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Sea & Sea Motormarine-II / EX
The original Sea & Sea Motormarine was designed as an alternative to the Nikonos for those users who did not need a fully-fledged professional camera. It offered an all-plastic housing (eliminating corrosion problems), a built-in flash, and a motordrive; but it had only a fixed shutter speed of 1/100s, and no facility for changing the primary lens. Macro and wide-angle photographs were catered for by using supplementary lenses, which were attached by means of a screw thread to the original Motormarine, and later by a bayonet mount on the Motormarine-II. The Motormarine-II introduced the Sea & Sea proprietary TTL flash system, and a built-in close-up lens. The Motormarine-II/EX added a choice of four shutter speeds, from 1/15 s to 1/125 s, all of which synchronise with an external flash. The internal flash is not TTL controlled. It is also limited to use in clear conditions underwater because of backscatter.
One caveat with the Motormarine-II or IIex is that the exposure metering system is not sufficiently accurate for use with transparency (slide) films, and there is no way to bracket TTL exposures. You can use slide films if you work with the flash set to manual, and you will need a light-meter if you want to do mixed balanced lighting with slide film, but the added cost of an underwater light-meter rather defeats the object of buying into the Motormarine system. Motormarine Cameras were designed primarily for people who use print film.
Q: What should I do if I flood a Motormarine?
A: The problem with Motormarine cameras is that they have a built-in flash, and therefore present a serious electric shock hazard to any untrained individual who tries to remove the inner housing assembly. The shock hazard, incidentally, is real, rather than precautionary, because the flash capacitor remains charged long after the flash function has been switched off, and the tube connections are particularly easy to touch accidentally. Consequently, you should only open such cameras if you are qualified to deal with high voltages, and this author accepts no liability whatsoever for the outcome of such an action. If you are competent to proceed, the trick is to discharge the flash capacitor immediately by placing a dump resistor directly across the tube, and then check with a multimeter to ensure that the resistor made contact. The camera is than safe until the power is reconnected, but note that when testing prior to reassembly, it only takes momentary selection of the internal flash function to make the camera hazardous again. Once the camera is safe, the procedure is to irrigate off any salt water with distilled water, but unfortunately, due to rusting of the steel shutter and iris blades, the camera mechanism is unlikely to survive complete immersion even in distilled water. If salt water has penetrated the shutter/aperture assembly, the motor, or the drive-train assembly, the camera can only be recovered by extensive dismantling and replacement of any corroded parts. If flooding was superficial and you are able to reassemble the camera, take great care not to overtighten or cross-thread the four inner-body retaining screws. These screws fit into moulded pillars in the ABS outer housing, and the ABS threads will strip with the slightest provocation.