Pool parties, beaches, festivals and more! A waterproof film camera is one that can truly go everywhere with you.
At the start of summer I traveled to Cardigan, Wales for a short break and took a few cameras with me, including a Minolta Weathermatic 35DL. This little camera, often dubbed as the little yellow submarine, is a 35mm waterproof camera and was perfect for this trip.
When you are in Wales, even in summer, you can expect to have some rain and the last thing most cameras want is to get wet. All waterproof cameras have built in seals that keep the water out, which means you don’t need to hide them from the rain. These seals have another benefit, they stop sand from entering the camera and potentially damaging it. I have serviced too many cameras that have clearly had a beach trip in their life time and now require a full strip clean. So while I didn’t actually use my Minolta underwater at any point on the trip I could comfortably use it in the rain and take to the beach.
Fast forward to the end of summer and I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Italy and again took a waterproof camera with me. This time it was a Nikon L35AW. This is effectively the same camera as the cult favourite Nikon L35AF just built into a waterproof casing.
This time round I was determined to use it underwater so I took it with me on a snorkeling trip and to the pool. Letting a film camera get wet goes against pretty much everything I have ever done, so it is fair to say I was pretty nervous. As there is less light underwater I decided to use a 400 ISO film, which was the highest that I brought with me. Here are some of the pictures I took above, and below, the water!
Pictures were taken using Kodak Portra 400 and Lomo 400
While I was pleased with how the images came out, I would recommend that you approach doing this yourself with caution. The seals on these cameras are typically over 20 years old and may have degraded. Fully submerging your camera underwater increases the chances that some of this water will get in to your camera. If this happens, especially in the battery compartment, it can be extremely difficult to repair.
Moving away from the seaside, waterproof cameras are also ideal for nightclubs, festivals or any situation that involves drinking. Drinks are constantly being spilled and using a waterproof camera takes away an element of stress when you’re trying to have fun. Plus most waterproof cameras are built to a more robust standard which means they are more likely to survive being accidentally dropped by you or your friends!