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Subal Vacuum Indicator Lights


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#1 seagrant

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 02:55 AM

I don’t know if this is new or not, but it seemed new to me? There was no documentation either which makes me think it’s a recent addition to the Subal ND850 Housing. The airlock is the manual Backscatter Airlock (which is terrific). When I first saw green then red with alarm I kind of freaked and thought it was a short as the new housing hasn't been wet yet. I d never seen a light on at any time with my other Subals over the years (this is my 4th Subal).

 

Consensus is it’s a newer feature, inside mounted near the leak battery. From what I gather it blinks green constantly when pressurized with the Airlock (or whatever system).

 

This is where it gets interesting... when depressurized with the Airlock gauge the red light flashes and an alarm sounds for about 30 seconds. The alarm quiets and the red light continues to flash for about 3 minutes. Looks rather adventurous, say if a couple of these went off at once on the liveaboard camera table? ;-)

 

Seriously though, it’s growing on me. It’s my first leak detection system. I love the Backscatter Airlock. The blinky lights and alarm....., well? What’s life without a little drama? 

 

This is also my first full frame. So far I’m in love! The Nikon 8-15 lens (on sale right now $150 off btw) image quality is completely amazing! I’ll pool test it tonight.

 

I called a few weeks ago to buy Sola focus lights for a blackwater dive and got talked into a new Subal ND850. That was an expensive phone call. It arrived from Europe within a week! Too soon for me as I was out of town, expecting it to take 3 months or something. Anyway it’s great! Buttons are super smooth (my fav part of my Subals since they don’t give my hands/fingers repetitive stress injury). Everything lines up well (it was checked well by Backscatter before it was sent to me). I’ve tweaked a couple of things (there's always something that needs tweaking) but the tweaks are rather minor compared to how overall the housing is fantastic and feels so comfortable to control. I’m in love...!

 

I hope the blinky-light videos embed. Oh, and I’m selling my RED Subal 95% freshwater used ND7100 that fits Nikon 7200 perfectly too. Haven’t had time to list it. Off to dive... Best, Carol

 

So it doesn't look like the code embedded so here are the links. First one is the green vacuum light, second one is after depressurization: 

 

 

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/341763624" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/341763797" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Edited by seagrant, 12 June 2019 - 02:59 AM.


#2 TimG

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 03:57 AM

Interesting!

 

I didn't know Subal were installing leak detectors - although their website now shows the Vivid Sentinel style and I've got one on my Subal ND500.

 

Enjoy the housing! Doncha love those expensive phone calls  :crazy:


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#3 seagrant

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:24 AM

Interesting!
 
I didn't know Subal were installing leak detectors - although their website now shows the Vivid Sentinel style and I've got one on my Subal ND500.
 
Enjoy the housing! Doncha love those expensive phone calls  :crazy:


Yes! You have to admire someone who, a couple of thousand miles away, can talk you into a whole new housing when I innocently called just to get blackwater lights...😆. But it makes since for me as the dynamic range in the Florida Springs is off the charts and this camera will really be fun to make images with!

We think this vacuum light is a new feature with Subal. I didnt even know Id get it? Possibly it works with different vacuum systems? Maybe our friend Alex Mustard knows more about it?

Carol

#4 TimG

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:26 AM

Let's face it, Carol, a new housing is like cat nip: the dealer dangles, teases, suggests....... and reels us in. Everyone goes home happy. 


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#5 seagrant

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 02:53 AM

I finally got to pool test the Subal ND850 last night (thundershowers abated).

The green light indicating the housing is pressurized worked perfectly. The slow flashing green light is not obtrusive at all and I found it quite comforting to see all was well. When I depressurized the housing the red light went on and the alarm sounded for 30 seconds, like before. Thats evidently how it works. It looks like it will work with various vacuum systems. It works with the manual Backscatter Airlock.

Hopefully there will be more documentation on this Subal system. Its cool! I just wish I had been informed that it was now a feature. I would not have thought, at first, that it was a short or something.

The housing is excellent underwater, very good build quality. Very much like my other three Subals. Im learning how to program the additional 850 buttons I want to use. Since I change ISO so much with a lot of natural light photography, I really like the way Subal put the ISO on an easy to reach lever above (but a little back from) the sub-command dial. I used the camera setting where I can just engage the ISO lever, let go, and rotate the smooth command dial to the ISO I want with my thumb on my right hand, flip the lever again and there it is! Easy! All done with my small right hand, very smoothly with no hand stress. Ill be using that feature many many times with this housing. And theres lots more.

The sub-command dial isnt as easy to turn as Im used to with my other three Subals Ive had, but I have a feeling this was on purpose for people who bumped it by mistake. I never bumped it by mistake so I like it a little smoother, but it still has a good feel, very precise.

Basically everything is lining up and working just right. The main thing I had to do is I understand the housing came in to Backscatter with the type 4 port opening and I ordered type 3. They switched it out but I had to remove a bit of the port lock on the inside. Backscatter talked me through it over the phone. Believe me, you dont want a port lock with type 3 ports. They dont have notches for it, dont lock type 3 ports and it will just make it miserable and much harder to correctly mount type 3 ports. With that 1/2 of the mechanism removed (I saved it and the pin in case I sell the housing to someone with type 4 ports) the type 3 ports go on smoothly. A port lock isnt really necessary with a vacuum system anyway.

I pool tested it with my 105vr macro port with manual focus. Auto and manual focus worked great. I can already tell this Nikon d850 is a fast-focusing monster! Im extremely pleased.

Hopefully the documentation and communication from Subal will improve. I would have appreciated the vacuum detection system more If I had known something about it beforehand.

Otherwise, all is well so far. I love this camera/housing! Carol

Edited by seagrant, 15 June 2019 - 03:06 AM.


#6 Neptune63

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 05:18 PM

Hi Carol,

 

I just got my new ND850 housing.  It's also my first full frame.  Not had it in the water yet.  I also have type 3 ports from my original Subal housing for the Nikon D200. I was wondering if your macro ports still work for the newer 105mm VR, and the new 60mm ED lenses?  Mine has focus knobs, and with either of those ports installed, the camera doesn't seat properly on the right side, making closing the housing dicey or impossible.  Any thoughts on that?

 

And also, I use fiber cables, and so far, I can't get my strobes to flash. I'm wondering if you had any issues with that?

 

Thanks so much!

Tom



#7 TimG

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 09:33 PM

Hi Carol,

 

I just got my new ND850 housing.  It's also my first full frame.  Not had it in the water yet.  I also have type 3 ports from my original Subal housing for the Nikon D200. I was wondering if your macro ports still work for the newer 105mm VR, and the new 60mm ED lenses?  Mine has focus knobs, and with either of those ports installed, the camera doesn't seat properly on the right side, making closing the housing dicey or impossible.  Any thoughts on that?

 

And also, I use fiber cables, and so far, I can't get my strobes to flash. I'm wondering if you had any issues with that?

 

Thanks so much!

Tom

 

 

How have you got the fibre/strobes set up, Tom? I'm using the ND500 with a Subal V3 TTL board and a Subal hotshoe connector from the camera to the board. The strobes are fired by LED flashes from the V3 board. It works well.


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#8 seagrant

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 03:50 AM

Hi Carol,
 
I just got my new ND850 housing.  It's also my first full frame.  Not had it in the water yet.  I also have type 3 ports from my original Subal housing for the Nikon D200. I was wondering if your macro ports still work for the newer 105mm VR, and the new 60mm ED lenses?  Mine has focus knobs, and with either of those ports installed, the camera doesn't seat properly on the right side, making closing the housing dicey or impossible.  Any thoughts on that?
 
And also, I use fiber cables, and so far, I can't get my strobes to flash. I'm wondering if you had any issues with that?
 
Thanks so much!
Tom

Tom, Hi! Im driving home today but Ill reply as best I can. Ive been shooting the 105vr in the 105vr Subal port with the manual focus knob for about 12 days now. My original Subal 105vr MF port from 2006, that fit my d200 Subal does work with this nd850. Its a little more difficult but doable. Make sure you dont have a port lock installed on the new housing as it makes it almost impossible to mount that 105vr port (type 3). If you do remove 1/2 of the assembly from the inside and save it in case you sell the housing. In lieu of that you must mount the camera in first and then mount the 105 lens from the front. On my d200 I could get away with mounting the camera & 105vr from the back, but it was always tricky. Now it just doesnt work. Yes the lens sits slightly to the right looking from the front (105vr lens) but of course it shouldnt sit too far right. When you install your 105vr port from the front you must lift up the focus knob while mounting and turning. I never had to do this with my d200/d300/d7100. Its not that difficult though, just gently lift up the spring loaded MF knob while you seat and again when you first turn it. The MF knob works great. Ive added the Saga adapter and the Nauticam SMC1. Its nice and nicely balanced if you want to flip the SMC to the 2 oclock position (REEFPhoto mounted the Saga adapter & SMC1 for me. Im glad they did as it was a little difficult & they showed me a good position to flip the SMC to.)

As far as the 60 I havent used it yet but if the 105 fits the 60 will be a piece of cake. I have the older 60D. My switch gear and zoom ring for the 60D havent worked since my ND20. Subal constantly changes their gearing. So I dont mess with MF on the 60. Ive heard the newer 60S focus even better and no MF/AF switch & it fits in the old 60D MF port although the 75 port may be a better bet. Id use the 60 first though to see how much you will be using the lens. The 105 now is wider on FF.

I hard wire my strobes, Nikonos sockets, manual. So I didnt get the fiber add on. You have to get the fiber add on because the 850 doesnt have an internal flash to trigger (same as the d500).

I dont know where you are located? Did you get the housing through a dealer or direct from Subal? I was glad I purchased through Backscatter because they sold me the camera too (matched B&H price) and they were able to test my 850 in the nd850 housing to make sure everything lined up. It was a valuable service. Everything lines up perfectly so far, for me.

My real passion is wide angle and I just got the Nikon 8-15 and zoom gear. It works but I havent tried it in the water yet. Wide angle is the reason I switched to the d850. But macro is going well too just because the d850 focus is so utterly amazingly fast and accurate! And the SMC1 is fun, a little tricky but fun.

Im extremely glad I made the switch to FF with the d850 and this Subal ND850 is slick. Did you get a leak detector that works in conjunction with their flashy light? Its cool and Ive had the housing closed for 3 dives shooting in a row and the pressurized flash doesnt seem to use much of the small battery. The camera battery life of the d850 is much better than my other Nikons.

If I was an avid macro shooter I might have waited for the d500 replacement. But since I want to improve my wide angle the d850 was the best choice.

Ok I have to pack and drive. Hope this helps. I can answer more tomorrow. Carol

Edited by seagrant, 02 July 2019 - 04:28 AM.


#9 Neptune63

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 09:16 AM

Hi Carol and Tim,

 

Many thanks for your advice.  It turns out that the housing that I got is set up for electronic synch flash and not for fiber optic.  Backscatter is working to fix it, and I hope to have it all resolved by July 24, when I leave on my next dive trip.

 

My old type 3 port for the 105 really does't want to go on, so I bit the bullet and ordered the new port specific for the 105mm VR lens, type 3.

 

And, Carol, one last question: even with the 60mm lens mounted in its port, something snags and I can't get the camera in far enough for the housing to close.  The problem seems to be on the right hand side.  Did you have this issue, and if so, how did you fix it?

 

Everything very much appreciated!

Thanks,

Tom



#10 seagrant

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 09:56 AM

Tom, I haven’t mounted my 60D lens yet. It’s easy compared to the 105vr mounting so I started with the 105vr. What I’ve found with previous housings is that if everything works with the 105vr setup then every other lens works because the 105 is the most difficult to get lined up correctly. I’ll mount the 60 in a few days & see. I’m unpacking right now, etc. The Nikon 8-15 worked with the dome port attached & 20mm extension topside so I don’t see why my 60 wouldn’t work?

If Backscatter is helping you can you ask them if they would do a Skype with you and the housing? It’s possible your camera isn’t mounting properly for some reason? What is happening really shouldn’t be happening.

Let us know, Carol

#11 TimG

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 10:08 AM

I agree with Carol. The only mounting problem that, generally, I've had is forgetting to make sure the lens release lever is out of the way. That's on the right hand side if you are looking at the housing from the front. Any help?

 

I've gone through the fibre optic setup system with Subal if I can help at all with thinking on that. Not terribly complicated and, in my view, well worthwhile. I can now remove strobes and place them off-housing mid-dive. This offers some great lighting options. And I find setup of the housing and strobes much easier and less prone to failure than electric synch. Also changing lenses is much less of a faff if you can disconnect strobes quickly and easily.


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#12 seagrant

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 10:30 AM

Tom, I have had the right (looking from camera & Housing back) small upper metal triangle where strap is attached flip in a weird position and prevent the camera from going in all the way. Make sure that metal triangle is flipped to the right. Otherwise have someone look at it or at least look at it on skype. Carol

#13 okuma

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 07:42 PM

I have two Subal/D500 cases and use the same strobe as Tim ( Subal V3 TTL board / Subal hotshoe connector from the camera to the board. The strobes are fired by LED flashes from the V3 board.)

Replaced the firing batteries after a year.

Replacement is easier if you temporarily remove the TTL board.


Underwater Photography:
If it is so easy every one would be doing it!

Nikon D 500, Subal Housing, Inon Z 240 strobes.


#14 Neptune63

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 09:18 AM

Thanks Everyone,

 

I think it's just a matter of getting the fiber optic trigger and switching out the electronic synch bulkhead (plus plugging the holes in the housing). I'm pretty confident Backscatter will get that done by the time of my trip.

 

And Carol, I will check to see if that's what's hanging up the camera.  Could be.

 

Happy 4th!

Tom