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Sea and Sea S2 Housing


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#1 james

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 12:51 PM

Thanks Allan from Underwaterdigital.net for the heads up. Sea and Sea Japan has released information about their Fuji S2pro housing - very similar to the D100 housing of course:

Check the macro port chart to see which lens/port combos will work w/ the S2:

http://www.seaandsea...stem-macro.html

Zoom:

http://www.seaandsea...ystem-zoom.html

Wide:

http://www.seaandsea...ystem-wide.html

And a photo of the housing rigged for wideangle:

Posted Image

Of course, this housing is very very similar to the D100 housing - only the back controls are different - however, I am very happy to see that Sea and Sea put in the work to make a housing for the S2.

Cheers
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#2 tshepherd

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 01:17 PM

Looks like Sea and Sea is silently praising Ikelite by borrowing a page from their book and reusing the same basic mold for a few different housings. Looks nice, although I like the gray on the d100 / d60 housings better, it looks more like aluminum... :D

#3 james

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 01:20 PM

I'm sure Ike is thrilled about it... Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery sounds nice - until it actually happens!

I wonder how hard it is to rip the Nikonos bulkheads out of this housing and replace them with Ikelite...:-)

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#4 tshepherd

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 01:23 PM

Probably not that hard. Didn't Jim Watt do that with his D60 version? Just out of curiosity, why do that, aside from the obvious benefit of not having to buy a new sync cord?

#5 wetpixel

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 01:27 PM

I wonder how hard it is to rip the Nikonos bulkheads out of this housing and replace them with Ikelite...:-)

Ike will probably do this if you send in your housing (they did it for me). Or, you can do it the Jim Watt approach, which is to hack it in yourself. :D
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#6 james

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 02:36 PM

Tom,

Wait till you get some dives onto that Nikonos bulkhead and cord - then you'll see what I mean.
The first principle of corrosion engineering is NOT to put two dis-similar metals in contact.

Second is "don't make something small when you can just as easily make it big.

Third is "make it idiot-proof" - it will take some time to build a better idiot!

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#7 marriard

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 06:58 PM

Thanks Allan from Underwaterdigital.net for the heads up.  Sea and Sea Japan has released information about their Fuji S2pro housing - very similar to the D100 housing of course:

... Of course, this housing is very very similar to the D100 housing - only the back controls are different - however, I am very happy to see that Sea and Sea put in the work to make a housing for the S2.

Cheers
James

*ponder* *ponder*....

Nah, Nexus or nothing :-)

I'll guess I'll rethink it again when I hear what Fuji and Nikon have to say in a few weeks...

M

#8 scorpio_fish

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 03:11 PM

Just out of curiosity, why do that, aside from the obvious benefit of not having to buy a new sync cord?



Because Nik bulkheads suck. It's a lousy design that refuses to die. Someday sooner or later you push the long piece in a little crooked and bend a pin. I've even jammed one in completely upside down. The flash would fire but no in TTL mode. I've had them leak.

The Ikelite bulkhead is solid simple, virturally idiot proof with a stainless threaded cap. Everyone else should use it, but they won't. It's a competitor's design and Nikonos was the earliest "standard". It's a standard that isn't that good.

Sea & Sea made a strategic decision to switch to Ikelite style "one size fits many". It gets them in the ball game much faster, but with a less elegant solution. It costs more than an Ikelite. It's bulky like an Ikelite. Has a nicer port system, but far more expensive. I'm not sure why anyone would switch from an Ike to a Sea & Sea case.

You can special order Aquatica housings with Ikelite connectors.
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#9 tshepherd

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 04:22 PM

Good info on the bulkheads. Being new to the Nik versions, and only having used Ike's version in the past, I had no idea...

Has a nicer port system, but far more expensive. I'm not sure why anyone would switch from an Ike to a Sea & Sea case


Here's what I personally took into account for when I decided to go to the Sea and Sea...

