Nov 14, 2008

Jonathan J's Uber-Bitchin' 16mm Water Housing

Hello again Paul!

Here's a wealth of pictures featuring my custom 16mm camera housing I built years ago. I completed this rig around '97, and it has provided some awesome footage in both slo-mo, and regular speed. It was built to be go from a hand held rig, to a full on back harness mounted point-of-view cam! Needless to say, George Greenough was a huge inspiration in the development of this camera rig. I took a lot of design cues from pictures of him, probably taken by you, or Harold Ward, etc...

The B&W pics are from the later stages of the cam's development. It was built in the traditional fashion, with fiberglass laid up over a male mold. The various bits of hardware were either custom made or, scavenged from old Ikelite housings I'd find at flea markets. The hemispherical dome port was found at a marine's basically a replacement lens for a compass. I was using a Century fisheye lens and thus, it needed to sit up close, and be well-protected! You can see the housing incorporates a million fasteners. When it's all bolted together, it has to make for a super strong enclosure. You can imagine the beatings I took, all in the name of a good tube shot (as I'm sure GG would agree!)

1/2 of housing open, exposing Kodak K100 16mm camera.

Side door of camera open, showing film path. Dig the snug fit!

Camera rig set up for POV filming. Not as uncomfortable as it looks...especially in a wetsuit.

This is the "trigger" that trips the shutter. ergonomically designed to be comfy, yet rugged.

Being a career machinist, you can tell I'm sort of a perfectionist!

Hot Santa Ana winds are howlin' tonight! Maybe they'll hold up till morning? I know there's some swell too!

Take care, JJ


Jamie said...

What do we have to do to see some of the footage shot with this rig?

Anonymous said...

What do I have to do to get to use the camera while I'm mat surfing?


pranaglider said...

can I be after Ken Dog?

Okemah said...

I just posted a short film to YouTube.. made with the housing back in '97!
Titled: "Fluid Dynamics". Please click on "Watch In High Quality" if you can. The low-res version is really pixeled-out...bummer!
Anyway, I'll try and post more later...enjoy!

Paul Gross said...

Working link now posted out front...

Very nice stuff, JJ!!!