What's in the Camera Bag: Mike Bartick

Take an inside look at the camera and housing gear used by professional underwater photographer Mike Bartick
By UWPG Editors

First off, I need to say that it's all about function and not fashion for me. My gear MUST all be durable and able to withstand the abuse of diving daily. Logging more then 400 dives a year with my camera gear puts everything to the test. My current housing has more than 1200 dives on it without any rebuilds - kudos to Sea&Sea!

My gear configuration changes almost daily depending on what my target subject might be. I've minimized my need to change ports by selecting a port and extension that will accommodate both 60mm and 105mm macro lenses. The port is threaded to accept my diopter adapter.

For shorter focal lengths I'll change to a shorter port, but I've also been known to break a few rules along the way.


Inside Mike's Gear Bag


Camera:  Nikon D7100

Lenses:  Nikkor 105mm, Nikkor 60mm, Nikkor 50mm, Nikkor 40mm macro, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, Sigma 28-80 macro

Diopters:  Nauticam SMC, SMC Multiplier, Subsee +10, Subsee +5, INON +15, etc.

Housing:  Sea&Sea MDX-D7100 housing (more than 1200 dives on the housing in the photo!)

Strobes:  Sea&Sea YS-D1 and YS-D2 strobes, INON Z240 strobes

Accessories:  Retra Light Shaping Device (snoot), Kraken focus and video light



My favorite setup is currently my Nikkor 105mm with the SMC diopter, with the Nauticam flip adapter. This setup allows me the flexibility to shoot the way I like to shoot the most: capturing behavior.

This setup is heavy underwater as well as on land, so I use float arms to offset the weight. I use Ultralight Control Systems float arms and INON mega float arms with long clamps. I also use long arm clamps supplied by Beneath the Surface for my modeling light.



Lighting is where I become more picky. I like big, bold macro images as well as contrasty or smoothly-lit snooted images.

For hard targeted shaping, I use the Retra Ultimate Light Shaping Device (LSD). I almost never dive without this snoot. That doesnt mean that I'm always using it, but just that the option is always there. I've also been known to use my Subsee optical snoot. This snoot is a bit tougher to use but offers a different form of light that I like with subjects like hairy frogfish.

Some of the items not seen in the gear image above include a variety of torches used for backlighting, side lighting  and other specific lighting effects. These include video lights from Kraken Sports, Xtar and INON.

I experiment often with my gear and am always adding to the arsenal.



Editor's note:  Mike Bartick also manages Crystal Blue Resort in Anilao, Philippines, conducting frequent photo workshops to share his knowledge.

Enjoy the rest of our What's in the Camera Bag series:

 Brook Peterson   |   Ken Kiefer   |   Ron Watkins   |   Serge Abourjeily



Mike Bartick is an avid and experienced scuba diver and Marine Wildlife Photographer. He has an insatiable love for nudibranchs, frogfish and other underwater critters, and is the official critter expert for the Underwater Photography Guide. Mike is also one of the UWPG trip leaders. See more of his work at www.saltwaterphoto.com.


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.