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5D MkII Housings


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#1 mattsea

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:26 AM

I am looking for some advice from knowledgeable forum members.

In particular if you are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of various housings (Aquatech, Aquatica, Sea&Sea) for the 5Dmkii.

As I understand the major brands and RRP are:
Ikelite $1,519.95
Aquatech $1,895
Aquatica $2,900
Sea&Sea $3,500
Subal $4,500
SeaCam $5,909

I am looking for something compact for travel, but also pretty tough and reliable but at a moderate price with no compromises, at a mid price range and easy to use (ergonmically sound).

Ikelite though good value is a little large, Seacam and Subal are a bit out of my range.

So Aquatech and Aquatica are looking good. If Sea&Sea had some major advantage over the Aquatech or Aquatica it might also be feasible.

Can anyone help me understand the differences (advantages, disadvantages) of Aquatech $1,895 vs Aquatica $2,900 vs Sea&Sea $3,500?

Does one system have better prices or more options etc than the other.

Is one system nicer to use than the other?

Is there a big difference in leaks between these three systems?

Anything you can tell me to compare and contrast Aquatech, Aquatica & Sea&Sea would be hugely appreciated.

Edited by mattsea, 10 August 2009 - 10:02 AM.


#2 danielandrewclem

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:30 AM

For starters, Aquatech's housings aren't really made for diving. They're for surf and surface work. Depth rating is 33 feet.
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#3 jcclink

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:42 AM

Your high end camera deserves a higher end aluminum housing. I'd look at Aquatica, S&S and Subal. I agree that SeaCam is a bit pricey. Consider size, in-water weight (important for handling), ergonomics, type of port mount, availability of parts, etc. I read lots of thread about folks that have "heavy" rigs. I believe most of the problem is due to the housing (& maybe large heavy strobes). I prefer a rig that is slightly negative without having to play with floatation/trim devices. My Nexus is just right. Also look for fiber optic ports - makes life is much easier.

Edited by jcclink, 10 August 2009 - 10:14 AM.

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#4 mattsea

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 10:03 AM

Your high end camera deserves a higher end aluminum housing. I'd look at Aquatica, S&S and Subal. I agree that SeaCam is a bit pricey. Consider size, in-water weight (important for handling), type of port mount, availability of parts, etc. I read lots of thread about folks that have "heavy" rigs. I believe most of the problem is due to the housing (& maybe large heavy strobes). I prefer a rig that is slightly negative without having to play with floatation/trim devices. My Nexus is just right. Also look for fiber optic ports - makes life is much easier.


Thanks jcclink, looks like Subal costs more than I want to spend. But where does Nexus fit in this price range - I cannot see a Nexus housing for te 5Dmkii on the Nexus site?

What lenses and domes etc do you use.

A typical lens array for UW I am guessing is 16-35, 100 macro?

So I will need a dome & zoom gear for the 16-35 and a port for the 100 macro.



For starters, Aquatech's housings aren't really made for diving. They're for surf and surface work. Depth rating is 33 feet.


OK thanks Daniel, couldn't you have sugar coated that one. :-)

Edited by mattsea, 10 August 2009 - 10:33 AM.


#5 TheRealDrew

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 10:22 AM

Just a quick note, fiber optics will not work for 5D Mark II since it does not have a built in stobe to trigger a fiber optic connection.

#6 jcclink

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 10:25 AM

I'm a Nikon D300 guy so my lenses vary a bit. Using Tokina 10-17 & Nikon 12-24, 17-55, 60 macro & 105VR macro. 2 dome ports, macro port & 2 extension rings as required for lens. Just got the 10-17 so will be using that a lot to get used to it. I'm mostly muck diving so 60m is used maybe 75% & 105mm 25%.

Edited by jcclink, 10 August 2009 - 10:27 AM.

Nexus D300, 10-17mm, 12-24mm, 17-55mm, 60mm, 105mm VR
S&S YS110's & YS27's

#7 mattsea

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 12:13 PM

It looks like the Aquatica is probabably the best fit for me.

Are there any downsides to the 5Dmkii Aquatica casing compared to the other housings?

Edited by mattsea, 10 August 2009 - 12:18 PM.


#8 Drew

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 01:20 PM

Just a quick note, fiber optics will not work for 5D Mark II since it does not have a built in stobe to trigger a fiber optic connection.


Not necessarily.

http://www.tonywublo...he-light-2.html

Dah Wu has his working with optical firing (non-TTL). Maybe when he's on drier ground, he'll share more of his work with Zillion's optical converter.

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#9 TheRealDrew

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 01:32 PM

Dah Wu has his working with optical firing (non-TTL). Maybe when he's on drier ground, he'll share more of his work with Zillion's optical converter.


Was this one mentioned in another thread recently? (Because I think I recall someone dicussing this or something similar in terms of conversions)

It is very cool. Amazing work.

#10 RedSeaDiver

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 02:20 AM

Not necessarily.

http://www.tonywublo...he-light-2.html

Dah Wu has his working with optical firing (non-TTL). Maybe when he's on drier ground, he'll share more of his work with Zillion's optical converter.

