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Old Jun 11, 2002, 11:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Default E10 U/W in Ewa bag housing

I'm copying my post from dpreview here - just found your U/W forum.

More E10/ Ewa Housing info.

I took the next step with the E10 in the Ewa soft housing. I took an old Minolta 35mm viewfinder down to 75ft in the Ewa housing. Everthing seemed fine - no leaks, no apparent effect of pressure on the camera.

After that test, I loaded the E10 into the Ewa and took it to 35ft for some U/W shots.

Pics are posted. Shots were modified in PS - mostly auto curves adjustment, some playing with filter/sharpen and dust and scratches to remove backscatter. I have no idea what I'm doing in PS - just tried a few things to clean up the pics. Have some before and afters posted. The camera settings were lens 9mm, autofocus, no macro, FL40 mounted and on auto, P-mode, center weighted metering, LED on at max brightness, viewfinder closed, auto WB.

According to Camedia software, all shots were at ISO80, Ap ranged from f2.2 - 4.0, SS range 1/40 - 1/125 sec, focal length 35mm (9) and no flash fired. I question this info because I was bouncing all over when I took the pics, and the shutter speeds indicated should have given much worse pics than I got. Also, one pic has v.bright backscatter - if no flash, where did that come from?

Pics were taken at/near a 35ft bottom in a Minnesota iron pit (max depth +500ft). Water T was 42F, but dessicant bag inside the EWA and some lens antifog on the glass port prevented all condensation! Bag was weighted w/8lbs on outside straps and inflated approx to 1/2 full inflation. Could have used about 2 more lbs. I'm guessing you could get to 80-90ft with full initial inflation. Bag is a bear to get down for the first 10-15ft, but then easy. Handling in cold water was tough - wore no gloves so I could feel controls through the Ewa bag. Note that visibility was fair to poor and there was much sediment kicked up in the water. The low-light noise and the sediment really gunk up the pics.

Net - seemed to work well for a first attempt. I never took a U/W pic before and have a lot to learn. The biggest probs were: 1) the flash not firing - I need to figure that out (actually, PS "fixed" the pics as taken w/o flash pretty well, but sharpness and noise need improvement). 2) no feel for shutter "half-press" so critical to E10 focusing (will try the sound set to high level, but doubt that will help), 3) constant worry of pressure effect on camera, 4) poor visibility of LED screen due to bag interference and 5) worry of eventual leakage (another Ewa user tells me his newly delivered bag leaked badly at the lens port/bag connection.)

Any helpful comments on settings, methods, etc. much appreciated (other than get a "real" housing). Also, hope this gives other E10 users an option to try U/W without spending $3,000 on a Titan (although you may ahve to spend $2k on a new E20 after drowning your E10

Here's the link to the pics (posted at about 500x700):

Dan Lewandowski wrote:
> Did a bit more with the E10 in the Ewa bag. Have a fairly workable
> setup including fl40. Still need work on a couple details, but
> results so far look great (to me at least).
> The UAXP has a valve for inflation/deflation. For snorkeling, it
> seems that sucking air out of the bag until the bag conforms
> "comfortably" to the camera surface would work best. For scuba
> depth, the bag needs to be preinflated to prevent total shrink wrap
> effect. (Haven't been deep yet - only 3 ft in the hot tub, so I'm
> still guessing on the scuba comment.)
> For snorkeling, I'm guessing a 5lb weight would get the bag to
> neutral buoyancy (after air removal). For scuba, may have to start
> with 10 lbs on the bag to get it down.
> Test shots were made in 3 ft deep jacuzzi, so I deflated bag as
> much as possible by sucking air out through the valve to simulate
> bag compression at depth. I was still able to operate many
> controls: (1 is easy, 5 is difficult)
> on/off 2
> lcd toggle 1
> menu button 1
> OK button 1
> 4-way toggle 2
> zoom (9-35) 5 - slow but do-able
> macro 1
> rear control wheel 3
> shutter 1 (can't hear autofocus beep)
> Bag compression pressed the info button (below the lcd) and the AEL
> button a couple of times, but they can be protected. Care is
> needed not to change the mode wheel when turning on/off control.
> Had to use lcd to compose. Can see thru viewfinder, but had to
> take snorkel out of mouth. Don't think snork/regulator removal
> will be a good option. Using the viewfinder w/ auto focus worked
> well.
> Shot pics with auto flash, macro on, from different distances (8"
> to 4ft) and at two focal lengths - 9 and 35 (35 & 140 eq.) Shot
> at night. Only very little ambient light and light from the
> underwater flashlight were available. Seems that light at 60ft
> plus(in clear water eg Cozumel, 100ft viz) will be more than
> adequate for the autofocus, etc.
> Fotki link has 10 SHQ shots. Loaded them directly from CF so you
> could see full size pics. Autofocus and flash exposure seem to
> work just fine underwater! I was surprised and impressed. These
> are again only a few quick shots. Had maybe 25% of all shots OOF
> or I was bobbing around. Experience is needed to get teh half
> shutter press to allow autofocus - the sound cue can't be heard,
> and pressing through the bag doesn't give you much "feel" on the
> button.
> Would appreciate any comments on the pics. Thanks.
> http://public.fotki.com/danl/e10_underwater/
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