...anyone use one of THESE ?

photo 5_zps8c1a7e65.jpg

photo 1_zps072bc053.jpg

photo 3_zpsf14b36f7.jpg

photo DSCF3504_zpsfd62b90d.jpg


…My brother just scored this . Thank you e-bay , and a trip to mell borrrnnn   :slight_smile:


 I  can’t wait to see the b and w film shots he took with it on saturday !  [ … but , of course , we ‘have’ to ?! …]


  cheers !



[ here’s one of my LAND shots , from that day ]

photo DSCF3456_zps3c530a36.jpg


I have a pair of Nikonos IIs and a Nikonos V. Got my first one around 1980. They are tricky, since you have to focus by distance. The older ones have no meter, also. So, you have to know how ISO correlates to light conditions and use the right shutter speed and f stop. The V actually has a meter. All lenses in that line fit all of the bodies they made. I have a 35mm and an 80mm. The original design was by Jacques Cousteau and he called it the Calypso.  He sold the patent to Nikon and they renamed it Nikonos. It was the defacto scuba diver’s camera for decades. Built like a tank and fun as hell to use…

Some samples

Also fun to use when swimming in the shorebreak with a friend

Self portrait

One more

I really don’t know why Nikon hasn’t come out with a digital version of the Nikonos. They stopped making the film version years ago. All of the bodies in the series are a large enough form factor to allow plenty of room for digi innards. Plus, one less O ring since you don’t load film. They could keep the same lens mount and make a lot of Nikonos devotees very happy.

Here’s one potential solution for using those Nikonos lenses again SammyA.

Don’t know what the cost is, but I’m betting it’s probably not cheap.

That particular Sony model they use has “focus peaking” as well - a mode specifically designed to help focus manual lenses.

Nikonos lenses on a digital camera? - Underwater Photography - Backscatter



cheers sammy !


  some nice shots there !




  two words


  hyperfocal distance .


 I got good at using that , with my nikonos 2’s and 3’s


 However , I  didn’t really  like the IVa  . I preferred the seal provided between the inner and outer bodies on the 2 and 3’s . I don’t know why they decided to go witrh a hinged back on an underwater , non-housinged camera ?!


  the IVa I had only lasted two years , the nikonos 2 and 3 , I had for well over twenty years , before losing them to davey jones locker , dangnabbit !


  the other day , I came across some old windsurfing shots , that I took with the nikonos 2 , back in 1980.


 I reckon simon will get some nice b and w’s with his ‘new’ nikonos 3 !!


[ some nice sidelit and  backlit tube shots are possible , in this neck of oz ]


 Rohan , did you ever see the review that ted grambeau did of that waterproof digital camera , with a zoom feature ?


  [ I can’t remember if it was a nikon or sony … I think Ted normally shoots with Canon ? [but I may be wrong]


  no doubt a 'google search’may show up something along  those lines ? [ I think I did a thread on it , a while ago here , from memory ?]





Nikon AW1 is the camera you are thinking of Ben. I’ve heard it’'s not a bad piece of kit but the small sensor size and hard to access manual controls spoil the party if you were planning any serious work with it.

I think that one possible reason Nikon hasn’t come out with a dedicated underwater digital camera to replace the nikonos is that for about the same price (or less) you could buy a housing for your standard dslr…

Combine that with the competition from all of the cheaper amphibious p&s cameras and that probably doesn’t leave enough marketshare to make it feasible…

I was just at a pawn shop down the road the other day and they had a nikonos with two strobes for about $35 U.S. (Ithink it was a v) sitting in the discount bin…

I might have to go give it a second look… 

Nikon has a new underwater digital camera the AW1. Looks like a good camera, but it only goes down to 50 feet.

