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June 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 28, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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from the June, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

After reading John Bantin's article "Camera Housing Leak Tests" in the April issue, Adam Hanlon, an editor at the underwater photography blog Wetpixel, took issue with a paragraph Bantin wrote, scorning camera manufacturers who claim their housings don't leak, when they did leak while he used them. Bantin had written, "I had some grief on an underwater photography forum for expressing these views. I was accused of bias because some naively believed Hugyfot had supplied me with my housings at no charge. Not true. However, even if it were, I still put my own $5,000 camera inside, and I am betting that money on my decision to use that brand of housing. I would be pretty stupid to put my expensive camera into an inferior housing just because that part of the deal was free."

Obviously the forum Bantin was referring to was Wetpixel, because Hanlon wrote us, "the reason we believed he was supplied with the housing free of charge was due to the fact that he had been telling people that this was the case. He has admitted to this in emails, so we have proof of it. Please amend your article to express this."

Since Undercurrent takes pride in taking no favors from the dive industry, we asked John to reply. Here's what he had to say.

"Ben, I am close friends with underwater photographers Saeed Rashid and Alex Tattersall. Alex also imports Nauticam to the U.K. and France. Saeed and I wound him up by telling him that other housing manufacturers gave me housings. It was a private joke between Saeed and me. Saeed later told me that Alex was taken in, and was trying to get me a free housing from Nauticam. I casually told Adam Hanlon, while diving where he is based, that Alex thought I got my housing (the Hugyfot I was using) for free. I was letting him in on the joke.

"Then Steve Jones, also from Wetpixel, got on my case, accusing me of being on salary from Hugyfot! I assume that Adam had naively told him the wrong information. But although I told them all of this, they contacted Lars Kirkegaard, the Scandivian importer of both Hugyfot and Nauticam, to check up on me. He had organized the purchase of my first Hugyfot housing, although I ended up paying Hugyfot direct. As Lars observed to me, it's now as if you are not allowed to mention any other housing but Nauticam with Wetpixel. It's almost a 'Nauticam Mafia'."

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