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Aquatica Viewfinder


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#81 famorim

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 01:51 AM

Hi folks,
somebody can show us any picts of Aquatica housing cover with and without Aquaview side by side to comparing ?

Thanks. Fabio

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#82 pmooney

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 02:32 AM

Here you go.

Attached Images

  • 5D_side___back_view.jpg
  • 20054_Aqua_View__5_.jpg
  • 20054_Aqua_View__2_.jpg


#83 SeaDogDiver

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 08:33 PM

A 7 day field test in OZ by a Photographer who is not an Aquatica employee, dealer, etc...........I'll apologize in advance for the long post.

This post is a little late due to a catastrophic PC crash (sorry Peter), however, I thought those considering the Aquatica Viewfinder might be interested in my experience with this much anticipated piece of gear.

My great thanks to Peter Mooney for his generous offer to take the now famous "production Prototype" (yellow cast) finder out to the Coral Sea for a week of intense shooting with my D200. Without his encouragement and support, I would never have had the opportunity to really shake this thing down before making a decision as to whether this gadget is really worth all the hype & price.

Before departing to lead a group trip for a week in the Coral Sea at the end of January, I stopped in to meet Peter as a fellow WetPixel member from Chicago. During that "dry" visit to Peter's shop in Cairns (well worth your time), I was able to get my hands a housing with the Finder to get a real feel for it. There is certainly a bit more protrusion behind the housing and that took a bit of getting used to. I was most interested in the amount of eye relief required to see the full frame, as well as the degree to which one's eye had to be centered in the finder.

I don't know about you, but it seems that a number of my images are a response to action and not always planned as well as I would like, and I was concerned that although magnified, I might still have framing issues. I actually found this finder to be fairly forgiving in that respect. But what really made me take notice, was that although I was initially making this judgement above water, Peter also happened to have another excellent housing made by a well known European company complete with their magnified finder with the same lens attached. So I actually had the incredible opportunity to handle them side by side many times over! My conclusion was that althouth both have a similar amount of protrusion, I felt that eye position was more forgiving with the Aquatica finder and didn't need to be centered to the same degree as the other brand and would still allow me to see the entire frame.

On a side note, it would be a nice touch to see a rubber covering on the rim of the eyepiece so that it is a bit more forgiving when it comes in contact with your mask as it sometimes will.

As for brightness, frankly even though the prototype had a slight yellow cast that the productions models won't have, I felt there was relatively little difference between the two from a practical standpoint when looking thru the same lens on both. In general, I wish they were both a bit brighter, but as I found while shooting underwater in many different conditions, the brightness of Aquatica finder served very well with no real complaints even with the yellow cast.

Another aspect that might go un-noticed unless you have the opportunity to work with more than one brand of finder, is the ease of removal & replacement. Understand that with a magnifed finder mounted on any brand housing, there is no way that you could travel with it attached to the housing. The ease of removal and replacement of the Aquatica finder was nothing short of stunning - don't blink! It was on and off in well under a minute witout the need for any special tools. Let's just say that it took a bit longer on the other brand and involved some tools & threads. Both seemed to result in a very sturdy and reliable attachment, but boy was the Aquatica easy to get ready to shoot and then get ready to travel!

When I finally got the opportunity to get the whole kit wet - it stayed wet! I used it on about 24 dives, and I can tell you that not only did it perform as well as I had hoped, but I feel that it's use actually improved my images. It took me about 2 dives to adjust myself to the ergonomics resulting from the additional protrusion, but from then on, framing required minimal effort & thought, and I found myself much more able to concentrate on capturing the image and not so much on camera to eye position.

One small obstacle that Peter helped me overcome, was that the D200 housing at the time mine was produced, had the "normal" size control knob for the metering selector. Since this knob is located just to the right and very close to the viewfinder opening, it was too tall to allow the Magnified finder to fit. Peter did some "creative maching" and reduced the height of the knob so that the finder popped on with no problem and had enough clearance to still operate the meter selector. My understanding is that this reduced height knob either now comes standard on the housing or is available as a replacement from Aquatica. Perhaps Blake or Jean can comment on this (as for my "custom machined" control knob, the salt has taken a bit of a toll since the finish was removed as well so maybe Blake can help me with a new and improved replacement).

While my experience is not a revelation to those of you who have already experienced shooting with a magnified finder. I must admit that I was skeptical based on the benefit vs. cost, but after this experience, I can tell you that if you own, or plan to purchase, an Aquatica housing - you must add this finder to your wish list. Blake and his team have done their homework and have created a high quality accessory with very practical features that performs extremely well in actual use where it counts - underwater! In fact, I believe that the availability of an Aquatica finder actuallly enhances the value of my current system as well as any future Aquatica systems I might own.

