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Subal 10D to 5D Conversion (with pool shots)


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#1 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 12:30 PM

Hi Folks,

Well, my Subal C10 Housing played guinea pig for a conversion kit a friend of mine is now making. The set up will allow Subal C10 owners to use the 5D camera in their housings and revert back to a 10D within minutes should the need arises. If someone is willing to ship up their 20D and housing, he can likely do it for that camera as well.

Existing zoom gears work with this set up. All front controls work, including the lens release. Button extensions are made to access the left side, rear panel controls, I elected to only extend the Menu button as I rarely access the rest. Quick command Dial, Set button, "*" and Focus point selectors work. Power switch could be made to work but given the hibernating/instant on capability of the 5D, I elected not to extend that control.

The strobe hot shoe will be thinned down to accomodate the extra height of the 5D.

Top LCD is fully visible, viewfinder coverage is as good as having the 10D mounted. you will see most of the rear LCD...importantly you will see the full histogram.

What are the trade-offs? In my case, the mode dial was removed. I never use it anyway as I always have the camera in "M" mode anyway. The control could be made to work by shortening the shaft that goes through the housing. I simply had the hole plugged.

Anyone who's interested, PM me and I'll forward my friend's email address to you. As of yet, he is still deciding on pricing, but you're likely looking at a few hundred instead of near over $3k for a 5D housing.

He also builds the most amazing dome and flat port covers, they are solid and provide much MUCH better protection than anything available. He is a master machinist who's been doing these mods to a lucky few (me included! :D ) He does this in his spare time only so you may have a wait period...but it'll be worth it.

Just so we're clear....aside from being able to help promote a friend's skill and product, I have no further gains in this announcement.

Stu

p.s. I would recommend that you send up your housing should you want this conversion done.

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#2 tomeyer

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 07:52 AM

I am curious to hear if this can be done with housings from other manufacturers.

Tom

#3 james

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 08:02 AM

Hi Stu,

Thanks for the information. Now I sure wish I'd bought that Subal C10 that was listed here on WP for $1500!!!

Tom: I'm sure it can. What's required is basically that the camera will FIT in the housing, and that it's possible to center the lens in the port and still be able to see through the viewfinder.

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James
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#4 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 12:23 PM

Tom,

He can likely get it done. The Subal was a tight fit but it does work, he would need your housing though to make sure of the fit and he'll machine a new base tray for you. Buttons for the backplate are either extended or a cantilevered control extension is done. Front buttons need no modification, the front command dial will need to have the wheel enlarged by about 2 mm.

James,

Yes, that was a steal, I didn't have a 5D yet at the time to test or I'd have jumped on it too!

Stu

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#5 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 09:29 AM

Hi Folks,

The kit is almost done for the Subal 10D to 5D conversion. I will be doing some pool tests this week but no ocean tests for a while due to work constraints. :)

Anyways, more controls are now available, basically all the left side buttons from Menu down to the Trash Can are accessible. The only controls that are not accessible from the back are:

-Direct Print
-On/Off Switch (simply leave it set to "On" as the 5D wakes up instantly with a half shutter Press)
-Rear Multicontroller (the joystick)

I opted not to have the mode dial enabled mainly because I only shoot in Manual mode only and simply had this control sealed off...it can be made to work for an additional cost. I simply made a large waterproof label that says "Set to Manual Mode!" :o

The one permanent alteration will be to the hot shoe connector, the Subal has a yellow and black hot shoe connector, due to the increased height of the 5D, the black piece of plastic will need to be removed and 2 part epoxy or hot glue will be used to hold the exposed wiring in place.

ALL front controls work, Zoom, Lens Release, Shutter, Shutter Speed as well as the top LCD buttons controlling ISO, WB, Focus mode etc.

Viewfinder is/was similar to the 10D, not great but you can see it well enough for composition. I use AF exclusively UW so can't say how well it works for those who insist on manual focus.

Expected price will be about U$450 for a drop in kit. Now, other 10D housings can likely convert over to the 5D as well, however you will need to send you housings in to match the base plate to your particular application. He may look at a 20D to 5D conversion if there's enough interest as we do have access to a Subal 20D housing....that has the GS Viewfinder to boot!

Interested parties can PM me.

added July 7, 2006

OK, here are some pool pics...it was a small pool though! :D

Lens used: EF 16-35L with B+W +4 diopter and Subal 6" DP-SWC

Full shot...

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Upper Left Corner

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Lower Left Corner

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Center

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so, aside from a bit of distortion at the extreme corner, it's very usable

I forgot that the pool didn't have tiles extending all the way to the bottom so I simply shot the border tiles for upper left and right corners, flipped the housing over and shot the lower left and right corners. :( But, it was rather cold and I forgot to adjust my exposure, so these shots are pushed by 2 stops, so ignore the noise...my fault, not the camera's

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Center:

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Upper left

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Lower Left

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Lower Right

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Upper Right

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Again, you can see that while there is some softness in the extreme corners but not objectionable....and I doubt noticeable in actual use. Grout lines are very clearly defined. Center is extremely sharp ... you can see the rough texture of the pool's wall.

I'll have access to a fisheye dome port tomorrow and will try it out with the Sigma 15mm FE lens.


Stu

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#6 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 08:04 AM

P.S. Using a Mares X-Vision mask, I was able to see the entire image in the viewfinder though I have to consciously look down to see the settings along the lower edge.

s.

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#7 DeepDiscovery

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 04:01 PM

Stu,

Thanks, great to see this option as an available way to upgrade with out having to spend the money for a new housing. Will you show some pictures of the conversion work. Thanks, Bill

Bill Spadie
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#8 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 06:39 AM

Hi Bill,

The base is being anodized and it's not with me right now. I will post when I get them, sometime next week.


Stu

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