It sounds like this device might allow fibre optically triggered strobes to be used with any housing which would be great news. Does anyone have a picture of the device?
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#11 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 02:35 AM

Inon make an external one that just plugs into a synch socket. It is discussed here:

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=24224

This allows you to fire optical slaves, but does not offer TTL. I don't use it much, in fact, usually only when I do not have enough synch cords to run two rigs on electronic cables. I have a few niggling problems with it.

Personally, I would not want to have a optical only system, because my preferred blue water strobes do not work on optical cables. Going optical limits you to only using certain strobe brands, which of course is fine, if you only want to use those brands.

That said, I dived on Sunday with the optical converter, these shots (think you have to be logged into Facebook for that link to work) were taken with it and a pair of Inons:

Posted Image Posted Image

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#12 TheRealDrew

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:46 AM

Inon make an external one that just plugs into a synch socket. It is discussed here:

http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=24224

This allows you to fire optical slaves, but does not offer TTL. I don't use it much, in fact, usually only when I do not have enough synch cords to run two rigs on electronic cables. I have a few niggling problems with it.


That may have been the thread I was thinking about. Not sure. I usually shoot with cords myself, but do like the concept of the fiber optics as redundancy in case something goes awry. Have had that happen a couple of times and switching out would have helped. Have some strobes that can do both, now I just need the rest of the set-up so I can do both at some point :)

#13 mattsea

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:15 AM

Though this sounds interesting isn't it a bit :) :)

Appreciate any comments re Sea&Sea compared to Aquatica in terms of ergonomics.

Also if Nexus were to bring out a 5Dmkii housing where would this stand in relation to Sea&Sea & Aquatica.

When it comes to using the hd video UW how does the hydrphone set up work, as I understand having the hydrophone on the body can mean the resprator bubbles are pretty much all you can hear?

Is there any major difference between Aquatica, Sea&Sea? (& Nexus if relevant)?

e.g. are the accessories for one or the other significantly more expensive.

What lens selections do you use most frequently, i.e. what would you say constitutes a core set of lenses?

i.e. What percentage of shots are fisheye 15mm, 16-35, 100mm macro?

In other words in terms of accessories (domes & ports) for these lenses would you say is sufficient?

Are there problems in terms of edge sharpness for any of these housings?

Any suggestions regarding dome size compared to recommended sizes?

Edited by mattsea, 11 August 2009 - 08:20 AM.


#14 Viz'art

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 09:19 AM

Hi Matt, you pretty much nailed the lens selection, most of our 5D Mk II housing do go out with the accessories for these lenses, for a complete "just add water" package for a 5D Mk II and those 3 lenses you would need the following items:

20061 Housing for the 5D Mk II, dual Nik V strobe connectors and moisture alarm included

18405 8" dome port
18480 8" dome shade FE
18503 Neoprene cover for dome shade
OR subsitute with
18407 9.25" Coated glass dome port (shade is integrated and neoprene cover supplied)

18457 Extension ring for 16-35mm
18708 Zoom gear for 16-35mm

18702 Focus ring for 15mm Fisheye

18428 AF Macro port
OR subsitute with
18426 AF/MF macro port
18700 Focus gear for 100 Macro

18453 Extension ring for 100mm

Optional:
20054 Aqua View Finder, its an accessory finder for larger easier viewing and focusing (very important in the case of the 5D Mk II with its Video feature is the fact that the finder does not block off the all too important rear LCD viewing screen)

That is the requirement for bringing a 5D Mk II plus the 3 lens mentionned underwater in an Aquatica, there are some Aquatica dealers on the side bars to your right that should supply you with pricing and availibillity.(I take care of tech support for Aquatica) I find its always a good thing to look beyond just the housing but at the complete package.

Not sure if it matter, but the housing (and ports) is depth rated to 300 feet (90meters) and can be upgraded for 425 feet (130 meters) at no charge if you advise the dealer when ordering.
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

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#15 TheRealDrew

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 09:21 AM

Though this sounds interesting isn't it a bit :) :)


A bit OT, but if there was a housing for the 5D Mark II where I had the option of shooting both ways, I would take a good look at it myself (especially since I am also in a market for a housing for my camera :) )

Appreciate any comments re Sea&Sea compared to Aquatica in terms of ergonomics.


You may want to look at some of the following for discussions about housings pros and cons.

This Thread
or
This Thread
or
Another thread
or
Another Thread

Mike L. may provide some more details since he shot the Hugy and Sea & Sea last trip. Mexwell give some thoughts there. The Sea and Sea is smaller/light than the Aquatica, some other comments in there regarding tripods and other issues to think about.


Also if Nexus were to bring out a 5Dmkii housing where would this stand in relation to Sea&Sea & Aquatica.

When it comes to using the hd video UW how does the hydrphone set up work, as I understand having the hydrophone on the body can mean the resprator bubbles are pretty much all you can hear?

Is there any major difference between Aquatica, Sea&Sea? (& Nexus if relevant)?

e.g. are the accessories for one or the other significantly more expensive.

What lens selections do you use most frequently, i.e. what would you say constitutes a core set of lenses?


i.e. What percentage of shots are fisheye 15mm, 16-35, 100mm macro?


Depends on where you are diving and whether macro or WA is called for. 17-40- or the 16-35 plus a FE and the Macro seem to be the starting points

In other words in terms of accessories (domes & ports) for these lenses would you say is sufficient?


At least one WA port and one Macro Port, usually the larger Domes can work with more lenses, but for some things the smaller ports (6") work well from what people report.

Are there problems in terms of edge sharpness for any of these housings?

Any suggestions regarding dome size compared to recommended sizes?


Poke through this thread

Lens 5D Selection Thread

EDIT: I see Jean was also typing as I was :)

Edited by TheRealDrew, 11 August 2009 - 09:22 AM.


#16 unlis

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:16 AM

I am looking for some advice from knowledgeable forum members.

In particular if you are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of various housings (Aquatech, Aquatica, Sea&Sea) for the 5Dmkii.

As I understand the major brands and RRP are:
Ikelite $1,519.95
Aquatech $1,895
Aquatica $2,900
Sea&Sea $3,500
Subal $4,500
SeaCam $5,909

I am looking for something compact for travel, but also pretty tough and reliable but at a moderate price with no compromises, at a mid price range and easy to use (ergonmically sound).

Ikelite though good value is a little large, Seacam and Subal are a bit out of my range.

So Aquatech and Aquatica are looking good. If Sea&Sea had some major advantage over the Aquatech or Aquatica it might also be feasible.

Can anyone help me understand the differences (advantages, disadvantages) of Aquatech $1,895 vs Aquatica $2,900 vs Sea&Sea $3,500?

Does one system have better prices or more options etc than the other.

Is one system nicer to use than the other?

Is there a big difference in leaks between these three systems?

Anything you can tell me to compare and contrast Aquatech, Aquatica & Sea&Sea would be hugely appreciated.


Somewhat Nexus forgotten :) and its exactly in the middle of price range but with same quality of tops :)
p.s. this post just for fairness sake.. no intention to sell :)
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#17 Drew

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:53 PM

Matt, it also depends on which part of the5D2 you'll be using more? Video or still? Each housing handles those things differently.

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#18 Mike L

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:23 PM

I have spent some time with the Hugyfot and the Sea & Sea 5d2 housings, and Ive played with the Ike, just not underwater. The S&S is my favorite hands down. They are priced in the mid range of all the manufacturers. The housing is the smallest of the bunch, hVERY ergonomic controls, a great port selection...and as a shooter an retailed the S&S service and reliability is fantastic. Ports, accessories and spares are in stock nearly all the time (rare instances when they are not). The 110a s my favorite strobe, and shooting TTL is a breeze with the new S&S YS-C converter.

The hugy is a great housing, priced about the same, but then bulkheads are extra, and it is a little more complicated to use and not as ergonomic.

One thing I will say with regards to shooting video with ANY of these housings, is that there is one accessory that is definitely needed if anyone wants to make it a normal use to shoot video, THERE NEEDS TO BE AN EXTERNAL MOUNTED MONITOR. The 5d's LCD is great, but its not practical to use for many shooting scenarios, so if the convergence of Video and SLR cameras is here to stay, I believe an external monitor is a must!

Here is a short link to a whale shark clip I shot with the 5d2 and S&S housing in Holbox two weeks ago. Again, being on the surface, in swell, using the VF was not very practical when I compared to to shooting with an external monitor on my EX1.

Whale Shark with 5d2
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#19 matt215

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:26 PM

I wouldn't rule the Ikelite. I've used one and have never found it to be too big and bulky. I've never used anything but Ikelite, so I don't know any different, but the money I saved helped me buy a 100-400 5.6 L lens!!
Canon 5D mk2, Ikelite housing, Ikelite 125 strobes, 17-40 mm 4.0 L, 100 mm, 24-150 mm L, 100-400 mm 5.6 L
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#20 RedSeaDiver

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 03:20 AM

I have spent some time with the Hugyfot and the Sea & Sea 5d2 housings, and Ive played with the Ike, just not underwater. The S&S is my favorite hands down. They are priced in the mid range of all the manufacturers. The housing is the smallest of the bunch, hVERY ergonomic controls, a great port selection...

Sounds good... but...


and as a shooter an retailed the S&S service and reliability is fantastic.

I wish we had the same fantastic service from the S&S importer in Australia :)

Edited by RedSeaDiver, 12 August 2009 - 03:22 AM.

Red Sea Dreaming....

Canon 7D, Tokina 10-17, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 17-70, Canon 100mm macro, Kenko 1.4x Teleconverter, Nauticam housing when it arrives, 2x Inon Z240 strobes, Lowepro Vertex 300 AW backpack.