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Float Configurations?


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Hi all! Some of you gave me some great advice last summer regarding underwater video, and I'm back hoping to pick your brains a bit more as I prepare to do some filming in the Red Sea next month. 😁

 

I'm shooting on an LX10 in a nauticam housing, and when shooting wide angle, I'm using an Inon UWL-09F wide angle wet lens. I've been able to dial in a good float set-up in terms of the amount of flotation I need to achieve neutral buoyancy for the rig (primarily using a float collar, one large float arm horizontal above the housing with additional floats zip-tied to it or float arms with lights (if I'm using them). But one thing I'm not super happy about is that this configuration is SO stable that it can be really difficult to move the camera in certain ways without having to really put some force into it that results in camera shake (and then the camera wants to immediately bounce back into position). So for example, if I wanted to tilt, or rotate the camera left or right, it fights me. (Hopefully I am explaining this clearly enough!!)

 

Is there a way to position floats to give you more flexibility beyond always having the lens always pointing straight forward? Or any other tricks? 

 

Many thanks!!

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Good question indeed!

What you describe is an often underestimated factor and a big difference between photos and videos. The force you apply with your wrists is transmitted to the housing, making the footage unstable.

Having a weight distribution similar to a sailboat (the bulb weighs) helps make everything more stable but if the difference in buoyancy between top and bottom is too pronounced then what you describe happens.

 

In my opinion you have gone too far with the floats at the top and now you have tilt resistance.

You need to move part of the floats to the bottom.

Maybe increase the collar one?

 

You should do a test in the pool by leaving the case in mid-water and see how you arrange it. With porthole up or down or it stays horizontal.

 

For extreme cases I remember seeing a floating base to attach to the base of the case.

 

Do you have a photo of the kit?

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Posted (edited)

Great question indeed - having the same brick-like but still so-loveable compact setup (LX10 in NA-LX10 housing), I understand where you're coming from with the floats...

 

I'm shooting macro mostly exclusively at the moment, but playing around with the configuration has actually improved it for wide angle, and I'm super happy with how the setup feels underwater.

Primary change was having two mobile vertical floats at the center of the rig holding my main macro light, which also helps counter balance the weight of the diopters - it's only slightly negative, even for macro, and almost neutral with no diopters and increasingly negative with lens stacks.

But I found it's also really nice for shooting wide / wider-angle shots as well, the added bulk and adjustable (moveable) buoyancy of the front floats actually helps a lot.

 

Back to wide-angle and your question, I would say you're definitely on the right track if the rig is already really (too) stable, and also see what you mean about resistance (but I don't use a float collar, so not sure what this throws into the mix)

 

One thing to note is that doing tilts (or most hand-held camera movements) underwater is really difficult - LX10 stabilisation is minimal, and while you can certainly tilt you probably won't get any useable footage while tilting as it will most likely be too fast (which can be cool for a transition effect...) or shaky.

 

I've actually been playing around with tilts in macro, using the two front legs of my quadripod, but it's super tricky. Shooting wide-angle you won't be as zoomed in, which helps with camera speed, but I really think you'll have a hard time getting a usuable fully-hand-held tilt shot.

 

Pans are also trickier than they look, easier to shoot but they're usually always too fast to use, so resistance is actually probably a good thing in this case.

 

All in all, having a stable rig to shoot with is probably much more important than one that allows camera movements underwater, as in most cases you will mostly be shooting straight ahead and following the action with your body positions rather than the camera.

 

That said, where you might be having an issue is shooting in different positions - by which I mean not so much moving the camera around as the angles you can shoot in (overhead for mantas circling a cleaning station, for instance).
If you find you're often having to compensate / fight flotation pull to shoot, then that is certainly a problem as it will be shaky and tiring/uncomfortable.

 

For this, since you already have floats on cable-ties, maybe look into making them more mobile, so you can adjust the pull of buoyancy compensation to better blend with your camera angles?

To give an example, I have one movable float around my main horizontal float - it's held by two cable ties and can be rolled around the main float to the back or front, hence changing the angle of the buoyancy compensation.

