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Aquatica AD100..EXCELLENT?????


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#1 waterworldimages

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 03:11 PM

So, here I was with this BIG problem to solve. I've been shooting SLR and DSLR for the past three years and wanted to implement Digital in my underwater work. I picked up a Aquatica 5000 housing last week and was blown away. Now this is not my first Aquatica housing and at the time the D100 was something that I just could not get use to. Small view finder, slower autofocus and just did not feel like a PRO level camera. I guess that I am a little spoiled, I shoot the D1 and D1x topside and it was like going from a Hassleblad with a digital back to a point and shoot throw away that people have on the tables at weddings so that Aunt Sally can take home her own little piece of your special day. Liked the Nikon 5000, but it just would not do. Do not get me wrong, the camera and housing are excellent and really are top of the line. I just needed more from the camera. Faster autofocus and manual controls So I called Norma and Blake at Aquatica and thats all it took.One simple call. I have my D100 in hand and it fits smoothly into it's new home, the Aquatica AD100. What a housing. Easy to handel and very PRO level. I like the fact that the layout is very familar...F100??? The ports are EXCELLENT! If Bob Talbot uses them...they are good enough for me. The housing is an extension of the camera in every way. All the buttons and dials are where they are suppose to be. The housing flows with the camera and really is quite easy to use. Once again, Aquatica went out of their way to make it easy for me to do my job. So the moral of the story...when in doubt, call Blake and Norma at Aqautica and let them "FIT" you into an excellent housing . You'll be glad you did.....

#2 craig

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 03:23 PM

Do they provide a VF magnifier? Is the VF adequate for you? Aquatica didn't offer a 70-180 port but told me they would do one on request. I really like the 70-180 underwater with the D100.
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#3 Gerb

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 04:19 PM

I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to tell/sell us. You start out saying how much you dislike the D100. "Aunt Sallys camera" suddenly goes from POS to very PRO feeling when you put it in an Aquatica housing? Did the viewfinder grow? Did the autofocus suddenly become faster? It just felt PRO?
I like my D100 but since I've never shot the D1 or D1X I don't know what I'm missing. I don't doubt that the Aquatica is an excellent housing, others here that have used it give it high praise but I sure wouldn't buy on just because Bob Talbot does.

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#4 waterworldimages

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Posted 04 April 2003 - 09:25 PM

Gerb, No the housing does not make the D100 any more PRO level then the Sea&Sea makes the D30/60 a PRO level DSLR. All I am saying is that the housing is GOOD. The housing does not make the auto focus system get up and change it's self to a F100/F5 level. Nor does it make the viewfinder grow to a DA30 action finder. Aquatica did a goog job with the housing and I am very happy. I guess if you have never shot a D1x or a Canon 1Ds the D100 would feel pretty PRO level. I mean the D100 is based on the F80, not the F100 or F5 or the D1 or the D1x or even the D1H for that matter. Just take it for what it is. A good camera in a GREAT housing. Who else has thought of making the housing big enough to fit not only the D100 but the NEW Fuji S2 by simply changing the back of the housing??????? Not Sea&Sea, not Subal, Ikelite??????? So, I am noyt trying to SELL anything to anyone, just letting everyone know that the housing is a GOOD housing and makes the camera that much better underwater. The housing does not transform the camera into a D1x or 1Ds, it just makes it the next best thing until Aquatica can come out with a housing for the D1/X/H. Let be serious, who out there on wetpixel.com has the Seacam housing at 5000$ + for the D1x????? :huh:

#5 yahsemtough

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 04:25 AM

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#6 craig

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 07:18 AM

The D100 is certainly no competition for the D1 topside, but its slower AF and primitive metering don't matter when you shoot all manual. Its smaller buffer and slower burst speed aren't important either. Its size and weight are an advantage. As an owner of both cameras, I'd much rather take my D100 underwater.

Sea & Sea and Ikelite certainly have thought of supporting both the D100 and S2; arguably before Aquatica did so. Perhaps Aquatica is only one supporting both with just a different back but who cares about that? Are you planning to take both bodies and dive both? Subal and Nexus may not support the S2, but the advantage they have is a smaller and lighter package.

