To add a bit of extra sparkle to your photographic hobby, consider channelling your inner 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and picking up this Underwater 8×10 camera system off of eBay. Yes, that’s right–you’d be shooting 8×10 film sheets under water. Pretty crazy, right? When you think of film cameras and going underwater, it isn’t unusual for the Nikonos to come up or even the Fujifilm underwater disposable cameras. But it isn’t every day that you consider something above medium format.
In order to get the best images from this Underwater 8×10 Camera System, the seller recommends being around five feet away from your subject with the Schneider Super-Symmar 150mm f5.6 XL Aspheric MC lens. That may seem slow to many of you, but if you took those numbers and attributed them to 6×9 medium format, the lens would be a 65mm f2.4 35mm equivalent. But then you go even larger beyond 4×5 large format to 8×10. So essentially you’ll have little in focus due to the large format system. Additionally, you’ll need something of a bit of faster film and you’ll need to shoot with quite a bit of sunlight. Of course, you can also use underwater strobes.
Here’s the description of the Underwater 8×10 camera system via eBay:
Underwater 8×10 camera made of aircraft aluminum properly welded without warping metal. Ports for two strobe connections. The system was built around a Schneider Super-Symmar 150mm f5.6 XL Aspheric MC lens with Copal No. 1 shutter and custom No. 2 close-up lens by Century Optics. Data collected during testing in an eight foot optical tank. Set focus at five feet underwater (subject to film plane is five feet for tack-sharp resolution). Requires 60lbs of soft dive weights for about 10lbs negative buoyancy. I place these weights in a canvas bag that hangs under the tripod attached to a tripod mount on the camera. Very easy to move the system underwater. This system has been used only in fresh water…never salt. The system was created for fine art film photography as many serious galleries will not accept digital photography. This is the first successful underwater 8×10 ever made. Produced in 2005. The dome port is completely free of any scratches or blemishes. Both front and rear Plexiglas elements are easy to remove to change film holder and shutter and lens adjustments. System is sold with the Schneider lens and close-up lens both in mint condition along with the tripod. Dome and rear element were built by Jim Bailey of Sea Research in Bartow Florida. He is well known for building systems for National Geographic, Sports Illustrated and Surfer Magazine photographers.
Additionally, The full frame subject coverage on the 8×10 negative at five feet in front of the film plane is about 6 feet horizontally and about five feet vertically. Depth of field at f11 – f16 for tack sharpness is around 3 feet.
Selling entire system for $5800.00. Proof prints or original 8×10 transparency and all shooting data with Tmax film available for serious buyers.
This system is very heavy. We will have to work shipping out or pick up in Sarasota, FL. In the ad I wrote $300 as I had to put some type of price attached to shipping until I get a better idea.
Check out the Underwater 8×10 camera system on eBay for more.