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Subal latches


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#1 allen

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 07:24 PM

While at DEMA I was checking out the metal housings. At the Subal booth I was playing with the 30D housing and decided to see how easy it would be to "accidently" release the latches. Much to my surprise it took no effect at all. Normally, it should be necessary to push the latch into the housing then twist. However, on the housing I tried it was not necessary to push the latch in. A simple twist was all that was needed. The rep from Subal was surprised by this and said it was because the latch was not adjusted and lots of people had been forcing the latch open during the week. Yet when they tried on another housing the same thing happen on one of the two latches. They could tell I was really concerned about this dispite there assurances that this was not normal. Even so it did not give me a good inital impression.

So I would like to hear from some users - do you trust the latches from accidential release??

The interesting part is that afterwards I did a quick survey of the other major housings, SeaCam, Aquatica, Nexus, Sea and Sea all used a similar latch on their metal housings. Only Subal had their own.

Edited by allen, 18 November 2006 - 07:38 AM.


#2 Rattus

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 02:13 AM

Ooh, don't let Ike see that list of "major housings". :guiness:

For reference, Ikelite also use a similar latch. Hugyfot use Allen bolts, so you'd like those, I guess. ;)

Funny, when I was trying open a Subal housing for the first time the other week, the handles were slack as anything but the latches were tight. In fact, it took me a couple of minutes to figure out that you had to push them in.

Martyn
Canon 5D
S&S DX-5D housing, TTL, YS-110s, ULCS, etc.

#3 markhardy

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 04:21 AM

The latches on my Subal housing for the Nikon D200 click very reassuringly into position and definitely need to be depressed (with some force, but not far) before they can be twisted open. It would be unfortunate if the same good latch isn't available on their other housings. (exactly the same one can be found on my older housing for Nikon F100... still works well after 5+ years).

Yeah, I have had to tighten my handles quite a bit to do away with the slack. I have tightened them in a slightly backward-facing angle since the housing (with 12-24 lens plus dome port) is quite front heavy.

Mark
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#4 loftus

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 05:50 AM

No problems with my Subal D200 latches. For me their simple yet effective latch system was a big selling point when choosing housings initially. I am still happy with them when I see the ease of use compared to other folks housings.
I have had no problems with the handles themselves, but I have changed handles for a different reason. Using Ultralight arms, I found the base adapter difficult to tighten adequately; and found that during a dive with the long moment arm of the strobe setup, these loosened significantly, requiring repeated tightening. After checking out handles at DEMA, I had Ryan send me some Ultralight handles with the ball joint on top of the handle rather than on the camera housing. I also like the way these are angled and the fact that they can be adjusted for my hands. They seem great in the pool but I have not yet used them diving.

The latches on my Subal housing for the Nikon D200 click very reassuringly into position and definitely need to be depressed (with some force, but not far) before they can be twisted open. It would be unfortunate if the same good latch isn't available on their other housings. (exactly the same one can be found on my older housing for Nikon F100... still works well after 5+ years).

Yeah, I have had to tighten my handles quite a bit to do away with the slack. I have tightened them in a slightly backward-facing angle since the housing (with 12-24 lens plus dome port) is quite front heavy.

Mark


Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#5 Rocha

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 06:07 AM

No problems with latches in my Subal either. Heck, sometimes I even wish they were easier to open, there is no way I can open mine without pressing on them.

Luiz Rocha - www.luizrocha.com
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#6 ramaroodle

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 03:48 PM

Interestingly enough, I just took delivery of a new Subal for my D70s yesterday. WOW! A sculpted masterpiece! However the second thing I noticed was how easy it was to open the latch. I was thinking that I could easily see the right combination of tangled lanyard and twisting bodies causing it to open. A latch like on my Nikonos would make me sleep better. But then again, my old Ikelite never opened with those latches that could have just as easily gotten tangled.
Andy Bryant (a.bryant@verizon.net)
D300, Subal ND20 retrofit, 2x DS125 w/TTL, 60,105,17-70,10-17, macro mate, mac

#7 ikelite

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 09:20 PM

I see we never got beyond being a "minor manufacturer" but the latches we use is why we started making underwater camera housings. To my knowledge, everyone used wing nuts in that early sixties era, and I was looking for something to make that I could use those fancy spring loaded catches................

#8 Rattus

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 03:38 PM

However the second thing I noticed was how easy it was to open the latch. I was thinking that I could easily see the right combination of tangled lanyard and twisting bodies causing it to open. A latch like on my Nikonos would make me sleep better. But then again, my old Ikelite never opened with those latches that could have just as easily gotten tangled.


At least with the swing latches on the Subals you could easily pop a small piece of Duct/Gaffer Tape over the latch and completely rule out any snagging.

Martyn
Canon 5D
S&S DX-5D housing, TTL, YS-110s, ULCS, etc.

#9 mtnman

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 05:46 PM

Never a problem with th elatches. They were a big reason for getting this after having the latch system on the Sea&Sea for the S2-designed to flood IMO.

