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Photographic Equipment And Techniques

Alex Mustard at Subal Factory. Yes, it was a kid in the candy shop moment.

Underwater photography is a technically demanding branch of imaging and quite simply, without the right photographic equipment there are many types of images that you cannot get. Additionally, there is plenty of scope for exciting new types of images if we are able to push back the technological boundaries with new equipment. In the main, I use Nikon Cameras in Subal underwater housings. My current systems are a Nikon D4 in a Subal ND4 housing, and Nikon D7100 in a Subal ND7100 housing and an Olympus EPL-5 in a Nauticam housing. Keen observers will spot that these are three different image formats (1x, 1.5x and 2x crop factors). This is very deliberate as each has advantages and disadvantages underwater.

Alex Mustard with guides Andy and Jhoe at Lembeh Resort. About to head in the water with Nikon D4 set up for macro and Olympus EPL-5 set up for WAM.

This page will never provide a comprehensive review of all the photographic equipment and techniques I employ. But I have tried to compile, below, a small collection of some of the articles I have written to give you a flavour of the kit and techniques. Some are external links.

When set up for wide angle an underwater camera is pretty big, here longer than my friend and dive guide extraordinaire Dince.

Cameras - reviews and thoughts

1) Nikon D7100. Review in Subal ND7100 housing (2013).
2) Nikon D800 versus D600. Review in Nauticam housings (2013).
3a) Nikon D4. Review in Subal ND4 housing (2013).
3b) Nikon D4. Review in Nauticam NA-D4 housing (2012).
4a) Olympus OM-D E-M5. Review in Olympus housing (2012).
4b) Olympus OM-D E-M5. Shooting setting for the OM-D underwater (2012).
5) Nikon D7000. Review in Nauticam NA-D7000 housing (2010).
6a) Nikon D700. Review in Subal ND700 housing (2008).
6b) Nikon D700. Review in Nauticam D700 housing (2010).
7) Nikon D3. Review in Subal ND3 housing (2008).
8a) Nikon D2X. First UW impressions in a Subal housing (2005).
8b) Nikon D2X. Another early review I wrote (2005).
8c) Nikon D2X. Revisiting the review after 100,000 UW images. (2008).
9) Nikon D100. Thoughts on my previous DSLR in a Subal housing (2003).
10) Nikon D70. First UW impressions in a Subal housing (2004).
11) Nikon F100. Thoughts on my old SLR with a Subal housing (2000-2004).
12) Hasselblad 500C/M. Thoughts on my medium format system in a Hasselblad housing (2000).
13) Hasselblad 500C/M. Article of shooting medium format underwater (2001).
14) Nikonos V Thoughts from the good ol days (1993).
15) Olympus 5060. Tests in a PT housing with INON D2000 strobe (2005).
16) Nikon S3 (digital compact camera) in a WP5 housing.

You can read more about my diving equipment and how I travel with it all in this article in DIVER Magazine.

Techniques and technical stuff

1) Credit Crunch Accessories 3. Homemade Snoot.
2) Credit Crunch Accessories 2. Homemade Ringflash.
3) Credit Crunch Accessories 1. Homemade Polecam.
4) Strobes and Water Colour. Why strobe colour temp is important with digital.
5) The Photoshop Cycle. Photographers changing relationship with editing.
6) Choosing your camera. Thoughts on buying a new camera system.
7) Catching The Rays. Shooting sunbursts on digital.
8) Tokina 10-17mm. A fisheye zoom is perfect for underwater photography.
9) Mid Range Zooms. Jack of all trades or master of none?
10) Nikon 105mm VR lens. The first macro lens with stabilisation.
11) Telephoto Underwater. Shooting long lenses underwater.
12) Blurring sharks. Front and rear curtain synch, which is best?.
13) Nemo Lighting. Capturing characteristic underwater light.

There are more articles online on this website here.

Nikon D4 and Subal ND4 set up for snooted macro shooting, this is an unusual, rather than usual setup.

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