Maybe this is something you could look into - often just a slight repositioning will do wonders...

 

Without going as far as building a custom float like this, the basic idea in this video  - adjusting buoyancy compensation angle to match shots - is really interesting:
 

 

voilà, hope this helps

 

ben

Edited by bghazzal
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You might try moving your large float arm to under the housing instead of on top, then check the trim in a tub as Davide suggests.   the basic principle is to get the centre of buoyancy near to the centre of mass.  Other ways to do it might be to extend two equal floats out horizontally at about the same level as the lens.  What you can accomplish will be distated by your tray configuration most likely.

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Thanks so much for all of these thoughts, @Davide DB @bghazzal @Chris Ross! Such a helpful bunch. ☺️ 

 

I'll play around with moving one of the float arms underneath the housing (though I take your point @Davide DB about not going too far the other direction lol). That float base thing looks brilliant too...

 

@bghazzal do you happen to have a photo of your macro set-up? I'm definitely looking at playing around more with macro too, so I'm curious to learn what you've discovered on this front too! For your moveable float, is it the kind of thing you adjust prior to a dive or are you able to adjust it during a dive? And that video you shared with the stabiliser float is great and would be super helpful for changing camera angles. I'll play around with that too!

 

I'm still keen to figure out how I can get a greater variety of camera movements out of this set-up too so will play around more with float configurations and see if that might do the trick. My film practice generally is more experimental, and what I'd ideally love to achieve is a more gestural mode of underwater filmmaking. Take for example, the kinds of camera movements used by Stan Brakhage here: 

 

The nice thing with more experimental filmmaking is that I can live with some shake and less than perfect focus, etc. 😂 I just have struggled to get the camera really to change angle and rotate without putting a ton of force into it, but perhaps distributing the floats more closer to the centre of mass as you all suggest will help...!

 

Many thanks again!!

 

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Long story short:

 

  • Right now you definitely have the floats too concentrated on one side of the housing. 
  • You need to try to reposition them more evenly.
  • You could try the solution that Ben proposed.
  • Ideally, you should spend an evening in the pool armed with various floats, and zip ties (as many zip ties as any self-respecting DIY project).

Here you can see Ben's setup and maybe then he can show you better how he adjusts the floating point.

 

 

3 hours ago, shelbyrose said:

Take for example, the kinds of camera movements used by Stan Brakhage here: 

 

 

Warning, Film PhD in action!
You could do these movements with a well trimmed camera without arms or with floating arms placed horizontally to the camera. Difficult to do this with the arms placed at W.

 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, shelbyrose said:

 

@bghazzal do you happen to have a photo of your macro set-up? I'm definitely looking at playing around more with macro too, so I'm curious to learn what you've discovered on this front too! For your moveable float, is it the kind of thing you adjust prior to a dive or are you able to adjust it during a dive? And that video you shared with the stabiliser float is great and would be super helpful for changing camera angles. I'll play around with that too!

(...)

 

I'm still keen to figure out how I can get a greater variety of camera movements out of this set-up too so will play around more with float configurations and see if that might do the trick. My film practice generally is more experimental, and what I'd ideally love to achieve is a more gestural mode of underwater filmmaking. Take for example, the kinds of camera movements used by Stan Brakhage here: 

 
The nice thing with more experimental filmmaking is that I can live with some shake and less than perfect focus, etc. 😂 I just have struggled to get the camera really to change angle and rotate without putting a ton of force into it, but perhaps distributing the floats more closer to the centre of mass as you all suggest will help...

 


Sounds interesting, and I look forward to seeing results 😎 - compared to land shooting, being neutrally buoyant or close means you have a lot of options in terms of shooting angles, and a lot of freedom in this sense.

But one major issue is that it's all handheld, so prone to shake and also very difficult to restrain movement so that's is slow enough to use - with no 60fps in 4K on the LX10, you might want to shoot in 1080p at 60fps (or that 120frps mode) so you have more slow-motion options for camera movements, which could help if going down that road.
 

