DIY Porthole - Dip your camera lens into the Water!

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Enderturtle, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Sooo I made my own tube for dipping my camera lens into the water.

    As some of you may know Water Refracts Light and makes it annoying to take underwater pictures outside of water. Gets blurry.

    That's why you have to be perpendicular to your subject when photographing something that's in water.

    Dipping your lens allows you to take pictures at any angle without refraction. Fidel correct me if I'm wrong.

    What's available

    MY DIY Project
    3-inch PVC from Home Depot ~ 10$
    Nylon Screws from Lowes ~ 2$
    Tap and drill set from Home Depot ~ 10$
    Circle piece of Acrylic from Tap Plastics ~ 3$

    I used Gorilla Glue which most say is not reef safe....but I don't care. It's cured and I only dip the lens for a couple minutes.

    IMG_1464.JPG IMG_1465.JPG IMG_1468.JPG IMG_1469.JPG

    Future builds will use Weld-on 16 which works but not the absolute best for PVC to Acrylic bonding.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
    humu and Colin Rose like this.
  2. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Here are some sample pictures I took with this thing.

    IMG_1054.jpg IMG_1056.jpg IMG_1057.jpg IMG_1062.jpg IMG_1064.jpg IMG_1072.jpg

    Canon Rebel T2i
    18-55 mm lens
    Lens Extension Tube.

    RAW Files processed in Adobe Lightroom.
    neuro, wpeterson, Geneva and 3 others like this.
  3. muhli

    muhli Guest

    That's pretty neat
    Colin Rose likes this.
  4. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Awesome! I need one :)
    Colin Rose likes this.
  5. Colin Rose

    Colin Rose Guest

    Neat trick... I foresee a trip to home depot in my near future.
    Enderturtle likes this.
  6. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Important tip though: Always be careful when sticking your lens in the water.

    It's very easy to get carried away with taking pictures and submersing your lens past the tube. :p

    I will be making a couple of these for sale and raffling some off at the Photography Workshop.
    Colin Rose likes this.
  7. Colin Rose

    Colin Rose Guest

    I know exactly what you mean. That's totally something I would do.

    Question: Why not use superglue to avoid the risk?
  8. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Superglue the cap onto the PVC?

    Superglue definitely does NOT bond acrylic to PVC very well.

    Doing some research, I found that Weldon 16 and 32 are good for bonding PVC to acrylic. But the question is: Will it bond it well enough AND seal the cap to the tube well enough?

    I did some research on if Gorilla Glue is reef-safe. Most people have said no especially in the long term application. Some people said they used Gorilla Glue to glue their rock aquascape together :O omg. Yeah definitely not reef safe in that aspect.

    But I let the glue cure in open air for over 48 hours. Also I only dip the tube in my tank for 1-2 minutes at a time.

    There's definitely a better method for bonding PVC to acrylic but I haven't figured it out yet. I'm going to try Weldon 16 for the next tube I make.
    Colin Rose likes this.
  9. Colin Rose

    Colin Rose Guest

    Got it. I didn't realize super glue wouldn't work.
  10. sjbro

    sjbro Guest

    Doesn't Tap Plastics sell acrylic tubes?
  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yes they are, but depending upon how wide and how long it can get expensive, the upside is they will cut only what you need. I did something similar with with my camera, granted not anywhere as nice a camera as Ender's but it still makes for fantastic shots when you can shoot from the top and do so from under the water level. Ideally you want your lens to be resting right up against the acrylic.

    Before that I did something similar with a piece of acrylic and old coral container/cup (small one), it looked... very well hand made :D The trick is to scuff up the area of the acrylic and then superglue works awesome.

  12. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Yeah but you want the right tube size to fit your lens.

    Some lenses are bigger than others.
  13. rcaron20

    rcaron20 Guest

    I need one of these sooo bad I just posted a wwc bounce for sale on eBay and had the hardest time taking photos of it. Did you try using epoxy once that dries its safe right?? I'm going to try to make one I'll post a photo when its don't probably won't be until next weekend tho unless I get off work early one day o and enderturtle the bird of paradise I got from the frag swap is looking great I'll be sure to take a photo of that to show off how my new toy works

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
    Enderturtle likes this.
  14. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I think its nice to have the black sides to avoid light spill through the sides... At least that seems to make sense to me. :)

    Nice job! I think top-down shots are one of the most amazing ways to REALLY see your corals' true colors.

    My fav shot from my old 140g tank is the top down shots I took of my hammer and frogspawns:

  15. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Wow what is that green coral on the bottom right?
  16. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    The coral on the bottom right is a galaxia. Quite possibly one of my favorite corals I've had. It looks pretty benign but I had to keep it down in the center of the tank on the sand bed far from anything else as it put out 8-12" sweepers for feeding at night. Fascinating coral.

  17. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Here's another picture I took with the tube :) + extension tube

    tygunn likes this.
  18. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Wowowwow! Your colors are absolutely incredible!!!!

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
  19. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Very cool! I've come close to buying the commercial product a few times.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share This Page