#10 Bernard Picton

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 03:19 AM

I've been using the Subal D70 housing for the last two years. The latch has to be depressed about 2-3mm against a quite strong spring then turned. I think it's much better than the overcentre latches on most other housings. The only one I ever flooded from the latch was an Aquatica F4 housing on a night dive, where one of the bottom latches must have got knocked open in the boat or getting into the water, the housing just filled right up straight away! It had four latches - but three aren't enough to close it - four chances to flood it. BTW the Subal is the best housing I've ever used, and I started with a Nikonos in 1975, 2 Ikelites, 3 Aquaticas.
Nikon D70
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Nikon SB800 in Subal housing
60mm, 105mm macro and 12-24 Zoom

#11 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 11:06 AM

I've been shooting Subal for about 10 years, never had a problem with a latch, they're anything if unreliable.

s.

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#12 Viz'art

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 02:35 PM

where one of the bottom latches must have got knocked open in the boat or getting into the water


The A4 was supplied with 4 locking latch, making it virtually impossible to accidentally open by themselves, plus there was an adjustable tensioner to make sure you had enough tension to provide a secure seal. I have tested those housings with two latches open (in diagonal) without any water entry, I have also quite involuntary dropped a housing equipped with theses latches from the roof of my car at 60Mph without having a single one fail, let alone that the housing was still watertight to a 100 meter test, I think what most likely happened, was somebody must have forgotten to close the latch after opening it and the tension was set to loose on the remaining ones.
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

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#13 buddy

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 02:57 PM

never had any issue with the latches on my nd2 housing for nikon d2x. as a matter of fact these subal latches are outstanding, well engineered, crafted into the housing edges and outperforming any other housing closing mechanism IMHO.

BTW, i am on the way to yap and palau starting with the journey tomorrow and be sure to enjoy these latches once more.....
good to be going away...it is fogging and cold here in europe all days now!!!

Juerg
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Nikon D4s, Nikon 16-35 /f4 VR II, 70-180,105mm f/2.8, Subal ND4 housing and ports, 2 Subtronic Fusion (flash and video lights), Sigma 15mm /f2.8, Subal 4" Minidome


#14 Bernard Picton

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 03:20 PM

Sorry Jean, didn't mean it was the Aquatica's fault. I did look at it afterwards as my A3 housing never opened with one catch out of four not closed. The A4 one did if the top two and one bottom one were closed. I think there was too much tension from the top two and they were not ideally placed - too high. Two latches open diagonally would even up the tension and the bottom would close again.
Nikon D70
Subal ND70 with GS-180 viewfinder
Nikon SB800 in Subal housing
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#15 Photobeat

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 04:20 PM

Was helping my friend the last couple days work on making her D200 Subal housing less negative. The first thing I did was flip the latch on the back before she told me to press it in. Either way is was hard to open, but I could open the latch without pressing it in without too much trouble but it would take a hell of a snag and a lucky one at that to flip it open. I thought it was a nice housing but I did not understand the right side (from behing the camera) strobe port which is kind of in the way of the shutter and front command dial. She had the new ttl sea and sea unit which is very cool so it wasn't an issue. But going manual I would connect a strobe cable in the right side port and play around with it first to see what you think.
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#16 TimG

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 02:00 AM

I've had three Subal housings over the last 6-7 years: one for CP5000, the D100 and now the D200. No problems at all with latches. Like Luiz, I find they take some effort to depress and twist.

Tim

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#17 loligo

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 08:16 AM

I too was initially concerned about Subal's latching system. My last housing from them was the Procase for the Nikon F4 back in the nineties -- and it had long protruding pins which were far too simple to loosen while on a dive and get entangled on a piece of kelp or dive gear.

But now, I have no lack of confidence in my Subal ND2. It takes a good amount of pressure to loosen and turn the latches. The problem you experienced must have been a demo issue or improper adjustment . . .



While at DEMA I was checking out the metal housings. At the Subal booth I was playing with the 30D housing and decided to see how easy it would be to "accidently" release the latches. Much to my surprise it took no effect at all. Normally, it should be necessary to push the latch into the housing then twist. However, on the housing I tried it was not necessary to push the latch in. A simple twist was all that was needed. The rep from Subal was surprised by this and said it was because the latch was not adjusted and lots of people had been forcing the latch open during the week. Yet when they tried on another housing the same thing happen on one of the two latches. They could tell I was really concerned about this dispite there assurances that this was not normal. Even so it did not give me a good inital impression.

So I would like to hear from some users - do you trust the latches from accidential release??

The interesting part is that afterwards I did a quick survey of the other major housings, SeaCam, Aquatica, Nexus, Sea and Sea all used a similar latch on their metal housings. Only Subal had their own.



#18 Carlos Morais

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 05:31 PM

Hi,

almost 2 years and over 100 dives of use with mine Subal ND70 and I had no problem whatsoever with my housing :) .
The latch has a screw that needs to be tight once in a while and kept clean :glare:
Homepage: www.azulprofundo.com
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