The other main problem you might have is that underwater subjects are generally skittish, and unless you're shooting sea lions (maybe try seals in the UK? ) who actually get bored if you don't move, cooperative nudibranchs or coral,  most UW subjects won't react well too well to movement and camera moving in and out. But in terms of shooting angles, there's definitely a lot to try.

 

 

For my rig sure, in addition to Davide's linked discussion (quadripod use is also discussed with pictures here) here are some pics of the moveable float.


The main issue I was having is that adding heavy diopters for super macro made the rig really front heavy (I stack up to three lenses in some cases), so i was looking for a way to counteract this.
 

I did try attaching a horizontal float under the lens port, cabled tied to the tray, but it messed up trim and balance, making handheld shots and also quadripod use tricky (it was the thin round float arm, used as a front light mount on the pictures below, rather than the pad-like float mentioned above, which looks much more practical).
 

After a little trial and error, I found that the solution that works realy well for me is moveable float which I can roll forward onto the main float to counterbalance the lenses - buoyancy can be adjusted UW anywhere from the back, top, to front of the rig.
 

I have these two rubber bracelet things on the main float as dampers for the contact point, but they're optional. The moveable float is attached to the main float by two (tight) cable ties, and rolls around it. I also have a clip-on collar (actually a nato small dog collar) in the middle that gives me a clip-on point, but this is also completely optional.
 

IMG20240522083852.jpg

 

IMG20240522083835.jpg


IMG20240522083817.jpg

IMG20240522083812.jpg

IMG20240522083802.jpg

IMG20240522083746.jpg


The other main buoyancy adjustment is by acting on position of the two vertical floats holding my main MW4300 light (forward, backwards or to the sides) - there are also two other smaller video lights, which are not mounted in the picture.
These two lights are just mounded the end of the locline arms seen in the pictures, and not compensated, but also help bring balance to the rig -  it's a amazing how a little negative weight on both sides works underwater.
 

With this, my light position can move from forward / top down for larger subjects, and also to the sides, or surrounding the subject in a lightbox like config (main macro light above, two other lights to the side, what some strobe-users refer to as a Princess-Leia / earmuff config).

I can also do back lighting, snoot etc.

IMG20240522083729.jpg

 

The NALX10 is a little left-side heavy, since the lens is not full centre, which is something to take into account -  my right locline arm is a tiny bit longer to compensate for the distance.

Despite its slighty ridiculous looks, it's actually a real pleasure to use (and carry around) UW on the quadripod, and as mentioned the added bulk actually makes it really stable and comfy to shoot handheld as well.

I was afraid that the vertical floats would be a problem, especially for handheld but it's fine, and actually better than what i had before for WA - go figure...

I actually tried another config a couple of weeks back based on the the Wolf method, removing my moveable float and mounting it on top, as part of a triangle double float (see the pics in the articles, it'll make more sense) - but i really didn't get the same balance, comfort (the extra top buoyancy really felt like the rig was pulled up all the time) or flexibility...

So really happy with this setup now, which I'll be working with until my light config changes.

cheers

b

Edited by bghazzal
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2 hours ago, bghazzal said:

I actually tried another config a couple of weeks back based on the the Wolf method, removing my moveable float and mounting it on top, as part of a triangle double float (see the pics in the articles, it'll make more sense) - but i really didn't get the same balance, comfort (the extra top buoyancy really felt like the rig was pulled up all the time) or flexibility...

 

Interesting link. They describe it as the Holy Grail of Snoot macro photography. I'm curious to hear some die hard macro photographer here.

I think that config is very specific to a certain type of macro and the center of gravity of the whole kit will be more off center than before. Basically it would exacerbates her current problem. An incubus filming WA with that.

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Many thanks for all of the photos and detailed information @bghazzal! You've given me a lot of things to try out in the pool next week...! I need to dig into the links you and @Davide DB both sent too, so might come back with some more questions once I've had the chance to digest all this and do some testing.

 

Do you sometimes shoot both WA and macro on the same dive, and if so, are you able to adjust your rig buoyancy on the fly somehow? And I assume the answer is yes, but do you always shoot macro using the quadripod? 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, shelbyrose said:

Many thanks for all of the photos and detailed information @bghazzal! You've given me a lot of things to try out in the pool next week...! I need to dig into the links you and @Davide DB both sent too, so might come back with some more questions once I've had the chance to digest all this and do some testing.

