Underwater Housing Maintenance – Two Minute Tutorial


Brent Durand: Hi, I’m Brent Durand and welcome
to the two minute tutorial. Today we’re going to talk about maintaining our underwater camera
housings. And the same principals apply whether you have a DSLR, a mirrorless, a compact camera,
or even a GoPro in a housing, because we’ve got a lot of buttons, and we’ve also got ports
that have o-rings and any opening that has an o-ring that we need to maintain. Brent Durand: And the critical thing here
is that we can’t have any sort of particulate, like a hair, an eyelash, a piece of lint,
a piece of sand, blocking any sort of o-ring, to stop it from creating a complete seal.
And then we also want to maintain our housing to make sure none of the buttons start to
jam up, because we know that salt is the enemy with our equipment in the ocean. We want to
always try to rinse with fresh water. Brent Durand: So there’s two times to work
on our housing: once before the dive and once after the dive. Brent Durand: So before the dive there’s a
few things we want to do. The first and foremost is to make sure we seal up the camera with
every o-ring completely clean and every o-ring groove completely clean. So the first thing
I will do is look at the o-ring grooves where I’ve had it, and you can use a high quality
paper towel that doesn’t leave filament behind. You can use a chamois – something like this
with a very soft surface. And what you do is put it in the groove, and work it all the
way around. You want to make sure there’s no moisture. Get rid of any extra grease in
there, so that you’ve got a completely clean o-ring groove. There’s no lint, no hairs,
no particles. Brent Durand: Next, you want to clean the
o-ring. So I’ll generally feel the o-ring. You want to look for any nicks, any tears
in the o-ring – that would be very very bad. It wouldn’t be water-tight. So you’re inspecting,
making sure there’s no nicks, there’s no hairs, there’s no sand. Good. Use a tiny, tiny bit
of o-ring grease, just enough. The grease does not actually seal the housing and make
it water tight. The grease merely lubricates the o-ring so that it stays healthy, and if
you have any sort of twisting port mount, then it will slide easier. Brent Durand: So now that my o-ring is greased,
I’ll put it on the port – same thing with the housing back – and inspect again. Make
sure there’s no hairs, make sure nothing’s sticking out of there. No sand. And then you
can connect it, making sure that you’ve inspected the alternate surface as well. So this is
really important. And the way I’ll put together the entire camera housing before the dive. Brent Durand: So after the dive, maintenance
is fairly simple as well. We want to get everything as clean as possible, and also work all of
the salt water out of the buttons. So we always want to rinse in fresh water, preferably as
soon as possible. And then we will start to exercise the buttons. We’re going to push
in the buttons, work that fresh water through in behind the button cap, in where the spring
is and the piston – anything on the other side of the o-ring. And flush that salt water
out of there because then that will keep any corrosion and any buildup from happening,
and keep our buttons working good as new. Brent Durand: And once we have the housing
out of the water, we also want to push the buttons again to work that fresh water back
out, and let the area behind the buttons dry out. And the knobs, so that they can dry without
that salt water. Sometimes resorts will have an air blower, which is great – it will blow
the water out. Or you can actually blow it with your breath. Brent Durand: Thanks for watching. Hope this
was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected],
or go to tutorials.brentdurand.com to see the rest of the series. Thanks!

4 thoughts on “Underwater Housing Maintenance – Two Minute Tutorial

  1. i did not know that somebody was doing videos about uw photography! this is great, hey Brent can you please make a detalied video about the housing? can you say something about european brands like secam? what do you know about aquatica housing? and nauticam, that is kind of popular, some uderwater photographers told me that seacam is like the ferraris of uw photography housings, do you think that is true?

  2. How do you keep the buttons water tight and maintained? Silicone spray? It is easy to lube the O-ring, but I wonder about the "thru the hull" spring loaded buttons. Great video. – DB

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