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  1. #3211  
    Senior Member William Long's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hamilton View Post
    So 20 to 30 dens on one small island, all with ravenous bears emerging in the spring, how did you prevent yourself from being a bear snack?

    Very alarming stuff, the disappearance of the ice.
    Essentially polar bears are curious first and foremost, an amazing animal. But you need field craft, a lot of common sense which comes down to reading their intentions.
    Oh... and yes, avoid the hungry ones if you can! :))
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  2. #3212  
    Senior Member Tom Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark van Coller View Post
    I Have a question. Is anyone out there using a topside tripod and fluid head underwater. I have seen the preferred head for uw work by the bbc is the Ronford Baker F4 head but these are like hens teeth to find second hand. A simple robust set of standard AL legs would probably be fine with salt water. The head on the other hand might be a different story. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good reasonably simple fluid head that is easy to self service without too many small parts that would easily corrode.
    I would avoid aluminum, any sand or salt that manages to scratch the anodizing will start corrosion 'fizzing'. Use carbon fiber legs instead, (if you're buying second-hand, not the older glass-polyester resin composites (wicking issue), but the newer ones constructed with carbon-fibre epoxies; with thorough cleaning after immersion should last a very long time.

    Fluid head prices are all over the map, I would buy the cheapest you can get away with as salt water, from my observation, is very tough on these; consider it a throw-away after a just few months of use. I also think that since you're working in a fluid environment, there isn't that much reason to need a fluid head, camera movement will be naturally dampened by ambient conditions.

    A good sturdy ball head may be what you're looking for Mark, such as this one;

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...=Y&sku=1301057
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  3. #3213  
    Senior Member Mark van Coller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hamilton View Post
    I would avoid aluminum, any sand or salt that manages to scratch the anodizing will start corrosion 'fizzing'. Use carbon fiber legs instead, (if you're buying second-hand, not the older glass-polyester resin composites (wicking issue), but the newer ones constructed with carbon-fibre epoxies; with thorough cleaning after immersion should last a very long time.

    Fluid head prices are all over the map, I would buy the cheapest you can get away with as salt water, from my observation, is very tough on these; consider it a throw-away after a just few months of use. I also think that since you're working in a fluid environment, there isn't that much reason to need a fluid head, camera movement will be naturally dampened by ambient conditions.

    A good sturdy ball head may be what you're looking for Mark, such as this one;

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...=Y&sku=1301057
    Thanks for the input Tom. Really appreciate it.
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  4. #3214  
    Senior Member Tom Hamilton's Avatar
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    Probably already aware Mark, but worth mentioning, when setting up on a sandy bottom extend the lower tripod legs first, that will keep the joints out of the sand. Once in, that sand will grind away, complete disassembly required to clean properly.

    See attached pic for sandy bottoms to be especially vigilant for ...
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  5. #3215  
    Senior Member Tom Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Long View Post
    Essentially polar bears are curious first and foremost, an amazing animal. But you need field craft, a lot of common sense which comes down to reading their intentions.
    Oh... and yes, avoid the hungry ones if you can! :))
    William, I am quite intrigued by your 'field craft' comment, sounds very much like a John LeCarre novel, George Smiley and his Cold War spies. The shark guys on this thread know very well how that works, species specific, go to the location, plan the shot, stay out of the danger zone where possible, but above all, get the shot.

    Insights?

    Attached, Frazier Nivens with Great Hammerhaed, Aquavideo housing, photo by John Bantin.
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  6. #3216  
    Senior Member Rui Guerra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hamilton View Post
    I would avoid aluminum, any sand or salt that manages to scratch the anodizing will start corrosion 'fizzing'. Use carbon fiber legs instead, (if you're buying second-hand, not the older glass-polyester resin composites (wicking issue), but the newer ones constructed with carbon-fibre epoxies; with thorough cleaning after immersion should last a very long time.

    Fluid head prices are all over the map, I would buy the cheapest you can get away with as salt water, from my observation, is very tough on these; consider it a throw-away after a just few months of use. I also think that since you're working in a fluid environment, there isn't that much reason to need a fluid head, camera movement will be naturally dampened by ambient conditions.