 

Do you sometimes shoot both WA and macro on the same dive, and if so, are you able to adjust your rig buoyancy on the fly somehow? And I assume the answer is yes, but do you always shoot macro using the quadripod? 

 

 

 

No worries, let us know how it goes.

 

I mostly focus on macro given the subjects here in east-Bali, but can and have shot both macro and WA on the same dive with this LX10 rig - I just fold the legs up like in the pics and adjust light positioning to a more frontal position.

 

For supermacro, I definitely shoot with some support, using  the quadripod - the rig is stable enough to be used handheld even for macro, but if the subject is too small I'll need to be fully zoomed out on the LX10, which amplifies not just shakes but any vibration in the footage.
If the the subject is moving around a lot (tiny crustaceans, larval fish...) I might use only the two front legs of the quadripod to follow the movement (this is how I started looking into tilts)

If it's a slightly bigger subject, front-leg support to handheld, or both is ok. This spiny tiger shrimp clip is pretty much a crossover between semi-handheld and some shots on the quadripod - the subject wasn't really large (toughly 1cm for the biggest of the two shrimps) and quite mobile, but slow enough to follow with some camera movements (not in post), with front legs support.


For larger macro to medium subjects like the crabs or mimic octopuses (which I'm a little obsessed with), I shoot primarily handheld, but usually with two front legs spread out - That way don't get in the way when I'm shooting handheld and moving to follow the action (which is what I was doing on this mimic vid or the crab clips), but also allow me, should the subject decide to stop moving around, to use the legs for support.

It's really flexible.

This is more of a supermacro related concern, but the main issue I'm having now are actually water conditions - supermacro subjects and/or their support are really affected by water movements, swell, surge and current.


My rig might be nice and stable and I can be in a good position, only to have the subject swing in and out of focus, making the shot unusable...
The smaller the subject, the shallower the depth of field and the more critical this becomes, as even a hydroid moving a couple of millimeters in the current will look like a tree branch swinging in a storm, bringing the tiny subject hanging onto it frustratingly in and out of focus.

This is tricky, as there's not much to do (zoom out to increase depth of field, basically, which means losing magnification) - in video need at least a few seconds of the subject in our focus area, we can't just freeze one single frame like for stills.

 

The set lens of compacts like the LX10, while certainly restrictive, offers the ability to switch from wide-angle to macro on the sane dive just by switching wet-lenses, which is precious -  with only a slightly-negative rig for macro, and somewhat repositionable floats (to compensate for the change from a wide-angle lens to a macro diopter) you can certainly do both.

 

If you're planning on shooting macro video, do look into some kind of tripod/quadripod system, ideally one that still allows you to shoot handheld (small or foldable, like those shown in the tripod thread for instance)

But maybe focus on wide-angle rig buoyancy first for the Red Sea, as you'll mostly be shooting wide there.


Regarding more experimental shots, also remember that you'll have the option to do quite a lot of things in editing as well (cropping, small "camera movements" - a lot of macro videos, like Dustin Adamson / Ocean Shutter's, will add movement in post on stationary subjects like nudis)

 

cheers

 

 

 

Edited by bghazzal
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For me it is a little different.


I have a larger camera and to shoot WA and macro in the same dive I would have to mount and remove the Nauticam WWL-1 add-on lens, which is not really suitable for the technical dives I do. So I decide what to film first and configure the camera accordingly.
Nevertheless, my housing has an integrated tripod mount and so I leave the three legs always mounted. This allows me to shoot close-ups at medium magnification by taking advantage of the fact that the WWL-1 focuses almost in contact with the lens.
I keep everything slightly negative and if I need to stabilise it, I add a small weight on the fly.

 

More details in this thread:

 

 

 

P.S.

A trick that few implement: by extending one of the legs of the tripod, you can use it as a handle, obtaining a grip with a wider angle and considerably more stable camera movements.


