Nikonos Question...

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by MadisonWI, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. MadisonWI

    MadisonWI TPF Noob!

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    Hello (sorry if this is in wrong section),

    I am thinking about buying an old Nikonos III (or II) to play around with on an upcoming trip, on which I'll be diving/snorkeling.

    It seems like they're pretty sturdy, as long as they don't flood. Along those lines... does anyone know where I can buy "new" o-rings for this camera? Do they have to be Nikonos-specific o-rings, or is this something I could find at a store that carries various types of multipurpose o-rings?

    Let me know - thanks!
     
  2. henkelphoto

    henkelphoto TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    First, I would suggest getting a Nikonos V. The III (or II for that matter) doesn't have any kind of meter in it. Also, to get your film in or out of the camera, there are a couple of "pry" bars on the side of the camera. After long use, these tend to warp the top plate which makes can compromise the waterproofness of the camera. The V has a door on the back of the camera which opens with a key twist. It also has a light meter which operates as an aperture-preferred meter.

    As for o-rings, they do need to be camera specific. Any camera you get should be looked over professionally by an underwater repair specialist. They will clean it, time the shutter if need be and provide all new o-rings, some of which cannot be accessed without taking apart the camera. A couple of places are Subaquatic camera and southern nikonos.

    Good luck!

    Jerry
     
  3. MadisonWI

    MadisonWI TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info!

    I would look into the V, but it's selling for quite a bit more on eBay. I thought I could just pick up a III for $70 and be on my happy way!

    But with the service required... new o-rings... I think we're reaching costs that are much more than I wanted to spend for "goofing around."

    I'll have to look into something else ... or just stick to "above the water" photography on my vacation, for now.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another choice for underwater photography is the Nikon Action Touch aka
    Nikon L35AW.

    Above water it is an auto-focus point & shoot, underwater is is a manual
    focus point & shoot.

    Well made, sharp lens, motorized film advance and built-in flash too.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. MadisonWI

    MadisonWI TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the suggestion - I'll look into the Nikon L35AW as well.

    However... right after I decided that owning a Nikonos was probably a bit too involved and pricey for me, I tracked down a never-used, in-box Nikonos I... for about $75. Seems too good to pass up!

    BUT - I'm guessing that the rubber of the seals probably isn't in the best shape after all those years. I still don't want to pay for an expensive service and don't really have time before my trip (one week away) ... so is there ANYTHING I can do to make this camera usable for my trip, without it getting flooded?

    Even if I just used it for snorkeling, would those old seals be assured of causing a flood, and wrecking this nearly perfect camera?

    Thanks!
     
  6. skiwez

    skiwez TPF Noob!

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    Anytime you bring a camera underwater even a brand new one, you have to be prepared for it to flood and be unusable. Good o-rings are your best protection against a catastraphic flood but again are not a sure thing.

    What I would suggest is to inspect the biggest easily reached o-rings. What your looking for is any deformation of the of the rubber run it through your fingers. If you feel any sort of bumps or snags replace all the o-rings, preferably have the camera services by a pro. Also be sure to get the recommended lube for the o-rings. Whenever opening and closing the case inspect the orings for sand. That is your worst enemy. Sometime a single grain of sand can cause a slow leak which can damage your camera.

    One last thing depth really doesn't matter all that much as to whether the camera will leak. Leaks usually happen in shallow water becuase the pressure of depth actually seal any gaps better. Equipment for underwater use isn't always engineered correctly and manufacturers should always use captured o-rings to make things watertight. This is usually not the case and they rely on a screwtop or latch system that doesn't always have the greatest of tolerances.

    Hope that help some
     
  7. MadisonWI

    MadisonWI TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the explanation! It does help.

    So, I just came across another Nikonos, this time a III, and the owner says he's quite familiar with all the models, and can even install some new seals for me. He also said that if it does flood anyways, I can bring it back for a refund! All for $75... can't go too wrong with THAT offer, in my opinion.

    I guess all I can do is mess around with it and see how it goes!

    No meter ... no problem! I'll just experiment and hope I get some nice shots...

    Thanks!
     
  8. henkelphoto

    henkelphoto TPF Noob!

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    Okay, so you're going with the III. Great! I started out on one of those. If it doesn't come with directions, please be aware that the camera is held together by the lens. If you try to pull the top out of the housing without removing the lens, you will damage the camera.

    Also, I would have to disagree with the above poster who says that depth doesn't matter. It does. Although at snorkling depths, the camera should be fine. The Nikonos III has a depth limit of 160'.

    Jerry
     
  9. MadisonWI

    MadisonWI TPF Noob!

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    So, I picked up my Nikonos III last night, and so far, so good. The man I bought it from was VERY nice... he showed me all the little quirks and how to use all the functions. He had installed the new seals, and sunk the camera at the bottom of his pool overnight to check them.

    He even gave me his old Sekonic/Nikonos underwater light meter, an old Nikonos flash bulb gun (not sure if I'm brave enough to use that yet...!) and a book on Nikonos use.

    I think this little setup will be a lot of fun to mess around with. Thanks for everyones help!
     

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