Written by Jennifer Stamps
Leave it to me to fall in love with a camera that cost $10 brand new. But it’s true, this camera quickly became one of my go-tos. I bought the Snap Sights Underwater camera a few summers ago as I was preparing for a trip to Mexico. I knew there would be a lot of time spent on the beach and in the water, so I didn’t want to risk ruining a camera. Originally, I was looking for disposable underwater cameras, and then this little guy popped up in my search. It cost $10 brand new and came loaded with a roll. Hard to beat, right? I figured even if it ended up being terrible, it was only $10. Turns out…I fell in love. Full disclosure, I love plastic cameras – Holga is my favorite – and I have a small army full of plastic-lensed beauties, but this one is really special.
About the Snap Sights SS04 Underwater Camera
The Snap Sights is a 35mm true point-and-shoot. There are no settings whatsoever. It comes with a water-tight (rated up to 25’) clear plastic case and drawstring to keep around your wrist as you swim, surf, or snorkel. The plastic lens is a fixed-focus, 28 mm.
There is a flip up sports finder to frame your photo while wearing a snorkel mask. The film advance is manual, but once the image is exposed, it won’t allow you to shoot again until you wind it. This means…no double exposures. I’m not exactly sure of the shutter speed, but if I had to make an educated guess, I’d say 1/100 (same as Holga). So keep that in mind when picking your film speed.
How to Use the Snap Sights Camera
Put a roll of film in it and shoot. Really, it’s that simple. You as the photographer are charged with making that roll of film work with what you have.
At the top of the camera you have your shutter release button, film advance winder, and image count. Once your roll is done, press the film release button on the bottom of the camera and wind the film advance lever in the opposite direction (much like most manual 35mm cameras).
The camera can be used with or without the water-tight plastic case.
Using It Outside of Water
About two years ago, I was in London at the start of a 10-day trip across the UK and Spain when my beloved Canon AT-1 had a shutter malfunction. I was so sad and frustrated, but then remembered I had my Snap Sights with me because we were going to spend some time at the beach. So, it became my sole camera for the trip – meaning it was used quite a bit out of water. And you know what? It works just like a Holga or Diana Mini or any other adorable plastic camera. The softness ads to it’s charm and beauty.
Using It In Water
Don’t think, just shoot! Occasionally, I will put some goggles on so I can see what I’m shooting, but most of the time, underwater, I shoot from the hip.
Just Have Fun
I think the theme with all my cameras are: they are fun, quirky, and different. This is definitely one of those cameras to just have fun with. I mean how could you not when you’re in the water?!
Thank you so much, Jennifer! Jen is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and be sure to check out her other articles, like Awesome Tips for Traveling with Film and Intro to Scanning Your Own Negatives. You can also check out more of Jennifer’s work on her website and Instagram.
Leave your questions about Snap Sights underwater camera below in the comments, and you can pick one up for yourself on eBay here!