S2 Pro Housing Arrived
Posted 03 September 2003 - 09:43 PM
Posted 04 September 2003 - 05:05 AM
Which housing did you get?
You're going to LOVE the 70-180 When used with a diopter, you can shoot at somewhere near 2:1 and still zoom out to better thann 1:2
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org
Posted 06 September 2003 - 09:02 PM
On the positive side:
1. The housing is very robust and well built.
2. The handles are comfortable and easily adjusted.
3. The controls are for the most part well placed and function well. I especially like the zoom and aperture controls which can be easily operated without changing your grip on the housing or removing your eye from the viewfinder. I did not like the position of the shutter release, but was able to adjust it to my liking as a thumb activated release similar to that of an Ikelite MD housing.
4. Camera installation is easy and the flash card can be changed without removing the camera.
5. Although heavy on land the system is well balanced in the water.
6. The internal gears function well and the zoom and focus collars are quick to install and secure.
7. The S2 Pro is a great camera.
On the negative side:
1. I have been spoiled by the viewfinders of my previous Aquatica F4 and Nikon RS systems. This viewfinder seems very small. I can see that manual focus may be a problem.
2. It is very dificult to see the LCD on the top of the camera, but most of the information is in the viewfinder display.
3. Although I do have a water alarm I prefer to be able see inside the housing of an Ikelite system. Makes me feel more secure.
4. The lack of a positive lock preventing accidental rotation on the port bayonet mount makes me nervous. Although it is hard to rotate the port under pressure I can imagine bumping it or catching the manual focus knob while on the surface and having a flood. I have had such an experience with the old style Ikelite port in an MD housing. Sad story. I will build a locking mechanism for myself.
5. The flat surface of the housing that meets the O ring is very exposed and vulnerable to scratching. The L shaped configuration of the Ikelite O ring assembly has the edge here.
6. The housing could not be ordered with an Ikelite bulkhead, which I consider to be superior to the Nikon version.
7. Depending on the lens, the camera must be mounted in the camera with the lens removed and the lens then attached. I dislike having the CCD exposed this way but will get around it by installing the camera in the housing with a body cap applied.
Overall, there were not too many surprizes. Aquatica has again delivered a quality product. Would I choose this housing over an Ikelite? I am not sure, as I have not tried one for the S2 Pro and my Ikelite MD/601 combo is a distant memory. My list of negatives mostly have work-arounds and no system is perfect. . The main limitation may be the viewfinder size, but it is too early to know how much of a problem it will be. I think I will learn to rely on auto focus a little more.
Posted 07 September 2003 - 02:06 AM
I have chosen to go with Aquatica due to the larger diameter of the port opening which will allow me to use a 200 mm Micro lens. Also, now that I am switching to digital, I will start using a housed system for wide angle instead of my Nikonos. Ike housings do not allow the use of a 8" dome which I feel is better for wide angle and a necessity for ultra-wide (weitwinkel) angle as well as those infrequent under/over shots. The ability to add gextensionsh to the Aquatica port system is also a major plus. The Ike housings require a dedicated port for each lens or lens/accessory combination. The Aquatica Bayonet mount is actually quite secure.
Having used a F5 with a DA-30 finder, I find the S2 finder quite limiting BUT the S2 is like the N90 and F5 and will still indicate that the shot is in focus by displaying a "focus" dot on the lower far left portion of the viewfinder, (even when used in full manual). I rely on this feature for my high reproduction macro even when using the F5 with a DA-30. since my vision is quite poor, therefore the dot is more reliable than my eyes when it comes to determining if the image is in focus.
As for the connectors, I have never had any trouble with the Nikonos bulkhead connectors and I think they are a bit easier to attach in low light conditions. I do prefer Ikes cords as they seem to be a bit more robust.
Ike makes a very good housing and his service and communication is unmatched. I may not use the housings now but I still will continue to use his Strobes and cords.
On the other hand, Aquatica makes a fine product but they need to improve their customer service A LOT!
Ikelite and Aquatica Housings
Nikon 12-24 mm, 10.5 mm, 16 mm, 60 mm, 105 mm, 200 mm micro. Sigma 14 mm. + stacks of diopters and teleconverters
Many outdated flashy thingys with aluminum tinker toys to connect them to the cameras.
Posted 07 September 2003 - 08:16 AM
Howdy, Dave! Welcome to Wetpixel. I am on my second Aquatica housing, and in my experience, you couldn't loosen the port seal underwater if you tried to. The bayonet mount is very secure if you give the port a the full 60 degree twist when you put it on.
On the negative side:
4. The lack of a positive lock preventing accidental rotation on the port bayonet mount makes me nervous. Although it is hard to rotate the port under pressure I can imagine bumping it or catching the manual focus knob while on the surface and having a flood.
Just my thoughts. Needless to say, I love Aquatica and wouldn't trade it for anything.
Nikon D300 in Aquatica housing with housed SB800 flash.