Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Ikelite Modular Flat Port Dry Review


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 UWphotoNewbie

UWphotoNewbie

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:47 PM

I just recieved my Ikelite modular flat port for the 8" dome port system. It's fantastic and the build quality is excellent. I haven't had a chance to get it in the pool yet for a true test, however I thought I'd post a few pictures here anyway.

I have the #5510.35 Flat Assembly and the #5510.22 Nikon 12-24mm Port Body extension. Together they fit the new Nikon 60 mm AF-S lens perfectly with only 1-2 cm to spare. Since this lens does not extend when focusing this works great. There is room for you to keep a UV filter on the lens if you desire and even seems to be enough room to use a 6T if you wanted to. The overall length is shorter than the standard 60mm port that I have been using.

This is excellent, because I always carry the #5510.22 port extension for use with the 12-24mm on the 8" dome port anyway. So the new port and extension fit nicely inside my Lowepro bag while travelling.

I already own the #5510.45 Dome Assembly and the #5510.10 Super-Wide Angle Port Body. I have the #5510.75 Focus Extension on order for the 105mm VR as well. This will allow me to shoot 5 lenses with two complete ports + one extra piece. The Nikon 10.5mm, 12-24mm, Sigma 15mm FE, Nikon 60mm and 105mm. The 105mm can be used in MF or AF and it should have room inside for the 6T diopter if needed. This will make for a very compact travel kit--a huge improvement over the 5 seperate ports I used to travel with.

I was pleasently suprised to see that the flat port came complete with a rubber port cover and a strap wrench. The rubber port cover is a departure from the neopreme covers they used to use. This could be a welcome change as the grommets on the old covers tended to rust. The strap wrench is required if you want to disassemble the port. Its otherwise impossible to do with only 2 hands.

The components are expensive, more expensive in fact than the 5 ports you need for the traditiuonal system, and its been a long road comming, however its much more flexible and convienient.

I had a chance to demo a pre-production version of this port with the 105mm VR lens and focus extension last November in the ocean. It worked fabulously. I'll post an update once the focus extension arrives.

Attached Images

  • IMG_0001.JPG
  • IMG_0003.JPG
  • IMG_0008.JPG
  • IMG_0009.JPG
  • IMG_0010.JPG

Edited by UWphotoNewbie, 03 April 2008 - 08:50 PM.

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


#2 bruceterrill

bruceterrill

    Tiger Shark

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts

Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:55 PM

Hey UWPN,

Are the different port components threaded
or are they the same as the port to housing system?
I keep reading how Ike's systems have the 'dribbles',
and this would scare the shit out of me!... :D

Bruce...

#3 UWphotoNewbie

UWphotoNewbie

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 03 April 2008 - 10:09 PM

Hey UWPN,

Are the different port components threaded
or are they the same as the port to housing system?
I keep reading how Ike's systems have the 'dribbles',
and this would scare the shit out of me!... :D

Bruce...



The 8" dome port components are threaded, hence the need for the strap wrench. The end of the port to the housing is still a compression fitting like always.

I don't know where you heard that Ikelite ports leak. I've never had one drop of water enter my housing. (knock on wood). The port setup seems a little loose but the 8" system is more rugged. Still, once you are under its solid as a rock. Its reliable, just don't jump in with your camera. Always make sure both port snaps click in and you hear the click.

Edited by UWphotoNewbie, 03 April 2008 - 10:10 PM.

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


#4 bruceterrill

bruceterrill

    Tiger Shark

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts

Posted 04 April 2008 - 03:38 AM

I don't know where you heard that Ikelite ports leak. I've never had one drop of water enter my housing. (knock on wood). The port setup seems a little loose but the 8" system is more rugged. Still, once you are under its solid as a rock. Its reliable, just don't jump in with your camera. Always make sure both port snaps click in and you hear the click.
[/quote]

Sorry UWPN,
I hate to deflate your balloon, but there has been 'plenty'
of recent "reading" material from the pages of Wetpixel and Digidiver.com.
Seems to me that those who use the Ike gear refuse to accept that it is
subject to failure, until it happens to them... :D
I am also assuming that you have never heard of an Ike strobe failure either?

'Horses for courses'... ;)

Bruce...

#5 jlyle

jlyle

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 415 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hermosa Beach, CA

Posted 04 April 2008 - 06:16 AM

Sorry UWPN,
I hate to deflate your balloon, but there has been 'plenty'
of recent "reading" material from the pages of Wetpixel and Digidiver.com.
Seems to me that those who use the Ike gear refuse to accept that it is
subject to failure, until it happens to them... :unsure:
I am also assuming that you have never heard of an Ike strobe failure either?

'Horses for courses'... :wacko:

Bruce...


Bruce,

Please, post some links to this recent "reading" material you refer to.
Olmpus OM-D EM-5 in a Nauticam housing with dual Sea and Sea YS D1 strobes
8mm, 12-50mm, 45mm lenses
My web page.

