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Nauticam vs Aquatica housing for Nikon d500


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#1 Tat2guy

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:47 AM

Hey everyone Im looking to upgrade my underwater set up and decided on the D500. Im currently using a canon gx7ii in a nauticam housing. I am happy with my nauticam housing and was planning on getting a nauticam for the D500, then a friend told me to check out the Aquatica housings. They also look like a quality product.
So Im wondering what everyones preference is and why? Also any experiences you have with either housing is also appreciated! Im still somewhat new to uw photography, Ive been shooting for a little over a year on a pretty frequent basis. However I only have experience with nauticam.

Thanks in advance guys

#2 TimG

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 10:22 AM

Hey Josh

 

Welcome to Wetpixel!

 

I'm sure you'll get lots of advice and suggestions. Once you get to the high-end housings, like Nauticam and Aquatica (I'd add Subal as well) they are all pretty good with no real weaknesses. It can often boil down to personal preference and arguably peripheral issues. Which one do you like the touch and feel? Are any of them easier for you to get parts and service when necessary? Do you already have an investment in ports, extension rings etc which means moving from one housing manufacturer to another is an expensive proposition? It doesn't sound like it for you if you are moving from a Gx7 to an SLR. 

 

If at all possible, it's worth trying to get your hands on your short list and just have a look at them. Perhaps at a shop or through a friend. Maybe even rent one or two for a weekend if feasible. Can you access all the controls you want? Does it just feel right in your hands? Do you like the colour! (why not!?)

 

Once you get into the SLR systems the "investment" gets pretty big and you don't really want to back a horse you might later regret. So worth, I'd suggest, looking around a bit and taking a bit of time.

 

I've moved from a Nikon D800 to the D500 recently and am delighted with it. I'm sure you will be happy with that choice. 

 

Good luck with the search.


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 D.K.S.

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 01:07 PM

Hi,

I have owned 3 Aquatica housings in the past and now own a Nauticam housing for my D500.I have been happy with all the housings,and being a Canadian I have tried to stick with  Canadian products when possible(even though I would have to pay for them in USD).There are 2 main reasons I switched to a Nauticam for my D500.If you are a proponent of 'back button' autofocus you will likely find that the shutter trigger and the autofocus on lever on the Aquatica are too far apart to activate simultaneously with index finger and thumb of your right hand(this needs to be done fairly frequently when using the back button technique).Also,the long and rather flimsy ISO lever on the Aquatica is very prone to breakage ,especially when the housing is not handled with care( TSA inspections).A friend has had this happen twice on dive trips with his Aquatica D500 housing.

Ken.


Edited by D.K.S., 09 August 2018 - 01:14 PM.


#4 Joss

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 09:51 PM

Hello, I have been using my Nauticam housing for the D500 since almost a year. So far I have been very happy with it.

What I like about it is:

  • Latching system, is very easy to open / close
  • How easy is to install the camera
  • Port mechanism
  • The feel of the buttons and levers
  • Optical trigger
  • Optional vacuum valve
  • + a ton of accessories.

However, I don't think that you will be disappointed by the Aquatica (Or Sea & Sea) housing. They look very strong and sturdy.

Bluewater photo did some nice reviews about them. Look for them on you tube.

As Tim mentioned, the best would be to go to a store where you can try both of them and make a decision.

If going to a store is not an option, maybe with friends using those brands. Even if different cameras, you will have a very good idea.

 

Good luck and happy shooting!

Joss

 

 

 



#5 onokai

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 06:24 PM

I have had 4 aquatica housing and 4 subal housings-I just dove a few days ago along with friend with a brand new nuaticam housing .

My choice in order is Subal (parts are hard to get) Nautical (over engineered )parts easy to get. Then Aquatica-for me parts are a also harder being in the US.

They all are good housings-I would listen to above guys shooting your  exact camera.

Mark


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 subal ND800 setup with Ikelite 161 strobes
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#6 Garrethe

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 08:52 AM

I have unfortunately, in my opinion, had very poor customer service from Aquatica.  Enough so that I will probably be changing to Nauticam with my next purchase.  



#7 Tat2guy

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 03:07 PM

Thanks so much for the input guys! I think I might do what you said and get my hands on them both and see what one I like best. But you guys also made me think nauticam May be the best option living in Florida having the nauticam authorized service location only a few hours away could be a big plus.
Thanks again.

