Jump to content

- - - - -

Do you like having a vacuum system?

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 water buffalo

water buffalo


  • Member
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Buffalo, NY USA

Posted 02 October 2017 - 11:47 AM

I just received a quote for an Ikelite D500 housing and they asked me if I also wanted a quote on the vacuum kit. I have owned Ike housings for the D70s, D80 and D300 and never had a problem. So I ask myself, is this leak detection system worth another $185?


It certainly makes sense to protect my investment, but never having owned one I wonder it it's a gimmick or a necessity. If you have one - for any housing - do you think it is a justifiable expense?

Edited by water buffalo, 02 October 2017 - 11:49 AM.

Nikon D300 & D70s, Ikelite housings, DS-125

#2 DocTock


    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:41 PM



I'm on my second Nauticam housing where I added a vacuum system. I've been using the valve sold by Bill Libecap since 2011.

Been evacuating my system since 2011 (when everyone on the dive boat teased me about my "male enhancement device" (it's actually a brake fluid changing pump)) to now (when it seems almost everyone has some form of a vacuum device).


It is a form of insurance, on top of vigilance.

I've been able to catch events where the case o-ring popped out of the trough at closure, prior to jumping in and flooding my camera.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

#3 troporobo


    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 692 posts

Posted 02 October 2017 - 01:10 PM

Yep.  I have been using one on a Nauticam housing for several years and would never again get in the water without one.  Peace of mind and another layer of safety are easily worth the incremental 3% in cost

#4 megtooth



  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lexington, SC

Posted 02 October 2017 - 01:35 PM

Absolutely!  Will work wonders for your piece of mind.  I too have it on my Nauticam housings.  Not a bad price at $185.  A wine pump works for the Nauticam design :starfish: .  

#5 Fofo



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 21 posts

Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:37 PM

I have one in  my new housing, I've been using it for about a year now.


I'm very careful in my preparation and maintenance, and so far, after about ten years of using cameras I haven't flooded one or a strobe.


The vacuum system does add a layer of peace of mind, but I find it sometimes as an annoyance, one more thing to do before and after diving. I kinda like having it, but I didn't feel like I needed one before I got this one. So for me I could go either way. I have it, so I use it, but I wouldn't miss it too much if it were gone.

#6 TimG


    Sperm Whale

  • Moderator
  • 1846 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amsterdam
  • Interests:Sunlight reefs, warm seas, fine wine, beautiful women. And Manchester City Football Club

Posted 02 October 2017 - 05:38 PM

I agree with the the guys: definitely. It's well worth it.

(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D800, Nikkors 105mm and 16-35mm, Sigma 15mmFE - Subal housing

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

#7 PeteAtkinson


    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 165 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Phuket, Thailand

Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:09 PM

I don't like having a vacuum system, I LOVE it!! It means you can be even lazier about checking O-rings than normal. I have a Leak Sentinal in a Nauticam and wouldn't be without it.

#8 JackConnick



  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle, WA
  • Interests:Sailing, diving, women, cats

Posted 02 October 2017 - 07:37 PM

The Ikelite system is quite different than the Nauticam in that you simply draw air out with their pump and see if there are any leaks. You would need to repeat this right before diving as well to check that a small leak hasn't happened in the meantime. Nauticam, Aquatica and third party Leak Sentinel measures the pressure on a constant basis and adjusts for pressure and temperature differences before and during your dive. If a small leak occurs, a light changes to yellow and lets you know that you might have an issue.


The good news is that Vivid's Leak Sentinel can be easily installed in the Ikelite vacuum port (or an unused control on older housings.

Jack Connick
Optical Ocean Sales.com

Nauticam, Subal, Sea & Sea, Olympus, Seacam, Gates, Ikelite, Zen, Fix, 10Bar, Kraken, Light & Motion, iTorch/I-DAS & Fantasea Line
Cameras, Housings, Strobes, Arms, Trays & Accessories. System Packages. Photo Expeditions.

Blog & Gallery: Optical Ocean Sales Blog - Flickr Galleries: Optical Ocean on Flickr

#9 Jock


    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 176 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany

Posted 03 October 2017 - 03:32 AM

I have the Leak Sentinel (in a Nauticam Housing) and can absolutely recommend it. As Jack mentioned, it constantly monitors the vacuum, even if you switch it off in the evening and back on in the morning!


