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Ikelite Modular Flat Port Dry Review


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#21 acroporas

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:40 AM

Has anyone tried the the Extension ring with focus?

How does the gear ratio compare to the older style "Flat port w/ Focus"? I found the old ports with focus to be almost worthless because the gear ratio made manually focusing far to slow. I complained about this to Ike, he said it was a common complaint, but it was not an easy fix. I'm wondering/hoping, they have addressed this with the new port system.

Also, anyone know if the focus-extension it will work the sigma 150mm. I would think that it would would, since it works with the 105VR which is even fatter, but the description just lists the Canon 100 and Nikon 105.
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#22 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 11:46 AM

Has anyone tried the the Extension ring with focus?

How does the gear ratio compare to the older style "Flat port w/ Focus"? I found the old ports with focus to be almost worthless because the gear ratio made manually focusing far to slow. I complained about this to Ike, he said it was a common complaint, but it was not an easy fix. I'm wondering/hoping, they have addressed this with the new port system.

Also, anyone know if the focus-extension it will work the sigma 150mm. I would think that it would would, since it works with the 105VR which is even fatter, but the description just lists the Canon 100 and Nikon 105.



I have tried it. I thought it worked well. Its a totally different system than the standard port focus rings. They were planning to change the focus knob from the prototype I tried, so we'll see what comes out. The prototype I tried had a shaft attached to a rubber paddle. The paddle rotates and brishes against the focus ring turning it. There is no focus. clamp or ring. Its slow, but I guess I would want it to be. I would use manual focusing when I want precise focus--not when I'm racking in from infinity to macro. Honestly, I mostly focus with my body when doing this.

I think it could work, although I don't have this lens. The shaft slides in and out fairly freely to accomidate different diameter lenses. The only trick is to get the port body the right length to align the focus extension. Hopefully this would be possible without using another extension ring.

This is the kind of thing the modular system is all about.

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#23 acroporas

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 05:17 PM

Its slow, but I guess I would want it to be. I would use manual focusing when I want precise focus--not when I'm racking in from infinity to macro. Honestly, I mostly focus with my body when doing this.



Thanks, I guess I'll be passing on the focus-extension.

Having a MF ring that is only useful for small adjustments is worthless to me.

That is exactly the opposite as how I use MF. I use the MF ring to quickly get the focus back in the ball park. Then let AF take care of the fine tuning. In low light, it takes AF for ever lock focus if it starts off way out of focus. But it does pretty good, when the starting point is close.

OR I use the MF ring to quickly get the focus in the ball park and then move the camera in/out to fine tune the focus.


______________________________________

Thinking out loud.

My Sigma 150mm + Diopter, just barely fits in port #5505.58 (for lenses up to 6.1")
I would also like to be able to use my 1.4x teleconverter that is .75" long. So I also need a port that can handle a lens up to 6.85" long.

I already have two port bodies for the 8" Dome. #5510.10 and #5510.16.

When used with the flat port,

#5510.10 supports lenses up to 2.6"
#5510.16, 3.4"

So if I get 2 the 1.75" extensions I can do:

#5510.10 + 2 #5510.58 extensions = 6.1"
and
#5510.16 + 2 #5510.58 extensions = 6.9"

Sounds perfect. Now I just need to figure out how to get permission from my wife to spend on another $500 on my camera. <_<
William

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15FE | 24/2.8 | 35/1.4 | 85/1.8 | 150/2.8 macro

#24 synthetic

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 01:52 PM

I just switched from the long port from my 105mm Sigma to the shorter port with focus for the Canon 100mm. There's no focus gear that goes on the lens, the port is custom-made for this lens. I just did 30 dives in Bonaire with the setup. The only time I used the manual focus ring was when it bumped the camera into manual focus by accident while I was setting it up! I usually take multiple photos of a subject, and if it were possible to switch off the autofocus this ring would be helpful. As it is I didn't end up using it at all. By the time you reach up to the front of the lens, you might scare your subject away.
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#25 acroporas

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 02:32 AM

if it were possible to switch off the autofocus this ring would be helpful. As it is I didn't end up using it at all.