1. Cost - I'm not entirely sure that the housing itself is going to end up being more expensive than the equivalent Ikelite. From what I've heard, the Ikelite housings with the aluminum backs are going to run somewhere around 30-50% more than the older version, which would put them at roughly the same cost as the Sea and Sea. The ports are definitely more expensive than the equivalent Ikelite versions, so overall cost might be marginally higher for S&S, so the advantage is to Ikelite, but not by a whole lot.

2. Availability - the fact of the matter is, unless you want to do a custom Ike housing for the D100 or D60, there's no Ikelite housing for either camera. I weighed the pros and cons of going with the Sea and Sea, and it was an extremely difficult decision, but I wanted to get my D60 housed quicker than I could if I chose to wait for Ikelite. When and if I decide to upgrade from the D60 down the road, I'll go through the same process again most likely.

3. Functionality - I did seriously consider going to the Ikelite custom version, but was worried about not having a couple of what I thought were key controls if I didn't wait for the aluminum back. The S&S version gave me all of the controls. Also, the depth rating of the custom Ikelite was lower than what I was willing to take. I'm heading back to Truk again in May, and 150 ft isn't going to do it on a couple of the dives we'll be doing. I also considered getting the custom version and then seeing if I could upgrade to the newer version, but based on some email back and forth, I don't know that I could have gone this route.

All things being equal, with Ike's newer version available, I would definitely have gone with that, but it was just a matter of timing for me. As it is though, the S&S is a pretty decent housing.

Just my $0.02
Tom

#10 marriard

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 05:57 PM

Here's what I personally took into account for when I decided to go to the Sea and Sea...

1.  Cost - I'm not entirely sure that the housing itself is going to end up being more expensive than the equivalent Ikelite.  From what I've heard, the Ikelite housings with the aluminum backs are going to run somewhere around 30-50% more than the older version, which would put them at roughly the same cost as the Sea and Sea.  The ports are definitely more expensive than the equivalent Ikelite versions, so overall cost might be marginally higher for S&S, so the advantage is to Ikelite, but not by a whole lot.

2.  Availability - the fact of the matter is, unless you want to do a custom Ike housing for the D100 or D60, there's no Ikelite housing for either camera.  I weighed the pros and cons of going with the Sea and Sea, and it was an extremely difficult decision, but I wanted to get my D60 housed quicker than I could if I chose to wait for Ikelite.  When and if I decide to upgrade from the D60 down the road, I'll go through the same process again most likely.

The Sea&Sea is a nice housing - no doubt about it. If one had been available for the S2 when I bought that I would have taken it over the Ike.

I had to send my housing back to Ikelite for some repairs/adjustments and had a chat with one of their guys there today.

As far as I could tell the new custom back for the housings is more for Ikelite's benefit than for ours. It will allow them to use their MD-digital housing on multiple housings easier - mainly because it will be simple to move the window over the camera LCD to wherever the hell the manufacturers wants to put it on their camera. Basically it will make it easier for them to make housings for all the D-SLR's much faster (good thing)

Sea & Sea - ports and housing are much more expensive than Ike - I can get the Ike housing plus a couple of ports (flat and dome) for right around $1,500. The Sea&Sea housing alone will be right around $2,000 so I would say that it is much more expensive.

I'd never do a custom housing - especially when there is a manufactured housing available. Not worth the hassle and there is no camera so much better than the others that is would be worth the time and effort. If I had a D100 I would personally have gone for the Nexus, then Sea&Sea, then Subal and Aquatica in about that order...

I never really looked into the D60 so no clue what is/isn't available B)

Ike has four huge pluses in my opinion:

1. Time to market is faster than others
2. Their service department is awesome
3. I love their strobes
4. Cost makes them more affordable

The other plus for me is they are in the USA so it is easy for me to access them.

Disadvantages:

1. Size. Big and heavy on land - in the water it doesn't matter
2. Their port system locking system scares the HELL out of me. The two snapping clips - no matter how good they are - don't feel safe - and they actually allow the port to move slightly. That can;t be good for the optics. Give me a screw in system please!
3. Those big handles and strobe arms. Thank god for TLC/ULC arms.
4. I have had to use their service department (but that is mainly my own fault)

Btw, I took my Ike housing for the S2Pro down to 200fsw in Cozumel on Mariacabo - no problem at all!

