How To Use And Maintain An Underwater Case For Your IPhone

September 28, 2016
How To Use And Maintain An Underwater Case For Your IPhone

Many people might shy away from the prospect of diving underwater and snapping photos with their newly acquired iPhone — just because its enclosed in a protective casing. Apparently, there have been some ugly disappointments with various smartphone accessories, including screen covers and shockproof or waterproof covers. However, some experienced innovators have created revolutionary underwater smartphone housings. After perfecting their skills creating underwater housings for cameras, some underwater casing manufacturers have turned their attention to smartphone housings; their underwater products are marvelous. Therefore, whether you are an ordinary consumer or a professional photographer, you can now use your iPhone to snap HD underwater photos. Just get an excellent underwater case that is shockproof, waterproof, pressure-tested and depth-rated, and learn how to use it below.




Start by testing the seal on the underwater casing for water leakage. Open and then close the casing as instructed on the user manual. Then completely submerge it in water (bucket or bathtub) for about five minutes. Remove it, towel-dry the outside, open it, and inspect the inside for any water leaks. If it's dry, you can now use it to house your iPhone for underwater photography.


Phone Preparation


The next step is to prepare your iPhone for the intensive camera work ahead. For starters, your phone battery should be fully (100%) charged. Additionally, several settings need to be adjusted in your iPhone to ensure optimal functionality, such as network access, phone lock, and brightness settings. Finally, depending on the design of your smartphone housing, you need to customize the home screen to ensure access to the camera and settings controls. You can now place your iPhone inside the casing as instructed on the user manual.




Notably, different underwater smartphone housing models operate differently. Therefore, you need to read the user manual for detailed and accurate instructions on how to use the specific underwater casing for your iPhone. However, there are general operational guidelines that are common for most underwater housings for iPhones. For instance, some of the most popular models feature two swing arms (a primary and secondary swing arm), which are used to operate most of the phones features. Typically, you can use the swing arms to swipe the home screen, access the relevant phone settings, and open and control most of the camera's app features including zooming, snapping photos, and starting and stopping video recording.




After using the smartphone casing for underwater photography, it is advisable to rinse it with fresh water before opening it. This is to remove any sand or debris that might be trapped between the seams. You can now open the casing and remove the iPhone. With the housing open, you can now access the O-ring that seals the back and the front of the housing. Inspect the O-ring and remove any sand or debris that might be trapped around it. If it's dirty, pinch to remove it and then wash it under running water. Before you re-insert the O-ring into the housing lining, dry it completely and apply any lubricant supplied by the manufacturer according to the casing user instructions' manual. If the O-ring is damaged, it is advisable to only replace it with a manufacturer-supplied replacement; according to the user manual. In most models, the housing has stylus contacts for iPhone control. Always avoid touching these stylus contacts and keep the interior moisture-free at all times.

Matthew Boley
Matthew Boley


With over 60 years of combined underwater housing manufacturing experience, our project team knows this industry inside and out. 
Valentins (Val) Ranetkins built the first underwater housings for National Geographic. He also started two industry-known manufacturing companies: Amphibico and Aquatica. He held the original patent for the underwater pushbutton, and manufactured the first underwater Dome port lenses.
Manuel Aranda was Val's main mechanical designer at Amphibico. Manuel designed the Amphibicam F900 housing for the Sony F900. To this day, it is the most advanced housing to ever hit the professional market.
Freddy Espinoza is the mechanical designer of the LenzO™ housing. Freddy also designed housings for Val and was the main machinist to work on all of Val's recent projects. 
Anthony Lenzo is an Emmy Award-winning cameraman and underwater cinematographer who has worked with Val and his team on several underwater housing projects. He brings professional user experience to the team and came up with the concept for the LenzO™ housing.


“The LenzO™ housing for the iPhone 6/6s is an elegant and easy solution for capturing great underwater video and still photographs. Combined with a sweet price point, the LenzO™ is a home run! “

Nick Caloyianis, U/W film maker, winner of Oscar, Emmy and Nogi awards for his films and underwater documentaries.


“The housing worked faultlessly. All-in-all I was totally amazed at the quality of the footage acquired and the ease of use of the LenzO™ housing.”

Clay Wiseman, marine biologist. His photography and writings are published in National Geographic, Time, International Wildlife, Ocean Realm, Skin Diver, Sport Diver and Scuba Diving Magazines.


“ ... at ReefID we have adopted LenzO™ as our work horse and one of our primary underwater photography resources. Out of the box LenzO™ features provide a solid platform to take great images. Its built-in features provide a familiar interface that is easy to use underwater by any diver, snorkeler or underwater enthusiast wanting to record their adventures. A top notch product that can have a profound effect on how people view our ocean’s wonders.”

John Fifer, underwater photographer, Founder and Editor ReefID - developers of marine life identification apps. Graduate of Humboldt State University in Environmental Engineering and Oceanography.


“The ease of use is astonishing, including the insertion of the iPhone. Also I love that the LenzO™ it is so easy to hold and the locking mechanism is much easier than my housing for the Canon camera. I took pictures freediving and the ability to focus so quickly helps tremendously!”

Anne Jo Lee Ito has a B.Sc. in Film Production. She works with HD and larger format cameras for several broadcast TV shows, music videos, commercials and a short film. She produced a documentary about the Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida.


“The ease of use and quality of the pictures is stunning. The design features including the latching system is usually found on much more expensive housings. I took the Lenzo overseas to Papua New Guinea and dove consistently over 100 feet with no leakage. Intuitive and compact. Will be on every dive from now on.”

-Michael Gerzevitz
PADI OWSI, Camera Operator IATSE 600, 30 years as Motion Picture and Television Technician