You can activate/deactivate AF during the dive.

Set CF 4 to remap AF to * button. That way you can hold down the * button and AF is turned on, or you can not hold down the * button and AF is off.
William

Canon 5D Ikelite Housing and strobes
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#26 synthetic

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 06:23 AM

I might have to try that, though I'm happy with autofocus almost all the time. I wish it was the other way around. :)

Back to the modular port, they don't seem to have a solution for the dome port yet. Just about every Canon shooter I know (at least three others) ends up with the Canon 100mm, the Canon 17-40mm and either a Canon or Sigma 15mm fisheye. I'd like to be able to switch the dome port to use the 17-40 or the 15mm, but it looks like I'll need to just buy another extension ring for that. (And again, I don't see much difference between unscrewing an extension ring and unscrewing an extension ring extender.)

I'm happy with my flat port, especially with a Woody's Diopter in front so I can switch to super-closeup.
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#27 Islandbound

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:13 AM

I recieved my 8" modular setup last Thursday and have had it out several times including a night dive and really like it. It was also the first time I was able to take out my new Tokina 10-17 FE as well and the combination is a blast! I am not sure what all the discussion about a strap wrench is though. I screwed it together by hand and have had absolutely no problem with any leakage. Is a wrench supposed to come in the kit?

#28 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:56 AM

Have you tried to un-screw it yet? Screwing it on isn't the problem, hand tight is ok to prevent leaks--its getting it off. Maybe its just a strength issue and we're all a bunch of techno nerds with wimpy arms :-)

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#29 Gus_Smedstad

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 07:59 AM

I might have to try that, though I'm happy with autofocus almost all the time. I wish it was the other way around. :huh:

I just tested that. It works like a charm.

Most of the time I wanted autofocus, just once in a while I had something like a crab hiding in coral where I wanted to turn autofocus off temporarily. Which is doable, since you can switch CF 4 to 1 for a short period, take the shot, and then turn CF back to 0 for most shots.

This is really cool, it makes on-demand manual focus much more reasonable. You can do the same thing with any lens that has full-time manual focus, but it means keeping the shutter half-depressed to keep the camera from autofocusing again. Which for me meant my right hand was on the shutter, my left was focusing, and my, uh, third hand was trying to hold me steady against the current... you get the picture.

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#30 rtrski

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 05:11 AM

Do you take your hoses connecting your regulator second stage apart for long term storage? Of course not and those o-rings are smaller diameter than what is on these extensions......


I agree with all the rest of your post, David, but this comparison isn't quite perfect. Second stage o-rings are still under pretty high internal positive pressure in use...if screwed in so the ring is still captive, the worst 'failure' you should get from a set is some champagne bubbles. Same thing in a housing that's at negative internal pressure at depth would be a dead camera. :huh:

I'm with you, I'm not too superstitious about the port-extension-to-dome o-rings, they're so well sealed in there I'd think you could leave them for some time, so I'd see no difference with additional extension tubes. I do still remove the port-to-body o-ring for storage, if only because 1) I don't store the housing 'assembled' I put the body cover on the port opening instead, and 2) with the port free that o-ring would be exposed to the elements and seems to be pretty easy to knock loose. I'druther just pop it into a ziplock.

Good to hear all the nice comments about this system. I don't need it - yet - but I can feel that macro bug trying to get his mandibles into my soft dangly bits one of these days. Right now I'm just itching for the new Oly 9-18 WA lens and for Ike to hopefully do a port extension to use it in the 8" dome.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#31 DavidScubadiver

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 06:40 AM

According to Ikelite's website, you need a 5510.50 if you plan to use a diopter with the 5510.22. Makes my head spin. I am considering the 5510.54/5510.35 combo for my 60mm lens so I can also house the 105 and add the extension ring. By my math, the "cost" for manual focus is $450

My math shows buying the separate standard ports for the 60mm and the 105 mm which does not offer manual focus comes to $350 ($150 for 60mm and $200 for 105mm).