    A good sturdy ball head may be what you're looking for Mark, such as this one; that have been used

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...=Y&sku=1301057
    Normal I use a custom built tripod legs directly connected to the housing without any head. That allows for a very low setup, at bottom level and I can rise it until around 60 cm from the bottom. That said, only in a few macro situations I felt the need to have a video head to a quicker adjustmentt when the subject moves, while rectionording (but then I will loose the ability to position the housing very low at subject level). The disadvantage is that they are not quick removable so you need to put some additional bouncy compensation in the housing, which is quite easily done.

    If I would buy a tripod head, I would go for a truly fluid head (Manfrotto have some inexpensive ones that will cost about 140 USD - underwater the housing is almost weightless) and not a ball head as mentioned above (they are useless if you need to make some tilt movements while recording).

    As for the legs, no doubt that carbon fiber ones are better but quite more expensive. I have a Gitzo AL that I've been using uw for years and still works. But if I started today, I would buy some inexpensive chinese brand legs (you can buy complete tripods of good size and very good sturdiness for 60 USD or so).
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  7. #3217  
    Senior Member paulherrin's Avatar
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    perhaps this could work out?
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ripod_kit.html

    or a cheaper alternative, if the weight rating is usable...
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...er_tripod.html

    if you want something more of a potential throwaway after use, $150 davis & sanford will likely support the weight underwater and i've heard they are actually good about replacement parts. on the others you could just totally replace the heads if necessary, but i have no idea what would happen to them underwater and if you could service any of them, or if they would even hold up for more than one trip underwater.
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  8. #3218  
    Senior Member Tom Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rui Guerra View Post
    Normal I use a custom built tripod legs directly connected to the housing without any head. That allows for a very low setup, at bottom level and I can rise it until around 60 cm from the bottom. That said, only in a few macro situations I felt the need to have a video head to a quicker adjustmentt when the subject moves, while rectionording (but then I will loose the ability to position the housing very low at subject level). The disadvantage is that they are not quick removable so you need to put some additional bouncy compensation in the housing, which is quite easily done.

    If I would buy a tripod head, I would go for a truly fluid head (Manfrotto have some inexpensive ones that will cost about 140 USD - underwater the housing is almost weightless) and not a ball head as mentioned above (they are useless if you need to make some tilt movements while recording).

    As for the legs, no doubt that carbon fiber ones are better but quite more expensive. I have a Gitzo AL that I've been using uw for years and still works. But if I started today, I would buy some inexpensive chinese brand legs (you can buy complete tripods of good size and very good sturdiness for 60 USD or so).
    No doubt Rui, the housing mounted tripod legs work for many situations, my favorite are the XIT404 units, here:

    https://www.xit404.com/collections/t...lamp-kit-1-leg

    Fluid heads are a different story. The Cartoni manuals, for example, are very specific about operation in salt water. To wit, don't go there. They won't honor any kind of warranty if you have submerged them in the ocean, and I guess rightly so.

    We work in a very corrosive environment.
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  9. #3219  
    Senior Member William Long's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hamilton View Post
    William, I am quite intrigued by your 'field craft' comment, sounds very much like a John LeCarre novel, George Smiley and his Cold War spies. The shark guys on this thread know very well how that works, species specific, go to the location, plan the shot, stay out of the danger zone where possible, but above all, get the shot.

    Insights?

    Attached, Frazier Nivens with Great Hammerhaed, Aquavideo housing, photo by John Bantin.
    Love the photo Tom! Reminds me of my mate Göran Ehlmé who has done the same thing with Killer Whales, Leopard seals and Walrus. He has a story or two and happens to make the best dry suits around! http://www.waterproof.eu
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  10. #3220  
    Senior Member Tom Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Long View Post
    Love the photo Tom! Reminds me of my mate Göran Ehlmé who has done the same thing with Killer Whales, Leopard seals and Walrus. He has a story or two and happens to make the best dry suits around! http://www.waterproof.eu
    Thanks for that link William, am in the market for a new drysuit, which one of their suits would you recommend?
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