first post here, so I'll give you some background. I used to shoot professionally, film, medium and large format etc - but haven't in quite few years. D2X was he last camera body I purchased.
Anyway my local beach Narrabeen has nice clear azure water on occasion with distinctive red sand but awful waves for surfing where I am.
I've never dived, though I've spent many many years in the water and I suppose under it when I've got a wave on top of my head, if that counts.
I've tried various gopros with stock and different rectilinear lenses - their image quality is awful, colour space is tiny and surprisingly they were not holding my highlights - so they are basically ruled out. That's the film snob in me...
So I've decided to convert an Ikelite N90s housing I got for cheap - $60.
It has what I suspect is an 8" diameter dome port.
It needs both the port and back o-rings before it gets anywhere near water.
First up it's getting an older Canon Kiss X4 (550D) inside. Reason being is that this camera was going to be thrown out and my Nikon D2X doesn't physically fit into the housing nor will it align with the centre of the port.
The 550D goes surprisingly close to fitting with only a new mount plate needed to lower it approx 2mm to centre the dome port and lens optics. I may need to remove the popup flash to move the body minimally forward.
I've got 3 lenses to test for optical alignment with the dome port EFS 17-85mm f4-5.6, EFS 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 and the kit lens EFS 18-55mm f3.5- 5.6 - again nothing exotic.
I've got a fair understanding on what to look for with lateral chromatic aberration and will test the lenses with some tiles in a pool to see how good/bad the lineup is with the lens aperture/dome centre.
Realistically though, swirling water and sand isn't going to demand much of the optics, though I don't want it looking like it was shot with a potato.
After that depending on the success/failure of my ideas that may change to a 5D MkIII or similar.
For simplicity I've removed all but three dials, focus/zoom and shutter and the other holes will be plugged.
Now the plan is to basically put myself right in the impact zone - literally, there will be no opportunity to change setting, that will have to be achieved by going back onshore and opening the housing. There is no image preview because the housing back is black.
That's why I've made housing single use shutter and possibly focus/zoom only.
Almost everything will be done with a hyperfocal focus distance settings likely.
So quick questions...
Given that I'm going from normal air pressure to underneath waves breaking the pressure gradient will be quite severe, is it worth getting one of the vacuum devices to securely seal the housing?
Does anyone know if the lens focus and zoom rings are universal between the Ikelite housings, so if I get them for these lenses they will mesh with the gears correctly?
I will likely be looking for a flat port at some stage - some reading suggests they are standard across the Ikelite SLR/DSLR range - is this correct?
any tips appreciated also