Wet Work

After all my research into seasickness, the almost endless conflicting advice and remedies, I’ve finally cracked it. Ginger tablets, wristbands, stare at the horizon, don’t look at the horizon, cheese and onion crisps, run on the spot, lie down, stand up, earplugs, pour urine over yourself (that one might have been for box jellyfish stings, actually) … I should have just listened to what almost every seasoned fisherman has been advising me for the last few months – “You just get used to it”. And it’s true, as happened to me a few days ago, the brain must realise that this is all perfectly normal and it lets the body take command of itself without any unnecessary interference. So I’m going to have to find something else to whine about. Now that I have, hopefully, overcome the problem of seasickness, I can now get out on deck and concentrate on making some more ‘dynamic’ images – dynamic means getting wet. Very wet. I don’t mind getting soaked, skin is waterproof, but most cameras aren’t.
For the last few months, for anything involving the risk of getting wet on a fishing trawler, I’ve been using a couple of Canon waterproof point and shoot compacts. The lens quality is surprisingly good, but I have no control over focus and exposure, whatsoever. If I had a spare £1200 lying around, I’d invest in a Nikon Rs underwater autofocus SLR, but I don’t, so I had to look around for an alternative. Enter the Nikonos III.
The Nikonos III, made in the mid-70’s, was the ubiquitous underwater camera of its time – bombproof construction, all manual operation, and now, very cheap – I picked up mine from Japan, with the 35mm lens, for £90, and it’s in an ‘as new.’ condition (I don’t think it’s ever been out of its box, let alone underwater)
I’ve only shot three rolls of film with the camera, the first of which I ruined because I thought I’d rewound the film, but I hadn’t (always read instructions before using unfamiliar gear…). As soon as I get them back, I’ll update.

All images in this article were made using an iPhone 8 Plus


  1. Nikonos Nick

    The Nikonos may look nice, but I can guarantee it’s riddled with all the problems that all III’s inherit – cracked top plate (they all crack in the same place), leaky o-rings, stripped top plate screw, etc,etc. I wouldn’t take it anywhere near water if I were you!


  2. Carol Rease

    I wish I could find a III in that condition, it looks minty! I have the V, but the battery life is an issue – I have to change the battery, literally, every two rolls. I’ll keep an eye out on the Japense sellers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Wet Work — Phil Kneen Photography | O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

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