Motormarine 35 SE

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The Motormarine 35 SE is a scale-focusing underwater camera developed in 1983[1] by Sea & Sea. Its stout yellow plastic housing is claimed to be waterproof to a depth of 45 meters or 150 feet. The "SE" designation was used in Sea & Sea's advertising and manuals, but does not appear on the camera itself. As the name implies, the camera has motorized film advance and rewind (powered by two AA-size batteries), although there is no continuous burst mode.

The camera has a single, non-adjustable shutter speed of 1/100 of a second; but apertures from f/2.8–16 are selected manually using a lever on the front of the camera. This is coupled to a light meter which illuminates a trio of indicator LEDs, visible through the clear plastic back of the camera, which guide the exposure setting. Initial versions of the camera offered a switch to select between ASA 64[2], 100, or 400 film speeds; but at some point during production this changed to "ISO" 100, 200, and 400. The 35mm f/2.8 lens nearly matched the standard optic included with its contemporary, the Nikonos V, but the SE35 was priced much more affordably[3].

The aperture control also serves to switch on the small internal flash, usable at either f/2.8 or f/4. Because of backscatter from particles suspended in water, the internal flash is primarily intended for photography above the surface. The camera includes a port in its clear back door which may fitted with an electrical connection for one of Sea & Sea's "Yellow Sub" (YS) series of underwater strobe lights. By keeping the flash source well away from the shooting lens, the results are more likely to be successful.

In 1989 Sea & Sea followed up with the Motormarine II, with a redesigned, taller viewfinder; a factory-standard flash connection port; and a single unified waterproof door for the film compartment. While the 35 SE has a threaded attachment for filters and accessory lenses, the later model switched to a different and incompatible bayonet fitting.

The orange-plastic Hanimex Amphibian is a rebranding of the Motormarine 35 SE.


  1. According to the Sea & Sea company history at the company's website.
  2. Presumably, this was in anticipation that the photographer would be using Kodachrome 64 (or Agfachrome 64) slide film.
  3. An advertisement from New York City retailer B&H in a January, 1988 Popular Photography magazine quotes prices of USD $439.95 for the Nikonos V with its 35/2.5 lens; while the Motormarine 35SE was priced at $189.95 (Vol. 95, No. 1; page 102).