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Thread: How do you manage your rig?

  1. #1
    Damien Siviero betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154's Avatar
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    How do you manage your rig?

    Hi,

    I'm curious to know how other shooters manage their camera rigs on tec dives? I've been shooting on tec dives for some time now, but really haven't come up with a way to nicely manage my DSLR rig. On tec dives I almost exclusively shoot wide angle, which means long arms (6+9 or 9+12 each site) and two strobes. I also use Stix arms which has made my Aquatica housing+strobes almost neatural which is a plus.

    Scenario #1 - Open Water Deep:

    On deep dives I'll typically fold the strobes up as much as possible and clip the rig off on my right. On the left I put all of my bailout slings, with my primary canister light on my right waistband (if I take it). This gives me two free hands for descent/ascent, but leaves me with this unwieldy rig clipped to my right which is prone to entanglement in guidelines, anchor/granny lines, etc... I'm also paranoid about smashing the dome or having other dives kick the sh$t out of it as they seem to swim past me with no regard for equipment. Dome/viewfinder covers are off.

    Scenario #2 - Cave

    In caves I've gone with a smaller strobe arm length (e.g. single 12") and wrapped the rig up as much as possible. With dome covers on I push the rig in front of me superman style. Take the covers off to shoot and reverse the process to exit or move on. As my rig is near neutral this works quite well but my hands get tired after a while. It also leaves me with only one hand which isn't ideal when it comes to managing a CCR, line, etc...

    Anyway I thought I'd throw it out there and see what others are doing? If there is a previous thread on this let me know, but I couldn't find one.

    Regards,
    Damien Siviero
    Damien Siviero's Photography & Diving Homepage
    Last edited by betti154; 5th August 2009 at 10:04. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Bad knees, matching brain Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa's Avatar
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    Re: How do you manage your rig?

    On open water dives I generally prefer to clip the camera off to the crotch strap for decent, leaves the hands free and chest uncluttered. It does create a larger vertical profile but for decent this is immaterial unless there are divers directly below me, which can generally be avoided. For ascent it's usually clipped off to the chest or hip to prevent people from modifying their heads on the none-too-soft housing since they never look up.

    For caves I do the same as you, lens port cover stays on until the shooting destination is reached, camera pushed ahead to improve streamlining. If my hands get tired I'll clip it off to the chest on the right and rest it on top of my right forearm. This keeps the hands free but with reduced mobility, streamlining decent, and avoids fatigue well.

    I've also tried it stage-bottle style on the right, making the rig as long and thin as possible and resting it in close to the body but have found this less than ideal, but you don't have to collapse your arms which means you can be shooting again in a hurry.

  3. #3
    Randy Thornton Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict has much to be proud of Mixaddict's Avatar
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    Re: How do you manage your rig?

    Hi Damien,

    I have no solutions for you on managing your rig. I have similar concerns. I went to your website by the way. Fantastic pictures. You do nice work!

    Regards,
    Randy

  4. #4
    Damien Siviero betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154's Avatar
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    Re: How do you manage your rig?

    Randy, thanks for your comments.

    Marvintpa, I used to go with the crotch strap a bit but found it got in the way of my legs finning. I didn't like the ideal of hacing to fin somewhere in an emergency with a camera wrapped around my legs.

    I've played with clipping it on my right chest d-ring though this only seems palatteable when using shorter arms (e.g. single 6-9").

    I think handling the rigs gets notable worse when you have two segment strobe arms and they get longer (12+9 in my case). With only single segments the rig is more rigid and thus wraps away better.

  5. #5
    Bad knees, matching brain Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa is a splendid one to behold Marvintpa's Avatar
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    Re: How do you manage your rig?

    Agreed, two long segments does complicate the size of the whole thing but it's not like you have much choice when the viz is less than optimal. I find that with UltraLite arms my rig is negative enough that it doesn't interfere with frog kicking while on the crotch strap D-ring unless there's a strong current.

    Since being able to get rid of the camera quickly in an emergency is critical the idea of more attachment points has never appealed to me. I find getting the length of the line attached to the arms just right is key to keeping it sufficiently collapsed. The next ide I'm going to try is running a line from the top of one handle to the other that sits just above the housing. The idea will be to slip the line attached to the arms under that line to keep it closer to the housing, thereby making the entire rig smaller even with long arms. I'm hoping the additional entanglement hazzard will be minimal since it's so close to the housing.

  6. #6
    RBW Member diverchris is an unknown quantity at this point diverchris's Avatar
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    Re: How do you manage your rig?

    Hello,
    I've been using this method for a while, maybe it will work for you. I have installed two clips on my housing, by the handles. I attach both clips onto my chest D-rings until I reach the bottom. I keep my dome port cover on until I reach my destination. Once there I open up the arms, and remove the dome port cover. Aquatica covers have a loop on them so I thread the rope from the clips though the loop and attach both of the clips, so I don't lose the dome port cover. If there is no current the dome port cover lies flat below the dome port. In a current I'll wrap the cover around the left handle of the housing.

