Now some unkind folk have suggested that I talk pants most of the time, but in this mini-blog I would like to talk about a piece of serious technical equipment that has the potential to transform the lives of your underwater photographer.
No, I’m not having you on, I mean it.
I recently road tested some Apeks Technical Shorts on the last photo trip, and what may you ask has this piece of underwater apparel got to do with underwater photography?
Well, like lots of underwater photographers and videographers, and of course divers in general my BCD of choice is of a “wing” design.
And in my particular case, I use a very minimalist Apeks Zuma.
Which is super light for travel, but could not be ever accused of being overladen with loads of pockets or D-Rings.
This means that very often I am left needing places to clip on practical items like a reel and SMB, but being a photographer too, I regularly find I need somewhere to stuff a wet lens, where it will be afforded some sort of protection.
Even if you wore a more conventional BCD though, these shorts would mean that you could tuck away torches, and other stuff that I see festooned upon divers, and make for a nice sleek more streamlined profile, free from encumbrances that tend to snag on the reef.
I used to wear something similar from another manufacturer, and they were invaluable and very useful, but I could never help thinking that they weren’t necessarily well though out, for as soon as you put anything large in one of the pockets they tended to creep down your waist, making you look not unlike some gangster rapper with a rubber fetish, as the crotch ended up between your knees, and when getting back on the boat they were dangerously in peril from sliding down to your ankles.
These Apeks jobbies were a different proposition altogether, being of much more robust construction, and having a two stage velcro and quick release buckle to affix them firmly, high on your hips. So even fully laden with heavy gear in both sides they stayed firmly put.
They are made from heavy duty neoprene with cordura pockets,and with a textured rubber rear, clearly tough enough to cope with the rigours of rib diving.
The pockets on both sides are capacious and flexible enough to take reels and fairly large SMB’s, and they have two secure D rings under the closure flap, which is secured by a goodly strip of velcro, making them quick to get in and out of.
The cordura pockets have a rear flat compartment for slates and other less bulky items.
So, did they pass muster? Yes they most certainly did, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to any diver whether or not they were interested in photography or not.
I imagine they will be popular amongst the tech diving set too, which I think is they’re intended market.
They aren’t cheap, being nearly twice the price of their nearest competitor, but I can personally vouch for their quality, and that is something that rarely comes cheap.
It was hard to say if they kept me warmer, but they are adding an extra 5mm or so around the midriff, and I haven’t yet tried them on a winter trip, so time will tell I suppose.
Over my Thermoclines and Fourth Element Shortie, I needed a size XL, which was right at the limit of the sizing in my case, and I may have been better with a XXL, but they didn’t feel too tight and restrictive, and it has only made me resolve to lose an inch or three off my waistline.
Although I reckon they would have been quite snug over a dry suit.
Anyway here is the Apeks Info sheet for your perusal.
All in all, a great piece of kit, and very practical for underwater photographers in particular.
Treat yourself and order them from FlippersNFins in Cranleigh in Surrey http://shop.flippersnfins.com
We had lots of fun and learnt a load on the way on my last photo trip.
Whatever sort of camera you have from GoPro to DSLR my tailored underwater photographic itineraries are a great place to brush up on your skills, with like minded folk on trip schedules that go nice and easy to suit underwater photography diving.
Later this year and next years trips are filling fast, as we get a lot of repeat customers, so check them out and come onboard. Please click here for further details.