On the playa, I hold the plastic against my face to shade it,
    I can't focus that close on the LCD, so it's shooting by guess. Underwater,
    I hold the Ewa away from me, but it's still shooting by silhouettes if the
    sun is behind and above (generally the case, right?).

    I use it, but I'm not happy. It works. It's the only thing in my price
    Phil Stripling, Aug 17, 2004
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  3. I have one I'm in the process of putting on Ebay. Cost me $350AUD, willing
    to sell for $200AUD - Hardly if ever used. Fits the Pentax MZ-50 and Fuji
    S2, so I assume it will be good for the 10D - depending on the size of your

    Surfworx Photography, Aug 17, 2004
  4. Brian C. Baird

    Dave Guest

    I rented a U-AXP housing to use with my DSLR. I had overestimated the size
    of the camera and thus had a housing that was too big for the task. Since
    the water resistance in the main comes from the air pressure inside the
    housing, which you have to blow up once the camera is installed, it is
    actually very difficult to keep the camera and housing under water for
    snorkelling to depths of 15-20 feet (even after adding weights to the bottom
    of the housing). In addition, since you need to use the viewfinder with a
    DSLR, accurate framing whilst wearing a mask is tricky .
    Assuming you get housing of the appropriate size for your camera, it will
    provide excellent protection (possibly overkill) for canoeing.
    Dave, Aug 17, 2004
  5. Hadn't thought about the viewfinder - thanks for that.

    I know I'll lose some functionality of the camera due to the bag, but
    when I'm looking at nearly $1100 for an Ikelite housing without the
    port, I can live with a few inconveniences.

    As for the Ikelite - what gives? Their EOS film housings are about
    $700, their digital housings are over a thousand. Surely a clear back
    and a couple of extra buttons can't cost that much! Thanks for cashing
    in, Ikelite.
    Brian C. Baird, Aug 17, 2004
  6. Brian C. Baird

    Bob Monaghan Guest

    The short answer is you don't want a housed anything for a rafting trip,
    esp. not a high $ digital anything, IMHO. The biggest risk for flooding is
    in shallow water too (less water pressure), e.g., while snorkeling.

    For rafting and casual snorkeling, I'd pick a nikonos camera (used V?);
    they're hocky pucks, take a beating, and have great optics. Scan the film
    if you need digital images. You can resell for little loss after your
    trip, if you don't decide to keep it for wet weather work etc. ;-)

    You can buy a nikonos for less than the ewa marine bag new prices. Even
    better, look into renting. You can often rent for a weekend or week at
    some resorts or rafting operations. Alternatives like rugged
    water-resistant P&S 35mm cameras can also be useful, if less rugged than
    the nikonos III or V series.

    If you do elect to go housing or esp. ewa marine bag, be sure to check out
    your insurance protection will cover such use (Pro? householder?) You may
    be looking at a 1% to 5% or worse chance of loss from a flooded digicam
    depending on experience and housing and conditions during use (e.g.,
    rafting). The cast metal housings would be more compact and not much more
    $$, but you really have to have a good reason for spending these kinds of
    $$ to make some images, or cash to burn? ;-)

    I have at least a dozen underwater housings (See for example rollei TLR
    http://medfmt.8k.com/bronrollei.html and my hysterical bronica 6x6cm SLR
    ikelite housing http://medfmt.8k.com/bronuw.html , as well as some ewa
    marine 35mm slr bags (I like them for casual travel, surf and rain stuff,
    with cheap 35mm SLRs..), housed 8mm and even a 16mm film camera (courtesy
    of NASA surplus), hasselblad Superwide housing, half dozen 35mm Ikelite
    housings, etc. etc. In your shoes, the first thing I'd grab would be the
    nikonos cameras - hocky pucks, very compact, fit inside thin wet suit
    nicely etc. ;-)

    hth good luck! bobm
    Bob Monaghan, Aug 18, 2004
  7. Thanks for the tip. I'll look into that, even though I'm enjoying the
    extra desk space not taken up by a scanner!

    I guess the other option would be getting a cheap P&S digital and one of
    the molded housings for them. Those seem to be fairly simple and allow
    full functionality, and if it drowns - well, not AS big of a deal!
    Brian C. Baird, Aug 18, 2004
  8. Brian C. Baird

    Mike Welch Guest

    I went the route of the Ewa Marine's U-AXP for my snorkeling
    trip to the Caribbean. I was very pleased with the result
    My Canon Digital Rebel stayed completely dry. Here are
    some photos of the housing plus some examples of photos
    I took :


    I was glad I made the decision to use the DR and not a P&S.

    Good Luck,

    Mike Welch, Sep 1, 2004
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