Just my $.02
M

#11 ikelite

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 08:35 PM

Marriard can relax on the port lock system. A push button to release original locks could be hit accidentally, but this theory was reversed in 1996, requiring the button to be lifted. Port sealing system has been fine for thirty years. Remember the ports can not move with the underwater pressure.

We do offer a 1" diameter ball arm system for the new smaller digital strobes. These components are shown in following URL and can interchange with "non-standard" TLC/ULC arm systems.

http://www.ikelite.c...arm_1comps.html

#12 marriard

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 08:48 PM

Marriard can relax on the port lock system.  A push button to release original locks could be hit accidentally, but this theory was reversed in 1996, requiring the button to be lifted.  Port sealing system has been fine for thirty years.  Remember the ports can not move with the underwater pressure.

Still scares me :)

I know it works fine, but it still worries me. It is probably just me - after a couple of years with a Nexus N90S housing, feeling the port move topside still doesn't feel 'right'. Seeing the o-ring is a great thing as well, but then if something goes wrong it will be my own fault for not seeing the issue - and that worries me as well. People keep wondering why I keep looking at my housing on the way to the divesite. :D

Of course it took me several weeks to get used to not having slides to hold when I switched to digital. The feeling of not having anything physical was tough to break...

I guess I am am just naturally a worrier when it comes to all this.

M
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#13 scorpio_fish

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 01:54 AM

I'm not sure why anyone would switch from an Ike to a Sea & Sea case



Here, I'm quoting myself. Kinda of like talking to myself :freak:

I specifically meant an S2 owner switching from an Ikelite housing to a Sea & Sea housing and not as an original purchase.

My biggest concern with the port clips was getting them locked into place in the beginning. My ports fit so tight there was zero play. I would work up a sweat getting the port on and making sure the clips were locked in place.

I didn't like the bulk of the housing and this wasn't even the MD case. If you use a variety of lenses, packing three or more individual ports is a pain as opposed to a couple of port extentions.

I actually liked Ikelite's big bulky handles as opposed to the form fitted grips I currently used. It was easier to adjust your hand positions to accomodate changes in the units balance when using different lens/port combinations.
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#14 james

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 06:09 AM

I like my S2 housing a lot. I already have 30 or 40 dives on it and can't complain. Ike had me a housing in early August when others were just starting to think "Whoops, we forgot the S2!" It would be nice to control all of the camera functions - and I understand that Ike's new back will help.

I haven't used any other housings yet for comparison - but I am very happy with Ike's viewfinder diopter/eyepiece. The viewfinder on the S2 is too small, but it works great in the housing with Ike's diopter on there.

My port locks are VERY hard to get to "snap" in place. I have to push on them w/ a pen sometimes with all my might. I don't think locking down a circular port with 2 locks is a good idea. By definition (and simple mechanics), it should take 3 to keep it in place. I've never had any problems, but I am extra careful in the rinse tank. It reminds me of that Nik 15mm. "It's fine at depth, but WATCH OUT in the rinse tank."

Cheers
James
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#15 dhaas

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 06:56 AM

Guys,

Ikelite SLR and MD SLR housing's NEW style (as Ike mentions, circa 1996) port locks work fine. If you're having to force them, it's because the port o-ring is too dry and the port can't seat all the way in. While the BACK o-ring is never supposed to be lubricated, the port one needs a "shiny" amount to slide down in the groove allowing easy closure of the port locks.

As far as wobble and screw in ports being better, Ike again is correct that a minute amount of water pressure squeezes that puppy in preventing leaks. I snorkeled for HOURS shooting dolphin pictures (and swimming like a banshee to keep up :D with no leakage problems. Even FELL on top of my Ike housing getting in one time! As far as screw in ports being better, years ago after a 100' dive in British Columbia I noticed my Aquatica 80 housing port came uscrewed after the o-ring had been compressed, and this with just a touch on the port barrel! ANd I almost had given myself a hernia tightening it down when assembling it. After that, it was back to Ikelite for good......

