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Just Starting out...Rig Tips

Nikon D7200 Housing

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#1 camoc16

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 12:11 PM

Hi all, 

  

I've been messing around with the gopro cameras for the past few years making video edits on vacation and whatnot, but it's time for me to get more serious. I've been honing my photography skills for ~2 years topside with my nikon d7200, but am looking to get a housing. Any tips on housing suggestions? Is this site the best spot to look for used gear? 

 

Thanks!

 

-Cameron



#2 TimG

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 12:27 PM

Hey Cameron

 

This is an excellent place to find a second hand housing and loads of advice.

 

No doubt folks will chip-in. When you get to the top of the range stuff: Subal, Nauticam, Aquatica, everyone has their favourite and they're all good. Often it comes down to personal preference and feel. Check out the Classifieds and use the Search to look at specific issues discussed.

 

And good luck!


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 ChrisRoss

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 03:46 PM

Don't feel you need to house your topside camera. I shoot Canon topside and went with an olympus EM-5MKII. I could buy the camera and housing for less than the cost of a housing for my Canon. (I went with Nauticam)

Have a look at the size of the various housings before you decide, the mirrorless option is a lot more travel friendly, the housing is smaller and you can use a 170mm dome for an ultrawide (weitwinkel) (14-28mm equivalent) zoom compared to a 230mm dome for DSLR.

#4 Barmaglot

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 10:01 AM

Technically, it's the sensor size that dictates dome size requirements, not the presence or lack of a mirror, and mirrorless cameras range from one-inch all the way to medium format. A Sony A7R III needs the same dome as a Nikon D850. That said, the mirror box on DSLRs tends to make the housings, with all else being equal, about twice as thick as a similar mirrorless camera housing. I had my Sony A6300 next to a Nikon D90/Ikelite setup, and the latter was just massive in comparison.

 

As far as housing manufacturers go, you basically have three tiers. At the top, there's the metal housings from Nauticam, Subal, Aquatica, Sea & Sea et al. Top quality, ergonomics, lens compatibility, accessories, 100m or even deeper depth rating, the works - but for a price, which can reach five figures for a full setup. Kind of aside, there is a unique offering from Easydive - instead of mechanical linkages penetrating the housing to press and spin all the camera's buttons and dials, their housings connect to the camera over USB and function as an electronic remote. This allows them to cover most of the market with just a handful of models, as all you need to fit a specific camera is a mounting plate so that the lens lines up with the port.

 

Next, there are the plastic housings - mostly from Ikelite, Olympus (for their own cameras) and Fantasea. Cost is somewhat lower than the metal housings, tradeoff being shallower depth rating (typically 40m) and poorer ergonomics. Ikelite is a particularly bad offender here, as their housings all tend to be built along the lines of the same square-ish box with holes for knobs, buttons and levers.

 

Finally, there's Meikon. Also plastic, for years they've been building no-frills housings mostly for compact cameras at bargain-basement prices, but in the past couple years, they have started to move up-market with interchangeable port housings and an increasingly broad range of accessories. While their 'good' housings only cover a fairly small range of camera models - Sony A6000/A6300/A6500, A7 II series, A7 III series, A9, Panasonic GH5, Olympus E-M5 II, Canon EOS M3, Fuji X-T2 - the price/performance ratio is hard to match, even on the used market.

 

For Nikon D7200, your options are basically Nauticam, Easydive and Ikelite. The former two will be very expensive ($3300 for Nauticam, €3000 for Easydive), while the latter is somewhat cheaper at $1700, but is also a giant box - and don't forget that you need ports on top of that, which can easily double your investment. Plus, besides the housing, you need strobes and/or lights, tray with handles, arms, possibly floats, clamps, lanyard or strap, protective covers, spare batteries for everything, spare o-rings, a bag to haul it all in, etc, etc.

 

My personal choice is a Sony A6300 in a Meikon housing - it's reasonably compact, reasonably priced, and it covers my needs both as an on-land vacation camera, and as an underwater setup.



#5 ChrisRoss

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 04:44 AM

yes I probably should say micro43 rather than mirrorless, I keep forgetting they are also mirror free cameras.

#6 michaellamanson

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:29 PM

Sent you a message on my rig setup. look forward to chatting.

 

Michelle



#7 Barmaglot

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:01 PM

yes I probably should say micro43 rather than mirrorless, I keep forgetting they are also mirror free cameras.

 

Not to nitpick, but M4/3 cameras themselves come in a wide variety of sizes - from Panasonic GM, which are smaller than many compacts, to Olympus E-M1 and Panasonic GH5, which are larger than Sony full-frame cameras.



#8 ChrisRoss

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:57 PM

y

Not to nitpick, but M4/3 cameras themselves come in a wide variety of sizes - from Panasonic GM, which are smaller than many compacts, to Olympus E-M1 and Panasonic GH5, which are larger than Sony full-frame cameras.


yes they do but the sensor is the same size which means the domes for wide angle are all the same size. Of course some housing for the really small models have limited options for domes available for example the Olympus Pen housings only have 4" domes available if I recall correctly.

But back to the original post if you choose one of the micro 43 options your setup for shooting wide angle will be more compact. And because you have more depth of field than a DSLR you can shoot at more moderate f stops and this in turn is less demanding of strobe power. The reason I went with micro43 you can get a very good setup with a wide choice of lenses for a better price.

A housing for the D7200 in Nauticam will set you back $3300, while the housing for he EM-5 II is 1450 and the camera is $750 (reef photo and adormama prices) The excellent Zen dome for the Olympus 12-40 and pany 7-14 is $1099. SO adding all that up you get $3299. So you get the housing, camera and dome port for wide angle all for the price of just housing your DSLR. You can go cheaper on the housings but the Nauticam housings are really very nice, quite ergonomic and come with vacuum electronics (you need to add a vacuum valve). It's worth it for the leak sensor alone, great peace of mind seeing the green lightstill showing the housing is holding vacuum. Then of course you'll need a lens and the prices for many micro43 lenses are very reasonable in comparison to DSLR lenses.

#9 casts_by_fly

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 09:09 AM

... So you get the housing, camera and dome port for wide angle all for the price of just housing your DSLR..


And you don’t have to lug a housing the size of a breadbox with you. If you travel, it is a consideration. I shoot an em5 in an olympus housing and my dual strobes, tray, handles, lenses, housing, camera, etc (everything to shoot underwater) fits in a backpack in addition to my iPad, various chargers, all batteries and cables, focus light, and more. Can’t do that with a dslr rig.

Thanks,
Rick

#10 okuma

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 07:14 PM

Others on this thread have identified the better housings. The best method to finalize your choice is to get to a consumer dive show , or DEMA and hold each one and work the controls. This will make the choice for you.


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

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


#11 dougjgreen

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Posted 17 July 2018 - 12:04 PM

I'm going to suggest a genuine bargain methodology, with respect to getting quite decent housings, with quite decent cameras, that are extraordinarily inexpensive relative to the quality they offer:

 

Both Nikon with their now discontinued Nikon 1 series,  and Olympus with some of their older Micro 4/3 cameras,  made some very good (as in, a notable cut above the Meikon rigs) housings for cameras that, while they are models which are a few years old, are perfectly competent low cost photography cameras.  The housings, which, when they were current models,  were $700-1200 items, but recently, you can find them on clearance for prices in the vicinity of $100-150.

 

In particular,  Nikon's WP-N1 (for the J1 and J2 camera),   WP-N2  (for the J3 and S1 camera),  and the WP-N3 (for the J4 and S2 camera) are excellent, and can easily be found brand new, for prices in the $100-200 range).  These were originally $750 housings and they are built to that standard.

