Tutorial: Shoot Underwater with This $10 DIY Periscope
This DIY periscopic device allows you to capture what's going underwater with virtually any camera.
Since cameras don't take to liquids very well, getting shots below the surface of water requires dedicated underwater camera housings. Problem is—these things usually require a significant financial investment, oftentimes costing upwards of $1500. But what if you're like this YouTuber, Alex from I did a thing, who just wanted to take a quick peek at the frogs swimming around in his pond? Well, then you might want to do as he did and build yourself a makeshift periscope out of $10's worth of supplies that lets you get some pretty sweet shots underwater.
Alex walks you through the steps in the tutorial below:
If you're interested in taking a crack at this build, here are the materials you'll need:
- A piece of PVC pipe that fits around your camera lens
- A PVC elbow joint
- A square piece of glass (Alex used the glass from a cheap picture frame)
- A circular mirror
- PVC cement
All you need to do to put it together is set your circular mirror inside the PVC elbow joint at a 45-degree angle and secure it with epoxy. Then, line the edges of the joint's top opening with silicone and lay the piece of glass on the top. After that, coat the inside of the joint's bottom opening, as well as the straight piece of PVC with PVC cement, then carefully insert one into the other. That's it!
Now you can head on out to whichever body of water you like and start shooting some sweet underwater footage.
Now, a couple of things. Does this DIY periscope turn your camera into an amphibious champion of the sea? No. You can still totally ruin your camera if you drop it into the water. Does this DIY periscope open up the entire underwater world of cinematography to you? No. You can't really move around that easily with the thing. Does this DIY periscope produce a potentially unwanted vignette? Yeah. It totally does.
However, friends, this build is super easy, super cheap, and does what it intends to do: allow you to capture underwater scenes that are right below the water's surface, which might be enough for your pool party scenes or steamy underwater kiss shot. Give it a try and let us know how it went for you in the comments below.