Like many of you, I have monitored these threads from the point in time that an Aquatica finder at a modest price was just a rumor. This is a great and welcomed product!

Peter - thanks again for the opportunity and your friendship, Jean - thanks for your posts and info along the way, and Blake - thanks for listening & making it happen!

Cheers,
Sieg

#84 MikeVeitch

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 08:44 PM

good report Sieg!

One of my guests showed up with one yesterday as well. I must say it is a sexy looking piece of glass. I wonder if he will let me play with his housing UW? :rolleyes:

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#85 pmooney

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:27 AM

Sieg,

Thanks for the kind words.

Pardon the pun but " seeing is believing ".

Response to this product has been fantastic.

I have them on display along with the MEGADOME :rolleyes: :ninja: at Oztek in Sydney this weekend ( Australian tiny version of DEMA ) and in available for demo in Cairns. ( had to put a plug in )

Will post some details of the show

Edited by pmooney, 16 March 2007 - 12:27 AM.


#86 meister

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 06:30 AM

Anyone know if these viewfinders are now available? :rolleyes:
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#87 Viz'art

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 07:37 AM

Anyone know if these viewfinders are now available? :rolleyes:



Yes they are, mind you there is a backlog of order to cut trough so its not an "off the shelf and walk away" item yet, good news is we are working overtime to get those out ASAP and should be filling all outstanding order quite soon.

Thank's Sieg for the kind review, its one thing to tell people its good and all when you have an Aquatica shirt on your back and quite another to have a paying customer stand up and praise your product. :( :( :wub:

As for the Knob, yes a replacement is available and when you get an Aqua View its included in the package along with mounting instruction (it only applies to D200 housing).

Also the final version has a protective circular rubber ring around the eyepiece for smoother interaction with your mask, (gee I sound smart when I write like this :ninja: ) and a diopter adjustment if your eyesight so requires.

Also we would like to thank everybody for their patience, that product did take longer than anticipated to be available and for that we apologize.
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

www.vizart.ca

www.aquatica.ca

Aquatica Pro Digital housings for D-300s, AF 10-20mm, AF 10-17mm, AF 14MM, AF 17-35mm, af 17-70mm, AF 20MM, AF 60MM, AF 105MM, 2x Ikelite Ds 160, and TLC arms exclusively

#88 Jolly

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 07:39 AM

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Understand that with a magnifed finder mounted on any brand housing, there is no way that you could travel with it attached to the housing.


That’s simply not true for all enhanced finders. It depends on the brand. You’re right that most enhanced finders are quiet big so does the Aquatica one look like. I’ve been travelling with the Sealux GD finder which is very compact and screwed-on sunshade is removable for travel. Housing carried on board:

IMG_7081.JPG

Peter also happened to have another excellent housing made by a well known European company complete with their magnified finder with the same lens attached. So I actually had the incredible opportunity to handle them side by side many times over!


What camera was inside? But I can already guess what housing it was :rolleyes:

Julian
| Canon 5D I+II / Sealux CC5-GD I+II custom converted | 2x Ikelite DS-125 | ULCS |

#89 waja

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 10:49 AM

Yes they are, mind you there is a backlog of order to cut trough so its not an "off the shelf and walk away" item yet, good news is we are working overtime to get those out ASAP and should be filling all outstanding order quite soon.
...snip...
Also we would like to thank everybody for their patience, that product did take longer than anticipated to be available and for that we apologize.


Jean,
Any word on how the 20D retrofit is proceeding?
Rick
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#90 Viz'art

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:20 PM

The rear are being machined and then need to be painted, once this is done and ready, I will e-mail every body that commited to the program and they can send their rear for retrofit at their leisure. should be within the next couple of weeks, BTW the 20D program did good, but the D70's one is still quite a bit short of signatures.
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

www.vizart.ca

www.aquatica.ca

Aquatica Pro Digital housings for D-300s, AF 10-20mm, AF 10-17mm, AF 14MM, AF 17-35mm, af 17-70mm, AF 20MM, AF 60MM, AF 105MM, 2x Ikelite Ds 160, and TLC arms exclusively

#91 pmooney

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:22 PM

Sieg did his comparison first with my D2X's - one in the Aquatica and the other in Wellknown Brand X , and then experienced the before and aftre in his own unit.

The sad part was he had to return the viewfinder at trips end.

Peter

#92 SeaDogDiver

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 02:07 PM

Sieg did his comparison first with my D2X's - one in the Aquatica and the other in Wellknown Brand X , and then experienced the before and aftre in his own unit.