Going with the modular system using the 5510.28/.35 comes to $425, plus the manual focus cost of $175 means the combo costs $600 -- but I would "save" 150 because I can house my 60mm with the same setup, bringing the total cost to $450. (OR, $175 for focus ring, + 425 for modules, less $150 I'd spend to house the 60 mm in standard port =$450).

Is it worth $450 for the manual focus and having 3 pieces instead of losing the manual focus and having to carry only 2 pieces?

"worth" being a relative term of course. How often do you manually focus I suppose answers the question.... so tell me... how often do you have to manually focus with that lens?
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#32 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 03:11 PM

The 5510.22 is the port extension that you normally use for the 12-24mm if you shoot WA. In my case I already had it for the dome port so all I nedded was the focus extension and the flat port.

I also use the new 60mm AFS so the 60mm fit inside the 5510.22 without the extension. The old 60mm is too long extended to fit with the 5510.22 alone.

If all you want is to house the 105mm VR and the 60mm AF then there is a simpler way. If you want to use the 60mm with a diopter then set the 5510.28 + Flat port and the 5510.16 + 5510.75 + Flat port to use with the 105mm VR. That's 4 parts total, $300 for 2 extensions $225 for the port and $175 for focus. $700 total.

The 5510.16 works better than the 5510.22 for the 105mm. I just use it that way because #1 I want to use the diopter with the 105mm rather than the 60mm and #2 I also shoot WA and need it for the 12-24mm. It seems strange to me that you want to use the 60mm with the diopter not the 105mm. Couldn't you just use the bare 105mm instead of the 60mm + 105mm for longer reach? The 60mm focuses too close to use the diopter to go beyond 1:1. Remember also that the standard Ikelite port for the 105mm VR doesn't fit the 105mm with a diopter and would be difficult to use w/o manual focus.

The point isn't cost savings but travel bulk. I have much less gear now with 5 total pieces than I did 5 complete seperate ports.

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#33 DavidScubadiver

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 04:16 PM

Sorry, I was only reading the charts on the ikelite site. Its not that I *want* a diopter for the 60mm (as opposed to the 105mm), I was only seeing they had a "footnote" pointing out the limitation of certain of the port options. Apparently its not really a limitation that means anything.

I am curious though, why your simpler method of 4 parts totaling $700 is preferable to my 3 part option costing $600.

Also, why is the 105 hard to focus manually? The ikelite representative said most people use autofocus though in low light it may not focus. I figured for $450 I would buy a focus light or pass up the shot. But I don't even own the lens and don't know if I'll ever get it.

When I was looking this morning, I didn't actually own ANY lenses OR a housing. Today, I purchased the new 60 mm AFS and a Tokina 10-17. I don't know how anybody can afford to START being an underwater photographer! I am buying everything in spurts because I know if I were to list everything I needed and total it all up there is no way in hell I'd give up my digicam and housing! Having dropped another $1,000 on equipment, I almost HAVE to buy the housing now. But that will be next payday....

If I understand what you are saying, I should have gotten the 105mm lens instead of the 60mm because I could make the 105 a 60 when needed? If that's the case, CRAP. I just recalled reading that the 60 was easier to use for a new photographer. But if I could just "unzoom" the 105 and it would be as easy to use as the 60, I think it was a mistake not to get the 105 to grow into (I was afraid I'd get frustrated by the lens; I also thought the 60 mm would allow me to take pictures of bigger animals because it wasn't a super closeup like the 105 mm. As you can see, Im a bit befuddled by everything. I am hoping the 60mm is a good one, especially since you are using it and seem to know what you are talking about. Sorry for the rambling.
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#34 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:58 AM

Sorry to add to your confusion. I was a bit confused by your post and now I understand your situation better.

I think you are on the right track. The 60mm and the 10-17mm is a perfect place to start. The 60mm is a much better first macro lens. I was just confused by your statement about diopters. You don't want to use a diopter with this lens. Its perfect as is. Don't worry about the 105mm or diopters and get a housing and get into the water. Enjoy what you have, its a perfect setup. Worry abot all the other stuff later.

I still would recommend the modular port system. In the end you will end up with less stuff, better ports (dome) and a more flexible system.

