Equipment maintenance is
undoubtedly the least glamorous part of underwater photography;
nonetheless, it is the most important. Unlike land cameras, which
can go years with little or no servicing, amphibious cameras and
housings require constant maintenance.
Generally when a camera or housing floods (as opposed to a minor
leak), the camera is ruined. Once the electronics have come in
contact with saltwater, the cost of repairing the unit is
When it comes to underwater camera equipment, an ounce of
prevention...is often worth a thousand dollars in cure.
O-rings are the heart of all
waterproof seals. Beginners will often make the common mistake of
over-greasing their o-rings, hoping that it will help seal the
system better. Actually, just the reverse is true: over-greasing
the o-ring creates a sticky mess that attracts sand and other
particles. It's the o-ring that makes the seal, not the grease.
The grease is merely to keep the o-ring supple and prevent it from
drying out and cracking. In fact, if you can see the grease on the
o-ring you're doing something wrong.
The best method I've learned to
lubricate an o-ring is to lightly grease your fingertips and push
the o-ring through your fingers (pulling an o-ring can stretch it,