Like all photographic gear, your camera housing and lighting require a little extra attention and maintenance. Here's a quick run-down of things to remember on your next dive.
Before the Dive
- Remove the lens cap, lanyard or strap, and any accessory add-ons from the camera.
- Install fully charged batteries and check that everything turns on and lights up the way it is supposed to.
- Check the resolution your camera is set to record in and make sure your memory card or hard drive has enough space for the amount of shooting you plan to do.
- Assemble everything in a cool, dry environment. To prevent fogging due to trapped moisture, avoid humidity when opening and closing your housing.
- Connect everything and fire a test shot at something close by. If using strobes, make sure that the strobes fire when you take a photo. Look at the photo to confirm that the strobes fired at the right time.
- Slowly submerge your system in a clean rinse tank, watching for small bubbles which may indicate a minor leak. Remove the system from the water and confirm that everything is perfectly dry inside. Never leave your gear in the rinse tank—the vast majority of equipment damage and floods are the direct result of being banged around by the boat or other people's gear. Protect your system from sun, heat, and other divers whenever possible.
After the Dive
- Rinse your gear in fresh water. Quickly work all of the controls while submerged in fresh water to flush out any salt deposits which may be left in the buttons and around the knobs.
- Dry everything with a clean, lint-free towel. It's especially important to rinse and dry a wide angle lens after every use. Wide angle lenses have special coatings which may be damaged by a combination of saltwater and U/V exposure.
- Charge your strobes and video lights between dives and prior to storage.
Always give your housing a good rinse with clean, fresh water after use in any environment.
- Charge rechargeable batteries every 3-6 months.
- Return your equipment for routine service every 1-2 years depending on care and use.