    For me I wanted to make more room around my chest for the camera and I was always hitting my elbows on my bail-out bottles. For that I use the Nomad side-mounting kit for my bail-out bottles. I love the set-up. Hopefully it will work for you. I have a few pictures of this is you wish

  7. #7
    Monkeywench ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj's Avatar
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    Re: How do you manage your rig?

    Mount camera (video or still) on your scooter ;) gets it out of the way, ready to shoot, and you can see it and make sure zillion dollar wide angle or dome port is not getting banged on stages.

    If I'm toting still camera in addition to video, i use my butt D-ring and let the camera (with two big strobes) ride on the back of my thighs, tends to be quite safe there.

    with regards to length of tether, I have a simple system. scooter tow cord diameter line, bowline at the camera arm with small bolt snap, then ~12-14 inches of line and large bolt snap bowline at end. This allows for dual length, small bolt snap to big bolt snap = length of two bolt snaps, or unclip small one and have a 14-16" cord, enough for shooting on the fly whilst still attached. This method prevents the 'cord wrapping around legs in emergency' issue, keeps it snugged in nicely for transport, and also at times allows me to shoot with it still clipped in (if I bring it around to chest d-ging) for those shots where you're at deco or something floating over 600' of water and the idea of completely unattached increases sphincter factor.
    '
    Last edited by ljj; 7th August 2009 at 18:09.

  8. #8
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    Re: How do you manage your rig?

    Perhaps I am different, but I have been functioning with camera systems underwater for so long that I feel almost naked without it. Open water dives, cave diving, rebreather diving, etc., if you should ever happen to be out with me, count on seeing me with a camera (Nikon D300, Subal housing, two YS-250 strobes on 21-inch arms) in my hands. From the moment I enter the water, I go into a mode to capture images whenever, where ever that maybe, be it on bottom to just when I am ready to get out.

    When I really need to (assisting someone with a problem, shooting a bag, etc) I will clip it off to waist D-ring. Doing so might be convenient, keep in mind that is when a camera system left in that position, it is in its most vulnerable position to getting damaged. Therefore, for its sake, as much as a pain the ass it may be, its better to keep in your hands.

    I won't deny it can be somewhat of a juggling act when diving on a rebreather. However, if you are serious about shooting tech dives, it's a skill I suggest learning to master.
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  9. #9
    Damien Siviero betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154 is a jewel in the rough betti154's Avatar
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    Re: How do you manage your rig?

    Thanks everyone for their input.

    Chris, I've thought of chest mounting but don't like the idead of having the clutter over my counterlungs and manual adds.

    Ijj, Sadly I don't have a scooter but it seems a nice approach. I've see a few GUEs here mount video systems in the way you describe which looks cool (albeit expensive).

    Walt, I'm not sure I agree with your comments. I'm serious about tec shooting and like you am rarely ever seen in the water without my camera. We do dives to 70m+ and I always have a camera in tow. I do however take safety quite serious and as such have decided that two hands for ascent/descent are a must. We dive in high current scenarios a lot of the time which often means one hand at least is hanging onto a line. If the other were on a camera I'd be screwed before I begin and this doesn't include times when we have to pull ourselves down the line. When diving in nice calm/blue water, I happily jump in with camera in both hands but for me at least in Sydney conditions I don't consider it an option.


    Based on all the views I think I might continue my current setup but look at ways to enhance it.

    1) Setup something that allows right to be wrapped up better (more securely). This might include something to clip the arms together.
    2) Leave covers on until at depth, reverse procedure for ascent.
    3) Setup a two boltsnap attachment system - one on the bottom of the right handle and the other on the top of the left. This should allow it to be mounted more like a sling and I can chest/waist clip it. It should also prevent the sphinter dropping problem described by ljj.

    Damien Siviero

  10. #10
    Monkeywench ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj is just really nice ljj's Avatar
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    Re: How do you manage your rig?

    (and get a scooter) ;) it will help a TON with those naughty currents


    Quote Originally Posted by betti154  View Original Post
    Thanks everyone for their input.

    Chris, I've thought of chest mounting but don't like the idead of having the clutter over my counterlungs and manual adds.

    Ijj, Sadly I don't have a scooter but it seems a nice approach. I've see a few GUEs here mount video systems in the way you describe which looks cool (albeit expensive).

    Walt, I'm not sure I agree with your comments. I'm serious about tec shooting and like you am rarely ever seen in the water without my camera. We do dives to 70m+ and I always have a camera in tow. I do however take safety quite serious and as such have decided that two hands for ascent/descent are a must. We dive in high current scenarios a lot of the time which often means one hand at least is hanging onto a line. If the other were on a camera I'd be screwed before I begin and this doesn't include times when we have to pull ourselves down the line. When diving in nice calm/blue water, I happily jump in with camera in both hands but for me at least in Sydney conditions I don't consider it an option.


    Based on all the views I think I might continue my current setup but look at ways to enhance it.

    1) Setup something that allows right to be wrapped up better (more securely). This might include something to clip the arms together.
    2) Leave covers on until at depth, reverse procedure for ascent.
    3) Setup a two boltsnap attachment system - one on the bottom of the right handle and the other on the top of the left. This should allow it to be mounted more like a sling and I can chest/waist clip it. It should also prevent the sphinter dropping problem described by ljj.

    Damien Siviero

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