One of the leading photography magazine in the region, ReFoto, published another great article about Subal underwater housings and my personal story about succefull cooperation with this company. I think that it is important for all photographers to have real information about great photo equipment as well as experience of other scuba divers regarding to underwater photography.
Although we have expected from Predrag Vuckovic a big story about everything that had happened during legendary jump of Feflix Baumgartner, in one short brake between Predrag’s journeis we’ve found out some interesting things about underwater photography.
When you connect your life inextricably with such things as extreme sports and photography, and when you turn pasion into work, then it is no wonder when you start experiencing unbelievable and beautiful things. Predrag Vuckovic is one of those adrenalin junkies who constantly explore his mental and psysical boundries, which are more complicated by the fact that he doesn’t give up on photography. I am not sure that Predrag himself ever understood wether the action took him to good photographs, or it is the other way around. If you take a look at motives on his photographs most likely you would ask the same question. Since there aren’t too many people in that informal club of “tough things” lovers, it is somehow expected that those of same interests meet each other. At the beginning of the year Pedja accidently met Karl Harald, the man behind Subal brand. For those people who are unfamiliar with Subal, the name won’t mean much, but for those who want to take their camera and lens underwater, both worth about eight thousand euros, then Subal is a legend and a term for funcionality and safety.
The conversation they held lead Mr Harald to see Predrag’s photos, which resulted for Predrag to become a Subal team member, for the pleasure of both parties. This team consists of six elite professional underwater photographers. Although nobody admists it but most of the photographers have fetish kind of relationship with their equipment, and the need for everything to be functional and nice, according to their personal standards. What Pedja wanted, and Subal accepted, is for his personal housing to be black in color instead of grey, which is Subal’s standard color. So this amazing custom made aluminum “glove” which protects one of two Nikon D4 cameras (Pedja always carries both of them on shootings) has the same color as camera itself – black with few red details, just as Predrag had wished.
Underwater housing is absolutely necessary for any kind of diving. The more advanced the camera the more advanced the needs are, and it becomes clear that in this speciffic area there is no compromise. The housing must be capable of outstanding the pressure, which can measure up to 6 kg per square centimeter on the depth of 50 meters. If this sounds to you like no big a deal, then we will put it in another words. It is like 60 tons per square meter! When you calculate all the surfaces that are in contact with water you get the surface that is more-less about that one. Wheter it is grey or Pedja’s housing, as we will call it, it must resist to that kind of pressure. Only after that we can talk about something that is more important and is called functionality. Subal makes the housings that are completely functional, in other words every command that you have on your camera is available to you underwater, and that is what makes them unique. This is also the system which can be trusted at any moment. With specialy modified viewfinder which reminds of the prism (DE-3 High Eyepoint) from Nikon F3 camera, you can see the full image from distance of about 2,5 cm and that gives you the possibility to easily find perfect frames under water surface. Moto of one company says: Just add water, so if you are intrigued by this story take a look at Predrag’s photographs, visit some of the divers clubs and start practising underwater photography. One think is certain – there is no photographic crowd in blue depths!
SHORT HISTORY OF SUBAL UNDERWATER HOUSINGS
In 1952 inspired by pioneer diver and marine scientist Hans Hass, a 16-year-old Arnold Stepanek, using latex and glass, builds an underwater housing for his Kodak Retinette camera.
In 1954 the idea is alive and well. The first underwater housing is made from cast aluminium.
In 1961 An Edixa Reflex camera is fitted with a housing.
In 1965 Arnold embarks on a complete redesign of the Edixa-Reflex housing. It features a 4x filter-/close-up, lens revolving system – an absolutely new technique in u/w photography! This new system gives the diver the option to switch from normal to macro photography during the same dive. Additional to the common socket for flash bulb synchronization the housing is equipped with sockets for cable and electronic strobes.
In 1984 From here on in housings are tailored to the camera’s dimensions and functions. SUBAL water proofs the first SLR with autofocus, the Minolta 7000.
In 2002 A world first, SUBAL submerges digital photo cameras. It was made for Nikon Coolpix 5000 camera.