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Advice from Ikelite SLR housing users


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#1 mejamman

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:40 AM

I have a Canon 20D in an Ikelite housing. I was using it for the first time in Bonaire a few months ago with a 60mm macro and a 5502 flat port. On my third dive I had a port lock open and flood the camera and housing.
I had the camera and lens insured against flooding by DEPP but not the housing. DEPP was great to work with. They replaced the 20D with a 40D and my lens within 30 days. Since the 20D had been discontinued, I could not get another. My dilemma, a 40D won't work in a 20d housing. I called Ikelite, they would replace the electronics in the 20D housing for $250. So I did that and purchased a refurbished 20D for underwater.

Question: Is it possible to tighten the port lock guide screws just snug after installing the port every time so this does not happen again?

Thank in advance for your time. Mike

#2 rtrski

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:56 AM

Don't know why no one has responded yet, I've seen similar questions in the DSLR category.

Yes, you can slightly tighten the screws such that the port locks are a little firmer, but I'd be wary of overtightening these and stripping out the holes. The port locks are designed to snap down when locked, so its not really the screw tightness that controls the seal. You just have to make checking the snap-down effect a part of your pre-dive mantra with the housing.

(And re-reading your question, you can't really in general tighten these 'after' installing the port, since you probably can't get to the front faces of the locks unless you've got one of the smaller ports, which I see you do. But I'd still recommend against it. I think tightening after locking just tempts you to overtighten to where the port clip won't slide and you'll damage the housing.)

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...


#3 Cerianthus

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 03:40 PM

I have a similar (or same) setup. I have tightened the screws so that the locks just can slide, but not so that they move on their own. the port locks just hold the port in place, it is not a clamped seal like the main oring on the back but more like a barrel seal. And rtski is also right about the two clicks you are supposed to hear !

I spend a week rolling off RIB's with the housing and strobes, and the system is secure enough for that (I use the smaller port system). Just to be sure, i tend to press against the port when rolling in.
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#4 mejamman

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 05:52 PM

Thanks for the replies. Actually what happened was the camera was handed down to me by a dive instructor and when I surfaced the port came off. As I understand, pressure will hold the port in place while at depth.Using a dome port sort of shields them from direct downward access. I think the instructor bumped or snagged the lock and the fastener popped up. When I surfaced it came completely loose and the port came off. When I came home (you should try this too) I took a strap and pulled it across the port lock from the inside nearest the port and it unlocked. So I am trying to come up with a solution. Ikelite cannot add more locks, although it would solve the problem. I thought a piece of surgical rubber around the ports would work, but not so sure. Than I realized if you slightly snug the lock guide screws they won't move. Thoughts?

Thank you, Mike

#5 CADiver

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 09:26 AM

Thanks for the replies. Actually what happened was the camera was handed down to me by a dive instructor and when I surfaced the port came off. As I understand, pressure will hold the port in place while at depth.Using a dome port sort of shields them from direct downward access. I think the instructor bumped or snagged the lock and the fastener popped up. When I surfaced it came completely loose and the port came off. When I came home (you should try this too) I took a strap and pulled it across the port lock from the inside nearest the port and it unlocked. So I am trying to come up with a solution. Ikelite cannot add more locks, although it would solve the problem. I thought a piece of surgical rubber around the ports would work, but not so sure. Than I realized if you slightly snug the lock guide screws they won't move. Thoughts?

Thank you, Mike


I build a routine to my camera handling procedure, as soon as I catch the camera from the hand-off, I put my head in the water, look thru the port and the lock and make sure they are clicked. Once in a while for not much reason, I even turn the macro port a little bit just to feel it is in place ! Not recommended though !
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#6 Milton

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:39 AM

I have a 30D with the 6" dome port. Although the Ikelite setup appears to work fine, I am always very nervous if I have to pass it to anybody. In South Africa we dive mostly from RIBs and I have never had a problem when I ask for all my dive gear to be placed at the back of the boat. This gives me plenty of space to kit up and more importantly, to put my camera down at the back corner of the boat - away from everyone.
Also, I got hold of an inner tube from my mountain bike and cut a large width band from it. This I stretch over the back of the port. After kitting up and checking for leaks in the tank, I transfer the band over the two clips. Its a snug fit and the clips don't get caught up on other gear.
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#7 DavidScubadiver

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 01:06 PM

CADiver, can you explain how you "look" in the port to make sure the locks "click"? Do you do something under water to make sure they are clicked? (Do they "reclick" if already clicked??)

Milton, do you have a picture of what it is you do with the rubber tubing to cover the port locks?

Everybody - you backward roll into the water with your dome setup? That seems crazy to me but I don't own one yet...
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#8 Marjo

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:07 PM

I was wondering abpout the rolling too... that sounds a bit daring! I would never roll or jump with my camera equipment... Always try to have have someone hand it carefully down. Sometimes when that is not possible like if you are divng off a pier by yourself or away from others and no curious tourists handy, then will rig up something where I can "lower" the camera into the water or close to the water with a spring coil wire or even just on a bowline at the end of a piece of rope and unsnap or untie it after I jump into the water. But I would never roll or jump with the housing... sounds like sure way to tempt Neptune!