#6 UWphotoNewbie

UWphotoNewbie

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 04 April 2008 - 07:45 AM

I think you'd be pretty naive to suppose that there is a housing out there that doesn't leak. All housings have failures from time to time. Most of the time its user error regardless of make. I don't think that Ikelite housings have any greater failure rate than any of the others. Remember there are many more Ike housings in use as their pricing is more reasonable, so a simple poll doesn't tell the story.

The specific issue you mentioned, a consistent leak through the port just doesn't happen from my experience. Nor have I seen anything on wetpixel describing that. On the other hand, I'm sure there have been people who haven't latched their port properly and it has come off, or peole who jump in with their housings in their hands.

Sure Ikelite strobes fail too, but so do Inon and sea and sea. Mine leaked once but only because the divemaster dropped it on the edge of the boat. Ikelite service is tops and they had me back up and ruinning very quickly.

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


#7 rodriguezfelix

rodriguezfelix

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 377 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Caracas, Venezuela
  • Interests:UWP, Surf, Travel

Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:13 AM

Back to this thread, this port is glass or is the same material as the old ones?

#8 bruceterrill

bruceterrill

    Tiger Shark

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts

Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:30 AM

Bruce,

Please, post some links to this recent "reading" material you refer to.


Hi Jim,
It would be my pleasure.
Have a look under forum topic 'Port mounts design'
Wetpixel::Underwater Photography Forums> Gear Lust> Digital SLRs/Housings> Port Mounts Designs.
Last post was the 31st March.
Down towards the bottom of the page.
When you are finished reading, we had better leave this post alone(hyjacking)
HTH,

Bruce

#9 UWphotoNewbie

UWphotoNewbie

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 04 April 2008 - 10:08 AM

The port seems to be some sort of acrylic. I don't think its glass. I asked a question on Wetpixel a year ago about glass in flat ports. At the time Ikelite was investigating mineral glass as an alternative. I didn't see anyone say that it mattered.

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


#10 UWphotoNewbie

UWphotoNewbie

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 04 April 2008 - 10:23 AM

The port seems to be some sort of acrylic. I don't think its glass. I asked a question on Wetpixel a year ago about glass in flat ports. At the time Ikelite was investigating mineral glass as an alternative. I'm sure if you wanted glass they could modify it for glass. http://wetpixel.com/...l=mineral glass


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


#11 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 573 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

Posted 06 April 2008 - 11:38 AM

Hi UWPN,

If memory serves me well, for the old lens ports the lens diameter was limited to 3.3" for normal ports and 2.8" with a manual focus gear. Have these two numbers stayed the same?

If I would get a 3.4" port body, 0.75" + 1.75" extension rings, and the flat port would that allow me to build
3.4
3.4+0.75=4.15"
3.4+1.75=5.15"
3.4+0.75+1.75=5.9"
combinations or is the last one with two extension rings not possible or not reliable. The 5.9" is a bit extreme but it would allow me to experiment with supermacro without having to buy and transport a longer port body.

Bart
Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#12 UWphotoNewbie

UWphotoNewbie

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 06 April 2008 - 07:11 PM

Hi Bart,

You're getting the idea! This system is really flexible and simplifies your trave system and allows you to experiment with all sorts of new lenses and lens combinations, diopters, teleconvertors, extension tubes go wild!

The basic dimensions haven't changed with the 8" dome system unfortunately. I'll bet there still won't be a way for Ikelite to house the 14-24mm, or the old Sigma FF 12-24mm. But every other commonly used lens that I'm aware of should work fine at least in AF. The Nikon 105mm VR is the fattest lens that I've tried and it just fits. If you already have any 8" dome extensions you can do a test of this.

I think your math is correct for the combinations below. Remember, the flat port adds some length as well, maybe 2 cm (I'm guessing).

There should not be any problem with stacking extensions like you are suggesting. It should fit and structurally it wouldn't scare me, these things fit together tightly (strap wrench required). You might toss a second strap wrench in your bag though to get these apart. You do have to wonder about reliability though. The more seals you add the more potential leaks. But maybe this is just being parinoid. I'd say get insurance, check the O-rings and go for it.

Also, the 3.4 is the shortest extension that you should start with. Avoid the #5510.10 (2.6") for the fisheye lenses for everyting but fisheyes and the dome. This one threads on bayonet style. Its a necessary evil for wide lenses. I would want to avoid it for macro.

Happy shooting!

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


#13 synthetic

synthetic

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 170 posts
  • Location:Glendale, CA

Posted 07 April 2008 - 04:11 PM

I've been looking forward to something like this. I have an extension that fits my 17-40mm wide angle, but a fisheye lens would require a new (shorter) extension. This system seems to solve that problem.