The port chart is confusing. This is tricky because there are so many options, but my advice is to ignore the chart its too confusing. You don't want the 5510.28 for any of the lenses we have been discussing.

For the two lenses you have you will need the following:

60mm: 5510.22 + 5510.35 flat port

10-17mm: 5510.10 + 5510.45 Dome port

This will put you in perfect position to upgrade. If you upgrade to a rectalinear WA lens you will already have what you need. If you need to get the 105mm and all you need is the focus extension. Then you'll be set for AF or MF with or without diopters on the 105mm.

The absolute cheapest route is the 6" dome and Standard port for the 60mm. I think thats about $250. If you don't mind carrying around a lot of stuff and will only use these lenses than thats a better option.

What you will give up down the road is:

1) Ability to MF or use diopters with the 105mm Vr

2) Corner sharpness with a 12-24mm lens

3) More difficult to get split-level WA shots with the smaller dome.

4) A lot more stuff to carry when you start talking about multiple domes. I had 4 domes and 2 flat ports at one point.

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Nikon D70: 60 mm, 11-16mm, 105mm, 15mm, 10.5mm

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#35 DavidScubadiver

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:45 PM

Out of curiosity, why don't I want the 5510.28 for the lenses we're discussing? Not that I don't appreciate the recommendation but I am trying to figure out the whys of things so any info is appreciated.

I received my 60mm lens and 10-17 fisheye yesterday. Now I finally understand why people say the 60mm micro is only good for small fish. Maybe a shark's mouth...
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#36 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:17 AM

1) The 5510.28 is too long.

It is just right if you wanted to use the 105mm VR only in autofocus. If you add the MF module, it will be too long and the knob won't contact the lens focus ring. The 5510.22 is almost too long with the MF extension but it still works.

For the 60mm it is way more than you need. You don't need to use a diopter with this lens so having a port that's too long will just get in the way of your working distance. The 5510.22 is perfect here.

2) You can't use it for anything else that is practical. Its made for long zooms with a dome. These never work out to be good lenses underwater. The 5510.22 on the other hand is very useful for the 12-24mm which is a commonly used lens underwater so it does double duty here.

the 18-55/18-70mm/sigma 28-70mm would be good shark lenses. Most of these fit in the 5510.16 which convieniently is also perfect for the 105mm vr with the focus extension.

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Nikon D70: 60 mm, 11-16mm, 105mm, 15mm, 10.5mm

Ikelite iTTL Housing, dual Ikelite DS125

Nikon D600 topside 14-24, 28-300, 70-200, 35,50,85


#37 DavidScubadiver

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 09:01 AM

Thanks! Last thing - is the 10-17 NOT a good shark lense? I was hoping it would be fine for that, recognizing I have to be up close for the shot.
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#38 Warren_L

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 09:35 AM

Thanks! Last thing - is the 10-17 NOT a good shark lense? I was hoping it would be fine for that, recognizing I have to be up close for the shot.


It all really depends on how close you're able to get. I've been finding for the shark shooting I've been doing, the 12-24mm zoom on a cropped sensor allows me to reasonably frame my shots within this zoom range. On a full frame sensor, I plan on using my 24-70mm.

#39 DavidScubadiver

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 09:38 AM

And the ports you reccommended have the zoom gear built in, if I recall correct?

I will just have to get close to the shark. I don't want a third lens and already bought the 10-17!
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#40 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 08:55 AM

The housing comes with 1 zoom gear that fits most lenses. Some lenses require special zoom gears that are sold seperately for about $10. For example the 12-24mm has its own zoom gear. These are the same as the ones for the 6" dome parts. The 105mm VR has a built-in focus mechanism no gear required.

I will just have to get close to the shark. I don't want a third lens and already bought the 10-17!


Yikes :D Here is the lens I would use:

http://www.mir.com.m.../12001700mm.htm

An awesome shark lens IMHO :D

UWPhotoNewbie: Not such a newbie to diving and UW photography.

Nikon D70: 60 mm, 11-16mm, 105mm, 15mm, 10.5mm

Ikelite iTTL Housing, dual Ikelite DS125

Nikon D600 topside 14-24, 28-300, 70-200, 35,50,85