Finally, rinse tanks? I NEVER put my housing or strobes in for more than a "shake and Bake" 60 seconds....Agitate to release 90% of salt you can dissolve within the first 5-1 minutes out of the ocean. Dry the port (most important as this iwhat your lens sees through) and store out of the sun. On liveaboards I put a small amount of o-ring grease on all metal screws, and the bulhead strobe connector metal parts. too. I've left cords and housings hooked up for up to 14 days connected (if it doesn't have problems on the first dive, WHY on earth would you screw around with it disconnecting and re-connecting parts? Only invites floods and problems... When you get home, dissassemble everything metal to metal, let it dry (salt water can take 1 week sometimes) and then get your old tooth brush out. Dust off the white stuff, re-grease for storage or ready for the next shoot.

Just my .02 cents........

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#16 scottyb

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 07:56 AM

I haven't had a problem with the port locks. I just press the port down with the palm of one hand and slide the latches with one finger of the other hand. If you do it while holding constant pressure you get that distinct and satisfying "snap" when the pin locks in place. I love being able to see the o-rings, a luxury I never had before. I have to admit, I was a little leary of the wiggle at first but have grown more confident with time.

I leak tested my housing before taking it down last trip. It is so easy to put some soft weights in it and drop it down with a line to 20 or 30 feet for a minute, pull it back up and look through the clear polycarb to see the results. It takes about 2 minutes.

I agree with David that it's not necessary to take apart the connections and I never leave my cameras in a rinse tank unless I am standing there, but always remove them as I leave.

#17 james

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 08:17 AM

Sometimes the boat crew puts your housing in the rinse tank while you're on your safety stop. They think they are being nice...

Cheers
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#18 marriard

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 12:14 PM

I haven't had a problem with the port locks. I just press the port down with the palm of one hand and slide the latches with one finger of the other hand. If you do it while holding constant pressure you get that distinct and satisfying "snap" when the pin locks in place. I love being able to see the o-rings, a luxury I never had before. I have to admit, I was a little leary of the wiggle at first but have grown more confident with time.

I leak tested my housing before taking it down last trip. It is so easy to put some soft weights in it and drop it down with a line to 20 or 30 feet for a minute, pull it back up and look through the clear polycarb to see the results. It takes about 2 minutes.

I agree with David that it's not necessary to take apart the connections and I never leave my cameras in a rinse tank unless I am standing there, but always remove them as I leave.

Last thing about the port locks (and I have no doubt they are safe at depth with pressure etc).

I am frightened to enter the water with the housing as I am afraid the port will take a 'shock hit' - that has to be the most vunerable time for the housing.



I always have someone hand the housing to me if I can, but sometimes that is not possible - so depending on conditions I have:

1. Sat on the dive platform and slid into the water (flatish seas, raging current)
2. Leant over, put the housing in the water on a downward wave cycle and dove in after the camera (lost my mask on one of these entries)
3. Lowered the housing over the side on a 30' line with a 10lb weight on - jumped in and retrieved the camera
4. Resorted to prayer

Anyone else got some other ideas? Leaving the camera behind is NOT an option (well, not normally unless conditions are rotten like one dive last yeare with 10' vis and 50' surge)

M

#19 Kasey

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 02:33 PM

I've never done this, but I've read that if you can't have the camera handed down to you, you should giant stride with the camera held over your head. Like I said - I've never done this and take no responsibility :D

I have seen it done in an IMAX underwater production, however.
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#20 marriard

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Posted 14 February 2003 - 03:07 PM

I've never done this, but I've read that if you can't have the camera handed down to you, you should giant stride with the camera held over your head.  Like I said - I've never done this and take no responsibility :)

I have seen it done in an IMAX underwater production, however.

The idea of this is that you break the water tension with your body. Only works in small waves, while you are anchored and if you do a decent giant stride :D

Oh, and if you are comfortable waving $x,000 of equipment above your head.

I have done it before back in my MMIIEX days :-)

M