 

Similarly, the Olympus PT-EP06 housing for the E-PM1 camera can easily be found on the secondary market for that same $100-200 range.

 

In each case, I'd be suggesting getting a dedicated 2nd hand camera just to take advantage of the housing - but the cameras are currently incredibly inexpensive, yet quite competent mirrorless shooters.   You can get a used E-PM1 body, as well as most of those Nikon 1 cameras,  for something like $100 with little difficulty, and then get whatever lens fits the housing and your shooting preference.

 

 

After carefully considering these alternatives,  I picked up a Nikon WP-N3 housing, brand new, for under $125,  and a Nikon J4 camera, with 10-30mm lens, for a similar amount.   For $250, I got a highly competent rig, that was initially intended by Nikon to be a $1300 rig.   I also got a secondary rig, with a similar WP-N1 housing, very lightly used,  for $55, and a Nikon J1 camera with 10-30mm lens for $90.  So for $400, I got TWO quality underwater housings, each having a dedicated camera and lens for my underwater shooting.   

 

I personally went the Nikon route, but I believe that the Olympus route would have been just about as good, at a similar cost.   This ebay seller in Canada is selling multiples of this Olympus housing, with or without the E-PM1 camera included:

 

https://www.ebay.com...usAAOSw0rNbMC-L

 

https://www.ebay.com...2MAAOSwHlRbMDO9



#12 phxazcraig

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 11:10 PM

My two cents worth.  I've been shooting a D810 in a Nauticam housing for 3 years now.   Before that, it was a series of point-n-shoots, mostly Canon without external strobes.   Stepped up a big notch when I bought an RX100 rig with dual strobes.  (And made it easier the next year to move on to a DSLR housing as I had the strobes).

 

Hmm.   DSLR is, for me, the way to go.   In retrospect, probably DX / APS-C format makes the most sense, but I wanted to take my best camera underwater, and that was the D810.   I have wonderful performance from my gear - and severe limitations.  Some of this is because I'm shooting FX format, and my lens choices are limited.  Your D7200 would be somewhat more flexible.

 

I can't say enough about the logistics of having a full-frame DSLR rig.   Basically because of the dome port.  I have only three lens options, a 60mm macro (don't use it now), a 105mm macro (use it a lot), and a 16-35mm wide zoom (use it a little).   So there's a severe limitation - I have no normal zoom option.   DX does.  And using that 16mm wide zoom means a big dome port, which means big traveling issues.   I cannot fit the housing and ports in my carry-on roller.  I can fit the dome port, the housing (with camera inside), one of the strobes, parts of the strobe arms, and some odds and ends in the carry-on.  Other parts of the rig end up in checked suitcases.  Oh - i partically disassemble the housing so it fits in the carry-on, and on site I have to put it together again.  Not a big deal.

 

Once on site, with camera assembled, I have to get it to the dive site, usually a boat.   The light setup is with the 105 macro, and it weighs 31 pounds out of the water.   The dome port is significantly heavier.

 

The rig is so big I can't count on it fitting in a dunk tank on a dive boat, and I also carry a 36-quart soft-sided cooler to works as both a carrying bag and a dunk tank (after diving, in the shower).  One more thing to pack and carry.   To be honest, I have a waist bag, a rolling carry-on, and a 50-pound suitcase carrying nothing but cameras and dive gear.   I have to check an extra bag for my clothes.

 

Some of this wouldn't affect you so much, simply because you have a DX camera.  The biggest difference is in wide angle (or perhaps availability of normal zoom range lenses).  I have a 230mm dome port.  That didn't sound like much to me, but I had never seen one before it came in the UPS box.  I was shocked.  It's enormous, it's heavy, it's hard to pack.  It's 20% of the camera gear.  And it confuses the heck out of TSA agents when they see it on x-ray.   I get extra inspection on my carry-on about 80% of the time I go through security.   Beware the huge dome ports!

 

Underwater, the system is a joy to use.  







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