BUOYANCY IS KEY
When you first start diving, the most difficult but important thing is to maintain proper buoyancy. This is even more crucial when you dive with a (big) camera! Neither do you want to damage corals or any marine life, nor your expensive toys. Also, you want to save your wrist from heavy lifting underwater and dragging “dead weight” around which affects your air consumption. Luckily, float arms were invented to support you and your camera rig. In this blog, we want to give you a quick guide on which buoyancy arms to choose for your SLR or mirrorless setup.
REDUCE THE WEIGHT OF YOUR CAMERA SETUP
Especially when diving in Lembeh with macro lenses and ports, there is not a lot of airspace inside of your camera housing to provide buoyancy. Float or buoyancy arms provide extra lift thanks to air-sealed “pockets” inside of the strobe arms. There is cheaper and DIY options of course, you can use foam or PVC pipes, however proper float arms may be expensive but last you a lifetime.
DIFFERENT BRANDS AND OPTIONS
One of the most common questions our guests ask, is how many float arms they will need. And as usual, the answer to this questions is “it depends” 😉 Since there is so many different options and brands, it can get a little confusing. Personally, I prefer float arms over the StiX floats/ foam because they don’t give my setup enough buoyancy. However, they are great if you need to do some “fine tuning” in the end.
Between Simon, Zee and me, we use two different brands of float arms. The ones manufactured by Nauticam come in various sizes, made out of carbon fibre aluminum. The new model (with the blue rubber on each end) also comes with lifetime warranty now for watertightness!
I’m using INON float arms which can be a bit bulky to travel with and when mounted on to your rig. However, they work great in combination with long clamps so that the floats don’t get into the way when adjusting the position of your arms.
WHICH COMBINATION OF FLOATS FOR WHICH CAMERA?
In order to give you a good idea how much floatation you will need on your camera housing, I have put together 3 example SLR/ mirrorless setups:
SLIGHTLY NEGATIVE IS PERFECT
After adding float arms, you want your rig to be slightly negatively buoyant – there is nothing worse than fighting your camera down and in position to take a photo!
We keep a couple of float arms in our gift shop, however this is more for “emergencies”. We highly recommend contacting your local dealer and purchase float arms before going on your next dive trip to Lembeh.
Why Dive with NAD-Lembeh Resort?
NAD-Lembeh Resort is a small, owner-operated, photography-oriented dive resort in the Lembeh Strait. We are situated in a private bay on Lembeh Island, away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. We guarantee a 2:1 guest to guide ratio as standard, which makes for a private dive experience and lots of time to take pictures.
ROOMS & BUNGALOWS
All our rooms (10 Beachfront Rooms, 5 Seaview Bungalows) offer ocean view, air conditioning, hot water, wifi, including full board. Our resort has only few steps, which makes our layout extremely convenient to get from your room to the restaurant, camera room, bar and floating jetty.
Our dive team consists of 15 full-time guides, with over 100 years of combined experience! Air as well as Nitrox and various cylinder sizes (both DIN and Yoke are available onsite).
BOATS & FLOATING JETTY
NAD-Lembeh has 4 large, purpose-built dive boats. Each at around 15m long, they offer lots of space and comfort for the divers. Boats feature onboard toilets, towels, drinks and snacks and first aid/ oxygen
Our jetty allows our guests dignified and quick boat entries – all our dive boats can be moored simultaneously, so there is no wading through the shallows to get on the boat for the dive!
NAD-Lembeh Resort has been purposely built for photographers: our newly renovated, huge camera room offers one work space for each and every guest. The spacious, individual benches with lots of power points were purposely built for underwater photographers.
We offer 1:1 photo classes and our guides are all proficient in photography, using our rental equipment for fun dives when not diving with guests.