I'm still not sure how the extension attaches to the port body, it's threaded? So if I want to swap out the extension I need to use the strap wrench? How would that be better than simply having two port bodies? I must be missing something.
---------
Jeff Laity -- Underwater Gallery
Canon 5DmkII, Ikelite Housing, Inon Z-220 strobes

#14 synthetic

synthetic

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 170 posts
  • Location:Glendale, CA

Posted 07 April 2008 - 04:22 PM

p.s. I haven't had a drop of water in my Ikelite housing so far, after about 80 dives.
---------
Jeff Laity -- Underwater Gallery
Canon 5DmkII, Ikelite Housing, Inon Z-220 strobes

#15 UWphotoNewbie

UWphotoNewbie

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 07 April 2008 - 04:48 PM

In some cases it may mean less gear if you combine them in different combinations. The extensions are smaller than a whole new port body. They can give you the extra bit that you need to add a diopter, teleconvertor etc.

The port extensions are threaded male on one end and female on the other--like pipe fittings.

For me at least the really big deal comes when I can combine port bodies need for the dome with the flat port. This means less gear. Also, the focus extension is great because I use the same basic port body for the 12-24mm, 60mm and the 105mm.

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


#16 tdpriest

tdpriest

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2140 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Solihull, UK
  • Interests:Diving medicine, warm water, scenery...

Posted 08 April 2008 - 04:57 AM

Going back several posts, can I ask why the system needs a strap wrench? A threaded system that needs to be more than hand-tight suggests that the o-ring design is poor. There is a risk of stretching and twisting the o-rings so that they don't accomodate to the groove when under pressure.

I've used threaded port extensions from Anthis Nexus that are fine, and can be taken apart by hand at the surface.

Tim

B)

#17 MikeO

MikeO

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1025 posts
  • Location:Fairfax, VA, USA

Posted 08 April 2008 - 05:30 AM

Going back several posts, can I ask why the system needs a strap wrench? A threaded system that needs to be more than hand-tight suggests that the o-ring design is poor. There is a risk of stretching and twisting the o-rings so that they don't accomodate to the groove when under pressure.

I've used threaded port extensions from Anthis Nexus that are fine, and can be taken apart by hand at the surface.

Tim

B)


I've been using S&S ports and rings for about five years now and occasionally wish I had a strap wrench. Never to get the port off the housing, but rather to separate the ports and rings. Of course, once I get a port and ring assembled, I tend to leave it together for several days, sometimes a couple weeks at a time and that is when it happens (fif something is properly assembled and sealed, I'm a bit reluctant to take it apart just to check on it). If the O-ring is lubricated and I take the two pieces apart within a day or two it isn't an issue.

Mike

Mike Oelrich
Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#18 dhaas

dhaas

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1005 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 April 2008 - 05:44 AM

Amigos,

I just delivered my first multiple section flat / 8" dome package and echo Mike O's comments about the strap wrench. These sections are machined with pretty tight tolerances and I've found even with the extensions threaded into the Ikelite 8" dome a strap wrench helps. I also put a dab of o-ring grease on the very fine threads.

The new flat multi-port system goes together best with two strap opposing strap wrenches.

My Canon 5D shooter got 2 separate base extensions. One being the Superwide for this 8" dome port, the other slightly longer base and a mid section extension for his Canon 100mm macro lens. If he take the center section out he will use his Canon 35mm F1.4 L with just the base extension and front flat port section.

Finally, I have had well greased o-ring and threaded extensions on my own 8" port for months at a time. Even though Ikelite directions say to take them apart for long term storage (define long term......ask people and they'll define it as days to months to years!)

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......If you want to be fussy I'd say if you have no diving planned for 3-6 months take them apart so the o-rings don't get a hard "set" from compression.

And get spare o-rings of the sections when you purchase this multi-port system :unsure:

dhaas
David Haas
www.haasimages.com

#19 UWphotoNewbie

UWphotoNewbie

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 08 April 2008 - 08:06 AM

Thanks for joining in David!

I don't need the strap wrench to assemble the ports but I do need it to take them apart. I can go without it if I have someone else hold the port or dome and use two hands.

The wrench that comes with the port is a burly tool that grips well. The package looks very professional with the included wrench and lenscloth. The stamped product numbers on the port bodies are also a nice touch. I think Jean has really made some positive changes at Ikelite.

Edited by UWphotoNewbie, 08 April 2008 - 08:08 AM.

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


#20 UWphotoNewbie

UWphotoNewbie

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 857 posts
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 10 April 2008 - 10:58 AM

I just saw this notice on the Iklelite website today regarding the flat port system with the 105mm VR.

http://www.ikelite.c...ges/newest.html

It seems that the port bodies are't wide enough to accomidate the 105mm VR (and its bulging mode switches). They are asking you to send them in and they will either bore them out or replace them for free. Return shipping is paid.

This is curious for me as I tested this combination in November with the prototype and didn't notice a problem. The prototype came with a standard port body. I also tried it with my own 12-24mm port body. It was a close fit, but not snug or anything. Maybe it actually deflects the camera some imperceptible amount?

Anyone know? For me it looked fine.

To me this just highlights the issue of port system diameters that I've been harping on for a while now. There The 105mmVR is wide and there will come a time when boring out ports won't be enough.

On the flipside, this also highlights Ikelite's exceptional customer service as they work out the intricacies of all the new housings and lenses. This will be the second replacement for this port body.

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