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Thread: Rebreather for cinematographer?

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    RBW Member amundlie is an unknown quantity at this point amundlie's Avatar
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    Rebreather for cinematographer?

    Hi all,

    I'm totally inexperienced with rebreathers (apart from reading about them for years), but have now decided to take the plunge. I have been diving since 1982 but not gone tech yet. Excuse my rather lengthy post, but I hope some of you can offer a bit of advice on the following:

    I am an underwater cameraman/cinematographer, and my work consists of a mix between filming scenes for feature film and television drama, as well as general filming for various clients: commercial (aquaculture, marine services), educational (aquariums, museums, NGOs a.o.), stock footage etc.

    Bubbles are always a problem when filming, namely they get in the way of the lens when shooting upwards (and they shake the camera), the sound/pressure change scares fish (i.e. trigger their lateral line response), and air gets trapped under overhead compartmens and changes the look of underwater sets (you do not want near-perfect mirrors in your shot!). And many times I need to stay for a long time under water to wait for some tiny creature to emerge from its hiding place.
    So, a rebreather would be ideal for many reasons.

    I have been watching the Poseidon Discovery for a while, being in the right price range and seemingly covering my needs. Price is an issue here since I may have to buy two units, one for me and one for my camera assistant as well as training for both. Given that the Poseidon is a low-priced and well-functioning rebreather, it would seem to fit the bill nicely. But, the 40 meter limit will be a problem since I do see a need to venture into the 50 - 70m range at some point in the near future.

    Safety is of course a major concern, in many cases I dive alone or attention is directed at other things while filming is going on. I must usually have a communication system, so most of the time I am in contact with the surface and co-divers, but the stories of people passing out (and dying) without warning using RBs does worry me.

    A safe(r) bailout system is therefore very important (I believe the Poseidon uses nitrox as diluent and therefore is simpler/safer?), and a computer controlled rebreather is easier than a manual system when filming. I know there is no such thing as a maintenance-free or attention-free rebreather, but a system with less manual adjustment during diving is more attractive.

    What would be a better choice, the Poseidon or a used system like the Inspiration or Evolution? Other makes? Can the Poseidon be modified to use beyond 40 meters? What would be the best lower-cost entry system that can be modified for greater depths later? Which more expensive rebreather is good to buy used?

    thanks,
    Amund Lie
    Oslo, Norway

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    RBW Member FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler is a glorious beacon of light FergusButler's Avatar
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    Optima

    Re: Rebreather for cinematographer?

    you could also take a look at the kiss gem, it's not as complicated as a full CCr but it might be agood fit for you

  3. #3
    RBW Member lemon has a spectacular aura about lemon has a spectacular aura about lemon has a spectacular aura about lemon has a spectacular aura about lemon has a spectacular aura about lemon's Avatar
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    Poseidon Mk6

    Re: Rebreather for cinematographer?

    the poseidon discovery mk6 would be a solid choice for dives to 40m. i wouldnt select that option if you wish to go deeper. there is no timeframe that im aware of for the trimix version although one is supposed to be in development.

    the mk6 was used recently filming out of cage sequences with white sharks at guadalupe for a large budget production.

    one thing to consider is that if you are shooting on contract for the bbc you will need to be on a CE marked unit. this is what i was told by a friend who works for them. something to think about i suppose.

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    RBW Member Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545 is a splendid one to behold Lancer4545's Avatar
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    Meg/Shearwater Pathfinder

    Re: Rebreather for cinematographer?

    Hi Amund,

    I have trained quite a few underwater video operators now on the Meg and they are regularly working with them.

    I am sure they will jump in here and explain why they chose the Meg over the other units available. I also regularly video when diving with my Meg and find it's comfortable and easy to use whilst filming.

    Regards,

    Lance

    IMG_0523RS.jpg
    Underwater Cinematographer Ross Isaacs with his Red One and Megalodon CCR

    DeepMeg1.jpg
    Lance Robb with his EX1 mounted on a Dive X-Tras Sierra after returning from a deep film shoot

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    HAMMERHEAD!

    Re: Rebreather for cinematographer?

    Answers Below:

    KevinInEgypt.jpg

    KevinInFiji.jpg

    Kevin Juergensen - 27 Underwater Wildlife Documentaries - Mark 16 UBA

    Howard Hall.jpg

    Howard Hall - God Knows how many Underwater Wildlife Documentaries and IMAX Movies - Mark 15.5 UBA


    john mckenney.jpg

    John McKenney - Dozens of Underwater Wildlife Documentaries - Mark 15.5 UBA


    Marty.jpg

    Marty Snyderman - World Renown Underwater Photographer - Mark 15.5 UBA


    Also of note:

    Ken Corben - Nat Geo filmmaker - Mark 15.5 UBA

    Hugh Miller - BBC filmmaker - Mark 15.5



    I could go on and on, but you kinda get the message by now.

    (And I sell Hammerheads for a living...)




    Kevin Juergensen
    Juergensen Marine, Inc.

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    RBW Member amundlie is an unknown quantity at this point amundlie's Avatar
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    Re: Rebreather for cinematographer?

    Thanks, this is helpful.

    Lance and Kevin: Yes I know of some of these guys, they use the same camera/housing as I do (Gates Deep Red).

    Both the Meg and Hammerhead seem to be the pro's choices, although they are in a somewhat higher price range. But I guess you get what you pay for.

    I also received some recommendation on the JJ-CCR, a sturdy yet moderately priced unit. Any thoughts on this system? Widely used rebreathers with readily available spare parts is a very good selling point. I guess the JJ is not quite that widely used yet, but is there anything else against it?

    Lemon: CE-marked systems are also important, I think finding insurance for non-CE makes is difficult here in Europe. Do you know which are CE-certified and which are not?

    Amund

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    RBW Member Gazdiver is an unknown quantity at this point Gazdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Rebreather for cinematographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by amundlie  View Original Post

    Lemon: CE-marked systems are also important, I think finding insurance for non-CE makes is difficult here in Europe. Do you know which are CE-certified and which are not?

    Amund
    My Sentinel from VR Tech is CE approved and i believe that the Inspo's are as well ...

    Gary

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