Here is an example (from 4'40"):


 

 

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6 hours ago, bghazzal said:

For larger macro to medium subjects like the crabs or mimic octopuses (which I'm a little obsessed with), I shoot primarily handheld, but usually with two front legs spread out - That way don't get in the way when I'm shooting handheld and moving to follow the action (which is what I was doing on this mimic vid or the crab clips), but also allow me, should the subject decide to stop moving around, to use the legs for support.

It's really flexible.

I have a quadripod set-up (made last year using some of your guidance actually!), so this is all really helpful. When you say you are shooting handheld with the front legs spread out, do you mean that the front legs are in position so that you could lower your rig into the sand if needed (while the back two are folded up)?

 

6 hours ago, bghazzal said:

Regarding more experimental shots, also remember that you'll have the option to do quite a lot of things in editing as well (cropping, small "camera movements" - a lot of macro videos, like Dustin Adamson / Ocean Shutter's, will add movement in post on stationary subjects like nudis)

 

Totally! This is mainly what I've relied upon so far in my filmmaking. 🙂 I love my LX10 but really do wish it could do 4K/60p as that would give so much more flexibility in post for both cropping and stabilisation.... 

 

6 hours ago, bghazzal said:

The set lens of compacts like the LX10, while certainly restrictive, offers the ability to switch from wide-angle to macro on the sane dive just by switching wet-lenses, which is precious -  with only a slightly-negative rig for macro, and somewhat repositionable floats (to compensate for the change from a wide-angle lens to a macro diopter) you can certainly do both.

 

Do you just carry whichever lens you aren't using in a pocket?

 

Love love your mimic octopus video by the way. What amazing creatures. I'm jealous you're spending time in Amed! That was where I first learned to dive, and I absolutely loved it there. It was also where I had my all time favourite creature sighting -- a pegasus seamoth -- which I hope I'll get the chance to see again someday. 

 

Thanks, yet again 🙂

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17 minutes ago, Davide DB said:

I keep everything slightly negative and if I need to stabilise it, I add a small weight on the fly.

Oh this is really smart! Great tip.

 

17 minutes ago, Davide DB said:

A trick that few implement: by extending one of the legs of the tripod, you can use it as a handle, obtaining a grip with a wider angle and considerably more stable camera movements.

 

And this too! Will definitely try this out.

 

Thanks!!

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3 hours ago, shelbyrose said:

I have a quadripod set-up (made last year using some of your guidance actually!), so this is all really helpful. When you say you are shooting handheld with the front legs spread out, do you mean that the front legs are in position so that you could lower your rig into the sand if needed (while the back two are folded up)?

 

 

Yep - instead of the legs being in the more standard position, slightly perpendicular to the tray and facing downwards, for these wide moving shots I have them at a more open angle, more parallel to the tray and almost flat - that way they don't get in the way, but I can still bring the camera down to rest on the two legs if needed.

 

Love the gear-building vid Davide posted - you can do the same with the quadripod system if you have longer legs, simply extend the left rear leg out and hold it - I've tried filming wider shots holding on to the two back legs like handles as well, seems really stable for fly-by shots, something to look into!

 

3 hours ago, shelbyrose said:

Do you just carry whichever lens you aren't using in a pocket?

 

Yep - at the moment I'm not bringing my wide-angle lens, as I'm really not doing any reef dives, just the diopters - bigger subjects I just shoot with no lens on the port or with the Inon 165 if I need to get close (but there is a slight loss in corner sharpness) - this is what i did for the mimic clip.

I just have the three macro lenses in a big Apex cargo pocket someone gave me, which is attached to the right side of my BCD, and the lenses are inside neoprene lens pouches attached inside the pocket - it would be big enough for the wide lens and a diopter as well.

 

3 hours ago, shelbyrose said:

Love love your mimic octopus video by the way. What amazing creatures. I'm jealous you're spending time in Amed! That was where I first learned to dive, and I absolutely loved it there. It was also where I had my all time favourite creature sighting -- a pegasus seamoth -- which I hope I'll get the chance to see again someday.