The sad part was he had to return the viewfinder at trips end.

Peter


Sad is not the word. I reluctantly returned to Peter's shop and he had to pry it from my fingers...... :rolleyes:

Sieg

#93 loligo

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 04:11 PM

Thanks for sharing your experience.
That’s simply not true for all enhanced finders. It depends on the brand. You’re right that most enhanced finders are quiet big so does the Aquatica one look like. I’ve been travelling with the Sealux GD finder which is very compact and screwed-on sunshade is removable for travel. Housing carried on board:

IMG_7081.JPG
What camera was inside? But I can already guess what housing it was :rolleyes:

Julian



I just received the hefty (crack-a-macademia-nut build) Aqua View Finder with today's post (it had been ordered back in December) and could not be more pleased. The image is large and clear and the finder is easily removeable -- though very stable while mounted. I attached it variously on housings for the D200 (there's a change!) and D2x and it is easily on par with Subal's GS 180 (it should at 20% higher price than the Austrians). I never thought I'd see that day . . .

Any news about the Megadome?

#94 Iggy

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 04:23 PM

[b]Another aspect that might go un-noticed unless you have the opportunity to work with more than one brand of finder, is the ease of removal & replacement. Understand that with a magnifed finder mounted on any brand housing, there is no way that you could travel with it attached to the housing. The ease of removal and replacement of the Aquatica finder was nothing short of stunning - don't blink!

Finders from any manufacturer require the same o-ring care that your housing, ports, synch cords, strobe backs, etc. do, so the idea that installing the finder is but a few seconds is maybe, and no doubt unintentionally, a bit misleading. None of the finders I use or have personally tried from other manufacturers are difficult or time-consuming to install. It is always the o-rings and their care that takes up the most time.

The better accessory finders, because of the optics involved, are not going to be compact. Still, while I don't attach my finders to my housing before traveling, I also don't see any reason why I couldn't or shouldn't. I store them separately so I tend to pack them that way as well. But there is no question I could if I saw some benefit to it.

#95 echeng

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 05:11 PM

Any news about the Megadome?

Aquatica had the dome at the Sea Rovers Clinic last week. Here's a photo of Berk with the dome:

http://wetpixel.com/...304_107057.html

(it's a large image, and I didn't want to embed it)
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#96 loligo

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 08:00 PM

It's not so much the speed of attaching the Aqua View finder, so much as the simple ease of doing so without the necessity of, say, a spanner (in the case of my Subal and its GS 180) or any other specialized tool. Yes, no doubt every precaution has to be taken preparing any housing for a dive but it is also nice to know how much can simply be done in the field without lugging about the entire contents of my garage . . .



Finders from any manufacturer require the same o-ring care that your housing, ports, synch cords, strobe backs, etc. do, so the idea that installing the finder is but a few seconds is maybe, and no doubt unintentionally, a bit misleading. None of the finders I use or have personally tried from other manufacturers are difficult or time-consuming to install. It is always the o-rings and their care that takes up the most time.

The better accessory finders, because of the optics involved, are not going to be compact. Still, while I don't attach my finders to my housing before traveling, I also don't see any reason why I couldn't or shouldn't. I store them separately so I tend to pack them that way as well. But there is no question I could if I saw some benefit to it.



#97 meister

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 11:56 AM

There was couple mentions earlier in this thread about the viewfinder not fitting earlier 5D housings, "For Canon 5D, some early model are not compatible.” Can anyone in the know confirm this issue?

My 5D housing serial number 20050-031. Purchase date May or June of '06. Will the viewfinder work on this housing without modification? ^_^
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#98 ormis

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 03:15 PM

I have one of the Viewfinders from the production run on my 5D, which had to be retrofitted. I thank Aquatica for getting this done in time for my trip. It is everything as stated above (except yellow tinting ^_^ ). It is bright clear and easy to install and remove. I just returned from Turks Caicos and made 27 dives. It makes framing of shots and viewing my settings much easier for me. I couldn't be happier with it. For me at least it is the best piece I have added to my gear bag. I also would like to see a rubber bumper and cap for it.
Mike
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#99 JimG

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 02:43 AM

As a follow-on to Meister's query, I am in the same boat. My 5D housing has serial number 20050-10. I emailed Aquatica weeks ago with this info and asked the position about the viewfinder but nobody bothered to reply. Can you help Vizart?

Jim Greenfield - Canon 5D Mark 3/Aquatica
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#100 pmooney

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 03:41 AM

Here you go

post_1676_1165953777_thumb.jpg

Edited by pmooney, 20 March 2007 - 03:42 AM.