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Camera + strobe too heavy. . .where to put floats

Discussion in 'Tips and Techniques' started by JohnN, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. JohnN

    JohnN Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oar--eee---gun
    2,125
    856
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    I'm clawing my way into the previous decade and replaced my G10 Canon housing with an Ikelite housing, Ikelite double handle base, Ikelite arms, and a YS-D2. Add a macro lens adapter or an Ikelite dome and this sucker is much heavier than I'm used to. I do have a tether on the base so it should not part company with me, but I'm finding safety stops problematic. The whole set probably weighs 5+ pounds in the water and trying to remain horizontal at my safety stop with it tugging on the right chest ring is "entertaining".

    Adding some buoyancy seems the answer, but where should the floats go. Are all the aftermarket floats equal?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
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    Before you go float-shopping, you should actually weigh the camera in the water to see what you need. Use a luggage scale and just hang it in a tub of water. Fresh is fine....just 3% difference, and in the balancing-a-camera-business, that is "exact."

    Are you interested in DIY float systems, or commercial? How to you prioritize the criteria of price, size-vs-buoyancy, ease of use, exact balancing, etc?
     
  3. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    7,782
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    If you already own arms for strobe/video lights, then you probably want to consider putting floats on your arms. In any case, you want the floats above the camera but close to it; this minimizes the torque trying to put the camera into some position you don't want it to be in.

    If you don't have arms, they are available as floats, and work nicely. Prices and quality vary. the usual strategy is to get two largish float arms, one for each side, mounted on the camera. this should try and accomplish most of your balancing. Then you can add smaller float arms or add-on floats to your outer arms on each side, to tune it all up.

    Your goal is a camera/rig that is slightly negative. Much easier to handle than one that is even slightly positive.

    I've attached a chart of some common arms/floats people use, including a cost/per 100g column. Red means outrageous, green means cheap. ("Yellow means go very fast," according to Starman.) 10Bar float arms are a really good deal, but not as popular as Nauticam arms, at about twice the price per 100g buoyancy. The latter come with a lifetime guarantee!
     

    Attached Files:

    JohnN likes this.
  4. aviator8

    aviator8 Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    550
    275
    63
    I just went through this too. Another DIY option is to get some of these and drill the center hole out to 1" and slide them onto aluminum ball arms if you have them. You can get many different sizes to tweak the buoyancy for the price of 1 carbon or aluminum float arm. PVC Sponge Floats
     
  5. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
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    A guy told me recently he'd used the foam yoga blocks from Five Below...and cut and shaped to fit.
    But unless the foam is syntactic, it will compress with depth, lose buoyancy, probably permanently.
     
  6. bvanant

    bvanant Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Los Angeles (more or less)
    2,142
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    you can use a bunch of things, divinycell works well and doesn't compress at recreational depths.
    Bill
     
  7. aviator8

    aviator8 Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Georgia
    550
    275
    63
    I will be diving the floats soon and will be able to tell if they get compressed, but they are closed cells and extremely hard to compress. It would take quite a bit of pressure to collapse these so I don't think recreational depths will affect them much if any.
     
  8. bvanant

    bvanant Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Los Angeles (more or less)
    2,142
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    I would be very suspicious that the yoga mat stuff would work in any way. You need lots of thickness to make a good float and the yoga mats are only 5 mm thick.
    Bill
     
  9. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    7,782
    5,444
    113
    Not yoga mats; the hard yoga blocks.
     
  10. bvanant

    bvanant Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Los Angeles (more or less)
    2,142
    323
    83
    That makes more sense. Most yoga blocks are EVA foam and are closed cell. They will compress a bit a depth.
    Bill
     

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