 

Thanks! The mimics were gone for a few months, then back again, but have been quite shy so far, just peeking out of their burrows.
I hope I'll meet more cooperative subjects like the one in last year's vid - I didn't have my main light at the time and would like to get some more mimic action shots with it. There have been recent spottings of mototi and blue ring octopuses as well, but mostly on night dives...

 

Amed's is changing fast otherwise, construction everywhere, but it's still a great place to dive, with a freedom to do so rarely enjoyed elsewhere.
And spending quite a bit of time in the area you really get to see the seasonal changes - it's quite dynamic in terms of sea conditions, fauna and flora! The seamoths are definitely still around, spotted quite few on the plateaux last year!

b

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys -- I had a chance to play around in the pool this week with float configurations, and I'd love to get your thoughts/opinions. 

 

Overall, my challenge is that this rig is a brick and needs a ton of floats to compensate and with my current gear, I'm pretty maxed out on the number of stix floats I can fit on and where I can reasonably attach them.

 

Here's the best I was able to do with the wide angle set-up (Inon UWL-09F with float collar, 3 jumbo stix and 3 small stix horizontal on top, and 1 jumbo stix zip tied under the tray):

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IMG_5245.HEIimage.jpeg

IMG_5245 Large.jpeg

 

 

IMG_5246 Large.jpeg

 

 

IMG_5249 Large.jpeg

@bghazzal I played around with trying to get a moveable horizontal float on top. How do you actually move your moveable float when you're underwater? I am wondering if the squarish shape of the stix compared to your smooth round floats makes that perhaps a bit more challenging...

 

And for macro, with my UCL-05L macro wet lens and two backscatter MW4300 lights, I have to use every float I currently own and it's still pretty negative in the pool. I zip tied on some of the floats underneath as well....

 

I'm not really sure what other options I have configuration-wise with the kit I've got currently, but definitely welcome any ideas. I might try out a cold shoe ball mount and mount one of my video lights on that following @bghazzal's example. If I use the other as a fill light and attach it from the side it might wreak havoc on my trim though.... perhaps I'll just try one light for now....

 

Any thoughts/wisdom greatly appreciated, as always. 🙂

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image.jpeg

IMG_5251 Large.jpeg

IMG_5242.HEIC

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Also, as I think about whether any other configurations might be possible, I just remembered that when I bought my housing (second-hand), it also came with this alternative right handle bracket. I've never been able to figure out what hte point of it is and haven't really found any good info online. Do any of you have any idea what this is supposed to be for? Wondering if it would provide an extra connection point or something that might be helpful....??

 

Here is what I have installed now:

 

IMG_5256 Large.jpeg

 

Here is the alternative:  

IMG_5255 Large.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

Looks good, but not sure the Stix floats provide enough buoyancy in this case.

My primary horizontal float is a +900g carbon float, for instance.
And yes, for the adjustable float I think the squarish shape of the Stix is the problem here as the floats can't roll on one another, like with smooth round carbon fiber float. My "moveable float" (good title for a novel?) just rolls around this main float.

For the lights, it's really nice that you have two MW4300 - i would definitely stick with this as it will give a lot of shooting options, but maybe what you could try is invest one large carbon fiber float to mount horizontally across the housing like you already do (you can/could get some pretty cheap ones on ebay or similar, look into the Puluz brand for instance).

Looking into my purchase history, I'd bought my main 900g float when I was in Thailand, and it's this model here:

https://www.puluz.com/p/PU3026/PULUZ-10.8-inch-27.5cm-Length-80mm-Diameter-Dual-Balls-Carbon-Fiber-Floating-Arm-Ball-Diameter-25mm-Buoyancy-900g.htm
 

This, or and equivalent would give you a good working base, as it would cancel out most of the housing's negative buoyancy, and you could figure out if you need more floats than what you have already.

For the lights you could get two 60mm diameter carbon float, maybe around 10cm length, and use these as a base for the lights on each sides - compare the buoyancy with the Sitx, but I think the carbon arms would probably give more and get the rig more comfortable.

Size would depend on buoyancy needed, but the MW4300 are quite negative as well -250g per light in water, so that's an extra -500g or so to compensate.

But maybe with a good +900g on top the Stix foam inserts would be enough.
 