I don’t know what it is like in other places, but here in Hawaii film is hard to get processed. Digital imaging has pretty much replaced film. There are lots of good point and shoot waterproof cameras that will work for surfing. Lots of guys carry one in their trunk pockets or on a lanyard. I’ll take my Olympus out once in a while, but I often find it hard to have the camera ready to shoot and be in the right spot while using a surfboard. The really good shots require the right positioning, and you’re better off in the water with fins, or with a small neutral bouyancy board or mat.

Downside of the old 35mm film cameras is that you only get 36 shots. Digital cameras will shoot thousands, and they can shoot video too. It’s not uncommon to blast off a dozen shots at one time with the newer digital cameras. Some can do more than 20 shots.

"you’re better off **in the water **with fins "


absolutely !


and yes , MANY more photos are possible with digital , and less processing costs


  but ,  I guess I still like the old 8" x 10 " black and white  enlargements that my brother and I did , from the Nikonos’s [ " nikonii " ?]  that we have had , over the years !.


 … maybe you could  just call me  " old school ",  eh ?


[part of it was probably the developing it myself thing … having creative control over the WHOLE  process …]

… to get MORE than the 36 shots ?  … swimming with a bulky , heavy housing and a bulk film back  [  unless built like dan merkel or larry haynes or mick burnside here ] was out of the question , for me …

There’s a lot to appreciate about a good 35mm film shot with a fully mechanical camera. The modern digital cameras are almost idiot proof, auto focus, auto exposure. Nice to use a fully manual camera to get the best results in tricky lighting.

I’ve only developed my own B&W once or twice, but I still have the very first shots I did in a dark room myself.

The first adult job I had was developing 16mm movie film for a local TV station in Honolulu. That led to becoming a cameraman/editor, and I’ve been shooting and editing ever since.

great stuff , Harry !


  any chance you could email your first b and w shots ?  I’d LOVE to see them , mate !


   cheers !


This. Most people would probably just buy a waterproof case for their iphone. Most consumers aren’t interested in any sort of camera anymore since their phone does it, leaving only a market for enthuiasts and pros. And pros are just gonna throw their 5d or whatever into a housing.

My issue with waterproof point and shoots is a lot seem to lack manual settings. I’ve seen a few with proper controls, which is sort of necessary to nail exposure in the water. I’m sure they’ve gotten better at auto settings so it doesn’t get tricked by reflections and such, but who knows. I like manual settings and being in control. Cameras that are aimed at beginners annoy me. 

I’ve always wanted a nikonos though, or any sort of waterproof camera. It looks so fun. I’ve always wanted to paddle out on a longboard with it tied around my neck, catch a wave, stand up and then just shoot whatever I find.

DO it , dr. zoidy !


  ebay has them for a SONG !


 just be sure the owner will let you immerse it in water [eg: empty icecream container] , BEFORE buying it !


  good luck




  ben the shutter bugger

The reason I commented about Nikon’s failure to do a digital version of the Nikonos is because there are many people like myself who already own one, plus a couple of the lenses. As I said, it was the favorite camera of scuba divers for decades. There are tons of very usable lenses still out there. Putting a dSLR in a housing is not quite the same. Many water photogs used to prefer the Nikonos for its simplicity and ruggedness. The mere mention of any digital point n shoot when speaking of the Nikonos is ridiculous. One is basically a hobbyist’s toy, while the other is a tool.

I agree with sharkcountry’s comments about modern digital “photography”.  I call it cameras for blind people. The art of follow focusing with a 500mm or larger lens has been lost, it seems. No need to learn much at all.

Consider this, too. The iconic water shots we all remember from the likes of Ron Stoner and Peter Crawford were done with a Nikonos.

sammy , thanks for mentioning the late great P.C. !!


  Recently , my brother posted some 1970s shots [on facebook] , that he took of Peter , kneeboarding … taken with simon’s nikonos.

Returning the favour , as it were !


P.C. was also the first here , to my knowledge at least , to incorporate three fins on his kneeboards , back in the mid 1970s. Some of these boards are on the ‘vintage kneeboards’ site , on facebook .