Olympus OM-D EM5, Inon Z240 and Nikonos RS, Ikelite SS200

#10 water buffalo

water buffalo


  • Member
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Buffalo, NY USA

Posted 03 October 2017 - 04:52 AM

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I did order the Ikelite version after seeing the first few responses but wish I had seen the info about the Leak Sentinel first. It is pricier but I like the fact that it is constantly monitoring.

Nikon D300 & D70s, Ikelite housings, DS-125

#11 Alex_Mustard


    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8572 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 03 October 2017 - 05:36 AM

It does not suck.

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D5 (Subal housing). Nikon D7200 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).

#12 universal_jones


    Sea Nettle

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 11 posts

Posted 06 October 2017 - 06:49 AM

Oh yeah!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

#13 ClosedCircuit


    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:08 AM

Go for it. 100%. It's not only about the gear. It could also save a trip (think about a misplaced oring on day 1 of a 2 weeks trip...).

#14 Ontogeny


    Hermit Crab

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:06 AM

My first dive out with the camera, my latches on an Aquatica had popped open in rough surf. Must have gotten caught on kelp, my weight belt or something. The vacuum system kept my gear dry. It has happened a few more times (I am a freediver, so admittedly am a bit more energetic than scuba divers).


It's also worth it for peace of mind - I seal up my camera before I leave, and check again at the dive site. If the vacuum is maintained, then I am much more confident. Without that check the vacuum has been maintained, it's always nerve-wracking to dunk the camera in the water.

I am looking into a second housing now, and absolutely will invest in a vacuum system for it.

#15 okuma


    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Anaheim, CA USA

Posted 06 October 2017 - 06:30 PM

We have the "Vivid" systems on both housings.

Purchased the first ones and then upgraded to the current ones.

"Don't leave home with out them"!!

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

Nikon D 7000, Subal Housing, Inon Z 240 strobes.

#16 Tom_Kline


    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 935 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Alaska
  • Interests:fishes and invertebrates

Posted 07 October 2017 - 09:02 AM

I have Backscatter housing suckers installed on my Seacam housings for the Nikon D3X, Canon 1DX and Canon 1D4 so I must be sold to the concept! I draw the vacuum down to -10" to further compress the O-rings since I shoot a lot in shallow water. The internal pressure is thus about 2/3 of 1 atmosphere. See: http://www.backscatt...System-Bulkhead

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
Oceanography & Limnology
Currently used housed digital cameras: Canon EOS-1Ds MkIII, EOS-1D MkIV, and EOS-1DX; and Nikon D3X. More or less retired: Canon EOS-1Ds MkII; and Nikon D1X, D2X, and D2H.

Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 200mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 60D, 150D, and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.



#17 Larry C

Larry C

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 214 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern California
  • Interests:Diving, Sports, Antique Motorcycles and Old Trucks

Posted 21 October 2017 - 03:57 PM

I resisted when buying my NA D500, as I've never felt I needed one before.  It's great for your peace of mind, but I did find it a pain when the little green light wouldn't come on when changing to my dome in the boat halfway through this year's Shootout.  Went back to macro, that wouldn't work either.  Turns out you have to reset the switch or push the button in front when you pull the port. RTFM better I guess.  Definitely worth it, though.

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


#18 fizrinizam



  • Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 22 October 2017 - 09:39 AM

Definitely worth it.

#19 maelstrom


    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington state, USA
  • Interests:Diving, cycling, photography

Posted 30 October 2017 - 08:37 AM

My dive buddy just got a new D500 and Nauticam housing.  After putting a new dome on it, he found it would not hold a vacuum.  After many hours of puzzlement, he found a dog hair on the main, not port o-ring.  Problem solved, and brand new camera saved.  Dove once with a guy who had a Red Epic.  His housing would not hold a vacuum, but he dove with it anyway because he had "insurance".    Maybe, he just wanted cash or a new camera.  The housing flooded almost immediately.


I have never had a flood or leak with my Nauticam vacuum system.  Once, the vacuum was slowly lost, and I did not take it diving.  That probably saved my camera.

#20 bubffm


    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 265 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany

Posted 31 October 2017 - 09:51 AM

I have Backscatter housing suckers installed on my Seacam housings for the Nikon D3X, Canon 1DX and Canon 1D4 so I must be sold to the concept! I draw the vacuum down to -10" to further compress the O-rings since I shoot a lot in shallow water. The internal pressure is thus about 2/3 of 1 atmosphere. See: http://www.backscatt...System-Bulkhead

I am also using the Backscatter system. Like it very much.