For the extension I don't think I got one with my original NALX10 kit, not sure. Apparently it's the Nauticam Universal Right Handle Bracket ,and intended for housing / tray systems that don't have holes for attaching the required brackets of Nauticam Shutter Release Extension:

 

If you have an older Nauticam mirrorless or compact housing that does not have threaded holes for attaching the required brackets for the Nauticam Shutter Release Extension, you can use the Nauticam Universal Right Handle Bracket.

We suggest using a double ball arm w/ clamps between both handles on your Flexitray or Easitray to provide additional support for the Nauticam Universal Right Handle Bracket.

https://reefphoto.com/blogs/how-to/nauticam-shutter-release-extension

 

cheers

b
 

Edited by bghazzal
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Thanks, Ben! With the float collar, the Stix are enough for my wide angle set-up, but it's the video lights that complicate things. I think you're probably right that getting some kind of a jumbo float would help give me some more options.... Thanks for the thoughts and links! 

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I would be trying to add some buoyancy below the housing, your original query was around the effort required to twist the housing as all of the buoyancy is above the housing.  I have a similar issue with 1200 gr of buoyancy arms above the housing.   I  would think you should be able to find some type of board to bolt to your housing base using the tripod holes and securely attach something like half of your stix floats to that.  You could shape a piece of marine ply to suit or some other type of waterproof board to attach to housing and securely attach your floats.

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7 hours ago, Chris Ross said:

I would be trying to add some buoyancy below the housing, your original query was around the effort required to twist the housing as all of the buoyancy is above the housing.  I have a similar issue with 1200 gr of buoyancy arms above the housing.   I  would think you should be able to find some type of board to bolt to your housing base using the tripod holes and securely attach something like half of your stix floats to that.  You could shape a piece of marine ply to suit or some other type of waterproof board to attach to housing and securely attach your floats.

Thanks, Chris. Yes, definitely trying to find a way to transfer some of the buoyancy below the rig. In my pool experiments this week, I attempted a couple of different configurations. I tried zip tying an arm with the stix floats underneath but it felt wobbly with them all in a line, so spreading them out somehow I think will help.... I like your suggestion of including some kind of board. Any thoughts on how then I could connect the floats to the board?

 

Thanks again!

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Posted (edited)

The tray piece looks good, let us know how it goes.

I can't help with this my own experiments with transfering some of the buoyancy under the housing were not conclusive.
When i was playing with this, having a compensating force pushing up on such a small housing felt much less stable and more "intrusive" than what a main horizontal bar close to the top the housing gives - I love it like this for wide and, it turns out, macro.
 

But i also didn't have a flat tray float-piece like what Davide suggested, which might have a totally different feel.
 

It's tricky - compact housings are bricks, much more so than bigger camera housings, and for video you really want to find something that works and feels good for you.
 

As a counter-example when I added more vertical buoyancy when trying out the "wolf" set up mentioned above, I went from a "neutral" feeling (you don't feel the buoyancy compensation, the rig feels like one single mass) to feeling a pull up (even if the rig itself was negative)  when manoeuvering the camera.
- this is difficult to describe,  It's like a "delay" or lag, a push or pull, depending on float placement, which makes you aware of the buoyancy compensation.

What I really like now is that my rig with a main jumbo float a few inches on top feels like one single, near neutral block, and this is a base from which i can tweak things - but maybe a +400g flat piece on the bottom can work in the same way and not feel like it's pushing up, since it would fuse with the housing.

 

Also, I'm also not going for fast elaborate camera movements, rather slow and steady - I think for that kind of camerawork you would want the rig to be a neutral as possible and maybe a pivotable Stix arm with nothing on it (like ze underwater steadycam already mentioned).

Maybe you could put this arm on the NALX10's M10 mount?  (this central screw in mount is what I use for my single MW4300 btw, not the cold shoe)) which would give you the possiblity of locking in a camera angle to better match the movement/angle of your shots.

But if your rig is truly neutral you might find that you won't need an adjustable float and will actually be looking for more stability instead.
 

 

cheers

b

Edited by bghazzal
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