I'm sure the Aquatica is a nice housing. I'm pleased that they've priced it competitive with the S&S and are supporting the S2, but they have competition and aren't the first to the party. I'd like to know how good the VF is. I found the S&S VF to be unacceptable. My Nexus has a two piece magnifier for the VF and is much better. How good is Aquatica's?
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#7 waterworldimages

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 07:33 AM

I agree, there is no PRO level DSLR out there besides the Seacam housing. With that said, the D1/X/H are very simalar to the F5 in terms of messurements. The few differences there are can be overcome by re-tooling or modifing an F5 housing. Until then, we will have to use the Nikon D100. Anyone using a Nikon D100 does not have to feel that it is an inferior camera, because it is not. It is not PRO level. Simple. The body as we all know is made of plastic, unlike that of the metal body found on all Nikon F100/5 and all D series cameras. All in all it is a good camera. No sales pitch. Just the facts...... :huh:

#8 craig

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 07:48 AM

I agree, there is no PRO level DSLR out there besides the Seacam housing. With that said, the D1/X/H are very simalar to the F5 in terms of messurements. The few differences there are can be overcome by re-tooling or modifing an F5 housing. Until then, we will have to use the Nikon D100. Anyone using a Nikon D100 does not have to feel that it is an inferior camera, because it is not. It is not PRO level. Simple. The body as we all know is made of plastic, unlike that of the metal body found on all Nikon F100/5 and all D series cameras. All in all it is a good camera. No sales pitch. Just the facts...... :huh:

The plastic body isn't a disadvantage when housed, though, and the D1 VF is not better than the D100. For underwater, I don't think there's any advantage to a D1 over a D100 especially considering the price of the body and Seacam housing. Topside is another matter.

I think the reluctance to do a D1 housing is simply lack of volume. I agree it wouldn't be hard for a manufacturer who had an F5 housing already.
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#9 waterworldimages

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 08:09 AM

Having shot the D1x in a Seacam housing is to say the least a PLEASURE. The VF is big and bright and the top LCD is even brighter. The quick auto focus with easy to read AF area is easy and nice to work with. I have not had the chance to shoot the D100 UW. I will next week. I can say that the plastic body could be an advantage as it is lighter and due to the fact that you are using the camera in a MARINE environment could be a good thing in the long run. I will have to get use to this camera uw. I am use to shooting the F100 and the F5. I do agree that the camera does have it's positives like the F90x did for UW applications, but as the fore mentioned, it does have it's down side..... again, I am not PITCHING anything. I do not sell Aquatica products and I do not make a commision talking about them. :huh:

#10 craig

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 08:34 AM

Of course the Seacam has the fancy viewfinder magnifiers. They are extremely expensive if you've priced them. Seacam also offers a D100 housing that supports the same VF optics. I don't believe the VF on the bodies themselves are all that different. If I really wanted the Seacam VF optics I'd probably go with the S2, but that getting pretty far off-topic.

I found I did not like AF with the D100 and the 60mm even though I used it with a dome where it should work best. Is this the AF application you are referring to? If so, I can believe that. I believe most prefer MF for longer macro lenses and I haven't had any complaints with AF and wide angle.

Just trying to gain some clarity on your opinions. I, too, like the Aquatica although I don't own one. I think it's the most attractive S2 option. It is priced like the S&S but is much more appealing to me. I think the Subal, Seacam, and Nexus are desirable at higher price points, the Ikelite has strengths at a lower price point, and Aquatica and S&S are in the middle. Why would someone consider S&S for the D100 or S2?
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#11 underwatercolours

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 12:05 PM

Why would someone consider S&S for the D100 or S2?


1. Sea & Sea offers attractive keyman deals for those who qualify.

2. Anyone currently shooting with a S&S film housing has likely been very happy with it and already has ports and other accessories that are also compatible with the S&S digital housings. Switching to any other brand (other than the soon to be released L&M housing) would add a significant investment in new ports.

3. For those of us who aren't ready to give up film quite yet, we can travel with both housing bodies and one set of ports.

For some of us, choosing a housing for our digital SLR does require some trade-offs. These are the things that influenced by decision to go with the Sea & Sea. I also don't feel as though I'm stuck with it either. I could easily turn around and sell it if I felt something better came along that addressed all my needs.

#12 waterworldimages

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 01:23 PM

Well put. It is a trade off. You put a good camera in an excellent housing and there you have it. A trade off. :huh: