Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Fibre Optic Retro Fit for Subal 40D Housing


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Gudge

Gudge

    Tiger Shark

  • Team Wetpixel
  • 537 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pottsville, NSW Australia

Posted 27 July 2008 - 04:13 PM

Earlier this year in a thread about fibre optic versus electric sync cords I made a comment that I would like to have fibre optic sync cords for my Subal housing. This comment was quickly followed up by an email from Ryan of Reef Photo and Video saying that he was working on a fibre optic conversion kit for the Subal 40D housing. I told him I was interested and to let me know how it goes. This was followed by silence up until about a week and half ago when I got another email from Ryan saying the fibre optic kit was available and did I want one thrown in with my lastest order from Reef Photo that was just about to be shipped. I said yes and it arrived last Friday just in time for me to install it the housing and take it out for a few dives over the weekend.

The fibre optic kit consists of a light collector with fibre optic cords attached:

Posted Image

Two fibre optic bulkheads to replace the Nikonos V ones that came with my housing:

Posted Image

And a foam ring that goes around the lens to prevent any stray light from the camera's inbuilt flash getting near the business end of the lens:

Posted Image

There's more photos of the setup here:

Subal 40D Fibre Optic Retro Fit Photos

I managed to get four dives in over the weekend with the new setup and it worked very well. I shot in both manual and (for the first time ever) TTL mode with my Inon Z240's. I also shot using 2nd curtain sync by setting the camera's internal flash to 2nd curtain sync and letting the Z240's follow suit.

My only worry was how the continual use of the camera's internal flash would affect the camera's battery life. For this reason I worked it hard over the four dives taking lots of shots and trying all sorts of things and ended up taking around 425 shots over the four dives with just one fully charged battery. The battery still had some life left in it at the end I wouldn't have pushed it for a fifth dive. Therefore, one battery should be more than enough for a normal days diving.

I'm very happy with the new setup and can't see myself going back to electric sync cords any time soon. Anyone wanna buy some cheap Sea & Sea sync cords? :blink:
Canon 7D, Nauticam NA-7D housing, 2 x Inon Z240, 1 x Inon S2000, Tokina 10-17 & 12-24, Sigma 17-70 Macro, Tokina 35 macro, Canon 60 & 100 macro, Tamron 2X & Kenko 1.X Teleconverters.

#2 aussie

aussie

    Tiger Shark

  • Moderator
  • 544 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GBR (Cairns), Australia
  • Interests:Diving - most weekends, music, photography

Posted 27 July 2008 - 09:02 PM

Thanks for the write up Gudge!

Does anyone know if something similar will be possible with Aquatica housings in the future?

Edited by aussie, 27 July 2008 - 09:02 PM.

Pedlow Photographics
My Flickr
On Twitter

Canon EOS 7D. Aquatica A7D. Inon Z240's. Canon, Tokina and Sigma glass.

#3 serge

serge

    Sting Ray

  • Industry
  • PipPipPip
  • 209 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NAD Lembeh, Sulawesi

Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:26 AM

don't know about aquatica, but hugyfot definately has these optical bulkheads already available. i tried them recently with a hugyfot 40d housing and was very satisfied.

www.serge-mondial.com
www.nad-lembeh.com

http://nad-lembeh.com/blog
 


#4 bruceterrill

bruceterrill

    Tiger Shark

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts

Posted 28 July 2008 - 02:08 AM

Hi Guys,
I drilled and tapped the penta-prism housing on my Nexus D70S housing months ago...
I used the Inon fibre optic windows and these have worked perfectly ever since.
With the Inon units the fibre optic cables stay outside the housing, so there are no glands to leak...maybe?
With my set-up, I can use either the fibre optics or the sync cords without having to change over bulkheads.
The Inon units are now freely available from suppliers, so it might be another option available from Ryan...

BTW, for my i-TTL shooting, I still use the sync cords...

Bruce...

#5 Gudge

Gudge

    Tiger Shark

  • Team Wetpixel
  • 537 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pottsville, NSW Australia

Posted 28 July 2008 - 02:54 AM

With the Inon units the fibre optic cables stay outside the housing, so there are no glands to leak...maybe?

There is no gland to leak in my arrangement. There is a optical window that fits into the hole for the existing Nikonos V connector. The fibre optic sync cord from the strobe plugs into the outside and the small fibre optic cord from in front of the camera plugs into the inside.

I drilled and tapped the penta-prism housing on my Nexus D70S

Not something I would want to try on Subal housing in that area, there is not a lot of meat to it (the areas where the existing bulkheads are fitted is at least twice as thick as this area). It is also curved in two directions in this area making it impossible to get an O ring seal on the surface, you would have to spot face the area where you wanted to fit a bulkhead and this would leave even less metal to thread.

Edited by Gudge, 28 July 2008 - 03:30 AM.

Canon 7D, Nauticam NA-7D housing, 2 x Inon Z240, 1 x Inon S2000, Tokina 10-17 & 12-24, Sigma 17-70 Macro, Tokina 35 macro, Canon 60 & 100 macro, Tamron 2X & Kenko 1.X Teleconverters.

#6 bruceterrill

bruceterrill

    Tiger Shark

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts

Posted 30 July 2008 - 07:20 AM

Hi Ross,
Any chance that you might be able to get one of these into your housing?

http://www.uwdigital...hp?goodsIdx=114

They concentrate the strobe's beam at your fibre optic cable and also block out any flash bounce...
I've got one coming for my set-up. Hopefully there will be room in my penta-prism for it...hehehe?
HTH,
Bruce...

#7 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 30 July 2008 - 07:40 AM

Just a note for Nikon users - that I was actually told in conversation while I was at reef photo video a couple of weeks ago. This does not work with Nikon's as the flash needs to be fully up to fire - few if any housings offer room for this. Canon pop-ups will go off even if they are not fully erect.

Alternative solutions include the Inon electrical to optical converter, that plugs into an existing syncg socket. I am using an Inon electrical to optical converter with me here in Italy on my Subal this week. Being external it is so not such a neat solution.

By far the best solution is to have an electrical to optical converter attached to the hot-shoe - Zillion offer this with their housings. Tony Wu has a great setup like this. That way you can have the circuitry for both in the same housing if you want. For ultimate flexibility and redundancy. Plus there is not the light leakage issues, battery drain and heating/condensation problems that can arise with using the internal flash.

The other obvious drawback of a fibre optic system is that you are stuck only using strobes that can fire from fibre optics.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#8 bruceterrill

bruceterrill

    Tiger Shark

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts

Posted 30 July 2008 - 07:58 AM

Hi Alex,
I don't know how, and I'm damn sure that it wasn't planned, but my Nikon D70S fits into its Nexus housing,
with the internal flash extended. The fit can only be described as millimetre perfect...100% consistency with firing the internal strobe.

Is the Zillion system that you speak of available as an after market set-up?
And does it convert i-TTL signal or just manual triggering of strobe?
This was one of the reasons that I chose the Inon units, so that I could choose betrween the sync cords or the fibre optics.
Being able to have both systems set up and working in the housing at the same time would offer perfect redundancy...

Bruce...

#9 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 30 July 2008 - 08:20 AM

Don't think the elec-optic converters will do ttl. Good news that the Nexus housing fits the flash - that's the only way to get the s-ttl.

I am not surprised that the Nexus has space for the pop-up flash - it is such a popular method of firing strobes in Japanese housings.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#10 Gudge

Gudge

    Tiger Shark

  • Team Wetpixel
  • 537 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pottsville, NSW Australia

Posted 30 July 2008 - 03:42 PM

Any chance that you might be able to get one of these into your housing?

http://www.uwdigital...hp?goodsIdx=114

I don't think so, space is really tight in the Subal housing. As Alex has pointed out the Canon flash does not need to be fully raised to work and in the case of my 40D it is only up a few millimetres before it is stopped by the housing. The fibre optics in the light collector supplied by Reef Photo are aimed directly into the flash through the small gap between the top of the flash and the camera body.

The fact that the camera's flash is only just open is another reason drilling the housing and installing an optical window in the pentaprism area is not a good idea on a Subal housing. Because the flash is barely raised the optical window would be looking directly at the black plastic on top of the flash and this wouldn't give the best light transmission for purposes of triggering the external strobe.

Edited by Gudge, 30 July 2008 - 03:43 PM.

Canon 7D, Nauticam NA-7D housing, 2 x Inon Z240, 1 x Inon S2000, Tokina 10-17 & 12-24, Sigma 17-70 Macro, Tokina 35 macro, Canon 60 & 100 macro, Tamron 2X & Kenko 1.X Teleconverters.

#11 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9969 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 31 July 2008 - 08:46 AM

Gudge,

That is really cool man! Can you explain how you terminated the fiber optic cable through the bulkhead so that it trasmits light and is still waterproof?

Thanks
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#12 Gudge

Gudge

    Tiger Shark

  • Team Wetpixel
  • 537 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pottsville, NSW Australia

Posted 31 July 2008 - 03:53 PM

Can you explain how you terminated the fiber optic cable through the bulkhead so that it trasmits light and is still waterproof?

The new bulkead supplied by Reef Photo is an optical window that is waterproof even without anything screwed into it. The fibre optic cord from the strobe goes through the Subal red plug that has been drilled and is terminated by a mushroom shaped rubber insert that allows a very short section of fibre optic cord to protude above the top of the mushroom:

Posted Image

When the red plug is screwed into the bulkhead the end of the fibre optic cord is pushed up hard against small depression in the optical window. The fibre optic cord from the light collector inside the housing is pushed into a hole (tight enough to ensure that the cord won't move once it is pushed in) on the inside of the optical window until it is hard up against the inner side of the optical window and aligned with the external fibre optic cord. Ryan will be able to explain it better as it is his brain child. I'm impressed with his solution (I'm a Senior Mechanical Engineer with Boeing Integrated Defence Systems), it is a good design, well made and worked well on the first four dives I did with it last weekend.

Edited by Gudge, 01 August 2008 - 03:14 AM.

Canon 7D, Nauticam NA-7D housing, 2 x Inon Z240, 1 x Inon S2000, Tokina 10-17 & 12-24, Sigma 17-70 Macro, Tokina 35 macro, Canon 60 & 100 macro, Tamron 2X & Kenko 1.X Teleconverters.

#13 ChasO2

ChasO2

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 49 posts

Posted 09 August 2008 - 02:20 PM

Just a note for Nikon users - that I was actually told in conversation while I was at reef photo video a couple of weeks ago. This does not work with Nikon's as the flash needs to be fully up to fire -
.....
Alex


With the D200 anyway the flash only needs to be open about 12mm or so. Might work in more housing with this opening. In the Nexus housing it isn't all the way open but most of the way (may keep heat load less). I've used the housing with and without the internal mirror setup and both worked.

The Strobe light guide mirror for NEXUS wouldn't allow the camera to fit properly when it arrived - sat slightly to low and hit the camera body. Had to dismantle by taking the hinge pin out and turning it over, reinserted the hinge pin so it was now folding "upside down" but the rather large plastic nuts which hold the mirror still hit the camera. Replaced them with countersunk screws and all works fine giving good clearance.

Charles

#14 dhowie01

dhowie01

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:australia
  • Interests:photography and video , SLR

Posted 05 November 2009 - 04:19 AM

Dear
Has anybody else used the fibreoptic connectors from Ryan to screw into existing Nikonos bulkheads.

Has anyone been able to jig the D300 inbuilt strobe to have it fire inside a Subal housing?
Thanks Don howie
don

#15 Gudge

Gudge

    Tiger Shark

  • Team Wetpixel
  • 537 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pottsville, NSW Australia

Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:47 AM

Has anybody else used the fibreoptic connectors from Ryan to screw into existing Nikonos bulkheads.

The Nikonos bulkheads aren't used in the conversion, they are replaced by optical bulkheads which come with the conversion kit. There's more photos of the conversion here.


Has anyone been able to jig the D300 inbuilt strobe to have it fire inside a Subal housing

There's some details in this thread of how someone modified a D70S so that it's flash would fire when only partially raised inside a housing.

Edited by Gudge, 05 November 2009 - 05:55 AM.

Canon 7D, Nauticam NA-7D housing, 2 x Inon Z240, 1 x Inon S2000, Tokina 10-17 & 12-24, Sigma 17-70 Macro, Tokina 35 macro, Canon 60 & 100 macro, Tamron 2X & Kenko 1.X Teleconverters.

#16 dhowie01

dhowie01

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:australia
  • Interests:photography and video , SLR

Posted 06 November 2009 - 06:21 PM

The Nikonos bulkheads aren't used in the conversion, they are replaced by optical bulkheads which come with the conversion kit. There's more photos of the conversion here.


There's some details in this thread of how someone modified a D70S so that it's flash would fire when only partially raised inside a housing.


don

#17 dhowie01

dhowie01

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:australia
  • Interests:photography and video , SLR

Posted 06 November 2009 - 06:27 PM

The Nikonos bulkheads aren't used in the conversion, they are replaced by optical bulkheads which come with the conversion kit. There's more photos of the conversion here.


There's some details in this thread of how someone modified a D70S so that it's flash would fire when only partially raised inside a housing.


don

#18 dhowie01

dhowie01

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Location:australia
  • Interests:photography and video , SLR

Posted 06 November 2009 - 06:34 PM

The Nikonos bulkheads aren't used in the conversion, they are replaced by optical bulkheads which come with the conversion kit. There's more photos of the conversion here.


There's some details in this thread of how someone modified a D70S so that it's flash would fire when only partially raised inside a housing.


Dear Ross
Thanks . Helps a lot.

Have you heard of anyone modifying a D300 pop up flash to fire inside a Subal Housing.

Do I contact Ryan at Reef phot and order these bukheadsand can i instal them safely myself?
Thanks from Adelaide
don