Objects of Desire: Ultima Underwater Housings for Hasselblad
Dec 23, 2009
By Dan Havlik
Professional models do exist though and if you're a Hasselblad user and want to shoot underwater, you should check out Ultima Digital's sleek, airtight housings. The company is based in Budapest, Hungary but its products are distributed in the U.S. via photographer Peter Lorber (http://peterlorber.com/hasselbladunderwater.html).
Ultima Digital's housing is designed for the Hasselblad H3D-II though it also fits the brand new H4D series since dimensions are practically identical. The housings are made of seawater-resistant aluminum cast bodies that are precisely CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machined for a perfect fit.
Tested to depth of 250 feet below the surface, the main body includes a 9.25-inch optical "superdome" that's large enough to fit a 28mm, 35mm, 50mm or 85mm Hasselblad lens. There's also a macro port that fits a 120mm macro lens to enable 1:1 close-ups of colorful fishies and other underwater life.
The superdome and macro port are hitched to the body by a bayonet-type connection that's easily assembled and disassembled. The housing also has two Nikonos-type flash connectors and fully adjustable handles for setting up your shots even in the murkiest conditions. All the buttons and dials of your camera can be controlled via the exterior of the housing including shutter release, menu access, front and rear control wheels and other functions.
Word of warning: Like Hasselblad's own products, these Ultima Digital housings certainly aren't cheap. But if you've paid $30,000+ for your medium-format digital camera and don't want to see it go on the fritz from a saltwater leak, would you really trust it with a "cheap" underwater housing?
Cost: $15,825 with 9.25-inch optical dome
Further information: www.ultimadigital.com