Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I have in my mind taking some shots of crabs at a local beach. For the shots I envision this will mean lying prone in the sand and keeping the camera as low as possible to get the effect I want. Which obviously means the camera is also basically going to be rolling around in the sand with me. And because the little mongrels are people shy I'll also be shooting with my Nikon DLSR and 80-200mm F/2.8 AF-D lens.

Given that I don't want to destroy $$$ of equipment, are my best options for protecting it things like a DiCAPac Waterproof Case for Nikon or Ewa-Marine Underwater Housing?

Or are there other options that I am not aware of?

I am aware of this question: shooting-on-the-beach-is-it-dangerous-for-my-equipment and I am taking the approach of Take your camera but take good care of it, but what I am looking for is explicit, practical advice of how to go about doing this in my case.

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Some of this is covered in photo.stackexchange.com/questions/2247/… –  Esa Paulasto Aug 8 '13 at 21:16
    
@EsaPaulasto Which is the exact same question I referenced above! And which doesn't say anything more specific than Be careful –  Peter M Aug 8 '13 at 21:57
    
Oh, my bad, sorry I did not see it there :( –  Esa Paulasto Aug 9 '13 at 4:02
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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I personally own and use the DiCaPac waterproof case and have used it in and around the water at the beach to great success. I also take it caving regularly after destroying two cameras. My main complaint is that the finger holes are a bit awkward and stiff and make zooming in and out a bit of a pain. Additionally, not all (but most) lenses fit. You can get em for around $80-90 bucks on eBay from memory so its a worthwhile investment if you plan on doing a lot of shooting. They're also supposed to be waterproof to 5+ meters I think (I've never taken mine that deep though so i dunno about those claims...)

You could get something like these rain-sleeves which are a cheap inexpensive way of protecting your camera against most water and sand however they will not protect the front element like the DiCAPac's and EWA marine housings. That being said, in conjunction with a UV filter sand shouldn't be an issue, just water (via the front of the lens) and if you stay alert and out of the actual water you should be fine.

The super expensive option is also getting a full diving housing which usually cost more than your camera and have the added bonus of requiring individual 'ports' for each lens you have. I personally have one of these housings for a smaller point and shoot (canon Ixus 220 HS) and I use that for deeper diving and underwater video (looks beautiful!)

Hope that helps!

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As long as you aren't going to be near the water, sand is the only real concern. Really you just need a bag that can keep sand out but have a port that is clear enough to not distort the image.

Another option is to bring a tarp or something similar that you can spread over the sand to keep you and the camera out of the sand. You'd still have to be very careful with the latter approach, but it would avoid having anything between your lens optics and the subject.

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First of all I will almost be in spitting distance of the water, but secondly do you have any explicit examples of bags with optically clear ports in them other than the links I provided? –  Peter M Aug 8 '13 at 20:29
    
@PeterM - not that I know of. I personally am a scuba diver, so I mostly look at the deep water stuff, but it does mean the cheapest of the cases would probably work as long as the front element really is clear. –  AJ Henderson Aug 8 '13 at 20:32
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Wind makes fine sand really fly. Tarp or no tarp, best to keep your camera up off the ground/sand. Cleaning service was needed after taking "I don't care about sand getting in" photo. –  Esa Paulasto Aug 8 '13 at 21:26
    
@EsaPaulasto - good observation about wind. I guess it also depends on your level of sealing. I'd personally be confident in taking my 5d with the tarp approach (as long as it's a big tarp), but the bags mentioned in the original question are certainly the safest bet. –  AJ Henderson Aug 8 '13 at 22:23
    
It seems I did not even read the question, barely skimmed it. Crabs are not likely to wander on loose dry sand, and wet sand won't fly. I believe in this case I would not use any cover on my camera, but then again my camera is a cheap one. –  Esa Paulasto Aug 9 '13 at 4:32
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