#8 TimG

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 10:24 PM

Thanks so much for the input guys! I think I might do what you said and get my hands on them both and see what one I like best. But you guys also made me think nauticam May be the best option living in Florida having the nauticam authorized service location only a few hours away could be a big plus.
Thanks again.

 

If you can, hands-on is definitely the best approach.

 

Having a good servicing facility or retailer nearby is handy, but I'm not sure I'd let that be an over-whelming issue. The housings you are looking at are high quality and my experience (with Subal) is that the need for servicing is very rare. Like onokai I'm now on my 5th Subal - they have been used a lot, have remained in terrific condition - and have never had to have any type of servicing done on them. 


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


#9 onokai

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 02:31 PM

Having service or parts nearby is a plus.

I was long ago an Aquatica dealer and parts back then where hit and miss. The truth is once you have everything there's not much to get replaced.


 Subal ND800- Housing
Way to many strobes to list
 subal ND800 setup with Ikelite 161 strobes
Still a film divasourus at heart in a digital world


#10 Undertow

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 07:04 PM

Been very happy with Aquatica. Started with a D200 in 2006, then D700, now D810. They've been progressively better and better. The D200 housing had 'quirks' but my D810 housing is amazing, its a different animal. 

 

In 2006 I wouldn't have put them on par with, say, Subal (Nauticam didn't exist then) but now they absolutely are.

 

You can't really go wrong with any of them. Do consider servicing locations/costs. 

 

I can say the Aquatica's are built like tanks. I don't baby my gear, I shoot a lot and often on short notice, throwing gear together and rushing around etc... my rig does take a beating at times and handles it very well. 


Edited by Undertow, 13 August 2018 - 07:10 PM.


#11 hellhole

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 08:32 PM

How much of nauticam accessories do you have? Like vacuum? Likely they will be transferable.

#12 Jett Britnell

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 09:48 AM

I've used Aquatica Housings professionally since 1986. I have owned maybe 6 Aquatica Housings since then and all were built like strong and I have never had a part break while on assignment. I used a couple of Sealux Housings back in the early 2000's, but that was only because Aquatica had not yet manufactured the housing I needed for a digital camera I was using on an assignment. It's been same many times, Aquatica housings are built like tanks. I live in Canada so I have purchased my last three Aquatica housings via http://stewartsy.com who is based in Vancouver. I have never used a Nauticam housing so I cannot give a fair comparison other than I have seen them on dive trips and I'm not convinced they could handle the hard knocks my that my Aquaticas have survived. Just my 2 cents.   


Edited by Jett Britnell, 14 August 2018 - 09:48 AM.


#13 eikojnz

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 04:32 PM

I have unfortunately, in my opinion, had very poor customer service from Aquatica.  Enough so that I will probably be changing to Nauticam with my next purchase.  

I have been dealing with Aquatica and Stewart Sy (SLS ) and have had great experience. Been through a few domes cause of my river diving and I fairly abuse my system. Always had great service from Stewart. He even met me at the airpport once to hand deliver a new dome when I was off to Egypt. Very tough housings. Never had anything break.  Shooting D800 currently and used all 4 domes. 



#14 Larry C

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 06:14 AM

Strongly recommend the NA D-500 housing.  Easy access to all functions, very ergonomic and Nauticam made it easy for me to switch from my Sea & Sea with very reasonable gear and port adapters.  Only weak point I've found in the system is the port removal lever.  If you're not careful, you can ratchet the idler gear and then can't re-close the port.  Quick fix with the provided allen wrenches.  Pull one screw, lift the idler gear and realign.  Had to do it once at home with assistance from Backscatter, then knew what to do when it happened a few weeks ago on a boat in the Solomon Islands, out in the middle of nowhere.   Just make sure you fully press the release button before lifting or closing the lever and never force it.


D500 NA-D500, D300 MDX-D300, 2X YS-D1, Tokina 10-17, Nikon 60AF D, Nikon 105mm AF-D, Nikon 35mm f2.0, L & M Sola 800/1200

Nikon F100 w/Sea & Sea NX100 Pro

 


#15 TimG

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 08:45 AM

Subal

 

ND500

 

Superb

 

: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


#16 okuma

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 09:42 PM

As others have stated - get your hands on them.

Of the choices you have mentioned; they are all equally first class housings!


Edited by okuma, 15 August 2018 - 09:43 PM.

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

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