The annual Dive Show was held at the National Exhibition Center (NEC), Birmingham, UK over the weekend of 27 and 28 October. As has been the case over the past few years, there has been an active and visible demarcated area of the show known as the Photozone that cater specifically for underwater imaging. Within this area are booths exhibiting equipment, as well as those representing organizations. There is also a small lecture area which features a series of free talks being presented by various experts throughout the weekend. Wetpixel Associate Editor Alex Mustard was joined by well-known author and photographer Martin Edge to present a lecture in the main convention hall, and this proved to be a lure that attracted many image makers to the event.
I was able to attend on 28 October and was immediately surprised by the volume of traffic that I encountered whilst making my way towards the NEC. I assumed that diving must have had some significant popularity boost until I realized that this was due to the TV show “Top Gear” also holding an event at the NEC.
Once in the hall, I made my way rapidly to the Photozone.
My first port of call was the Underwater Visions stand, manned by Alex and Kat Tattersall, who represent Nauticam in the UK.
Martin Edge also put in an appearance!
The British Society of Underwater Photographers had a stand, and they were also holding the Diver print competition. The shortlisted entries were open to the public vote during the weekend, and they received over 1000 votes for the prints.
Brian and Linda Pitkin were helping people fill in their voting slips.
Over on the Aqua-Foto Team stand, Herbert Schmitz and Stefan Horvath showed me some new products,
Herbie was proudly displaying his new BS kinetics housing for the Nikon D800. This has a new process in its carbon fiber, allowing for a design to be woven in to it.
Stefan had a few new products under the H20 Photo Tools brand. He has produced some “cold water” control extensions for the Inon Z240 strobe. These are machined from nylon and simply friction fit over the existing knob, They will retail at 7 to 10 Euros each and will be available from mid November.
He has also produce a ball adaptor sized at M28, for use with Sea & Sea equipment which uses this unique size. These are 12 Euros each, and are available now.
Lastly, he is planning a +5 achromatic wet diopter with an M77 thread. This will be around 150 Euros and is also available now.
Before I left their stand, Herbie showed me an interesting simple modification for the Inon Z240. By adding an o ring inside the battery compartment cap, you can get an additional watertight seal, in the event that the normal o ring is compromised in some way. He has conducted unofficial tests and reports that it has withstood a pressure test to 60 meters.
Subal’s Rolf Sempert was also over from Germany. He was showing the new Subal D800 and D4 housings on the stand of their UK importer, Cameras Underwater.
Hugyfot was showing their new housings for the D800 and Canon 5D mark III.
UK distributer, Andy Fenn and Hugyfot’s Pascal Eekhoudt were on hand with the new housings.
The D800 was displayed with a Wahoo LCD monitor and video lights:
The Hugyfot 5D Mark III housing was more conventional displayed with a macro port.
Hugyfot recently released their variable buoyancy arms.
Hugyfot were sharing their stand with their sister lighting company, Green Force. Pascal showed me their new video light. The Squid LED 4000 is a 4000 lumen light head with a color temperature of 4000°K. Battery packs are the Green Force Flexi II or III. It is available now at 695 Euros.
Sea & Sea were exhibiting their new MDX-D800 housing for the Nikon D800.
In addition, the MDX-X10 housing for the Fujifilm X10 “enthusiast” compact was on the Sea & Sea stand.
Lastly, and not a new product as it was originally shown at DEMA 2011 is the Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobe.
Back on the Cameras Underwater stand, Spencer Cobley took a few moments to show me the new Aquatica A5D mark III housing for the Canon 5D Mark III.
Throughout the day, Ocean Leisure cameras had a very busy stand.
Maria Munn of Ocean Visions was on hand to promote her compact camera workshops
In the rest of the show, Helen Gomez of Lembeh Resort/Critters at Lembeh was still smiling after two busy days!
The Sea Shepherds also seemed to be both numerous and in good spirits.
Dive 2012 seemed to be both busy and prosperous. In the limited time I had there, it was great to meet up with so many friends, but also to see how busy and vibrant the imaging area was. In fact, when compared with the other parts of the show, the imaging area seemed to be a focus for many attendees. This must result in a positive growth for underwater imaging in the UK.
I mentioned in the introduction to this that Alex Mustard and Martin Edge presented a lecture during the show. I was able to film the talk while I was there, and will add this to the Wetpixel front page very soon.
Veteran underwater image maker Peter Rowlands and I were discussing Alex and Martin’s talk and, in relation to Alex, said “I taught him everything that I knew!” Alex overheard this and commented that it was the most interesting cup of coffee that he had ever had.
And that kind of banter only comes out when underwater photographer meet. I look forward to the Dive Show 2013.